Falcons move up draft order in NFL Network trade hypothetical

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There are a number of scenarios for the Falcons come draft night. Many expect Atlanta to land Bijan Robinson, either with the 8th overall pick or in a trade-down scenario to build around Desmond Ridder. However, Cynthia Frelund of NFL Network apparently doesn’t buy the club’s support voiced for the former third-round pick. Frelund’s hypothetical trade is to move up the draft board to land a signal caller following the Texans passing on the position.


  • Round 1, 2023: No. 3 overall


  • Round 1, 2023: No. 8 overall
  • Round 2, 2023: No. 44
  • Round 3, 2023: No. 75
  • Round 4, 2024

At first glance, it seems the Falcons were fleeced, but as Frelund notes, the Jimmy Johnson trade chart indicates otherwise. She also reasons for selecting a quarterback after Arthur Smith and Terry Fontenot publicly backed Ridder.

“Atlanta has publicly talked about 2022 third-round pick Desmond Ridder being the guy under center, but if the opportunity to select the second quarterback in the draft presented itself, it would seem hard to pass up, given the very smart offseason acquisitions, along with third-year coach Arthur Smith being an exceptional architect for the play-action game (SEE: Ryan Tannehill‘s improvement in Tennessee). Using play-action is one of the biggest contributing factors in terms of how well quarterbacks have successfully transitioned to the NFL level over the past five seasons. The NFC South landscape is very different this season versus last, and this scenario spells opportunity if Atlanta can get key positions right.”

It’s not the most ludicrous idea, especially for a regime that has spoken ad nauseam about not being afraid to upgrade any position, including quarterback. And nobody would argue Desmond Ridder was a better prospect coming out of college than C.J. Stroud. Still, it would be a step in the opposite direction of what the Falcons have been trying to build towards.

The club seemingly wants to give Ridder a shot to earn the franchise quarterback title while building the roster to support him or whichever signal caller eventually takes the job. Sure, Stroud might be that guy, and I wouldn’t be against the team drafting him, but to give up considerable draft capital to do so doesn’t seem wise.

Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire

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