It’s no secret there are plenty of quarterback needy teams in this class, and Atlanta seems to be in the driver’s seat selecting fourth overall. Unless someone swings a deal with Miami, the Falcons should have their choice of two or three first-round talent quarterbacks to succeed Matt Ryan. Personally, I’m in favor of moving back and acquiring picks to fill the holes on this roster. Doing so can still net the Falcons an impact player to help the team win now like Penei Sewell, Caleb Farley, Rashawn Slater, or Patrick Surtain II along with additional day two picks.
More importantly, a lot of these teams will be bad next season, so if you snag a 2022 first-round pick, you could have the best of both worlds and grab a quarterback after seeing a year of Matt Ryan under Coach Arthur Smith. There are plenty of teams that should be interested in the fourth pick, but these are the notable ones, outside of Carolina, because I don’t like trading within the division. I’ll be taking into account players and future picks that the team would have to offer.
5. Denver Broncos
Denver is a mess right now, and if Justin Simmons and Von Miller are both gone this offseason — Vic Fangio may be on the chopping block. It’s unknown what the Broncos will do, they’re in a bit of a bind. If you don’t select a quarterback and roll with Drew Lock, you may lose your job because of it. Selecting a quarterback may buy you more time, but your next coach may have a disconnect with the quarterback you picked. Whatever, i’ll take a future first and a couple day two picks — things look bleak at Mile High Stadium.
4. San Francisco 49ers
While I don’t think the 49ers future first round pick would be as valuable as a team like Denver’s, I do think the 49ers are desperate enough to overpay for this pick. Kyle Shanahan HAS to have the monkey on his back of blowing two Super Bowls, and I truly think when healthy — they’re still a quarterback away. Almost any quarterback in this draft that he plugs into his system will immediately make an impact. Do the Niners cut bait with Jimmy G and give the Falcons a king’s ransom for the fourth pick?
3. Philadelphia Eagles
The Eagles are a bit of a mess right now, but with an extra 2022 second-round pick that can conditionally become a first-round pick, perhaps the Eagles gamble with their own draft choice to scoop up their quarterback of the future. Their problems go far deeper than their roster, and I think the dysfunction in their organization could net the Falcons a nice top ten choice in 2022 if the Eagles think they have their guy in this draft.
2. Washington Football Team
I give Washington a slight edge over the Eagles because I like a lot of their talent on the front seven, and if Washington would include a piece like Montez Sweat or Daron Payne to move up from 19, I think it would be worth not receiving as many draft picks in return. I actually love Taylor Heinicke, but I doubt Washington sees him as the future of the franchise.
1. Detroit Lions
Think about this for a second — are the Lions a Justin Fields or Zach Wilson away from being out of the top ten in the 2022 NFL Draft? I would venture to say no. Atlanta could acquire their 2022 first-round pick as they attempt to get their quarterback of the future, but they’ll still be rolling with Jared Goff in 2021. Dan Campbell is an… interesting coach to say the least, but there’s no reason to believe the Lions aren’t the favorite to pick first overall in 2022 along with the Texans. They’ll be losing multiple defensive pieces before you even consider Matthew Stafford, Kenny Golladay, and Marvin Jones Jr. If you want to read my full thoughts on why the Falcons HAVE to get their hands on Detroit’s 2022 first round pick, you can check that out here.