Falcons trade back with Bears in Sports Illustrated 31-trade mock draft

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Terry Fonteont was hired away from the Saints, who have a consistent history of trading around the draft. With the Falcons, the new regime has moved around in the second round of both cycles. Atlanta traded back and selected Richie Grant in 2021, then moved up to draft Arnold Ebiketie last year. Trends would suggest another move is coming next week.

Matt Verderame of Sports Illustrated did by far the most interesting mock draft I have seen to date. The pundit projected trades for every single first-round pick, and the Falcons moved back with the Bears:

Atlanta Falcons: Lukas Van Ness, edge, Iowa

TRADE NOTED ABOVE: Bears trade No. 9 (1,350), No. 133 (39.5) and No. 148 (31) to Falcons for No. 8 (1,400) and No. 159 (26.6)

Moving back only one spot would net the Falcons a fourth-round pick, and they’d also move up 11 spots in the fifth. Atlanta would still get a top edge rusher in Van Ness, who has an argument as the third-best in this crop behind Anderson and Wilson. Along with the signings of defensive tackle David Onyemata and end Calais Campbell, the Falcons would be adding significant talent up front

There are so many different ways the Falcons can attack the NFL Draft and a handful that I could get behind. Trading up to land one of the premier prospects, trading back to acquire more draft capital, or staying put and selecting one of the players that slipped through the cracks due to a run on quarterbacks could all be in play. It’s all about value.

There are legitimately more than half a dozen potential picks that I could get excited about — Bijan Robinson, Jalen Carter, Will Anderson, Tyree Wilson, Christian Gonzalez, Devon Witherspoon, Peter Skoronski, Nolan Smith, and Lukas Van Ness. Some of you have your gripes with each prospect, but the Falcons sit in a great spot.

Photographer: Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire


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