It’s no secret that I want to trade back in the 2021 NFL draft, but why? Atlanta will need their quarterback of the future eventually, and this draft is absolutely loaded at the top. I prefer Zach Wilson over any quarterback that could be available, but I really like Justin Fields and Trey Lance as well. However, moving back to the seventh overall pick would present Atlanta with the best opportunity — for many reasons.
Look, I’m not going to sit here and bag on the Lions; they do that to themselves, and 2021 should be no different. Matthew Stafford has been replaced by Jared Goff, which is a substantial downgrade, and it’s likely they will be losing two of their other best players as well in Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones Jr. To make matters worse — Jeff Okudah had a very rough rookie season, and they don’t have many other building blocks on the team.
Perhaps the Lions see Jared Goff as their starting quarterback of the future, but their new general manager Brad Holmes should know more than anyone, given he was in Los Angeles for the entirety of Goff’s career. Detroit could be starving to acquire a quarterback, and teams like the Jets, Eagles, Panthers, 49ers, Falcons, and others potentially stand in their way in the upcoming draft. Atlanta has so much leverage by selecting fourth overall, and they should use that to get Detroit’s 2022 first-rounder if they can.
Look, Dan Campbell is an… interesting guy, to say the least. He has a lot of passion, but what do his Xs and Os look like? Will he transform Jared Goff into a quarterback that will drag an awful roster to the playoffs? My money is on no. In fact, I think the Lions are the favorites to pick first overall in 2022 unless the Texans have something to say about it. Trading back with Detroit not only gives Atlanta a premium pick at seven to snag an elite prospect, but they also could get their hands on the first pick of the 2022 NFL Draft.
In this scenario, the Falcons get their choice of quarterbacks in a deep class featuring Sam Howell, Kedon Slovis, Tyler Shough, or Spencer Rattler — but they also get a year to see if Matt Ryan even needs to be replaced. Atlanta moving back with the Lions and selecting an impact player at a position of need along with other picks makes way too much sense. When you consider Detroit’s outlook for 2022, it would be a dream scenario if Brad Holmes comes calling.