Insider paints NFL draft trade scenario for Falcons, Jets

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Terry Fontenot is primed to do something next week in the NFL Draft that he’s never done as Falcons GM.

In his three cycles with Atlanta, Fontenot has taken a skill position player in the top 10. Kyle Pitts in his first draft, Drake London the next year, and Bijan Robinson last offseason.

He has never drafted a defensive player in the first round, nor has Atlanta’s GM ever traded up or down in the first round. We could see both next week.

There’s one avenue that makes the most sense; the Falcons are a perfect trade-down candidate. Though many have penciled Atlanta in for a defender with their top pick, the value might not warrant Dallas Turner or any other defensive prospect going 8th overall.

Given how many expect the draft to shake out, the Falcons could be sitting on a goldmine. One of the top receivers and tackles will be on the board. Some combination of Rome Oduzne or Malik Nabers and Joe Alt or Olu Fashanu will be available. With no obvious need for either position, the Falcons could auction off their pick.

There are plenty of teams that need a WR1 or a left tackle to protect their franchise quarterback, and Daniel Jeremiah recently painted a scenario of just how quickly a deal could come to fruition.

“If he [Rome Odunze] gets to 8, I could make a very strong argument that the Jets could make an easy, painless flip with Atlanta, where Atlanta goes back to 10, they could leapfrog Chicago and take Odunze,” Jeremiah said. “That wouldn’t cost them [Jets] much. You could literally give them [Falcons] your 3 [round pick], they give you a 4 [round pick].”

The Jets aren’t alone. The Saints, Bengals, Cowboys, and Packers need a tackle to protect Derek Carr, Joe Burrow, Dak Prescott, and Jordan Love, respectively. The 49ers and Chiefs need a tackle and receiver too. The Bills also need to replace Stefon Diggs

That doesn’t even include the obvious trade-up candidates, the quarterback-needy teams like the Vikings, the Broncos, and the Raiders. Falcons GM Terry Fontenot will have plenty of options come draft day.

Photographer: Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire

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