NFL Draft: Falcons a prime trade back candidate

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When the Falcons entered the offseason, it wasn’t yet clear what avenue they’d take to fix the quarterback position. It was just understood Atlanta would be in the market for a new signal caller.

Arthur Blank eventually hired Raheem Morris, but it still wasn’t obvious the path the club’s new head coach would take at the position. Would he go with a younger prospect from the draft to develop? Would he prefer a veteran to win right now?

Terry Fontenot would inquire about a move up the draft board but turned his attention elsewhere when it became clear that the Bears, Commanders, and Patriots weren’t trading their picks.

His top target? Kirk Cousins. With Blank’s backing, Fontenot exceeded any offer the Vikings felt comfortable putting forth, and the Falcons had their guy. The move had a rippling effect.

It signaled that Atlanta saw themselves as contenders, but it also took them out of contention for one of the top quarterback prospects that would be available in the draft, simultaneously making them a prime trade back candidate.

For instance, in a recent ESPN hypothetical, the Falcons move down with, ironically, the Vikings, in exchange for the No. 11 and 23 picks with Minnesota getting the No. 8 pick and an extra third-rounder from Atlanta.

The Broncos and Raiders are also potentially quarterback-needy teams that the Falcons could make a deal with, but it doesn’t have to be just signal callers. If a guy like Rome Odunze or Joe Alt falls to No. 8, Fontenot could make a deal with a GM that desperately needs a WR1 or a left tackle to protect their franchise quarterback.

Any scenario is possible now for the Falcons. Terry Fontenot might do something he’s never done before in the first round — trade down.

Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire

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