What does the Jets shopping Sam Darnold mean for the Falcons?

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The NFL draft in April could be quite eventful as the ever-growing quarterback market has another name to satisfy the many quarterback-needy teams, Sam Darnold. New York Jets general manager Joe Douglas confirmed Wednesday that he’d take any calls for Darnold, which is a complete contradiction of what he said in October 2019, when he deemed the quarterback untouchable.

“I will answer the call if it’s made,” Douglas said. “As it pertains to Sam, like I said, Sam is we think a dynamic player in this league with unbelievable talent who really has a chance to hit his outstanding potential moving forward. Like I’ve said earlier, if calls are made, I will answer them.”

I would dare to guarantee the Jets will trade Darnold; Douglas wouldn’t announce they’d take calls on him if he were still their guy, which essentially pencils New York in to take a quarterback in April. With the Jaguars all but certain to draft Trevor Lawrence, that would mean there could be two quarterbacks taken with the first two picks in the draft. This could result in players sliding down the board that normally wouldn’t.

My ideal draft would entail Penei Sewell falling to the fourth pick for Atlanta to bolster their offensive line. Lawrence would go to Jacksonville, whichever quarterback Douglas prefers would go second, then one of Kyle Pitts, DeVonta Smith, or Ja’Marr Chase would go to Miami with the third pick, which would send Sewell to Atlanta, in an ideal world.

I don’t think the former Oregon Duck will fall, but the more quarterback hype, the better Atlanta’s chances of grabbing Sewell become. Trading back could still be in the cards, but the value of the fourth pick decreases tremendously if the Jets are looking to add a quarterback.

What made the Falcons such a desirable landing spot for quarterback-needy teams to trade up with was because nobody ahead of them was thought to be in the hunt for a quarterback — outside of Jacksonville, of course. The Panthers, Patriots, and Eagles will now be contemplating whether the Jets will take “their” guy, which could result in New York auctioning off the pick to the highest bidder.

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