Should the Falcons consider this trade back scenario in the NFL Draft?

4880909200397 Panthers at Falcons

Every season, it seems the Falcons have an opportunity to trade back in the draft and acquire more selections. However, it rarely happens, and it has yet to happen under current general manager Terry Fontenot. Nobody should be shocked if the Falcons stand pat again and take the best player available when they’re on the clock, but this does seem like the one draft where a trade back could really make some sense for the Falcons.

First and foremost, the Falcons have some clear needs on the defensive side of the ball, but there might not be a defensive player worth taking with the 8th overall pick. In that case, trading back should be the move if they are dead set on upgrading that side of the ball.

Secondly, there are a number of blue chip offensive prospects that could land in Atlanta’s lap because of an early run on quarterbacks. Wide receiver and left tackle are the two most noticeable. The Falcons don’t need a tackle with Jake Matthews and Kaleb McGary locked in for multiple years, and while receiver is a need, it’s not nearly as great of a need as EDGE or cornerback.

Meanwhile, there are a plethora of teams behind the Falcons in the draft that are desperate for a number one wide receiver and/or franchise left tackle. That could create a bidding war for Atlanta’s pick, and don’t forget about the quarterback-needy teams as well. There are several organizations picking right behind the Falcons that could want to make a move up the board for someone like J.J. McCarthy or Michael Penix Jr.

That could create a perfect storm for Terry Fontenot, allowing him to move back and take the best defensive player available while accumulating more draft picks. Over at Bleacher Report, Alex Kay recently cooked up a blockbuster trade back scenario for the Falcons, swinging a deal with the Cowboys and moving back 16 spots in the draft. 

Atlanta Falcons receive: 2024 first-round pick (No. 24 overall), 2024 second-round pick (No. 56 overall), 2025 first-round pick (TBD)

Dallas Cowboys receive: 2024 first-round pick (No. 8 overall)

The Atlanta Falcons addressed their biggest concern by signing veteran quarterback Kirk Cousins at the onset of free agency. They can now focus on fine-tuning the remainder of the roster.

Unfortunately, Atlanta doesn’t have much in the way of cap space to work with following the blockbuster Cousins signing. It needs to have a strong draft to field a complete lineup that’s capable of making a Super Bowl run. Trading down from No. 8 overall would give the Falcons more chances at unearthing contributors not only this year, but also in future seasons.

Atlanta’s pick shouldn’t be too pricy since the top quarterbacks should be long gone, but No. 8 is still a valuable spot for teams in need of offensive tackle help that want to jump ahead of the Chicago Bears and New York Jets. That alone could be worth an additional first-rounder in 2025, plus a first-round pick swap this year.

The Falcons are in sort of an awkward position where they seem to be all-in, but they might not be quite ready to compete for a Super Bowl. Moving this far back in the draft would severely hinder their chances of finding a day one game-changer in the first round, but adding another second round pick and a future first is extremely enticing for a team that is still trying to build up their roster.

I have a difficult time believing the Falcons are going to be willing to move that far down the board as they try to maximize their chances with Kirk Cousins, but I do feel like the odds of them moving back in some form or fashion are greater than they’ve been in a long time.

Photographer: Todd Kirkland/Icon Sportswire

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