Report: Falcons open to trading No. 4 pick to QB-needy team originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
The NFL Draft is still over three weeks away, but we’ve already seen huge upheaval near the top of the board. On Monday, the Jets traded away Sam Darnold, essentially locking them in to drafting a quarterback with the No. 2 overall pick. Last month, the 49ers sent a bounty of picks to Miami to move up to No. 3, presumably for a quarterback as well. Now, Adam Schefter is reporting the Atlanta Falcons could be the next team to make a deal for their No. 4 overall pick.
That tweet leads to many questions, chiefly, who are the teams that have called to check on that No. 4 pick?
“Everything’s on the table” for the Bears at quarterback, so it wouldn’t be surprising if Ryan Pace was one of the interested GMs. Denver is widely speculated to be interested in a new rookie quarterback since Drew Lock has underwhelmed in his 18 starts for the Broncos. Many believe New England could be in the market for a new QB too, with Cam Newton under contract for another one-year deal and Jarrett Stidham looking more like a career backup than future starter.
Second, if the Falcons trade back from No. 4, can we rule them out of the race to land a first-round QB? Almost certainly. A move like that would signify they’re satisfied sticking with Matt Ryan for the near future and would look to draft an impact player at a different position. They could then draft their QB of the future in the second round, or kick that can to next offseason. For the Bears, that would eliminate at least one competitor for a first-round QB, if Pace decides to go that route.
Finally, if it is the Broncos, Patriots or another mystery team who trades up to No. 4 to draft a quarterback, would that increase or decrease the Bears’ odds of landing a first-round quarterback? Well, really it all depends. Let’s say, using a completely arbitrary set of circumstances, the one quarterback left after the first four picks is Trey Lance, and the two teams left without quarterbacks are the Broncos and Bears. If the Bears have identified Lance as their guy, but the Broncos aren’t interested, obviously that’s a great scenario for the Bears to land him. But just as easily the teams and players left on the board could lead to a permutation where the Bears end up without a first-round quarterback and end up going in a different direction with their No. 20 overall pick.
It’s still far too early to say with confidence how things will turn out when April 29 comes around. But one thing we do know is the intrigue surrounding the top-five quarterbacks isn’t dampening anytime soon.
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