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2016 NFL Draft: Rams, Eagles trades shake up quarterback, benefit the Falcons

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If teams run on quarterbacks, that's great news for the Atlanta Falcons.

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

This draft class is not rich in offensive skill position players, which would logically move defenders and offensive linemen to the top of the class. That's not great news for the Falcons, who are sitting at #17 and need some quality players to fall, assuming they're not moving back.

Fortunately for Atlanta, the lust for franchise quarterbacks is stronger than ever, which sparked the Rams and Eagles to trade up to #1 and #2 overall, respectively, for the right to go after the consensus top two quarterbacks in the class, Jared Goff and Carson Wentz. That benefits the Falcons a bit, because it pushes guys like Jalen Ramsey and Laremy Tunsil (who the Falcons were never going to get anyways) further down the board, creating a cascade effect that can't possibly hurt our favorite team.

Then we get into the second tier of quarterbacks, which is when things get even more interesting. If you're a team that missed out on Goff and Wentz, are you going to wait until the second or third day of the draft and hope Cardale Jones, Paxton Lynch, or Christian Hackenberg fall to you? Maybe, but it won't not stun me in the slightest to see a couple of those guys (and perhaps even Connor Cook) in play in the first round, because of the stampede mentality that sometimes infects NFL front offices. That's where things get really interesting for the Falcons, because if those of those guys go in front of them, that's four quarterbacks in the first 16 selections. Even if they don't, there may be a team motivated strongly to move up to #17 and get their man, so there's literally no downside for Atlanta if teams make a run on quarterbacks. Throw in the likelihood that one of the top receivers will go in the first 17 picks, plus stud running back Ezekiel Elliott, and we've got ourselves a ballgame.

We just have to hope that teams are so terrified of going into next year without a rookie quarterback that they're willing to pick them early and often.