We’re hours from knowing who the next Atlanta Falcons’ draft pick will be, so the rumors and reports are going to begin really heating up, as they do every year.
The latest comes from ESPN’s Dianna Russini on SportsCenter. She says, despite getting many calls, the Falcons haven’t gotten a lucrative trade offer yet for the fourth-overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. She adds that they’d be more than happy staying put and drafting Florida tight end Kyle Pitts if a trade didn’t materialize.
“Lots of teams have their eyes on Kyle Pitts,” Russini says in the SportsCenter report. “But here’s the thing — Atlanta likes Kyle Pitts, too, at this point. ... As of right now, around 12 o'clock Eastern, the Falcons have yet to receive an offer to trade back that has value.
“And when I asked what the asking price was around from different teams, I was told the moon, the stars and maybe a couple of planets. As the Falcons should, they know how valuable that spot is.
“Kyle Pitts is a player that they would be very happy to land if they stay at four.”
Russini adds that owner Arthur Blank has empowered new general manager Terry Fontenot and coach Arthur Smith to make the decision they want to make. That decision might be a skill player, rather than a quarterback, it seems.
The quarterback conversation has been raging in Atlanta for quite some time, with guys like Ohio State’s Justin Fields and North Dakota State’s Trey Lance heavily scouted by the Falcons and possibly available at the fourth pick. Russini acknowledges this interest, but also feels that the new regime’s faith in Matt Ryan has the odds of a new quarterback “dwindling.”
“The feeling in Atlanta today is that Matt Ryan’s got years left,” Russini says about the Mattural. “So the idea of a quarterback or them grabbing one seems to be dwindling.”
She says the two options right now for the team are either staying at No. 4 for Pitts or getting a treasure trove of picks in a trade-down.
While, certainly, this could be another billowing of smoke, there have just been too many official reporters signaling the Falcons’ interest in taking Pitts to ignore them. We’ve not got long until we know the official answer, but this is yet another indicator that the team really may not be ready to plot Ryan’s exit and want to get as much out of his prime as they can with a potentially elite pass-catcher in Pitts.
We’ll know soon enough when the first round of the draft gets underway tonight at 8 E.T.