After making a splash at the top of the 2021 NFL Draft by selecting arguably the most talented player in the class in Florida TE Kyle Pitts, the Falcons aren’t finished making moves. Atlanta has traded down with the Broncos in the second round. That will move them down just five selections, and they picked up a fourth rounder in the process.
Atlanta is trading pick No. 35.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) April 30, 2021
With Pitts on the roster, the Falcons appear committed to building a team around Matt Ryan to compete immediately. There are still needs on both offense and defense, including a massive hole at left guard, an impact pass rusher across from Dante Fowler, multiple secondary players, and a running back to pair with Mike Davis.
With the additional picks from this trade, the hope will be that the Falcons can continue to bolster their roster with a number of young, high-upside players on affordable rookie contracts. This is a strategy that has often worked out well, with teams like the Ravens and Vikings known for hoarding picks and keeping their rosters stocked with cheap talent.
Of course, it only works out if you actually draft good players with the extra picks you receive. Look no further than the Falcons famous trade with the Cleveland Browns for Julio Jones—where the Browns squandered nearly every pick they received from Atlanta. The pressure will now be on for Terry Fontenot and Arthur Smith to nail these additional selections. The strategy could be a wise one in a draft class that lacks defensive star power at the top and is deepest on Day 2. Given that Atlanta made it clear they want a deep draft class, this can only help.
What are your thoughts on the trade down, and who are some players you’d like to see Atlanta target with the additional picks?