The Atlanta Falcons are in an interesting position in the NFL Draft. With the No. 4 overall pick, Atlanta has prime real estate to select one of the top quarterbacks on the draft board, even if it will be the last of the consensus top four signal-callers (Trevor Lawrence, Zack Wilson, Justin Fields, and Trey Lance).
The Falcons have a franchise quarterback in Matt Ryan, so there's no immediate need to select a quarterback at No. 4. They could fill an immediate hole by selecting the first non-quarterback and staying put, or they could trade down and acquire more assets from a quarterback-needy team. Atlanta may be choosing the latter.
According to Sports Illustrated's Albert Breer in his "Monday Morning Quarterback" column, the Falcons are open to the idea of trading the No. 4 pick and have had talks with teams about that coveted spot. Breer mentioned the Detroit Lions were a team to "keep an eye on" as they could move well ahead of the Carolina Panthers (No. 8) and Denver Broncos (No. 9) -- two teams who are quarterback needy in this draft. Moving up to No. 4 would take Carolina and Denver out of play to draft one of the top four quarterbacks in the draft, forcing them to find another trade partner or stick around and select another player with their respective picks.
Now why would Detroit need a quarterback when the Lions just traded for Jared Goff this offseason? Goff has four years and $104.1 million left on his contract, but the Lions can get out of the deal after the 2022 season. By then, Detroit will have an evaluation of Goff and whether he's worth keeping around as the quarterback of the team for the next several years. Keep in mind the Lions could develop a young quarterback at No. 4 (Lance?) in the meantime while head coach Dan Campbell and offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn evaluate Goff.
The Lions also have an extra first-round pick in 2022 and 2023 from the Goff deal as extra ammunition to move up three spots. Part of the "reward" from the Los Angeles Rams for taking on Goff's contract.
This brings us back to the Falcons, who are in a luxury position at No. 4. Atlanta doesn't have to take a quarterback here and could move down in order to acquire future first-round picks or more picks in this year's draft. The Falcons can hold off until draft day until the highest bidder comes forth, or just make their pick at No. 4.
The first three picks of the draft appear set in stone after the San Francisco 49ers traded up to No. 3. What the Falcons decide to do with the No. 4 pick remains a mystery.