While the Miami Dolphins already have traded out of the No. 3-overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, the next team in line also reportedly is considering moving down.
The Atlanta Falcons are “open to the idea” and have held “exploratory” talks with other clubs for the fourth overall selection, according to Sports Illustrated.
The Dolphins traded the third pick to the San Francisco 49ers last month for the No. 12-overall selection, which they then flipped to the Philadelphia Eagles to move back up to the sixth position.
The Jacksonville Jaguars, Jets and 49ers are expected to take quarterbacks with the first three selections, leaving the Falcons in control if another team hopes to move up to land another signal caller or to grab the first non-QB on the board.
Atlanta restructured longtime quarterback Matt Ryan’s contract in March to lower his salary-cap hit from $40.9 million to $26.9 million.
With Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence, BYU Zach Wilson, North Dakota State’s Trey Lance, Alabama’s Mac Jones and Ohio State’s Justin Fields all potentially top-10 prospects, the Falcons also could draft Ryan’s eventual successor with the fourth overall selection.
“My guess has been that the Falcons will stick at No. 4 and take a quarterback, because I don’t think they want to count on picking that high again and this happens to be a really strong year at the position,” SI’s Albert Breer wrote. “But I do know they’re open to the idea of trading the pick and have had exploratory talks with other teams on a deal that would have someone else moving up to No. 4.”
The report listed the Detroit Lions as ‘another team…to keep an eye on” to potentially move down from the No. 7 spot to “give other teams an opportunity to jump Carolina (eighth) and Denver (ninth) in the quarterback line.”
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