Details Emerge on Falcons First-Round Pick, Trade Calls

Matt Ryan

Getty Matt Ryan #2 of the Atlanta Falcons signals against the Las Vegas Raiders.

The Atlanta Falcons have not come out directly to say who they are taking in the first round, but all signs are pointing to extremely versatile Florida tight end Kyle Pitts.

In the latest draft news involving the Falcons’ No. 4 pick, ESPN’s Dianna Russini reported that the Falcons have received calls from almost every team (those likely interested in trading up for a QB), but no trade package has been good enough to make the move.

Russini adds that they will still continue to take calls up until it’s their time for them to select. She also says the Falcons would be “thrilled” if Pitts is still on the board.

If the top three project picks to go first are quarterbacks Trevor Lawrence, Zach Wilson, and Mac Jones or Justin Fields, then Pitts should still be there for Atlanta at No. 4.

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Falcons Looking to Build Around Matt Ryan

ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler and Dan Graziano also reported that the Falcons are locked in at No. 4 and will look to Pitts as another weapon for Matt Ryan while he’s still in Atlanta:

Speaking of the Falcons, we have been told that team owner Arthur Blank was pushing, early in the process, for the team to draft a quarterback, on the premise that teams don’t often get to pick this high in a draft with so many good quarterback prospects. But new coach Arthur Smith and new general manager Terry Fontenot would prefer to try to build a winning team in the short term around Matt Ryan, and Blank ultimately decided he wouldn’t overrule the two guys he just hired to make these decisions for him.

So while obviously things could change if San Francisco pulls a surprise at No. 3 or if someone offers the Falcons a major haul to move up to No. 4, Atlanta is expected to stay put and take Pitts, whom some would tell you is the best player in the entire draft. With former first-round wide receiver Calvin Ridley in place, drafting Pitts could pave the way for a Julio Jones trade, though such a deal likely would have to wait until after June 1 for salary-cap reasons.

This move makes the most sense since the Falcons will lose top target, Julio Jones, to another team or the injured list again. It might be better for them to have an impact player now rather than draft another quarterback at No. 4 who will sit for a year or more. There are also other QB’s to consider in round two at the 35th pick.

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