NFL rumors: Falcons 'open' to trading No. 4 pick in 2021 NFL Draft

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Nick Goss
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ATL reportedly 'open' to trading No. 4 pick; Should Pats pursue it? originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

The Atlanta Falcons could be the next team to trade a top five pick in this month's 2021 NFL Draft.

The Falcons own the No. 4 overall selection in the first round, and according to ESPN's Adam Schefter, they are open to moving this pick via trade.

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Atlanta already has a competent starting quarterback in Matt Ryan, who has filled that role for the Falcons over the last 13 seasons. He's still a quality player at age 35 and signed through the 2022 season. The Falcons could still take a quarterback in this draft, but it doesn't have to be at No. 4 overall when Atlanta's roster has so many other needs, particularly on defense.

Curran: Do Patriots have a shot at landing Falcons' No. 4 pick?

Should the New England Patriots, who own the No. 15 pick, try to trade with the Falcons and move up to No. 4?

The short answer is yes, especially if they've identified one of the top quarterback prospects as a likely star.

We all know the Patriots need to find their next franchise quarterback ASAP. It doesn't seem like Cam Newton nor Jarrett Stidham are the long-term answer at the position. If the Patriots were able to get Mac Jones, Justin Fields or Trey Lance at No. 4, then a trade with the Falcons should be considered.

But even if the Patriots wanted to get to No. 4, the cost might just be too high. Just look at what the San Francisco 49ers gave the Miami Dolphins to climb from No. 12 to No. 3 two weeks ago. Moving up nine spots cost the 49ers the No. 12 pick in 2021, a 2021 third-rounder, and first-rounders in 2022 and 2023. So, three firsts and a 2021 Day 2 selection. It was an enormous price.

Other teams in the top 10 that don't need a QB in the first round are the Cincinnati Bengals at No. 5, the Dolphins at No. 6, potentially the Detroit Lions at No. 7, the Carolina Panthers at No. 8, maybe the Denver Broncos at No. 9 and the Dallas Cowboys at No. 10.

So, if the Patriots can't work out a deal with the Falcons, there could be several other teams willing to trade with New England for an opportunity to move up for a quarterback.