LAS VEGAS - The Atlanta Falcons are worth "keeping an eye on'' regarding the pursuit of a trade up to the No. 3 pick in the upcoming NFL Draft.
That's the "buzz,'' as ESPN puts it, as new coach Raheem Morris and the Falcons seek ways to vault out if their present have-not position in the NFL.
We do advise some caution here; the word "buzz'' is often used in this context because it sounds more weighty than "rumor'' or "gossip,'' when in fact that might be all it is. Additionally, the reporter in this case, Jeremy Fowler of ESPN, uses this tool frequently in his weekly Saturday notebook that habitually uses the phrase "people around the league think'' ... which makes it substantially led credible than if ESPN could legitimately pinpoint the origin of the news by actually citing a source.
Having said that ... "I'm hearing a bit of buzz about the third pick, which belongs to the New England Patriots,'' Fowler writes. "There are people around the league who believe they are open to trading the No. 3 selection, moving back in the draft and addressing the quarterback position in free agency. If the Pats do trade that pick ... the two teams I'd keep an eye on are the Falcons (moving from the No. 8 spot) and the Vikings (moving from the No. 11 spot, assuming they don't bring back Kirk Cousins).
Fowler writes that "Minnesota knows it eventually has to address the quarterback position long-term.'' We would add that Atlanta knows the same thing. ... and has the same options as the Vikings have in terms of signing a free agent or engineering a trade to add a veteran.
Names on that list can include Cousins, Justin Fields, Russell Wilson and others.
To move up to No. 3? Targets there would include USC QB Caleb Williams, North Carolina QB Drake Maye and LSU QB Jayden Daniels.
The Pats have a history of trade-backs. The Falcons have a need at QB. What would be the trade price? Would Atlanta want one of these specific college QBs, which would necessitate waiting to see who comes off the board at Nos. 1 and 2 before finalizing a deal?
There is indeed about to be much to "keep an eye on'' when it comes to the Falcons and roster-building.