Skip to main content

Question of the Week: Should the Falcons keep the No. 8 overall pick in 2023 NFL Draft or make a trade?

Scott Bair, Tori McElhaney and Ashton Edmunds discuss. 

Editor's note:The statements and opinions regarding players and/or potential future players in the article below are those of the editorial staff and are not of the Atlanta Falcons' football personnel unless noted in a direct quote.

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. – After a short hiatus to get us through the first couple waves of free agency, 'Question of the Week' returns just in time for us to ramp up 2023 NFL Draft coverage. We're still a few weeks away from the start of the draft, which gives us plenty of time for a few of these weekly installments.

If you haven't yet, take a look at Scott Bair’s most recent mock draft that ran on Tuesday. It sets up our discussion for this week's 'Question of the Week.' In his mock, Scott traded the Falcons No. 8 overall pick to Tennessee for the Titans' picks at No. 11 and 147 in 2023, in addition to a 2024 second-round pick.


This move got us thinking: If we put our GM hats on for a second, what would we do with the No. 8 overall pick? Would we trade down like Scott did in his most recent mock? Would we stay put, or would we pull a surprise and trade up?

Scott, Tori and Ashton discuss.


Tori: I. Am. Not. Moving. Call this thought stubborn, or call it conviction, either one is fine with me. Honestly, it's probably a little bit of both. I tend to be stubborn in my convictions anyways. So, for the sake of this exercise, I am keeping the No. 8 overall pick.

My reasoning behind this is based on how I believe the top five picks in this year's draft are going to go. I think there's going to be a run on quarterbacks early. I'm talking a top-5 run. If that happens, that is - without question - the best case scenario for the Falcons at No. 8, because I don't put any of the top quarterbacks in the draft on Atlanta's first-round radar right now. At all. 

So, if quarterbacks - multiple of them - come off the board early, that means more and more top players at positions of need for the Falcons get closer and closer to them at No. 8. There's a chance one of the class' best edge rushers is there at No. 8, or the best interior defensive lineman, or the best offensive guard, or the best cornerback (though my thoughts on drafting a corner in the first round have changed with the recent reported news).  

If you can get one of the best at No. 8? I say do it. If you can't, that's when I would weigh my trading down options.

I'll add this, though: I wouldn't make a final decision until names start coming off the big board on the first night of the draft. A lot can happen in those first seven picks. 

Ashton: Tori, I'd probably call your thought a conviction if I didn't agree with you. Ha. But yeah, I would also stay locked at No. 8 overall. There's no need to trade up or down. The Falcons added and retained key depth pieces in every position of need during free agency.

Before Jeff Okudah was reportedly traded to the Falcons, I believed the cornerback position was most pressing for Atlanta heading into the draft. But that quickly shifted to edge rusher. And the draft is stacked with plenty of them. If the draft ultimately shakes out to where quarterbacks are taken first through fourth overall, that leaves Atlanta with a solid chance to draft a highly-touted edge rusher

But, you know, anything could happen on draft day. It's never predictable. Nonetheless, I think the Falcons are in a really good spot heading into the draft. I don't think it's necessary to move from No. 8.

Scott: I can say one thing, I'm getting real selective with the player I'd take a No. 8 overall. Draft clusters are decently sized. Mine would be pretty small in this instance, hyper-focused on a select few talents worthy of that selection. 

If Tyree Wilson's there, I decline all calls and make a super easy pick. Same with Will Anderson. I doubt either one will be available at No. 8, not with the needs of teams above them. I agree with you both that the reported Jeff Okudah trade, if it becomes official, changes my desire to take a cornerback at No. 8. 

If Wilson and Anderson are gone, I'm looking for value. 

If there's a first-round quarterback available at No. 8, my trade down price goes up. If not, there's still a move to be made for a team that creates additional assets for the Falcons. While Terry Fontenot and Arthur Smith made tons of moves to upgrade this roster, I still don't think it's one player away. Keep adding to the young foundation, even if the trade comp isn't massive.

If I could take Peter Skoronski as a lock or get Lukas Van Ness or Nolan Smith or, you know, Bijan Robinson plus additional assets, I'm going with Plan B. Every. Single. Time.

Texas running back Bijan Robinson runs a drill at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis, Sunday, March 5, 2023. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

Look, there's inherent risk in trading down. Maybe your coveted player won't be there when you pick, but there's enough value in the early teens that I'd take a swing.

If all four QBs are gone in the first four picks, it'll push top non-QBs down, as Tori and Ashton say. I don't think Wilson and (obviously) Anderson make it to No. 8. After that, though, we'll let others take Skoronski or Paris Johnson or the top cornerbacks or maybe even the top receiver and we'll go with those guys I mentioned in the second wave. Betcha at least one's still around, as long as you don't down too far.

Once again, you've turned No. 8 into one first-round pick and one or more selections. Seeing how Terry Fontenot and Arthur Smith have drafted lately, I'm willing to give them as many swings at the plate as possible.

Take flight with some Dirty Bird Swag! Introducing our latest, limited edition retail drop, the Flight Collection. Get your gear now at

Related Content