The Bengals seem likely to stay put and take an elite prospect with the fifth-overall pick in the NFL Draft. There’s obviously been a debate as to what they should do with that pick, but we at least have a grasp on what will end up happening.
The fourth-overall pick, on the other hand, has so much obscurity attached to it. The Atlanta Falcons currently possess the pick, and no one seems to know which direction they will ultimately take with it.
It could be a quarterback. It could be Florida tight end Kyle Pitts. They could even trade out of that pick. And they almost did this week.
Per ESPN NFL insiders Jeremy Fowler and Dan Graziano, the Detroit Lions attempted to swap picks with the Falcons with the intent of selecting LSU wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase.
“There was chatter early in the week that the Lions tried to trade up to No. 4 to get Chase, but the Falcons’ asking price was too high.”
The Lions are currently sitting two spots behind the Bengals at the seventh-overall pick, so they would’ve traded up three spots to take Chase, who’s the favorite to be selected by Cincinnati.
If the Falcons declined the Lions’ offer to jump both the Bengals and Miami Dolphins to secure Chase, we can assume the Falcons don’t want to get out of that fourth pick just for the sake of trading back. They likely still have their eyes on Pitts and at least one quarterback that might make it to them.
Had the deal gone through, we could almost write Penei Sewell’s name in sharpie for the Bengals at pick five. The Lions could still be negotiating with the Falcons, but they probably won’t increase their offer to trade into the top-five picks for a non-quarterback. But anything can happen on draft night.
The NFL Draft goes live Thursday night at 8:00 PM EST in Cleveland, Ohio.