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Tyrann Mathieu Visits Saints, Plus Eagles Trade: Impact on Falcons NFL Draft

While Atlanta still picks before both teams involved in the latest blockbuster trade, what the teams do now will impact what happens next

The latest trade in the NFL involved no current players as the Atlanta Falcons watched their rival Philadelphia Eagles swap draft capital with the New Orleans Saints.

But there is a trickle-down effect around the NFC, especially with safety Tyrann Mathieu now making a free-agent visit to his hometown Saints.

Philadelphia Eagles
gibson saints

First off, Atlanta has two regular-season games in 2022 tied to this trade, facing the New Orleans Saints in both.

Still, even without the Eagles on the schedule, what they do with their two picks now will impact what Atlanta does on Day 2 of the NFL Draft, and beyond.

The Saints are now the eighth team to have multiple first-round picks after this latest trade, and while conventional thought pushes most to think the team will now draft a quarterback to compete and grow with Jameis Winston, not all are sold on this. Maybe, given the state of the NFC South, the Saints can simply load up as is - with the "Honey Badger'' part of the load.

For the Eagles, there seems to be a more clearly defined idea behind this trade.

For an idea of what that plan may be, we looked to Louie DiBiase of the Locked On Eagles Podcast.

"This tells me (the Eagles) are preparing, if (quarterback) Jalen Hurts does not take that step in 2022 ... they're going to try to move up in 2023," DiBiase said. "They've always had a certain belief in Jalen Hurts, but it was always cautious and not 'all in'. They want him to prove them wrong."

If this isn't about getting a quarterback, but rather figuring out if Hurts is the man for the job following this season, then where will the Eagles invest their two first-round picks?

According to Charles Davis of, they'll likely look to the defensive line and cornerback positions, saving any investments into the offense around Hurts for later rounds.

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For New Orleans, Chris Olave out of Ohio State is the 16th overall pick, taking a player off the board Atlanta may have considered trading back into the backend of the first round for, if he were still available.

Then, at No. 19, Davis has the Saints taking Purdue EDGE George Karlaftis.

Andrew Booth
Chris Olave
George Karlaftis

One major NFL Draft trade, no quarterbacks off the board because of it.

Good news if you're in the school that wants to see Atlanta take one in the second round.

Bad news if you are eyeing more position players for the Falcons instead.

Putting names to impact, North Dakota State wide receiver Christian Watson and Minnesota EDGE Boye Mafe seem to be the biggest benefactors of this projection.

Both are now predicted to come off the board near the end of the first round, where the Kansas City Chiefs may have likely considered either Olave or Karlaftis in their place.

And of course, this means both Mafe and Watson may be unavailable when the Atlanta Falcons come on the clock on Day 2.

Just a few ripples, with many more to follow, thanks to the latest trade, and maybe a signing, ahead of this year's NFL Draft.