Matt Ryan trade could have huge implications on Chargers draft plans

Atlanta Falcons v Buffalo Bills
Atlanta Falcons v Buffalo Bills / Timothy T Ludwig/GettyImages

Another massive NFL story was reported on Monday as the Atlanta Falcons traded Matt Ryan to the Indianapolis Colts for a third-round pick. The Colts continue their quarterback carousel as Ryan will replace Carson Wentz. While this may not seem to impact the LA Chargers much, it does impact the Chargers in the 2022 NFL Draft.

As far as competition is concerned, Charger fans should not have to worry much about another quarterback joining the AFC. Ryan is at the point of his career where he is playing like Philip Rivers at the end of his career. The Bolts have enough to deal with when it comes to the AFC West, the Colts are no issue.

Even though the Colts traded just a third-round pick for Ryan this trade could have massive implications on the Chargers' potential draft plans with the 17th overall pick. The Atlanta Falcons suddenly have a glaring hole at the quarterback position and have the ninth overall pick in the draft. While the class is not the best this year, with Ryan's massive cap hit, it probably is time to Atlanta to draft his successor.

This hurts the LA Chargers chances of trading down from the 17th overall pick.

Quarterbacks always go earlier than their ranking on big boards and while the quarterbacks in this class are all graded as late first-round or early second-round talents, a quarterback hungry team will take a quarterback if they are available.

There are now two teams who potentially could take a quarterback before the Bolts at 17 in the Falcons and Seahawks. Just right there we could see Malik Willis and Kenny Pickett get taken off the board.

This hurts the Chargers' chances to trade back with a team like the Pittsburgh Steelers. Now PIttsburgh may look to trade up even further in the draft to jump Seattle and get a quarterback. If that doesn't happen, and Willis and Pickett are both picked, then the Steelers very well may not like any of the quarterbacks left on the board to trade draft capital to jump the Saints.

Now it seems much more likely that the Steelers might just take the "wait and see" approach that the Patriots did with Mac Jones.

Meanwhile, this also takes a potential trade-down candidate off the board. The Colts now have their quarterback and won't be trading up to get one. Prior to the Ryan deal, if the Colts never got a quarterback. it was possible that they traded up from the second round to get a QB. That is obviously completely off the table now.

MUST-READ: The biggest weakness for each AFC West foe

The Chargers would really benefit from being able to trade down in the draft to pick up extra capital and now that seems less likely. However, on the bright side, if another quarterback is picked ahead of the Chargers then that increases the chances that someone falls at 17.