Vick was selected in the 2001 NFL Draft as the first overall pick and first African American quarterback taken number 1 in the NFL Draft. The San Diego Chargers had the number one selection spot in the draft that year but traded the rights to the first overall choice to the Atlanta Falcons a day before the draft, for which they received the Falcons' first round pick (5th overall) and third round pick in 2001 (used to draft CBTay Cody), a second round pick in 2002 (used to draft WR Reche Caldwell) and WR/KRTim Dwight. With the Chargers' downgraded spot (the 5th overall), they selected Texas Christian Universityrunning backLaDainian Tomlinson, who went on to become league MVP in 2006. Although Vick has never become league MVP, he finished second in voting in 2004. In this way, Tomlinson and Vick are linked as having been "traded" for each other, although the transaction was actually the result of traded draft picks and contract negotiations.
This was the Falcons' 32nd and final season as a member of the NFC West Division (35, if you count its predecessor, the Coastal Division of the NFL's Western Conference prior to the 1970 merger) before moving to the new NFC South as part of the NFL's realignment plan for the following season.