ESPN’s Re-Draft: Matt Ryan Stays, Julio Jones Heads to Baltimore?

Julio Jones Matt Ryan

Getty Julio Jones #11 converses with Matt Ryan #2 of the Atlanta Falcons.

ESPN had some fun with its beat writers today. All 32 teams had a fake re-draft with few rules set in place, all surrounding the quarterback.

The re-draft picks were based on the 2020 NFL Draft and all current players were up for grabs with endless cap space.

In four rounds, each team had to select a quarterback, an offensive player (not a quarterback), a defensive player, and a wild card to pick any position.

ESPN’s Vaughn McClure took control of the Atlanta Falcons.

Let’s take a quick look at each round.

Round 1 (16): Matt Ryan, QB

Matt Ryan went at the No. 16 slot, the same spot the Falcons had in the draft this year.

He stayed on his throne in Atlanta while Julio Jones went to the Baltimore Ravens to catch passes from Matthew Stafford. The NFL revolves around quarterback position and Ryan is by far the most underrated QB in the league so this was a smart decision by the Falcons.

When it comes down to it, a wide receiver needs a decent quarterback more than the quarterback needs a receiver. Just look at DeAndre Hopkins for example. He even said it himself that he’d be better with a QB like Matty Ice. A receiver can be replaced “easier” than the passer.  Don’t get me wrong, giving up Jones is a tough choice and something we actually won’t see, thank goodness. We’ll see who Jone’s replacement is down the line.

McClure explains why he went with Ryan:

“Eleven quarterbacks were drafted before my selection, and I’m one of those who believe Ryan is still a top-10 quarterback despite his age, McClure wrote. You need your franchise QB, and he gives you almost a 70% completion rate and durability (one missed game over the past 10 seasons).”

Round 2 (49): Cameron Jordan, DE

In the second round, McClure stepped up the Falcons’ defense with the defensive end. This is a great steal from Atlanta’s arch-nemesis, the New Orlean Saints.

Jordan who was originally drafted out of California in 2011, is explosive and consistent on the defensive line averaging 13.5 picks the last three seasons.

Jordan ranks third in the NFL for the most sacks in the past decade with 40. Not to mention, Jordan is coming off a career-high season with 15.5 sacks. He makes for a good replacement since Dante Fowler is heading back to the Rams in this draft.

Also, follow the Heavy on Falcons Facebook page for the latest breaking news, rumors, and content!

Round 3 (80): CeeDee Lamb, WR

Here’s Julio Jone’s replacement, wide receiver CeeDee Lamb out of Oklahoma.

Lamb was the second receiver to be selected in this year’s draft and has the player comparison of DeAndre Hopkins. He’s also projected to be a Pro Bowler in his first year.

In the real-world Lamb went to the Cowboys in the first round. It’s probably better off that way, Atlanta needs Julio.

Round 4 (113): Jeff Okudah, CB

Oh, look a familiar face! The Falcons were rumored to be trading up for this Ohio State cornerback at one point.

Of course, Thomas Dimitroff turned down the alleged rumors after the draft and said they had their eyes on A.J. Terrell all along.

Okudah blew it out of the water in 2019 leading the Buckeyes with three interceptions and nine pass breakups as a junior, also posting 35 tackles and two forced fumbles.

Personally, I wanted Okudah. I liked him as a player on and off of the field after reading his letter to his late mother. But, hopefully, Terrell proves the haters wrong and makes us all forget the infamous LSU v. Clemson blowout.

Well, this was all fun and games. But, I’ll gladly stick to what we have.

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