The Falcons have a handful of needs to address in this upcoming draft and several NFL analysts have Atlanta taking a rookie quarterback for their first-round pick at No. 4 overall.
“I think Atlanta wants to move out of four,” McShay said during an episode of ESPN’s First Draft Podcast. They would like to move out four because of all the reasons you just stated. And this year’s group in terms of talent on the defensive side is not as good as what we see at quarterback, and wide receiver and offensive line. I thought about putting Patrick Surtain, the top corner coming out of Alabama, at No. 4 to them. They took a corner last year, AJ Terrell, in the first round as well.”
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Falcons GM Has A Plan to Draft the Best Player Available Despite Needs
With new general manager Terry Fontenot in charge, the Falcons are planning to draft the best player on the board for each of their picks, even if they don’t directly address their needs.
“In the draft, you’re going to take the best player,” Fontenot said via AtlantaFalcons.com. “You can’t be afraid to continue [to add] at every position. There’s not a position that you’re going to say, ‘Oh, we’re good there, we’re not going to draft there this year.’ That’s just what I believe. … We’re never going to be afraid to take a player at any position and build strength.”
Drafting a cornerback at No. 4 is not necessarily the best approach, so if the Falcons don’t plan on taking a QB or top lineman fourth overall, then it only makes sense to trade back.
Longtime draft analyst, Mel Kiper, chimed in on the First Draft podcast agreeing to agree with McShay’s take.
“I think that’s way too high to take a corner so if I’m in Atlanta, I would trade out of there if I’m not taking a quarterback. I’m not taking a cornerback that high at No. 4,” Kiper said.
Matt Ryan is Expected to Start in 2021
While some fans want Atlanta to move on from veteran quarterback Matt Ryan, he won’t be going anywhere, per NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero.
“From what I am told, Matt Ryan is not going anywhere,” Pelissero said last week on Super Bowl Live. “The Falcons have not had any trade conversations about Ryan or their star wide receiver Julio Jones. And every expectation is both players are going to be on the roster in 2021.”
For starters, it would cost the Falcons a ton of money to trade Ryan, much more than what they could get in return. At 35, Ryan has four Pro Bowls to his name, an NFL MVP, and remains atop the league for best passer rating. While his progress has gone done in recent years as far as playoff appearances go, he’s no the biggest problem the Falcons need to fix first.
The Falcons will need to address their offensive and defensive line which means they could wait to draft their future QB with plenty of top signal-callers available this year’s draft.