The NFL Draft is next month and it’s still unclear who the Atlanta Falcons could be eyeing. However, after not trading back in with the San Francisco 49ers, Atlanta may be sticking with their first-round pick at No. 4 overall.
According to NBC Sports’ Peter King, the Falcons are “leaning QB, with logic having [Trey] Lance sitting behind Matt Ryan for two years, then playing.”
The top QB draft prospects include Trevor Lawrence, Zach Wilson, Justin Fields, and Trey Lance. The Jaguars are projected to take Lawrence at No. 1 overall, the Jets are also favored to take a QB at No. 2, and the 49ers would not have traded up to No. 3 if they were not targeting a new signal-caller.
If all three picks prior draft a QB, that likely leaves the Falcons left with Lance at No. 4.
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The North Dakota State Star’s Short Success
North Dakota State has been a dominant force over the past few years, however, this year was a bit different with COVID-19 canceling the 2020 season after just one game.
The one game that the Bisons did play was against Central Arkansas and Lance looked a bit rusty, completing just 15 out of 30 passes for 149 yards and an interception. He added some help on the ground, turning 15 carries into 143 yards and two touchdowns.
Before the virus plagued the sports world, Lance had an outstanding season in 2019 as a redshirt freshman. He led ND State to an undefeated season and a National Championship, completing 67 percent of his passes for 2,786 yards and 28 touchdowns and zero interceptions. He also flashed his dual-threat personality, running for 1,100 yards, and picked up 14 rushing touchdowns.
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Other Prospects the Falcons Could Turn to at No. 4
Matt Ryan will be sticking around Atlanta at least for another season as the Falcons’ starter. This leaves analysts wondering if the Falcons will turn to another immediate need at No. 4 overall instead of drafting a backup right off the bat.
According to CBS Sports, here are the top 10 NFL draft prospects in 2021’s draft class:
1.Trevor Lawrence, Clemson QB
2.Penei Sewell, Oregon OL
3.Ja’Marr Chase, LSU WR
4.Zach Wilson, BYU QB
5. Micah Parson, Penn State LB
6. Justin Fields, OSU QB
7. Jaylen Waddle, Alabama WR
8. Kwity Paye, Michigan DL
9. Kyle Pitts, Florida TE
10. DeVonta Smith, Alabama WR
The Falcons have several holes they need to fill but GM Terry Fontenot plans to take the “best available” and if the first three picks are all QBs, the next best pick on the board could be Penei Sewell. The Oregon Duck product would be a much-needed game-changer to the Falcons offensive line, but Sewell can’t single handily keep Ryan on his feet.
Another top prospect the will be available to the Falcons is LSU wideout Ja’Marr Chase. The Falcons still have Julio Jones, but his age is showing after being sidelined for a lot of the season due to a hamstring injury. Versatile linebacker, Micah Parsons, could be another option. The Penn State star linebacker can play outside, middle, and pass rush, which is another area the Falcons are lacking.
Wherever the Falcons end up at No. 4 will be interesting and if it is Lance, well then Atlanta should be in good hands for years to come and Atlanta has eight more picks after that.