The favored phrase these days when speaking concerning the 2021 NFL Draft is that “it begins at No. 4.” That is because of the Jaguars, Jets, and 49ers doubtless all going quarterback with their prime three picks, leaving the Atlanta Falcons because the relative unknown with the fourth decide. They may basically go in any path — taking the highest non-quarterback, buying and selling again, deciding on a QB — and there is a case to be made that every transfer can be the right name. Essentially the most fascinating, nonetheless, is of course if the staff decides to pluck one of many younger quarterbacks on this draft to be the clear inheritor obvious to Matt Ryan.
Regardless of being solidified on the quarterback place for the following couple of seasons with Ryan on the helm, GM Terry Fontenot did spotlight the significance of getting a have a look at all of those younger quarterbacks — even those that will doubtless be off the board by the point they’re on the clock — to higher place the group for the current and future.
“That is essential as a result of that is a place that no matter the place you might be at your starter — we’re so enthusiastic about Matt Ryan, however now we have to judge each certainly one of these quarterbacks,” Fontenot advised the official staff web site. “Not only for now, once you assume large image, if in case you have a possibility — for instance, Trevor Lawrence, when you could have a possibility to see that participant in individual throw, then it’s important to make the most of that. Even should you’re not going to have the chance at him this 12 months, you do not know what is going on to occur three, 4, 5 years from now sooner or later. So that you wish to make the most of that in-person publicity.
“That is why we see each single certainly one of these quarterbacks. We wish to, as a lot as we will, get to them, see them in individual, and simply make the most of these exposures as a result of it is essentially the most essential place within the NFL and we wish to stack good quarterbacks. It is a prime time to do it when you could have a participant like Matt Ryan, as a result of when you may get the appropriate quarterback, you do not have that strain to play him straight away. So it opens up so many prospects, and now we have to verify we’re evaluating these positions. And we be ok with the place we’re there.”
So Atlanta is actually leaving no stone unturned because it goes ahead in its analysis course of with the No. 4 general decide, which is the right method to have. Together with his feedback above in thoughts, if Fontenot actually needs to have a state of affairs the place the membership can “stack good quarterbacks” collectively to create a smoother transition down the road, sitting at No. 4 offers the staff the chance to take action. Ohio State’s Justin Fields and Trey Lance out of North Dakota State are each projected to be on the board by the point Atlanta is on the clock and every might develop behind Ryan over the following few seasons earlier than taking the leap to QB1. That kind of state of affairs will surely give the Falcons one of many higher quarterback conditions within the NFL, so it is well worth the dialog should you’re Fontenot and the remainder of the Atlanta brass.
Nonetheless, there’s an argument to even be made to proceed to construct round Ryan, who has continued to play at a excessive stage regardless of the staff’s 4-12 file in 2020. The previous league MVP accomplished 65% of his passes final 12 months for 4,581 yards, 26 touchdowns, and 11 interceptions, clearly exhibiting that he has gas left within the tank. Does bringing within the prime non-QB prospect at No. 4 to assist the staff contend through the Ryan period outweigh the membership setting themselves up on the place for the years to come back? That is a choice that looms closely over the Falcons at the moment and why Fontenot and firm are intent on getting an in depth have a look at the quarterback prospects previous to April’s draft.