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The 2021 Draft landscape clears, and all eyes turn to Falcons

The fourth overall draft of the draft, held by the Atlanta Falcons, could become a key position in the order of selections; here we review the scenarios

The picture begins to clear more and more. For months, Jacksonville Jaguars they have been fixated on draft projections. Apparently, the same has happened with New York Jets. Then the San Francisco 49ers They traded in to move up to third place overall, and you don’t do that unless there’s a player you know you want.

All this leaves a very interesting scenario for Atlanta Falcons. It is not necessarily a good thing. It’s definitely not a bad thing. Just… interesting, because it leaves the new general manager Terry Fontenot, and the new head coach Arthur Smith, with options for his first draft leading the Falcons.

Working under the premise that San Francisco o go Jets don’t surprise everyone with an ace up your sleeve, the first three shifts should be quarterback, quarterback, quarterback, hoping that Trevor Lawrence and Zach Wilson be the first two.

The intrigue starts from the fourth global turn. There are some alternatives for Falcons.

Select a quarterback

As a general manager and coach, you don’t want to be picking frequently within the Top-5. If that happens, you probably won’t hold that position for long. So while Atlanta you are here, investing in a quarterback would be one of the most obvious avenues.

The way that Atlanta handle this situation could depend on the players available at the time. If a quarterback the team considers to be in the top five players this year is still there – and at least two from the group of Trey Lance, Justin Fields and Mac Jones will be available – so it makes sense to go with a barrette.

There are some details, here, however. Discounting an injury to Matt Ryan, a quarterback would not play in 2021. It would be highly unlikely that the quarterback will play in 2022, as well, although according to the Roster Management System, Atlanta would save $ 23.75 million in space under the salary cap in case of being designated a post-1 cut June 1 (while still being charged with a charge of $ 24,921,500 in dead money).

So yes Atlanta consider Ryan, nearing 36 years of age, as the player to build around over the next three years, then a quarterback would be meaningless because almost half of the player’s rookie contract would be spent sitting behind Ryan.

There are two reasons to take a quarterback here: Your plan is to keep going without Ryan sometime in the near future after 2021, or do you think the player is so important that he will be your passer for the next decade after Ryan. If none of those things are true, it is better to pick an elite talent in another position, and select a quarterback later, with the potential to develop in the future.

Atlanta currently has a quarterback on the roster –Ryan– so the Falcons they need someone there. Depending on who it is, a lot could be determined about the short-term and long-term future of the franchise. It is the first truly great decision for Fontenot and Smith, and one that could define your startup commands.

Selecting Oregon Offensive Lineman Penei Sewell

The question here might be how do they view Falcons a Sewell. He’s 6-foot-6, weighs 325 pounds, and has experience as a tackle, so that would be his logical position. Although it would be surprising to see him as a guard – the Falcons they already have Jake Matthews and Kaleb McGary like tackles– so guard could be a short term solution. Taking a player you consider to be a long-term guard at No. 4 global would be overkill – the last guard who was chosen in the Top-10 was Quenton nelson to the Indianapolis Colts in 2018 – but if the gamble is on Sewell as a long-term tackle, it could be worth the investment.

McGary is under contract until 2022 and Matthews until 2023, so Sewell could spend a year indoors before moving abroad, since neither player has guaranteed money left on their contracts in case Atlanta take this route. And taking a tackle into the Top-5 is not unusual; the New York Giants did that last year with Andrew Thomas at No. 4.

But Sewell would be an improvement for the offensive line in case Atlanta you select him and he could offer a blind side protector for the next decade, for whoever is playing quarterback for the Falcons. It won’t be an exciting choice, but it could be safe with a high floor and a high ceiling. Sewell He’s an elite prospect.

Select tight end Kyle Pitts from Florida

It might seem high to take a tight end at No. 4; has never happened in the age of Super Bowl. Only twice has a tight end left in the Top-5: The member of the Hall of Fame, Mike Ditka, in 1961 and the four times selected to Pro Bowl, Riley Odoms, in 1972. They both went at No. 5.

Having said that, Pitts is a different player and the NFL he has evolved offensively to where tight ends are becoming increasingly valuable in his offenses. PittsThe 6-foot-6, 245-pound, ran an unofficial time of 4.44 seconds in the 40 yards, jumped 33 1/2 inches in the vertical jump, and counted 22 reps on the bench press during the pro day of Florida. He’s not what a tight end used to be. It’s what a tight end could end up being in the future.

“He’s a different bird than a traditional tight end has been,” said the Los Angeles’ head coach. Detroit Lions, Dan Campbell, former tight end of the NFL. “Or certainly when I was playing.”

He is young, too, which in theory means more room to grow in the future. It will not turn 21 years of age until October, and it increased its production each year in Florida (Although he had fewer receptions in a season disrupted by COVID-19 in 2020). In less than three full seasons, he became the all-time leader in receiving yards for a tight end (1,492) and second in receptions (100).

Tight end is a difficult position in terms of the transition from collegiate to NFL, even for first-round or Top-10 recruits. But building template Atlanta should help here, too. Hayden Hurst is in the final year of his contract (although Atlanta could validate your option in the fifth year of the contract, too) and Lee Smith It came by agreement of a season. Among wide receivers, Calvin Ridley is in contract year (although, as with Hurst, Atlanta has an option in the fifth year of the contract) and Julius jones is under contract until 2023.

Place the Pitts in a group of receivers next to Jones, Ridley and Hurst it could be a nightmare for opposing defenses for the next couple of seasons, at least.

Redeem to descend in the order

This goes back to quarterbacks. If there are teams –Carolina Panthers, Denver Broncos, New England Patriots and the Washington Football Team are candidates – desperately wanting one of the remaining passers, Fontenot he could move out of position and move down the order for future draft capital. A willing partner is required for the exchange to happen, but it is likely that Atlanta have options.

Considering the state of the squad, it would not be the worst of the moves if it were to materialize. Trading down the order also opens up more realistic options for taking on a defensive player: the linebacker. Micah Parsons could be available on turns # 8 or 9, for example, and the defensive lineman Paye receipts o el linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah they might be available after that. The cornerbacks Caleb Farley and Patrick Surtain II could be part of the conversation, too, depending how far it goes Atlanta. And other players could be involved here, too, given that the middle of the first round is where a bunch of defenders are expected to start being called up from the podium.

Atlanta has 20 players under contract by 2022, although that number could grow if fifth-year options are validated for Hurst and Ridley, and the defense will need new, young talent. Although defensive players are not the elite of the elite in this year’s draft, there are explosive players available, and Fontenot You can reverse the fourth global shift to acquire more picks to aid in long-term roster rebuilding. That might be the best way to Atlanta, if the team is not in love with one of the quarterbacks.

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