Does signing Kirk Cousins mean the Falcons won’t draft a quarterback?

NFL: MAR 01 Scouting Combine

As of last week, we know who will be under center for the Falcons for the next couple of years. Kirk Cousins‘ four-year, $180 million contract became official last Wednesday following the start of the new league year. By signing him, the Falcons have signaled an end to the rebuilding period in Atlanta. This is a roster ready to compete. All they needed was a quarterback, and now they have one of the best signal callers in the conference after having arguably the worst quarterback room in all of football last season.

With Cousins, there’s an aura of excitement around the Falcons that has not existed since Matt Ryan was under center. Fans are anxiously awaiting what Terry Fontenot will do next in free agency to improve the roster, and there is palpable enthusiasm about the upcoming draft. The Falcons sit with the 8th overall pick, and there is no shortage of flavors for Fontenot to choose from.

The 2024 draft class features a trio of wide receivers with star potential in Rome Odunze, Marvin Harrison Jr, and Malik Nabers. It’s very possible one of them is available when the Falcons are on the clock, and another elite weapon for Kirk Cousins would give him just about everything he could ever need to succeed during his tenure in Atlanta.

The Falcons could also choose to bolster their offensive line with one of the top tackles in the class. Brock Bowers shouldn’t be counted out, because as we’ve seen before, Terry Fontenot is all about the best player available, and Bowers might just be the most talented player in the draft. Dallas Turner and Jared Verse could also fill the Falcons biggest need on the defensive side of the ball, giving them a potential star pass rusher off the edge.

It’s an ideal spot to be in. Yes, the Falcons have holes, but none are big enough for Fontenot to deviate from his plan of taking the best player available with the 8th pick, even if it is a quarterback.

My guess is the Falcons have done a lot of homework on this year’s quarterback class. Most expect at least four quarterbacks to go in the top 10 picks, with as many as six drafted in the first round. If the Falcons thought they could land one of Jayden Daniels or Drake Maye in the draft, I’m not sure they would have handed Kirk Cousins $180 million, but that doesn’t mean they won’t take one in the upcoming draft.

I wouldn’t even count out J.J. McCarthy with the 8th overall pick, even if it’s unlikely. It might piss off Kirk Cousins, but they should already be thinking about his successor, and McCarthy could learn a lot by sitting behind a veteran like Cousins for a few years. Bo Nix, Michael Penix Jr, and several others could do the same. In fact, while the Falcons certainly don’t have to take a quarterback in this year’s draft, I still expect them to at some point.

Cousins is the Falcons guy for the next couple of years, and hopefully, he plays out his entire contract in Atlanta and has wild amounts of success. But Terry Fontenot got a front row seat to what moving on from an aging quarterback without a succession plan in place looks like when he traded Matt Ryan. It put the Falcons in quarterback hell for two years. Thankfully, Cousins is here now to stop the bleeding, but they may not be so lucky next time. Which is why I expect Fontenot to do his best to make sure there isn’t a next time.

Photo: Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire

Scroll to Top
%d bloggers like this: