ESPN analyst comps 2024 NFL Draft prospect to Falcons’ Kirk Cousins

NFL: MAR 01 Scouting Combine

Coming into the offseason, the Falcons’ top priority was figuring out the quarterback position.

Whether that meant through a trade, free agency, or the draft, Raheem Morris and Terry Fontenot’s most pressing roster need was the most important position in the sport.

At the beginning of the offseason, the dust hadn’t quite settled as to how the quarterback market would shake out. Could the Falcons trade up the draft board? Could they dip into free agency? Maybe a trade for a player somewhere in between a rookie and a veteran?

Well, it quickly shook out to the Falcons not being able to trade into the top three to select one of Caleb Williams, Drake Maye, or Jayden Daniels. When that became apparent, Falcons fans turned their attention to Justin Fields, Baker Mayfield, Kirk Cousins, and the rest of the draft prospects.

The free agents were the best options to win right now, but Fields and the draft prospects provide more long-term viability. What would be the Falcons preference? Or perhaps, might they double dip in the quarterback market?

Finding a win-now solution while also investing in a long-term successor could satisfy both needs, but the matching of a veteran and a youngster had some wonky fits. There was really only one that made sense — Cousins and McCarthy — because of their play styles.

It isn’t a coincidence that ESPN’s Dan Orlovsky has the pair as comps.

J.J. McCarthy to Kirk Cousins

McCarthy and Cousins play with a high level of conviction and routinely make difficult throws from the pocket look easier than they should. The former Michigan quarterback has his eyes and arm tied to his feet on when and where to throw the ball. — Dan Orlovsky, NFL analyst.

The widespread belief with Kirk Cousins now in the fold is for the Falcons to spend their first-round pick on a defender or another offensive player to build out the roster around the veteran signal caller.

However, there’s still a possibility that Fontenot takes a flier on a Day 2 or Day 3 quarterback prospect to groom behind Cousins. I wouldn’t consider it even close to likely, but it’s possible.

J.J. McCarthy, on the other hand, is close to an impossibility without saying the word. In an ideal world, you could draft a similar player to eventually succeed the old bull, but the Falcons don’t have that luxury.

Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire


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