We’re starting a new series! If you missed my 2023 Offseason Overhaul series where I went through and spent Atlanta’s cap space in my own perfect world, those are linked below:
- Falcons 2023 Offseason Overhaul: Quarterback
- Falcons 2023 Offseason Overhaul: Running Back
- Falcons 2023 Offseason Overhaul: Wide Receiver
- Falcons 2023 Offseason Overhaul: Tight End
- Falcons 2023 Offseason Overhaul: Offensive Line
- Falcons 2023 Offseason Overhaul: Defensive Line
- Falcons 2023 Offseason Overhaul: EDGE
- Falcons 2023 Offseason Overhaul: Linebacker
- Falcons 2023 Offseason Overhaul: Cornerback
- Falcons 2023 Offseason Overhaul: Safeties & Special Teams
In this series, I’m going to go position by position again and name 5-10 guys I think the Falcons should look at. Some positions, like running back, will be thinner than others. Regardless, here are the players I like at each position heading into free agency. I’ll be ranking these guys considering things like cost and overall scheme fit, as well as if they would be brought in as a starter or reserve. Let’s get started!
Current Rostered Quarterbacks
QB1 Desmond Ridder
QB2 Marcus Mariota
QB3 Logan Woodside
Marcus Mariota can be cut this offseason for $12 million in savings, and Woodside is a fringe practice squad guy. Needless to say, someone will be added to the room, and it’s likely going to be a free agent.
7. Gardner Minshew — Philadelphia Eagles
The days of Minshew Mania are long gone, but if the Falcons decide to roll with Desmond Ridder in 2023, Minshew would make for a solid backup that can make some exciting plays if he’s called upon. He’s not the future, but he’s a quality backup option.
2022 Stats: 5 G, 58% CMP, 663 Yards, 3 TD, 3 INT
6. Baker Mayfield — Los Angeles Rams
Mayfield never lived up to the hype as a top pick, and I fully expect him to look for a starting role in 2023. I don’t know if he’ll find that in Atlanta, but he will have a chance to compete. I’m not sold on him saving the Falcons, so he’s a bit lower on this list as a potential backup option. He did have some solid games for Sean McVay and the Rams after being released by the Panthers.
2022 Stats: 12 G, 60% CMP, 2163 Yards, 10 TD, 8 INT
5. Case Keenum — Buffalo Bills
Keenum is the consummate professional backup quarterback, which gets him up to fifth on this list. He isn’t a franchise guy, but he has won some massive playoff games, and his value as a backup has kept him in the NFL for almost a decade. He would be a great mentor for Ridder or a potential draft pick.
2022 Stats: N/A
4. Mike White — New York Jets
Have we seen Mike White’s best football? Probably, but most of the time when the Jets called upon him, he made big play after big play. He seems well liked by his teammates, and he’s an interesting guy to potentially develop alongside Ridder. He may just be a flash in the pan, but he’s still one of the better players on this list.
2022 Stats: 4 G, 59% CMP, 1192 Yards, 3 TD, 4 INT
3. Daniel Jones — New York Giants
Who would have thought Daniel Jones would be this high on a list like this going into the season? I fully expect Jones and the Giants to have mutual interest, and why not? Jones had the best year of his career under Brian Daboll, and the Giants are humming with him under center. The fact that Daboll’s system has propelled him does create some risk. I expect him back in New York on a team friendly deal, but I’m still slotting him on this list at three.
2022 Stats: 16 G, 67.2% CMP, 3205 Yards, 15 TD, 5 INT, 120 Rushes, 708 Yards, 7 TD
2. Taylor Heinicke — Washington Commanders
Heinicke was featured in my offseason overhaul for quarterbacks, mainly because he’s a guy who can make big plays happen as a starter or serve as a top backup to Desmond Ridder or someone else. He’s the safest option that can thrive in multiple roles, which is why he lands at second on this list.
2022 Stats: 9 G, 62.2 CMP%, 1859 Yards, 12 TD, 6 INT
1. Lamar Jackson — Baltimore Ravens
We all knew this was coming. Jackson comes with some obvious caveats. The Falcons would technically be trading for Jackson since the Ravens have rights of first refusal on him, and they could obviously franchise tag him. Regardless, he’s a former MVP and one of the best players in the NFL. He would bring a ton of excitement to a franchise that hasn’t had that in… a while. Regardless of the cost, Jackson could get the Falcons back to the playoffs immediately. He’s the only guy on this list I can definitively say that about.
2022 Stats: 12 G, 62.3% CMP, 2242 Yards, 17 TD, 7 INT, 112 Rushes, 764 Yards, 3 TD
Photographer: Charles Brock/Icon Sportswire