Falcons: 4 draft prospects that add to positions of strength

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On the Huddle and Flow podcast with Steve Wyche and Jim Trotter, Terry Fontenot referenced legendary general managers, Ron Wolf and Ozzie Newsome. Wolf for his habit of always bringing in quarterbacks whether it be through free agency, the draft, or “off the street,” and Newsome, for his signature “best player available” philosophy. Regardless of if it’s through the draft or free agency, they will add to the team’s strengths, creating a competitive environment at every position. Here we will look at four prospects from positions of strength in the 2021 NFL draft.

Micah Parsons

The greatest thing about Micah Parsons is he fits everything the Falcons could want on the field. He very well could be the highest player left on the board when the Falcons are on the clock, and he is a dream-fit in Dean Pees’ defense. Similar to what Devin White or Rashaan Evans do at off-ball linebacker, Parsons possesses sideline-to-sideline range capable of winning one-on-ones when blitzing. He can hold his own in zone coverage as well, giving Pees the luxury of keeping him on the field for three downs. Parsons, Deion Jones, Foyesade Oluokon, and Mykal Walker would easily be the most athletic linebacking core in the league. It would give the Falcons’ defense four rangy linebackers who all excel in coverage as well as blitzing. The only perspective in which he doesn’t fit is off the field, and that could be the reason Terry Fontenot and Arthur Smith pass on the former Penn State Nittany Lion.

Kyle Pitts

Kyle Pitts is technically considered a tight end, but I’d rather just group him with the overall skill group — which is a strength considering Julio Jones, Calvin Ridley, Hayden Hurst, and Russell Gage as a respectable fourth option. Pitts could very well be the best offensive player not named Trevor Lawrence by the end of this class’ careers. Standing 6’6” and weighing 240-pounds, the former Gator is the same size as Calvin Johnson — 6’5” and 236-pounds. Just like Johnson, he plays as big as his size indicates; his combination of size, athleticism, and hands makes him a multi-level threat for creative offensive coordinators.

Pitts is positionless. He can align on the boundary, in the slot, or with his hand in the dirt. He’s as good of a route-runner as any receiver in this draft with great burst out of his break, giving him elite change-of-direction skills for a person of his size. Pitts is as good after-the-catch as he is before, a rare and tremendous red-zone threat. He’s excellent at beating one-on-one press, but also great at finding the soft spot in zones.


Ja’Marr Chase

Ja’Marr Chase is my draft crush. For one, I’m an LSU alumnus, so there is obvious bias, but also because Chase is the only player other than Kyle Pitts that can come close to matching Julio Jones‘ production. If you can’t understand why a 19-year-old (Ja’Marr Chase) dominating is more impressive than a 22-year-old (DeVonta Smith) doing the same thing, then I can’t help you see why it’s 1a and 1b with the former Tiger and Kyle Pitts. This is from Chase’s piece on Ja’Marr Chase.

He’s a freakishly good route runner, which allows him to look like the best athlete on the field at all times — even if he doesn’t have the premier athleticism that Julio Jones possesses. Chase may only be 6’1″, but he’s as strong as an ox, allowing him to dominate in one-on-ones despite tight coverage. That strength allows him to separate from press coverage, but his body control is equally impressive. His ability to high-point the ball, along with his impressive body control, allows for some highlight reel “You got Mossed!”. Chase is also a tremendously willing blocker that excels in that area — an all-around product that can come in and produce from day one, just like his former teammate Justin Jefferson

Justin Fields

I chose to go with Justin Fields instead of Zach Wilson because I think he’s the better prospect. Even if the Falcons look at selecting Matt Ryan‘s successor, Fields will spend at least one year on the bench, which would be addressing a strength. Ryan isn’t playing like Big Ben or Philip Rivers, he is still performing at a high level and looks like he’s got some juice left in the tank for years to come. In an offense that prioritizes the run which inherently protects the quarterback, Matty Ice could play out his remaining contract in Atlanta. Still, that shouldn’t stop Terry Fontenot from selecting Fields if he’s highest on his draft board. I don’t have to go into Fields’ strengths and weaknesses to know he’s worth the fourth overall pick, but here’s a list for you if you don’t already know.


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