Falcons completing due diligence on 2022 NFL quarterback class

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The quarterback trade talks are dominating headlines this offseason. Russell Wilson and Aaron Rodgers were the first dominos to fall, and many others will follow. One of those “others” is Matt Ryan, no matter how long the odds are.

Terry Fontenot and Arthur Smith have publicly backed Ryan multiple times through different mediums, and CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora reported that teams have inquired about Ryan, but they’re getting the “distinct impression that he will not be dealt.”┬áStill, the Falcons regime refuses to totally rule out the possibility, and they would be stupid to do so given the current state of the team.

It’s plausible the Falcons trade Ryan, but I doubt that he plays for a different team in 2022. Eventually, as Arthur Blank has pointed out, there will be a sunset for Ryan in Atlanta. With two years left on his current deal, the Falcons succession plan is imminent. It could involve drafting a quarterback in 2022, and Atlanta’s front office is certainly doing their due diligence on the class.

Malik Willis

The Falcons met with Willis but so did every single team in the league, formally and informally. Atlanta is a soft spot for Willis, though, as a native. The Falcons asked him which signal caller he idolized growing up, and the answer was predictable. “Michael Vick,” Willis said. He also elaborated on which team he’d like to be drafted by.

“I feel good about going to any team. Not everybody gets to go to a team, so I feel blessed in that facet,” he said. “I’m just trying to make a team at the end of the day. You can’t make all these goals that you can’t keep. I hate that, so I’m just trying to get there and make a team first and then you can learn and try to do something after that.”

Matt Corral

Corral isn’t at the top of some draft pundits’ quarterback rankings, but that doesn’t change the fact that he’s a solid quarterback prospect. Corral didn’t participate in on-field drills during last week’s NFL combine, so teams will get to watch him work out at Ole Miss’ Pro Day on March 24.

Regardless of which quarterback the Falcons select, if they do at all, they will likely learn behind Matt Ryan for at least one year. Corral has no issue sitting behind a veteran quarterback like Ryan, though.

“I’d absolutely have no problem with it,” Corral said, “but I’m a competitor and at the same time I would absolutely want to be the guy. I am going to push behind him and learn as much as I can from him. How could you not want to learn from a guy like that? At the end of the day, he’s a guy that I want to be like. I want to be on a team for 10-plus years and be a franchise quarterback. I want to be a sponge and absorb as much information as I can.”

Kenny Pickett

Kenny Pickett is a potential prospect for the Falcons, who spoke on his interview with Atlanta. Many teams ask questions pertaining to a prospects’ ability to recall plays from their college days, and the Falcons are no different.

“(The Falcons were) putting the film up there with me detailing the offense and just learning my IQ,” Pickett said. “(They asked) good questions about how I like to learn. So that, hypothetically, if I was going to go there they would know how to install plays and teach me early on how to help streamline the process.”



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