Falcons listed as second-most likely to pick 1st overall in 2021 NFL draft


The Falcons are one of seven winless teams going into Week 3 and will face a New York Giants team that has also yet to secure their first victory this season. After being trounced by the Eagles in Week 1, many fans and media members immediately labeled the Falcons one of the worst teams in the league. Rightfully so, they looked downright pathetic at times in all three phases against Philadelphia.

The Falcons Week 2 divisional matchup against the Buccaneers didn’t go much better, or did it? The final score would have you believe Tom Brady and the Bucs steamrolled the Falcons like they were in the season opener, but in reality, the Falcons were within three points with the momentum before Matt Ryan threw the game away.

Being within three of the defending Super Bowl champions going into the fourth quarter is something to hold your hat on, given where this team came from the week before. That improvement has been ignored, though, because Football Outsiders has designated the Falcons as the second-most likely team to have the first overall pick in the 2022 NFL draft.

Being surrounded by the Jets and Jaguars is never a good thing, regardless of the context. Both franchises have been complete dumpster fires in recent years, and if one of these five teams doesn’t look like the other, it is the Falcons. The Falcons still have Matt Ryan, who at this point in his career can help a team win games, but he can’t win them himself; in fact, he never was able to.

Ryan needs help around him, and the Falcons will have to bolster a handful of positions if they want to compete with him under center. Having the first overall pick would certainly garner successor conversations, but I would argue that Kyle Hamilton, Kayvon Thibodeaux, and Evan Neal are all worthy of that first overall pick, and each solves a more significant issue at hand.

The Falcons plan should be to build as good of a roster around Ryan as they possibly can until his contract expires. At that point (hopefully), the Falcons will have a talented roster for a rookie quarterback to come in and try to win a Lombardi before his first contract is over. The Falcons haven’t been incredibly inspiring thus far in the season, but there are 18 weeks to a season… there is still time to improve.



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