Falcons named ideal draft landing spot for QB prospect

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 18 North Carolina at Clemson

It’s not a matter of if the Falcons acquire a new quarterback this offseason. The question is who and how many quarterbacks Raheem Morris and Terry Fontenot choose to bring to Atlanta.

The new regime cannot go into the 2024 campaign with the current in-house candidates, even if they do have a role within the organization, as the options to be under center in Week 1.

Desmond Ridder has all the makings to be a valuable backup in this league. He wasn’t perfect by any means, but he could come off the bench in a pinch while providing the starter with support in preparation.

Taylor Heinicke’s role is less clear, though. There’s not really a need for two backups, and Ridder’s contract is much more team-friendly. Parting ways with the veteran would save the Falcons $7 million against the cap, which seems like a no-brainer.

Where the team goes from there is anyone’s guess. We can predict what the Falcons will do based on their projected offensive scheme and available options. If we assume Zac Robinson runs a similar system as Sean McVay does in Los Angeles, that will narrow down the possibilities.

That’s not the only consideration, though. Locker room fit is also going to be factored into the equation as well as the timelines of each party. For instance, if the Falcons prioritize winning in 2024, going with a veteran will be more likely. On the other hand, if the long-term viability of the quarterback is the preference, a younger signal caller will be the target.

In an ideal world, the Falcons can acquire one or multiple quarterbacks that satisfy both short and long-term needs. The only problem is those scenarios are few and far between.

Bleacher Report’s ideal landing spot for Drake Maye is also one of Atlanta’s ideal outcomes.

As talented as Drake Maye is both in his upper and lower half, there are moments that leave you scratching your head. It’s part of the give and take of the evaluation process when it comes to the quarterback position, where elite traits can sometimes be ignored and isolated mishaps can be extrapolated to the umpteenth degree.

But, that’s the lay of the land when nitpicking a potential face of an organization.

However, Maye possesses and highlights many of the traits teams look for in a franchise QB with his size (6’4″, 230 lbs), arm talent and ability to win both inside and outside structure.

In Atlanta, the hiring of offensive coordinator Zac Robinson (who hails from the Sean McVay/Kyle Shanahan coaching tree) would make the adjustment as smooth as possible for Maye.

At North Carolina, too much “hero ball” often put Maye in precarious situations, in which he tried to do too much instead of living to see the next play. While the surroundings at Carolina didn’t offer much help, in Robinson’s offense, where predetermined reads are a pillar of the passing attack, targeting the likes of receiver Drake London and tight end Kyle Pitts is a luxury every quarterback would want.

While London and Pitts are both expected to take steps forward in 2024 with whomever is under center, having Bijan Robinson and Tyler Allgeier in his hip pocket as threats on the ground and through the air would also make life easier on the young quarterback

Furthermore, operating behind a stout offensive line that finished near the bottom half of sacks allowed in 2023 would give Maye time to read and dissect both pre- and post-snap.

The Falcons would presumably have to move up from No. 8 overall to grab Maye, but the fit is there should the former Tar Heel land in Atlanta.

The cost to trade up to draft Drake Maye would be a nonissue for me. I don’t care about the price the Commanders or Patriots set. Terry Fontenot has to do anything and everything if the opportunity presents itself.

Drake Maye is the second best prospect in this quarterback class and would give the Falcons one of the most exciting young cores in the league. A competent signal caller on a rookie contract is a cheat code and would allow Fontenot to spend elsewhere on the roster.

Maye is a perfect fit for the timeline and the potential offensive system. For both sides, it would be the ideal marriage, even if it is unlikely.

John Byrum/Icon Sportswire

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