Falcons Senior Bowl Spotlight: Quarterbacks

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This is a rare draft cycle in which a lot of the top quarterback prospects will be competing in the Senior Bowl. Typically, this is a group that is ripe with underclassmen, and the only top name missing is Ole Miss QB Matt Corral. I’m not very keen on the Falcons selecting a quarterback in this cycle, but with three picks in the top 60, it’s not out of the question. This will be the beginning of a series highlighting each position at the Senior Bowl. I will be tackling the offense while Alex handles the defense.

National Team

Kenny Pickett — Pittsburgh

There’s no denying that Kenny Pickett can sling the ball all over the field, and he is incredibly talented when improvising outside of the pocket. Pickett has good size and makeup, and he has the tape to back it up. He has most of the intangibles you want for a franchise quarterback, and his strong 2021 season likely cemented him as a first round pick. There are a few concerns, however. He does only have one season of strong production, and while I like to joke around about the hand size community, he may have issues with turnovers in the NFL. He trusts his arm a little too much, which can be a good and bad thing. Regardless, Pickett has the potential to be a franchise quarterback.

Desmond Ridder — Cincinnati

If there’s any quarterback I like for the Falcons on day two, it’s absolutely Desmond Ridder. I actually liked him for the Falcons last year, but Ridder came back to Cincinnati and had a fantastic season. Ridder has excellent size, mobility, and arm talent. He walked into a College Football Playoff game against Alabama and looked incredibly poised — something that has really sold me on him. Ridder has played well against Notre Dame, Georgia, and Alabama — a big plus for him. His accuracy could still use a little work, and he needs to sit to adjust to NFL competition. He would have that opportunity in Atlanta.

Carson Strong — Nevada

I really want to love Carson Strong; he has one of the most incredible arms I’ve studied. He has an absolute cannon and can make any throw that you could ever dream up. He also has good size for an NFL quarterback. The problems with Strong arise because of his mobility; he’s a statue in the pocket and has suffered a few knee injuries. Regardless, you can’t deny his arm talent.

American Team

Malik Willis — Liberty

Malik Willis makes a case for the most gifted quarterback in this class. His legs and arm strength are something NFL teams can mold into something special. My issues with Willis arise from the fact that he didn’t really progress in his senior season, and you could argue he looked worse. Willis throws some really bad interceptions, has poor footwork, and he’s undersized. Still, he has the physical tools to thrive in the NFL.

Sam Howell — North Carolina

To no fault of his own, Sam Howell lost a ton of NFL caliber weapons to the 2021 NFL Draft, and North Carolina suffered. However, Howell still shows some impressive accuracy, mobility, and the ability to keep an offense on schedule. I have some concerns with his size and arm strength, but there’s definitely NFL caliber potential.

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Bailey Zappe — Western Kentucky

Zappe had one of the quietest elite college football seasons of all time, breaking multiple passing records set by Joe Burrow in 2019. You don’t luck into that kind of achievement. I like his ball placement, intelligence, footwork, and ability to keep an offense on schedule. However, there are concerns with his arm talent and size. I think he’s a guy teams will roll the dice on early.

 

 

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