NFL Draft analyst for The Athletic, Dane Brugler, released his full two-round mock draft yesterday. For what it’s worth, he had the Falcons taking Justin Fields in the first-round. He was available because another prized prospect from this QB class, Zach Wilson, went second overall and the Dolphins snagged Heisman Trophy-winner DeVonta Smith with the third pick.
If that’s the way it shaped up, I would imagine most Falcons fans would be thrilled to bring the hometown kid back to Atlanta, setting him up to be the heir apparent to Matt Ryan – the most successful quarterback in franchise history. However, there is another plausible option for whoever the new Falcons general manager is, and that is to take advantage of this loaded quarterback class and the number of quarterback-needy teams behind them in the draft order.
As Brugler notes in a tweet, many scouts believe the 2022 QB class is significantly worse than this year’s, meaning teams ready to draft their next franchise quarterback are going to be aggressive in trying to snag whoever they consider to be ‘their guy’.
Something to keep in mind:
Multiple NFL scouts have told me they consider the 2022 QB class to be "underwhelming" based on early scouting.
That could obviously change, but also one of the reasons they expect teams to be aggressive in April to get one of the top QBs this year. https://t.co/aIcPYIQHkU
— Dane Brugler (@dpbrugler) January 13, 2021
By my count their are SEVEN teams between the Falcons selection and pick #15 that could consider drafting a quarterback in the first-round — Eagles, Panthers, Broncos, Lions, 49ers, Vikings, and Patriots. Some of those organizations have better QB situations than others, but all of them will at least be doing their due diligence on the talented quarterbacks available in this draft class. And if the draft pans out anything like Bruglar’s mock, most every one of those seven teams and some will be calling the Falcons trying to snag Fields.
Personally, I’m a bit torn on what the Falcons should do, but it really depends on who the new head coach and general manager favor as far as quarterbacks go in this class. I love Fields, but if they don’t feel the same way after closely evaluating him, then trading back and bathing in the treasure chest of picks they would receive is the right move. However, if they believe they can find their next franchise quarterback with the fourth pick, whether it be Fields or somebody else, they would be fools not to take advantage — even if the plan is for Ryan to start in 2021.
I’m not even going to try and come up with a trade package for a team that is trying to move up to the fourth picks, but anytime a franchise QB is involved, it’s usually a king’s ransom. By doing this, the Falcons would have a much better chance at competing in 2021 with Ryan and Julio Jones, and who knows, perhaps the new regime falls in love with another quarterback that could be available later in the draft like Mac Jones or Kyle Trask.