History tells us Falcons have long odds at landing franchise quarterback in 2nd round of NFL draft

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Much like 2008 and 2001, the Falcons are in quarterback limbo. After trading Matt Ryan to the Colts for a third-round pick, Atlanta will be looking for a new signal caller for the first time in over a decade. Even though this crop of quarterback prospects is less impressive than in previous years, history tells us at least one of them will pan out for an organization.

The Falcons have been rumored to be interested in Malik Willis and Kenny Pickett with their first-round pick, while Matt Corral, Sam Howell, Desmond Ridder, and Carson Strong will all be monitored with the team’s later round selections. I’m of the opinion the Falcons should pass on a quarterback at No. 8 but wouldn’t be opposed to taking one in the second round.

After all, drafting quarterbacks in this league can be extremely difficult. Just ask the Browns and Jaguars, who have struggled to find franchise quarterbacks for my entire life until recently — Trevor Lawrence and Deshaun Watson. I believe taking multiple shots is the way to go instead of constantly putting all of your eggs in one basket every few years.

Apparently, history also tells us that drafting a quarterback in the second round is unlikely to net a franchise starter.

That list is horrid outside of Derek Carr and Jimmy Garoppolo. To be fair, taking a signal caller in any round outside of the first round is significantly less likely to pan out. Baldwin conveniently left out the 2001 class, which had Drew Brees going 32nd overall — considered the second round back then.

Using the time frame listed above, there have been 249 quarterbacks selected in the NFL draft. Outside of first-rounders, there haven’t been many successful draft picks. Russell Wilson and Kirk Cousins were both drafted in the 2012 draft in the third and fourth rounds, respectively, and have had very productive careers in the league. Dak Prescott was drafted in the fourth round of the 2016 draft and, at one point, was the highest-paid quarterback in the league.

The rest of the quarterbacks drafted after the first round from 2002 to 2021 were either out of the league after a few seasons, career backups, or mediocre starters. History tells us it’s hard to find a franchise quarterback. Sure, the last 20 years of second-rounders have been unimpressive, but so have the other signal callers selected in the later rounds.

Photographer: Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire

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