The Falcons could go in a number of directions when it comes to the first round of the NFL Draft. Upgrades are needed across the board. Atlanta also could go in several directions when it comes to their starting quarterback in 2023.
Desmond Ridder played well enough in four starts last year to earn an opportunity to compete, but that’s all. Terry Fontenot has said all options are on the table, which could mean taking one in the draft. This is a class with numerous potential franchise quarterbacks, and we could see a run on them early within the top 10 picks. So if the Falcons want to get their guy, they’ll likely have to trade up.
How high depends on who they are targeting, but NFL insider Ian Rapoport believes the Falcons could potentially make a move to the top of the board in a trade with the Bears for the #1 overall pick.
From our coverage of the NFL Scouting Combine: On the possiblility of a Trade at No. 1… or No. 3. Or both. And the latest on the veteran QB market. pic.twitter.com/iMYnvQR7Eg
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 2, 2023
I liked what I saw out of Ridder and believe he has the potential to be a starting quarterback in the NFL, but he doesn’t have nearly as high of a ceiling as some of the QBs in this draft class. If the Falcons fall in love with a quarterback prospect, they should do everything in their power to move up and land their guy.
Moving up to the #1 overall pick would take considerable draft assets. The Falcons would have to give up several first-round picks and then some. That’s not ideal for a team with as many holes as Atlanta; however, I’m much keener on moving up to #1 and drafting a blue chip prospect like Bryce Young than I am trading for Lamar Jackson.
The difference is Young will spend the next five seasons on a manageable rookie contract. Jackson is looking for $200+ million in guaranteed money. With a rookie quarterback, the Falcons would have tons of cash to spend in free agency over the next several years, allowing them to build around their young quarterback.
It’s probably the most effective way to turn a franchise around, and it would be worth all the picks in the world if the Falcons landed the right guy. Just look at what Joe Burrow was able to do in Cincinnati. The only problem is… Terry Fontenot and Arthur Smith better hit on the pick. Because if they don’t, they will and should be fired immediately.
Photographer: Michael Wade/Icon Sportswire