At this point, it’s anybody’s best guess who the Falcons will take with the 8th overall pick. Terry Fontenot has put the roster in a good place with his free agency moves. There are no glaring holes, which will allow the Falcons to take the best player on the board when they are on the clock.
Most believe they will continue to focus on defense, as they have all free agency. A cornerback like Christian Gonzalez to play alongside A.J. Terrell, Jessie Bates III, and Richie Grant would put Atlanta’s secondary in a fantastic position to be one of the better units in the league. Another formidable pass rusher might give the Falcons their best defensive line in almost two decades.
Terry Fontenot could also favor one of the highly-sought after offensive tackles, kicking them inside to guard for a couple of seasons until they view either Jake Matthews or Kaleb McGary expendable. Bijan Robinson also shouldn’t be counted out, even if the Falcons already have one of the better running back rooms in the league. Some draft analysts believe Robinson is the best player in the draft and potentially the best running back to enter the league since Adrian Peterson. If the Falcons believe that, he has to be in the conversation.
Then, of course, there’s this class of quarterbacks to choose from. C.J. Stroud and Bryce Young won’t be available unless the Falcons trade up. However, the team has shown some interest in Anthony Richardson, and many also believe Will Levis of Kentucky will go in the top half of the first round. That’s who Cynthia Frelund — an analytics expert for NFL.com — has the Falcons taking in here latest mock draft using her analytical model.
In the article, Frelund doesn’t give much information regarding what goes into her analytical mode, and she doesn’t say much about why she thinks the Falcons will select Will Levis 8th overall, but I did want to cover it because it is the first mock draft I have seen recently with Levis ending up in Atlanta.
I won’t have a problem with the Falcons taking any quarterback in this year’s draft. They are much better at scouting than I am, and I am not yet a believer in Desmond Ridder. Until the Falcons have an answer at quarterback, they will never be contenders. So, if they believe Levis could be their guy, they should select him without thinking twice.
With that being said, the Falcons have said relentlessly that Desmond Ridder is their starting quarterback this offseason. Could it all be a charade? Sure, but I’m not sure why they would be so public about advocating him as their starter this early in the offseason if they didn’t mean it. I would be surprised — although, pleasantly — if the Falcons ended up taking a signal caller with their first pick in the draft.
Photographer: Jeff Moreland/Icon Sportswire
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