NFL Mock Draft: Falcons do something never before done in Terry Fontenot era

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Terry Fontenot finally fixed the Falcons‘ quarterback problem in his fourth offseason following three with minimal investment in the position.

Seemingly at Arthur Blank’s behest, Atlanta’s GM aggressively pursued the solution, which happened to be Kirk Cousins. Fontenot exceeded Minnesota’s offer by guaranteed money, years, and average annual value, thanks to Blank’s desperation.

Though it’s a four-year deal, there’s a chance it’s only two years. The Falcons only fully guaranteed the 2024 and 2025 salaries with $10 million of the 2026 salary, so there’s a potential out for the team if Cousins’ play declines.

In that case, Fontenot better figure out a succession plan, or his club will be in the exact position they’ve found themselves in the past two seasons — quarterback purgatory.

In Chad Reuter’s latest mock draft, he has the Falcons doing just that, finding Kirk Cousins’ potential successor. The NFL pundit has Fontenot doing something he’s never done before, trade back.

Reuter has Atlanta moving back with the Cardinals, who traded out of the No. 4 pick to the Vikings’ No. 11 pick, in exchange for an extra third-round pick in this year’s draft. With the No. 11 pick, the Falcons take Jared Verse out of Florida State.

“Verse is a power rusher but also has the bend to win around the corner, making him the true edge threat for which Atlanta has been searching,” Reuter said.

With the Falcons second-round pick, they solidify the cornerback position, landing Cam Hart out of Notre Dame. Then, with their three third-round picks, the Falcons land a potential swing tackle Kingsley Suamataia out of BYU, depth at the linebacker position with Michigan product Junior Colson, and an exciting pass catcher in Ricky Pearsall out of Florida.

Most notably, though, Reueter has the Falcons drafting Spencer Rattler in the fourth round to potentially succeed Kirk Cousins. Some Falcons fans will hate the idea of adding Rattler, but the Senior Bowl MVP has all the physical tools to become a starting-caliber quarterback in this league.

Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire

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