Report: Falcons viewed as team that will draft true ‘Best Player Available’ with 8th overall pick

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The Falcons finished the first season under the new regime with a record of 7-10, missing the playoffs by a couple of games. With Terry Fontenot and Arthur Smith entering their second season at the helm, this spring will look a lot like last offseason. The Falcons officially hold the 8th overall pick in April’s draft, which will give them an opportunity to bring in a blue-chip caliber prospect.

Much like the new regime’s first offseason, Fontenot signed a bevy of veterans to short-term, team-friendly deals to fill the roster’s holes this year. That way, come draft time, the long-time Saints executive can remain flexible in selecting the best player available instead of reaching for a need, and national reporters seem to just be figuring out the Falcons strategy.

Instead of filling the team’s needs through the draft, most successful franchises will select the highest-graded player on their big board, regardless of position. The Ravens are most known for this sort of approach as Ozzie Newsome led the Baltimore front office for years, building one of the most consistently successful teams in the league.

In the Falcons’ end-of-season presser, Fontenot spoke on his strategy as the draft approaches. In short, BPA has a proven track record, and Fontenot will stick with that approach because drafting for needs is “how you make mistakes.” Every year teams will reach on a particular prospect because they have a need at the position; sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn’t. Fontenot won’t make that same mistake. Falcons fans can expect every position to be possible with the 8th overall pick — QB, WR, OL, EDGE, OLB, CB, etc. — even if it adds to a position of strength.

Photographer: John Korduner/Icon Sportswire

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