I think I speak for everyone when I say this has been one of the most frustrating Falcons seasons in recent memory.
After taking dead money on the chin as the team aimed to get out of cap hell, this was supposed to be the year where the on-field results were improved. The Falcons invested boatloads of cash into the roster, particularly on the defensive side of the ball. But while that unit has improved substantially, the offense has held the team back more often than not.
Both Desmond Ridder and Taylor Heinicke have displayed their best attribute all season — putting the balls in harm’s way. Neither of them is capable of being an NFL starting quarterback, meaning the Falcons will once again be in the quarterback pool this offseason.
The good news?
This draft class is loaded with potential franchise-altering quarterbacks. Depending on where the Falcons end up in the draft, it’s possible one of Michael Penix Jr. or Jayden Daniels falls right in their lap. However, there could also be the potential opportunity for them to move up the board and draft Drake Maye.
It will take an incredible amount of capital, but Chad Forbes recently came up with a potential trade hypothetical for the Falcons to do so, sending A.J. Terrell, two first-round picks, and a third-round selection to the Cardinals for the rights to Drake Maye.
Fun Scenario… Falcons Lose & Patriots Win
Caleb Williams & Marvin Harrison Jr go 1-2
Cardinals Pick at 3 / Pats 4
Falcons Trade from 9 to 3 & secure Drake Maye…
— Chad Forbes (@NFLDraftBites) January 3, 2024
If Arizona is sitting in a position to draft Drake Maye, that seems to be the best opportunity the Falcons could have to move up the board. It doesn’t seem like Arizona has plans to move off of Kyle Murray, which would allow them to offer up their pick to the highest bidder.
Two firsts and a Pro-Bowl caliber corner is a steep price, but it’s one that makes sense if the Falcons are aiming to move up that far in the draft, especially with a talent like Drake Maye available. Atlanta is already thin at corner, but they have to start looking at the bigger picture, something they haven’t done often over the last six seasons.
Terrell is fantastic, but he’s no Jalen Ramsey, and he’s likely going to be asking for Jalen Ramsey-esque money this offseason. Moving on from him would leave a gaping hole in the cornerback room, but it’s not going to matter either way if the Falcons can’t find a franchise quarterback. It also could end up being a blessing in disguise if Terrell doesn’t live up to his next contract.
I’m in favor of the Falcons doing whatever is necessary this offseason to get the right signal caller in the building. I’m not here to say Drake Maye is the guy or not, but if the people in charge are confident that he is, they shouldn’t hesitate to pull the trigger on a trade like this.
Photographer: David Jensen/Icon Sportswire