We are only a couple of months removed from the 2021 NFL draft that saw the Falcons pass on multiple quarterbacks and take the phenom tight end, Kyle Pitts. Matt Ryan‘s contract seems like it’s been restructured every offseason since he signed it, making it increasingly difficult to part ways with the veteran quarterback. With ridiculous dead cap figures for trades, Atlanta was never going to select a quarterback in 2021, and I believe the chances are equally as slim in 2022 for Terry Fontenot to replace Ryan.
Regardless, those in the mock draft world believe it to be probable. In Sports Illustrated’s new mock draft, Lorenz Leinweber has the Falcons adding Nevada quarterback Carson Strong with the tenth overall pick to be Ryan’s successor.
Atlanta had the chance to draft a quarterback in last year’s draft but chose to postpone the decision around Matt Ryan’s succession. Strong is a big-armed pocket passer who would be a great fit in an Arthur Smith offense.
Drafting Strong, or any quarterback prospect, in 2022 would result in the rookie sitting for the 2022 season. Ryan isn’t a free agent until 2024, and the financial ramifications of parting ways with him — via trade or release — will do more harm than good. Strong would likely have to sit two years behind Ryan, which is entirely possible and prevalent around the league.
Before his hiatus, Aaron Rodgers was in a similar situation. Jordan Love would’ve likely sat for two years then taken over in Green Bay, but obviously, Rodgers has other plans. The same formula could be used with Strong, a 6-foot-4 cannon arm prospect. In 2020, he threw for 2,848 yards, 27 touchdowns, and just four interceptions.
Photo: Alan Smith/Icon Sportswire
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