The Falcons clearly need a long-term solution as a quarterback after the team exchanged Matt Ryan for the Colts to choose from in the third round. It would seem Atlanta has found its subscriber with Marcus Marriott and signed a two-year deal with the former Titan. Even if the Falcons don’t look forward to this draft to develop after the Marriott, Atlanta can still remove the quarterback in the 2023 draft, and he’s a year behind former owner Trophy Heisman.
The Falcons will be attached to each quarterback until they end up taking one, and while I don’t see anyone in that class worth the 8th overall pick, I think the next rounds have value. Instead of swinging hard on the signal subscriber at № 8, the Falcons could use a later option on the QB that would allow them to move it at their own pace. This is exactly what Todd McShay is doing to the Falcons in his latest draft draft for ESPN (subscription required).
The 2022 NFL Mock Draft 2.0 is here – and this time it’s two rounds! https://t.co/Mbgab8yU2g
– Todd McShay (@ McShay13) April 5, 2022
With the selection of the team in the first round McShae chooses Drake London, which gives Mariot more than just Kyle Pitts, who can throw the ball.
8. Atlanta Falcons
Drake London, WR, USC
The Falcons didn’t do much to tidy up the dim reception desk at the free agency. They are currently counting on Olamid Zakchos and Damier Byrd as the two main targets for new defender Marcus Mariotto. We’ve seen teams only three times since 1967 use the top 10 election on bench passes on checkers back-to-back (Atlanta took Kyle Pitts ’tie-up on No. 4 last April), but London is the perfect choice here. He is a former basketball player who can knock out defensive defenders and do tough, controversial catches. London returns after a fracture of the right ankle, but must be ready to collect.
As for the quarterback puzzle, Atlanta could address the future with one of four elections on Day 2, wait until 2023 for a more exciting class that triggers a signal or executes some combination of both.
Evan Neal was still on the board when McShay mocked London in front of the Falcons, which I can’t keep up with. Neil is in the top five in this class, regardless of position, and the Falcons have a serious problem with quarterback protection and producing yards before contact for their backbacks. Neil seems a reliable starter above average in this league in a much more challenging position to get the right option than taking.
The next McShae was that the Falcons had taken Lewis Sin out of Georgia, despite the fact that there were two young guards on the list: Richie Grant and Jaylin Hawkins.
43. Atlanta Falcons
Lewis Cine, Georgia
Cine instincts and the ability to read receiver routes from a single alignment are highlighted on the tape. Last season, Atlanta allowed 6.7 yards per turn (26th) and it lost Duron Harmon to a free agency, opening up a place in the second.
Blue will join a rather crowded security room with Hawkins, Grant, Eric Harris and Dean Marlowe. However, Terry Fantenot was adamant that the Falcons would add strength positions because of their best draft strategy available to players. Now, for the draft pick: McShay’s Falcons are trading with the Bears to pick Sam Howell.
The “bears” have only six elections in 2022 and lack a participant in the first round. So if Atlanta calls and offers the third round (№ 82) to go up from № 58 to № 48, new grandmaster Ryan Poles will be intrigued. Chicago needs a receiver, but the pool of day 2 catchers is deep. And the Falcons with nine elections this year have a place to work if they want to rise to get someone. This is especially true if this someone is a defender.
48. Atlanta Falcons (via imitation trade with CHI / LAC)
Sam Howell, QB, UNC
Marcus Marriott isn’t a long-term answer – he can’t even be short-term – and Howell is the last of five defenders in that class to have a real chance of becoming an NFL starter. Like Seattle with Matt Coral, that doesn’t mean the Falcons have found their boyfriend. Howell offers them another option if they reset the list after Matt Ryan’s trade. He needs to keep working on his work with his feet and leading throws, but he is very accurate on deep throws, has a quick release on short throws and brings a bit of mobility.
Here’s a summary of Howell from self-proclaimed quarterback guru Jake Gordon from the previous merger of the SportsTalkATL billboard.
6. Sam Howell – North Carolina
Sometimes Sam Howell flashes that he could become an NFL star, but sometimes he makes some very mysterious throws in the RPO-Heavy offense. I almost put Howell in the quarterback division of the project because, although he has good athleticism and a beautiful hand, he needs to work hard before he is ready to make the leap into the NFL. He can easily get off the platform and he doesn’t have the many nuances that a position requires when it comes to manipulating the defensive backs of the eyes. No matter, physical instruments are absolutely present and he can turn into a Baker Mayfield type player who can bring a good team to the playoffs.
I would not mind taking any of these quarterbacks in the second round, because the Falcons do not tie their cars to them. If he fails, investing in the second round is not the worst thing in the world. I like the idea of taking a flyer for the future that could potentially grow under Arthur Smith and after Marcus Marriott.
Photographer: Rich von Bieberstein / Icon Sportswire
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