With Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan turning 35 back in May, the franchise has to start planning ahead for the future.
In a passing league, a young, intelligent and well-groomed starter is something that not many teams have an opportunity to plan for, as the Atlanta Falcons start putting their 2021 draft board together, a quarterback has to be on their list.
Let’s be honest, the Falcons quarterback of the future isn’t on the roster. It’s not 40-year-old Matt Schaub and it’s not Kurt Benkert nor is it Danny Etling. The Falcons quarterback of the future is in college at this very moment.
When you look at quarterbacks across the league, three of the very best were able to sit and learn behind veteran quarterbacks getting to learn the nuances of the NFL game before being thrown into action and that has worked out for all three of those franchises.
Of course, we are referring to Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, and Patrick Mahomes. Rodgers got to sit behind Brett Favre, Brady learned the ropes from Drew Bledsoe and Patrick Mahomes has talked a lot about how much Alex Smith helped him grow his first year as a rookie.
The Atlanta Falcons need to take the QB approach in the 2021 NFL draft.
Atlanta Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff has only drafted two quarterbacks in his 13 NFL drafts – Matt Ryan in 2008 and Sean Renfree out of Duke in 2013. In a passing league, this is beyond ridiculous.
Sure, it might make Matt Ryan upset but at some point, even he has to acknowledge his age and that his arm isn’t getting stronger. There are some other positions that the Falcons will have to address in the draft but quarterback should be their top priority.
There is no chance that they are in a position to draft Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence or Ohio State’s Justin Fields in 2021, but there are several other highly talented quarterbacks that will be available in the middle to the end of the first round that should be on their radar.
Quarterbacks like Trey Lance out of North Dakota State, Tanner Morgan out of Minnesota, and Brock Purdy out of Iowa State should all be guys that the Atlanta Falcons should add to their early draft boards.
While there are obvious questions about who will be in charge of the 2021 Atlanta Falcons draft and those won’t be decided until after the 2020 season plays out. Regardless of who makes the picks the obvious choice in 2021 is to select their quarterback of the future so that Matt Ryan can groom him while he finishes his Hall of Fame career.