The belief that 2021 is now or never for the Atlanta Falcons to draft their next franchise quarterback in the first round is as nonsensical as believing in Bigfoot.
On average, 12 quarterbacks are drafted every single year that means the Atlanta Falcons are going to have plenty of time over the next several years to spend a high draft pick on a quarterback should they choose not to do so this season.
Since the Falcons took Matt Ryan third overall in 2008, 37 quarterbacks have been drafted in the first round. Some have worked out and others have not – the point being is that taking a quarterback in the top 10 of the draft doesn’t guarantee success in the NFL.
As we wrote earlier, in the 84 years of the AFL/NFL draft, there have been 1,034 quarterbacks drafted. Of that 1,034 just 178 have been taken in the first round. There are currently just 26 quarterbacks currently in the Pro Football Hall of Fame and roughly another 20 that should be or will be in the next decade.
Atlanta Falcons would be best served to address other pressing issues.
While Matt Ryan isn’t the answer for the Atlanta Falcons long-term as he enters years 14 in the NFL, he also is not the problem.
The secondary, offensive line, defensive line, and running back are far more important needs this year than drafting a quarterback that will not see the field until year four or five of their NFL career. With the Falcons believing that they are in fact retooling and not rebuilding, drafting Justin Fields, Trey Lance or Mac Jones in the top four doesn’t make sense.
Over the next four NFL drafts, there are going to be plenty of quarterbacks available for the Falcons to take a chance on.
Guys like UNC’s Sam Howell, Texas Tech’s Tyler Shough, USC’s Kedon Slovis will be available in 2022. The class of 2023 will feature quarterbacks like Clemson’s DJ Uiagalelei, Bryce Young from Alabama, and CJ Stroud from Ohio State.
Those are just the next two draft classes.
The point being, life will go on should the franchise decide to address much more pressing needs in 2021 and will have plenty of other options and chances to draft their next franchise quarterback in the coming years – after they have gotten everything they can from Matt Ryan.