The Atlanta Falcons hold the keys to the 2021 NFL Draft with their No. 4 overall pick.
We all know that the Jacksonville Jaguars, New York Jets and San Francisco 49ers- the three teams who’ll pick ahead of the Falcons- are all locked in with their picks and they’re going to take quarterbacks.
What does that mean? It means the Falcons will have first pick of any non-quarterback in this draft or that Atlanta could trade back if a partner came along with the right offer.
Still, the Atlanta Falcons are smoke-screening what they’ll do with that No. 4 pick and it’s working to perfection
After the Falcons restructured the contract of Matt Ryan, many put to bed the narrative that they’d take a quarterback with that No. 4 overall pick.
Well, GM Terry Fontenot hasn’t ruled out that possibility. In an interview with the official team website, Fontenot said the Falcons could “stack” talented quarterbacks.
"“We want to, as much as we can, get to them, see them in person, and just take advantage of those exposures because it’s the most critical position in the NFL,” Fontenot said via NFL.com. “We want to stack good quarterbacks. It’s a prime time to do it when you have a player like Matt Ryan because when you can get in the right quarterback, you don’t have that pressure to play him right away. So it just opens up so many possibilities, and we have to make sure we’re evaluating those positions, and we feel good about where we are there.”"
In addition, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported just a little more than a week ago that the Atlanta Falcons were ‘open’ to trading that No. 4 overall pick.
Restructuring the contract. Being open about a trade. Then doing an interview talking about the evaluations of quarterbacks and how ‘stacking’ the QB position is important.
Talk about a smoke-screen.
We all have our opinions on what the Falcons should do with that No. 4 overall pick. We all have our intuitions on what we think they will do. But the only thing we know for sure about the Atlanta Falcons is that none of us- including insiders- know what they will do. At this point, we’re not even sure the leadership knows their final decision, either.
You can pretend to have all the answers, but the truth is that the new leadership has wisely taken the approach of smoke-screening the whole situation. That’s the whole point of doing an interview with the outlet you manage and talking specifically about quarterbacks when every NFL insider has basically penciled you in as a ‘trade back candidate’ or a team who’s going to draft Kyle Pitts.
The smoke-screen is working and that’s absolutely going to drive the value of that No. 4 overall pick through the roof before it’s all said and done. Leverage is everything in today’s NFL and the Falcons are doing an excellent of job of exploring every avenue possible before they make a final decision.