The Atlanta Falcons are in an important spot in the draft for the present and the future of the franchise. They own the fourth overall pick in the draft, and it seems like they have the first pick in the draft that could go multiple different ways.
We all know that the Jaguars will in all likelihood select Trevor Lawrence, then the Jets seem likely to select Zach Wilson. The third overall pick is now held by the 49ers, who also seem very likely to select a QB, whether that be Justin Fields, Mac Jones, or even Trey Lance. Barring anything crazy, the Atlanta Falcons have the most interesting pick at number four.
They could go with the fourth straight QB taken in the draft, they could grab a pass catcher in Kyle Pitts or Jamar Chase, or they could trade down with a team willing to give up some draft capital.
Well-established sports writer, Peter King, believes the Atlanta Falcons will not force a quarterback with the fourth pick.
There is definitely a lot of different reports about what the Falcons may or may not do with their pick, but Peter King, in his recent column, believes that they will not “force a quarterback”, and he has heard reports that NFL insiders believe the Falcons will stay put, and select generational talent, Kyle Pitts.
Peter King has decades of knowledge about the NFL, and most certainly knows what he is talking about. These quotes from him are definitely something to keep an eye on, he is not saying these things just to get his name in the news, he knows what he is talking about.
He has some great points in these quotes and some things that fans need to remember. The first being that the Atlanta Falcons do not need to stress quarterback just yet.
"When I say they won’t force a quarterback, I mean that GM Terry Fontenot and coach Arthur Smith share this view: They’re not going to enter this draft thinking, “This might be the last year for a while that we’ll be in position to take a good quarterback prospect, so let’s grab one now.” No. They’ll take a quarterback if they love one. Like, really love one. They understand that forcing a quarterback could lead to misery."
Many fans see that the Atlanta Falcons have the fourth overall pick and immediately think that they must select a quarterback, even if Matt Ryan has a few years left. This simply is not what has to happen. As King says, “they’ll take a quarterback if they love one. Like, really love one.
They understand that forcing a quarterback could lead to misery”, there is no point in wasting a top-five draft pick on a quarterback who you do not absolutely love, and who will sit for three-plus years.
The Falcons cannot afford to force a quarterback just yet, they still have Matt Ryan who is more than capable of winning a Super Bowl. Selecting a player who can help them win now, is what should happen, assuming they do not love any of the quarterbacks on the board at four.
Something else that was very telling about the Falcons’ plans was what Peter King has apparently heard around the league.
"Lots of people around the league feel they’ll just sit and take Florida tight end Kyle Pitts."
Draft rumors are notoriously unreliable when you take into account that teams sometimes will put out fake rumors to drive up interest in a certain pick, or to make other teams worried about if the player they want will be available. But nonetheless, Falcons fans should hope this is true.
Kyle Pitts is a generational player, and he would fix some of the problems that the Falcons had in the previous few seasons. The Falcons have really struggled in the red zone, and adding Pitts to this offense would only help. Combine that with the fact that Arthur Smith is the new play-caller, they could be en route to a total turnaround inefficiency.
Pitts will also add value down the road. If Hayden Hurst ends up leaving in the next year or two, having Kyle Pitts will help the offense in covering up the loss of Hurst. As well as, Julio’s future could also be considered in doubt, and if and when he leaves, Pitts has the potential and ability to cover up that loss.
Pitts has the physical skill set that Julio has, and their speed and size are an important part of the future of the Falcons.
While the defense has its share of problems, there really is not a player on that side of the ball that warrants a top 5 pick, so why not add to this already deadly offense?
The Chiefs certainly won the Super Bowl a year ago off of an explosive offense.
Peter King thinks the Atlanta Falcons will only look to trade down if they get an offer with (2) first-round picks but does not think they will find it.
It seems as though this is an opinion by King, but it is something worth noting.
"They would love a trade that enriches them. I doubt they’ll find one. But for two future first-round picks, they’d be compelled to take the long view. I don’t see that happening."
He mentions two teams, the Bears and Patriots, as teams he cannot see trading up with the Atlanta Falcons.
Teams like the Washington Football Team, Patriots, Bears, or Broncos have been some teams that fans and analysts have mentioned could be willing to move up with the Atlanta Falcons, but would any of them be willing to give up multiple 1st round picks?
This obviously hinges on the same narrative that Peter King mentioned with the Falcons, only if they fall in love with a quarterback that falls past the first three picks. After the Jaguars, Jets, and 49ers take their future quarterbacks, that means you would already be onto the fourth quarterback in the draft, and it is difficult to see a team trading away two first-round picks for that.
Of course, every team has different grades on players than every other team but still, they would have to give up a lot for the fourth quarterback taken in the draft. This draft is unique with the fact that there will be three straight quarterbacks taken, at the very least.
All these teams know that great quarterbacks can be taken outside the Top 10 picks.
This is something that Falcons fans need to realize. This is not the last year that there will be a future franchise quarterback available.
Why not take the second-best player in this draft, in Kyle Pitts?
Fontenot has already said how they will draft the best player available, and Pitts certainly has some of the highest potentials in this draft.
Who knows, maybe there is a quarterback in the later rounds that has all-pro potential. History certainly shows there is a great chance of that happening, and if the Falcons can take a guy like Kyle Pitts and then a possible future franchise quarterback, they will have an extremely bright future.
With so many differing reports about what the Atlanta Falcons may do, there is no way of knowing what will happen until it actually happens.
The fact of the matter is that most NFL draft rumors end up being fake. There is no way of knowing if these rumors are actually true, or if they are put out by the team to benefit the team.
We will all have to wait for April 29th for the first round of the draft, and this certainly is one of the most exciting drafts for the Atlanta Falcons in a long time. There are simply so many different ways Terry Fontenot could go, and even after the draft, we will not know if it was the correct decision until many years down the road.
There are certainly going to be many more rumors between now and the draft, and the Falcons are the only ones who know what they might do.