Atlanta Falcons: Grading Terry Fontenot’s first draft as GM

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After a rigorous three-day period, the 2021 NFL draft is officially complete for the Atlanta Falcons. Each of the 32 teams, Atlanta included, worked tirelessly over the COVID-19 pandemic to keenly identify players who would be capable of making an impact on their roster in the upcoming season.

With the fourth overall pick to start, many began speculating about the Atlanta Falcons potentially being the pick that would “begin the draft”, whether it be completing the historic 1-2-3-4 quarterback train or solidifying their offense.

From the beginning of this new regime, general manager Terry Fontenot stated that, along with new head coach Arthur Smith, that the Falcons game plan was to select the “best player available” when it was their selection. For some who question that statement, it means that the team wasn’t going to select a player just because of their name, but rather if they were graded the highest at the time of selection.

That said, with relation to Atlanta Falcons, they also had to deal with some outside noise from the media, especially given their current roster. It’s no secret that the Falcons were in “salary cap hell” and barely made it under the designated number to avoid being fined, yet that’s the least of the problem.

The problem lied from media members trying to sow discourse through overzealous topics, such as “Should the Falcons consider trading Julio Jones?”, “Will the Falcons trade out of the No. 4 pick, and if so, who will they trade with?”, or “Will the Falcons draft Matt Ryan’s replacement?” For the latter question, one can get a detailed and honest answer here.

As it normally stands, when it comes around to the actual draft, one major talking point is what grade would teams get. Did they reach for a player? Or was the value there at the pick selection?

So, without further ado, let’s grade the Atlanta Falcons 2021 draft class and see if they make the grade!

(Fair note: other media outlets are using “A+” in their grades. This one will follow the traditional college grading , so no “+”)

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