The Atlanta Falcons new head coach Arthur Smith has said that the franchise hired the wrong guy if they did not want to win now.
That belief has also been expressed by longtime Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan, who believes the franchise has done enough to win in 2021. Whether they will or not is a completely separate conversation.
Of course, trading away Julio Jones and his high salary have left a lot of doubt in the minds of Falcons fans across the globe – though we have seen teams throughout sports history get better after their best player leaves for what may be considered “greener pastures”.
There are also other fans that are still upset that the Atlanta Falcons chose to draft elite playmaker Kyle Pitts fourth overall instead of a guy like Justin Fields – who wasn’t even the best player at his position in this draft. Pitts was widely considered to be the best non-quarterback in the 2021 NFL draft and second-best player available – behind first overall pick Trevor Lawrence.
Atlanta Falcons could benefit from tanking in 2021
That statement will not be popular with Atlanta Falcons fans, nor should it be. This team has not won in three seasons. The last time we saw this franchise in the playoffs, they had the ball on the Eagles goal line and failed to score – the Eagles went on to win their first-ever Super Bowl a month later.
Looking ahead to the 2022 NFL draft, the Atlanta Falcons could benefit greatly by being the worst team in the NFL this upcoming season which would give them an opportunity to draft their quarterback of the future and get the best quarterback in the draft, not the third or fourth.
We get it, there are still a lot of really upset people that new general manager Terry Fontenot did not write Justin Fields name on their draft card, but most people have moved on and accepted that Fontenot stuck to his draft principles and took the best available player, which Fields was not at fourth overall.
The best available player on the clock for 2022 is UNC quarterback Sam Howell. While that is certainly up for debate, just four months ago he was the can’t miss guy for the 2022 NFL draft.
Howell has long been considered 1B to Trevor Lawrence’s 1A among ACC quarterbacks and will be the best quarterback in college football in 2021.
Howell finished his sophomore season with 3,586 passing yards, 30 touchdowns, seven interceptions, with a 68 percent completion percentage. He also added 146 rushing yards and five rushing touchdowns.
In his first two seasons as a college football quarterback, Sam Howell has accumulated 7,227 passing yards, 68 touchdowns, and just 14 interceptions.
Sure, there are other guys like former Auburn quarterback like Malik Willis and Oklahoma’s Spencer Rattler, who are more dynamic in the run game, but Howell has the best arm in next year’s draft while also having the athleticism that Lawrence possesses to run when needed.
There is a lot of time and a full NFL season ahead but if the Atlanta Falcons are wanting to grab their quarterback of the future in 2022, winning in 2021 won’t be ideal. When you have not won a meaningful game in three seasons, what is the big deal in waiting for just one more?