3. Sam Howell
If the Atlanta Falcons opt to wait to select a quarterback until the second round Sam Howell would be the best fit if the North Carolina product slips past the first round. Howell came into his last season with North Carolina as one of the top quarterbacks in his class.
After a season of regression Howell could easily become a day two pick. If that is the case he is a great selection for Atlanta. Bringing Howell in to compete with Mariota would give the Falcons a wildcard at the position. A second-round selection wouldn’t face the pressure that the 8th overall pick would.
Howell could be given time to develop and sit behind Mariota while Atlanta evaluates whether or not he is the long-term answer. Drafting Howell doesn’t rule out taking one of next year’s top quarterback prospects. It allows the Falcons a wildcard at the position without the risk the front office would face if the 8th overall pick didn’t work out. Howell has plenty of up side but his regression in his final season was cause for a healthy level of concern.