Atlanta Falcons should only draft a quarterback if the impossible happens
By Nick Halden
Clearly the Atlanta Falcons aren't in a position to take a quarterback on draft night with Desmond Ridder locked in as the starter and Taylor Heinicke as the backup plan if Ridder fails. Visits with Will Levis or any other top quarterback prospects should be viewed simply as a capable front office doing their homework on every prospect and preparing for every scenario.
The most obvious path for the Carolina Panthers and Houston Texans with the first two picks in the draft is taking Bryce Young and C.J. Stroud the only two quarterbacks who appear to be real first round prospects.
Young won't make it past Houston with the only question being if Carolina is going to take a risk with Anthony Richardson or make the safe move of selecting Stroud first overall. Differentiating rumor from fact at this point in the draft process is very difficult but Carolina passing on Stroud to take Richardson a clearly less talented prospect would be on brand considering the team's quarterback decisions over the last five seasons.
This is the only scenario in which the Falcons should consider taking a quarterback considering Stroud is clearly more talented than Ridder and has a higher ceiling. Atlanta can win a lot of games with Desmond, however, if the team finds themselves in the unlikely position of having a chance to target Stroud there shouldn't be any hesitation from a group that now has a roster clearly ready to return to the playoffs in the worst division in a weak NFC.
C.J. Stroud isn't landing in Atlanta the teams ahead of the Falcons are far too smart to make the mistake of passing on the most polished quarterback prospects of a bad draft for the position. Still, it is worth keeping an eye on with Young a clear fit for Houston and the speculation that the Panthers could take Richardson first overall.