Falcons “thrilled” to land undrafted QB Feleipe Franks
Posted by Michael David Smith on May 11, 2021, 6:27 AM EDT
Feleipe Franks was one of the most polarizing quarterback prospects in this year’s NFL draft, with scouts not thinking much of his talents as a passer but the analytics suggesting that Franks was a better quarterback than meets the eye. Ultimately the scouts won out, and Franks went undrafted.
Now Franks, who started his college career at Florida and ended it at Arkansas, has signed as an undrafted rookie with the Falcons, and new Falcons quarterbacks coach Charles London says the team was delighted to land him after the draft.
“Feleipe has a really unique skill set,” London said, via the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “He has a big arm. He’s a really athletic guy. He had traits that as an offensive staff we were excited about and we wanted to work with them. We were thrilled to get him in the undrafted process.”
Franks landed in a good situation in Atlanta: He can learn behind a longtime veteran franchise quarterback in Matt Ryan, and with backup AJ McCarron the only other quarterback on the roster, Franks has an excellent chance of making at least the practice squad, if not the active roster. The odds are against any undrafted free agent, but Franks may have what it takes to beat the odds.
The Chiefs gave us Tony G for a second. We stole him back then. The Falcons aren't idiots. Julio will cost a team a first rounder. Easily. Especially when you consider how cheap he'll be for the team that gets him compared to the dead cap TF will be left with. OBJ cost a 1st and 3rd. That's my starting price if I'm TF.
He was also a sophomore learning his second system in 2 years. And Mullin started him over Trask until Franks broke his ankle, so Mullins must have liked something about his game.
He had a decent year in Ark the next year-68% comp 17-4- in his 3rd system in 4 years.
So in two full seasons in 22 games, in two different systems, in his first year in both systems, at two different SEC schools, he was a combined 63% comp, with 41 TDs and 10 INTs.
I don't see nightmarishly awful. I see a really raw kid who played in 3 systems in college. Look at veteran pro QBs-they all struggle in first year of a new system, Franks was in 3 different systems in 4 years. People underestimate how difficult that is.
Of course he needs a lot of work. If they'd drafted him in the 3rd round, I'd be pissed, but they signed him as an undrafted free agent.
Of course the odds are against him, and, he's in the perfect situation to learn one system thoroughly, get taught by a very good coach, mentored by Matt Ryan, hold a clipboard for 2-3 years and then start a game in the NFL.
I'm rooting for the kid, because he's a Falcon and because, if he beats the odds, the Falcons are so much better off. Not even expecting him to succeed, just think the odds are better than many here do.
i'm not an sec guy so i have no agenda to like or hate the kid.
from what i've watched on him the last few months (more the last few days of course) your take nails it. high end tool kit, cannon arm, incredibly athletic for his size. inconsistent for sure, can make some bad decisions when he's off his game, goes through progressions (i've seen a bunch of tape where his eyes scan the field constantly so i'm not sure where that narrative has come from) but he seems unsure of what to do when a few of his options are covered (i saw one play where he scanned the field back and forth and then threw it out of bounds trying to hit a fade).
the way TF and AS have been making decisions i don't think this was a "nothing else left" kind of pickup. i think AS sees something there that he can work with. could be interesting to see how FF progresses over the next few seasons.
this is a good analysis showing just what you described (the play at 8:30 tho)
ESPN so take it for what it's worth
The 2021 NFL draft is being held Thursday through Saturday and every Atlanta Falcons draft pick has been analyzed here.
After last season's virtual draft, Cleveland is played host to festivities this year with a handful of potential draft picks present and socially distanced because of COVID-19.
Here's a pick-by-pick look at how each player Atlanta has selected will fit.
Round 1, No. 4 overall: Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida
My take: Pitts is the best non-quarterback in the draft and a player new coach Arthur Smith can use all over the field -- in-line, in the slot and out wide if necessary. He may be listed as a tight end, but that’s perhaps an antiquated description for a player like Pitts, who projects to be a dynamic pass-catcher on the Falcons. Consider, too, he’ll be paired at least with Calvin Ridley and Hayden Hurst next season (we’ll see about Julio Jones) and teams won’t be able to focus solely on him. It’s a pick that makes all the sense in the world for a coach who came up in the NFL working with tight ends.
Why not a quarterback? A couple of reasons here. The first is Matt Ryan. The former NFL MVP still continually completes 65 percent of his throws for around 4,500 yards and at least 25 touchdowns a season. With his contract, the Falcons weren’t going to move on so fast from him which means whatever quarterback Atlanta would have selected would have sat for at least one year -- if not two. The second reason is value. While quarterback is the most valuable position on the field, there are other ways to find one other than the draft. Consider where Arthur Smith (Titans) and Terry Fontenot (Saints) came from. Neither team drafted the quarterback who led them to their recent success. Drew Brees signed with New Orleans out of San Diego. Ryan Tannehill was traded to Tennessee from Miami. So there's no reason to think the draft is the only way to find Ryan’s eventual replacement.
Will this alter the Julio Jones trade question? Probably not, although the selection of Pitts does give Atlanta a bit more cushion if it were to trade Jones before the start of the season. The Jones situation is going to play out regardless of what happens over the next two-plus days. As Fontenot made clear this week, potentially moving Jones now is more about Atlanta’s cap constraints than Jones’ on-field talent. But Pitts would soften the blow to the offense if Jones were no longer with the Falcons by Week 1.
Round 2, No. 40 overall: Richie Grant, S, UCF
My take: Grant is a playmaker -- 10 interceptions in his career -- and has versatility. He can play the deep safety or down in the box, and he has clear coverage ability. Defensive coordinator Dean Pees loves versatile safeties and uses them incredibly well. So Grant should fit in well there.
Plus, he won't need to play right away. The team signed Erik Harris and Duron Harmon in free agency, two reliable veterans, which should allow Grant to ease into whatever role the team has for him. But Grant is the clear future at the position and someone to build the back end of the defense around alongside A.J. Terrell. He's a willing tackler, too, having 70-plus tackles in each of the next three years.
Grant might have had an unintentional indoctrination to the Falcons, too. One of his training partners this offseason was safety Erik Harris, who signed with Atlanta last month. Grant said Harris has been talking to him for weeks about how he’d end up being with the Falcons -- and it actually happened on draft night.
“He became like my big brother,” Grant said. “I love that type of bond.”
And it’s one that could help him adjust in his role -- likely starting off at free safety -- in the NFL.
Round 3, No. 68 overall: Jalen Mayfield, OL, Michigan
My take: Mayfield makes a lot of sense for Atlanta, which needed to find offensive line help somewhere in the draft. He was a college tackle -- starting his sophomore season at right tackle before opting out and then back into the 2020 season. But an ankle injury ended his year.
Mayfield offers positional versatility and should get his first shot to compete for a job inside at left guard. He has good feet, is a good run-blocker and learned in a pro-style system at Michigan, which should aid his professional development early on. The Falcons might have found a Week 1 starter here if he can progress fast enough.
Round 4, No. 108 overall: Darren Hall, CB, San Diego State
My take: This could be a heavy defense day for Atlanta, starting with Hall. He has good size (6-feet, 190 pounds) and -- not surprisingly -- some versatility, as he played some safety as well. He's an instinctual player with six career picks and 31 passes defended -- including 17 in 2019. He's a guy who could develop for a year before challenging for a starting spot.
Round 4, No. 114 overall: Drew Dalman, C, Stanford
My take: Another offensive lineman on the interior to provide some depth -- and maybe potential as a starter at left guard. Dalman played center and guard at Stanford -- primarily at center -- where he majored in mechanical engineering, so intelligence should not be in question at all. His dad, Chris, played for the San Francisco 49ers and his grandfather played semi-pro football. This is a smart pick that has a lot of upside in development.
Round 5, No. 148 overall: Ta'Quon Graham, DT, Texas
My take: A two-year starter for Texas, Graham is an intriguing player who had seven sacks in his career with the Longhorns. His 23 tackles for loss show his promise at 6-foot-4, 294 pounds. And stop us if you've heard this before about a Falcons draft pick, but he's versatile, as he played multiple spots along the Texas defensive line. He was also a captain, which could be something Terry Fontenot and Arthur Smith found value in.
Round 5, No. 182 overall: Adetokunbo Ogundeji, DE, Notre Dame
My take: Ogundeji -- another team captain -- played in 43 games during his Notre Dame career and had 17 tackles for loss, including seven each the last two seasons. He also had 13 career sacks. He's an edge rusher who can be fast off the line of scrimmage and can be multiple in how he's used in different fronts. He's a bit of a flier, but at this point in the draft he's someone who could end up being a playmaker if Dean Pees can find the right role for him.
Round 5, No. 183 overall: Avery Williams, CB, Boise State
My take: Williams is a player who can provide special teams value right away -- he won Mountain West Special Teams Player of the Week awards in three separate seasons at Boise and was the conference's special teams player of the year in 2019. He also has high level return skills, with three kick returns for touchdowns at Boise and six punt returns for scores as well. The Falcons might have Cordarrelle Patterson on the roster, but Williams could be the future at returner for Atlanta. At the very least, he's a special teams contributor early on.
Round 6, No. 183 overall: Frank Darby, WR, Arizona State
My take: Darby is an interesting prospect who never had more than 31 catches or 616 yards in a season, both coming in 2019. But he showed scoring ability in 2019 with eight touchdowns, a sign of what he could potentially become. It's a crowded receiver room in Atlanta and, in what has been a trend with the Falcons' Day 3 picks, Darby was a captain for the Sun Devils last year. He has big-play ability and is someone that shouldn't have to play right away but could serve well to learn from Calvin Ridley, Russell Gage and Julio Jones (if Jones remains with the Falcons).
Round 1, pick 4 – Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida
Round 2, pick 40 (from DEN) – Richie Grant, S, UCF
Round 3, pick 68 – Jalen Mayfield, OT, Michigan
Round 4, pick 108 – Darren Hall, CB, San Diego State
Round 4, No. 114 - Drew Dalman, C, Stanford
Round 5, pick 148 – Ta’Quon Graham, DT, Texas
Round 5, pick 182 – Adetokunbo Ogundeji, DE, Notre Dame
Round 5, pick 183 – Avery Williams, CB, Boise State
Round 6, pick 187 – Frank Darby, WR, Arizona State
I think this was a great draft and a new start for the Falcon franchise.
Lets keep the momentum. We new going in we were not going to please everyone.
We definitely Did well according to the talking heads. Spotlight is on.
We just have a case of myfundzarelow. Should clear up a bit next year. And we still have paths to s RB... but we do have Davis and co.
Good Draft GOOOOooo Falcons!