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15 days out....G-Dawg's thoughts on Falcons #4 pick


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Alright, we have already established by posters that like to dig up my posts from 1-5 years or  more that I am occasionally wrong - maybe even often -  LOL.   Or I put a bad mock together - which I do sometimes - especially in the years that I did 4-5 in the offseason.  Since there is no shortage of mocks on TATF now, I probably won't do another one until a few days before the draft predicting what I believe the Falcons might do - honestly there are too many variables to ever get more than 1-2 picks right in a mock - so they are for entertainment purposes only.

No one knows for sure what Terry Fontenot is thinking so this is all speculation and just take this for entertainment purposes - which is what it really is anyway.

IF the Falcons are entertaining trading the #4 pick and IF those that would entertain trading up to #4 for a QB would give up a lot to do so, I don't believe a trade would occur until the day of the draft.   While the Niners gave up a bounty to go to #3 and not knowing for sure who the Jets would take - they have a pretty good feel for it and then have their choice of 3 QBs.   There is much more uncertainty which QB the Niners will pick among Fields, Lance or Jones - we have all heard theories on each and, while most are assuming the Niners are taking Mac Jones right now - like many of you - I find it hard to fathom giving up THREE 1st round picks - and more - to draft a QB whose ceiling would appear to be something like a Kirk Cousins-type player.   Maybe Mac Jones will be better than this and obviously Mike Shannahan knows more about QBs than any of us - just hard to picture.

IF the Falcons want to trade the pick, they will probably have 1-2 contingency deals in place before the draft starts based on the opposite teams "if our guy is there at #4".    Personally, I don't see the Falcons trading out of the Top 10.

Cincinnati - #5  (don't really know why they would trade up unless they wanted Pitts as they don't need a QB and maybe they would give us their 3rd rounder to move up) - not likely to make an offer

Miami - #6  (Dolphins have already made a lot of maneuvers and guessing they would be settled in at #6 - probably taking Pitts or a WR - but would think Pitts would be the target - they might want to jump Cincy to be assured of their non-QB guy)

Detroit - #7 (they might want to move up and take a QB - they aren't committed to Goff - as Daniel Jeremiah said - "that Stafford/Goff trade wasn't straight up - two 1st round picks got on the plane w/ Goff from LA to DET)

Carolina - #8 (guessing they are out of QB derby now after adding Darnold - wouldn't move up for an OT - maybe they would for Pitts? doubtful)

Denver - #9 (obviously they would move up for a QB if they moved - lots of smoke that Broncos aren't moving out and still like Lock - but it is Liar's season now)

Dallas - #10  (is all the "Jerry Jones infatuated w/ Kyle Pitts" stuff true? - it would take a big package for Falcons to move down this far)

 

What do the Falcons want?

 

My guess is Fontenot, Smith and scouting department want to use their remaining 15 days to finalize all their thoughts - I doubt Fontenot's mind is made up just yet but I am sure he is getting close to his final strategy.   He will probably have "contingent trade down offers" finalized by Tuesday, April 27th - 48 hours prior to the draft.   The compensation will be set.

My personal opinion is QUARTERBACK is still in play for the #4 overall pick.   I would hazard a guess that Falcons like one of the two that would likely be left in Justin Fields or Trey Lance.   Looking at the two players,   Lance is just more of a projection with so much less track record.   For example,  Trey Lance has only thrown 317 passes in his entire college career - at a much lower level of competition.   While an exaggeration, it's like a college player playing against high school players - the competition is just so much lower so when you couple that with a small sample size of throws - the risk associated w/ Lance grows exponentially.    While I believe Trey Lance is a fine prospect and may be a heckuva NFL QB - if you take him and he busts, we will go back and all these warning signs will lead us to the conclusion - "you should have known better" - hindsight is always 20/20.    I like Trey Lance and if Falcons took him - I would be excited about it - just saying, there are warning signs w/ level of competition and w/ the lack of track record - through no fault of his own, he is a one-year wonder.

 

here is what I think Fontenot could be thinking...

Option#1:   Stick at #4, Draft QB Justin Fields-Ohio State   - the value of the position and the potential ceiling of the Quarterback makes this a no-brainer to me (as Dalton said in Road House - "opinions vary").   Obviously the Niners would have to pass on Justin Fields for this even to happen.   Justin Fields is a stronger and bigger version of Deshaun Watson.   I seeothers suggest comps for Fields as Cam Newton but that is a bad comp - YES Justin is big and strong like Cam (but not as big and not as strong) but Justin is a much more accurate passer (68.4% completion rate) and his TD/INT ratio is over 7/1 which is Aaron Rogers territory.    I know the "Don't draft a QB" crowd which is the majority of TATF will gnash their teeth and wring their hands of this Option#1 due to Matt Ryan still being a good quarterback and say we have too many other needs (which we do).   Falcons are only 100% married to Matt for 2021 and 2022 would be painful to cut/trade Matt but still possible with an increasing cap - both Eagles and Rams moved on from QBs w/ large dead cap.   TF and AS can see how Justin progresses from Year#1 to Year#2 before deciding the fate of Matt Ryan in 2022.  There would likely be a trade market for Ryan.   I don't care if Kyle Pitts is the greatest TE in NFL history or if Penei Sewell is the greatest LT in NFL history or if Falcons trade down and take Patrick Surtain and get some other useable pieces - if Justin Fields is drafted and he becomes a 10-12 year starter in the league and is a star - then drafting Justin Fields and foregoing a non-QB or a non-QB plus extra picks - is THE BEST move that Terry Fontenot could make - PERIOD, THE END.   This Falcons team isn't going to the SuperBowl in 2021 or 2022 - ceiling would probably be a 1st round exit in the playoffs - respectability doesn't move the meter nor improve the franchise - been there/done that.   This is about building a team that can win SuperBowls and extending the window when it would actually be possible.

Ohio State QB Justin Fields Says Knee Injury Is at 80-85% Ahead of Clemson  Game | Bleacher Report | Latest News, Videos and Highlights

Option#2:   Trade Down from #4 but stay in the Top 10 (targets:  Kyle Pitts, Trey Lance,Patrick Surtain or Micah Parsons - in that order):    Option#2 would only be entertained if Justin Fields was off the board at #4 (also assumes Zach Wilson and Trevor Lawrence off the board).    I believe both Bengals(#5) and Dolphins(#6) would have Kyle Pitts in their sites at their spots so any move out of #4 likely means the Falcons are saying "goodbye" to Kyle Pitts and I have to believe Terry Fontenot would know this and be OK w/ it.  He would have to - at that point - be willing to forego Pitts w/ the assumption that Trey Lance or Patrick Surtain plus the extra bounty would be worth foregoing the more sure thing gold jacket player of Pitts.    I don't believe the Falcons should move from #4 for any less than a 1st round pick in 2022 plus a 2nd round pick in 2021 - that would be the absolute MINIMUM price I would accept if I was TF.    "Pay to Play" if you want #4.   If a team outside the Top 10 wants #4 - then you better have a heckuva package of multiple 1st round picks and marquee players (WFT = Chase Young).    Since Trey Lance is the riskiest QB pick between Fields/Lance (IMHO), for me, to draft him - it should only be in a trade-down scenario where you get more to justify the risk of taking such an inexperienced player.

2021 NFL Draft Prospect: Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota State UniversityFalcons: Patrick Surtain II could solidify the backend of Dean Pees'  defense - SportsTalkATL.comNFL mock draft roundup: It's time to get to know Penn State LB Micah Parsons  - mlive.com

 

 

Option#3:  Stick at #4, Draft TE Kyle Pitts-Florida - How awesome is it that this is our "worst case scenario" - some of you will say this should be Option#1 - and it very well might be true in Flowery Branch.  

4 ideal landing spots for TE Kyle Pitts in the 2021 NFL Draft

 

Bottom-line, the Atlanta Falcons control this draft - and the NFL media - that likes to pretend the Atlanta Falcons don't even exist as a franchise - will be forced to talk about them for the next 15 days leading up to the draft - if for no other reason than that, I hope TF doesn't make a trade - or at least waits until draft day to do so.

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1 minute ago, Snowen said:

well it's a good thing TF isn't as braindead as people here.. I dont see any chance of him taking a QB and sinking this franchise for 5+ years. 

Its Pitts or trade back, and if a QB is taken then its easy to know what the outcome of the next few seasons will be.. 3-14 with a bust #4 pick.

Just depends on how TF and AS see Matt Ryan’s future and the style of play they desire.

Also, if TF and AS see this as more of a rebuild versus a reload then taking the QB becomes more attractive.

The hardest position to get a game-changer is QB - and, outside of placekicker - the longest careers tend to be QBs - and it is by far the most important position.

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57 minutes ago, g-dawg said:

Alright, we have already established by posters that like to dig up my posts from 1-5 years or  more that I am occasionally wrong - maybe even often -  LOL.   Or I put a bad mock together - which I do sometimes - especially in the years that I did 4-5 in the offseason.  Since there is no shortage of mocks on TATF now, I probably won't do another one until a few days before the draft predicting what I believe the Falcons might do - honestly there are too many variables to ever get more than 1-2 picks right in a mock - so they are for entertainment purposes only.

No one knows for sure what Terry Fontenot is thinking so this is all speculation and just take this for entertainment purposes - which is what it really is anyway.

IF the Falcons are entertaining trading the #4 pick and IF those that would entertain trading up to #4 for a QB would give up a lot to do so, I don't believe a trade would occur until the day of the draft.   While the Niners gave up a bounty to go to #3 and not knowing for sure who the Jets would take - they have a pretty good feel for it and then have their choice of 3 QBs.   There is much more uncertainty which QB the Niners will pick among Fields, Lance or Jones - we have all heard theories on each and, while most are assuming the Niners are taking Mac Jones right now - like many of you - I find it hard to fathom giving up THREE 1st round picks - and more - to draft a QB whose ceiling would appear to be something like a Kirk Cousins-type player.   Maybe Mac Jones will be better than this and obviously Mike Shannahan knows more about QBs than any of us - just hard to picture.

IF the Falcons want to trade the pick, they will probably have 1-2 contingency deals in place before the draft starts based on the opposite teams "if our guy is there at #4".    Personally, I don't see the Falcons trading out of the Top 10.

Cincinnati - #5  (don't really know why they would trade up unless they wanted Pitts as they don't need a QB and maybe they would give us their 3rd rounder to move up) - not likely to make an offer

Miami - #6  (Dolphins have already made a lot of maneuvers and guessing they would be settled in at #6 - probably taking Pitts or a WR - but would think Pitts would be the target - they might want to jump Cincy to be assured of their non-QB guy)

Detroit - #7 (they might want to move up and take a QB - they aren't committed to Goff - as Daniel Jeremiah said - "that Stafford/Goff trade wasn't straight up - two 1st round picks got on the plane w/ Goff from LA to DET)

Carolina - #8 (guessing they are out of QB derby now after adding Darnold - wouldn't move up for an OT - maybe they would for Pitts? doubtful)

Denver - #9 (obviously they would move up for a QB if they moved - lots of smoke that Broncos aren't moving out and still like Lock - but it is Liar's season now)

Dallas - #10  (is all the "Jerry Jones infatuated w/ Kyle Pitts" stuff true? - it would take a big package for Falcons to move down this far)

 

What do the Falcons want?

 

My guess is Fontenot, Smith and scouting department want to use their remaining 15 days to finalize all their thoughts - I doubt Fontenot's mind is made up just yet but I am sure he is getting close to his final strategy.   He will probably have "contingent trade down offers" finalized by Tuesday, April 27th - 48 hours prior to the draft.   The compensation will be set.

My personal opinion is QUARTERBACK is still in play for the #4 overall pick.   I would hazard a guess that Falcons like one of the two that would likely be left in Justin Fields or Trey Lance.   Looking at the two players,   Lance is just more of a projection with so much less track record.   For example,  Trey Lance has only thrown 317 passes in his entire college career - at a much lower level of competition.   While an exaggeration, it's like a college player playing against high school players - the competition is just so much lower so when you couple that with a small sample size of throws - the risk associated w/ Lance grows exponentially.    While I believe Trey Lance is a fine prospect and may be a heckuva NFL QB - if you take him and he busts, we will go back and all these warning signs will lead us to the conclusion - "you should have known better" - hindsight is always 20/20.    I like Trey Lance and if Falcons took him - I would be excited about it - just saying, there are warning signs w/ level of competition and w/ the lack of track record - through no fault of his own, he is a one-year wonder.

 

here is what I think Fontenot could be thinking...

Option#1:   Stick at #4, Draft QB Justin Fields-Ohio State   - the value of the position and the potential ceiling of the Quarterback makes this a no-brainer to me (as Dalton said in Road House - "opinions vary").   Obviously the Niners would have to pass on Justin Fields for this even to happen.   Justin Fields is a stronger and bigger version of Deshaun Watson.   I seeothers suggest comps for Fields as Cam Newton but that is a bad comp - YES Justin is big and strong like Cam (but not as big and not as strong) but Justin is a much more accurate passer (68.4% completion rate) and his TD/INT ratio is over 7/1 which is Aaron Rogers territory.    I know the "Don't draft a QB" crowd which is the majority of TATF will gnash their teeth and wring their hands of this Option#1 due to Matt Ryan still being a good quarterback and say we have too many other needs (which we do).   Falcons are only 100% married to Matt for 2021 and 2022 would be painful to cut/trade Matt but still possible with an increasing cap - both Eagles and Rams moved on from QBs w/ large dead cap.   TF and AS can see how Justin progresses from Year#1 to Year#2 before deciding the fate of Matt Ryan in 2022.  There would likely be a trade market for Ryan.   I don't care if Kyle Pitts is the greatest TE in NFL history or if Penei Sewell is the greatest LT in NFL history or if Falcons trade down and take Patrick Surtain and get some other useable pieces - if Justin Fields is drafted and he becomes a 10-12 year starter in the league and is a star - then drafting Justin Fields and foregoing a non-QB or a non-QB plus extra picks - is THE BEST move that Terry Fontenot could make - PERIOD, THE END.   This Falcons team isn't going to the SuperBowl in 2021 or 2022 - ceiling would probably be a 1st round exit in the playoffs - respectability doesn't move the meter nor improve the franchise - been there/done that.   This is about building a team that can win SuperBowls and extending the window when it would actually be possible.

Ohio State QB Justin Fields Says Knee Injury Is at 80-85% Ahead of Clemson  Game | Bleacher Report | Latest News, Videos and Highlights

Option#2:   Trade Down from #4 but stay in the Top 10 (targets:  Kyle Pitts, Trey Lance,Patrick Surtain or Micah Parsons - in that order):    Option#2 would only be entertained if Justin Fields was off the board at #4 (also assumes Zach Wilson and Trevor Lawrence off the board).    I believe both Bengals(#5) and Dolphins(#6) would have Kyle Pitts in their sites at their spots so any move out of #4 likely means the Falcons are saying "goodbye" to Kyle Pitts and I have to believe Terry Fontenot would know this and be OK w/ it.  He would have to - at that point - be willing to forego Pitts w/ the assumption that Trey Lance or Patrick Surtain plus the extra bounty would be worth foregoing the more sure thing gold jacket player of Pitts.    I don't believe the Falcons should move from #4 for any less than a 1st round pick in 2022 plus a 2nd round pick in 2021 - that would be the absolute MINIMUM price I would accept if I was TF.    "Pay to Play" if you want #4.   If a team outside the Top 10 wants #4 - then you better have a heckuva package of multiple 1st round picks and marquee players (WFT = Chase Young).    Since Trey Lance is the riskiest QB pick between Fields/Lance (IMHO), for me, to draft him - it should only be in a trade-down scenario where you get more to justify the risk of taking such an inexperienced player.

2021 NFL Draft Prospect: Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota State UniversityFalcons: Patrick Surtain II could solidify the backend of Dean Pees'  defense - SportsTalkATL.comNFL mock draft roundup: It's time to get to know Penn State LB Micah Parsons  - mlive.com

 

 

Option#3:  Stick at #4, Draft TE Kyle Pitts-Florida - How awesome is it that this is our "worst case scenario" - some of you will say this should be Option#1 - and it very well might be true in Flowery Branch.  

4 ideal landing spots for TE Kyle Pitts in the 2021 NFL Draft

 

Bottom-line, the Atlanta Falcons control this draft - and the NFL media - that likes to pretend the Atlanta Falcons don't even exist as a franchise - will be forced to talk about them for the next 15 days leading up to the draft - if for no other reason than that, I hope TF doesn't make a trade - or at least waits until draft day to do so.

I honestly don't see Fields being at four.  

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At what stage do the Falcons prioritise defense as thee #1 fix.

I have just bought out of retirement one of thee better DC in the league the last decade and by going down thee offensive route I’m asking him to sprinkle fairy dust to fix our weakness.

We have a bucket and a spade defensively when it comes to talent on that side of the ball.When are we going to learn our lesson.

You know what I do know about TF.He’s just come out of NO who were in a eerily similar cap and talent situation we are in.How did himself and Loomis get them out of it by drafting LoS defense and building a run game around a vet QB.

Why wouldn’t we do the same here.

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Just now, kiwifalcon said:

At what stage do the Falcons prioritise defense as thee #1 fix.

I have just bought out of retirement one of thee better DC in the league the last decade and by going down thee offensive route I’m asking him to sprinkle fairy dust to fix our weakness.

We have a bucket and a spade defensively when it comes to talent on that side of the ball.When are we going to learn our lesson.

You know what I do know about TF.He’s just come out of NO who were in a eerily similar cap and talent situation we are in.How did himself and Loomis get them out of it by drafting LoS defense and building a run game around a vet QB.

Why wouldn’t he do the same here.

Defense doesn't really win championships anymore - that is an old saying that still matters but not as relevant nor true as it once was.   True for NFL.....true for college as well.    Falcons got to a SB in 2016 and almost won it w/ a mediocre defense.    Chiefs won SB previous year with an OK defense.

Falcons definitely need upgrades on every level of the defense - especially passrush and the back end of pass defense - but nothing - is more important than the future of the QB position.  I know we are in decent hands in Matt Ryan but he is regressing and trendline supports it since SB - I know football is team game and Falcons have been poor in running game, etc - know every retort you have in your arsenal - and this isn't bashing Matt, but he has been just "so-so" the last few years in many respects.

If Falcons have the opportunity to draft not just a game-manager but a true ELITE weapon at QB - they should consider it.

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The Falcons need to develop an identity through this draft. We don't have one. We can look at their decisions so far, albeit a small sample size as well as AS past offenses to see what that identity might look like. The signings of tough footballs players like Mike Davis and the new tightend give us an idea that we are looking to build a big, powerful football team and run game.

Im not sure what theirnplan is for defense but this looks to be their plan for the offense. Don't be surprised to see either a trade down (our depth is leagues worst or close to it) or size up front like a Sewell. I think we are moving away from DQ's fast and physical mantra to just tough footballs players. 

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@g-dawgDefense doesn’t really win championships anymore I thinks the most outrageous statement I’ve seen from you in years.That was your first sentence man your blinded by this Fields pick blinded.

Yet the Bucs shut  Mahomes down and The LOB flat out embarrassed Peyton Manning as examples off the top of my head.

Ask yourself this when have the Falcons ever gone full tilt defensively in the draft.

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Fields has been my "ONLY QB @ 4" option since Day 1. Love Matt and very intrigued by the idea of adding Pitts, but if he's available, it's a no-brainer to me. Fields has all the tools to be an elite QB at the next level and to give him the ability to learn from Matt Ryan would set him up for immediate success when he does get the nod. 

Now if Fields is gone then I'm locked in on 2 guys. The first is obviously Kyle Pitts. He's got the physical talent that has rarely been seen coming out of the draft. Adding him gives us potentially 3 guys that require additional coverage help to prevent from doing major damage vs 1 on 1 cover. Unless we get a substantial package, his upside is just too massive to pass up.

The other guy I'd be locked in on is Patrick Surtain. Now obviously this would be in a trade back, so we'd be adding at least a 2nd round pick to our war chest. And adding Surtain with Terrell gives a real possibility of fielding a much improved coverage unit on the outside, which was our biggest weakness. We'd have a young, fast and physical CB tandem in a division with elite WRs. Couple that with the ability to double dip in the 2nd and possibly more depending on the trade down deal, it's a very appealing. But let me be clear, whatever deal we'd take in this scenario would be geared at remaining high enough to draft Surtain. Outside of Fields and Pitts, he's the best impact for our team this year and moving forward...

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9 minutes ago, kiwifalcon said:

@g-dawgDefense doesn’t really win championships anymore I thinks the most outrageous statement I’ve seen from you in years.That was your first sentence man your blinded by this Fields pick blinded.

Yet the Bucs shut  Mahomes down and The LOB flat out embarrassed Peyton Manning as examples off the top of my head.

Ask yourself this when have the Falcons ever gone full tilt defensively in the draft.

should also be noted that every exceptional defense gets ravaged by free agency - it takes 2-3 elite defensive players and another 2-3 really good players to make up an elite defensive unit most times - you cannot really keep elite defenses together a long time.   Free agency ravages elite defenses.

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13 minutes ago, g-dawg said:

Defense doesn't really win championships anymore - that is an old saying that still matters but not as relevant nor true as it once was.   True for NFL.....true for college as well.    Falcons got to a SB in 2016 and almost won it w/ a mediocre defense.    Chiefs won SB previous year with an OK defense.

Falcons definitely need upgrades on every level of the defense - especially passrush and the back end of pass defense - but nothing - is more important than the future of the QB position.  I know we are in decent hands in Matt Ryan but he is regressing and trendline supports it since SB - I know football is team game and Falcons have been poor in running game, etc - know every retort you have in your arsenal - and this isn't bashing Matt, but he has been just "so-so" the last few years in many respects.

If Falcons have the opportunity to draft not just a game-manager but a true ELITE weapon at QB - they should consider it.

U wot M8?

Gonna strongly disagree here. Tampa Bay just won the SB by having an elite defense. But regardless, there is zero defender worth the #4 pick from what I've seen. If we trade back then sure take Surtain, Parsons, etc, but I definitely don't prefer them at #4. 

I don't see us going QB, I don't see us going Pitts at #4 either. I think Sewell is more likely there but even then I am not that confident. The most confident feeling I get is that we will likely trade back and that's all I can say

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1 minute ago, g-dawg said:

should also be noted that every exceptional defense gets ravaged by free agency - it takes 2-3 elite defensive players and another 2-3 really good players to make up an elite defensive unit most times - you cannot really keep elite defenses together a long time.   Free agency ravages elite defenses.

See I didn’t even mention elite because we’ve never had it here consistently or at all since when 98 gritz blitz before then.

At some point the Falcons have to take that side of the ball seriously just like they have seemingly on thee other side.It’s time to right the ledger.

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45 minutes ago, g-dawg said:

IF the Falcons are entertaining trading the #4 pick and IF those that would entertain trading up to #4 for a QB would give up a lot to do so, I don't believe a trade would occur until the day of the draft.   While the Niners gave up a bounty to go to #3 and not knowing for sure who the Jets would take - they have a pretty good feel for it and then have their choice of 3 QBs.   There is much more uncertainty which QB the Niners will pick among Fields, Lance or Jones - we have all heard theories on each and, while most are assuming the Niners are taking Mac Jones right now - like many of you - I find it hard to fathom giving up THREE 1st round picks - and more - to draft a QB whose ceiling would appear to be something like a Kirk Cousins-type player.   Maybe Mac Jones will be better than this and obviously Mike Shannahan knows more about QBs than any of us - just hard to picture.

IF the Falcons want to trade the pick, they will probably have 1-2 contingency deals in place before the draft starts based on the opposite teams "if our guy is there at #4".    Personally, I don't see the Falcons trading out of the Top 10.

Cincinnati - #5  (don't really know why they would trade up unless they wanted Pitts as they don't need a QB and maybe they would give us their 3rd rounder to move up) - not likely to make an offer

Miami - #6  (Dolphins have already made a lot of maneuvers and guessing they would be settled in at #6 - probably taking Pitts or a WR - but would think Pitts would be the target - they might want to jump Cincy to be assured of their non-QB guy)

Detroit - #7 (they might want to move up and take a QB - they aren't committed to Goff - as Daniel Jeremiah said - "that Stafford/Goff trade wasn't straight up - two 1st round picks got on the plane w/ Goff from LA to DET)

Carolina - #8 (guessing they are out of QB derby now after adding Darnold - wouldn't move up for an OT - maybe they would for Pitts? doubtful)

Denver - #9 (obviously they would move up for a QB if they moved - lots of smoke that Broncos aren't moving out and still like Lock - but it is Liar's season now)

Dallas - #10  (is all the "Jerry Jones infatuated w/ Kyle Pitts" stuff true? - it would take a big package for Falcons to move down this far)

What do the Falcons want?

My guess is Fontenot, Smith and scouting department want to use their remaining 15 days to finalize all their thoughts - I doubt Fontenot's mind is made up just yet but I am sure he is getting close to his final strategy.   He will probably have "contingent trade down offers" finalized by Tuesday, April 27th - 48 hours prior to the draft.   The compensation will be set.

My personal opinion is QUARTERBACK is still in play for the #4 overall pick.   I would hazard a guess that Falcons like one of the two that would likely be left in Justin Fields or Trey Lance.   Looking at the two players,   Lance is just more of a projection with so much less track record.   For example,  Trey Lance has only thrown 317 passes in his entire college career - at a much lower level of competition.   While an exaggeration, it's like a college player playing against high school players - the competition is just so much lower so when you couple that with a small sample size of throws - the risk associated w/ Lance grows exponentially.    While I believe Trey Lance is a fine prospect and may be a heckuva NFL QB - if you take him and he busts, we will go back and all these warning signs will lead us to the conclusion - "you should have known better" - hindsight is always 20/20.    I like Trey Lance and if Falcons took him - I would be excited about it - just saying, there are warning signs w/ level of competition and w/ the lack of track record - through no fault of his own, he is a one-year wonder.

here is what I think Fontenot could be thinking...

Option#1:   Stick at #4, Draft QB Justin Fields-Ohio State   - the value of the position and the potential ceiling of the Quarterback makes this a no-brainer to me (as Dalton said in Road House - "opinions vary").   Obviously the Niners would have to pass on Justin Fields for this even to happen.   Justin Fields is a stronger and bigger version of Deshaun Watson.   I seeothers suggest comps for Fields as Cam Newton but that is a bad comp - YES Justin is big and strong like Cam (but not as big and not as strong) but Justin is a much more accurate passer (68.4% completion rate) and his TD/INT ratio is over 7/1 which is Aaron Rogers territory.    I know the "Don't draft a QB" crowd which is the majority of TATF will gnash their teeth and wring their hands of this Option#1 due to Matt Ryan still being a good quarterback and say we have too many other needs (which we do).   Falcons are only 100% married to Matt for 2021 and 2022 would be painful to cut/trade Matt but still possible with an increasing cap - both Eagles and Rams moved on from QBs w/ large dead cap.   TF and AS can see how Justin progresses from Year#1 to Year#2 before deciding the fate of Matt Ryan in 2022.  There would likely be a trade market for Ryan.   I don't care if Kyle Pitts is the greatest TE in NFL history or if Penei Sewell is the greatest LT in NFL history or if Falcons trade down and take Patrick Surtain and get some other useable pieces - if Justin Fields is drafted and he becomes a 10-12 year starter in the league and is a star - then drafting Justin Fields and foregoing a non-QB or a non-QB plus extra picks - is THE BEST move that Terry Fontenot could make - PERIOD, THE END.   This Falcons team isn't going to the SuperBowl in 2021 or 2022 - ceiling would probably be a 1st round exit in the playoffs - respectability doesn't move the meter nor improve the franchise - been there/done that.   This is about building a team that can win SuperBowls and extending the window when it would actually be possible.

Option#2:   Trade Down from #4 but stay in the Top 10 (targets:  Kyle Pitts, Trey Lance,Patrick Surtain or Micah Parsons - in that order):    Option#2 would only be entertained if Justin Fields was off the board at #4 (also assumes Zach Wilson and Trevor Lawrence off the board).    I believe both Bengals(#5) and Dolphins(#6) would have Kyle Pitts in their sites at their spots so any move out of #4 likely means the Falcons are saying "goodbye" to Kyle Pitts and I have to believe Terry Fontenot would know this and be OK w/ it.  He would have to - at that point - be willing to forego Pitts w/ the assumption that Trey Lance or Patrick Surtain plus the extra bounty would be worth foregoing the more sure thing gold jacket player of Pitts.    I don't believe the Falcons should move from #4 for any less than a 1st round pick in 2022 plus a 2nd round pick in 2021 - that would be the absolute MINIMUM price I would accept if I was TF.    "Pay to Play" if you want #4.   If a team outside the Top 10 wants #4 - then you better have a heckuva package of multiple 1st round picks and marquee players (WFT = Chase Young).    Since Trey Lance is the riskiest QB pick between Fields/Lance (IMHO), for me, to draft him - it should only be in a trade-down scenario where you get more to justify the risk of taking such an inexperienced player.

Option#3:  Stick at #4, Draft TE Kyle Pitts-Florida - How awesome is it that this is our "worst case scenario" - some of you will say this should be Option#1 - and it very well might be true in Flowery Branch.  

Bottom-line, the Atlanta Falcons control this draft - and the NFL media - that likes to pretend the Atlanta Falcons don't even exist as a franchise - will be forced to talk about them for the next 15 days leading up to the draft - if for no other reason than that, I hope TF doesn't make a trade - or at least waits until draft day to do so.

Dang g-dawg. I think you're pretty on point with these observations.

I'd like to add on to your thoughts a little. Or just give you some additional food for thought.

Cincinnati - #5 I think they're pretty happy with either Pitts or Chase, and they've only pulled the trigger on draft day trades like twice since 2004, and the 2012-13 trade was actually the trade of a player for picks in a future draft. They could slide back one spot if both Pitts and Chase are available at 5, but I don't really see them doing anything.

Miami - #6 I'm on board with your thoughts here, although I only see a trade back if any two of either Pitts, Chase, or Smith are still on the board when they pick and they're only required to move back no more than two spots.

Detroit - #7 They could do anything, but I see them in rebuild mode. They could try to jump Miami for Chase or Pitts (whoever remains after Cinci picks). They might see Lance as still worth a pick here, but I think they go WR or Pitts. All 3 of their top wide outs bounced in FA and they are bare. BPA fits a need here. They want to see what Goff brings anyway.

Carolina - #8 They were never a trade partner for us and Darnold isn't much better than Bridgewater. They're still in the QB hunt and might even trade up with Miami if they are convinced Fields or Lance is their future and that QB falls to Miami (and any 2 of Pitts, Chase or Smith are still available).

Denver - #9 They want a QB. In 2 years, Lock doesn't appear to be the savior so far. Not even an inkling of it. Minshew, Bridgewater or whoever would just be added competition but still not much more than a bridge QB. They're quite mum on praising Lock or throwing him to the wolves. The new GM is Paton, who was in a similar situation with the Vikings under their GM Spielman. They moved up to draft Tarvaris Jackson, granted it wasn't a move high up in the first round. I think Paton, who also didn't acclaim Lock as their current and future QB, but generally described QBs as needing to develop. Well here's another case of we shouldn't be drafting this high again, and it might only take a 2022 first rounder, and a 2nd and 4th from this year's draft to move up to 4 for Fields or Lance. If Fields is there I can see them doing it, and they'll probably need to get in front of Detroit, Carolina and anyone behind them (like NE) who is close enough to 9 to be able to leap them. This team is in its window and just needs a QB to take them there. I think Denver is our most likely option and it won't require the ton of picks we all expect it to cost. Those hoping for a slew of picks might be disappointed here.

Dallas - #10 I don't think they love Pitts enough to leap all the way to 4 to get him. I can see them throwing DQ a bone and grabbing Surtain or even an OL (Sewell?), depending on if Carolina foregoes a QB and takes one.

I would add WFT as the partner who is most likely to go all out for Fields or Lance. And NE is a long shot who I also wouldn't expect to hand over the necessary picks to move all the way up to 4. I get a sense whoever they trade with probably gets the shaft but just a gut feeling.

Great overview though g-dawg. I'm thinking along the same lines with you, so that might make 2 of us that have it all wrong.

I'll also add, I don't expect our picks to be who we're mocking and slobbering over on TATF. This draft will be all over the place. We'll be shaking our heads, but we'll all come around in the end after we start seeing film on who we actually take. Here's to winning at least 9 in AS' first season. 🍻🍺🥃🍹🍷        🧋🥤🍼🍼🍼🍼🍼

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3 minutes ago, kiwifalcon said:

See I didn’t even mention elite because we’ve never had it here consistently or at all since when 98 gritz blitz before then.

At some point the Falcons have to take that side of the ball seriously just like they have seemingly on thee other side.It’s time to right the ledger.

The Falcons most winning and best seasons in history - they didn't have an elite defense.   You have to be GREAT at something.   You also have to build for a longer-term horizon than the next two years.  Matt Ryan isn't improving.

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15 minutes ago, g-dawg said:

should also be noted that every exceptional defense gets ravaged by free agency - it takes 2-3 elite defensive players and another 2-3 really good players to make up an elite defensive unit most times - you cannot really keep elite defenses together a long time.   Free agency ravages elite defenses.

Not for nothing, a lot of the times defenses are ravaged due to an exorbitant QB contract. I think Colts are a decent example of maintaining a nucleus and adding to it, without the massive QB contract, but it has seemed like they’ve been a QB away for a while.

 

I’m torn on the issue. I almost want a pure game manager that we can keep for cheap and can build an all-pro team around, but even Tannehill got a good chunk of change. Owners let the market explode too high for QBs

 

Idk, over this off season you’ve turned me into a Fields believer though, I’m excited to see him play more than any other rookie QB, whether we draft him or not lol

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40 minutes ago, g-dawg said:

Defense doesn't really win championships anymore - that is an old saying that still matters but not as relevant nor true as it once was.   True for NFL.....true for college as well.    Falcons got to a SB in 2016 and almost won it w/ a mediocre defense.    Chiefs won SB previous year with an OK defense.

Falcons definitely need upgrades on every level of the defense - especially passrush and the back end of pass defense - but nothing - is more important than the future of the QB position.  I know we are in decent hands in Matt Ryan but he is regressing and trendline supports it since SB - I know football is team game and Falcons have been poor in running game, etc - know every retort you have in your arsenal - and this isn't bashing Matt, but he has been just "so-so" the last few years in many respects.

If Falcons have the opportunity to draft not just a game-manager but a true ELITE weapon at QB - they should consider it.

I disagree. Defense is definitely necessary. The Bucs defense just won them the SB. The year before? The 49ers defense carried them that entire season all the way to the big game. Russell Wilson hasn't even been to the conference championship since the Legion of Boom aged. And he had some talent around him on offense last year. It didn't matter. Defense is still very critical. 

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40 minutes ago, kiwifalcon said:

@g-dawgDefense doesn’t really win championships anymore I thinks the most outrageous statement I’ve seen from you in years.That was your first sentence man your blinded by this Fields pick blinded.

Yet the Bucs shut  Mahomes down and The LOB flat out embarrassed Peyton Manning as examples off the top of my head.

Ask yourself this when have the Falcons ever gone full tilt defensively in the draft.

The Falcons' drafts slanted towards defense for the majority of TD's tenure, he just didn't hit enough on his picks.  Last year alone 4 of the 6 picks were defenders...

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6 minutes ago, A Dog Named Brian said:

Stopped reading after, “Defense doesn’t really win championships anymore” 😂😂😂

ask Kirby Smart....I know "college".

Good Offense beats Good Defense most of the time.

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49 minutes ago, MD-FalconFan13 said:

Fields has been my "ONLY QB @ 4" option since Day 1. Love Matt and very intrigued by the idea of adding Pitts, but if he's available, it's a no-brainer to me. Fields has all the tools to be an elite QB at the next level and to give him the ability to learn from Matt Ryan would set him up for immediate success when he does get the nod. 

Now if Fields is gone then I'm locked in on 2 guys. The first is obviously Kyle Pitts. He's got the physical talent that has rarely been seen coming out of the draft. Adding him gives us potentially 3 guys that require additional coverage help to prevent from doing major damage vs 1 on 1 cover. Unless we get a substantial package, his upside is just too massive to pass up.

The other guy I'd be locked in on is Patrick Surtain. Now obviously this would be in a trade back, so we'd be adding at least a 2nd round pick to our war chest. And adding Surtain with Terrell gives a real possibility of fielding a much improved coverage unit on the outside, which was our biggest weakness. We'd have a young, fast and physical CB tandem in a division with elite WRs. Couple that with the ability to double dip in the 2nd and possibly more depending on the trade down deal, it's a very appealing. But let me be clear, whatever deal we'd take in this scenario would be geared at remaining high enough to draft Surtain. Outside of Fields and Pitts, he's the best impact for our team this year and moving forward...

I like it!

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what I don't want is to trade out of the Top 10 and end up w/ some guy who we barely like and feels more like a 50/50 pick like a Vic Beasley / Kwity Payne type of passrusher.   Terry Fontenot's inaugral pick - whether at #4 or at #10 - needs to be a HIT.    Cannot start your regime on a missing the inaugural draft pick.

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