It’s been a rough offseason for the Atlanta Falcons. After making a bold—some would say, foolish—play for Deshaun Watson, the Falcons struck out and found themselves in a similar situation to the Detroit Lions last year. They had their legacy franchise quarterback that wanted out—albeit for a very different reason than Matthew Stafford did for Detroit.
Unfortunately for the Falcons, they didn’t score anywhere near the haul that the Lions got for Stafford. Atlanta netted just a third-round pick, far short of the couple firsts and more the Lions got.
Atlanta added Marcus Mariota to help bridge the gap between Ryan and the next era of Falcons football. So, is this the spot where the Falcons add their successor to Ryan, or do they try and fix one of the many other needs?
For our Community Mock Draft, the general manager for the Falcons is commenter kevough3. But before we get into their pick, here’s a look at the board.
POD Community Mock Draft picks so far:
- Jacksonville Jaguars: Aidan Hutchinson, EDGE, Michigan
- Detroit Lions: Travon Walker, EDGE, Georgia
- Houston Texans: Kayvon Thibodeaux, EDGE, Oregon
- New York Jets: Kyle Hamilton, S, Notre Dame
- New York Giants: Evan Neal, OT, Alabama
- Carolina Panthers: Ikem Ekwonu, OT, NC State
- New York Giants: Ahmad Gardner, CB, Cincinnati
With the eighth pick in the POD Community Mock, the Atlanta Falcons have chosen Kenny Pickett, the quarterback from Pittsburgh.
Unfortunately, kevough3 pulled a Minnesota Vikings and did not submit his explanation on time. So, instead, here are Erik’s thoughts on the pick.
I do agree kevough3’s selection of a quarterback here, but I’m not sure I agree with the signal-caller he picked.
Mariota is likely going to get a shot to prove himself this year and is expected to be the starter, which should give the Falcons plenty of time to groom a quarterback of the future. And if that’s the case, I’d make a move to go after the highest upside quarterback in this class and that is Liberty's Malik Willis.
Not only are they in a good spot to allow Willis time to develop, but if we are to glean anything from their acquisition of Mariota, and coach Arthur Smith’s history with mobile quarterbacks, Willis is a much better stylistic fit and could be his next Ryan Tannehill.
Other options for the Falcons include Florida State edge Jermaine Johnson or any of the top wide receivers, as that position group is suddenly thin with Russell Gage in Tampa Bay and Calvin Ridley suspended for the year. If the Falcons aren’t in love with any of the top quarterbacks in this class, this seems like a prime opportunity to get the top receiver that suits them best—USC’s Drake London, maybe?
You can follow along with every pick + grades in our Community Mock Draft tracker.
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