The Atlanta Falcons are sitting in a good position as the NFL draft approaches. It’s rumored that multiple teams are inquiring them about a possible trade. This could be a solid move for this franchise to help generate more draft picks to build the roster. However, keeping the fourth overall selection makes a lot of sense too.
With Matt Ryan not getting any younger, now may be a great time to find the quarterback of the future. At 35 years old, Ryan likely has two or three years left playing at a relatively high level. Last year, he finished with 4,581 yards, 26 touchdowns, and a 65% completion percentage. He’s also an old-school pocket passer and doesn’t provide a threat in the run game. With Atlanta in a rebuilding process, finding his replacement would be a brilliant move for the Falcons.
Atlanta struggled in protecting Ryan last year, as the team gave up 41 sacks on the year. Some of that could be Ryan’s fault as he’s essentially a statue in the pocket. However, allowing 41 sacks is unacceptable for any franchise. If the Falcons opt to not pick a quarterback, they could very well draft an offensive lineman.
The Falcons need help everywhere. The front office may elect to improve the defensive side of the ball with their first pick of the draft. This would be a surprise selection by the Falcons if they went defense fourth overall, but it could be the best decision the front office makes for this team. With that said, here are three perfect options for Atlanta’s first pick of the NFL draft.
Trey Lance, QB
Going quarterback makes the most sense for Atlanta. With Ryan’s age becoming a factor soon, solidifying their future would be a smart decision. Lance will be turning 21 in May, making him very young. He’ll need some time to adjust to the professional level, and playing a year or two behind Matt Ryan could be exactly what he needs. Lance played 19 career games at North Dakota State, racking up 2,947 yards, 30 touchdowns, and a 65.4% completion percentage.
Lance would give the Falcons something they haven’t had since the days of Michael Vick, a quarterback who can run. Lance is dangerous with his feet and could really help this team in multiple ways in the future. If the Falcons can be patient with Lance, they could be drafting a future superstar in the league.
Penei Sewell, OL
Entering the draft as the top offensive linemen prospect, Penei Sewell aims to become one of the best left tackles in the league. He’s been a dominant force during his time playing for the Oregon Ducks and has been extremely consistent. He opted out of the 2020 season and spent his time preparing for the NFL draft.
Sewell is being recognized as one of the top overall prospects in the drafts. In fact, one could argue he’s a better prospect than any of the quarterbacks in this year’s draft. Taking Sewell would be a smart move by the Falcons’ front office, as it would sure up their offensive line for years to come.
Micah Parsons, LB
Coming out of Penn State, Micah Parsons enters this year’s draft as one of the top defensive players available. Similar to Sewell, Parsons’ opted out of the 2020 season to focus on the draft. However, he dominated during his sophomore year with the Nittany Lions, racking up 109 total tackles, 14 tackles for a loss, five sacks, and four forced fumbles.
Parsons would bring an element to the Falcons defense that has been missing for years. He’s a tackle machine that can help stop the run, but he’s also capable of being a solid pass protector as well. He’s one of the most well-rounded linebackers in the draft and could be exactly what the Falcons need to turn around their weak defense.