Falcons GM, HC Split On Drafting QB?

Earlier this morning, we heard that the Falcons were open to moving down from the fourth overall pick. Now, we have some more details on what’s happening inside the building.

Atlanta’s new GM Terry Fontenot apparently favors drafting a quarterback, while new head coach Arthur Smith does not, Chris Mortensen of ESPN reported recently, via Evan Birchfield of The Falcoholic. “What I’m hearing is that [Terry] Fontenot is more focused on quarterback, and Arthur Smith believes that Matt Ryan does have two or more years left,” Mortensen said.

While that big split between a GM and head coach in their first year together might not be ideal, it doesn’t sound like the situation has turned toxic or anything. The fact that Atlanta is open to moving the pick would seem to indicate that Smith’s view might be winning out.

He has no real medical history, he hasn’t missed many games in his career and there hasn’t been a big drop off in his play,” Mortensen said of Smith’s view of Ryan. Interestingly, Mortensen also had some info on who the Falcons might pick if Fontenot gets his way.

One thing I do hear though is that if they do go quarterback at No. 4, then Trey Lance is probably the guy,” he said. It sounds like there’s a real possibility that Trevor Lawrence, Zach Wilson, Mac Jones, and Lance go 1-4. Ryan, 36 next month, is signed through the 2023 season.

 Running it back for at least one more cycle with Ryan and Julio Jones, now 32, still seems like the most likely scenario. This will be one of the most interesting dynamics to watch in the lead up to the draft.
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18 comments on “Falcons GM, HC Split On Drafting QB?

  1. afsooner02

    You have your pick of the litter of any offensive weapon…hell, any non quarterback, and you’re gonna take the 4th QB off the board?

    Trade down to someone else to draft the future bust. (Den/NE)

    • arty!

      I see people having the Falcons pick Pitts. I think that would liven up the passing game. Looks like a stud.

    • Especially when Ryan is consistently great. QB is pretty much the only position they don’t need. Drafting a QB would make no sense unless Ryan is planning on retiring at the end of the season.

      • arty!

        I agree with you, Matt is a fine QB. Needed a new direction w/ the coaching staff, but he’ll be chucking the ball for 3 more years.

  2. balloonknots

    In two years Atlanta could forking out several first round picks to go get a new Qb. They better trade back and stock pile of giving up this golden opportunity.

  3. Bill Jasper

    Pick one somewhere in the third round that can take his time and learn without being pressured to play. Trading Ryan right now makes no sense unless you’re admitting you are going into a full blown rebuild and won’t be competitive for a few seasons.

  4. MiPatrick

    It makes too much sense for the Falcons not to take a QB and move on in 2022 by trading Ryan for more assets. The dead cap hit is crazy but hey you kept borrowing on the cap in past years time has come to pay up and move on.

    A trade next year gives you a 8.1 M cap savings next year will be lean for QB’s which will increase Ryans trade value and if he stays healthy and produces will be a good option for a QB needy team thats ready to win.

    Remember the only number that counts is Ryan is 36.

  5. paly2124

    If the falcons can’t win with Matt Ryan and Julio Jones they will never win with lance or fields.

  6. MileHighFan

    You don’t fix a four win team by taking a flyer on one of the QBs with obvious weaknesses. You do it by letting the other guy take that chance – while you use the picks he gave you to move up to rebuild the core of your team.

  7. easyw

    I’ll just point out that Aaron Rodgers is not on the best of terms with his franchise at the moment.

    As a Saints fan, the talent on the Falcons is readily apparent. Julio, Ridley, a decent o line, and KYLE PITTS would be extremely attractive to a QB like Aaron Rodgers in the twilight of his career looking to compete for championships.

    Again, this is just one scenario, but a QB would be a shortsighted move unless you are committed to taking a hometown kid in Justin Fields rather than a QB that needs seasoning like Trey Lance. Either young QB being picked at 4 will likely result in the repeated transgression of wasting an extremely talented wide receiver at the end of his career…..CC: Roddy White.

  8. crosseyedlemon

    Personally, I don’t like the idea of a GM using a top 5 pick on a QB who will essentially be a clipboard holder for a couple of seasons. That approach can work of course but I’d prefer drafting a prospect who can make an immediate impact.

  9. mumsy01

    Teams are taking into account getting rookie salary cap starting QB for 4-5 years, dumping the veteran, and using the $30 million to improve around the rookie. That’s one of the reasons Jets dumped Darnold.

  10. UGA_Steve

    When the Falcons extended Ryan they signaled they just weren’t ready to rebuild. That would make drafting a questionable QB really silly when they have FAR bigger needs both now and likely in the future. There are more busts at QB than any other position. ANY.

    Draft the best player and only slide a spot or two if you can truly fill a big need. To me, Pitts, one of the top two OL, Surtain or any of the top WR’s make more sense than Fields or Lance. If I had to take a QB it would be Jones if he isn’t gone as he can play the type of QB that the new regime wants (run heavy with play action passing, not RPO).

    I would not be against the Falcons trading down, but there are some really good players available at 4, just not Fields or Lance. Drafting Fields or Lance just ensures the Falcons cannot get any better for two years as they wasted picks on bench players while riding out the Ryan contract .. which isn’t going anywhere for the next two years.

  11. tn_volsfan1982

    Why not a RB from Alabama? Why would any team with a below average run game not pick Harris?

  12. Sid Bream Speed Demon

    Rd1: trade down for picks
    Rd1: draft Michah Parsons
    Rd2: take best RB/TE/WR available, enjoy extra picks

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