The post-Matt Ryan era has started in Atlanta, and while the organization may have inked Marcus Mariota to a deal, there’s a good chance the organization selects a quarterback in the upcoming draft. League sources expect the Falcons to select a signal-caller with the No. 8 pick in the NFL Draft, according to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports.
Who would the Falcons ultimately select with that pick? Per ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler (on Twitter), the Falcons are a potential landing spot for Liberty quarterback Malik Willis. The reporter notes that most scouts believe Willis is more of a project and won’t be ready to start during his rookie campaign, which would make him an ideal pairing with someone like Mariota.
Of course, with a handful of QB-needy teams ahead of them in the draft (including the Panthers at No. 6, who Fowler also mentions as a suitor for Willis), the Falcons front office can’t put all of their eggs in one basketball in pursuit of the Liberty QB. We heard recently that the team met with Ole Miss alum Matt Corral. North Carolina’s Sam Howell was the third QB to earn a top-3o visit with the Falcons.
After losing out on Deshaun Watson and trading away Ryan, the Falcons signed Mariota to a two-year contract. The former Titan and Raider is in line to start for the first time since 2019, but he would likely provide a short-term solution at the position at best. Mariota went 2-4 during his six-game stint as Tennessee’s starter in ’19, although he did toss seven touchdowns vs. only two interceptions.