Shifting from No. 4 might be the best way for the Falcons to round out their roster, but what if they get lucky at a franchise quarterback down the road? Could a quarterback like Justin Fields or Trey Lance fall to No. 9 overall after a trade with the Broncos? The Falcons would likely run to the podium for one of these two if they became available after letting the Broncos have their pick.

In this scenario, we have used The Draft Network’s simulated draft machine. After a downside, we were fortunate to find a franchise quarterback ranked 9th overall. And just like the Falcons would in real life, we raced to the podium for a quarterback who seemed to slip for no real reason.

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Trade details: The Falcons send the No. 4 overall pick to the Broncos for their No. 9 pick, second-round pick (No. 40), fourth-round pick (No. 114 overall) and 2022 first-round pick.


After the first four quarterbacks left the board, Cincinnati, Miami, Detroit and Carolina ignored the quarterback position with their primary quarterbacks already settled. Then Justin Fields fell to the Falcons at No. 9 overall, and the team runs to the podium for him. Fields would be the long-term solution to the Falcons’ starting quarterback position.

Whether Matt Ryan has a year, two or three years left in Atlanta is up for debate. Fields wouldn’t change that question. Ryan is in charge of his destiny based on his game. Fields gets the benefit of sitting behind a future Hall of Fame fringe quarterback. He also comes home and plays right down the street from where he grew up in Kennesaw, Georgia.

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The Falcons have some corner talent right now in AJ Terrell, Isaiah Oliver and Kendall Sheffield. They also came out and signed Fabian Moreau to compete for a starting role in the new defense. Atlanta could still use a real starter to force Sheffield and Moreau into real depth roles. That’s where Eric Stokes and his ridiculous athleticism come in.

Stokes is one of the fastest cornerbacks in the draft and has a crazy change of direction and speed of recovery. His coverage ability is still a bit crude, but he’s better at men’s coverage and new coordinator Dean Pees thrives on more male-oriented cornerbacks. The Falcons could start Terrell and Stokes out while Oliver plays a bigger nickel to round out the corner group.

(AP Photo / Gerry Broome)

The Falcons signed Mike Davis to compete for the starting running back spot in 2021. But running back is a tough position. It’s rare for boys to be effective after age 26, but Davis might have had his best season at age 29. That said, with a GM committed to the best available player philosophy, it would be hard to see them. pass Javonte Williams here.

Williams fits perfectly with the zone blocking system that Arthur Smith implements. He’s a one-cut, style runner who can destroy a defense with his vision, balance, and complete play. He’s a competent blocker from day one in pass protection. However, his strength comes from his ability to do damage by running the ball and creating yards into space after the catch.

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In the third round, the Falcons got lucky again in this simulation with Richie Grant falling to them. He would instantly start as a free safety for the Falcons and fit in perfectly with the new defense. Grant is a free safety who makes plays the Falcons really didn’t have when they started Damontae Kazee and Ricardo Allen for the past six seasons.

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When it comes to the Falcons’ offensive line, the first thought is that the loss of James Carpenter as left guard would leave a huge hole. And that thinking is somewhat correct, but Matt Gono’s renewal could address the title role in the short term. However, recruiting a guy like Ben Cleveland might be better in the long run than Gono, once he catches up.

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The Falcons need a long-term nose tackle that is well suited to Dean Pees’ new scheme. McNeal is a true nose tackle who has good agility and strength for a talented pass rusher and a penetrating runner in the scheme. He handles doubles well and would fit like a nose for a technique in sets of 3-4 and nickel.

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The Falcons could use some pass rushers. Dante Fowler wasn’t very good during his first year with the Falcons and adding a true athlete who could attack the quarterback should be a high priority. Daelin Hayes had exceptional athletic testing in his professional day, but his production at Notre Dame was not what anyone would expect from a high-round pick.

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The Falcons take a wheel in a highly productive pass rusher from Division I-FCS. Smith was very productive in 2019 as a junior for Northern Iowa with 14 sacks and five forced fumbles. His potential in the NFL is exceptional with the combination of his raw athleticism and build. Smith would have to learn over the years, but the Falcons’ scheme might be his best option.

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Atlanta has a ton of smaller, faster wide receivers, but they don’t have a taller, faster wide receiver that can destroy the defense at the top. Josh Imatorbhebhe is a 6’2 “, 220-pound wide receiver with exceptional speed and a 46-1 / 2” vertical. He has the athleticism of a basketball player who just plays wide receiver. His problems stem from a lack of refinement in his game.

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The Falcons need multiple safeties, but Damar Hamlin’s pick here would be deeper than anything else. Hamlin played cornerback and safety for the Pittsburgh Panthers and could slide as deep into the slot or safely free easily. He also has the gruff nature that will help him play special teams effectively and will be a real shock to the Falcons early on.

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Atlanta needs depth at offensive tackle if they see Matt Gono as a starting left guard this season. Foster Sarell fits well into the zone scheme and could compete for the offensive swing tackle role with Willie Beavers and Gono if the Falcons believe Gono isn’t the left guard type. Sarell has good length and speed for the role.

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In the end, the trade and luck to put Justin Fields at No. 9 paid off. Passing on the Trey Lance opportunity and landing Fields also resulted in a 2022 first-round pick, Javonte Williams to compete for a starting running back spot and a nose tackle that he could learn from Tyeler Davison and eventually take over the base packages. .

This trade puts the premium on allowing the Broncos to get the quarterback they wanted. It also gives the Falcons a chance to land a more successful quarterback in Atlanta and the perfect player for Matt Ryan to pass the torch to. Between the quarterback trades Detroit and Denver made and the franchise quarterbacks Miami and Cincinnati already have, it may not be as unrealistic as it sounds.