In Ryan Wilson’s latest mock draft for CBS Sports, the Falcons trade with the Panthers, who hook up their next franchise quarterback and take out Florida superstar tight end Kyle Pitts with the eighth overall pick.
New mock draft of @ryanwilsonCBS
1. QB T. Lawrence (JAX)
2. QB Z. Wilson (NYJ)
3. OL P. Sewell (CIN) *
4. QB J. Fields (CAR) *
5. WR J. Chase (MIA) *
6. OL R. Slater (PHI)
7. WR J. Waddle (DET)
8. TE K. Pitts (ATL) *
9. LB M. Parsons (DEN)
10. QB T. Lance (SF) *
* Through simulated operations pic.twitter.com/gYE9Bilk6n
– CBS Sports HQ (@CBSSportsHQ) February 22, 2021
A move like this makes perfect sense. Given that Matt Ryan is expected to be the starting quarterback for at least this season and probably another after that, it looks like the Falcons could be in the business of going down in the draft and collecting more picks.
As Alex mentioned last week, now that Philadelphia has left Carson Wentz, many believe they could be in the market for another quarterback. Adam Schefter even reported that Jalen Hurts is not guaranteed to be next year’s starter.
– NFL Statistics (@NFL_Stats) February 21, 2021
This is fantastic news for the Falcons. Whoever wants their pick of the litter, when it comes to quarterbacks, will want to get ahead of Philadelphia and should call the Falcons, who might also be in the market for their franchise quarterback.
In this scenario, returning to Carolina will likely give the Falcons a future first-round pick and more. However, what I find most unlikely about this drill is that the Panthers and Falcons would trade with each other. Atlanta is much more likely to reach a deal with another team, one that is not in its division.
Despite that, acquiring a little more draft capital and still landing Kyle Pitts would be a dunk. Pitts is arguably the best skill position player in this draft and would add a completely different wrinkle to Arthur Smith’s offense. This from Alex’s draft profile in Pitts:
Pitts has no potions. It can be aligned on the edge, in the groove, or by hand on the ground. He’s as good of a road runner as any catcher in this draft with a big bang on his break, giving him elite direction-changing skills for a person his size. Pitts is just as good after the catch as he was before, a rare and tremendous threat in the red zone. Excellent for beating the press one-on-one, but also excellent for finding the weak point in zones. The former Gator, like Julio Jones, hits normal 50-50 balls, closer to 60-40 for Pitts.
I wouldn’t be disappointed if the Falcons stuck to the fourth pick and selected Pitts; he has so much talent. Adding him to a pool of skill positions from Julio Jones, Calvin Ridley, Hayden Hurst, and Russell Gage would provide Matt Ryan with perhaps the best weapons of his career, which is saying a lot. Sprinkle some Arthur Smith in there, and the Falcons could finally replicate their 2016 success with Kyle Shanahan.