The Falcons went entered the 2020 season with high expectations and a Head Coach and General Manager on the hot seat. As a result of the team’s 0-5 start, which included embarrassing second-half collapses against Dallas and Chicago, along with consecutive 7-9 seasons in 2018 and 2019, Dan Quinn and Thomas Dimitroff were fired. The team finished 4-7 under interim head coach Raheem Morris, en route to a 4-12 record. Yes. I do understand that this team has holes to fill, but a team that spends as much as Atlanta should not have three straight losing seasons. Some will believe that this is a playoff-caliber roster and that a new coaching staff, along with a couple of moves in the offseason, can put this team back into the playoffs. Others will think that the roster needs to be gutted from top to bottom, starting with stars and fan-favorites Matt Ryan and Julio Jones. Here are the realistic options for the upcoming offseason, the most important one the Falcons have had in years
First Option: they can trade back and use their first-round pick on a need such as D-line, guard, or corner. This would likely mean picking Alabama CB Patrick Sustain or Miami DE Gregory Rousseau in the first round.
Second Option: they can stay at four and draft Peini Sewell, the best O-lineman prospect the NFL has seen in years. He would be a good fit alongside Jake Matthews at tackle, providing a boost this O-line desperately needs.
Third Option: with the clock ticking on Matt Ryan, they can get bold and draft their QB of the future, whether it be Justin Fields or Zach Wilson. This would allow the Falcons to prepare for the team’s future without Matt Ryan, along with providing a cheap, quality backup on a rookie contract.
The smartest thing to do, considering the state of the roster, would be to remain at number four and draft Sewell in the first and a running back, whether it be Harris, Etienne, Sermon, or Hubbard, in the second. As much as I like the quarterback prospects available, this team has too many holes to fill, especially on the defense. The Falcons freed up 10 million in cap space with the release of Safety and team captain Ricardo Allen. As a result, they can use that money to sign a cornerback to play alongside promising second-year corner AJ Terrell and provide depth at key positions on the team. I do believe that Arthur Smith can get at least two more good years left with Matt Ryan and Julio Jones before moving on, and the Falcons should make sure they build the best team possible to set them up for life during and after these two.