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Examining The QB Solution

First of all, great responses from the lot of you. If I can get this many insightful responses from a simple question like that, then this is going to become a semi-regular feature.

But I'm not here today to suck up to my readers (maybe tomorrow). Instead, let's take a look at the quarterback situation based on your input. As I saw it, there were essentially two selections from you guys. I'll start with Blue Falcon, who provided the lone voice of true dissent by arguing that we should keep all of our quarterbacks. It should be noted that I didn't include Shockley because I wasn't initially sure when he would return/if the team would be interested in keeping him. For the purpose of this exercise, let's unrealistically assume the team keeps all four until camp breaks.

Essentially, Blue Falcon is arguing that this is a potentially weak quarterback class. Instead of taking that risk, he advocates taking a shot at vaunted offensive weapon Darren McFadden. That would leave the team with three to four mediocre options at quarterback and two home run hitters at running back. As he says, the situation would be similar to this season's Minnesota Vikings, who survived putrid QB play to put together a solid season.

I don't reject this idea out of hand. The Falcons would have to greatly fortify the O-line and strengthen the entire defense for this to be a realistic option, however. McFadden is an absolutely dynamic player. I'm just concerned that the Falcons would take him to the detriment of an offensive lineman or other position Dimitroff might really need to fill. I'm still not certain that the Falcons couldn't pick up a free agent to go with Norwood and Snelling and be alright, but I think it depends greatly on whether the team is looking to rebuild slowly or swing for the fences next season.

As the aptly named Voice of Reason notes, the Falcons will have to watch what Miami does with that #1 pick. If the Cowboys are really desperate to get McFadden, they could package together their two first round picks this year and a grab bag of picks the next year or two and move ahead of us. That might leave Matt Ryan, whom Voice is advocating for, or it might leave Woodson and Brohm. If McFadden disappears and one or two of the top QBs are gone, the Falcons ought to seriously consider moving down.

That brings us to position #4, which was advocated by pretty much everyone else. Keeping some combination of DJ Shock, Joey Joe Joe, Leftwich and Rojohombre and drafting a groomable QB in the middle rounds is, in my not-so-humble opinion, the way to go here. If he turns out to be a bust, the Falcons have only invested a mid-round pick and can simply go fishing in free agency or the next draft. In the meantime, they hold on to the two guys who have the best chance of having some real success with the team. It also leaves the Falcons in the excellent position of being able to draft for arguably more pressing needs in the first couple rounds.

In an ideal world, the Falcons would only draft QB in the first round if they absolutely feel the guy they're looking at is a dealbreaker. Otherwise, they'd be smart to fix this team's biggest weakness (its offensive line) and look for bargains later on. If McFadden seems like too attractive an option in the top of the first, I'll certainly live with it. I just feel like our QB of the future will be able to look much better if he has a better team around him.