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Could 2012 Be The Year When The Falcons Draft A Backup Quarterback?

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The Atlanta Falcons have long put off drafting a true backup quarterback for Matt Ryan. If you count John Parker Wilson, you may be disappointed by the rest of this post.

This is a draft class with huge names at the top and a lot of intriguing prospects that will go late, with very little in the middle. Because the Falcons were never going to spend a second or third round pick on a quarterback to begin with, this draft should give them a shot at a solid developmental prospect in the fifth round and beyond. Assuming, of course, that Thomas Dimitroff & Co. are interested.

There are two names in particular that stand out: Ryan Lindley and Nick Foles. Lindley is perhaps the more interesting case, mostly thanks to Greg Cosell and his high opinion of the kid's ability to make "NFL throws." In other words, Lindley has a live arm. An athletic quarterback with a quality arm and considerable upside would make a nice backup to Ryan, and while Lindley needs polish, he could be an option in the fifth or sixth round for the team.

Another potentially quality option is Foles, though he comes with considerable question marks. Foles was a great quarterback in Arizona's shotgun-heavy offense, but he's got some Tebowism in his motion and isn't the natural passer Lindley is. He'd be an immediate third-stringer who would have a chance to work out some of his mechnical kinks. I like his football intelligence and ability.

I do think the Falcons will be looking for a new long-term backup for Ryan, one that will offer defenses a slightly different look than their starter should he be called upon. My best guess is either Lindley or Foles, but I'd like to hear yours.

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