The 2013 Falcons entered the year with playoff aspirations, at minimum. They end Week 12 tied for the worst record in the NFL, and with a real chance to grab the first pick in the 2014 NFL draft.
It's deeply unfortunate that we're here today. I think even the most pessimistic predictions about this season would have come in somewhere around six wins, not (a possible) two or three. The Falcons have failed spectacularly throughout the season, and so they're likely to get whatever lineman they want to choose from.
As of today, the Falcons are tied for the first overall pick, according to my unofficial study. The Jaguars and Texans are both 2-9 at this point, and while strength of schedule will shake out as it shakes out, there's a legitimate chance the Falcons end up with the first overall pick. This is the greatest fall from grace we've since the '99 Falcons, and look at that, I'm drinking again. For those wondering, Jacksonville's strength of schedule means they would currently pick first, but they're also winning games right now.
While the record is grim and the play has been terrible, the one upside is that draft pick. If the Falcons strike oil on a top five pick, they could revitalize a shaky defense or stabilize a shaky offensive line. Miss and we may be talking about a new braintrust in Atlanta. There's pressure, of course, but also a mighty opportunity if everything continues the way it's going. Even if the Vikings and Jaguars finish ahead of the Falcons, they're very likely to use their picks on quarterbacks.
Which pick do you think the Falcons will end up with?