The Atlanta Falcons turned in yet another respectable draft and will begin rookie mini-camp this week. It's a single step among many that will help the Falcons launch their bid to repeat as NFC Champions on their way to a Lombardi. It will happen. (At least that's what I keep telling myself!)
Even if the draft picks the Falcons made just over a week ago don't seem important yet, trust me, they are. These are guys that fit Dan Quinn’s mold and he will surely make good use of this infusion of youth and talent. Meanwhile, the franchise didn’t do anything that would constitute a demonstrable step backwards. ESPN released their post-draft power rankings this morning, and guess what? The Falcons still land at number two in their rankings. Rejoice!
No truth to the rumor that the Falcons had a 25-spot lead with a day and a half to go and coughed it up. Too soon? Well, so was the Falcons' slow-down game plan in the second half of the Super Bowl. In all honesty, they should be fine, unless Kyle Shanahan's playcalling was the key to the whole thing.
So ESPN, in particular ESPN's Dan Graziano, has jokes. Jokes that've been repeated ad nauseum since February by anyone with a pulse who overhears you're a Falcons fan. "Oh man, how did they lose that game?" We know, it was epic. We know, they will never live it down. We know, your team is decidedly mediocre but you want to call me out because we came in second place.
I won’t quibble with these rankings. Putting us at number two makes sense. Then again, the notion that a single draft could or should decidedly impact power rankings is a little hard to wrap one’s mind around.