The Falcons were parked at the fourth or fifth pick last week, depending on your particular reading of the team’s strength of schedule. After a win over the Cardinals that was impressive for its sheer one-sidedness, the Falcons have moved back a little bit, just outside the top five.
There are two games left and this will be in flux, of course, but a top ten draft pick would be excellent for Atlanta’s chances of landing an elite player, and they’re not exactly dead in the hunt for the top five with the Jaguars and 49ers at least playing some game football in recent weeks.
The #6 pick, if the Falcons were to happen to stay there, would likely yield a quality defensive lineman. The teams ahead of Atlanta are curiously not all that quarterback-needy—the 49ers have Jimmy G when he mends, the Jets will be entering Sam Darnold’s second season, the Cardinals will hang on to Josh Rosen and I don’t think Gruden’s going to move on from Derek Carr just yet—and thus Atlanta’s unlikely to get the top pass rusher on their board. Assuming that they want one, of course.
The Falcons have actually ginned up a pass rush in recent weeks, but can’t honestly move ahead with their current group and expect great results next year, so it remains a top priority whether it’s coming from the edge or the interior. You could also snag an offensive lineman, but I’m not sure the team is ready to do that just yet, with many months to illuminate their intentions.
So take heart, the Falcons are still in the hunt for a top pick, and they saved some dignity today, whatever that may be worth to you.