Suddenly, we’re all draft pick enthusiasts. The Atlanta Falcons capped off a sting of inept performances with a 26-16 loss to the Ravens at home, and that put them at 4-8 and absolutely dead in the water for the NFC playoff hunt, if you were one of the few fans or even players who thought Atlanta might hang on.
With the season dead and nothing left but to play out the string, the Falcons have a different sort of incentive in mind, one they’re likely to stay on track for at their current level of performance. That incentive, of course, is an excellent draft position.
The same Falcons who were Super Bowl favorites before injuries to Deion Jones (who is back!), Andy Levitre, Keanu Neal, Ricardo Allen, Brandon Fusco, and Devonta Freeman are not in line for a top five draft pick. As of this evening, Atlanta is at #6, which would give them a chance for a truly elite talent, and would represent their best draft choice in a long, long while. It’s worth wondering what this team could do with the #6 overall pick and one of the top picks in the second round, I think, given what they’re done with lesser selections who aren’t pass rushers or LSU cornerbacks.
The Falcons are not going to reinvent the wheel, but they desperately need real help in the trenches on both sides of the ball, as the offensive line is failing miserably and the defensive line can’t get any sort of consistent pressure on offenses. With Dan Quinn and Thomas Dimitroff evidently going nowhere, there are unlikely to be major shifts to the way the team does business, but they’re going to need to start hitting on pass rushers and stop shying away from drafting guards at some point very soon. If you can get a top ten pick, that should be very much on the table.
Who would you want the Falcons to take at #6?