“Wouldn’t it be very Falcons if this team lost a whole bunch of games but still finished up like 7-9, ensuring they didn’t get a top ten draft pick?” we all said earlier in the year, not really smiling with our eyes or our mouths. Surprise, surprise, the Falcons are heading for that outcome as we speak.
With their second straight win, this one a 24-10 dismantling of the Panthers that the final score doesn’t really do justice to, the Falcons are at 6-9 with one game to go. That puts them at #10 in the current NFL draft pecking order, just behind the also disappointing Jaguars.
Draft order through 1pm ET games:— Adam Stites (@AdamStites_) December 23, 2018
1. Cardinals (3-11) [.522 SoS]
2. Raiders (3-11) [.559]
3. Jets (4-11) [.506]
4. 49ers (4-10) [.500]
5. Lions (5-10) [.500]
6. Bucs (5-10) [.519]
t7. Giants (5-10) [.523]
t7. Bills (5-10) [.523]
9. Jaguars (5-10) [.549]
10. Falcons (6-9) [.489]
As many are taking pains to point out today now that Atlanta is winning, a top five draft pick isn’t always transformational compared to say, a top 10 or 15 selection. This is not the NBA, after all, and the Falcons aren’t gunning for their next franchise quarterback. And while that’s eminently fair, it’s also true that Atlanta needs an infusion of talent on the lines, and there will be some potentially elite players who could address those needs that will be long gone by the time the Falcons pick at 10 or even later. If you’re not happy about that, it’s hard to blame you.
For better or for worse, though, the Falcons made it clear their evaluations are only going to go so far, and they’re going to try to win their football games and end this season on a (relative) high note. If it does wonders for this team’s self-confidence, gives them something to build on heading into a long offseason, and makes our Sundays a little better, I doubt anyone’s going to complain for very long.
They just better nail that first draft selection, regardless of where they end up.