When Terry Fontenot accepted the general manager position for the Falcons, he mentioned that his philosophy for the draft would be to take the best player available, regardless of position. He was quite explicit about it, so whether he would take a QB of the future with that 4th pick or simply pick the best player as he saw it was really the question.
After so many mock drafts and so many draft discussions, we finally got to see how Fontenot would execute with the 4th overall pick of the 2021 NFL Draft. We saw Fontenot go with arguably the most dynamic offensive player in the draft in Kyle Pitts. It’s quite obvious that the Falcons front office did their due diligence in regards to all top prospects, but Pitts proved to be too good of a prospect to pass up.
So what does this mean for the rest of the draft? As it currently stands, the Falcons have needs at RB, iOL, EDGE, CB and Safety. That being stated, I expect Fontenot to stay on task with his best player available approach. That means needs may be unaddressed at the end of this draft, leaving Atlanta to pave cap space via a Grady Jarrett extension or other move that will free up dollars to pay affordable free agents to fill key roles. Again, though, Fontenot showed with the Pitts selection that he is not shy on betting on talent above all else.
Now obviously, the hope is that their needs and their board will align well in days 2 and 3 of the draft, but it’s also reasonable to expect that some possible trades will occur to either get players that they covet or acquire more picks. Atlanta is currently sitting pretty with plenty of potential talent available heading into the second day of the draft, and may well want to explore a small drop to secure more selections while still snagging a player they believe can start right away.
Either way, the first pick of the Fontenot regime was quite a notable one, and it makes the rest of the draft a must watch to see how the 2021 draft class ultimately shakes out. If they continue to be on the best player available philosophy, there will be more surprises ahead.