Where Does This HC Search Lead for Success?

Fan beliefs:

· Mr. Blank seems hell bent on a "veteran head coach hire". Presumably his leading preference is Bill Belichick.

· Rich McKay ‘appears’ to be against the move as Bill Belichick is demanding more control than McKay is willing to concede, and there are rumors of bad blood between the two key figures from the past.

· This debacle has led to a serious delay in the hire and may have chilled motivations for Belichick. Will he begin to look elsewhere? Have other teams begun to express interest in BB?

· As the process has unfolded, the Falcons’ HC search has now set an NFL record with 14 or more candidates being considered and several receiving two interviews. On top of that, Jim Harbaugh just accepted the HC position for the LA Chargers.

· We are all asking what next?

Considering that Rich McKay has probably been Mr. Blank’s most trusted confidant during AB’s tenure as the team owner, we all understand the dilemma for AB considering his loyalty to Rich McKay. But given that this HC hire may well be AB’s last big move prior to his inevitable retirement, he needs to make the decision that is best for himself, the team, and the fans. No one wants to live their golden years with major regrets.

As we review updated reports, it would appear that some never-head coach experienced candidates have received very warm receptions from the Falcons brass, notably Bobby Slowik and Mike MacDonald. Who knows, maybe McKay can keep his job and make AB happy.

In the end, if AB is convinced that BB is the "right" choice for almost all concerned, he needs to make that happen. Rooney guidelines have been met. If it is that truly important to AB, why would a loyal subordinate like McKay stand in the way of Mr. Blank’s happiness? I believe Rich is a good man and highly respected. I know his sister and family well and he is loved by all. I find it difficult to believe that Rich McKay would not concede to his boss’s desire. I actually believe that McKay would step aside if he thought BB was Mr. Blank’s favorite and only choice.

So, that’s why they’re crossing all T’s and dotting the I’s. No matter the outcome, all of these loyal compatriots (no pun intended) will make a final decision that they can all live with.

· Hire the HC that makes the owner happy… a veteran HC. Belichick, Harbaugh (the fan’s top choice, but now impossible), or Raheem Morris. I don’t think that Weaver fits the billing of HC. McCarthy’s belligerent attitude toward his players as a HC makes him a no-go IMHO.

· Sign a free agent or trade for a veteran QB to accelerate Mr. Blank’s quest for a Super Bowl win sooner rather than later. Cousins (F/A) or Fields (Trade) would make the most sense. Incidentally, Cousins has stated publicly that he would "be honored to play for the GOAT (Belichick) in Atlanta where he has family ties".

· I would expect them to retain Ridder as a QB2, but with his propensity for turnovers, that is even in doubt. They might consider signing Cam Newton as QB2 if the HC is the GOAT. Cam has expressed publicly that he’d return to play for Belichick (per Bleacher Report, JAN 23, 2024) in Atlanta where he currently lives with his family. Cam would be helpful if they were developing a new QB like Daniels, Williams, or Nix (the three best scheme fits in this draft) OR a developmental late rounder like Jordan Travis. Who fits the scheme. 2025 will also offer about a half dozen superb fits for the ATL. If they pass on a QB in this draft, they will have some strong options in 2025 to learn from Cousins and whomever.

Signing the best available free agent QB (Kirk Cousins) would be smart and accelerate the Falcons’ ascension IMO. He is the 9th ranked QB for 2023 (per; 7th ranked passer. Cousins is considered an even-keeled leader, very popular in the locker room, and has a strong football-IQ and emotional intelligence. One surprising trait is a lack of personal ego. He is certainly not a prima donna. If they sign him, priority #1 is complete.

Next… they build out the roster with emphasis on a few holes.

Starting Needs: EDGE/OLB, CB2, WR2, NT/DT1, and LS.

Depth Needs: QB2, NCB/STAR (CB3), iOL depth, RB3, and FB. Resign OT Norton.

Let’s assume they sign a F/A LS and FB.

In dozens of MOCKs they suggest there’s about an 80% probability that 3 QB’s will go in the first 8 picks (including the Falcons). So, if our QB1 issue is solved with a Cousins signing, a "trade down" for additional assets is a worthy consideration should they wish to do so. In mocks there have been plenty of teams that move up to #8 for a QB, OT, CB, or WR depending upon how the chips fall. I saw very few that had teams moving up for EDGE players. So, if the Falcons trade back, they are likely to land a starting EDGE. I also believe that Carter’s time is likely to be over in the ATL.

NOTE: We still do not know whether ATL picks up a 3rd or 2nd rounder from JAX for Ridley, since he has yet to re-sign with the Jags. Let’s assume the 3rd as a worst-case scenario (#96).

MOCK 3.0 --- JAX trades #17 + #48 + #116 + 2025 3rd to the Falcons for #8 + #145. Ridley hitting F/A means JAX sends #96 to the Falcons. FYI – Following the draft trade, Jacksonville drafted WR Malik Nabers @ #8.

1P17 - EDGE/DE Jared Verse (FSU 6’4" / 260) – Sack artist. Feldman Freak 4.59 / 21mph

2P43 - WR2 Adonai Mitchell (TX 6’4" / 196) – Strong X/Z receiver w/ deep speed

2P48 - CB2 Quinton Mitchell (Toledo 6’0" / 196) – Outside CB; QBR 44.3 targeted

3P74 - NCB/S Javon Bullard (UGA 5’11" / 195) – Versatile DB; elite cover; QBR 36.6

3P96 - NT/DT5 Maason Smith (LSU 6’6" / 315) – 4.80 Feldman Freak Comp: J. Carter

4P109 - iOL Sedric Van Pran (UGA 6’4" / 310) – starter-capable OC; OG depth in ZBS

4P116 – SS/OLB James Williams (MIA 6’4" / 224) – another versatile DB for nickel/dime

5P145 - ILB Junior Colson (MICH 6’2" / 235) – great depth for Elliss & Landman

6P189 – OT Christian Jones (TX 6’6" / 321) – excellent value at LT and RT.

6P201 – RB3 Blake Watson (MEM 5’9" / 195) – instinctive, electrifying runner & receiver

7P244 – TE Theo Johnson (PSU 6’6" / 260) – prototypical w/ high upside and good hands.

DRAFT: This draft presents 5 new starters replacing CB’s Okudah, Hughes; EDGE Carter; WR2 Hollins; and their rotational NTs.

Your thoughts?

<em>This FanPost was written by one of The Falcoholic's talented readers. It does not necessarily reflect the views of The Falcoholic.</em>