In 2022, the Atlanta Falcons had the eighth overall pick and grabbed imposing wide receiver Drake London. In 2023, the Atlanta Falcons had the eighth overall pick and grabbed gifted running back Bijan Robinson. In 2024, the Atlanta Falcons have the eighth overall pick again, and now we’re just waiting to see who they take with that selection.
This is going to be a pivotal year for the team, which has to answer the big question of whether Arthur Smith will return in 2024 or not and then turn its attention to re-tooling a roster that once again fell short. It’s readily apparent that this team needs pass rushing help, more imposing defenders up front in general, a capable second wide receiver, and above all, a franchise quarterback. While the Falcons emphasize best player available, it would shock absolutely no one if they took an edge rusher, receiver, of quarterback with the 8th pick, or traded up to ensure they get their quarterback of the future.
All that is a few months away, but the importance of nailing this pick is underscored by the fact that the Falcons have picked this high three years in a row. It’s difficult not to daydream about adding more high-end talent to a roster that already features so many compelling pieces, and a failure to do so will almost certainly lead to the end of Smith’s tenure if he isn’t fired tomorrow, not to mention the potential end for Terry Fontenot and the front office. Arthur Blank is tired of losing and so are fans, and correcting that will certainly involve adding another young talent to the roster.
It’s way too early for me to try to call that pick now—though the mock drafts will come fast and furious, and Kevin Knight will surely have his soon—but I’d be stunned if it’s not a quarterback, assuming the team doesn’t address their significant need there via free agency or trade. Whether the Falcons get that position right or not will define the season ahead, in all likelihood.
For now, though, just know that we’re lining up for a third straight season with the 8th pick and a potential fourth straight top ten pick used on the offense. Eventually, that will all add up to something great, we hope.