Falcons Wire staff predicts draft Day 1: QB or not QB?

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Matt Urben, Scott Carasik and Cam Marino
·4 min read
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We are 24 hours away from the start of the 2021 NFL draft, but very few analysts seem to agree on what the Atlanta Falcons will do at pick No. 4. That’s been the case with our writing staff here at Falcons Wire, and it’s reflected in our first-round predictions. Will it be Kyle Pitts, Justin Fields, Trey Lance, Ja’Marr Chase or will the team trade down?

Check out our writing staff’s predictions for Thursday night.

Deen Worley: QB Justin fields - Ohio State

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Analysis: I come to this conclusion for a couple of reasons. It comes down to deciding between getting a quarterback now and building the pieces around him later or building the foundation first and then bringing in a future franchise quarterback. I'm opting for the former here. Additionally, the rumors of the Falcons listening to trade offers for Julio Jones could signal the team's desire to prepare for the future as opposed to right now. Finally, Fields, who is much more pro-ready than Trey Lance, allows for Arthur Smith to fully exercise his offense ran in Tennessee, and then some. Ryan Tannehill had 21 designed QB runs and totaled 80 yards. Matt Ryan had -12 yards on 13 designed QB runs. -- Deen Worley (Follow @Deen_NFL on Twitter)

Cam Marino: QB Trey Lance - North Dakota State

(AP Photo/Sam Hodde)

Analysis: The Falcons pick feels like more of a mystery the closer we get to the draft. I think it’s down to Justin Fields, Kyle Pitts and Trey Lance. Internally, I struggle to believe that the team would pass on Lance if he's staring them in the face at pick No. 4. Atlanta has shown real interest in Lance, attending both of his pro days. It's no secret that Arthur Smith is infatuated with Pitts, and while I wouldn't be surprised if the Florida tight end up being the pick, I strongly believe the Falcons go QB. If Trey Lance is gone at pick 4, the likelihood of the Falcons selecting Pitts skyrockets. It seems like a bad bet to select a playmaker with the mindset that you’ll find a QB next year — I don’t think that’s how successful NFL teams operate. Not that Matt Ryan is bad by any means, but there are certainly question marks on his longevity. Obviously I'm not an NFL general manger and this is my opinion, but you can't pass on the chance to SOLIDIFY football's most important position when it’s staring you in the face in the top five — and that’s Trey Lance for me. -- Cam Marino (Follow @MarinoNFL on Twitter)

Scott Carasik: QB Justin Fields - Ohio State

.Kyle Robertson/Columbus Dispatch

Analysis: The Falcons are a confusing team to try and predict because there's a new GM and completely revamped coaching staff. But they have three main options. I think this staff is smoke-screening everyone though. The best player in the draft not named Trevor Lawrence is easily Justin Fields. If the Falcons are smart, and I suspect this staff is, they will select Fields. Bringing in the talented Ohio State quarterback would mean this is the last hurrah for veteran Matt Ryan more than likely. But Fields is the right long-term move and would allow for a seamless transition to the next era of Atlanta Falcons football. -- Scott Carasik (Follow @CarasikS on Twitter)

Matt Urben: Falcons trade down, take CB Caleb Farley - VT

. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

Analysis: I fully intended to write Kyle Pitts here, and if Atlanta stays at No. 4, that is who I expect the team to pick. After Wednesday's pre-draft press conference, my gut says the Falcons will trade back -- just not very far. Denver, despite acquiring Teddy Bridgewater, swaps first-rounders with Atlanta and the Falcons go on to take Virginia Tech CB Caleb Farley at pick No. 9. With rumors that the Saints are considering moving up for Farley, what a great way for Fontenot to maximize draft capital and steal the Falcons' biggest rival's top target. A potential day-one starter at a position of need, Farley could play opposite A.J. Terrell at outside corner, giving Atlanta a solid foundation in the secondary to build around for years to come. It would also save the team some cap space by moving down five spots. -- Matt Urben (Follow @MattUrben on Twitter)

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