The first three picks of the 2021 NFL Draft are all expected to be quarterbacks, and there could be a mad dash inside the top 10 or even the top five for the remaining first-round signal-callers. The Atlanta Falcons at No. 4 overall are an interesting team to watch, as they have a veteran quarterback in Matt Ryan, but also have a new general manager and head coach. Is it possible they could take their new franchise quarterback at No. 4 overall later this month? Reports suggest they are at least doing their due diligence on the quarterbacks who could be available.
On Tuesday, Albert Breer of SI.com reported that the Falcons will be in attendance Wednesday at Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields' second pro day. According to Breer, Atlanta plans to have the full allotment of three staffers present in quarterbacks coach Charles London, wide receivers coach Dave Brock and a college scout. Falcons general manager Terry Fontenot and head coach Arthur Smith saw Fields work out at his first pro day earlier this offseason, so they will not be in Columbus for this display.
Fields was long seen as the second-best quarterback in this class behind Clemson's Trevor Lawrence, but BYU's Zach Wilson experienced a meteoric rise and when the San Francisco 49ers jumped the Falcons by trading up to No. 3 overall, many reports seemed to indicate it was for Alabama's Mac Jones. Some are perplexed by Fields' fall down mock draft boards, but the young signal-caller has done everything asked of him this offseason. He dazzled during his first pro day two weeks ago and ran a 4.43 second unofficial 40-yard dash -- which is noteworthy for the quarterback position. The Georgia transfer completed 70.2 percent of his passes for 2,100 yards, 22 touchdowns and six interceptions in the COVID-shortened season for the Buckeyes. In 2019, Fields passed for 3,273 yards, 41 touchdowns and just three interceptions in his first season at Ohio State. Fields was a Heisman finalist in 2019, and then led Ohio State to the National Championship game this past season, where they fell to Alabama.
The Falcons have options at No. 4 overall, as they could take the best player in the draft who is not a quarterback, or they could trade down with another quarterback-needy team. At the very least, the Falcons are doing their due diligence at the quarterback position, but if Fields dominates again, maybe things could change.