Report: Falcons G.M., coach now aligned on fourth overall pick

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Falcons G.M. Terry Fontenot and coach Arthur Smith are divided on what to do with the fourth overall pick. Unless they aren’t.

D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that Fontenot and Smith are now “aligned” on the franchise’s plan for the selection. Fontenot previously was reportedly hoping to take a quarterback, and Smith reportedly wanted to stick with Matt Ryan for at least two more years.

It’s unclear what the Falcons ultimately will do. They could take a quarterback (Trey Lance has been linked to the Falcons), they could take a non-quarterback (tight end Kyle Pitts could be the choice), or they could trade down.

So how did the two men end up on the same page? It’s safe to assume that owner Arthur Blank has a preference, and that he made it known. For a pick of this magnitude, every owner will have a voice in the process of making it. Once that voice is exercised, employees who wish to remain gainfully employed by the owner would be wise to heed what the owner wants.

28 responses to “Report: Falcons G.M., coach now aligned on fourth overall pick

  1. Helpful since that means if they screw it up they can both be fired simultaneously without the confusion of trying to decide which one was to blame.

  2. Only If Mac Jones is available should they go QB…
    If not, trade down and collect more picks to fix that defense..

    Trey Lance hasn’t played any significant defense to prove he should be in the 1st round…

  3. Matt Ryan is 36. He is fine. The Falcons DON’T need a quarterback. He’s taken 40 plus sacks the last three years. They need OL, DL and DB help. That’s what they should be drafting. They can trade out and get more picks.

  4. Some people are so scared of Frisco picking Mac Jones that they wrote that whoever is/are responsible for picking him in the draft will or should be fired by Jed York. Wow! So, if Shanahan believes this kind of reasoning and he is scared enough to pass on Mac Jones and pick Justin Fields or Trey Lance instead, then may be Atlanta will get a chance to pick Mac Jones. These naysayers have already proven (in their mind) that Mac Jones is a bust and no better than either Kirk Cousins or Matt Ryan (who by the way should have won the Super Bowl if the Atlanta defense did not collapse) and therefore if the 49ers want a Kirk Cousins clone, they should have traded for him. Very interesting to see this sort of reporting and “analysis.”

  5. Can’t take a QB just for the sake of taking one. If your guys is there you don’t trade the pick for anything. Chances are only 1 QB will be any good, maybe 2 this year with Lawrence probably going to be good. Between Wilson, Lance or Fields I wouldn’t want to stake my career on any of them.

  6. The Falcons are locked into Matt Ryan for 2-3 years based on his contract ($70 million in dead money in 2021, $40 million dead money in 2022, $15 million dead money in 2023). There’s no chance any other team will take his contract. So the Falcons have two options at #4: Best player available, or trade. I suppose a third option is to take a QB and let him develop for two years, but it seems like a better move to make in the 2022 or 2023 draft.

  7. Similar situation in Detroit last year in the Hurricane Quinntricia finale. Many wanted the Stafford trade then, resetting with Tua or Hebert.

    Instead ownership empowered those clown to take Okudah attempting to save their jobs. A year later Staff is gone, new coach and GM.

    Remains to be seen what happens with ATL, they have more talent then the Lions did. But it IS good for the owner to pay attention to the big picture.

  8. I remember the 1983 draft when the Steelers thought they didn’t need a quarterback because they had an ageing Terry Bradshaw so they drafted a defensive tackle instead of drafting Dan Marino. Bradshaw then got hurt and his career was over and the defensive tackle was involved in an automobile accident that ended his career and Dan Marino went on to have a Hall Of Fame career with the Miami Dolphins so be careful on what you do with the 4th draft pick.

  9. Falcons are trading the pick if they are smart. You don’t take a TE at 4th. However, as a Saints fan. I hope they draft poorly

  10. The Falcons have the 4th pick, and the best thing they can do is exactly what they’re doing. Keeping everyone guessing. I guarantee you they’re taking a QB, but it would be the dumbest thing in the world to let the cat out of the bag. The old coach and GM were tied to Matt Ryan. These guys are being paid to win. Their only loyalties are to Arthur Blank.

  11. Need to go QB, you’re the falcons, might not pick in the top 5 again for some time. If you pass on a Trey Lance and he becomes a stud, GM/coach digging an early grave.

  12. Silly to waste 2 years of a QB contract sitting behind Ryan. The 4th pick is just to valuable right now to not trade it. They will get multiple calls from teams looking to move up to draft a QB. If Miami got 3 1st’s for trading down 9 spots with the 49’ers there is no reason the Falcons can’t do the same. And to those saying next years crop of QB’s in the draft is weak and Atlanta wants to get a QB now should just stop. Joe Burrow was projected to go 4th round before his final season and he shot up draft boards to #1. Look at Zach Wilson, he wasn’t even assured to be the starter this year, he won that battle at practice. Some of these QB’s that don’t look impressive for 2022 will have a breakout season this Fall and shoot up the board.

  13. Go ahead and draft a QB. Maybe Matt Ryan will respond with an MVP-caliber year. Then what will you do?

  14. Always felt that GMs should go out of the way to pick the player that the coaches want. The coaches are the ones who are with this guys every day. The coaches have the better idea of what player fits better in his system. If the coach’s system requires a speedy back who can catch passes, what’s the point in forcing the classic bruising, between the tackles RB on him?

  15. Pitts would be a reach. Let Jerry take that swing and trade down and gather assets.

  16. kennylc629 says:
    April 9, 2021 at 2:54 pm
    Always felt that GMs should go out of the way to pick the player that the coaches want. The coaches are the ones who are with this guys every day. The coaches have the better idea of what player fits better in his system. If the coach’s system requires a speedy back who can catch passes, what’s the point in forcing the classic bruising, between the tackles RB on him?

    Problem is until you see the system and the players in it how do you know what you need?

  17. Hard to imagine the team will be drafting this high anytime soon, so it’s possible they could be stuck in QB limbo for years after Ryan leaves. But if they skip QB now, they could build up quite a great team by the time they do need a new QB, which could help them contend with a rookie or entice a free agent.

    None of the QBs they will have access to in this draft look like they’re worth selling the farm for. I think they should take Pitts and don’t look back.

  18. golions1 says:
    April 9, 2021 at 3:43 pm

    In Detroit we know all about “if only” QB’s named Matt.

    ============

    Did yours make it to the playoffs 6 times, win 4 playoff games and get to the Super Bowl, too?

  19. “If you pass on a Trey Lance and he becomes a stud, GM/coach digging an early grave.”

    what a broad and pointless statement to make… You can put any QB name in and say that…
    Chance of Lance panning out is MUCH lower than the others because of his lack of big games!

  20. Every year there are one or two quarterbacks at the top of the draft at the end of the college season. Then after football stops there are quarterbacks who were projected for the second or third or fifth round who miraculously become ten times better without playing any additional football. This year is worse than most but outside of Trevor Lawrence every quarterback in this draft is a hope and a prayer.

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