What does Arthur Blank want the Falcons to do at No. 4?

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As the football-following world continues to wonder what the Atlanta Falcons will do with the fourth pick in the draft, it’s fair to wonder what the guy who owns the team wants them to do with the fourth pick in the draft.

Falcons owner Arthur Blank, who has owned the team for nearly 20 years, surely has a preference. Even more surely, he’ll find a way to make it known.

Consider this nugget from Peter King’s Football Morning in America: “Owner Arthur Blank is fascinated by the quarterbacks atop the draft, thinking the franchise might not be in such an advantageous position to take one for years. But Blank will not force a decision — of that I am sure. He hired G.M. Terry Fontenot and coach Arthur Smith and won’t big-foot them on their first big call.”

King is right. Blank won’t tell them what to do. One of the benefits of being a billionaire is never having to tell them what to do.

There’s a subtlety, a nuance. An art. And Arthur Blank knows how to properly use that particular paintbrush.

Thirteen years ago, for example, the Falcons were torn between taking quarterback Matt Ryan and defensive linemen Glenn Dorsey with the third overall pick in the first post-Mike Vick draft. (Dorsey went No. 5 overall, to the Chiefs.) Blank wanted a new face of the franchise in Ryan. As we heard it then and now, Blank’s preference definitely became a factor in resolving the dilemma.

So unless Fontenot and Smith are dead set on a non-quarterback at No. 4, Blank’s fascination could cause him to do what he did in 2008. Make his views known, without making a direct order.

Another possibility, as discussed on Monday’s PFT Live, would entail the Falcons trading down a few spots to give someone the chance to jump the Bengals for, say, Penei Sewell and then seeing how the board plays out. If Lance is still there, take him. If not, pivot to someone else.

However it plays out, the draft in many ways begins with the Falcons at No. 4, since we know it will be quarterback, quarterback, and quarterback at picks No. 1, No. 2, and No. 3.

21 responses to “What does Arthur Blank want the Falcons to do at No. 4?

  1. Owner and GM want a QB. Former TE coach and new HC wants Pitts. HC is going to win out.

  2. Don’t see why Falcons should wait any longer to find their next QB. Ryan and Shaub are not the future.

  3. Let’s not overthink this and if Falcons fans are being completely honest..even if the team had10 first round picks,they aren’t even remotely close to fielding a competitive roster.

  4. Let me fill in the “blank”. We won’t know until draft day because it depends on whether or not Fields is taken at #3. #4 is worth so much more in trade if Fields (or Wilson) are still on the board.

  5. Jaguars: Lawrence
    Jets: Wilson
    49ers: Fields
    Falcons: Pitts
    Bengals: Chase
    Dolphins: Waddle
    Lions to Redskins: Lance
    Panthers: Sewell
    Broncos: Slater
    Cowboys to Patriots: Jones

  6. “Owner and GM want a QB. Former TE coach and new HC wants Pitts. HC is going to win out.”

    Because coaches typically get to overrule the owner and GM. Especially legendary coaches like Arthur Smith who have never been a head coach before. Those guys totally get to make all the calls.

  7. So the vick saga without getting into all that we already know left a huge black mark on the team.

    Suddenly their most well known player, And at one time one of the most popular and marketable players in the league was a pariah- rightfully so.

    The team had to nail an image change- it just happened that Ryan came along as a squeaky clean high end QB prospect at that time- there was no way the team could pass on him. Frankly, Blank was embarrassed. The team made the right call.

    Where as now , it’s the decision of loading up for one last realistic run at a title with w Ryan as QB by taking a skill player, or taking a qb and more or less starting to admit that a rebuild is coming.

    I don’t know that this is the same as vick.

  8. Hard to believe this is the same organization that beat the Patriots 28 to 3 in the Super Bowl just a few years ago.

  9. You can only make the decision after the first 3 teams pick. If an elite franchise QB is still on the board, you might take him. The QB’s don’t always come off the board in the exact order that each team has them graded. Like when Mahomes was still available. I don’t think Andy Reid would have traded down to get Trubisky, for example. You just have to wait and see how things play out. There could be a huge difference between the grades they have on these QB’s.

  10. I’ve seen mocks projecting Pitts and projecting a QB. What I’m surprises about is that no one projects them taking that OT from Oregon. He’s supposed to be the next Orlando Pace, and I don’t think it’s crazy to believe Matt Ryan has 2-3 years left in the tank. If memory serves me right, their OL is by no means great.

  11. You have a qb locked in financially for 2 years. You have some weapons and now an offensive mind hc that you brought in who got the most out of Tannehill. I think its safe to say you pass on the 4th qb in the draft and get a top weapon with Pitts. Smith used TE and Rbs in Tenn I think this is the smart move but then again blank is someone who wants to get a say. Its just odd that you hire a coach and you arent on the same page for the 1st draft which can be a sign of disaster for the near future

  12. They should take advantage of my team’s arrogance and detrimental rigid thinking and draft Justin Fields.

  13. As owner, he may want to know what the GM and coach may think about the quarterbacks who may be available, and whether they are too good to pass up. He should then leave them alone to do their jobs. That is better than not knowing whether they will pick a quarterback or not before the draft.

  14. If they are going to hold onto Ryan for 2 or more years, it makes no sense from a team building and cap perspective to use a first round draft pick on a QB to ride the pine like the Packers are doing.

  15. I find the fascination by the media and fans with “weapons” quite amusing.

    The best receiver on the team gets maybe 10 targets during the game (you’re #1 running back will touch the ball 30+ times), oh yeah that’s a real game breaker when you don’t have a QB who can get the ball to him or an OL that can keep the QB clean.

    The MOST important position on the team if QB you need both a quality starter and backup that can continue the game plan if necessary AND they guy who is going to be the NEXT guy if that time is close.

    The next most important position on the team is the OL, they give the offense the ability to run the plays, opens the holes and allows the QB to do his thing.

    The next most important position is the front 7 on the D because they PREVENT your opponent from doing what they want.

    If a “guy” is on the board at 4 you take and let him mature behind Ryan. How many times do the Falcons want to be drafting 4th trying to find a “guy”?

    And if a QB isn’t on the board that you think is the “guy” for the decade after Ryan you them draft the “guy” who is anchoring your OL for the next decade plus.

    Pitts is an excellent college TE. He might become a Hall of Fame NFL TE who knows.

    But name me the LAST WR or TE (or CB\S for that matter) who carried his team to a championship season or better yet MULTIPLE championship seasons.

    Take a “guy” with the #4 or trade out of it for a boatload of what you need. Leave the shiny toys for losers like JJ.

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