Should Falcons select a QB in the NFL draft?

After 14 seasons with QB Matt Ryan, the Falcons are looking for an alternative to take up the mantle. Photo by Thousandwords on

The 2022 NFL Draft is only a month away, and this is an opportunity for the Falcons to transition into the future by selecting an heir apparent for 14-year signal-caller Matt Ryan. 

Ryan has had a great career with the Falcons, winning MVP and guiding them to their second Super Bowl appearance in franchise history. 

With dual-threat quarterbacks becoming the norm in the NFL, pocket passing quarterbacks like Ryan have become a thing of the past. 

Players such as Patrick Mahomes, Lamar Jackson and Josh Allen have brought success to their respective franchises with their ability to pass and run with the football. 

The Falcons hold the eighth pick, and with many finding this year’s quarterback class being underwhelming, this is a perfect chance for head coach Arthur Smith and general manager Terry Fontenot to draft the future.  

Kenny Pickett:

In his first four seasons at Pittsburgh, Pickett only threw 39 career touchdowns before last season, where he erupted for 42 touchdowns. 

 Pickett didn’t go missing when playing big-time programs, as he led victories against Miami, Georgia Tech, Tennessee, North Carolina, Wake Forest and Clemson. 

 At 6’3 and 227lbs, Pickett is an accurate passer who completed 67% percent of his passes and isn’t afraid to take chances against talented defenses.

Pickett isn’t Lamar Jackson when it comes to athletic ability. Still, his ability to make just enough plays outside the pocket warrants comparisons to the likes of Matthew Stafford, Ryan Tannehill and Carson Wentz. 

One of the main issues with Pickett is that he did not have success statistically early in his career, but if he can show that he is a consistent threat and can win big games, he should have no problem adjusting to the NFL. 

Malik Willis: 

Ever since transferring from Auburn to Liberty, Willis has been rising on many draft boards and might be the first quarterback taken off the board. 

Willis is the ultimate dual-threat quarterback and fits what teams are looking for in the modern NFL. He possesses a strong arm and excellent mobility with his 6’0, 220lb frame, making it hard for NFL defenses to identify him in the backfield. 

During his career at Liberty, he threw for 5,107 yards with a 62% completion percentage and threw 47 touchdowns, and on the ground, Willis ran for over 1,800 yards and scored 27 touchdowns. 

The only negative some would say about Willis is his play against top-level teams during his time at Liberty. 

Against Ole Miss, Willis faced off against Matt Corral, another quarterback who could be the first quarterback taken on draft night. 

Willis had one of the worst games of his career in that game and only threw 173 yards, with three interceptions and no touchdowns.

Put Willis around top-rated talent like Pro Bowlers Kyle Pitts and Cordarrelle Patterson and watch what he can achieve. 

Desmond Ridder:

If the Falcons would rather wait to select a quarterback in later rounds than select one in the first, Desmond Ridder out of Cincinnati could be an intriguing project and could sit behind Ryan a year or two. 

Ridder led the Cincinnati Bearcats to a 13-0 regular-season record and college football playoff bid but lost in the Cotton Bowl against the Alabama Crimson Tide 13-27. 

In his final season, he threw 30 touchdowns to only eight interceptions. 

Ridder possesses good passing ability and can make plays outside the pocket, which the Falcons desperately need. 

Last year the Falcons hit a homerun with the fourth pick of the draft by selecting tight end Kyle Pitts, who had over 1,000 yards and made a pro bowl appearance. 

Pairing him with a young, dynamic quarterback who can make plays with their legs opens up opportunities for Pitts to become an even more significant threat than he was last year.