May 26, 2024

A single element alone won’t lead Atlanta back to the postseason; the team requires capable individuals in both key roles. Several head coaching candidates are being considered by the Falcons, with Bill Belichick’s name emerging prominently. Arthur Blank, known for his appreciation of “The Patriot Way,” seems captivated by the former Patriots head coach. In my view, Atlanta’s quarterback prospects hinge significantly on the chosen head coach.

Should Belichick assume the role, the Falcons might lean towards a veteran option for the quarterback position. This could be the only viable choice if the first three draft selections prioritize quarterbacks, potentially leaving the Falcons in a dilemma if they find no other prospects worthy of the 8th overall pick.

In such a scenario, the Falcons could opt to select the best available player. In a mock draft by Jordan Reid of ESPN, the Falcons secure the top pass rusher, Laiatu Latu, who is also the first defensive player off the board. While quarterback remains a primary need, a dominant pass rusher is the second priority. Despite the defense’s notable improvement under Ryan Nielsen with the addition of free agents, a reliable force off the edge is still lacking.

Why UCLA EDGE Laiatu Latu is one of the 2024 NFL Draft's biggest early  risers | College Football | PFF

While there may be reservations about selecting a player with serious neck concerns in the first round, thorough medical evaluations should occur during the draft process. Reid’s mock draft sees the Falcons choosing Latu over Brock Bowers and Olumuyiwa Fashanu. Bowers is widely regarded as the best tight end in college football, and Fashanu is among the top tackles alongside Joe Alt. Other viable options include Dallas Turner or Kool-Aid McKinstry, providing the Falcons with multiple avenues if they choose not to target a quarterback in the draft.

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