NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah recently wrote a mock draft for the 2021 NFL Draft that had the Atlanta Falcons taking North Dakota State quarterback Trey Lance with the fourth overall pick. While the Falcons didn’t have the season they envisioned, Matt Ryan wasn’t solely the problem that the team finished 4-12. Dan Quinn was fired midway through the season and the team finished the season on a five-game losing streak.
Since then, the Falcons have hired Tennessee Titans offensive coordinator Arthur Smith to become their new head coach. The organization is planning to head in a new direction which could mean they could look to find Ryan’s successor in this year’s NFL Draft. It’s a top-heavy quarterback class and the team finds themselves in luck sitting at fourth overall. Atlanta has also hired Terry Fontenot to be their new general manager.
Typically, new hires like to build their own regime and we should expect Smith and Fontenot to do the same. Matt Ryan turns 36 in May and holds a cap hit of over $40 million dollars in 2021 and 2022. Atlanta can trade Ryan after June 1st and take $18 million in dead cap space.
If they’re unable to find anyone interested in trading for Matt Ryan, they can restructure his deal and let him retire a Falcon. Doing so would allow them to sit Lance for a season or two before thrusting him into a starter role.
Trey Lance a fit with Falcons?
Arthur Smith did a fantastic job scheming up play action for the Titans offense. He also did a good job dialing up downfield shot plays for Ryan Tannehill. Smith would call designed quarterback runs on occasion. While Ryan is more than capable of throwing the deep ball and having success on play-action passes, he’s not the athlete that Lance is.
Lance has every physical trait and a strong arm that the Falcons will love. He can extend plays with his legs and his pocket mobility serves him well. Lance showed his ability to throw with good accuracy on throws down the field. While he can be a bit inconsistent with his accuracy, he still showed great poise in the pocket for a young quarterback.
Lance has the potential to become a future star in this league. Landing with the Falcons would put him in a good situation, not only to learn but to be around some solid weapons on offense. With Smith as his coach, the sky is the limit in Atlanta.