What will the Falcons do with the No. 4 pick? One insider believes they will add an offensive piece
The 2021 NFL Draft begins at pick No. 4. The Jacksonville Jaguars will take Trevor Lawrence and the New York Jets will select Zach Wilson. No one knows who the pick is at No. 3, but the San Francisco 49ers will be adding a quarterback.
What does this mean for the Atlanta Falcons? Plenty when you break it down.
It a new regime for first-year general manager Terry Fotenant and head coach Arthur Smith. A quarterback could be added with Matt Ryan turning 36 years old this offseason. However, with the way his contract is structured through 2022, Atlanta loses if taking a quarterback either be letting him sit for two years and take a cap hit in releasing Ryan.
Trading back makes the most sense. If they stay put? Florida’s Kyle Pitts might be the obvious option.
According to FanSided’s Insider Matt Lombardo, Atlanta is “in love” with the 6-foot-6 tight end. A “Unicorn” in the draft, there isn’t a wrong way to use him. Simply play him and watch magic happen.
“Atlanta at No. 4 feels like where Pitts winds up going,” an AFC East personnel evaluator told Lombardo. “Even if the Falcons decide not to take him, they could get a bounty to trade out of that spot to someone who wants him.”
Should the Falcons add Pitts at No. 4?
When looking at the big picture, adding Pitts would solidify a top-three offense in the NFL. Atlanta already has potential No. 1 receiver Julio Jones and some could argue Cavin Ridley is a top-15 target following a 90 reception,1,374-yard season.
Former first-rounder Hayden Hurst blossomed in the passing game during his first year with the Falcons, recording a career-best in receptions (56), receiving yards (571) and touchdowns.
Pitts isn’t just a tight end. He’s a receiver that has great hands when blocking inside at the flex position. Most draft analysts have agreed his athletic frame and freak mentality might make him not just the best non-quarterback in the class, but also the No. 2 player overall behind Lawrence.
Smith, who’s offense ran a multiple set of looks during the past two seasons in Tennessee, will likely rely on the pass early and often. In the NFC South, Pitts would be a mismatch for nickel cornerbacks, meaning a safety or cover linebacker would be forced to play him in man coverage.
This opens the middle of the field for Jones, Ridley and Hurst to win their own one-on-one battles. It also adds yet another weapon for Ryan, who has thrown for over 4,000 yards each season since 2011.
If Fontenot is going with the based “best player available” approach, Pitts is the guy. It’s that simple when breaking it down. Atlanta or not, expect the former Gator to be off the board by No. 4.