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The Falcons prepare for life after Matt Ryan with selection of Trey Lance at No. 4

Who knows what the Falcons will actually do in the first round, but this pick in our writers’ mock makes plenty of sense.

Syndication: SiouxFalls Abigail Dollins / Argus Leader, Sioux Falls Argus Leader via Imagn Content Services, LLC

With the fourth overall selection in the SB Nation writers’ mock draft, The Falcoholic, on behalf of the Atlanta Falcons, decide to bring in the heir apparent to Matt Ryan as the team’s next franchise quarterback.

From Dave Choate at The Falcoholic:

Picking “the fourth quarterback” won’t be popular with every Falcons fan, but a new regime gets a supremely talented player who can sit for a year and seems like an ideal fit for what Arthur Smith likes to do on offense. Sometimes, the best player available is the guy who might be able to pilot your team’s offense for a decade-plus.

By selecting Trey Lance out of North Dakota State, the Falcons find a quarterback who is raw, but appears to be a solid fit for the new offensive scheme from head coach Arthur Smith. At 6’4 and 224 pounds, Lance is an athletic quarterback who is capable of beating defenses in the air and on the ground. Time is definitely on the side of the young FCS quarterback as he enters the NFL stage at a fresh 20 years of age.

During Lance’s historic 2019 campaign with the Bison, he wowed the college football masses with an impressive season that consisted of 2,786 passing yards, 28 touchdowns and zero interceptions along with 1,110 rushing yards and 14 rushing touchdowns.

Coming into this current situation with the Falcons, it’s obvious that Lance would use the 2021 season to learn and develop behind longtime starter Matt Ryan. That could be a true benefit for him, as Ryan is a former league MVP and currently has 10 consecutive seasons of 4,000-plus passing yards.

A move such as this definitely carries a great amount of risk for the Atlanta Falcons. Selecting a talented quarterback such as Lance this high in the draft only to have him sit for at least a season is a rare occurrence these days. Because of his age and developed ability as a passer, he is in need of time to round out as a prospect. So if there was an ideal situation for him, learning behind a still-productive Ryan can truly be beneficial down the road for Lance and for the Falcons franchise.

In Smith’s overall offensive scheme, the implementation of play action is frequent and it is definitely a strong suit of Lance’s. But that is just one layer of why Lance is a well rounded fit for the Falcons’ offensive scheme, and if this move plays out in real life, it will be interesting to see how the Falcons build the roster this year and beyond with the expectation of Lance under center.

Top players remaining

  • Penei Sewell, OT, Oregon
  • Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida
  • Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama
  • Ja’Marr Chase, WR, LSU
  • Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State