In an interview with Dave Archer, a former Falcons quarterback and analyst, Terry Fontenot explained his rationale for evaluating every quarterback in this year’s draft.
You have to evaluate quarterbacks for the future.
– Atlanta Falcons (@AtlantaFalcons) April 13, 2021
With the first three picks, other than guaranteed quarterbacks, the Falcons will choose between Justin Fields, Zach Wilson, Trey Lance or Mac Jones. Not only does it make sense to evaluate each prospect regardless of position, but regardless of whether or not the team is capable of drafting that player.
Fontenot cites Trevor Lawrence, who is the consensus best player on the draft and will be the first name to be mentioned on April 29, and how, while he doesn’t get a chance to draft him, will go to Clemson’s pro day and get him evaluation is important. The personal exposure to seeing these quarterbacks throw is not just for draft night purposes, but for the future as well. Sam Darnold is a well-timed example. He was called up third in 2018 and traded before his rookie contract expired. I don’t know if the Panthers went to Darnold’s pro day as Carolina had Cam Newton, but the simple fact remains that an organization wants to be prepared across the board.
Fontenot is doing just that with all of this year’s quarterbacks, but he said in the interview that the team was excited about Matt Ryan and tried to keep his cards close to his chest. Fontenot continued to play cat and mouse saying it was a perfect opportunity to draft a quarterback with Ryan under contract, elude the veteran’s leadership, and not force a premature NFL debut. It’s the most critical position in the NFL, and Fontenot wants to stack quarterbacks.