Friday, April 2, 2021

Atlanta Falcons 2021 NFL Mock Draft Roundup 8.0

Throughout the year and leading up to the 2021 NFL draft, we will update our Atlanta Falcons Mock Draft Roundup showing picks for the Atlanta Falcons from several prominent sites and draft analysts.

The following are picks in recent mock drafts for the Falcons:

EDSFootball - Hanson (4/1)

4. Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State

Could we get the first-ever QB-QB-QB-QB start to an NFL Draft? Based on my mock, the answer is yes.

It was an up-and-down season for Fields, but he showed tremendous leadership and toughness in the semifinal win over Clemson as he threw for 385 yards and six touchdowns in that game. A two-time Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year, the dual-threat quarterback has accounted for 78 total touchdowns -- 63 passing and 15 rushing -- while throwing only nine interceptions over 22 games as Ohio State's starter. Fields, who is from the Atlanta area, would have the opportunity to learn behind Matt Ryan in 2021 and potentially allow the franchise to switch gears in 2022.

ESPN - McShay (4/1)

4. Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida

Man, this one was tough. Do the Falcons take advantage of the opportunity to take their QB of the future while they have the high pick, or do they turn their attention to the elite offensive playmakers available? QB Trey Lance (North Dakota State) could be the pick, with the chance to learn behind Matt Ryan, but frankly Pitts is just too difficult to pass on. He is a unique talent and a mismatch for any opponent. His 6-foot-6 size, speed and hands would cause fits for defensive coordinators, especially when they already have to account for Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley.

Baltimore Sun - Doon (3/31)

9. Patrick Surtain II, CB, Alabama

If they stay at No. 4, the Falcons have a good chance to draft quarterback Matt Ryan's successor. But with Ryan and receiver Julio Jones still playing at a high level, Atlanta can make a push to win now with new coach Arthur Smith. Hitting on a few picks this year is essential, and Surtain would be an immediate upgrade for one of the league's worst defenses.

EDSFootball - Donahue (3/29)

4. Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State

Like I said last week in Mock 2.0, I do think the No. 4 pick in the draft will ultimately be a QB. Whether or not Atlanta is the team making the pick, I'm not 100% sure of yet. I do think Atlanta needs to either take a QB here or trade out because this pick has just increased in value with three QBs expected to already be gone but since I am still not projecting trades a month out, I will keep the Falcons here for now.

San Diego Union Tribune (3/29)

4. Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida

I imagine new GM Terry Fontenot will want to target Matt Ryan's heir apparent -- the last time the Falcons had a top-five pick, they took Ryan third overall in 2008. But there's plenty of smoke surrounding Pitts being selected in the top 10 and pairing him with Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley could maximize the rest of Ryan's prime. The Mackey Award winner is a matchup nightmare.

L.A. Times - Farmer (3/29)

4. Patrick Surtain II, CB, Alabama

The Falcons need lots of help, and this could be an edge rusher. But cornerbacks are at a premium too, so Atlanta grabs the best one.

New York Post - Serby (3/27)

4. Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota State

New GM Terry Fontenot gets new coach Arthur Smith a new franchise quarterback for the future. A raw new franchise quarterback with a rocket arm and dangerous legs who can sit behind Matt Ryan for a year, maybe two. See Jordan Love in Green Bay.

The Ringer - Kelly (3/26)

9. Patrick Surtain II, CB, Alabama

The Falcons have plenty of holes to patch, cornerback chief among them. Surtain is a long, athletic playmaker who would pair well with A.J. Terrell and give Atlanta's secondary a boost. The team needs to improve at the position if it hopes to compete in a division that features receivers like Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Michael Thomas, D.J. Moore, and Robby Anderson, just to name a few.

Newsday - Klopsis (3/26)

4. Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota State

The Falcons have plenty of other needs, but not many players line up with those needs at this pick. Couple that with Matt Ryan's age (he'll be 36 in May) and it's not too crazy to think that new head coach Arthur Smith and GM Terry Fontenot would want to think long-term and get their quarterback of the future here. Trey Lance has excellent mobility, a strong arm and ideal size (6-4, 226), but he played only 17 career games at the FCS level. Luckily, with Ryan's contract essentially guaranteeing he'll be around through at least 2022, Lance would have some time to acclimate to the pro game.

Previous update: Atlanta Falcons Mock Draft Roundup 7.0

MORE TEAMS: All NFL Team Mock Draft Roundups

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