The Atlanta Falcons have agreed to a contract with premier free agent running back Michael Turner. Turner will get a chance to finally shine outside of Ladainian Tomlinsons’ shadow. His signing puts the Falcons in a bit of bind come the end of April when the draft begins. With this signing, the Falcons will not be drafting Arkansas running back Darren McFadden. Which now leaves two possibilities.
The first possible scenario puts the Falcons in play for the first pick in the draft. The obvious need is at QB where the Falcons are thin. Joey Harrington is not the answer, and the investment in Turner shows a commitment to turning their franchise around. Matt Ryan could be the star they need to get out of the Michael Vick fiasco for good. To draft Ryan, they may need play some poker and the Miami Dolphins better be prepared to call their bluff.
See, the Dolphins will not likely take Ryan in the draft, but they need to impress on the Falcons that they are. In fact, they may want to draft Ryan and then trade him to the Falcons…but that is a dangerous game that could leave the Dolphins holding the short end of a very bad decision. If the Falcons want Ryan, they need to step up and make the move to number 1. Ryan is the kind of player who would be worth the money at number 1 for a team that was in serious need of a QB. The Falcons are. Even though the money at the top is high, a QB has always been the one spot that teams are more willing to dole out on. With McFadden out of the picture, the Falcons will be looking QB.
Scenario number 2 however seems almost more likely. It helps the Falcons rebuild their team while basically pissing off every Dolphins fan in the world…except those who really want Miami to draft at number 1 of course. That scenario is a trade with Dallas.
The Cowboys have been on the rumor wagon since they got knocked out of the playoffs by the Giants. McFadden, McFadden, McFadden. At the 3 spot, the cost will be a tad less than moving up to one. If the Falcons don’t get Ryan, as in Miami drafts him and the Falcons still decide they don’t want him, they could trade that 3 spot to the Boys for both 1′s this year and more. With one of those 1st’s they could go after Brohm who could fall, or maybe Joe Flacco.
A possibility for sure. Either way, either scenario, the Falcons will likely begin talking about moving up and moving down if they can’t guarantee themselves Ryan or decide that one of the other QB’s could be had in round 2. It is unlikely that they go defense in round 1.
The largest deciding factor in all of this of course is Matt Ryan and how he performs on his pro-day later this month. A solid performance or a great performance will sky rocket his value to a team like the Falcons. If he disappoints, the Falcons may get the chance to pass on him at 3 and give Dallas the guy they have wanted since last years draft. As Jerry Jones’ son said after the trade with Cleveland, “this pick may just be Darren McFadden”.