The Atlanta Falcons have exceeded expectations in each of the first two seasons that Arthur Smith has been at the helm. He took over as head coach following a 4-12 season and has led the team to back-to-back seven-win seasons, something not many people predicted would occur.
This season, the Falcons made even more strides. After being outscored by 146 points in 2021, they were outscored by only 21 this past season. They are certainly heading in the right direction and a strong offseason when it comes to talent acquisition could put the team in the playoff mix in 2023.
One position that will receive a lot of attention this offseason for the Falcons is quarterback. Will the team commit full-time to 2022 third-round pick, Desmond Ridder? Ridder started the final four games of the season, going 2-2 and showing plenty of promise.
The Cincinnati product completed 63.5 percent of his passes for 708 yards and two touchdowns with zero interceptions. He also ran the ball 16 times for 64 yards, showing some dual-threat ability in the process.
While Ridder has certainly done enough to warrant at least the shot at the starting job in 2023 in his rookie sample, is there a chance that the Falcons make a play for an established player at the position? Over at Sporting News, the Falcons were listed as the best fit for free-agent quarterback Lamar Jackson.
Jackson played out his rookie contract with the Baltimore Ravens and no progress was made toward a long-term deal. The Ravens could place the franchise tag on him, which is the likeliest route they will take. However, if he pushes back against it, could we see a tag-and-trade similar to what the Green Bay Packers did with Davante Adams in 2022?
Atlanta is a sneaky good landing spot for a veteran quarterback should the franchise dip into the market. They have a good offensive line and excellent running back rotation with rookies Tyler Allgeier and Caleb Huntley and veteran Cordarrelle Patterson.
Wide receiver Drake London looks like a future No. 1 receiver and Kyle Pitts is a true difference-maker at tight end if they unleashed his potential instead of using him so much as a blocker. The pieces are in place for this offense to truly take off with Smith at the helm, the Falcons just need to find a quarterback to bring it all together.