American Football

Daniel Jeremiah’s 2nd 2024 NFL mock draft: Falcons draft a quarterback


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Finally, some good news in a mock. Right?

It is mock draft season and, in all honestly, any mock sending a quarterback to the Falcons is notable. It has been a loooooong time since Falcons fans have seen anything close to respectable quarterback play, and an even longer time since the Falcons made the playoffs. It really should be time to fix both problems.

Enter: Daniel Jeremiah’s mock draft.

NFL dot com analyst Daniel Jeremiah is a former scout, and long-time current NFL Draft analyst, who has wide-ranging sources across the league. In fact, we cover his mock drafts here pretty regularly, because he tends to make them based on what he’s hearing around the league rather than simply what he thinks is a good fit.

Just to do a quick check, let’s circle back on Jeremiah’s mocks I could easily pull up we covered.

2015: Amari Cooper (Falcons took Vic Beasley)

2016: Shaq Lawson (Falcons took Keanu Neal)

2017: TJ Watt (Let’s not discuss this)

2018: Taven Bryan (Falcons took Calvin Ridley)

2021: Trey Lance and Justin Fields (Falcons took Kyle Pitts)

2023: Lukas Van Ness (Falcons took Bijan Robinson)

That’s a lot of misses, but I should mention that Jeremiah does a handful of mocks every year. Assuming he doesn’t just roll out the same mock every time, those names change from time to time.

I say all of that to say his selection for the Atlanta Falcons is alarming and concerning to me. Here’s his pick from his second mock of the offseason:

A lot of people around the NFL expect the Falcons to be aggressive when it comes to finding a quarterback in this year’s draft. They could trade up or, as they do in this case, stay at No. 8 and bet on [Michigan’s J.J.] McCarthy’s traits.

Yikes. That’s a grim pick with the Falcons only spots away from the likes of Jayden Daniels.

First, Jeremiah references a lot of room for trades in the 2024 NFL Draft. But Jeremiah doesn’t start predicting trades until his last mock draft of the year. After Atlanta’s quarterback play last year, and the year before, I’m not sure the team can stick at 8 and wait for the draft come to it.

After all, the last guy tried that and he was fired about six nanoseconds into Black Monday.

Secondly, J.J. McCarthy may not be highly regarded in all scouting reports from draft analysts, but there are early rumors indicating McCarthy is well-regarded around the league. Scouts (who I cannot stress enough, should not be believed to represent any consensus) compared him to Joe Burrow, while many rumors and mocks are frequently placing him in the top half of the first round. Ultimately, the Wolverines never had McCarthy do too much, while having a supporting cast the Falcons would hope to offer.

On the other side of the coin, SB Nation analyst and confirmed Michigan hater Joeanna Kelley said McCarthy is not a top-10 pick. For context, Michigan beat No. 2 Ohio State 30-24 in November.

McCarthy could be one of the “late risers” that get pushed up because of the need for quarterbacks. We’ve seen it happen recently with Trey Lance and Zach Wilson, or less recently with the likes of Justin Herbert. The Falcons, if somehow stuck between Desmond Ridder and McCarthy, would likely be hoping he comes through more like Herbert than Wilson.

For the Falcons, it feels unlikely the team sticks at 8 if it is looking for its quarterback of the future in the draft.

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