The Atlanta Falcons were able to successfully retain unrestricted free agent in T.J. Yates this offseason, setting up a battle between him and Sean Renfree for the right to backup starter Matt Ryan at the quarterback position this summer.
But as the 2015 NFL Draft looms little more than a week from today, it begs the question of whether the Falcons will seek to add a fourth passer to the mix via the draft. After all, the Falcons showed interest in free agent Matt Schaub earlier this offseason before he signed with the Baltimore Ravens, suggesting that they aren’t completely satisfied with the state of their depth behind Ryan.
While all indications are that the 2015 class is one of the weakest groups of quarterbacks in memory, that hasn’t stopped the Falcons from looking at a couple of potential options. The Falcons have put feelers out for Colorado State-Pueblo signal-caller Chris Bonner. One evaluator believes Bonner is the top-rated senior quarterback in the class.
If the Falcons have a similar opinion, should he or a comparable prospect be available late in the draft, what’s to stop the team from taking a flyer on him in the sixth or seventh round? If they did, that would probably mean that the new coaching staff doesn’t have a high opinion of a former seventh-rounder in Renfree.
However, more than likely the Falcons will pass on using a draft pick on a quarterback that won’t be guaranteed to make the roster and just settle for bringing in a fourth arm via undrafted free agency. Given the weakness of this year’s quarterback crop, the reality may be that the difference between a mid-round pick and undrafted free agent won’t be as stark as it has been in other years.
Also by drafting a quarterback, it essentially compels the Falcons to keep three quarterbacks on the roster at a time when more and more teams are opting to keep just two to increase roster flexibility. Instead, expect the Falcons to try and find a fourth arm to bring to camp, and hope they find a diamond in the rough that can earn his way onto the practice squad.