While it’s clear the Falcons are set at the starting quarterback with Matt Ryan, there is an adage in the NFL that you’re only as good as your backup at that position.
Earlier this offseason, I discussed the team’s need at quarterback, mentioning the possibility that there is significant room for improvement in terms of their backup situation at the position.
Dominique Davis has talent worth developing but is he ready to become a starter in the unfortunate event that Ryan misses significant time?
It would be ironic that given the improvements the Falcons could make to their offensive line with the signing of guard Jon Asamoah potentially coupled with the use of a high pick on an offensive tackle, that Ryan could get injured this year. But that’s often how the cookie crumbles in the NFL as things rarely go according to plan.
Davis has struggled with his mechanics and his accuracy on intermediate and deep passes, which isn’t a great recipe for success if he’s forced to play more than a couple of series. Sean Renfree, a seventh-round pick last season, has struggled to stay on the field due to injuries dating back to his days at Duke. And in his first preseason with the team looked very rusty in limited reps.
I don’t expect the Falcons to draft a quarterback this year given the investments already made in Davis and Renfree. But this summer, if neither Davis nor Renfree show significant growth, then the Falcons may have to look in a new direction come 2015.
If a talented quarterback slips into the late rounds of the draft, given the high number of picks the team may have, they might be able to afford to draft another passer. But it’s likely any such player will still be a developmental guy that will take time to develop. That certainly could pay off down the road, but there is a more immediate concern at the position on whether the current backups are ready to produce if thrust into the lineup.
One positive is that Davis and Renfree remain eligible for the practice squad, along with any rookie added. Thus the Falcons could still manage to retain all three under certain circumstances.
But it still remains a longshot that the Falcons would address this position seriously in the 2014 draft.