And we've reached peak NFL offseason insanity. Tom Brady's back. Free agency's open negotiating period just started. Quarterbacks are moving all over the place and jersey swaps are happening in media outlets across the country.
Such is NFL life in mid-March. Things change quickly these days, which is why I didn't answer questions about free agent options and all that. That would've made this Bair Mail's shelf life shorter than a snap.
So, let me offer some counter programming with a story on the draft and ever changing NFC South in this Monday mailbag:
Jim McIntosh from Park City, Utah
Lots of talk and rightfully so about us needing an edge rusher. But as far as a can't miss prospect you've gotta like Jordan Davis. The trimmed down version of him at the combine was nothing short of an irresistible force.
Bair: I'm not a big fan of watching NFL Combine drills. It ain't football, which is what these guys are paid to play. Jordan Davis' performance, however, counts as a rare exception. He was flying in that 40-yard dash. He was mashing with every mighty swing of the arm fighting through "blocks." He showed agility no man that size should possess.
Odds are great he'll be an excellent pro. All that said, I still have a tough time believing the Falcons will go that route with so many other premium positions of need, or that he'll be the best player on their board at No. 8. In a trade down, maybe. I still don't know if I'd go that route. Going with his teammate, Travon Walker? I'd be down for that, no doubt.
If I'm the Falcons, though, I don't want to face Davis twice per year in the division, either.
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Del Williams from Lincoln, Neb.
All I want is to draft a quarter back. Please for the love of football! The guy I'm talking about is Malik Willis!! He flashed the kind of dual-threat ability that NFL offensive coordinators will salivate over. Willis can sit behind Ryan and soak up the game and learn from a pro! Matty ice isn't getting any younger!!
Bair: Going quarterback at No. 8 or taking Malik Willis with a slight trade down – he's a wild card who could go seemingly anywhere in the first round – would be a bold move that wouldn't help the 2022 Falcons much. It sure seems like Matt Ryan will start in 2022, meaning they wouldn't be addressing any immediate needs with their most valuable draft asset.
The Falcons are all about best player available, but that one I just can't see right now. Never say never, though, I guess. I agree that Willis is so intriguing, and any quarterback who becomes a good player, a segment of Falcons fans will regret not taking. It's just not the time to take a quarterback; it's time to build the team up around the quarterback.
And there will be plenty of quality options in next year's draft. Maybe even better ones. Don't forget that.
Mike S from Calgary, Alberta, Canada
We all went to bed with dreams of our first division title in about forever (2016) and back comes TB12 to stomp out those expectations. Does this guy have a personal vendetta against the Falcons or something?
Bair: That's a pretty dramatic take there, Mike, though I'm sure it was done with tongue in cheek. Having Tom Brady return, and return to the Bucs, changes the NFC South outlook.
The division was wide open entering Sunday night. Now Tampa Bay's the presumptive favorite again. Going from question marks at quarterback to a seven-time Super Bowl champ is, well, a huge swing.
It won't change the Falcons offseason approach, which remains to be as competitive as possible while getting right with the salary cap. We'll have to wait and see how the division shakes out with free agency and the draft, but Brady changes things for sure. It's no lock the Bucs will be a dominant force yet again, and the Saints and Panthers aren't currently in great shape. We could see a lot of close contests in the division. Time will tell on that front.
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Jeremy Baker from Calhoun, Ga.
Hey Scott, I have an interesting question. Can we try and temp Mr. Blank to do a uniform change? These new ones aren't working for what I feel like the majority of the fan base. I don't feel like they're very intimidating. Surely we can submit ideas for new ones?? I've seen some awesome ones in online forums and I just don't don't think these were our best ones. Honestly, I really like those black ones we wore in the Michael Vick era, not the Deion sanders ones but the 2004 ones. Let's get it!!
Bair: Jeremy! Before I get to your question, I was up in your town the other day and stopped at Buc-ee's for the first time. What an experience. The line for brisket was too long, but I loaded up on beef jerky and hot sauce and enough beaver nuggets to last a lifetime. I'd gain weight pretty fast if that was around the block from me.
Now on to the uniform question. It takes a long time to petition the league for changes. I wouldn't think one's coming down the pike right away. I agree the Falcons have had some awesome uniforms in the past. I'm generally not a big fan of alternates, but those gradient jerseys are pretty sweet. I still think black on black is a good look, and I liked the throwbacks used last year as well.
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