NFL Network draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah released his latest mock draft and has Atlanta selecting quarterback Trey Lance with the No. 4 overall pick. With only two weeks until the NFL Draft, Jeremiah joined AtlantaFalcons.com reporter Kelsey Conway to discuss why he thinks Lance will be the Falcons' pick and more.
Question: Why did you mock Trey Lance to the Falcons?
Daniel Jeremiah: I think a lot of people just kind of assume with Matt Ryan's contract that this is going to be a situation where they are not going be in the quarterback market. And I still believe, as they do, that he still has good football left in him. I question the opportunity you're going to have in the near future picking where they are picking to land a successor. To get someone that's going to solve that position for a decade plus, to me I think the opportunity to take a quarterback would be too big of an opportunity to pass up. Then it comes down to which quarterback do you want and the scenario of this mock draft it's really a decision between Justin Fields and Trey Lance. To me, both of these guys have tremendous ability. Trey gets a little bit of a nod from me in terms of decision making and protecting the football. I think both guys offer a lot in terms of expanding your playbook with their athleticism. So, to me I don't know if there's a wrong pick between the two, but this is why I have them going Trey Lance.
Q: Terry Fontenot has come out and said he abides the best player available approach which is different than previous drafts because the previous general manager was more focused on needs as we've seen over the last few years. How do you weigh the value of hoping that you're not picking in the top five any time soon, but you've also come out and say you believe in taking the best player available?
DJ: That's a challenge and everyone likes to give lip service to that. But at the end of the day, there's a hierarchy when it comes to the positions. If I need a tackle, cornerback and a pass rusher, then I'm good with taking the best player available. When I don't know who's going to be the quarterback for my football team within a couple years and that could be a decade long trek through the wilderness to find the next guy, to me that trumps everything. I have Kyle Pitts as the second-best player in the draft, the only quarterback I have ahead of him is Trevor Lawrence who's going to be the first pick in the draft. If I'm going to purely off need individually, I'm taking Kyle Pitts with the fourth pick. But to me I would take a good quarterback over a great tight end every day of the week because it's going to impact your team not only in a bigger way in a year or two years, you're going to have a chance to have that position solidified for a decade plus. That would be too hard for me to pass up.
Q: Do you think the Falcons are the most intriguing team heading into the draft?
DJ: I think we know that San Francisco is going to pick a quarterback. With Atlanta, are they going to stay there? Are they going to take a quarterback or are they going to position player? They have three legit options that's why when people say when does the draft start? To me it starts with Atlanta.
Q: Who do you think some teams to keep an eye are on in terms of potential trade partners for the Falcons?
DJ: For me I think New England's [pick] at No. 15 would probably be as far I would want to go and that's still pretty far and that cost would be significant for them to come up. But to me when you have a new head coach and new general manager, if you don't have a quarterback that you love there, to me I think the better for the franchise would be to cash in this lottery ticket because there are going to be a number of suitors who are going to come up. To me the decision would really come down to do we love one of these quarterbacks? Then you stick and pick. If you're not going to take a quarterback, in my opinion, I think the better move would be to trade out and collect as many assets as you can as you try and rebuild this team.