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Influence At The Top


Welcome to managing editor Jay Adams' blog-style posts where Jay JAWS about the Falcons. JAWS, of course, stands for Jay Adams Writes Stuff, which means all the Falcons news and information that slips through the cracks — and some that doesn't — can be found right here in these posts

I've seen a lot of mocks recently, and even some reports, projecting that division rival Carolina could, even should, take Auburn quarterback Cam Newton with the No. 1 overall pick. I'm also seeing that Denver could potentially be interested in taking a quarterback to add to their collection.

Never mind that putting Newton in the NFC South with Matt Ryan, Josh Freeman and Drew Brees would automatically make the division one of the most exciting to watch from a quarterback standpoint. Instead, let's focus for a moment on how the Panthers taking Newton at the top spot and Denver possibly taking Blaine Gabbert at No. 2 might affect who the Falcons pick.

I can tell what you're thinking: "Umm, Jay, both of those teams pick at Nos. 1 and 2; we pick at No. 27. How can they possibly have any influence over who the Falcons take?"

Let me run these scenarios by you, grasshopper.

Two quarterbacks coming off the board in the top two picks might send other teams hoping for a signal-caller scrambling. We've seen it before when there's a run on one particular position. Teams that thought they could get some quality at that position in the mid or later part of the first round — heck, even the second round or later — could have their hands forced by Newton and Gabbert coming off the board so quickly.

What does all this mean for the Falcons?

Well, possibly one of two things, in my mind:

  1. Newton and Gabbert becoming unavailable causes a domino effect. Teams that originally thought a player like AJ Green, Marcell Dareus, Von Miller, Patrick Peterson or Da'Quan Bowers would have been gone by the time they picked suddenly have those players fall into their laps. Perhaps those teams were expecting to take mid-first talent, but now they've got top-tier talent in their grasp. That frees up some of the mid-level talent to fall to the later part of the first round.
  1. Newton and Gabbert come off the boards early. This causes teams who may have been interested in taking them to go to Plan B, possibly snapping up players at positions the Falcons might be targeting because there may be no other quarterbacks worth taking in the first round. The sudden run on these targets causes the Falcons to have to address the possibility of trading up in the first round in order to get value that may otherwise not make it down to the No. 27 pick.

Who knows? I'm just thinking aloud in the form of blog post writing.

I think the main lesson we can learn from this is that the draft can fall any which way. If an early team takes a player they're not expected to pick, it could cause a shift all the way through the rest of the first round — perhaps even further.

What do you think of my morning ramblings?

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