Atlanta Falcons Blog

Atlanta Falcons blog by D. Orlando Ledbetter, the pro football and Atlanta Falcons reporter for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

D. Led's breakdown of the quarterbacks in the 2016 NFL draft

FLOWERY BRANCH -- This is not a particular strong class for the quarterback position.

My favorites in the groups are Memphis quarterback Paxton Lynch and Ohio State’s Cardale "12 Gauge" Jones. But because NFL teams can’t or are no longer willing to develop quarterbacks, they are under-valued.

With some polish, both Lynch and Jones could be the steal of this draft class.

Lynch, a late bloomer who ran the Wing-T in high school and almost went to Florida, has a big arm and is athletic enough to handle rolls out and movement type plays. Jones, who led the Buckeyes to the national championship after the 2014 season, also has a cannon of an arm. If he could fine-tune his mechanics and accuracy underneath, he could have a long NFL career.

North Dakota State’s Carson Wentz and California’s Jared Goff are the two top rated quarterbacks. Here's my story on why the Rams mortgaged their future to get to the No. 1 spot in the draft.

Penn State’s Christian Hackenberg was recruited by Houston Texans coach Bill O’Brien. He had a fast start to his college career before tapering off.

It will be interesting to see where former Mississippi State quarterback Dak Prescott is drafted. He's projected to go in the fourth or fifth round. He’s considered to be a potential NFL backup with an upside.

Teams in need: St. Louis, Cleveland, New York Jets, Buffalo, Dallas and Philadelphia.

Need area for Falcons? No. The Falcons have Matt Ryan and re-signed Matt Schaub over the offseason. The team also has Sean Renfree and Matt Simms on the roster. They are not expected to draft a quarterback.


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About the Author

D. Orlando Ledbetter is the Atlanta Falcons beat writer for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.