The Atlanta Falcons continue their march up the NFL Draft order while remaining just one game out of the lead in the NFC South. The Falcons dropped to 5-9 after their 21-18 loss to the New Orleans Saints.
Their third loss in a row puts them at No. 7 in the latest NFL Draft order according to Tankathon. The Falcons are tied with the Carolina Panthers and New Orleans Saints at 5-9, but similar to last year, their strength of schedule is the weakest of the three giving them the tie breaker.
Atlanta heads to frigid Baltimore to take on the Ravens on Saturday. My Bookie considers the Falcons 7.5-point underdogs. Atlanta will also have an eye on the Denver Broncos vs. the LA Rams on Christmas Day.
If the Falcons lose to the Ravens, they’ll move up at least one spot over the Broncos/Rams winner who both are sitting on four wins.
While the Falcons will likely be underdogs in two of their last three games, it’s hard to picture them losing at home to the Arizona Cardinals on Week 17 before closing the season against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Atlanta will likely finish the season with six wins and pick in the seven to ten range again in April.
The big question by that time will be at the quarterback position. Will Desmond Ridder have done enough at quarterback for the Falcons to pass on a quarterback in the top 10?
Will there be a quarterback at 10 they like enough even if they don’t think Ridder is the long term answer.
For the Falcons sake, having Ridder look competent the last month of the season would be the best case scenario. Then general manager Terry Fontenot could use a premium pick to address what has consistently been one of the league’s worst defenses.
Edge, defensive line, and a long-term cornerback partner for A.J. Terrell are all priorities for the Falcons in the upcoming draft.
UPDATED NFL DRAFT ORDER:
1. Houston Texans (1-12-1)
2. Chicago Bears (3-11)
3. Seattle Seahawks (via Denver 4-10)
4. Detroit Lions (via LA Rams 4-10)
5. Arizona Cardinals (4-10)
6. Indianapolis Colts (4-9-1)
7. Atlanta Falcons (5-9)
8. Carolina Panthers (5-9)
9. New Orleans Saints (5-9)
10. Las Vegas Raiders (6-8)