Readin’ the tea leaves

By | March 27, 2021

Readin’ the tea leaves … Part of the fun of pro days is watching to see who goes to the various workouts from which teams and trying to see if there are any clues there as to what that particular team might be thinking. And maybe the most revealing tidbit from yesterday’s BYU pro day where QB Zack Wilson, the likely 2nd pick overall this year, was that the Atlanta Falcons were there in force. Teams are only allowed a max of three reps per pro day and the Falcons in attendance yesterday were owner Arthur Smith, G.M. Terry Fontenot, and offensive coordinator Dave Ragone and it doesn’t get much bigger in Atlanta. What it suggests is that Atlanta, which has the 4th pick overall, is most definitely looking seriously at this year’s QB crop; indeed, recall that the Falcons had pretty much the same group at Trey Lance’s workout at the North Dakota State pro day earlier this month. The question for the Falcons all along has been do they use the 4th pick overall to select a future replacement for Matt Ryan who is coming an excellent season, but is 35-years-old, or do they look to build around Ryan. Seems they are least looking at the former option, although with the 49ers apparently moving up to the 3rd pick overall in that trade with Miami it now appears that QBs are likely to go 1-2-3 leaving the Falcons with at best the #4 guy at the position with the 4th pick. Of course, its always possible the Falcons are just blowing a little smoke to drum up interest in a trade for the pick, but you don’t really have to drag your owner around the country to do that, especially in the midst of the worst pandemic in over a century.

Meanwhile, could Dallas have been any less subtle when head coach Mike McCarthy, who had planned to attend the Virginia Tech pro day yesterday, opted to stay home when it was announced that Hokies’ CB Caleb Farley, one the top 1-2 corner prospects this year along with Alabama’s Patrick Surtain, would not be working out after undergoing back surgery earlier this month.

At the same time, one of the emerging table games in the NFL is exactly who Miami might be targeting after trading the 3rd pick to San Francisco for the 12th, but then moving back to #6 in their second deal with Philadelphia. The speculation is that Miami thinks it can get the same player they were planning to select with the 3rd pick overall at #6. It is certainly not going to be a QB. The Dolphins would also have no guarantees that either of Oregon OT Penei Sewell or LSU WR Ja’marr Chase would still be there at #6 with Cincinnati lurking at #5, unless, of course, Miami felt that at least one of those guys would there at #6; however, there is no guarantee of that until there is some guarantee that a QB also gets taken at #4 which isn’t there right now, despite Atlanta’s apparent leaning above. What that leaves – at least most logically if the theory holds – is a couple of possibilities: WR Devonta Smith, Dolphins’ QB Tua Tagovailoa’s favorite target back in their days at Alabama, or Florida TE Kyle Pitts, who more than one NFL scout regards as the best non-QB prospect in this year’s draft. Stay tuned; we’ll find out for sure in 33 days!!