Report: Fontenot, Smith and Ragone at Zach Wilson’s Pro Day

Atlanta Falcons General Manager Terry Fontenot gestures as he talks during the jet ride to Atlanta, Georgia, on Thursday January 21, 2021.
Caption
Atlanta Falcons General Manager Terry Fontenot gestures as he talks during the jet ride to Atlanta, Georgia, on Thursday January 21, 2021.

Credit: Rob Foldy/Atlanta Falcons

Falcons general manager Terry Fontenot, coach Arthur Smith and offensive coordinator Dave Ragone are at Brigham Young’s Pro Day in Provo, Utah, on Friday, according to Albert Breer of the TheMMQB.

Quarterback Zach Wilson is the top prospect from BYU.

Ragone has not been at the other visits or was not listed. He’s important because he was with the Bears when they traded up to No. 2 to draft Mitchell Trubisky over Deshaun Watson and Patrick Mahomes in 2017. If the Falcons draft a quarterback, they can’t make the Trubisky mistake and Wilson, whose team lost to Coastal Carolina this season, has been compared with Trubisky.

Fontenot and Smith also attended the Pro Day for former Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence and for North Dakota State’s Trey Lance. Smith was seen on camera at Alabama quarterback Mac Jones’ Pro Day on Tuesday.

The Falcons hold the fourth pick in the draft and are in the quarterback market, with only Matt Ryan on the roster. Ryan is set to turn 36 in May and backup Matt Schaub retired. Kurt Benkert, who was being developed by the former regime, was released.

The Falcons restructured Ryan’s contract to get under the salary cap and would have to take massive salary-cap hits to release him. While signaling that Ryan is their quarterback, the Falcons have continued to scout the top quarterback prospects in the draft.

Lawrence, who’s from Cartersville, is widely considered the top quarterback prospect in the draft.

Jacksonville has the first pick in the draft. The New York Jets have the second pick and could select a quarterback. Miami traded the third pick to San Francisco on Friday, and then the Falcons pick fourth. The draft is set be held April 29-May 1 in Cleveland.

Ohio State’s Justin Fields is set to have his Pro Day on Tuesday. Fields, who played at Harrison High, started his career at Georgia.

There is a debate over who’s the second-best quarterback in the draft. Is it Wilson or is it Justin Fields? Some think it’s Lance and Jones is also highly regarded.

It’s close between Wilson and Fields.

“I think both those guys (Wilson and Fields) are going to be really good players at the next level,” NFL Network draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah said. “I would say I don’t think there’s a debate in terms of who played better last year when you just watch all the tape. To me Zach Wilson played the best.”

Jeremiah apparently is willing to overlook the loss to Coastal Carolina, while Fields turned in the most dynamic performance of the season going head-to-head against Lawrence in the College Football Playoff semifinals.

“That doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a slam dunk he’s going to be the (better) player,” said Jeremiah, a former NFL scout. “So, that’s the challenge and the evaluation is you’ve got Zach who threw the ball better, somebody who made better decisions. But you look at what Justin brings to the table with his -- first of all, let’s start with his toughness.”

Falcons’ 2021 draft position: Here are the top nine picks in D. Led’s Mock Draft 3.0:

1. Jacksonville Jaguars: Trevor Lawrence (QB, Clemson)

2. New York Jets: Zach Wilson, (QB, BYU)

3. San Francisco 49ers: Trey Lance (QB, North Dakota State)

4. Denver Broncos (trade with Falcons): Justin Fields (QB, Ohio State)

5. Cincinnati Bengals: Penei Sewell (OT, Oregon)

6. Miami Dolphins: DeVonta Smith (WR, Alabama)

7. Detroit Lions: Ja’Marr Chase (WR, LSU)

8. Carolina Panthers: Mac Jones (QB, Alabama)

9. Falcons (trade with Broncos): Micah Parsons, (OLB, Penn State)

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