This question has a lot of "what if"s, so let's simplify this:
Assume Earth is perfectly spherical
Assume no wind or anything, just plain atmosphere that is generally uniform (but will change density as the ball falls through the atmosphere, but lets pretend there's no clouds or air currents)
The lead ball is pretty heavy and does not degrade in the atmosphere at all because its "Magic lead"
Suppose we're in a spaceship that is maintaining orbit around a particular patch of ground on the planet (say some 1x1 meter chunk on the surface of the planet). In other words, if we shoot out a surface normal from this 1x1 patch, it will point directly at the spaceship if we extend the vector along its normal. Further, assume the spaceship is maintaining the perfect velocity at some height $h$ to keep it constantly in line with this surface normal (which may require it to be constantly providing thrust to maintain this, but I am unsure).
We decide to drop a lead ball out of the bottom of our ship.
Is there a way to calculate where it would land, given some height $h$ which is the distance from the ground to the ship? Would the planet pull it down towards it, or would it stay in orbit? We can assume we didn't push it out of the hatch or anything towards the planet, but rather 'let it go'.
Things I don't know are what the range is such that an object will always be pulled in (instead of orbit), and whether or not the speed of the orbiting ship would leave it in orbit.
It would be cool to know if this could be abstracted to a formula like height $h$ off of the surface, and radius $r$ of the planet, and some constantly decreasing atmospheric density $\delta$ (relative to $h$) that may or may not need to be integrated over to affect the calculations.