There is reason to be excited for Duke Riley considering just how well Deion Jones preformed in his rookie campaign coming out of LSU, and the comparisons do not stop there. Both Riley and Jones were primarily special-teams stars before being named starters their senior season, but did not let that stop them from leaving their mark on the program. Both were named team captain during their senior seasons and went on to win the team defensive MVP award. The comparisons continued at the combined were the two ran within .001 seconds of each other.
Quinn has had luck drafting LSU players in the last two seasons. Riley looks to continue that trend by making an immediate impact on the defense in his rookie season. Deion Jones and De’Vondre Campbell had impressive rookie years, but beyond that the Falcons depth is cloudy. Riley is an instinctive tackler that really improved over his senior season at LSU. Dan Quinn said he did not draft Riley to just be a special-teams player. He expects Riley to have a major impact on this defense with his speed and coverage ability. It has not taken long in the past for Quinn to throw his rookies into the fire, so expect Riley to see a lot of the field in his rookie season.
2017 stat predictions
Tackles for Loss: 4.5
Forced Fumbles: 0