D.J. Chark– WR, LSU
Chark was arguably the best player on LSU’s football team last season and sort of flew under the radar in terms of the draft process. That is until he dominated the Senior Bowl and ran a ridiculous 4.34 40-yard dash at the combine. There is a good shot Chark is taken late in the first round or early in the second round, but if he somehow slips to the Falcons in the second, they would be fools not to select him. The 6′ 3″ receiver would add yet another explosive piece to the Atlanta offense and also could help in the return game. He would be a much-needed upgrade over the recently departed Taylor Gabriel.
B.J. Hill– NT/DT, NC State
For the most part, the Falcons will be looking for the best player available with each pick, but they are going to have to select an interior defensive with one of their top picks. If they fail to do so in the first round, B.J. Hill would be a nice selection late in the second. He is an athletic defensive lineman who ran a sub-5 40-yard dash at 6’4, 315 pounds. Hill was a key cog in what became one of the most fierce defensive lines in the nation, racking up 57 tackles, 5.5 for loss along with three sacks. Atlanta’s defensive line was simply too soft in its interior last season, and with the departure of Dontari Poe this offseason, Hill would fill the Falcons most glaring hole.
Billy Price– C/G, Ohio State
Price was an iron man for Ohio State, starting in 55 straight games for the Buckeyes. He won the Remington trophy last season for the nation’s top center in college football and possesses unbelievable strength that will translate well into the NFL. If it was not for the fact that he tore his pectoral muscle at the combine, he probably is a borderline first-round pick. However, if the Falcons have the chance to take Price this late in the second round, they should do so. The team could let him heal appropriately while letting newly-signed guard Brandon Fusco and veteran Andy Levitre hold down the guard spots. By year two, Price would be a starting guard with a bright future ahead of him in Atlanta.
Mike Gesicki– TE, Penn State
The Falcons had high hopes for Austin Hooper in year two, and while he was a suitable pass-catching option for Matt Ryan, it is safe to say he is never going to be an elite receiving option in the NFL. It would be no surprise if the Falcons decided to use one of their early-round picks on a pass catcher. Enter Mike Gesicki, who is an absolute freak athlete out of Penn State. At 6’5″ and nearly 250 pounds, Gesicki ran a blazing 4.54 40-yard dash and put up an inhuman vertical of 41.5 inches. As a blocker, Gesicki is never going to be great, but this guy has all the makings of being an elite tight end in this league and a fantastic red zone threat, something the Falcons desperately need.