Falcons training camp begins this week. Football is officially back! So, it’s the perfect time for 2024 mock drafts, right?
The draft community doesn’t sleep and sometimes prefers the offseason to the actual season because of their obsession with prospects and draft scenarios. The Falcons have been selecting in the top 10 in three straight cycles, but that will not be the case in 2024.
After finally getting out from underneath the record-breaking dead cap, the new regime finally put together a playoff-caliber roster. Atlanta’s postseason aspirations hinge on Desmond Ridder, but his supporting cast and the NFC South’s outlook mean it’s playoffs or bust.
Still, the prospect of ending the drought isn’t bulletproof, and the latest mock draft from Damian Parson of Draft Network suggests they’ll once again be sitting at home in January.
He has the Falcons picking 12th overall and landing Ohio State pass rusher Jack Sawyer.
12. Atlanta Falcons
Jack Sawyer EDGE, Ohio State
The Falcons continue to seek help to rush the passer. Jack Sawyer is a member of one of the best defensive lines in college football. His motor, quickness, and hand usage show what he can become. Falcons need a true edge presence and Sawyer has the makings of a player to fill that role.
Coming out of high school, Sawyer was highly sought after but chose the Buckeyes over every other elite program in the nation. He was Ohio State’s top-rated recruit a couple of cycles ago. Sawyer hasn’t broken out yet but will have every opportunity to do so in 2023.
Ohio State has been producing talent at this position for several years now. Under Jim Knowles, Sawyer played the Jack position, which requires defenders to not only rush the passer but also drop into coverage. In 2023, he’ll transition to a more traditional, hand-in-the-dirt defensive end, where he should thrive.
The Falcons haven’t had a consistent pass rush in what feels like a decade. Even though the club drafted Arnold Ebiketie and DeAngelo Malone, you can never have enough guys who can sack quarterbacks. Jack Sawyer fits the mold of past defensive ends that have thrived under Ryan Nielsen, so this mock draft makes a lot of sense.
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