‘Analytics’ mock draft has Falcons make trade for extra first-round pick

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 18 North Carolina at Clemson

The Falcons spent nearly $230 million on two offensive free agents and have effectively done nothing on the other side of the ball.

Terry Fontenot did sign a few veterans to fill positions of need, but they’re nothing more than depth pieces that shouldn’t see significant playing time. The thought process is that Atlanta will fill those holes through the draft, except that isn’t how Fontenot has operated in the past.

The Falcons GM’s track record of taking the best player available directly conflicts with draft pundits’ reasoning for their mocks. “________” fills a long-standing need for Atlanta just isn’t good enough.

If the explanation is that the Falcons draft “________” because he’s the best player available, then I can get behind that. There are endless possibilities for the Falcons, and as Daniel Jeremiah recently pointed out, that includes an interior defender like Byron Murphy.

With their full allotment of draft picks, including the 8th overall selection, the Falcons could also be flexible and move around the board, which is exactly what they do in the latest mock draft from The Athletic that highlights the analytics.

Atlanta moves back from their top pick in a trade with the Vikings, picking up Minnesota’s extra first-round pick, filling their two biggest roster needs in the first round with Jared Verse and Nate Wiggins.

11. Atlanta Falcons (from MIN): Jared Verse, edge, Florida State

This is a top-heavy draft when it comes to offensive prospects, as 15 of the top 21 on our big board play on that side of the ball. But the Falcons are in much better shape on offense and need a pass rusher. Verse can fill that void, with some teams viewing him as the best edge player in this draft class.

23. Atlanta Falcons (from MIN): Nate Wiggins, CB, Clemson

As mentioned earlier, the Falcons are set up well on offense. They’re not set up well at cornerback. After taking one of the top edge rushers at No. 13, we are going to boost our secondary with CB3 on the big board.

Now, Austin Mock didn’t elaborate much on the trades, but I assume it’s the Falcons giving up more than just the 8th pick for the 11th and 23rd picks because that doesn’t make any sense at all.

It might only take a third-round pick for the Vikings to move up three spots in the draft, so Minnesota must’ve got something else in return for Atlanta’s top pick.

Regardless of the trade compensation, the pair of first-round defenders is awesome. In one offseason, Terry Fontenot could fill two incredibly important holes with potential long-term solutions.

Photographer: John Byrum/Icon Sportswire
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