Coburn’s Final Falcons’ 7-Round Mock Draft (with trades)

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We are just a week away from the NFL Draft; the closest thing we will have to live sports for the foreseeable future. It is crazy how much things can change in a year. 358 days ago, I was at the NFL Draft in Nashville, having the time of my life. Now, this year’s event will be virtual, where the players cannot even attend. But given the circumstances, nobody is complaining. Safety comes first, and every sports fan is starving for some action. 

The Falcons made some splashes in free agency, but with limited cap space available, they will look to the NFL Draft to complete the final product for the 2020 season. Alas, I have put together my final mock draft, and it may be my favorite one yet. I am confident that not only did I draft for some needs but took the best players available, while making some wise trades. 

Round 1, 16th Overall: C.J. Henderson, CB, Florida

Ian Rapoport is saying that Florida cornerback C.J. Henderson is a name to keep an eye on for the Falcons in the first round, perhaps in a trade-up scenario:

This could not make any more sense. The Falcons had to part ways with top corner Desmond Trufant this offseason to clear cap room, and quite frankly, they may have one of the worst groups in the league as things stand. In case you may have forgotten, they also play in a division with Tom Brady and Drew Brees. Yikes. However, using my simulator, Henderson was available. Consider it a no-brainer pick if that is the case Thursday.

Round 2, 47th Overall: Tyler Biadasz, C, Wisconsin

I consider Biadasz to be the top interior lineman in this year’s draft class, and he would be a reliable plug and play option at left guard and a replacement option down the road for Alex Mack at center. Frankly, he has been the best center in the nation for the past two seasons, and he has many pro-bowl selections ahead of him.

TRADE ALERT!!! Atlanta Falcons trade picks 78, and 143 to the Dallas Cowboys for picks 82, 123, and 165

I moved back a few spots here because I felt my top player on the board would not be selected during that window. I traded up in the fourth round and picked up an additional fifth-round pick.

Round 3, 82nd Overall: Bradlee Anae, EDGE, Utah

While the Falcons made a big-time signing in Dante Fowler to establish a better pass rush, the work is not be done. Utah’s career sack leader, Bradlee Anae, would be the perfect mid-round compliment to their rotation. He ultimately made the decision after his junior season to return to school as Pro Football Focus’ highest-graded Pac-12 Edge rusher, but he is no one-trick pony. He was PFF’s highest-graded rush defender at the position as well, anchoring a strong Utah defense en route to posting 41 tackles, 14 for a loss, a ridiculous 13 sacks, and a forced fumble. He is no elite athlete, and perhaps a bit of an effort player, but he is one of the most slept on prospects in this class.

Round 4, 119th Overall: Anthony Gordon, QB, Washington State

This pick is really about taking the best player available, but it serves a purpose as well. Though he was not a household name, Anthony Gordon was one of the most electric quarterbacks in college football last season. The year prior, he came close to beating out Gardner Minshew for the starting job, who has already had some NFL success after being a draft steal himself in 2019. The reality is that while Mike Leach quarterbacks do not have the best track records in the NFL, the professional game has shifted more towards the type of offense Leach runs in recent years. Gordon threw for a ridiculous 5,579 yards and 48 touchdowns last season, and with some time behind Ryan to develop and work on his mechanics, I have confidence he can be a starting level NFL QB.

TRADE ALERT!!! Atlanta Falcons trade picks 123 and 229 to the New York Jets for pick 120

To ensure I landed one of my favorite prospects in this class, I tossed the Jets a seventh-rounder to move up a few spots in the fourth round.

Round 4, 120th Overall: Harrison Bryant, TE, FAU

Though the Falcons made a move for tight end Hayden Hurst, I still felt that Harrison Bryant was the best player available at this spot. I will boldly predict he will be the best tight end in this class. He was primarily used as a pass-catcher at FAU, hauling in 65 receptions for 1,004 yards and seven touchdowns last season. For this reason, he was labeled as merely a move tight end, but he proved in the Senior Bowl he can make some vicious blocks against quality talent. Bryant would be a tremendous developmental option for Atlanta and allow them to run more tight end sets down the road. Another weapon for Matt Ryan.

Round 5, 165th Overall: Joe Reed, WR, Virginia

I would have loved to add a bit more defense in this mock, but I felt I addressed the two most significant holes on the team and had to go with the best player available here. That would be Joe Reed from Virginia. I have confidence that Russell Gage will step up as a quality WR3, but the Falcons did still lose Mohamed Sanu, and Laquon Treadwell is more of a name at this point in his career. Reed adds another quality depth option, but more importantly, an elite return man. He brought back five kicks for touchdowns in his college career.

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