Dallas Turner talks to his potential role on Falcons defense

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The Falcons are hours away now from making their third consecutive selection at the 8th pick.

As the mad dash towards Thursday’s first round begins, reports and rumors are flooding in from insiders. There’s really no telling what’s smoke and what’s fire, especially at this point.

Teams, agents, and even insiders have their own agendas, so it’s nearly impossible to sift through all of the information… but we sure are going to try.

Right now, Vegas sees Dallas Turner and Laiatu Latu as the most likely picks for the Falcons, as far as the betting odds are concerned. Turner and Latu are the co-betting favorites at +165.

If you ask Mel Kiper, who is the Godfather of Mock Drafts, the ESPN pundit believes it’s between Turner and another defender — Byron Murphy.

“The Falcons will take the first defensive player in the draft: I see this as edge rusher Dallas Turner (Alabama) or defensive tackle Byron Murphy II (Texas),” Kiper said.

Your guess is as good as mine, but Dallas Turner has been the most popular pick in most mock drafts, and for good reason. The Falcons have an obvious need for a pass rusher, and the Alabama product is arguably the top defender of this class. It’s a perfect fit, even schematically, as Turner pointed out himself.

“It would be a little bit similar of how I was used at Alabama as an outside linebacker,” Turner told Heavy.com’s Jonathan Adams on his role in Atlanta. “Majority of the time I’m going to be rushing, but sometimes I am capable of dropping [in coverage], too. And also, you know, you gotta stop the run. They [want] all downs.”

The Falcons have had a need for a premier pass rusher for most of my lifetime. Dallas Turner’s athletic profile is what’s especially enticing. If Atlanta’s coaching staff can help him realize his full potential, his ceiling is astronomical, and he would become one of the elite players at his position.

Photographer: Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire

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