Dane Brugler ranks Falcons 2022 draft class as one of the best in the league

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The Falcons kicked off their 2022 draft by selecting Drake London with the eighth overall pick — a selection that many fans were initially sour over. However, as the weekend progressed, the class took shape. Atlanta began the second day of the draft by trading up for Penn State EDGE Arnold Ebiketie, who might not be a blue chip pass rushing prospect but has the ability to impact immediately. Terry Fontenot then doubled-dipped at the position after selecting DeAngelo Malone, which has long been a position the Falcons haven’t been able to get right.

After trading Matt Ryan to the Colts, Atlanta quickly signed Marcus Mariota to be the team’s stopgap quarterback until they could find the future at the position, which they might’ve done. Even though he probably won’t make an impact in 2022, Desmond Ridder provides excellent value as a third-rounder. The class addressed several areas of need but also bolstered positions of strength — i.e., Montana State’s off-ball linebacker Troy Andersen.

All in all, the Falcons did pretty well from my perspective. However, I’ll refrain from handing out pre-mature grades because development is what separates the bad from the good. Plenty of first-rounders have fizzled out, and just as many late-rounders went on to have successful careers because of their willingness to dedicate themselves to football. I’ll let the national pundits grade the Falcons’ draft haul, which many have described as one of the best in this cycle.

Dane Brugler of The Athletic is a highly respected individual in the draft community. He just released his rankings of each team’s 2022 draft class, and the Falcons landed at 8th:

Favorite pick: Desmond Ridder, QB, Cincinnati

I really like what the Falcons did in the first three rounds. London and Kyle Pitts are athletic big men who will be tough to cover. Ebiketie gives the Falcons a legitimate pass rush threat. Andersen is raw, but a super athlete with a high ceiling once he develops. But I have to go with Ridder. The Falcons passed on the temptation to draft a quarterback in the first two rounds, but in the third round, the value was well worth the selection. And it doesn’t stop the Falcons from addressing the position in the early rounds next year if that is the best direction for the franchise.

Day 3 pick who could surprise: Tyler Allgeier, RB, BYU

Based on team fit and value, Allgeier to Atlanta is one of my favorite Day 3 picks this year. Although his burst is average, he runs with an instinctive feel and quick feet for a bigger back and shows the passing game potential to be an every-down back. Allgeier’s tape is very similar to James Conner when he was coming out of Pittsburgh.

Photographer: Randy Litzinger/Icon Sportswire



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