The Falcons are in desperate need of pass rush help; it’s no secret. Atlanta hasn’t had a threatening pass rush unit in almost two decades, and this new regime knows it. Terry Fontenot realizes the amount of capital it’s going to take to build a talented yet deep rotation. Not only will Atlanta have to find prospects through the draft, but they’ll also have to scour the free agent market to bring in proven contributors. It isn’t something that will happen overnight.
Thankfully, this year’s draft class is loaded with pass rushers. It will give the Falcons an excellent chance of positioning themselves to eventually sign depth or difference-making pieces — once the team gets out from under the last regime’s salary cap issues — to give them a balanced pass rush unit.
One of those prospects is Oregon’s Kayvon Thibodeaux, who has been free falling in recent mock drafts. Once considered a threat to be the first player taken off the board, concerns regarding inconsistency and effort have shifted the media’s perception of Thibodeaux.
Daniel Jeremiah is the latest notable draft pundit to mock the Oregon product sliding to the Falcons at No. 8. He had this to say about the selection, “Thibodeaux is a true wild card in this draft. I could see him going anywhere from No. 2 overall to outside of the top 10. Atlanta has a HUGE need for pass-rush help.”
I’ve now seen several NFL mock drafts project a Thibodeaux slide, which doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. He’s got an elite skill set with the physical gifts to be truly great at a position that is highly coveted in this league.
I believe the board would have to fall perfectly for the Falcons to land a prospect of Thibodeaux’s caliber, which would likely come in the form of a quarterback craze. Even though this crop of quarterbacks isn’t blowing evaluators away, it is the most important position in all of sports, and NFL teams always act boldly when it comes to them.
It would be a home run selection for the Falcons. Getting an elite-level prospect that also fills a serious position of need is maybe closer to a grand slam. The concerns are scoff-worthy in my eyes; I would be overjoyed for Falcons fans if Thibs fell to them in April’s draft.
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