Defense, Defense, and more Defense for Falcons in latest mock draft

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 11 Arizona State at UCLA

The NFL Draft is here, which means Falcons mocks are flooding in, and I want to highlight a few of my favorites. This one from PFF has Atlanta doing what many fans have been begging the club to do for years — defense, defense, and more defense.

8. ATLANTA FALCONS: EDGE LAIATU LATUUCLA

We’re all-in on Kirk Cousins being the missing piece for the Falcons’ offense, so a defensive playmaker makes sense here. Latu is the guy who can make the biggest impression from day one and gives the Falcons a talent along the edge that they’ve been missing for a long time.

I’m not going to pretend to have a strong conviction among any of the pass rushers. Dallas Turner was made in a football laboratory and possesses the physical profile to be the kind of guy who can wreak havoc.

However, Latu is a much more refined pass rusher and would make me equally happy. He’s the current betting favorite to be the 8th pick, and it shouldn’t surprise Falcons fans if he’s the pick, even if it’s been Turner who’s been mocked to Atlanta for much of the offseason.

43. ATLANTA FALCONS: CB T.J. TAMPAIOWA STATE

This is a position of need and the top remaining player on the board. The Falcons are happy to add to a secondary that is short on numbers, with Tampa afforded the opportunity to compete from day one.

Outside of an edge defender, the Falcons most pressing roster need is cornerback. Going into the season with their current crop of corners would be a risky decision. If the Falcons can find a starting-caliber corner in the second round, that would go a long way for this team, which has hopes of competing in the postseason, not just making it.

54. ATLANTA FALCONS (VIA BROWNS): DI BRADEN FISKEFLORIDA STATE

Mock Trade: Falcons receive Pick No. 54; Browns receive Pick No. 74 and a 2025 third-round pick

Atlanta needs to get to quarterbacks quicker, especially on obvious passing downs, and Fiske should help massively there while offering some depth on early downs.

The Falcons part ways with two third-round picks for Cleveland’s second-rounder and take another defensive lineman, this time along the interior. I don’t think it’s ever a bad idea to add depth along either side of the line of scrimmage, and Fiske offers a little pass rush juice from the interior.

85. ATLANTA FALCONS: EDGE GABRIEL MURPHYUCLA

Mock Trade: Falcons receive Pick No. 85 and a 2025 fourth-round pick; Browns receive Pick No. 79 and a 2025 fifth-round pick

Murphy reunites with college teammate Laiatu Latu as Atlanta looks to get more production off the edge. With their first four picks all targeting defenders, it’s clear the Falcons are throwing mud at the wall and hoping that some playmaking sticks.

Well, why not double up at the position that has been the weakest for the Falcons over the last decade? I don’t know much about Murphy, but the Falcons going defense with their first four picks would be a heaven sent for a unit that looks a lot like the ones that Matt Ryan dealt with for much of his career.

109. ATLANTA FALCONS: T MATT GONCALVESPITTSBURGH

143. ATLANTA FALCONS: WR CORNELIUS JOHNSONMICHIGAN

187. ATLANTA FALCONS: DI JORDAN JEFFERSONLSU

197. ATLANTA FALCONS (VIA BROWNS): S DAIJAHN ANTHONYOLE MISS

230. MINNESOTA VIKINGS (VIA FALCONS): T ETHAN DRISKELLMARSHALL

For the final picks, the Falcons take a pair of offensive tackles. Though it’s not as glaring of a need as pass rusher or corner, a swing tackle is a sneaky hole on this roster. I don’t mind idea of finding that guy in the draft. I watched plenty of Jordan Jefferson at LSU, and he’s a traditional run-stuffing interior defender.

This mock draft adds six defenders and three offensive players, infusing a ton of young talent to Jimmy Lake’s side of the ball. I like it a lot.

Photographer: Ric Tapia/Icon Sportswire

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