Elite prospects will be on the board for Falcons in the first round


The unfortunate reality is the Falcons may not have the opportunity to draft one of the elite quarterback prospects in the draft, which is by far their biggest need this offseason. Most expect Caleb Williams, Drake Maye, and Jayden Daniels to go within the first three picks. The Falcons could potentially fall in love with one of the remaining quarterbacks in the next tier — J.J. McCarthy, Michael Penix Jr, or Bo Nix — but if they don’t, the early run on quarterbacks could result in a blue-chip prospect falling right in their laps with the 8th pick in the draft.

TE Brock Bowers

Tight end isn’t a position of need with Kyle Pitts and Jonnu Smith in the fold, especially with Zac Robinson now coordinating the offense. He’s not going to run a bunch of 12 personnel like Arthur Smith, but Bowers can fit into any offense. He’s the best tight end prospect of my lifetime; the complete package that can run any route on the route tree, a menace after the catch, and a tremendous blocker in the run game. Robinson may not be keen on running a lot of 12 personnel, but Pitts’ versatility makes that a non-factor. He can easily line up wide and be used as a wide receiver in any situation. The thought of having Brock Bowers, Bijan Robinson, Drake London, and Kyle Pitts on the field at the same time is a dream for any offensive coordinator.

WR Malik Nabers

My LSU bias is shining through, but Malik Nabers might be the best wide receiver in this class. Marvin Harrison Jr. is as good as it gets when it comes to receiver prospects, but Nabers is right there. He’s elite in all facets of the game, but the one that intrigues me most is his YAC ability. Nabers consistently turned 10-yard catches into explosive plays for the Tigers, and when thinking about Rams receivers that have had a lot of success like Cooper Kupp and Puka Nacua, that’s a trait they have in spades. Nabers would fit perfectly into the Falcons offense, giving them two legitimate #1 receivers, and is a great complement to Drake London.

WR Rome Odunze

Odunze is another receiver that has a very good chance of going in the top 10. He was Michael Penix’s top target at Washington and has big play ability written all over him. His body positioning and hands are second to none, tilting 50/50 balls heavily into his favor. The Falcons need a #2 wide receiver desperately. Fans might not be in love with taking a skill position player inside the top 10 for the fourth consecutive season, but the early parts of this draft are filled with elite level pass catchers.

OT Joe Alt

The game is won in the trenches, and while the Falcons defensive line needs more help than their offensive line, this is about the best possible player available. It’s also not like the Falcons couldn’t use another tackle. Jake Matthews is nearing the end of his career, and who knows how much longer Kaleb McGary will remain in Atlanta. Taking the top tackle in the draft, a guy that can instantly slide in and start from day one could definitely be in the cards, giving the Falcons an incredibly young and talented offensive line.

OT Olumuyiwa Fashanu

Fashanu is another blue chip prospect that somewhat shockingly opted to return to Penn State for his Senior season. Despite that, he’s still just 21-years-old and one of the most polished tackle prospects in this draft. Most expect Joe Alt to come off the board first, which could leave the Falcons with Fashanu if they opt to draft an offensive tackle.

EDGE Dallas Turner

Offense will dominate the top half of the draft, but there are a few defensive prospects worth mentioning. After quarterback, EDGE is the Falcons biggest need this offseason. It’s been a problem area in Atlanta for as long as I can remember, and it’s looking especially weak with Calais Campbell and Bud Dupree set to test free agency. The Falcons must add multiple bodies to the group, and Dallas Turner would be a fantastic start. A five-star athlete out of high school, he saw action in all three years at Alabama, showcasing a unique blend of speed and power. But it’s not all just athleticism. Turner has the technique to match, rushing the passer with a plan.

EDGE Jared Verse

Verse’s path to the top of the first round was much different than Dallas Turner’s. The Florida State product was not highly recruited out of high school, beginning his collegiate career at Albany where he redshirted as a freshman. Verse would go on to spend three years there before transferring to Florida State ahead of the 2022 season. He could have come out last year and most likely been a first-round pick but he decided to stay in hopes of winning a national championship while continuing to build his draft stock. Unfortunately, Florida State was infamously screwed out of a spot in the College Football Playoff, but Verse still benefitted, racking up nine sacks and 12.5 tackles for loss. He has a great chance of being the first defensive player off the board in a couple of months.

Photographer: John Korduner/Icon Sportswire


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