Thankfully, the Falcons got a much-needed win yesterday, which improves their way-too-early draft projection. I’ll probably space these out bi-weekly, but with the Falcons moving up from the projected third overall pick on RiseNDraft, I figured I’d do one this week. I’m going to mix up my picks over the season, so If you missed my Mock Draft 1.0, be sure to check that out. Once again, I’ll be using RiseNDraft’s simulator, so if you disagree with my picks, you can make your own.
Round 1, Pick 5: CB Kaiir Elam, Florida
Elam is a rare specimen at cornerback; he possesses the size and athleticism that not many guys have. Even at 6’2 and almost 200 pounds, he has excellent technique and can shut down half of the field.
Florida CB Kaiir Elam is ELITE
🔹 Most press coverage snaps played among SEC CBs
🔸 0 completions allowed in press coverage pic.twitter.com/qO7nm1ERF6
— PFF College (@PFF_College) September 23, 2021
Most forced incompletions by an SEC CB in Week 3
Kaiir Elam, Florida: 3
Nobody else had more than 1 🐊 pic.twitter.com/gENzfYG1kV
— PFF College (@PFF_College) September 21, 2021
Elam would give the Falcons two potential shutdown corners alongside AJ Terrell. Atlanta has long been starving for corners; Elam makes a lot of sense — even with bigger needs left on the board.
Round 2, Pick 36: IOL/OT Kenyon Green, Texas A&M
I have NEVER seen Kenyon Green go this late, and he’s way too talented at a prominent position of need to pass on here. A lot of things can happen between now and April, so hey, why not. Green is an ELITE guard, and while the Falcons could use help on the interior, he could also serve as a Kaleb McGary replacement. If not, the Falcons have an incredibly talented plug-and-play left guard that can grade against the run and is one of the better pass protectors in the class.
Round 2, Pick 55 (From Tennessee): WR George Pickens, Georgia
As mentioned multiple times, the Falcons badly need another playmaker on offense. Arthur Smith has been hesitant to use Kyle Pitts thus far, but I think that will change as the season goes along. Regardless, Russell Gage hasn’t had an incredible season, and the Falcons are still slim on playmakers. Coming off of a torn ACL, George Pickens may fall a bit in the draft. Whoever gets him will still be getting an incredible playmaker with loads of potential. The pick that the Falcons got for Julio Jones turns into a receiver.
George Pickens —> Allen Robinson@PFF_Mike’s comp in PFF’s 2022 Draft Guice
— PFF (@PFF) July 18, 2021
Round 3, Pick 67: RB Kyren Williams, Notre Dame
I don’t think Atlanta’s running back situation is very dire… at all, actually, but until I do some more scouting, Williams is the best player available. He’s a great weapon in the passing game, as a blocker, and as a receiver:
— Trevor Sikkema (@TampaBayTre) September 25, 2021
On top of that, Williams can get the dirty yards and hit the home run as well
How in the world did Kyren Williams break free?
That is some impressive strength and balance from the Notre Dame back 😮
— Pro Football Network (@PFN365) September 18, 2021
With Pickens, Pitts, and Williams in the fold — Atlanta has a trio of very young and dangerous weapons for Matt Ryan… or my next draft pick.
Round 4, Pick 104: QB Grayson McCall, Coastal Carolina
I love Grayson McCall as a college quarterback, but he’s going to be a bit of a project. I wouldn’t be surprised if he didn’t declare, but he may try to take advantage of a very thin quarterback class. McCall is a really good athlete and an efficient distributor that can run Coastal Carolina’s offense perfectly. However, he doesn’t have incredible arm strength. Mullet aside, I see a lot of Gardner Minshew II in McCall’s game. I’m not sold he could be the quarterback of the future, but you can’t ignore his ability to lead a football team.
Round 5, Pick: S Smoke Monday, Auburn
The Falcons scoop up the best name in the draft while addressing a need, Smoke Monday could rotate in with Jaylinn Hawkins and Richie Grant as the Falcons rebuild their secondary. Monday is a very physical safety who is an adept blitzer, and he would undoubtedly take over the box safety void that Keanu Neal left, which still hasn’t been adequately filled. Monday could likely serve as a nickel linebacker as well, another chess piece for Dean Pees.
Round 5, Pick 143 (From Tennessee): EDGE Xavier Thomas, Clemson
It hurts not taking an edge until now, but many of the options went before Atlanta’s second-round pick. Ta’Quon Graham, Marlon Davidson, and Ade Ogundeji have shown some promise, so I’m okay with rolling the dice on Xavier Thomas here. The former top high school prospect hasn’t had the superstar career that some expected at Clemson, but he still has some upside. Thomas is a freak athlete who can put his hand in the dirt or stand up and rush, and he’s only 21 years old. There’s some projectability the Falcons may be able to mold into a solid pass rusher.