The Falcons have suffered another crushing loss at home, and it’s clear this roster needs a fresh infusion of young talent. I’m going to differentiate between my picks over the season, so I’ll link the previous mock drafts below if you think I missed out on a player. I’ve been using RiseNDraft’s simulator, but to mix it up, I’ll use The Draft Network’s Mock Simulator for this one. If you disagree with my picks, you can make your own.
Round 1, Pick 8 — CB Derek Stingley Jr., LSU
This is an incredible cornerback class, and Stingley may just be the best of the bunch. If you read my draft analysis, it’s no secret I love Sauce Gardner’s fit with the Falcons. However, Stingley’s talent is way too intriguing to pass up on here. This is a simple case of taking the best player available at a huge position of need. A Stingley-Terrell tandem would be a scary sight for any Offensive Coordinator. Stingley is a physical and suffocating man-to-man corner at the line of scrimmage, and he excels at disrupting route timing. He can jam almost any receiver at the line. He also has some of the best ball skills in college football. As talented as he is, he still has a ton of upside. He would be a slam dunk pick at 8th overall.
Round 2, Pick 40 — EDGE Jermaine Johnson, Florida State
Travon Walker was available, and while I like him more than Johnson, I have selected him more than once already. I’ll switch it up and go with another talented pass rusher. Johnson has prototypical size for an EDGE at 6’5 and 250 pounds — there’s no ignoring his pure physical gifts. He’s exceptionally strong and fast for someone his size, and he does an excellent job of setting the edge against the run as well. He would be a perfect fit for this Falcons defense that needs to start getting to the quarterback.
Round 2, Pick 59 (From Tennessee) — EDGE Kingsley Enagbare, South Carolina
Yeah, I’m double-dipping on pass rushers. And talk about a steal. Like Johnson, Enagbare is a physical specimen and moves way faster than a guy should at 6’4 and 265 pounds. He’s technically sound against the run and as a pass rusher, which is why it’s surprising I was able to grab him at 59. Enagbare has a nice bag of moves to get to the quarterback; he isn’t a guy who just overwhelms inferior competition with his size and athleticism. He’s another high motor guy that can set the edge in run situations, and just like that, this Falcons defense has three exceptional, young building blocks.
Round 3, Pick 72 — S Brandon Joseph, Northwestern
Did I say three? I meant four. Another best player available at a position of need comes to Atlanta. While Jaylinn Hawkins and Richie Grant are nice building blocks, you can never have enough talented defensive backs. Joseph is a ball-hawking safety that can be an enforcer against the run. He brought home First Team All-American honors as a freshman in 2020, and he’s a big part of Pat Fitzgerald’s defense. He snagged six interceptions and defended eight passes in a shortened 2020 season, and he followed it up with three interceptions and six passes defended in 2021. He has the ideal body for a hybrid NFL safety, and he is an easy replacement for Erik Harris or Duron Harmon. He doesn’t have many flaws to his game, and I love drafting a safe yet talented prospect at a position of need to round out day two.
Round 4, Pick 110 — OT Tyler Vrabel, Boston College
Kaleb McGary’s future in Atlanta is uncertain, but even if it wasn’t, Atlanta needs depth at tackle. Matt Gono was on a second-round tender before he suffered a neck injury, and McGary’s fifth-year option will be declined. While guard is more of an immediate need, I would prefer to look in free agency to fill that hole. Vrabel (yes, the son of Mike Vrabel) has excellent tape at Boston College, and he has plug-and-play potential at right tackle immediately. His technique needs some work, he can lunge at times and get beat, but one year behind McGary should allow the Falcons to coach him up to serve as a swing tackle or Kaleb McGary’s replacement following 2022.
Round 5, Pick 150 — WR Tre Turner, Virginia Tech
This pick came down to Turner and Clemson standout Justyn Ross, but I have to give the slight edge to Turner. He has an incredible catch radius, and he has the physical build to become the X receiver the Falcons are sorely missing at the moment. Turner is a very smooth athlete, and he has no problem making the contested catches. Virginia Tech also used him in the run game, which means he could learn a lot from Cordarrelle Patterson after averaging 8.6 yards per carry in college. Turner immediately gives the Falcons a weapon on the outside that can start from the jump, and you can’t downplay that type of value in the fifth round.