The Falcons have suffered another crushing loss, and it appears they are officially out of the playoff race. 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 I’ll use The Draft Network’s Mock Simulator for this one to mix it up. If you disagree with my picks, you can make your own.
Round 1, Pick 9: S Kyle Hamilton – Notre Dame
I know what everyone will say after the 49ers game — the Falcons need help in the trenches. However, this team has invested a ton of early-round picks into the offensive and defensive lines with little to show for it. I think there’s depth in this draft in the trenches, and whatever the team does have in free agency should go towards the interior of the offensive line and EDGE. Anyways, on to Hamilton. We’ve seen the Falcons take impact players at a less premium position like Kyle Pitts, and it wouldn’t shock me if they fell in love with Hamilton. The Notre Dame product can really do it all; he can play in the box to support against the run, he can rush the passer, and he can drop into coverage as a high safety. He has incredible instincts and ball skills, both of which the Falcons badly need on defense. Right now, the Falcons just need good football players. Hamilton may be the best of the bunch.
Round 2, Pick 45: WR David Bell – Purdue
I took Jermaine Johnson here in the 7.0 Mock Draft, and I wouldn’t think twice about it again if he’s available, but let me highlight a different player the Falcons should be very interested in. Bell is the prototypical boundary receiver the Falcons have been sorely lacking since Julio Jones was traded, and he gets shuffled down a bit in a very deep wide receiver class. One thing about Bell is that although he doesn’t possess anything that makes him truly special, he’s a big-bodied receiver that competes at the point of attack and makes a lot of plays on the boundary. He’s another prospect that I would consider to be pretty safe, and if he ever develops to his full potential, you’re talking about a franchise wideout.
Round 2, Pick 58 (From Tennessee): EDGE Drake Jackson – Southern California
Jackson has slid down draft boards recently, but there’s still a lot to like about the USC edge rusher. He’s very explosive and has the agility and bend that you want out of a top-tier edge defender. I love the value here in the second round, there’s always the concern that he can get washed away due to a lack of strength when engaged with blockers, but I think that’s something you can look to develop. The other intangibles he has aren’t something you can teach.
Round 3, Pick 83: WR Wan’Dale Robinson – Kentucky
Robinson is a player built in the Deebo Samuel type mold that Arthur Smith should be very interested in. He’s a guy you can get involved in the run and pass game, and the dynamic ability with the football in his hand could help open up space for Bell and Kyle Pitts for one-on-one opportunities. While the offensive line has been an enormous problem spot, receivers getting open can really make life easier for this Falcons offense.
Round 4, Pick 103: IOL Alec Lindstrom – Boston College
It would be fun to put the brothers Alec and Chris back together, but this would likely hinge on Lindstrom’s ability to play guard. I picked his teammate Tyler Vrabel in the last draft, and while I’d rather have the swing tackle project, I’ll do something different. I don’t see Lindstrom sticking as a center, but perhaps he could develop at left guard behind a veteran to pair up with his brother in a season or two.
Round 5, Pick 151: CB Coby Bryant – Cincinnati
As most of you who read my scouting reports know, I’m a huge fan of Bryant’s partner-in-crime Sauce Gardner. I think he’s one of the two best corners in the draft, but his running mate Coby Bryant isn’t a horrible consolation prize for the Falcons. Bryant sees a lot of targets due to Gardner’s presence, and he is rare to fold in one-on-one situations. He’s a fluid athlete that has a knack for mirroring routes, and he could become AJ Terrell’s running mate in a season or two.