The first round of the 2023 NFL Draft came as advertised, with plenty of chaos to go around. I managed to go 1/1 with my selection in my final predictions, as the Falcons picked up Bijan Robinson with the 8th pick. Now, the Falcons may look to address their defense with plenty of talented players left on the board. Let’s talk about what they could do in the second and third rounds:
Round 2, Pick 44: LB Drew Sanders — Arkansas
I grabbed Derick Hall out of Auburn in my ideal mock scenario with this pick. In my predictions, I had the Falcons grabbing Keion White out of Georgia Tech. Both are solid looking EDGE prospects, but I’ll mix it up here. Allegedly, the Falcons were looking to move up to grab Jack Campbell out of Iowa, who was a staple of my personal mock drafts. Perhaps they’re interested in a different linebacker, and Drew Sanders out of Arkansas makes a ton of sense. Sanders profiles as an off-ball linebacker/EDGE hybrid, which could help fill two needs for the Falcons. He’s an exceptional athlete for his size, and he has the length to be an NFL EDGE rusher. He needs to develop as a run defender, but the sky is the limit for this guy. He’d be the perfect compliment to Bijan Robinson in this class.
Round 3, Pick 75: IOL Chandler Zavala — North Carolina State
Zavala just makes way too much sense here. He has connections to this Falcons staff, most notably OL coach Dwayne Ledford. The Falcons have a need at left guard, and Zavala has athleticism that pops off the page. He has the speed and power to move guys at the point of attack and was a fantastic run blocker at NC State. If he makes it to pick 75, I think this is a slam dunk for Atlanta.
Photographer: Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire
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