It’s way too early to talk about the draft unless you’re me. I wear my draft hat all year, and this class is pretty exciting. There isn’t much else to talk about after Sunday’s 32-6 beating, either. One of the main reasons I wanted to trade down in the 2021 Draft was to acquire an extra pick in the 2022 Draft. It’s a shame that the Falcons aren’t picking in the top-five in this draft (yet) because this group is deep at many positions of need for Atlanta. It’s too early for all of this, but the Falcons should have the opportunity to grab a star player at a position of need next April.
I’m standing firm in saying that Matt Corral is QB1, and the Falcons could really develop him into a superstar if he sits behind Matt Ryan for a season. Even a later guy like Malik Willis, Carson Strong, Desmond Ridder, JT Daniels, or Grayson McCall (If he declares) could be a steal with Atlanta’s extra second-round pick if they’re available.
This appears to be another solid group of running backs, but the receivers aren’t as hyped as they have been in previous years. That is very subject to change. The elephant in the room (no pun intended on multiple levels) is Alabama monster, Evan Neal. While Jake Matthews is criminally overlooked as a solid left tackle, Neal looks like a generational talent at tackle. Then again, we saw the Falcons pass on a similar player in Penei Sewell. Perhaps if the team decides to move on from Kaleb McGary, some shuffling could occur.
There are some additional tantalizing prospects at guard like Darian Kinnard, Tyler Linderbaum, and Chris Lindstrom’s brother Alec Lindstrom. Still, the Falcons would likely prioritize the defense. While the offensive prospects are intriguing, the defensive talent is what really gets me excited.
Starting up the middle, Texas A&M defensive lineman DeMarvin Leal would be a terror next to Grady Jarrett. I believe Georgia’s Jordan Davis will force himself into the first round as well. The pass rushers could be the real prizes here, and lord knows the Falcons would love to hit on a stud coming off the edge.
Kayvon Thibodeaux, Drake Jackson, George Karlaftis, Myjai Sanders, Adam Anderson, Aidan Hutchison, and Nolan Smith could all be impact players from day one. This is a deep group, too. Looking to the secondary, Derek Stingley is the man of the class right now. Still, I love what I see out of Kaiir Elam, Sauce Gardener, Kyle Hamilton, Trent McDuffie, Andrew Booth, Derion Kendrick, Brandon Joseph, Jordan Battle, and Tykee Smith are good options as well.
The Falcons have more questions than answers right now, but if the front office sticks to their “best player available” strategy, they will have plenty of guys to choose from — even if they do end up without a top-ten pick.