Falcons Day 2 draft pick expected to make big impact


The Falcons came into the offseason with two clear needs, both of which are the two most important facets of the NFL — quarterback and pass rush.

Atlanta fixed one of those issues in spades, bringing in Kirk Cousins and Michael Penix to replace Desmond Ridder. However, the pass rush went from Calais Campbell and Bud Dupree to Ruke Orhorhoro, Bralen Trice, and Brandon Dorlus.

The Falcons certainly got younger, but there aren’t a lot of proven commodities to rely on for Atlanta’s pass rush. Obviously, they’re returning Arnold Ebiketie and Zach Harrison to go along with David Onyemata and Grady Jarrett, but did they get better?

I’m not sure. ESPN’s Field Yates is sure about at least one of those draft picks, dubbing Atlanta’s third-round pick a soon-to-be impact player in the league.

9. Bralen Trice, EDGE, Atlanta Falcons (No. 74)

I could have chosen any of Atlanta’s Day 2 selections to address their front seven, but I’ll go with Trice. I would not have forecasted him to still be on the board at pick No. 74, but an average combine performance perhaps contributed a mini slide. Atlanta was desperate for pass-rushers in the draft, as the team’s two leading sackers from 2023 are both unsigned free agents and managed just 6.5 sacks last season (Calais Campbell and Bud Dupree). Trice could be a starter from jump street — or at the very least have a significant third rusher role. He had seven sacks in 2023.

The Falcons drafted defensive linemen with their second-, third-, and fourth-round picks.

Ruke Orhorhoro was taken in the second and didn’t have much production at Clemson but tested well at the Combine. This is the exact opposite of Trice, the team’s third-round pick. The Washington pass rusher led the nation in pressures last season.

The biggest knock on Trice is his measurables. He’s not very big or athletic for an NFL defensive end; however, Trice led the country in pressures with 77, nine more than UCLA’s Laiatu Latu, who was the first defender taken off the board.

The Falcons have to depend on Trice and the other rookie defenders, so let’s hope Field Yates is right.

Photographer: Ric Tapia/Icon Sportswire


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