Falcons ‘Day 3 Steal’ lands on ESPN’s Top 100 draft picks

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Nobody outside of Atlanta liked the Falcons 2024 draft class, headlined by Michael Penix Jr. Hell, most Falcons fans didn’t like it.

However, these kids deserve the benefit of the doubt (not the franchise). There are seven other draft picks that will get a chance to contribute in 2024, and we have seen diamonds in the rough come through every year.

ESPN’s Matt Miller believes¬†the Falcons landed a Day 3 steal in Bandon Dorlus, along with Bralen Trice, who made his list of the top 100 draft picks from the weekend.

40. Brandon Dorlus, DT, Atlanta Falcons (Pick 4-109)

My final overall ranking: No. 85

If the Falcons had gone defensive tackle in Round 1 (over Washington quarterback Michael Penix Jr.), it would have been lauded as a great pick. Instead, they waited until Round 4 and found a gap-shooting standout in Dorlus. He fits the same profile as long-time Falcons starter Grady Jarrett and gets the honor of playing under a coach in Raheem Morris who knows how to scheme up plays for a smaller defensive tackle.

Dorlus may be everyone’s favorite pick from Atlant’s draft class. The Oregon product was a moveable chess piece for Dan Lanning in the Ducks’ defense. The Falcons took defenders with four straight picks following the first round, and Dorlus is the most popular one.

Raheem Morris had a ton of success with young defenders in Los Angeles. Kobie Turner finished third in the Defensive Rookie of the Year voting, posting 57 total tackles and nine sacks to begin his career in the NFL, despite being a third-round pick. Byron Young, also a third-round pick, put together an impressive rookie campaign too, totaling eight sacks and two forced fumbles.

The hope is the Falcons’ trio of defensive linemen taken in the second, third, and fourth rounds can contribute as Turner and Young did for the Rams as rookies. If Raheem Morris can replicate some of that production in Atlanta, the Falcons will be sitting pretty.

89. Bralen Trice, EDGE, Atlanta Falcons (Pick 3-74)

My final overall ranking: No. 72

The Falcons’ primary need entering the draft was for an edge rusher. After foregoing that position in Round 1, getting a productive 4-3 defensive end in Trice in Round 3 was a must-add. While he doesn’t flash elite measurables (6-foot-4 but only 245 pounds), Trice shows consistent production in generating pressure.

Ruke Orhorhoro, Brandon Dorlus, and Bralen Trice bolster a Falcons defensive front that desperately needed an influx of talent. Trice will assume an edge role under Morris and Jimmy Lake. The Washington product led the nation in QB pressures, so the track record of production is there.

Again, you can clearly see Atlanta’s plan, resembling Los Angeles’ success with third-rounders in Turner and Young, with their Day 2 and Day 3 picks along the defensive line.

Photographer: Michael Wade/Icon Sportswire

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