Falcons did not place a focus on premium positions in the draft

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When it comes to the NFL Draft, there is more than one way to have success. The Falcons have preached a best player available method, and to this point, they seem to have stuck true to their word. Positional value will always play a role in the draft, but the first three first-round picks of Terry Fontenot would suggest he’s much more concerned with getting the best players in the building, regardless of the position.

The Falcons made Kyle Pitts the highest drafted tight-end in NFL history. They then took a wide receiver in Drake London with the 8th overall pick and followed it up with a running back in Bijan Robinson this time around. It’s not just the first round, either. In the 2023 NFL Draft, the Falcons spent the least amount of draft capital on premium positions.

Only 33% of Atlanta’s draft picks were used on positions that are considered premium, tied with the 49ers and Bills.

That’s not necessarily a good thing. The Bills and the 49ers are two of the best teams in the league, so they have much more room for error to spend on luxury picks every time they are on the clock. The Falcons are an improving team, but there were still plenty of holes to fill coming into the draft.

Time will tell if Terry Fontenot pulled the right strings. I thought Robinson was the correct pick, even at #8. He’s the most sure-fire prospect in the draft, and the Falcons couldn’t afford missing on a top-ten selection. When looking at the guys taken after Robinson in the draft — Jalen Carter, Darnell Wright, Peter Skoronski, Jahmyr Gibbs, Lukas Van Ness — I don’t think they passed anyone else that was a lock to make multiple Pro-Bowls, even if Georgia fans might argue that Jalen Carter was the better pick.

Regardless, it’s interesting to see that the Falcons clearly aren’t as focused on positional value as much as some other teams, which checks out with their best player available mantra.

Photo: Gregory Fisher/Icon Sportswire

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