Even though I’m not a Falcons fan, I love playing GM. The Falcons and my Cowboys are tied for the least amount of picks with 5 in this draft. Their 5th round pick was vacated due to the incident of noise piping at the Georgia Dome, so I’ll go through each pick and list a few targets to fill needs for the Falcons. Let’s get started:
R1, Pick 17
Targets: WR Laquon Treadwell, ILB Reggie Ragland, DE Jonathan Bullard, DE Shaq Lawson, DE Emmanuel Ogbah, CB Kendall Fuller, CB Mackensie Alexander.
The Pick: ILB Reggie Ragland, Alabama
The Falcons have the same problem that the Cowboys do: A serious lack of playmakers on defense. Atlanta was 27th in takeaways, and they need to find an impact player on defense. Ragland has shown excellent man and zone coverage ability, and is always putting a hat on the football. Great, hard nosed football player that would be an excellent addition to any team. Early round CBs have not panned out well in recent years, and I think the Falcons can find an edge rusher and wide receiver in free agency. Ogbah is the pick if Ragland is not available. Treadwell is tempting, but the defense is a bigger priority.
R2, Pick 50
Targets: S Su’a Cravens, G Vadal Alexander, DE Shilique Calhoun, CB Zack Sanchez, WR Mike Thomas, TE Hunter Henry, NT/DE Robert Nkemdiche.
The Pick: WR Mike Thomas, The Ohio State University
Since we went defense 1st round, I think finding a compliment for Julio Jones is key in round 2. Mike Thomas is a deep threat that has drawn comparisons to DeSean Jackson. There are rumors Robert Nkemdiche could fall, and he would be a tempting selection for the Falcons. Hunter Henry would also be a steal, but he may not be available then.
R3, Pick 81
Targets: C Graham Glasgow, S Vonn Bell, S TJ Green, G Joshua Garnett, QB Jeff Driskel, OLB Jordan Jenkins
The Pick: S Vonn Bell, The Ohio State University.
You Dawg fans are probably laughing at Driskel, but he had an excellent season under an actual head coach at Louisiana Tech. Jordan Jenkins wouldn’t be a BAD pick, but Atlanta needs a safety in the worst possible way. I know you all are screaming O-Line at this point, but the Broncos proved this year that you can have a sub-par O-Line and win a championship. You cannot have a sub-par defense and win one.
R4, Pick 112 (If No Compensation Picks Are Made)
Targets: CB Kevon Seymour, G Sebastian Tretola, DT Willie Henry, LB Jaylon Smith, LB Scooby Wright
The Pick: G Sebastian Tretola, Arkansas
Before you all try to kill me for not mocking Jaylon Smith, just know he flunked a lot of team’s physicals and may have serious nerve damage in his knee. Tretola can supply an immediate upgrade to the guard position.
R7, Pick 236 (ish)
Targets: QB Brandon Allen, OT Joe Dahl, OG Shaq Anthony, DT Adam Gotsis, QB Cody Kessler, QB Jacoby Brissett
The Pick: QB Brandon Allen, Arkansas
Okay, this is a strange pick. I’ve seen Allen in mock drafts going as high as round 4 (to the Falcons) and I’ve also seen him in rounds 6 and 7. I think he would be an absolute steal for Atlanta, and if he’s not available, there’s nothing wrong with beefing up the line or looking at another Quarterback. I may be totally off on this, but the Falcons have a chance to get a potential steal.
If these rookies can perform, and the Falcons can snatch up C Alex Mack and DE Bruce Irvin, this team could give Carolina a run for the division. The 1st round of the NFL Draft Begins April 28th.