Falcons first-round pick could surprise everyone, says draft expert

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The Falcons are expected to take a pass rusher, and the most mocked prospect is Dallas Turner.

The Alabama product is the overwhelming choice for draft pundits, and it’s easy to see why. The talent is obvious; Turner was made in a football laboratory.

With that kind of athletic profile, his ceiling is that of a premier pass rusher, a game-wrecker, which is something the Falcons haven’t had since John Abraham was terrorizing quarterbacks in the Georgia Dome. That brings us to my second point.

If Raheem Morris’ coaching staff can help him realize his full potential, the new regime will have filled the team’s longest-standing weakness in one offseason. The Falcons pass rush has been anemic for most of my life, and for a team with a $180 million quarterback in the fold, it’s championship or bust in Atlanta.

However, because of all those factors, if the Falcons didn’t draft Dallas Turner, it would be a surprise, as ESPN’s Field Yates pointed out.

“Outside of the three quarterbacks at the top of the draft, I’d venture to guess that no player has been mocked to a specific team as frequently as Turner has been paired with the Falcons. So with that in mind, anything but Turner to Atlanta at No. 8 would qualify as a surprise,” Yates said.

The Falcons could see Jared Verse or Laiatu Latu as better prospects or better fits for their defense, but as Yates notes, there are other positions to be watchful of.

“But there are other options Atlanta could reasonably consider at that spot, including cornerback or wide receiver depending on how the board falls,” Yates finished.

Quinyon Mitchell and Terrion Arnold are two corners that look primed to be Day 1 starters at the next level, and the Falcons have a need for a long-term running mate opposite of A.J. Terrell.

Hell, I could argue that Malik Nabers or Rome Odunze are prospects worth taking with the Falcons top pick. Both look to be well on their way to stardom in the NFL and would align with Terry Fontenot’s track record of taking the best player available.

I think many people are expecting Dallas Turner, but I wouldn’t bet my bottom dollar on it.

Photographer: Photographer: David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire

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