Falcons host under the radar pass rusher on top 30 draft visit

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: FEB 03 Reese s Senior Bowl

The Falcons have hosted just about every defensive prospect that could be picked at the No. 8 overall pick.

More recently, it was Terrion Arnold who visited Flowery Branch on a top 30 visit. Atlanta also hosted Jared Verse over the weekend and Quinyon Mitchell last week.

Before that, it was Dallas Turner who visited and who most mock drafters, and I mean most, have Atlanta selecting. The Falcons also hosted a potential Kirk Cousins successor; Michael Penix visited the team at the end of March.

Most recently, a lesser-known pass rusher, an under-the-radar prospect, has caught the Falcons’ eye. According to Ryan Fowler, Western Michigan edge defender Marshawn Kneeland took a top 30 visit to Atlanta.

Everyone is talking about Dallas Turner, Jared Verse, and Laiatu Latu for the Falcons. It’s the team’s biggest hole, and those are the consensus top three prospects at the position, so it makes sense.

However, the Falcons could use a starting cornerback too. Maybe, they go with Quinyon Mitchell or Terrion Arnold with their top pick and fill the edge void in the second round with someone like Kneeland.

He certainly looks the part with NFL size and length, but I can’t lie and say I watched him a ton this past season. Here are some words from someone who is much smarter than me, The Athletic’s Dane Brugler:

“… flashes twitch in his upfield attack and rushes with brute power … uses his full arm extension, heavy hands and hip snap to bully blockers at the point of attack and gain immediate leverage … smooth rip/dip move to gain freedom … maintains hard-charging energy through contact … sets a hard edge … processes quickly and makes disciplined run reads.”

The Falcons invested a second-round pick in Arnold Ebiketie two draft cycles ago, and the expectation is that the Penn State product finally takes a step forward to shoulder the load of the pass rush.

Having another young pass rusher developing behind him can’t hurt. In fact, for a team that has struggled to consistently produce productive pass rushers, the Falcons should have a conveyor belt constantly bringing in fresh bodies.

Photographer: Michael Wade/Icon Sportswire
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