Falcons land Jayden Daniels in unconventional mock draft

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 16 LSU at Mississippi State

Most Falcons mock drafts have the club landing one of the top defenders in the 2024 class.

Whether it’s Dallas Turner, Jared Verse, Laiatu Latu or Terrion Arnold, most expect the Falcons to have their pick of the litter following a run of quarterbacks with the first three picks.

Some special offensive talents should be available as well. If the first three selections are quarterbacks, the Falcons should have a premier offensive talent fall to them like Malik Nabers, Brock Bowers, Joe Alt and others.

Those are most traditional mock drafts. Cynthia Frelund of NFL media does mock drafts a little differently, “in that my team-prospect pairings are based on optimizing for wins in the upcoming season — in a structured way.”

Frelund uses these parameters when completing her mock draft:

  1. I take the best available information about free agency, which right now is admittedly not much more than what we know about player contracts, to predict players’ market value.
  2. I then check free agents’ projected market value against the anticipated salary-cap space for each team.
  3. Finally, I add potential free agents or drafted players to different teams and identify which individuals increase teams’ projected win total the most. (My player model leverages historical pre-draft player data to forecast NFL performance.)

The NFL pundit has the Falcons in a dream scenario for most fans, landing Heisman Trophy winner Jayden Daniels with the 8th overall pick.

The model flags high marks for accuracy, a quick release and pocket awareness. My favorite note on Daniels is that computer vision shows he can get his feet set to throw (as opposed to throwing when off-balance) in the top 10 percentile (fastest) in my 10-season sample.

The Falcons should be overjoyed if Jayden Daniels somehow falls to them. The LSU product took quantum leaps in 2023. His pocket presnce improved, as did his downfield passing.

Atlanta’s offense would feature some of the most dynamic players in the league with Jayden Daniels leading Bijan Robinson, Drake London, and Kyle Pitts. It should have Falcons fans salivating, but it really is a pipe dream. I don’t see any sceanrio where Daniels falls to the 8th pick.

Photographer: Michael Wade/Icon Sportswire

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