The Falcons lost to the Lions in dominating fashion. Detroit beat Atlanta in all three phases, particularly against Arthur Smith, Desmond Ridder, and the offensive line.
There’s plenty to correct as they prepare to go across the pond and play the Jaguars in London. However, the offense has been the problem. The defense has actually been one of the better groups in all of football. Atlanta’s failure to score points is the issue.
So, what’s the solution? Well, if you ask mock drafters, it’s selecting another first-round pass catcher. The Draft Network’s 2024 mock draft has the Falcons landing Ohio State star Emeka Egbuka with the 20th pick.
20. Atlanta Falcons
Emeka Egbuka WR, Ohio State
The Falcons’ investment in Bijan Robinson is clearly paying off. Their run game is one of the best in the league but their passing attack is behind. Drake London, Kyle Pitts, and now Emeka Egbuka would give Desmond Ridder a tremendous trio of pass-catchers to target. Egbuka would bring another speed element this offense does not possess. A good play-caller like head coach Arthur Smith will stress opposing defenses with this amount of offensive firepower.
Egbuka is one of the most electrifying wide receivers in college football, not to be outdone by his teammate Marvin Harrison Jr., who is undoubtedly the best prospect at his position in the upcoming draft.
My thought about this mock draft is… why? The Falcons have drafted three skill players in three straight first rounds, but rarely use Kyle Pitts and Drake London. Now, we are going to draft another one?
Even if the Falcons drafted a pass catcher, it seems more likely that it’s someone like Johnny Wilson, who is 6-foot-7, 230 pounds. Atlanta prefers big bodied pass catchers that are willing to contribute in the run game.
Moreover, I don’t even know if either is the best option. In this mock draft, Kalen King, a Penn State cornerback, seems like a more enticing pick. A.J. Terrell needs a long-term running mate. King has the chops to compete in man and zone coverages, but more importantly, has the grit and toughness to contribute in the run game.
Hell, I’d really be thinking about replacing Kaleb McGary, finding a star pass rusher, or a quarterback. There are a lot of different directions to go, but I don’t know if another skill position player is the right call.