Falcons land pass rusher in ESPN’s way-too-early 2024 NFL mock draft


The Falcons have picked in the top 10 of each draft cycle since the new regime took over, but that should change in 2024. There are playoff expectations for Atlanta this year, but Jordan Reid of ESPN doesn’t see that coming to fruition in his latest way-to-early mock draft.

Reid has the Falcons picking 13th, which would mean they missed the playoffs for the sixth straight season. Though that’s discouraging, his selection isn’t. Reid has the club landing Washington pass rusher Bralen Trice.

The Falcons checked off a bunch of roster needs this offseason, but they had the least productive pass-rush unit in the league over the past two seasons. Atlanta has 39 sacks since 2021; every other team has recorded at least 62.

Trice would be a bit of a change-up for a team that has selected three consecutive offensive players in the first round. He is heavy-handed and explosive, traits that fit what coordinator Ryan Nielsen typically likes on defense. Trice finished last season with 16.7% pressure percentage (sixth best in the FBS) and nine sacks.

I only watched a few Washington games, but you couldn’t watch one without noticing Bralen Tricce, who logged 70 total pressures, which led the nation. The Falcons are still relying on the internal development of Arnold Ebiketie and DeAngelo Malone, so that should be considered.

Still, defenses can never have enough pass rushers, and Trice has a different body type than what the Falcons currently have, standing at an imposing 6-foot-4 and 267 pounds. He produced a team-leading 9.0 sacks last year and projects well in Ryan Nielsen’s defense.

Hopefully, the Falcons aren’t even in a position to land a player as talented as Trice. Playoffs should be the goal, which would place Atlanta closer to 20 than 10.

Photographer: Ric Tapia/Icon Sportswire
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