The Falcons obviously put some stock into the combine, as they selected Troy Andersen out of Montana State in the second round after he posted some ridiculous numbers at the 2022 NFL Combine. Like the Senior Bowl edition of this mock draft series, the goal here is to highlight big combine performers. After this, we’ll move to seven rounds. Previous editions of this series are linked below:
- Falcons: Offseason 2023 Mock Draft 1.0 (5 Rounds)
- Falcons: Offseason 2023 Mock Draft 2.0 — Post Senior Bowl (5 Rounds)
I’ll be highlighting the Relative Athletic Score (RAS) of guys, courtesy of Kent Lee Platte. His website is linked here.
Round 1, Pick 8: CB Christian Gonzalez — Oregon
The third cornerback to be featured with the first pick, I’m pretty sold on the position, and today I’ll highlight Gonzalez with his freaky athletic ability and ball skills. He had some high praise for a pair of Falcons at the combine as well:
Former #Oregon DB Christian Gonzalez says he has not spoken to the #Falcons yet but watches a lot of AJ Terrell tape.
Adds that his toughest matchup in college was Drake London pic.twitter.com/Dav2rSjAsc
— Miles Garrett (@MilesGarrettTV) March 2, 2023
Not only did he test well, Gonzalez is a very sticky corner and is violent at the point of attack. He has great length, is a physical tackler, and can hawk interceptions — three traits the Falcons should covet. Not only does he have one of the highest ceilings, but he’s also one of the safer prospects in this entire class. Gonzalez has elite hops and glided to a 4.38 40 yard dash with great splits.
No surprise, Christian Gonzalez ended up with the highest #RAS among corners.https://t.co/zgAnb7Rcb2 #RAS pic.twitter.com/s5o9evucn8
— Kent Lee Platte (@MathBomb) March 4, 2023
Round 2, Pick 45: LB Jack Campbell — Iowa
Campbell tested out of his mine and surely raised his draft stock, but I’m not sure if it’s enough to launch him into the first round with the way the position is valued in today’s NFL. This could absolutely be a spot where the Falcons snag him, especially seeing how they valued Andersen. Campbell has fantastic instincts, and when you combine that with his raw athletic ability, the sky’s the limit for this guy as a hybrid-type backer. The comparisons speak for themselves:
A couple of Jack Campbell #RAS comparisons, depending on whether you think you can have him rushing the passer or keep him off the ball. He comps eerily similar to T.J. Watt and Leighton Vander Esch athletically. pic.twitter.com/ReHPO9fr12
— Kent Lee Platte (@MathBomb) March 3, 2023
Round 3, Pick 76: WR Bryce Ford-Wheaton — West Virginia
One of the biggest risers at the combine, Ford-Wheaten is your classic combine freak. With a poor free agent class at wide receiver and a lot of question marks with the draft prospects at the position, I’d roll the dice on him here. His hands are a little inconsistent, but it’s hard to ignore his athletic profile at this point in the draft. He’s the type of big X receiver I could see the Falcons being very interested in. He’s a similar prospect to Christian Watson last draft cycle.
Bryce Ford-Wheaton RAS so far.
Good, but not great agilities sees him fall out of that second spot. Still an incredible athletic performance.https://t.co/udvp4xecp3 #RAS pic.twitter.com/OHtfyFyDfk
— Kent Lee Platte (@MathBomb) March 5, 2023
Round 4, Pick 111 (From Tennessee): EDGE Adetomiwa Adebawore — Northwestern
Adetomiwa Adebawore may have boosted his stock above this range, but he’s a unique prospect that has Falcons written all over him.
“My biggest winner of
Day 1 was Adetomiwa Adebawore. At 282 pounds— he ran DE, DT, and LB drills, jumped 37.5 inches, and ran a 4.49 40. Guys, that’s insane.”
– @PSchrags pic.twitter.com/vKFIlpFMNG
— Good Morning Football (@gmfb) March 3, 2023
For now, this is about his projection, but a great combine and a great Senior Bowl really has him on my radar. He’s an athletic freak that teams can use in a variety ways, which I could see the Falcons trying to do as they look for answers on defense.
Round 4, Pick 114: WR Jonathan Mingo — Ole Miss
This is a weird class for wide receivers, so if the top guys slide, the Falcons might be able to grab an athletic freak with a later pick. Mingo could be Arthur Smith’s AJ Brown lite with similar size and slightly better athleticism. He’s a great RAC guy, but he needs to work on his route tree. If he can refine his skills, he’s going to be a problem in the NFL.
Jonathan Mingo RAS so farhttps://t.co/vRzfR9PO0w #RAS pic.twitter.com/Q8XbVv4zsm
— Kent Lee Platte (@MathBomb) March 4, 2023
Round 5, Pick 162 (From Jacksonville): EDGE Robert Beal — Georgia
Beal was one of the big winners from the 2023 combine, posting the second fastest 40 yard dash for a defensive lineman behind his teammate Nolan Smith. Beal never had a big standout season in Athens, but he did lead the Dawgs in sacks in 2021 with 6.5. He’d be a good piece for the Falcons to start building a competent pass rush.
21. Robert Beal Jr., EDGE, #Georgia
“Robert Beal Jr. has flashed brilliantly during his Georgia career. He plays all over the field, making highlight-reel moments a reality when rushing the passer or even dropping into coverage.”pic.twitter.com/yLfMf8YOiY
— College Football Network (@CFN365) January 9, 2023
Photographer: Michael Wade/Icon Sportswire
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