The Falcons have filled some holes in free agency, but they still have some sore spots on the roster. I’m a big believer in plugging holes during free agency so you can focus on the best player available in the draft, no matter the position. The Falcons have done a decent job with that, so I’m going to lean even more heavily into a BPA approach. Previous mocks are linked below if you think I missed out on a player:
- Falcons: Offseason 2023 Mock Draft 1.0 (5 Rounds)
- Falcons: Offseason 2023 Mock Draft 2.0 — Post Senior Bowl (5 Rounds)
- Falcons: Offseason 2023 Mock Draft 3.0 — Post Combine (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: DL Jalen Carter — Georgia
I’ve seen Jalen Carter slip to ninth in a few of these national mock drafts, but I’m not letting that happen. I’d like a cornerback here (if you’ve seen my previous mocks, you know that), but I can’t let Carter slide any further, even after a subpar Pro Day. When you watch the tape, it’s clear that Carter is the most dominant player on the field, and he fills a position of need for the Falcons. His legal issues seem to be behind him, and I’m willing to roll the dice on an elite talent.
Jalen Carter just bulldozes the RT out of the way. Sheesh pic.twitter.com/ohta9ChZYd
— Billy M (@BillyM_91) September 3, 2022
Round 2, Pick 44: CB Emmanuel Forbes — Mississippi State
I’m a lot higher on Forbes than a lot of people. If he’s here at 44, I’d be jumping on my desk. The Falcons did a good job filling a lot of holes during free agency, but Forbes is a mix of the best player available and a position that could still use some help. Forbes has great length and instincts. His six interceptions were tied for the sixth most in college football. He’s also the all-time leader for pick sixes in college football with six. I was pretty pleased with his 4.35 40-yard dash as well. With AJ Terrell and some blossoming young corners, I’ll roll the dice on an aggressive corner who can take the football away.
Emmanuel Forbes might be lean, but he has crazy good ball skills pic.twitter.com/7Ip1vy1sla
— Billy M (@BillyM_91) January 27, 2023
Round 3, Pick 75: WR Cedric Tillman — Tennessee
This is a weak class for receivers, so frankly, I don’t know what’s going to happen. However, I’ve seen Tillman mocked in this range, even though I think he’s worthy of going much higher. Receiver is still a sore spot for Atlanta, so I’d be more than happy to add Tillman. He’s a physical receiver at the point of attack, and his length allows him to cover a ton of ground, something the Falcons should value next to Drake London. He’d give the Falcons another big jump ball receiver who’s best football may be ahead of him.
Round 4, Pick 110 (From Tennessee): EDGE KJ Henry — Clemson
The Falcons haven’t done a ton with the EDGE position in free agency (yet), but they are a victim of circumstance — it just isn’t a great group. Adding Henry to a young room full of potential could pay dividends. The former five star has the ideal length for an NFL pass rusher and should be able to contribute as a run defender almost immediately. He should make for a decent rotational pass rusher, and that’s about all you can ask at this point in the draft.
Need Edge talent outside the 1st?
KJ Henry #Clemson 6’4 255
Former 5 star recruit
Can play play the run/rush the passer well. Heavy Hands.
Spoke to 1 scout who thinks the gap between Murphy+ Henry is less than most think
Check him out @ Senior Bowlpic.twitter.com/Mf7I42gTcR
— Jared Tokarz (@JaredNFLDraft) January 31, 2023
Round 4, Pick 113: TE Zack Kuntz — Nevada
How much are teams going to value Zack Kuntz blowing up the NFL Combine? I value it pretty highly, but I think this is a good spot to take a flier on him if he’s available. Kuntz ran a 4.55 with a 40-inch vertical at 6’8. He had a 4.12 shuttle as well, elite for someone his size. I’m gambling on his traits here. When you have someone that’s this much of a freak athlete, you figure the rest out later. Kuntz has a good route tree and a huge catch radius, but he doesn’t use his athletic gifts after the catch and has issues as a run blocker. I still think he’s worth trying to develop; there’s some things you just can’t teach.
Old Dominion TE Zack Kuntz blew up the NFL Combine:
4.55forty yard dash (2nd)
1.57 split (2nd)
40” vertical (1st)
10’8” broad jump (1st)
6.87 3 cone (1st)
23 bench (1st)
A physical specimen who with this deep class of TEs could pic.twitter.com/ejAB1kV3l8… https://t.co/KbBf6O05Da
— Jared Tokarz (@JaredNFLDraft) March 7, 2023
Round 5, Pick 159: LB Owen Pappoe — Auburn
Pappoe had a good combine, but this feels like a decent range for him right now. The former five star never really lived up the hype, but he had some solid years of production at Auburn after going through a few coaching changes on the defensive side of the ball and at head coach. He’s a fantastic athlete at middle linebacker with great range, but he’s a bit undersized. He should be able to contribute on special teams immediately and maybe find his way onto the field if he can improve in coverage. He’s a willing tackler and was praised for his leadership at Auburn — I will bet on him in the fifth round.
Owen Pappoe knows how to use the hit stick. pic.twitter.com/dULYeNVU5Z
— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) September 17, 2022
Photographer: Jeffrey Vest/Icon Sportswire
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