Falcons overhaul defense in Dane Brugler’s new 7-round mock draft

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: OCT 28 Georgia vs Florida

The Falcons spent big money this offseason to upgrade the offensive side of the ball.

Kirk Cousins and Darnell Mooney signed for a combined $219 million, filling the team’s two biggest roster holes coming into the offseason. The Falcons offense should be one the top units in the league this season.

The line is returning all five starters from a year ago. Mooney joins an already loaded skill group with Kyle Pitts, Drake London, and Bijan Robinson. But most importantly, Zac Robinson and Kirk Cousins are expected to be tremendous upgrades from their predecessors.

However, though the offense looks like a group that can compete for a championship, the defense doesn’t. That side of the ball has effectively gone untouched this offseason and has glaring holes at the most important positions — cornerback and edge rusher.

Most mock drafts have the Falcons going heavy on defense, and Dane Brugler of The Athletic has Terry Fontenot completely overhauling Jimmy Lake’s group in his latest mock, beginning where most people do with Dallas Turner.

8. Atlanta Falcons: Dallas Turner, Edge, Alabama

There is a good chance we see something this year that has happened just once (2021) in the Super Bowl era: no defensive players selected in the first seven picks of the draft. If that comes to fruition, the Falcons will have their choice of the top defensive player on their board at No. 8 — and I don’t think many people will be surprised if that is Turner.

The next two picks are also defense, with Mike Hall and Kamari Lassiter going in the second and third rounds, respectively. The Falcons then go back to the offensive side of the ball for the next two picks with Devontez Walker and Delmar Glaze in the third and fourth rounds.

Finally, the Falcons go back to defense and UGA, selecting Lassiter’s teammate Tykee Smith with their fifth-round pick, followed by big-play running back Rahseen Ali and a flier on Joe Milton in the sixth round. Here’s how it looks when it’s all said and done:

1 (8): Dallas Turner, Edge, Alabama
2 (43): Mike Hall Jr., DT, Ohio State
3 (74): Kamari Lassiter, CB, Georgia
3 (79). Devontez Walker, WR, North Carolina
4 (109). Delmar Glaze, OT/G, Maryland
5 (143). Tykee Smith, S, Georgia
6 (187). Rasheen Ali, RB, Marshall
6 (197). Joe Milton III, QB, Tennessee

I love it. Defense, defense, defense with their first three picks would be excellent. The Falcons need a lot of contributions from their rookie class if they want to accomplish their goals, and that trio feels like a good one to bet on to do that.

Photographer: David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire

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