Falcons pass on Jalen Carter, land Georgia teammate in Dane Brugler’s latest mock draft

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The NFL Draft is rolling around, and the Falcons sit in an interesting spot. Atlanta is in a position to benefit from a run on the quarterbacks, which could place a blue chip prospect right in their laps. Jalen Carter would be a dream scenario.

After being considered the top player in the draft class, Carter has tumbled down big boards for various reasons. Dedication, off-the-field issues, etc., have presented the Falcons as a possible landing spot when it was once a pipedream. However, for one reason or another, Dane Brugler of The Athletic sees Atlanta passing on the ultra talented Carter in favor of his former teammate Nolan Smith.

Atlanta Falcons: Nolan Smith, Edge, Georgia

The Falcons have added several notable veterans (Calais CampbellBud Dupree) to their defensive line, and it wouldn’t be surprising if they dropped a young rookie into that mix as well. Smith was born and raised in Georgia, played his college ball for the Bulldogs and would get to stay in his home state to start his NFL career.

Here is the total haul from Brugler’s seven-round mock draft:

1 (8): Nolan Smith, Edge, Georgia
2 (44): DJ Turner, CB, Michigan
3 (75): Nick Saldiveri, G, Old Dominion
4 (110): Trey Palmer, WR, Nebraska
4 (113): Ji’Ayir Brown, S, Penn State
7 (224): Derius Davis, WR, TCU
7 (225): Brayden Willis, TE, Oklahoma

The Falcons passed on several players in favor of DJ Turner. Josh Downs, Kelee Ringo, Darnell Washington, Felix Anudike-Uzomah, Cam Smith, Jack Campbell, and John Michael Schmitz were all available, but Brugler sees Turner as the logical fit.

Turner ran a blazing 4.26 40-yard dash, but he’s got a slight build for a cornerback. However, that frame doesn’t discourage him from supporting the run. Draft profiles say he’ll struggle against big bodied pass catchers. I see the Falcons more interested in a physical corner like Devon Witherspoon, but Brugler is plugged in, so this is a notable development.

John Adams/Icon Sportswire Nolan Smith

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