Falcons snag star Georgia defender in latest mock draft from The Athletic

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The Falcons could go in a million different directions with their first-round selection in the draft. The roster needs talent at every position, particularly defensively, but they also need to find a long-term answer at quarterback. Desmond Ridder may be the guy, but until that question is answered, it will continue to be the focal point of the offseason. The Falcons could use upgrades across the offensive line and at wide receiver as well. Essentially, everything is on the table come April 27th, and in The Athletic’s most recent mock draft, they have the Falcons trading up to select star defensive tackle Jalen Carter out of Georgia with the 4th overall pick.

Falcons-Bears trade details: Falcons receive the No. 4 pick; Bears receive the No. 8 pick, 2023 No. 45 (second round) and a 2024 second-round pick.

The Falcons didn’t expect the No. 4 pick to be available and may have overpaid in their excitement, but is it really possible to overpay for an elite defensive tackle? Jalen Carter is Dane Brugler’s No. 1 prospect and has a talent for what Brugler calls “special block destruction.” The 6-3, 310-pounder was the best player on a dominant Bulldogs defense the past two seasons. Current Atlanta DT Grady Jarrett deserves some help in his ninth year, and the combination of Jarrett and Carter would give the Falcons their best interior combination in recent memory. — Josh Kendall

Given all of the Falcons needs, I’m not in love with giving up two second-round picks to move up four spots to take a defensive tackle, but there’s no denying Carter would instantly improve Atlanta’s defense.

For years, The Falcons have struggled with getting after the passer. Adding Carter to pair with Grady Jarrett on the interior would give this unit life and make things infinitely easier for the pass rushers on the outside. We saw how much Ta’Quon Graham’s presence positively affected Grady Jarrett’s production. Carter would take that to an entirely different level. He alone won’t be enough to make Atlanta’s defense respectable, but it would be a helluva start.

Photographer: Jeffrey Vest/Icon Sportswire


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