Falcons trade back with Raiders, land “freak athlete” in latest mock draft

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: JAN 31 Reese s Senior Bowl

We are less than two weeks away from the NFL Draft, and the Falcons are expected to add another blue chip prospect.

The hope is that the draft pick becomes an immediate impact player for a team with championship aspirations, given the Kirk Cousins signing. Most fans believe, or at least want Terry Fontenot to bolster the defensive side of the ball. And who could blame them?

On paper, the offense with Cousins and Zac Robinson should be a top 10 unit, but the other side of the ball leaves a lot to be desired, especially at the most important positions on defense — cornerback and edge defender.

The draft could fill one or even both of those needs, especially in the first round. Most draft pundits have the Falcons landing a pass rusher with their top pick, but I wouldn’t rule out a first-round cornerback.

The value might not be there at the No. 8 pick, but if Atlanta trades back, Terry Fontenot could accumulate more draft picks while landing the team’s top target. The 33rd Team recently painted that picture in their latest mock draft, with the Falcons trading with the Raiders and picking up an extra third-round and fifth-round pick while selecting Quinyon Mitchell

Raiders Receive: No. 8

Falcons Receive: No. 13 and No. 77; 2025 fifth-round pick

Fit: The Atlanta Falcons can gather additional assets while still getting the top cornerback on the board. Atlanta might have to reach to fill a defensive need at No. 8 if they can’t move down.

This is the best-case scenario, as Quinyon Mitchell is a freak athlete who could usurp A.J. Terrell as the team’s top corner.

The Falcons don’t have any shortage of needs on the defensive side of the ball. The pass rush is in desperate need of attention, but if Mitchell is the pick, there are still free agent pass rushers on the market that could fill the void.

Carl Lawson, Bud Dupree, Calais Campbell, Yannick Ngakoue, and Emmanuel Ogbah are all available. In that same breath, if the pick is an edge defender, there are some cornerbacks still available like Stephon Gilmore.

The Falcons will have an opportunity to scrape the bottom of the free agent barrel following the draft. Hopefully, the pickings aren’t too slim.

Photographer: Michael Wade/Icon Sportswire


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