High profile prospects the Falcons should avoid in the 2021 NFL Draft

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Normally, I try to avoid a lot of negatives when evaluating draft prospects. There’s a reason these players have gotten to where they are, and they absolutely deserve to have their shot in the NFL. Some guys will never flourish because they don’t go to the right fit. However, many of these guys will likely be over-drafted. It happens every year, and it will happen every single year until the end of time. These are a few guys I’m a bit more bearish on.

 

QB Kyle Trask, Florida

Florida fans have probably already clicked off this article, but hear me out — I’m not picking on you. I don’t like Kyle Trask as a prospect, and he’s one of the few guys I just cannot excuse drafting. I think he has serious upside as a career backup, but when drafting a quarterback, you look for traits that you can mold into a potential franchise signal-caller. Trask was an excellent quarterback in college, but he’s almost maxed out, in my opinion. His arm is nothing special, he isn’t athletic, and he makes several questionable throws. I think he could be an excellent backup for a team that needs a game managing insurance policy, but he’s not worth a projected early day three pick to me.

 

QB Jamie Newman, Wake Forest

I have more questions than answers when it comes to Jamie Newman. Newman is the anti-Trask; he showed a lot more sizzle than steak in college, but he has the tools to transform into a pretty good NFL quarterback. He has a great arm, impressive athleticism, but on tape, you question his decision-making. He had a decent receiving core at Wake, but I think he could have done big things at Georgia, and sitting out hurt his stock quite a bit.

 

RB Chuba Hubbard, Oklahoma State

I don’t have many bones with Hubbard if he goes to the right fit, but I don’t see what he offers the Falcons. I may be picking on him a bit because there are a few guys you could name that aren’t going to be bell-cow running backs. They are a dime a dozen, and I like Ito Smith‘s potential going into 2021. Hubbard doesn’t offer much besides speed; he can’t really catch out of the backfield and is abysmal as a pass blocker. He’s not a bad prospect but a horrible fit. Plenty of guys fall into this category.

 

TE Brevin Jordan, Miami

I was actually a huge Brevin Jordan fan before his pro day, but he absolutely flunked it. His vertical was much lower than I expected, he didn’t display a lot of burst or agility, and he only put up 17 bench press reps. I don’t think drafting an unathletic tight end is the way to go, but he has very soft hands and could serve nicely as a TE2 almost immediately. That’s not what I’m looking to spend a second-round pick on.

 

OT Jalen Mayfield, Michigan

Mayfield is another guy that tested pretty poorly at his Pro Day, and scouts around the league are starting to cool on him with the emergence of guys like Teven Jenkins and Brady Christensen. I could see Mayfield still making it as a solid right tackle that could start pretty quickly, but once again, that’s something I’m not looking to spend a second-round pick on. I’d rather roll the dice on a guy like Spencer Brown out of NIU.

 

IOL Deonte Brown, Alabama

Deonte Brown had a pretty bad Senior Bowl, and his pro day wasn’t much kinder to him. As massive as he is, he was slow and had a very poor three-cone and shuttle. With a team like the Falcons who need a plug-and-play starter at guard, Brown would be a lateral move at best.

 

EDGE Gregory Rousseau, Miami

Gregory Rousseau has many incredible athletic traits for a guy his size, but he is raw as a player despite getting to the quarterback 15.5 times in 2019. If you watch the tape, Rousseau often lined up on the center and bullied his way into the backfield. Also, a lot of his sacks came when he was blocked out of the play, and the quarterback would break the pocket and run right into his lap. Don’t let the sack numbers fool you; Rousseau could become a monster in the right system, but he is a VERY low floor and high ceiling player.

 

LB Micah Parsons, Penn State

Outside of Parsons’ multiple hazing allegations, I really don’t see where he fits in the NFL. He doesn’t cover well enough to be a WILL, and he doesn’t rush the passer well enough to be a true EDGE. I think he could be a classic tweener, but his athletic gifts will likely see him selected in the first or early second round. He’s way too much of a risk for me with linebackers like Jamin DavisNick Bolton, and Baron Browning potentially available down the board. Once again, his success will likely come down to coaching. With linebacker being one of the best groups on this Falcons defense, Parsons isn’t anywhere close to my board for the first round.

 

LB Dylan Moses, Alabama

It’s a real shame that this is what has become of Dylan Moses. It’s not all his fault. He was reportedly playing injured in 2020, and he had already torn an ACL in years past. When I watch his tape, I see a timid linebacker that holds in coverage and doesn’t look eager to tackle. I think a lot of that boils down to his injury history. Perhaps once he’s healthy, he will go back to the monster I thought he would be a few years ago, but for now, I’m not even considering him until day three.

 

CB Shaun Wade, Ohio State

I don’t think anyone hurt their stock in this draft as much as Shaun Wade did. He was a consensus top-ten and sometimes top-five pick before the 2020 season, and it all boils down to what he did on the boundary. Wade was absolutely eaten alive out of the nickel, and I wouldn’t be shocked if a team experimented with him at safety. If he can’t cover Big Ten wide receivers split out, I don’t know what makes you think he can handle Mike Evans one-on-one. Teams will look to exploit him early and often, and with the Falcons’ lack of success at nickel corner, I really can’t take that risk.

 

CB Jaycee Horn, South Carolina

This one is going to ruffle some feathers, but once again, hear me out. I LOVE Jaycee Horn as a prospect for the most part, but his issues are evident on tape, and they’re simple — when he gets beat, his first instinct is to grab whoever is running past him and hold on for dear life. This can be coached out. Some guys like Marshon Lattimore get away with grabbing quite often. However, if I’m the Falcons, I’m not sure I’m willing to risk choosing him in the first round when you have Mike Evans, DJ Moore, Chris GodwinMichael ThomasAlvin KamaraChristian McCaffrey, and other impact weapons in the division.

 

CB Caleb Farley, Virginia Tech

I still believe in Caleb Farley’s potential; you can’t ignore his pure athletic traits. However, he’s relatively new to the cornerback position, and he has already suffered two significant injuries. I think he’s in for a draft-day slide. If you’re Atlanta, I’m not sure how you justify choosing a cornerback this raw who may not be ready to start 2021 when you need cornerback as badly as they do. I think Farley can be successful, but he would be a much better fit on a team that doesn’t need him to be impactful from day one.

 

CB Tyson Campbell, Georgia

Tyson Campbell is another guy that has all of the tools, but I didn’t see a lot of ball skills in his time at Georgia. Now, ball skills aren’t the end-all when it comes to selecting a cornerback. Campbell has fantastic athletic gifts and very good hips, but I need to see more before taking him on day two. Honestly, he reminds me a decent bit of Isaiah Oliver.

 

S Richard LeCounte III, Georgia

This one pains me to write. Richard LeCounte is a fantastic leader and has made some incredible plays in his college career. However, he ran an abysmal 4.83 40-time, and drafting slow defensive backs is an excellent way to lose football games. I think LeCounte has the potential to be a fantastic box safety and special teamer in the NFL, but with a team like the Falcons that needs an impact player at safety right now, I don’t think LeCounte is the guy.

 

Paris Ford, Pittsburgh

I used to be pretty high on Paris Ford; his turnover production at Pittsburgh was very impressive. He’s undersized but a willing tackler. I thought he could be a good combo safety, but his 4.85 40 isn’t something to overlook. Once again, with a team that needs a plug-and-play starter, I don’t think Ford is a good choice, especially with his injury history.

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