Jake’s 2021 Falcons Mock Draft 1.0 (5 Rounds)

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With the NFL season officially halfway over (sadly), Atlanta’s next draft feels like a do or die. After a win against the Broncos, the Falcons are 3-6 and currently own the 11th pick. This team has to hit on almost all of their picks if they want to keep this roster afloat for a little longer under the new coaching staff. 

This first edition will NOT feature trades, but one of those will be coming eventually with trades up & down. We’ll also expand to the Falcons three 6th round picks around the combine. I’m still very adamant the team should go for an additional 2nd rounder, but a trade-up is certainly in the cards. Note that some of these picks are projected compensatory choices. Take some of these player rankings with a grain of salt. In the wake of COVID-19, team draft boards and player rankings will be all over the place. Some guys will rise, some guys will fall, but I’m going to address positions of need for Atlanta with prospects I like that could realistically be available.

 

R1, Pick 10: EDGE Gregory Rousseau, Miami

If the Falcons lost, I was going to have a tough time choosing between Trey Lance & Zach Wilson. However, with the Jets, Jags, Giants (maybe interested in QBs), Football Team, & Panthers currently picking before Atlanta — I think the top tier quarterbacks will be gone. Anything can happen between now and Week 17, but Rousseau is not a bad consolation prize. He led the ACC in sacks with 15.5 & 19.5 TFL in 2019. I can’t blame him for sitting 2020 out; he is a monster and will be highly coveted in April. Rousseau is as gifted athletically and size-wise as any prospect in this draft, and he has that “bend” that NFL teams covet. He’s still developing technically, but if he puts it all together, he’s going to be a nightmare in a division with excellent QB & WR play. I also quite like Carlos Basham, Joseph Ossai, Kwity Paye, and Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah here as contingency. I’ll let the tape talk.

 

 

R2, Pick 42: S Jevon Holland, Oregon

Holland is a very enticing prospect. He was getting a lot of first-round buzz before choosing to sit 2020 out. Andre Cisco and his ball-hawking skills are tempting here, along with Richie Grant out of UCF. However, I value Holland’s versatility a little more as a Keanu Neal replacement. If Rico Allen becomes a cap casualty, I wouldn’t mind doubling up and trying to get Cisco or Grant too. Holland is similar to Antoine Winfield Jr, who I coveted in the last draft and has been fantastic in the NFL. Holland is the captain of Oregon’s defense and lines up at both safety spots and nickel corner. One disadvantage to Holland is that he takes on so many roles, he hasn’t become elite in one area. I think once he gets a true position in the NFL — he’ll be an upper-echelon safety and a steal at this point in the draft.

 

 

 R3, Pick 74: C Josh Myers, Ohio State

This pick is contingent on a few things. It’s almost a foregone conclusion Alex Mack will not be back, and Matt Hennessy hasn’t been a world-beater in limited action. James Carpenter could become a cap casualty, so Atlanta may want to experiment with some new interior lineman. Kaleb McGary & Chris Lindstrom have been grading out very well — Myers could be the last piece of a competent O-Line. He has been described as “nasty” and “mean” by his teammates — an edge I’m sure my last two picks would appreciate. Myers’ stock is sort of all over the place, but we’ve seen interior offensive lineman fall in the draft recently.

 

 

R4, Pick 112: EDGE Victor Dimukeje, Duke

Dimukeje has been a man possessed in 2020, and if he keeps it up, he’ll outplay this draft position. The former first-team all-freshman has 7.5 sacks already after notching 8.5 in 2019. Coaches rave about his work ethic and motor, and his first step is upper echelon. Dimukeje is also an evolutionary Anthropology Major at Duke, so his intelligence is another desirable trait. Rousseau, Jarrett, Davidson, Cominsky, Fowler, and Dimukeje gives you a nice stable of pass rushers — something Atlanta hasn’t had since the Abraham days.

 

 

R5, Pick 152: RB Kylin Hill, Mississippi State

I coveted Kylin Hill in the last draft before he decided to return to Starkville, and after Week 1 — it looked like he made the correct decision. However, Mike Leach’s offense has come back down to earth, and Hill has had a rough 2020. Now, he’s opting out of the season altogether. His questionable exit could cause his stock to fall. If you look at his tape, it quells a lot of concerns. Hill isn’t a burner by any means, but he’s a punishing back that loves to dish out contact. His vision has been improving steadily, and I really like him as a prospect. Even though I’ve been advocating for Brian Hill to get more touches, Kylin Hill could be a fun piece for a new coaching staff.

 

 

R5, Pick 175: QB Desmond Ridder, Cincinnati

Ridder is an interesting pick here, and a compensation pick may be a good spot for Atlanta to snag a project QB. Ridder’s numbers aren’t amazing, but he’s spearheading a potent Bearcat offense. He’s thrown 11 TDs and run for 8, and at 6’4 215 — he’s got the size and athleticism teams should be coveting.

 

 

 

 

Photo: Doug Murray/Icon Sportswire

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