I genuinely try not to be too reactionary when it comes to the combine; some great players test well, some great players test horribly. However, there are some important metrics players can use to boost their stock. Specifically, 10-yard splits for offensive and defensive linemen. Still, a couple of guys made big splashes that undoubtedly increased their stock. If you want to read the previous mock drafts, you can find those here:
Jake’s Falcons Offseason Mock Draft 1.0 (7 Rounds)
Jake’s Falcons Offseason Mock Draft 2.0: Post Senior Bowl (7 Rounds)
Round 1, Pick 8: EDGE Travon Walker — Georgia
I almost moved Travon Walker to my top overall EDGE prospect in this class in my pre-combine rankings, and he certainly made his case in Indy. Walker ran an absurd 4.51 40 yard dash with a 6.89 3-cone drill. Although Walker’s box score doesn’t look to be anything special, what it doesn’t show is how well he sets the edge in the run game. He also has exceptional twitch and bend coming off the edge. You’re getting a high-quality run defender with a great body and athletic traits from day one. If the Falcons can add a few pass rushers in free agency to surround him with, you’re looking at a guy you can develop into a franchise pass rusher who can also stop the run. The Falcons haven’t had that in a while.
Round 2, Pick 43: WR Christian Watson — North Dakota State
I was very high on Christian Watson going into the combine — I had him listed as the second-best receiver in a very talented and deep class. Watson is an incredible athlete at 6’5 — that’s displayed by his 4.38 40 yard dash time and 38.5″ vertical. Watson is a big-bodied receiver who can win 50/50 balls and has a huge catch radius. Throw in his athletic measurables, and you have a monster in the making at a prominent position of need for the Falcons.
Round 2, Pick 58 (From Tennessee): IDL Travis Jones — Connecticut
Big Travis Jones is another guy who had a fantastic combine, although he was a bit overshadowed by the athletic freak that is Jordan Davis. At 6’4 and 330 pounds, Jones can gobble up double teams and open up space for Travon Walker and Grady Jarrett while collapsing the pocket himself. The Falcons have had considerable issues with stopping the run, and Jones would immediately help in that aspect as well. Jones had a very impressive 4.92 40 and 7.33 3-cone — tied for the best at the position. He also had the third-best 20-yard shuttle. He has all of the athleticism and good tape to match it — it’s up to whoever drafts him to develop him into the player he can be. I really wanted to address cornerback, but Jones brings way too much upside and immediate value.
Round 3, Pick 74: RB James Cook — Georgia
I’ll be doing another one of these after free agency, but as it stands, Cordarrelle Patterson is a free agent. If the Falcons don’t bring him back, I would love to see them bet on the potential of James Cook. Cook improved as a runner between the tackles in his senior season at Georgia. His ability to catch balls out of the backfield was a big reason why Georgia won the National Championship. It’s unclear if Cook will reach the same heights in the NFL, but he has a lot of Alvin Kamara in his game. Arthur Smith could absolutely use him in a similar way as Patterson — a true offensive weapon. Watch out for the Falcons to potentially double-dip — Mike Davis is a cut candidate, and a strong pass blocker like Dameon Pierce could make sense to pair with Cook.
Round 4, Pick 112: EDGE Myjai Sanders — Cincinnati
I was pretty shocked to see Sanders still available here, but I’m not going to argue with the mock simulator. This is a tremendous-looking EDGE class, and the Falcons would be wise to double or even triple dip with their lack of talent at the position. He put up a solid 4.67 40 and 4.37 20 yard shuttle. Although he profiles better in a 4-3 — the Falcons simply need good pass rushers right now, and if they can pop, adjust to what they do best. Sanders is a great athlete with nice twitch; he has all of the makings of a great speed rusher.
Round 5, Pick 150: OT Max Mitchell — Louisiana
One of my favorite sleepers in this whole class, Mitchell, looks like the perfect candidate for a team looking to develop a starting right tackle. Mitchell is a good athlete who played well against top competition, and I think he has the body and skillset to develop into a great player in the NFL. For someone that may be available on day three, that’s a great pickup. The Falcons will likely move on from Kaleb McGary after turning down his fifth-year option, which would give Mitchell a season to develop and hopefully take over as a starter.
Round 6, Pick 188: WR Romeo Doubs — Nevada
I didn’t plan on double-dipping at receiver, there are some solid low-cost options in free agency, but Doubs is way too talented to pass on here. He had a fantastic Senior Bowl, and he led the FBS in yards per catch in 2021. On top of being a solid deep threat, Doubs is very agile in open space with the football in his hands. He would make for a solid developmental deep threat receiver, which the Falcons did in 2021 in the sixth round.
Round 6, Pick 211 (Projected Compensation Pick for Alex Mack): S Nick Grant — Virginia
Nick Grant fits the mold of what Dean Pees likes in his defensive backs — Bronco Mendenhall used him as a safety/corner hybrid, and he can do many things well. Additionally, Erik Harris and Duron Harmon are free agents. At worst, you’ve got a special teams contributor that could develop enough to get himself into the defensive back rotation in nickel sets. That’s good enough for a sixth-round pick.
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