Latest mock draft has Falcons going in a completely different direction


The Falcons and the rest of the league are gearing up for the NFL Draft.

With a couple of glaring roster needs on the defensive side of the ball, the overwhelming expectation is for Atlanta to draft one of the top pass rushers or cornerbacks.

Laiatu Latu is the betting favorite to go 8th overall, but somehow, most people believe it’ll still be Dallas Turner, who has been the most popular player mocked to Atlanta this offseason.

I still wouldn’t rule out Jared Verse or one of the top corners like Terrion Arnold or Quinyon Mitchell, but what a few brave souls are considering is a receiver. Rome Odunze or Malik Nabers could be on the board, and Falcons fans shouldn’t be surprised if they’re the pick.

Terry Fontenot has made it clear that he wants to draft the best player available. Now, the criteria for that is a mystery, but Odunze or Nabers could very well be the best player available.

But what about another pass catcher? In the latest mock draft from Yahoo! Sports, Nate Tice had the Falcons drafting a different LSU wideout, Nabers’ teammate Brian Thomas.

8. Atlanta Falcons — Brian Thomas, WR, LSU

Despite adding Darnell Mooney and Rondale Moore this offseason, the Falcons could still use another wide receiver who can make a living on the outside. Mooney is best from the slot and Moore is essentially a running back in everything but name only, so adding a player with the size, speed and ascending game like Thomas makes more sense than you’d first think. The Falcons absolutely need pass rush help, but they might not think any of the defensive prospects are worth it at this point in the draft (they could be prime trade-down candidates), so they decide to push their offense to superpower levels.

Thomas is an absolute burner. Nabers is rightfully considered the better of the Tigers receivers coming out, but Thomas is no slouch. He can take the top off the defense, make contested catches, threaten after the catch and run a decent amount of the route tree.

If Nabers or Odunze would be considered a surprise, Thomas going to the Falcons at their 8th pick would be unthinkable. Even as an LSU alumnus, I have to say this seems a bit rich for Brian Thomas, but if the Falcons traded back, I would be all for it.

Photographer: John Korduner/Icon Sportswire

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