Mel Kiper sticks with status quo for Falcons in latest mock draft

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 02 Middle Tennessee at Alabama

With the Falcons signing Kirk Cousins, it virtually takes them out of the running for a quarterback in the first round of the draft, barring some unrealistic scenario where Drake Maye or Jayden Daniels falls.

Terry Fontenot has begun rounding out the roster following the first wave of free agency. All of the glaring holes have been filled. The two most pressing needs were quarterback and wide receiver; both were filled on the first day of free agency with Cousins and Darnell Mooney.

The Falcons added some ancillary pieces, too, ranging from role players to depth pieces — Rondale Moore, Ray-Ray McCloud, Khadarel Hodge, Storm Norton, and Kentavius Street. The other spots I’d argue the Falcons should still absolutely address in some capacity are cornerback and edge.

A.J. Terrell, Clark Phillips, Dee Aflord, and Mike Hughes isn’t a terrible unit, but a starting-caliber corner would make that group look a whole lot better because injuries are inevitable, and defenses need three starters in today’s NFL. The edge room is in worse shape, though. Arnold Ebiketie, Lorenzo Carter, and DeAngelo Malone is a bottom-five position group in the league.

The Falcons shouldn’t expect Phillips/Alford/Hughes to be above average starters at two corner positions, and the same can be said for Carter and Malone. It doesn’t have to be a splash signing, but bolstering each position seems appropriate.

That way Terry Fontenot can do what he does best in the draft — best player available. Atlanta’s GM has done the same thing each offseason, filling needs through free agency to be in a position of flexibility for the draft, taking the BPA, regardless of position.

It’s about a month away from the draft, and most mocks have the Falcons drafting Dallas Turner, including Mel Kiper in his latest mock draft.

This is another pairing that makes too much sense. It’s a combo of biggest positional need and best available prospect, as Turner is No. 9 on my Big Board. The Falcons, of course, made the biggest splash in free agency by signing quarterback Kirk Cousins, but their defense is mostly the same. They have to get better along the defensive line; as I mentioned in my Mock Draft 2.0, they ranked last in the league in pass rush win rate (30.9%) last season.

Turner had 22.5 sacks over three college seasons, and he improved his pressure rates every season. He’s the clear No. 1 edge rusher in this class. New coach Raheem Morris would get the best out of him.

It’s crazy that landing one of the top edge prospects — Turner, Jared Verse or Laiatu Latu — is somehow the boring pick for the Falcons. This team has been in desperate need of a dominate pass rusher since John Abraham was roaming the Georgia Dome, and this might be the cycle it finally happens, but I still can’t escape this feeling that Turner, Verse, or Latu would be underwhelming.

How do you feel about that possibility?

Photographer: Joe Robbins/Icon Sportswire
Scroll to Top
%d bloggers like this: