NFC executive on possible Falcons’ first round draft targets


The NFL Draft is a couple of weeks away now, and there isn’t much speculation surrounding the Falcons.

Coming into the offseason, they were considered to be a wild card because of the void at quarterback. With Kirk Cousins in the fold, everyone seems to have their thumb on the pulse of Flowery Branch.

Dallas Turner, Jared Verse, and Laiatu Latu are the most popular prospects going No. 8 to the Falcons in mock drafts, with the Alabama product being the most common.

Bucky Brooks of, Bruce Feldman of The Athletic, Jordan Reid of ESPN, Mike Tannenbaum of ESPN, Field Yates of ESPN, Matt Miller of ESPN, Ben Standig of The Athletic, Mel Kiper of ESPN, and Brad Spielberger from PFF all have Turner going to Atlanta in their respective mock drafts.

Vegas also thinks it’s going to be Dallas Turner Odds via DraftKings as of 4/10:

  • Dallas Turner +150
  • Laiatu Latu +600
  • Jared Verse +750
  • Quinyon Mitchell +750
  • Rome Odunze +850
  • J.J. McCarthy +1300

Now, league executives are weighing in, with one from the NFC telling ESPN’s Jordan Reid that any pass rusher should be considered a target in the first round.

What we’re hearing about the Falcons’ draft: Possible targets in Round 1 for the Falcons? “Anyone with a pulse that can rush the passer,” per an NFC executive. And Atlanta could have its pick of the defensive litter at No. 8. Dallas Turner (Alabama), Laiatu Latu (UCLA) and Jared Verse (Florida State) are all viewed options. Any one of them would help a pass rush that was last in pass rush win rate last season at 30.9%. — Reid

The Falcons don’t have obvious starters opposite A.J. Terrell and Arnold Ebiketie. Hell, another wide receiver wouldn’t hurt either. There are still some worthwhile free agents who are probably waiting until after the draft to pick a team, but the Falcons are in a position where they want to compete in the postseason.

Nothing should be left to chance, especially at three premium positions like corner, receiver, and edge. But it seems like all roads are leading to the last of those being filled in the first round with Turner, Verse, or Latu.

Photographer: Ken Murray/Icon Sportswire

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