Yes, handing out draft day grades before the players have even played a snap in the NFL is pointless. Still, that doesn’t make it any less fun, which is why nearly every site partakes in such trivial exercises. Most sites are pretty fond of how Terry Fontenot and his team approached their first draft in Atlanta; however, nobody was as high on the Falcons draft as NFL.com.
Their draft analyst, Chad Reuter, gave the Falcons an A+ for their draft class, which was the only A+ handed out among the 32 teams. Here is why he was so high on Atlanta’s selections:
Adding pass-catcher extraordinaire Pitts with the fourth overall pick gives a boost to the Falcons’ offense, especially in the red zone, where the team struggled at times in 2020. Atlanta made two excellent picks on Friday night, with Grant likely stepping into a starting role at safety and Mayfield a solid projection to guard, an area in which the Falcons needed more depth.
Hall is an athletic and competitive corner worthy of the early fourth-round selection. Dalman is an athletic center with NFL genes. He can compete with 2020 draft pick Matt Hennessy at center or allow Hennessy to move to guard. Graham has the quickness that will help him win inside next to Grady Jarrett. Ogundeji is a long, powerful rusher. He might not have elite speed, but will still get the job done. Getting a top-notch kick returner and willing defender in Williams was excellent, as was the selection of Darby, who has potential as a quick-footed deep threat.
As much as I loved the Falcons’ first two picks, I was sort of hot and cold on the rest of their selections. However, it looks as if Terry Fontenot stuck to his word and took the best player available on his board each time the Falcons were on the clock. If that’s the case, this draft class has the potential to be one of the best in quite some time, which would immediately make the Falcons a competitive team in 2021.
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