PFF has an interesting scenario for the Falcons, as they trade down with Arthur Smith’s former team to snag a prospect out of their backyard:
Stroud ➡️ Panthers
Levis ➡️ Titans @PFF_Brad’s latest mock draft ⬇️https://t.co/tIhUDc8qC8
— PFF (@PFF) March 27, 2023
Here’s the full trade:
8.TENNESSEE TITANS (VIA ATL): QB WILL LEVIS,KENTUCKY
Trade: Tennessee sends Nos. 11, 41, 2024 2nd; Atlanta sends No. 8
Chicago at ninth overall and Philadelphia at 10th overall are prime trade-down spots, as well, so this isn’t Tennessee jumping ahead of teams that need a quarterback necessarily; it’s them boxing out teams like New England, Washington and Tampa Bay.
Levis played through multiple injuries in 2022, but in 2021 he earned a 90.6 overall grade that ranked 10th among Power Five quarterbacks. He has the occasional errant throw that leaves you scratching your head, but he’s come a long way since serving as a dual-threat short-yardage quarterback at Penn State, flashing a quick release that packs a lot of zip. He also needs to dramatically improve on navigating pressure, but it didn’t help that his offensive line was very porous this past season.
Personally, I’m all for this trade. Atlanta already owns Tennessee’s fourth round pick, and adding two extra second rounders to move down three spots is super appealing to me.
11.ATLANTA FALCONS (VIA TEN): EDGE NOLAN SMITH,GEORGIA
Prior to suffering a torn pectoral muscle, Smith was routinely mocked in the top half of the first round. After an absurd NFL Combine performance, we’ll vault him back into the upper part of the draft, with Atlanta adding a much-needed pass rusher off the edge.
Before his injury, Smith posted a 22.6% pass-rush win rate that ranked 19th among FBS edge defenders. Despite his 238-pound frame, Smith is also a tenacious run defender, with his 82.4 grade in 2022 ranking 16th in the FBS. He needs to primarily be deployed as a wide-nine outside linebacker, but new Falcons defensive coordinator Ryan Nielsen should be able to make that work given Smith’s ridiculous explosiveness.
Nolan Smith is one of my favorite Dawgs of all time, but I question his scheme fit in Ryan Nielsen’s defense. Nielsen employs an even front featuring larger defensive linemen, and Smith is more of an odd front outside linebacker. Still, Arthur Smith has been vocal about his defensive coordinator adjusting to the roster, not the other way around. If the Falcons use Smith in the right way, his athleticism and character are absolutely worthy of a first-round pick. He’s a high-quality run defender that should be able to contribute immediately. His upside as a pass rusher and freakish athleticism is very appealing.
Photographer: Jeffrey Vest/Icon Sportswire
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