The Falcons have plenty of options with the eighth pick, and PFF has them making some interesting choices in their latest 2023 mock draft:
Round 1: WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Ohio State
Round 2: CB Emmanuel Forbes, Mississippi State
Round 3: WR Nathaniel Dell, Houston
Two wide receivers in the first three rounds is a bold strategy, but I understand the rationale. The Falcons have next to nothing in their wide receiver room, but the issue is that they are one of the most run-heavy teams in the NFL. I’ve talked about all of these prospects before, ranking Jaxon Smith-Njigba as my WR1 and speaking highly of Senior Bowl standout Nathaniel Dell:
For some, Smith-Njigba was the wire-to-wire WR1, but I’ve just now brought him back up to the top. He’s a really smooth route runner with good hands, and if not for his injury, Ohio State’s season may have gone differently. Regardless, his performance against Utah in the 2022 Rose Bowl really stands out to me, and he can be the dominant WR1 this class seems to be missing on its face.
One of the few disappointing testers, Dell had a great Senior Bowl, but didn’t have his best day in Indy. His numbers weren’t inspiring for an undersized guy, but his tape speaks for itself. We’re talking about a guy who had almost 1400 yards and 17 touchdowns last season. His route running is still impressive.
Emmanuel Forbes is one of my favorite picks, and I featured him in the 4.0 edition of my mock draft series:
I’m a lot higher on Forbes than a lot of people. If he’s here at 44, I’d be jumping on my desk. The Falcons did a good job filling a lot of holes during free agency, but Forbes is a mix of the best player available and a position that could still use some help. Forbes has great length and instincts. His six interceptions were tied for the sixth most in college football. He’s also the all-time leader for pick sixes in college football with six. I was pretty pleased with his 4.35 40-yard dash as well. With AJ Terrell and some blossoming young corners, I’ll roll the dice on an aggressive corner who can take the football away.
This would be an interesting haul, but I’d be surprised to see the Falcons attack the wide receiver position this aggressively.
Photo: Photographer: Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire
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