Falcons

Possible late-round steals for the Falcons in the 2018 NFL Draft

Arden Key– DE, LSU

What a disappointing year it has been for Key. This time last year, draft experts had him panned as a lock to go in the top ten of the draft, and for good reason. Key possesses a rare combination of size and speed that could allow him to become a star pass rusher in the NFL. The problem: Key has had multiple red flags come up since his unbelievable sophomore year campaign where he racked up 12 sacks. His character has come into question, much like Reuben Foster‘s was last season, which caused Foster to slide from the top ten all the way to the end of the first round. Questions regarding Key’s inconsistent play in his junior year as well as his desire to play the game have caused him to slip even further on draft boards. Now, Key is projected as a third or fourth-round pick. If he can clean up his act and stay focused on football, that would be one hell of a steal.

Royce Freeman– RB, Oregon

There is a reason teams are hesitant in using their first-round pick on running backs because every year there are studs like Royce Freeman who will be taken in the back half of the draft. It is not a necessity that Atlanta take a running back in the draft, but with the likelihood of Tevin Coleman being elsewhere it 2019, it might be wise to think about the future at the position. Freeman possesses the speed you expect out of your typical Oregon running back, although, it is his power and thickness that would make him a nice compliment to Devonta Freeman going forward. There is little doubt that the Oregon product can be a starting running back in the NFL one day, and would allow the Falcons to continue to have a dominant 1-2 punch at the position for years to come.

Trey Quinn– WR, SMU

Quinn will not be taken until the fifth round at the earliest, and will most likely find himself waiting until the sixth or seventh rounds. Quinn, a highly touted recruit coming out of high school, began his career at LSU. After two years of struggling to find a role in LSU’s run-heavy system, the Louisiana native transferred to SMU where he shined in their pass-happy offense. Quinn will translate into a slot receiver in the NFL and should have plenty of size and speed to make an impact in the Falcons offense. Atlanta lost Taylor Gabriel to Chicago in free agency and could be looking to add another receiver in the draft.

Javon Wims– WR, Georgia 

The Falcons have met with Wims on multiple occasions and will definitely be keeping an eye on him once the later rounds approach. The former basketball player became a star receiver for the Bulldogs on their way to a national championship appearance. His 6’6″ frame along with his basketball background allow him to go up and get it with the best of them. If the Falcons are looking to target a receiver late in the draft, Wims could be a steal and a deadly red zone threat for the team in the future.

Shaun Dion Hamilton– LB, Alabama

Coming off consecutive season-ending knee injuries, Hamilton is going to go way lower in this draft than he would have. Durability aside, this man is a player. He is smart with great football instincts. If he can stay healthy, he has the potential of becoming a starter in this league and at the very least should be a contributor on special teams from the start.

Mike Ramsay– DT, Duke

Ramsay has been a guy who I have consistently talked about throughout the draft process. After not receiving a combine invite, Ramsay dominated at Duke’s pro day, posting a 4.89 40-yard dash and repping 31 reps on the bench press. Those are crazy numbers for a man weighing over 300 pounds. Atlanta has to address their interior defensive line in this draft. It is likely they take a defensive tackle in the first couple of round, but it may even be wise to double down on their investment with a late-round pick like Ramsay.

Levi Wallace– CB, Alabama 

A lot of times around the sixth or seventh round, teams are just looking for one good reason to select you. For Wallace, that reason is perseverance. Not many players go from walk-on to starter, especially at a place like Alabama filled with five-star recruits. However, that is exactly what Wallace did, starting in every game for the Crimson Tide and leading the team in pass breakups last season. Wallace does not have the size and speed of most cornerbacks that are being drafted but has shown that his work ethic and love for the game is unmatched.

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