There’s consensus among mock drafts that Falcons will select this player

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Each offseason, Terry Fontenot has done the same exact thing for the Falcons — fill roster holes through free agency in order to take the best player available in the draft.

He did it when he made Kyle Pitts the highest-drafted tight end in league history and again when passing over Jalen Carter in favor of Bijan Robinson. There’s no reason to expect Atlanta’s GM to do anything different this year.

Even though the Falcons signed Kirk Cousins to a four-year, $180 million deal, it doesn’t mean they won’t take Drake Maye or Jayden Daniels if they somehow fell to No. 8. Obviously, that’s extremely unlikely, but the point remains.

If Malik Nabers is there when the Falcons are on the clock, it doesn’t matter that Atlanta signed Darnell Mooney to a three-year deal. The Falcons will be taking the best player available, regardless of position.

However, the consensus among most mock drafters is the club will end up selecting Dallas Turner, making him the first defender off the board in April’s draft.

Field Yates of ESPN has the Alabama product coming to the Falcons:

8. Atlanta Falcons

Dallas Turner, EDGE, Alabama

After signing quarterback Kirk Cousins to a huge $180 million deal, the Falcons can now focus on their second-biggest need of the offseason: pass-rush juice. The Falcons did not have a single player record more than 6.5 sacks last season, and the two players who reached that number — Calais Campbell and Bud Dupree — are unsigned free agents. Turner had an incredible combine performance, solidifying that he’s the most talented pass-rusher in this draft class. He had 10 sacks in 2023 and shows really impressive burst and power. He could help Atlanta big time; the Falcons had 42 sacks (tied for 21st) and a 30.9% pass rush win rate (32nd) last season.

The Draft Network also does: 

8. Atlanta Falcons

Dallas Turner, EDGE, Alabama

While J.J. McCarthy occupied this spot for a while, Atlanta has their guy in Kirk Cousins for 2024 and beyond. Dallas Turner is a twitched-up athlete with the athletic profile to align at a variety of spots along the line of scrimmage. I would like to see more consistency, however, but the tools are overwhelmingly apparent.

PFF’s Trevor Sikkema does as well:

8. ATLANTA FALCONSEDGE DALLAS TURNERALABAMA

The Falcons hit the free agency quarterback prize of Kirk Cousins, so there is no threat of them selecting a quarterback in the first round. And after a few wide receiver additions in free agency, as well, look for them to eye the defensive line, specifically the hyper-athletic edge rusher Dallas Turner.

We are still about a month away from the actual draft, so there’s plenty that could change from now until then, but as of right now, the consensus is the Falcons will draft Dallas Turner.

Photographer: Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire

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