Value vs. Need: What should Falcons do in NFL Draft

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The Falcons are expected to take a pass rusher in Thursday’s first round of the NFL Draft, with Dallas Turner being the most popular prospect mocked to Atlanta, but there’s one problem with that; Terry Fontenot has had a strict M.O. of taking the best player available since becoming the general manager.

He made Kyle Pitts the highest-drafted tight end in league history, and while receiving flack for the selection from some corners of the national media, Fontenot followed it up a couple of cycles later by drafting Bijan Robinson, despite Tyler Allgeier coming off a record-breaking rookie campaign.

If there’s one thing Fontenot isn’t afraid to do, it’s add to a position of strength on the roster. So, while Dallas Turner would fill the Falcons longest standing roster need, saying that he’s going to be the pick because of that fact is disingenuous to the way Fontenot has done things in the past.

It’s not arguable. Dallas Turner or any pass rusher would fill the Falcons’ biggest roster need. However, is Turner, Jared Verse, or Laiatu Latu going to be the best player on Atlanta’s board?

Well, if you ask ESPN draft pundits Jordan Reid and Matt Miller, Turner is not only the prospect that would fill the Falcons ‘big need’ but also be the ‘best value.’

Reid’s pick that fills a big need: Dallas Turner, EDGE, Alabama

My top-ranked defensive player in the draft, Turner would give the Falcons a high-end starter off the edge. Atlanta was last in pass rush win rate (30.9%) and tied for 21st in sacks (42) last season, and Turner has immense upside.

Miller’s pick that gets best value: Dallas Turner, EDGE, Alabama

Yeah, the Falcons have to get a pass-rusher in this draft, and considering Turner is my No. 7 overall player, this works out well. He had 10 sacks last season

All signs point to Dallas Turner, but I wouldn’t rule out the Falcons being interested in Quinyon Mitchell, Terrion Arnold, Rome Odunze, or Malik Nabers if they’re available when Atlanta is on the clock.

Still, if I were a betting man, Dallas Turner would be the pick for the Falcons on Thursday night.

Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire

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