Happy NFL Draft eve everybody. One of the best events in all of sports is tomorrow, and that is the 2016 NFL Draft live from Chicago. The Atlanta Falcons only have five picks, so they must choose very wisely. Having the 17th pick overall in the first round, Atlanta must find a player that will start come the 2016 season. We will go through the most likely players and Atlanta will and has been linked to drafting in the first round.
Darron Lee (OLB), Ohio State
Darron Lee took over Ryan Shazier’s spot when Shazier declared for the draft, and he did not disappoint. Lee took over the spotlight for the Buckeye’s when he won Defensive MVP in the National Championship in 2015. Last season, he had 66 tackles with 4.5 sacks and 11 tackles for loss. His weaknesses include him being small for his position and missing tackles. Lee’s body is similar to a big safety at 6’1” and 232 pounds. He is very quick and athletic in that he could end up being a solid weakside linebacker. If the Falcons do in fact take Darren Lee, the team will bulk him up and hopefully use him as an every game three-down linebacker.
Reggie Ragland (ILB), Alabama
A man who was one of the leaders of the best defenses in the nation finds himself as one of the best linebackers this draft class has to offer. Having been coached by one of the best college football coaches in Nick Saban, Ragland’s instincts are better than most players. He is an old-school middle linebacker that does not just win with speed, but he is pretty agile for his body frame. A weakness of his is his speed and that he sometimes will take bad angles to the ball carrier. He is great in taking on blockers because if he can’t get the ball carrier, than he will take on the blocks to take away any holes. Ragland can be a leader of this defense for years to come.
Leonard Floyd (OLB), Georgia
In my mind, this player has boom-or-bust material written all over him. Either Floyd will be a beast and make plays, or simply he won’t. Floyd has a lean body frame at 6’5” and weighing 244 pounds. Floyd was the man who took charge of Georgia’s defense when Jarvis Jones left a couple years ago. He had 10.5 tackles for loss last year and 4.5 sacks, as he led the UGA defense in sacks three straight years. His weakness is that he is very thin, as he looks like a taller Laquon Treadwell. The man will most likely hit the weight room once he gets the the training facilities for his respective team. But Floyd is very athletic and can rush the passer, plays well in rush defense, and is solid in man coverage. Dan Quinn would find a role for Floyd in this defense, but I believe he will be gone before our pick. Like I said, look for Floyd to be a boom-or-bust player.
Laquon Treadwell (WR), Ole Miss
Alright here me out, this is a desperation pick. I think Treadwell is a great receiver that would thrive in our offense, but we need tools on defense. Treadwell could very well be on our draft board, so we will go over him. His body frame is exactly what teams love in receivers, as he is 6’2” weighing 221 pounds. Treadwell was a feared receiver as a Rebel, and would terrorize defenses during his college tenure. Last season he had 82 receptions for 1153 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns. He had three touchdowns in the Sugar Bowl last year, which was his last game. A negative is that he suffered a broken fibula in 2014 against Auburn, so his leg could be a concern to NFL teams. Great body control, controlled foot work, and finds a way to make plays. He would likely play the No. 2 receiver behind superstar Julio Jones, and the offense could possibly be one of the best in the league for years to come.
Myles Jack (OLB), UCLA
My favorite draft prospect in this year’s draft class. Go watch his game film and highlights and you will know why I love this player. Now the reason I put him here is because teams might possibly pass on him due to his knee injury, but Jack will be an impact player come day one. Jack is an athletic freak, having a 40 inch vertical at the combine. He was a former running back, and now he absolutely obliterates opposing running backs on the field. He is 6’1” and weighs 245 pounds, and he is fast, strong, elusive, great instincts, and much more. Jack likely will be a top-5 pick, but if he falls, Atlanta should take him in a heartbeat.