Will Rahem Morris cause Terry Fontenot to change Falcons draft M.O.?

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The NFL Draft is rapidly approaching, and the rumor mill is flowing, especially surrounding the Atlanta Falcons and their 8th overall pick.

Much of the weekend and the next few days will be filled with a lot of smoke. It’s my job to present it to you, and your job to sift through what’s a smoke screen and what’s actually fire.

For much of the offseason, Dallas Turner was the consensus favorite to be the Falcons pick; however, a change occurred over the weekend when betting odds shifted for Laiatu Latu to go 8th overall.

Most expect it to be one of those two prospects, but another name has gained steam in recent days — Byron Murphy. Adam Schefter of ESPN recently connected the Falcons to the Texas product, who he dubbed a sleeper to be the first defender off the board.

“It’s possible a defender might not be picked until Atlanta at No. 8 or Chicago at No. 9. Murphy could be a consideration for both teams. Murphy, who had five sacks last season, is talented, plays a coveted position and has gotten clean character reports. He might interest new Falcons coach Raheem Morris, who had Aaron Donald dominate at that position when he was the coordinator in Los Angeles,” Schefter said.

The NFL insider isn’t the only one, though. Daniel Jeremiah said a couple of weeks ago that Murphy should be taken seriously to be the top defender off the board and going to Atlanta.

“If you ask me who the surprise top 10 pick, or who is someone that we just didn’t see coming, that’s Byron Murphy,” Jeremiah said in response to a question from D. Orlando Ledbetter about Laiatu Latu’s medical concerns.

There are a lot of questions about what this new Falcons staff wants to do. Terry Fontenot has spent three first-round picks on skill positions, constantly touting how his front office will take the best player available.

Now, the criteria for the best player available varies from front office to front office, and it seems the Falcons value intangibles more than most. The club was clearly not scared to add to a position of strength either.

With Tyler Allgeier on a cheap contract and coming off a record-breaking rookie campaign, the Falcons drafted Bijan Robinson because he was the best player on their big board.

So, will Terry Fontenot change his strategy with Raheem Morris in the fold now? Apparently not, he told reporters on Tuesday.

Will the Falcons draft Turner or Latu because they are the top players at a position of need? Or will they stick strictly to BPA and draft Rome Odunze? Hell, Byron Murphy would be adding to a position of strength and shock a lot of people.

The Falcons have clear holes at cornerback and edge. We are going to learn a lot about this new regime over the next five days.

Photographer: Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire

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