The Falcons' defense was incredibly soft against the Eagles in the divisional round of the playoffs. They have to strengthen the interior of their defensive line, and they can do that with this selection.
This mock selection was influenced by Charlie Campbell's Senior Bowl rumor mill report, where he discussed that the Falcons like some defensive tackles in this class, including Taven Bryan.
Rd. 2, Pk. 26
Braden Smith, G, Auburn
The Falcons have one major weakness on the offensive line, and that would be at right guard. Here's their opportunity to fix that weakness.
Rd. 3, Pk. 26
Trey Quinn, WR, SMU
Matt Ryan has limited downfield options outside of Julio Jones. Atlanta's offense basically shuts down whenever Jones is injured, so adding another receiver would help.
Rd. 4, Pk. 26
Chad Thomas, DE/3-4OLB, Miami
The Falcons could lose Adrian Clayborn to free agency this spring. If so, they'll be looking for a replacement in free agency or the first half of the 2018 NFL Draft.
Rd. 6, Pk. 26
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The Falcons grab a right guard upgrade to finish off their offensive line.
Prior to a high ankle sprain that ended his practice week, Lamp (6-3, 305) performed well at the Senior Bowl after an excellent collegiate career. He made 39 straight starts and was a tough lineman at the point of attack. Lamp is a tough blocker who is well-rounded as a run blocker and pass protector. He lacks length, however, and should move inside to guard in the NFL. Similar to Cody Whitehair last year, Lamp's best position could be center. Team sources have said they could see Lamp going in the second round of the 2017 NFL Draft.
Rd. 2, Pk. 2
Budda Baker, S, Washington
The Falcons could use a free safety upgrade next to Keanu Neal, where Baker would be a perfect fit.
In 2016, Baker totaled 65 tackles with two interceptions and five passes broken up. He needs to get stronger to tackle in the NFL, but Baker is a fast safety who flies around the field. The 5-foot-10, 195-pounder has the ability to help in pass coverage and is a willing tackler in the ground game. Returning for his senior year and adding strength would have been his best route before going pro, but Baker decided to enter the 2017 NFL Draft.
In 2015, Baker recorded 49 tackles with seven passes broken up and two interceptions. He had 80 tackles, six pass breakups and an interception as a freshman.
Rd. 3, Pk. 3
Daeshon Hall, DE/3-4OLB, Texas A&M
The Falcons could use a base end to go on the other side from Vic Beasley.
In 2016, Hall collected 50 tackles with 13 tackles for a loss, 4.5 sacks, two forced fumbles and one pass batted. He had some good games for the Aggies, but wasn't consistent with his pass-rush production. The senior (6-5, 265) was solid against the run, however.
Hall looked poised to break out in 2015 after picking up an impressive four sacks against Louisville in Week 1. It turned out, however, that the performance was an anomaly, as the junior finished the year with a total of 54 tackles with 12.5 for a loss, seven sacks and two forced fumbles. Despite seeing great pass-rushing opportunities playing across from Myles Garrett, Hall wasn't consistent.
Rd. 4, Pk. 4
Charles Walker, DT, Oklahoma
Atlanta could use a more interior defensive line depth with Jonathan Babineaux aging.
In 2016, Walker totaled seven tackles with two for a loss and four passes broken up. He only played in four games because of a concussion and quit the team early in order to prepare for the 2017 NFL Draft. Walker was one of the few Oklahoma players who impressed in the 2016 opener against Houston, collecting three tackles, 1.5 for a loss and a pass batted. He had an impressive 2015 season with 36 tackles, six sacks and a forced fumble.
Walker displayed enough speed, strength and versatility to play end or tackle for Oklahoma, allowing him to be disruptive at the point of attack. The 6-foot-2, 310-pounder is talented and was cleared medically at the combine.
Rd. 5, Pk. 5
Robert Davis, WR, Georgia State
The Falcons go with the best player available and add some wide receiver competition.
Rd. 7, Pk. 7
Elijah McGuire, RB, La.-Lafayette
The Falcons go with the best player available to add some running back depth.
The Falcons could use more youth on the inside of their defensive line, and Jack Crawford is just a stop-gap solution for 2017. Atlanta could also use more disruption and pass rush next to Grady Jarrett. Additionally, Dontari Poe is entering free agency after this season. <br> <br>
Bryan (6-4, 295) broke out in 2017 with 40 tackles with six tackles for a loss and four sacks. In speaking with some scouting sources, Bryan has drawn comparisons to the Chiefs' Chris Jones or the Broncos' Derek Wolfe. Some announcers have compared the 6-foot-4, 295-pound Bryan to J.J. Watt, and in terms of style of play, Bryan is reminiscent of Watt, although not consistently. Bryan has a tremendous get-off with serious explosion off the snap. He also has developed strength with active hands to shed blocks. Given his length, Bryan can play end or tackle, plus be an ideal candidate for five-technique.
I've heard from sources that Bryan is going to declare for the 2018 NFL Draft, and scouting contacts project him to the first or second round. Bryan is a great athlete who is big, strong, fast and agile. He had a late start in football, however, from growing up Wyoming, and that shows up in him not demonstrating good instincts. Bryan is inconsistent while lacking feel and pass-rushing moves. Considering his late start in football, he would be better off in his long-term football career to return to school and gain playing experience before going to the NFL and taking on pro offensive linemen. Some team sources have told me they were grading Bryan as a second-rounder, but think he could end up being a first-round pick because of his great skill set, which is expected to shine at the NFL Scouting Combine and in pre-draft workouts. If Bryan returns to Florida and improves in 2018, he could end up being a sure-fire first-rounder and maybe a high first-round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft.
Current Record: 4-3
With this pick I wanted to select Hue Jackson (who is likely to get fired by the Browns this year) as the new Offensive Coordinator but that won't happen. The Falcons are still loaded on all sides of the ball, but they are being held back by a poor offensive scheme. Dontari Poe, however hasn't been the force up the middle the Falcons have expected he would be so they grab a cheaper replacement here to stuff up the middle.
**TRADE** Falcons trade 2018 First Round Pick (26 overall), 2018 6th Round Pick (200 Overall) and 2019 3rd Round Pick to the Cowboys.
Why the Cowboys do this trade: Hurst doesn't necessarily fit what the cowboys need on the d-line, and the Cowboys needs don't really fit . One Hurst comparison is Maliek Collins, who is already on the Cowboys D-line. The Cowboys really need a 1-technique rather than a 3-technique.
Why the Falcons do this trade - Hurst fits much more what they need with Grady Jarrett filling the 1-tech role, and is the last of the first round DTs on the board, who could fill a potential need for both the Lions and the Bucs (or Bills for that matter if they stay put).
Hurst is the next in the John Randle/Aaron Donald line of smaller interior d-lineman that use initial burst and quickness to get up the field and in the backfield. His punch and disengage is incredibly quick and helped him lead interior defenders in college football with 49 QB Pressures. However, he also uses those same strengths to become a dominant run defender as he also lead CFB interior defenders with 31 run stops. His motor and quickness give him the position versatility to play inside or kick out to the end and play as the Michael Bennett role (who the Falcons are reportedly interested in trading for) on Dan Quinn's d-line.
Everyone seems to love the Dontari Poe signing for the Falcons, but I have a few things to be worried about that deal. For one it's a one year deal so if he does excel than the Falcons will either lose him in free agency or have to over pay an overweight and oft-injured talent. The other issue is he is moving to a pass rushing 4-3 defense where his skill set of plugging holes is not very useful. Plus, the Falcons need linemen with a high stamina to keep up with their quick scoring offense just look at the Super Bowl where their defensive line turned into zombies in the 4th quarter after being on the field for so long. Vea is a younger more explosive version of Poe with a much better pass rushing skill set. Playing in a passing league in the Pac-12 and playing in a 4-3 defense will provide him with a lot of experience to come in right away and play at a high level. He and Grady Jarrett can provide a solid one-two punch in the middle of their defense to move passer like Drew Brees, Jameis Winston, and Cam Newton of their spot in division play.
Last Weeks Selection: Christian Wilkins DT Clemson at Pick # 21
The Falcons were not the same team in 2017 as they were in 2016. Most of that can be attributed to an offense that struggle under a new OC. The first order of business this offseason will be to make that offese better.
Some prospect just fit with teams. Isiah Wynn is one of those guys while playing at UGA he isn't far and fills a need for the falcons. Wynn was a Tackle who will have to move inside while in the NFL. He will have good size for the guard postion but his best trait is his great atheltcism that allows him to make quick agile movments across the linel.