The Falcons are going to lose three key members of their defensive line to free agency this upcoming season, so they'll need to reload. They currently lack a big presence up front next to Grady Jarrett, and Vita Vea, who has really been coming on lately, could fill that role.
Pick change; previously Quenton Nelson, G
Rd. 2, Pk. 19
Zach Allen, DE, Boston College
As mentioned in the opening round, the Falcons have three defensive linemen set to hit free agency next spring, so this is an area they could attack in the 2018 NFL Draft.
Pick change; previously Andrew Brown, DE/DT
Rd. 3, Pk. 18
Maea Teuhema, G, LSU
Atlanta's offensive line hasn't been nearly as forceful this year. The right side is to blame, as Ryan Schraeder has taken a step backward because of an injury. Meanwhile, there's a huge void at right guard, which can be addressed here.
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>
Wilkins has 37 tackles with 4.5 for a loss and three sacks this season. He has been disruptive at the point of attack, showing speed to create havoc behind the line of scrimmage. Wilkins is a great athlete for his size and has the versatility to play a variety of techniques. The 6-foot-4, 310-pounder has a nice skill set with upside and could also fit as a 3-4 defensive end. <br> <br>
Wilkins played well for Clemson in 2016 as part of a tough defensive line that controlled the point of attack. The sophomore had 48 tackles with 13 tackles for a loss, 3.5 sacks and 10 passes batted on the year. Because of injuries, Wilkins played a lot of defensive end. He showed nice athleticism and versatility, but is at his best on the inside, using his mismatch speed against guards. Wilkins made 33 tackles and two sacks as a freshman in 2015.
The Falcons could use another safety to pair with Keanu Neal. <br> <br>
Harrison (6-3, 216) is a tall safety with good length to cover big receivers and tight ends. He was impressive during the 2016 season when he totaled 86 tackles with seven passes broken up and two interceptions. Harrison will probably fit as a strong safety type in the NFL.
Atlanta grabs a free safety to pair with Keanu Neal. <br> <br>
In 2017, Watts has 34 tackles with three interceptions, two passes broken up and a forced fumble. He was impressive against UCLA in the season opener with 13 tackles, two passes batted and a forced fumble. Watts is an instinctive defender who was all over the field. However, he struggled in man coverage on Bruins tight end Caleb Wilson. <br> <br>
In 2016, Watts made a lot of clutch plays for the Aggies. He had 56 tackles with six for a loss, two forced fumbles, three passes broken up and two interceptions on the year. Watts totaled 126 tackles with two passes broken up and one interception in 2015. Like teammate Myles Garrett, Watts was an impressive freshman who was impossible to ignore in 2014. He totaled 59 tackles with nine passes broken up and three interceptions that season. <br> <br>
Watts (5-11, 195) has displayed some instincts and play-making skills, but needs to improve his tackling.
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