The Falcons have become a running meme in the NFL for high flying and crashing hard. Whether you agree or not, the organization has chosen to move on and rebuild from the ground up.
They have traded Julio Jones, Matt Ryan and let others go in free agency over the last two seasons. Now is the time to load up on your talent to replace what has been lost. This should be the draft to revive the dirty birds!
Round 1, Pick 8: Trevon Walker, DE, Georgia
Atlanta needs to reinvigorate the defense. Their pass rush needs a boost and Walker is definitely that. He has a rare combination of size and speed that allows him to rush the quarterback in many different ways. His ability to play the run is elite as well which is not often found in rookie pass rushers.
The Falcons should take Walker and maybe look for another pass rusher later in the draft to add depth to their starving front seven.
Round 2, Pick 11: David Bell, WR, Purdue
Round 2, Pick 26: Drake Jackson, DE, USC (Trojans)
Round 3, Pick 10: Kyren Williams, RB, Notre Dame
Round 3, Pick 18: Jalen Tolbert, WR, South Alabama
(Spoiler, if the Falcons make these picks they win draft day)
Atlanta has an offensive head coach in Arthur Smith that loves to run a high volume of play-action. To do that, you need a running back that can do it all and receivers that routinely get open. That is why the Falcons should pick David Bell and Kyren Williams.
Bell is a shifty receiver with great hands. He is a pure route technician that doesn’t shy away from physical play. Williams is a do it all back that excels at pass catching and making plays happen in the open field. Running him in play-action would open up the field for Kyle Pitts as well as other receivers.
Jalen Tolbert is a guy who possesses some of the same tools as Bell but isn’t as fast. He still poses as a starting quality receiver for the Falcons that they don’t currently have on the roster.
Last but not least is Drake Jackson. He should be a day one pick but lacks some skill in his pass-rush moves which has dropped him down in draft boards. Though the questions exist, Atlanta could take a flier on this kid and pair him with possible first-round pick Trevon Walker.
Round 4, Pick 9: Jermaine Waller, CB, VA Tech
Round 5, Pick 8: Abraham Lucas, OL, Washington State
Round 6, Pick 11: Clint Ratkovich, FB, Northern Illinois
Round 6, Pick 34: Kenmore Gamble, TE, Florida
This is where the Falcons can solidify the draft.
Adding depth and quality role players to a team that’s trying to build itself back up is essential. Abraham Lucas, Clint Ratkovich and Kenmore Gamble all slot in as players that don’t have to play immediately but can contribute early.
Lucas is a solid lineman that could start at guard but fits as a natural right tackle. Ratkovich is a versatile fullback with the ability to make plays in the pass game if needed. Gamble is the former running mate of incumbent Kyle Pitts at Florida and is a solid receiving threat in his own right.
Arthur Smith could find interesting ways to use both of them as he has done with players like Jonnu Smith and Delanie Walker in the past.
The steal here is Jermaine Waller out of Virginia Tech. It’s rare that you can find a starting caliber player this late in the draft but with as deep as the corner position is this year, Waller could fall here. His rare combo of length, speed and physicality is something Atlanta could use next to current starting cornerback, A.J. Terrell.
Waller is also a thumper in the run game. He has a nose for the football and diagnosing runs. He should be the Falcons target with their first pick on day three.
The dirty birds could make a return if their draft hits like this. Hopefully the cards fall for them and they get the players needed to make a resurgence in the coming years.