It’s time to talk draft Atlanta Falcons fans . . . draft picks, rounds, team needs, and prospects to watch.
by Nat L. Faybian • Senior Writer • @natlfaybian • nlfmockdraft.com • Feb 24, 2019 • Updated: April 8, 2019
Following the firing of defensive coordinator Marquand Manuel, HC Dan Quinn took on the additional responsibility as DC for the Falcons. The way things currently stand, it looks like that’s a role he’ll fill again this year. Dirk Koetter returns as the OC, after spending the last four seasons in Tampa Bay with Jameis Winston. Quinn’s Falcon’s had their first losing season, but were also riddled with injuries. Matt Ryan, the third overall pick in the 2008 draft, enters his 12th season. In 2018, Ryan became the first $30 million dollar quarterback.
2019 draft picks
*The Falcons have two Compensatory Picks.
- Offensive Guard
- Running Back
- Defensive Tackle
- Defensive End
- Offensive Tackle
Overall, the roster looks pretty sound. The team could use the off-season to build it’s depth and and upgrade with a best player available mentality. There could be some very desirable players on the board when Atlanta picks at number eleven. Depending on how the board falls, but players like DE Jochai Polite, DT Ed Oliver, OT Greg Little, and CB Bryon Murphy could be options.
The Falcons could use an upgrade at guard, but might grab a starter in FA. DeVonta Freeman’s numbers dropped after he signed a five-year, $41.25 million contract extension at the beginning of the 2017 season; and injury wiped out his 2018 season. So drafting a running back wouldn’t be out of the question. Look for them to pick up a late round quarterback as well.
Bringing in some fresh defensive line talent should be a priority. DT Grady Jarrett is a free agent and looks to bring in top dollar on the market. While the Falcons hope Vic Beasley can recapture the flashes he showed in his rookie season, the team could stand to bring in some top-notch competition. A starting corner could also be on their wish list.
Prospects to watch
Ed Oliver, DT, Houston
Ed Oliver is one of the most explosive defensive players in the draft. He has the freakish-strength push the pocket against linemen much bigger than himself. His ability to create havoc and disrupt the plays in the backfield is exactly what NFL teams want. Oliver was a three-time Consensus All-American at Houston, recording 53 tackles for loss and 13.5 sacks in his three years with the Cougars.
Joe Jackson, DE, Miami
Jackson is one of the less talked about, but exceptionally talented, defensive linemen that make this position group so deep. In three years, Jackson has played in 35 games, racking up 35.5 career tackles-for-loss and 22.5 sacks. Jackson had an INT in 2018 which he returned 42-yards for a touchdown.
Jordan Scarlett, RB, Florida
At 5-10, 210 lbs, Scarlett can squat 545 lbs., giving him the power to break tackles, which he did plenty of at Florida. This Gator also has 4.4 speed, so once he gets by the defender, he can take it to the house. Scarlett is an underclassman that had some off-the-field issues which caused him to miss the 2017 season. Physically, he has the tools, if he does well in the post-season interviews he could end up having really good future in the NFL.
Duke Shelley, CB, Kansas State
Shelley wasn’t invited to the NFL Scouting Combine, but turned heads at his Pro Day (March 6) with his athleticism. Shelley had suffered a torn ligament in his toe during season, but running a 4.46 for scouts proved he has recovered and is ready to get back on the field. While he can play outside, he’s projected as a nickel corner at the next level.
Players to Watch: CB DeAndre Baker, Georgia; S Parker Baldwin, San Diego State; DE Michael Dogbe, Temple; WR Kelvin Harmon, NC State; ILB Deonte Roberts, Rutgers; and QB Easton Stick of No. Dakota State.
General Manager: Thomas Dimitroff | Head Coach and Defensive Coordinator: Dan Quinn | Offensive Coordinator: Dirk Koetter | Defensive Passing Game Coordinator: Jerome Henderson
Recent Top Draft selections:
2018: R1 Calvin Ridley WR | R2 Isaiah Oliver CB
2017: R1 Takkarist McKinley DE | R3 Duke Riley LB
2016: R1 Deion Jones LB | R3 Austin Hooper TE
2015: R1 Vic Beasley DE |
R2 Jalen Collins CB