Atlanta Falcons Mock Draft: 7 Round Predictions, Post Combine
The NFL's annual interview circuit and underpants Olympics known as the combine is finally over. Because of it, the Atlanta Falcons will be adjusting their board and focusing on who really stood out to them. They'll call in certain players for official visits and will make sure who they like is a fit for their schemes.
In taking a look at the draft, the Falcons have a plethora of talent to choose from this year. They'll be able to address holes along both lines and maybe even replace some departing talents. Ideally, they'll use the draft as a supplement to a free agency period that addresses the biggest needs.
However, the Falcons are much closer than anyone gives them credit for at this point. This draft would be just one scenario that could help push them over the top.
Round 1: OT Greg Robinson, Auburn
This scenario assumes the Falcons have missed out on Jadeveon Clowney and Khalil Mack to the teams picking ahead of them. And that's OK. But it leaves one question: Do you go with polish in Jake Matthews or do you go with potential in Greg Robinson?
Based on the Falcons' interest levels, it looks like the potential to be great may win out with Robinson. He's a massive tackle at 332 pounds who moves like a 310-pound guy. Matt Ryan would gladly take the Walter Jones-level potential in Robinson protecting his blind side.
Especially since the Falcons left tackles last year combined to be the worst group in the NFL. If Atlanta really wants to improve the line, adding Robinson at left tackle, signing a good right guard and moving Lamar Holmes to the right tackle role would be huge upgrades from 2013's situation.
Height: 6'5" Weight: 332 pounds
Arm Length: 35" Hand Measurement: 10"
40-yard dash: 4.92 sec. 10-yard split: 1.68 sec.
20-yard shuttle: 4.86 sec. 3-cone Drill: 7.80 sec. Bench Reps: 32 reps
Vertical Jump: 28.5" Broad Jump: 9'5"
2013: 14 Games Started at Left Tackle
2012: 11 Games Started at Left Tackle
Round 2: TE Jace Amaro, Texas Tech
Replacing Tony Gonzalez can go many ways. But if the Falcons decide to not address tight end in free agency, they should have at least four very good options near the top of the draft. Jace Amaro is arguably the best for their needs out of anyone.
As a blocker, he's not very good at this point. However, that's not why you take a tight end in the top of the second round. Amaro would be an intermediate to deep threat over the middle for the Falcons along the lines of what Jordan Cameron provides the Browns or Jimmy Graham has provided the Saints.
Unfortunately for Amaro, he timed much slower than how he looks in pads and that could drop him just enough to put him in striking range for the Falcons. Again, Matt Ryan wouldn't be able to complain with Amaro on his team. Combining Amaro with a returning Julio Jones could keep the Falcons receiving corps near the top.
Height: 6'5-3/8" Weight: 265 pounds
Arm Length: 34" Hand Measurement: 9"
40-yard dash: 4.74 sec. 20-yard shuttle: 4.30 sec.
3-cone Drill: 7.42 sec. Bench Reps: 28 reps
Vertical Jump: 33.0" Broad Jump: 9'10"
2013: 13 Games Played, 106 Catches, 1,352 Yards, 7 Touchdowns, 2 Tackles
2012: 7 Games Played, 25 Catches, 409 Yards, 4 Touchdowns
2011: 12 Games Played, 7 Catches, 57 Yards, 2 Touchdowns, 2 Tackles
Round 3: DL Dominique Easley, Florida
Injuries are always scary when talking about prospects. The Falcons have their own experiences with injured prospects like Peria Jerry and Sam Baker. However, it's much less of a risk in the third round when you can get a prospect like Dominique Easley.
He can play both defensive tackle and defensive end depending on the technique asked. Ideally, he plays the 3-, 5- and 6-techniques for the Falcons in the same role Jonathan Babineaux played. His explosion off the line and versatility will be something Atlanta didn't have from their defensive tackles in 2013.
Easley would start out as a rotational tackle in passing situations. Nonetheless, his long-term potential is that of a Warren Sapp-esque pass-rushing tackle. If the Falcons can keep him healthy, there's no stopping the talented Easley.
Height: 6'2" Weight: 288 pounds
Arm Length: 32-7/8" Hand Measurement: 9-3/8"
Bench Reps: 26 reps
2013: 3 Games Played, 5 Tackles, 2.0 Tackles for Loss, 4 QB Hurries
2012: 12 Games Played, 26 Tackles, 8.5 Tackles for Loss, 4.0 Sacks, 2 QB Hurries, 1 Fumble Recovered, 1 Pass Deflection
2011: 12 Games Played, 37 Tackles, 7.5 Tackles for Loss, 1.5 Sacks, 3 QB Hurries, 1 Blocked Kick
2010: 7 Games Played, 4 Tackles
Round 4: EP Carl Bradford, Arizona State
As the draft moves into the later rounds, it turns towards more rotational prospects who can improve the pass rush, special teams and fortify the lines. Edge player Carl Bradford could be a true steal, though. His short-area quickness is amazing, as he explodes off the line in pass-rush situations.
In the run game, though, he does get washed out at times. Bradford would be a rotational pass-rusher early in a Kroy Biermann-type role where he plays both linebacker and defensive end. As an edge player in the NFL, he's going to be tasked to go against more powerful tackles than he saw in college.
Height: 6'0-3/4" Weight: 250 pounds
Arm Length: 30-1/4" Hand Measurement: 9-1/2"
40-yard dash: 4.76 sec. 10-yard split: 1.66 sec.
20-yard shuttle: 4.30 sec. 3-cone Drill: 7.25 sec. Bench Reps: 23 reps
Vertical Jump: 37.5" Broad Jump: 10'2"
2013: 14 Games Played, 61 Tackles, 19.0 Tackles for Loss, 8.5 Sacks, 5 QB Hurries, 1 Interception, 3 Fumbles Forced, 4 Pass Deflections, 1 Defensive Touchdown, 1 Carry, 20 Yards
2012: 13 Games Played, 80 Tackles, 21.5 Tackles for Loss, 11.5 Sacks, 1 QB Hurry, 1 Interception, 3 Fumbles Forced, 1 Fumble Recovered, 4 Pass Deflections, 1 Defensive Touchdown
2011: 12 Games Played, 12 Tackles, 3.5 Tackles for Loss, 1.5 Sacks
Round 5: WR Bruce Ellington, South Carolina
Harry Douglas has been mediocre as a starting slot receiver. The Falcons need to bring in someone to challenge him, and who better than South Carolina's Bruce Ellington to do so? The Gamecock graduate has tremendous short-area quickness to makes defenses pay out of the slot.
However, he also has excellent deep speed to burn a coverage and understands how to play the position both lined up inside and outside. The former basketball player understands how to use his body positioning to create better passing lanes and his hands are excellent.
Height: 5'9-3/8" Weight: 197 pounds
Arm Length: 31" Hand Measurement: 9-5/8"
40-yard dash: 4.45 sec. 10-yard split: 1.63 sec.
20-yard shuttle: 3.95 sec. 3-cone Drill: 6.69 sec. Bench Reps: 15 reps
Vertical Jump: 39.5" Broad Jump: 10'0"
2013: 13 Games Played, 49 Catches, 775 Yards, 8 Touchdowns, 3 Carries, 14 Yards, 3 Punt Returns, 16 Yards, 5 Kick Returns, 108 Yards, 2 Tackles
2012: 13 Games Played, 40 Catches, 600 Yards, 7 Touchdowns, 5 Carries, 28 Yards, 18 Kick Returns, 406 Yards, 2 Tackles
2011: 13 Games Played, 17 Catches, 211 Yards, 1 Touchdown, 17 Carries, 106 Yards, 1 Touchdown, 20 Kick Returns, 463 Yards, 2 Tackles
Round 6: OG Trai Turner, Louisiana State
This situation assumes the right guard situation has been handled in free agency, and the Falcons just need a backup to compete with Gabe Carimi inside at guard. Trai Turner is a unique fit for the Falcons, as he's a bowling ball of a man who delivers a good punch inside.
Nonetheless, he's not a starting-caliber NFL player fresh out of the gates. He has a couple of technical issues in his game that need to be ironed out. Size, strength, attitude and quickness are ideal for a guard to be developed behind Justin Blalock for a couple years before he takes over.
Height: 6'2-5/8" Weight: 310 pounds
Arm Length: 34" Hand Measurement: 9-1/2"
40-yard dash: 4.93 sec. 10-yard split: 1.72 sec.
Bench Reps: 29 reps Vertical Jump: 27.5"
2013: 13 Games Started at Right Guard
2012: 12 Games Played and 7 Games Started at Right Guard
Round 7: NT Ryan Carrethers, Arkansas State
The Falcons taking a massive defensive tackle in the draft makes a ton of sense. In this scenario, they bring in Ryan Carrethers to eat up space in the middle. If they sign a massive defensive tackle, bring back Corey Peters and then draft Carrethers, the Falcons should have a better run defense.
This scenario of adding Easley and Carrethers would give Atlanta their long-term rotational guys needed up front. On top of that, it gives Atlanta the ability to show multiple looks. Easley and Peters could play defensive end and Carrethers or a free agent space eater would be ideal inside of a 3-4 look.
Height: 6'1-1/4" Weight: 337 pounds
Arm Length: 31-3/4" Hand Measurement: 9-3/8"
40-yard dash: 5.47 sec. 10-yard split: 1.78 sec.
3-cone Drill: 7.89 sec. Bench Reps: 32 reps
Vertical Jump: 26.0" Broad Jump: 7'4"
2013: 13 Games Played, 93 Tackles, 8.0 Tackles for Loss, 4.0 Sacks, 3 QB Hurries, 2 Blocked Kicks, 1 Carry, 1 Yard, 1 Touchdown
2012: 13 Games Played, 68 Tackles, 3.5 Tackles for Loss, 1.0 Sacks
2011: 13 Games Played, 29 Tackles, 3.0 Tackles for Loss, 1.5 Sacks, 1 QB Hurry
2010: 10 Games Played, 6 Tackles
Scott Carasik is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. He covers the Atlanta Falcons, College Football, NFL and the NFL draft. He also runs DraftFalcons.com.
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