Could the Falcons draft someone from their backyard?
Every year, we hear Georgia fans clamoring for the Falcons to take their favorite Georgia player. A lot of the time it wouldn’t be a good choice and doesn’t fix a need but Georgia fans still want it. An example this year is drafting Sony Michel. While Michel is a terrific player, we have two good RBs who TD has said he wants to resign so RB isn’t a need. Michel will also go in the first two rounds which is where we need to draft DL.
Georgia has some great defensive talent coming to the draft and even if it doesn’t seem like it, Georgia Tech quietly has 2-3 players who could be drafted near the late rounds. With Georgia and Georgia Tech’s pro days already finished, could the Falcons get someone from their backyard?
*RANKED IN ORDER OF DRAFT STOCK*
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Isaiah Wynn is someone who many predicted to go to the Falcons as their first round pick. He was a great tackle in college and made the switch to Guard and impressed in the Senior Bowl. He is an impressive player that would be a tremendous fit and a lot of Falcons fans wanted him. I wanted him as well but with the signing of Brandon Fusco, the Falcon’s line depth is set so I don’t see the Falcons getting him especially considering he will be picked before our second round pick.
Carter is a outside linebacker in 4-3 and 4-3 defenses and an edge rusher in sub packages who didn’t quite live up to expectations at Georgia. He is a good linebacker with nice closing speed but what makes him an exciting prospect is his versatility as he can be a pure edge rusher. The Falcons lack linebacker depth but could still need another DE in sub packages so Carter seems like a great pick. I would love to have him but it depends on what the Falcons decide to do in free agency with LB depth as well as if they want to take a WR in the second or third round when Carter will go.
Thompson is a really intriguing 4-3 DT prospect that I can really see having an impact in the NFL. He won’t be an immediate starter but will be an important rotational DT that could make some noise. He fits well with Atlanta as he is fast and strong and would fill a need for Atlanta. Unfortunately, Thompson isn’t a 1st or 2nd round pick so I don’t think the Falcons will take him because DT is their main need and will most likely be what they spend their 1st round pick on. It is possible though that Thompson is picked in the later rounds to compete with Rubin.
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Simmons is one of the most exciting late-round prospects for me as he wasn’t even a projected draft pick 2 weeks ago. He is an edge rusher but also excels on special teams which will help him in the draft. His Pro Day propelled him from a UDFA to a day 3 prospect. He had an exceptional Pro Day as he ran a 4.52 40-yard dash and had 30 bench press reps. His 40-yard dash would have been the second fastest of all EDGE players if he ran it at the combine. and his 30 reps would’ve been good for second among all EDGE players at the combine. Not only did he impress with his athleticism but he also changed his body. One of my main criticisms of him was that he wasn’t big enough but he gained 15 pounds while reducing his body fat 5%. He turned it on in the offseason and I think would be a great pickup because he is fast, physical, and has a great work-ethic as evidenced by his Pro Day. I hope the Falcons will take him but I think he will go somewhere else.
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Georgia Tech, even with their Triple Option offense, is known as a wide-receiver factory. Jeune is an under-the-radar prospect who Mel Kiper said could very well go between the 5th and 7th round. He’s a big receiver who has no problem with physicality and catching. His catching was on display at his Pro Day as he had no problem catching every ball thrown to him. The 6’3″ wide receiver’s only problem is his speed (his production doesn’t worry me as it was more the offense he was put in). He’s certainly not the slowest wide receiver this draft or even the closest but he still only runs a 4.62 40. His biggest strength is blocking which is what a lot of teams like in their WRs. The Falcons will most likely draft a WR and/or a TE and Jeune’s hands and blocking ability offer a unique versatility that the Falcons could look at.
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Wims is a 6’4″ receiver who is essentially the same as Jeune. He can make contested catches and is a deep threat but isn’t very fast. He is faster than Jeune with his 40 time but on film he doesn’t look extremely athletic but he could have worked on that since January. Another downside for him is his blocking. He often lacks aggressiveness when engaging in blocking and it sometimes seems as he is disinterested because the play isn’t for him. He seems one of the most likely prospects to go to the Falcons though as he said after the pro day that he had an interview set up with the Falcons.
Both Lance Austin and Lawrence Austin are wildcards and are almost certainly going to be UDFAs. With that being said, they are talented defensive backs who could make an impact in sub packages and could add depth to the secondary. They aren’t insanely fast but are still athletes who can track balls well. I don’t think either will go to the Falcons though.
Davis graduated last year from Georgia Tech and got a chance with the Jaguars as a linebacker but didn’t work out. Last year, Dan Quinn and the Falcons expressed interest in him as an offensive player but decided not to go after him. At Georgia Tech’s Pro Day, Quinn asked Davis to work out as a fullback and he apparently did well. With Coleman not performing that well, it doesn’t surprise me that Quinn is looking at a fullback in the draft. I would love Dimitri Flowers but since P.J. Davis would be a cheap FA, it wouldn’t be an awful pickup although I think it is unlikely.
This might be one of the best drafts for dual Georgia/Falcons fans and Georgia Tech/Falcons fans as there are a few exciting prospects who fit the needs of Atlanta and we all love to see our favorite college players playing for our favorite pro team.