Atlanta Falcons Mock Draft 3.0

Round 1, Pick 26: Jaire Alexander, CB, Louisville

Image result for Jaire AlexanderMatt Stone

Combine Results

Height: 5-11

Weight: 192 lbs

Hand: 9 4/8

Arm: 31 1/8

40 yard dash: 4.38

10-yard split: 1.52

Bench Press: 14 reps

Vertical: 35

Broad Jump: 127

3 Cone Drill: 6.71

20 Yard Shuttle: 3.98

Alexander burst onto the scene in his 2017 season where he was one of the top cornerbacks in the nation. Alexander was brought in by the Falcons for a private workout this week which threw a major wrench into what many people thought the Falcons would do in the draft. With Alexander being a first round talent and projection, I think the Falcons could take him as a nickel corner for right now (ahead of Brian Poole) and then he would take Alford’s or Trufant’s place a couple of years down the road. It isn’t a bad pick if the Falcons take him and then go DT in the second but it is certainly surprising that the Falcons might take a CB over the biggest need.

Strengths

Keeps eyes on QB, instinctive, very athletic, tough (played through injuries), mirrors receiver’s first moves without hesitation, light feet, good acceleration if he is beaten on first move, aggressive at catch point, good arm ripping (if a receiver catches it, he has a powerful arm rip to get the ball out before it is ruled a catch), and quick response

Weaknesses

Durability and injuries come into question with his injury history as well as his lanky frame, doesn’t do very well getting off of blocks, can get grabby when in man coverage, inconsistent when finishing tackles, sometimes lacks effort as a run defender, and sometimes lacks good footwork when going up against savvy receivers

Quote

“It looked like he kind of cruised by sometimes this year like he was trying not to get hurt. You can see that talent, man. He can stay on you all over the field and he was one of the smoothest ones I saw at the Combine.” – AFC defensive backs coach

Image result for Jaire Alexander corner

Projection- Starter

If drafted, Alexander would become a starter in Nickel packages and would be the 1st backup for Alford and Trufant.

2nd Round, Pick 58: B.J. Hill, DT, N.C. State

Image result for B.J. Hill                                          Grant Halverson

Combine Results

Height: 6-4

Weight: 315 lbs

Hand: 10 5/8

Arm: 33

40 yard dash: 4.99

10-yard split: 1.73

Bench Press: 35 reps (3rd among DL)

Vertical: 26.5

Broad Jump: 101

3 Cone Drill: 7.28 (5th among DL)

20 Yard Shuttle: 4.53

B.J. Hill is someone the Falcons have been interested in during the offseason. They watched him closely at the senior bowl and had a meeting with him, and I think Quinn is going to take him no matter what the 1st round pick is. B.J. Hill is a one-gap DT and, luckily, the Falcons run a one-gap scheme so Hill fits in well. If the Falcons did take Hill, he would be an immediate starter in the base and could rotate in the nickel formation.

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His Production, despite not being the best defensive lineman on the team, hasn’t faltered throughout his career and in his final year he had a career high tackle total. His production is one of the few times it matches a players film. He is projected by many to go in the 3rd or 4th round but if Quinn likes him like he did with Neal and Jones, he could take him in the second round to make sure he got his man. He would be a great complement to Grady Jarrett in the base and wouldn’t be a bad pick whatsoever.

Strengths

Work Ethic, leadership, has a good burst off the line, athletic, smooth hands and movement, good instincts (can anticipate play directions), durability (played a good percentage of snaps for a DT), makes tackles everywhere on the field, and can recognize blocking schemes early and adjust

Weaknesses

Doesn’t have a great lower body anchor, lacks a bull rush, has problems with double teams, needs to develop better pass rushing moves, and feet don’t work together with his upper body

Image result for B.J. Hill                                         Brynn Anderson

Projection- Starter

If drafted, Hill would come in and be the starter next to Grady Jarrett barring a great camp performance from Rubin.

3rd Round, Pick 90: Keke Coutee (Q-T), WR, Texas Tech

Image result for Keke CouteeJOHN WEAST

Combine Results:

Height: 5-11

Weight: 180

Hand: 8 3/8

Arm: 29 7/8

Wingspan: 70 5/8 (unconfirmed)

40 yard dash: 4.42 (6th among WRs)

Bench Press: 14 reps

Vertical: 34.5

Broad Jump: 113

3 Cone Drill: 6.93

20 Yard Shuttle: 4.15

I originally had us taking D.J. Chark here but of course, Chark had an amazing combine and raised his draft stock to a probable 2nd round pick. With that being said, I still think Coutee can be a good player for Atlanta and a good replacement for Taylor Gabriel. He most likely will be a slot receiver so it could come to the point where Hardy becomes WR3 and Coutee is the slot. He had a breakout junior year with the red raiders gaining 1429 yards and 10 TDs on 93 receptions. Like Chark, Coutee also is a kick returner who averaged 31.5 yards per return and got 1 return TD.

Strengths:

Very quick, great route running, explosive speed coming out of cuts, nice acceleration, has great initial push/move in routes that allows for good deep routes, can make body adjustments when catching

Weaknesses:

Lanky, not very strong so will have a disadvantage vs. bigger and more physical corners, not very good at contested catches, shys from contact after he catches it, can sometimes struggle with jams at the line

Image result for Keke Coutee                                            John Weast

Projection- Backup/Starting KR & PR

If drafted, Coutee would be the 3rd wide receiver on the offense and would be used like Taylor Gabriel. He would also be the starting KR & PR because of Andre Roberts’ departure.

Round 4, Pick 126: Uchenna Nwosu, LB, USC

NWOSU.jpg

Combine Results:

Height: 6-3

Weight: 251

Hand: 9

Arm: 33 5/8

40 yard dash: 4.65

Bench Press: 20 reps

Vertical: 32

Broad Jump: 119

3 Cone Drill: N/A

20 Yard Shuttle: N/A

The Falcons need some linebacker depth in this draft with Weatherspoon aging and Beasley moving back to DE so Nwosu would be a good middle round pickup. He is a 3-4 OLB but his physical skills should allow him to easily transition to a 4-3 especially considering he won’t get the majority of snaps.

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His production ramped up when he began to start in the middle of his sophomore year and he hasn’t turned back. His pass rushing has only got better and has the potential to be what Quinn wanted out of Vic Beasley last year when Quinn moved him to LB.

Strengths

Very athletic, can change direction very well, has a good first step, looks to run through a runner (hard hitter), and is fluid in coverage (man and zone)

Weaknesses

Takes too long to disengage from blocks, poor instincts, relies on athleticism rather than technique to rush the passer, can default to bull rush when initial lane isn’t open

Quote

“He didn’t play until late in his high school career and he’s only started for the last two and a half years at USC. I guess you could argue it either way, but I think he’s worth a pick on day three because we haven’t really seen what he’s going to be yet.” – NFC West Coast scout

Image result for Uchenna Nwosu                Sean M. Haffey

Projection- Backup/Rotational piece

If drafted, Nwosu would be a rotational piece in base and nickel and would most likely be brought in on most blitzing plays.

Round 6, Pick 186: Dimitri Flowers, FB, Oklahoma

Flowers1

Combine Results:

Height: 6-2

Weight: 248

Hand: 9 1/4

Arm: 30 3/4

Wingspan: 76 1/4 (unconfirmed)

40 yard dash: 4.83

Bench Press: 17 reps

Vertical: 30.5

Broad Jump: 109

3 Cone Drill: 7.45

20 Yard Shuttle: 4.53

Not many fullbacks are drafted but they’re an important part of every offense (instead of Cincinnati). In 2016, one of the best fullbacks in the NFL, Patrick Dimarco, was an integral part of the Falcons run game. Then when he was replaced by Derrick Coleman there was a pretty big drop off and so with Coleman not performing as well as Dimarco, it’s time for Atlanta to look for a new FB. He would be a great pick as the departure of Dimarco had a big effect on the offense. Something the Falcons have missed the last couple of years is a short yardage back and Flowers could come in and be that guy as well as contribute blocking and on special teams.

Strengths:

Pass-Catching (54 catches for 886 yards and 13 TDs), can operate as an isolated blocker, blocking, his blocking prowess opens up routes for him to catch a pass in the flat, speed, and route running

Weaknesses:

Struggles to lose his man when running a route, sometimes is confused about who to block when pulling, and block finishing

Quote

“If I remember correctly, I talked to every team except the Cincinnati Bengals, and the Cincinnati Bengals don’t use a fullback, A lot of teams that I talked to, that was the main conversation — my versatility. They love that stuff, especially my willingness to play special teams. I did it all four years in Oklahoma. Just having the versatility and the experience of playing special teams is big to those teams.” – Flowers (Interview)

Flowers2

Projection- Starter

If drafted, Flowers would be the starting fullback and could play multiple positions if needed like TE and RB. Would be used sometimes on short yardage 3rd downs.

Round 7, Pick 244: Jeromy Irwin, OT, Colorado

Jeromy became a stalwart of the offensive line for Colorado as a two-time team captain and three-year starter at left tackle. The 2017 honorable mention All-Pac-12 pick had a rough start to his senior year, however, missing the first two games with a suspension. He started the remaining 10 games at left tackle. Irwin was a second-team All-Pac-12 pick as a junior, starting 12 times on his way to being named the team’s top lineman. Falcons are in need of a swing tackle and while Irwin has only played left tackle, he certainly could play both positions.

Strengths:

Works his feet through contact, lands his hands in proper position, improved his movement and flexibility this year, aggressive when finishing blocks, good at disrupting pass rushers, good initial contact

Weaknesses:

Injury-prone, poor body control, feet too close when blocking, lacks overall athletic ability, has issues with defenders utilizing push-pull technique that yanks him out of his stance, gets caught leaning, stiffness in lower body

Irwin2 GETTY IMAGES

Projection-Backup

If drafted, Irwin would be the 3rd choice tackle (overall) and would come in if injuries happen.

7th Round, Pick 256: Antonio Simmons, EDGE, Georgia Tech

Pro Day Results:

Height: 6-3

Weight: 246

Hand: N/A

Arm: N/A

40 yard dash: 4.48 (Tied for 1st among EDGE players if he was at the Combine)

10 yard split: 1.53

Bench Press: 30 reps (2nd among EDGE players if he was at the Combine)

Vertical: 30.5

Broad Jump: 108

3 Cone Drill: Hamstring pulled during 40 yard dash

20 Yard Shuttle: Hamstring pulled during 40 yard dash

Antonio Simmons is someone who wasn’t on any draft boards at the beginning of his senior season and most likely wasn’t there at the end of the season. In spite of that, Simmons had a very good Pro Day and a lot of people took notice. With the loss of Adrian Clayborn, Taniela Tupou, and the projected loss of Courtney Upshaw, Atlanta is in need of a rotational EDGE player that could come in and play about 20-30% of the snaps and I think Simmons would be perfect for it. Simmons played 11 games last year and racked up 31 tackles, 8 TFLs, and 5.5 sacks in a pretty productive year. One of the main concerns with him was his weight and he has worked on it as he has added 15 pounds and dropped five percent of his body fat since the season ended. I like Antonio Simmons as he has an incredible work ethic, is fast and physical, is a sand-up guy, and checks virtually every box that Quinn looks for in an EDGE player.

NOTE: He was asked by scouts to workout at another Pro Day which bodes well for his talent

Strengths

Workout warrior, work ethic, extremely athletic, can get around the edge as a rusher, can play as a 4-3 end or a stand up outside linebacker in other formations, great tackler, and special teams experience

Weaknesses

Play strength at initial impact isn’t in line with his 30 reps (more in line with 24-27 reps), Only has a few pass rushing moves, and can struggle with positioning before snap

Quote

“I just know I was moving, It was my first time running the 40 (since training began). I’ve just been focused on starts and techniques. I knew if my 10-yard split was good, my 40 was going to be good.” – Simmons

Projection- Rotation/Special Teams player

If drafted, Simmons would have about a 75% chance to make the 53 man roster and I think will. If he does he will be a rotational EDGE player as well as do some kick coverage.

 

 

 

 

 

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Phil Veasley
Phil Veasley is a resident of Atlanta who has been a die-hard Hawks fan since 2005. He is Civil Engineer student at KSU. Currently, Phil writes for Atlanta Hawks Talk while also managing all ATLSportsHQ sites. He can be reached on Twitter at @_ATLPhil

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