Brandon Braasch | April 12th, 2020
The Atlanta Falcons made some good quality moves in free agency. Especially, considering they were limited on money but still made the most of it. They lost Austin Hooper, Vic Beasley and cut Devonta Freeman. They added Dante Fowler Jr. to replace Beasley, signed former XFL tight end Khari Lee, traded for Hayden Hurst to replace Hooper, and signed Todd Gurley to replace Freeman.
They also added Laquon Treadwell to go with Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley so wide receiver is not going to be a focus in the draft. They re-signed Tyeler Davison, Kevin Smith, Sharrod Neasman, and Blidi Wreh-Wilson. Finally, they added some depth at linebacker and guard with Edmond Robinson from the XFL, LaRoy Reynolds, and Justin McCray.
The Falcons still need to add some more pieces in the NFL draft. The NFC South got a lot tougher with Tom Brady going to Tampa Bay, Teddy Bridgewater to Carolina, and New Orleans bringing back Drew Brees. The Falcons will likely have to contend for a wild card if they want to make the playoffs. With limited picks in this year’s NFL draft, they can’t afford to swing and miss on any picks.
To help with this mock draft, I used The Draft Network mock draft simulator.
Make sure to check out all of our other NFL team mock drafts here.
Round 1, Pick 16: K’Lavon Chaisson, EDGE, LSU
The Falcons defense has had trouble getting sacks in recent years. Beasley led the Falcons in sacks with eight last year. However, as I said earlier he signed a one year deal with the Tennessee Titans. Chaisson has the potential to be a very good pass rusher in the NFL. He has elite explosiveness and would tremendously help the Falcons pass rush. This would set them up with three above-average players on the defensive line with Fowler, Grady Jarrett, and Chaisson.
Round 2, Pick 47: D’Andre Swift, RB, Georgia
I know the Falcons signed Gurley and he is still a very good running back. However, with all his injuries they will need a backup plan if he goes down. Best case scenario Gurley does stay healthy. Then they have two very good running backs and a running back for the future. Swift is built to break tackles, he has very good vision and speed. He has all the tools to be a great running back and would be a huge addition to the Falcons backfield. Pairing the former Georgia Bulldogs running backs together would easily make them one of the best backfields in the league.
Round 3, Pick 78: Bryce Hall, CB, Virginia
The Falcons only have two cornerbacks currently on the roster. They are in desperate need of some corners. I went with Chaisson and Swift in the first two rounds so they will need to take a corner with this pick. Hall missed out on half of his senior season due to injury but was projected a late first-round pick before the 2019 season started. He has good height at 6’1” and has long arms to help break up passes. Getting Hall in the third round would be a great value and would be huge for the defensive unit.
Round 4, Pick 119: Larrel Murchison, IDL, N.C. State
The Falcons need to continue to improve on the defensive side of the ball. Murchison would be an excellent rotational player with Falcons. He can get into the backfield and make an impact against the rush and pass. He showed this when he had 20 tackles for a loss and 11 sacks over his last two seasons. Murchison will help the defensive line a lot even though it is already very solid. Especially with the addition of Chaisson in the first round.
Round 4, Pick 143: John Simpson, IOL, Clemson
The Falcons gave up 50 sacks in total last year. They need some big men up front to protect Matt Ryan. Simpson could be just that. He’s a big boy weighing 321 lbs. He has the skills to become a starter in the NFL. However, with them adding McCray he might not be a day one starter. Although he would get a chance to compete with McCray or if he struggles later in the season Simpson could take his spot.
Round 7 Pick 228: Jon Runyan Jr., OT, Michigan
This is one of those picks that will end up being a project. Runyan is the son of former NFL offensive lineman Jon Runyan. Junior is very intelligent but doesn’t have the physical ability right now to be an NFL starter. With some work with NFL level coaches and training that could change. If they can improve his physical ability, he could find himself in a starter’s role a few years from now.
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