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Atlanta Falcons First Quarter Season Review

Falcons RB Bijan Robinson (7) carries the ball against the Jacksonville Jaguars in London on October 10th, 2023.
Photo Credit: Shanna Lockwood/Atlanta Falcons

After what many viewed as a promising season for a rebuilt Atlanta Falcons team, a recent 0-2 slide cast doubts over many supporters. It has also caused many to cast blame on the offense, most notably on young quarterback Desmond Ridder. Two things that haven’t disappointed are star running back Bijan Robinson and the retooled defense led by new Falcons defensive coordinator Ryan Nielsen.

So, no, things haven’t been all bad, and 2-2 is a far cry from failure. The team is back at .500 and has a chance to capitalize on their situation and still produce a winning season. The Falcons will need a much more convincing second quarter to give fans hope they can do it. But before we get there, let’s look back at the first quarter of the season with our Falcons season review.

Falcons First Quarter Season Review

Desmond Ridder

It has not been a clean start for the rookie, and that’s been the biggest issue with his play. After four weeks, Ridder leads the league in turnover-worthy plays with 10, and also leads in rate at 6.6%, per PFF. What’s alarming is these plays are starting to translate into turnovers. Ridder has thrown three interceptions, two of which have come while he’s been kept completely clean. 

Ridder also habitually leaves opportunities on the table for more difficult throws or isn’t throwing them all together. 

And while the Falcons did start 2-0, it was not due to the play of the quarterback. However, Ridder showed flashes in the second half — and mainly 4th quarters — of those games to secure the wins, posting a combined 4th quarter stat line of 12/15, 205, and 1 TD (rushing). Yes, many passes were dump-offs to playmakers, but those are the plays Ridder has to hit consistently.

Arthur Smith & Co.

It takes some [redacted] to go through with the plan to support Desmond Ridder as QB1, and if we’re being honest, Arthur Smith could have done a better job of that this season. While concerns have reached ‘hot seat’ level by some fans, this is premature based on quarterback play. Regardless, Smith needs to step up.

The wide receiver group comprises contested catch players and a hobbled Kyle Pitts. I understand Smith is only playing the cards he has, but try playing your Scotty Miller one a bit more and your Jonnu Smith one less. Spacing has become a prominent issue, and the route concepts sometimes leave many questioning the coach’s ability to scheme a passing game.

The overuse of 13 personnel and 2-man route concepts has puzzled fans and analysts. I’m also having trouble wrapping my head around the Keith Smith 22 personnel looks. Luckily, Bijan Robinson has been nothing short of sensational, and is at the front of the ROTY race.

Smith is getting held back, but needs to break some of his habits (the man loves stick more than a dog); if he wants to keep his young quarterback from flaming out before the bye week. He must give Ridder as many opportunities to succeed as possible. Implementing more flood concepts, running more 12 personnel and fewer 13, and deploying Scotty Miller as a decoy would be great ways to start.

The offensive line must also ensure the Ridder has opportunities to get the ball off. After an embarrassing opening day, the group has cleaned up. However, right tackle Kaleb McGary simply can’t be trusted. Smith has tried to remedy this with heavier personnel groups, but he will have to find ways to help McGary in lighter packages if this team ever hopes to have a consistent and effective passing game. On the other side of the line, left guard Matthew Bergeron has been promising, and hasn’t been a liability outside of a few rookie moments.  

The Falcons Defense is Here, and it’s Beautiful

After four games, the Falcons defense has given up the 10th fewest points in the league (yes, you read that correctly), is showing that their ‘bend-don’t-break’ style of play has carried over from the preseason. New defensive coordinator Ryan Nielsen has crafted a mean interior defense that gets after the quarterback with David Onyemata and Grady Jarett, who have a combined total of 23 pressures and three sacks.

Meanwhile, Jerry Gray is coaching what is arguably a top-10 secondary, spearheaded by the best safety in football, Jessie Bates III. Bates is allowing an NFL passer rating of only 16.3 when targeted, and has 3 INTs. This secondary has the potential to keep improving, too, as a healthy Jeff Okudah returns to complete outside CB2 duties.

I have been concerned about the usage of a few players, mainly Arnold Ebikete. Ebikete was pegged by many to take a big step this year, and he’s arguably the best pure edge rusher the team has. However, the young player has been getting a lack of reps — only 88 over four games — and has spent 18 of those reps in coverage, something very few saw coming. Size is working against him in this scheme, but it would be nice to see a pass-rush role carved out for the year two, second round pick.

The other 2022 NFL draft pick that worries me is DeAngelo Malone. He hasn’t taken a single snap on defense, and with a lack of edge talent that’s extremely alarming. On the flip side, I’m not worried about rookies Zach Harrison or Clark Phillips III, because they need development time and are just starting their professional careers. I expect both to get more play time as the season goes on.

Pass rush from the edge is the only thing holding this unit back from being elite. The team also lost linebacker Troy Andersen for the season after he had a promising start. Both of these situations will be on hold until 2024, and leave us with plenty of excitement for what could be.

Falcons Season Review: Q2 Preview

With all that being said, is it surprising that my prediction for the next four games is another 2-2 split? I understand that prediction feels highly optimistic with where the team stands, especially since the volatility from the offense will continue. However, with volatility comes highs and lows. Remember, this run game (Robinson) and defense have shown the ability to win games with their performances (Panthers and Packers).

The Falcons will face CJ Stroud and the red-hot Texans, followed by the Commanders, Buccaneers, and Titans. It’s not a cakewalk, but it’s a winnable slate of games. 

Atlanta matches up well with Houston’s run defense (23 missed tackles this season), and while the Commanders can score in bunches, they are extremely careless with the football. I will never buy into Baker Mayfield hype; plus, anything goes in a conference game, and the Titans will want to play into the style of football Atlanta plays. These games come down to the Falcons not beating themselves and capitalizing on their opportunities more efficiently.

Not being able to get out of their own way is what truly knocked this offensive unit as a whole off track. If they can clean up the route errors, the missed throws, and the at times suspect play calling, they can compete with anyone in the league. Unfortunately, we have already seen what happens when they do the opposite.

Falcons First Quarter Season Review: The Road Ahead

The Falcons learned a lot about themselves in the first quarter of the season, and that’s not necessarily bad. They were over .500 for the first time in six years and avoided going under. More importantly, they know what to improve on to get better and start winning games again. 

If we don’t see an improvement these next four games, we’ll start having more concrete answers about Desmond Ridder and Arthur Smith. I don’t expect Smith to pull Ridder until after the bye — if it comes to it. Hopefully it doesn’t have to. 

The Atlanta Falcons Offense Lies In The Hands of Desmond Ridder

“Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the staircase”

Martin Luther King, Jr.

What does faith mean to you? When does it show itself in your life? When this faith is tested, what do you do? For the Atlanta Falcons, these questions of faith are personified through a spirited third-round quarterback with athletic upside out of the University of Cincinnati. Brace yourself, Falcons fans. The fate of the 2023 Atlanta Falcons offense lies in the 10-inch hands of second-year quarterback, Desmond Ridder.

For some fans, this means nothing more than allowing a young, plucky future franchise quarterback to get reps, so they may grow to evolve into the best version of themselves. They’ve seen how faith in a quarterback’s intangibles and physical gifts has worked for teams such as the defending NFC champion Philadelphia Eagles.

For others, this is the beginning of the end of the Terry Fontenot-Arthur Smith regime, as the belief in the second-year signal caller seems to be misplaced. This is mismanagement at the most important position on the football field and consequences/repercussions will shortly follow. And those consequences will be dire.

Which is the correct take? Only time will tell.

Today, however, we discuss how Fontenot and Smith have shown their belief and built this Falcons offense around Desmond Ridder. And we try to figure out whether or not it will or will not pay off in the long run.

Disclaimer: All statistics were from Pro Football Reference unless otherwise specified.

Photo Credit: Emilee Chinn/AP

Desmond Ridder Holds The Fate Of The Atlanta Falcons In His Hands

Biting The Bullet

Over the last two drafts, Terry Fontenot and Arthur Smith have been mimicking Chris Tucker’s character Smokey from Friday. If you got Kool-Aid, there’s no sugar. Peanut butter, no jelly. Ham, no burger. Long story, short, there was not much talent to work with around the quarterback position.

Smith has spent the last two years molding together an offense out of scraps. The WR1 in 2021 was Kyle Pitts. While Pitts is a tight end by name only, he lined up out wide 237 times out of necessity, not creativity.

Smith had to mold two completely different offenses for two quarterbacks who win in different ways. In 2021, Matt Ryan was 11th in the league in Play Action Attempt Rate (Play Action Pass Attempts/Total Pass Attempts) and 12th in Play Action Yardage Rate (Play Action Passing Yards/Total Passing Yards). To contrast, Marcus Mariota ranked 20th and 21st in those categories in 2022. However, Mariota was first in both RPO Attempt Rate and RPO Yardage Rate in his lone season as Atlanta Falcons quarterback. Ryan ranked 25th and 18th, respectively.

Smith was tasked with creating two entirely different offenses based on his quarterback’s strengths and weaknesses. He has not yet got a chance to truly solidify an identity for his offense. That is, until now.

Building Around The Quarterback

This off-season, with both money and draft picks to utilize, the Atlanta Falcons started truly building their identity. They essentially bought a brand-new defense for new defensive coordinator Ryan Nielsen to mold. Headlined by star acquisitions — that’s right, plural — Jessie Bates and Calais Campbell.

While they were at it, they decided to deal a couple of their late picks to the Patriots and Lions for tight end Jonnu Smith and cornerback Jeff Okudah, respectively. Both coming off of lackluster years and looking to bounce back in pivotal years in their careers.

To cap off the spending spree, they get human highlight reel, Bijan Robinson, in the first round of the draft, while also adding first-round talent, Matthew Bergeron, to help solidify the line in the second round.

Ultimately, this regime has done everything it can to make sure they get a full evaluation of their second-year quarterback. They have surrounded Ridder with plenty of talent on both sides of the ball. Not just that, they have surrounded him with talent that will emphasize the strengths of his game, just like Smith’s scheme did Mariota and Ryan.

How Desmond Ridder Wins

To answer this question, you have to go back to Ridder’s days at the University of Cincinnati. According to Benjamin Solak of The Ringer, Ridder was one of the more accurate passers in the 2021 class and a lot of that has to do with his pre-snap process.

One thing pundits gushed about when it came to Ridder was the command he had over the offense and the freedom he was given by his coaches. He was able to get his guys in the right spots and get them the ball in more advantageous spots so they could show off their skill sets.

Alec Pierce was Ridder’s favorite target, and for good reason. Ridder sometimes struggled with his accuracy. During the pre-draft process, that was the main knock on Ridder’s play. However, with the 6’3″, 213 pound Pierce, it was tough to miss him over the top. Especially on those sideline fades that that offense liked to spam as they got closer to the endzone.

Now, Ridder has 6’5″ Drake London and 6’6″ Kyle Pitts to hit towards the sideline.

One of Ridder’s comparisons coming into the NFL was Alex Smith and I think it came from the standpoint that he just did everything like it needed to be done. There’s not a lot of flash outside of a few scrambles out of the pocket. While Ridder has more than enough athleticism to make the most out of those scrambles, he’d rather sit in the pocket and allow his pass-catchers to beat you downfield.

Which leads me to my last point. Arthur Smith has outfitted this team with not one, not two, but three first-round talents that exist to make the extraordinary out of the ordinary. Most notably the newest addition in Bijan Robinson.

While we should be trying our hardest to make “I-985” a nationwide slogan for the trio of Ridder, London, and Pitts, it is worth noting the impact that Robinson should have on this offense immediately. Having this type of impact as a receiver from the running back position should be unfair.

And we haven’t even discussed Tyler Allgeier or Cordarrelle Patterson’s role in the offense.

Will This Work?

It should. This is very similar to what the Eagles did prior to their historic run last season. It is worth noting that Jalen Hurts had an entire year with Shane Steichen before that run to iron out what worked and what didn’t. Ridder has only had four games with Arthur Smith. So, Atlanta Falcons fans should be looking for this year to be similar to the 2021 Philadelphia Eagles. A team with a veteran defense that keeps them in games as the quarterback and play-caller get on the same page.

That being said, there will be some bumps and bruises along the way. Ridder and Smith will be looking to understand their own strengths and weaknesses as the season goes on. Understanding what route concepts Ridder likes best, and which ones he doesn’t. Finding that balance between RPO/play action and drop-back passes that keep defenses honest.

These are all aspects of the offense that are going to be addressed throughout the season. And at the end of the season, when we close the door on 2023 and look towards 2024, we should have a clear answer at the quarterback position. We will know whether the faith in Desmond Ridder paid off for the Falcons.

Atlanta Falcons Mock Draft

Atlanta Falcons Mock Draft: Final Edition

Ladies and gentlemen, the final Atlanta Falcons mock draft is finally here. In this final mock, I traded the eighth pick for picks 17 and 49 from the Pittsburgh Steelers. I normally don’t trade back, but rumors of the Falcons being willing to for minimal gain made this happen. As always, enjoy the mock, give me feedback, and thanks to RiseNDraft.com for their simulator.

Pick 17: Bijan Robinson RB | Texas

The Falcons trade back and still land one of the most explosive players in the NFL Draft in running back Bijan Robinson from Texas. Bijan is widely considered to be the top running back prospect since Saquon Barkley. His blend of speed, power, and explosiveness would be the perfect addition to Arthur Smith’s offense and the perfect piece to help take pressure off of young quarterback Desmond Ridder.

Pick 44: Cody Mauch IOL | North Dakota State

Senior Bowl standout Cody Mauch is the spiritual descendant of current Broncos offensive lineman Quinn Meinerz who the Falcons chose to pass on for guard Jalen Mayfield. Terry Fontenot and company won’t make that mistake again.

Mauch is an agile, athletic offensive lineman who can hit the second level and cause chaos. He feels like a natural for Arthur Smith’s zone blocking scheme which is in need of a left guard after Elijah Wilkinson left Atlanta in free agency.

Pick 49: Adetomiwa Adebawore DT | Northwestern

When the Falcons signed veteran Calais Campbell, it felt inevitable that they would draft a younger lineman to learn from him and current star Grady Jarrett. I feel like it would be Jalen Carter if he falls, but he didn’t in this mock, so I pivoted to star Northwestern lineman, Adetomiwa Adebawore. A Senior Bowl standout and NFL Combine warrior, he ran a 4.49 forty yard dash at 6’2 289lbs and also hit 27 bench press reps.

Adebawore is a versatile chess piece on the defensive front who is incredibly powerful and has an explosive first step. He’d be a huge asset in Atlanta to with Jarrett and Campbell.

Pick 75: Tyler Scott WR | Cincinnati

A rumor I have been hearing is that Atlanta is very high on the former Bearcats receiver, and it makes sense. Tyler Scott is an explosive receiver who can take the top off of defenses for Atlanta and also has previous experience with Falcons quarterback Desmond Ridder from their time at Cincinnati together.

With Ridder, Scott contributed for 520 yards and 5 TD’s on 30 receptions, and only got better this season while in a more featured role for the Bearcats with a statline of 899 yards and 9 TD’s on 54 receptions. And if that type of production doesn’t wow you, did I mention he runs a 4.44 forty and was on Bruce Feldman’s Freak List?

Pick 110: Josh Whyle | Cincinnati

Is it really an Arthur Smith draft if we don’t draft a tight end? Similar to Scott, Whyle has a familiarity with Desmond Ridder from their time at Cincinnati. And Whyle also happened to be on Feldman’s Freak List. But Whyle offers so much offensive weaponry for Arthur Smith to play with. He is athletic enough to be moved around the offense in a variety of roles: H-back, traditional tigh tend, flex him wide, and can play as a F-back.

Whyle has been a candidate to break out for what feels like a long time, but here in Atlanta, Arthur Smith would be able to maximize his unique physical traits to be a key piece of the puzzle.

Pick 113: Jammie Robinson S | Florida State

Florida State safety Jammie Robinson is an absolute steal here and would give the Falcons flexibility to play their best secondary. The Florida State product is a firey player who would bring a swagger to the defense that we have been missing for a long time. He has a nose for being around the ball and could give the Falcons ways to create lots of new and creative packages and looks on the backend.

Jammie was a star at Florida State and even has SEC experience from his time at South Carolina, when he was a Second Team Freshman All American. Furthermore, he’s a Georgia native, which the Falcons front office seems to value heavily.

Pick 224: Stetson Bennett IV QB | Georgia

The Falcons grab Georgia quarterback and National Champion Stetson Bennett IV, Bennett is an athletic quarterback with a below average arm who is an experienced starter and title winner.

He is very reminiscent of current Falcons backup, Taylor Heinicke. Stetson is picked here to sit on the practice squad for a season and then give Atlanta the potential to move on from Heinicke in the future and save some cap space.

Pick 225: McClendon Curtis OT | Chattanooga

I wholeheartedly believe that McClendon Curtis will not actually be available, but he was in the simulator and I couldn’t resist. Curtis is a massive bear of a man weighing in at 6’6, 324lbs and 35″ arms. He is incredibly raw as a player and needs a lot of work to develop into a quality backup, but his frame and position versatility is worth picking here.

If Arthur Smith and Ledford are able to get their hands on Curtis, I feel like they’ll be able to turn him into a quality backup and maybe even get him to a starter level one day.

NFL Free Agency: Three Winners and Losers From the First Wave

Photo Credit Bill Streicher/USA Today Sports

The first major part of free agency is now essentially over. At the time of this writing, it’s been nearly two weeks since free agency started, and most free agents have found their home for the next year. Of course, there are a ton of quality players who remain unsigned, but we’ve definitively passed the first checkpoint of free agency. With that complete, here are three winners and losers from the NFL free agency period up to this point.

Winner: Detroit Lions

Detroit has one of the youngest, most exciting rosters in the NFL. The Lions missed the playoffs last year by the skin of their teeth, despite an impressive 2022 campaign.

With money to spend, the Lions made a handful of moves. Detroit signed C.J. Gardner-Johnson, Emmanuel Moseley, and Cameron Sutton on the defensive side of the ball. Those three should dramatically improve a secondary that was torched for most of the 2022 season.

They lost Jonathan Williams, but replaced him with a more-than-capable David Montgomery. Losing Williams might hurt the locker room, but this young team is easily one of, if not the, biggest winners from the first wave of NFL free agency.

Loser: Philadelphia Eagles

The Eagles are coming off a wildly successful year, but their roster has taken a bit of a hit during this free agency period.

The Eagles have lost a whopping seven starters to free agency this year. Javon Hargrave, T.J. Edwards, Kyzir White, C.J. Gardner Johnson, and Marcus Epps have left the defensive side of the ball. The offense has lost Miles Sanders and Isaac Seumalo. All this adds up to the Eagles being one of the big losers from the NFL free agency period thus far.

This isn’t exactly a surprise. Philadelphia had a laundry list of players hitting the market this offseason, without the funds to keep them all. Still, losing seven starters hurts, and this team will look very different come training camp.

Winner: Carolina Panthers

The Panthers have had a very interesting offseason. Carolina sent an envoy of assets to Chicago for the number one pick. They’ve recouped some of those in free agency as well.

Carolina did have to send away their star receiver, D.J. Moore, in order to get the first pick. However, they recovered some of that lost talent by signing Adam Thielen. Staying on the offense, the Panthers also picked up tight end Hayden Hurst, running back Miles Sanders, and wide receiver D.J. Chark. With these additions, whichever quarterback they take will have a lot of weapons around him.

Loser: Las Vegas Raiders

The Raiders have undergone more change than most of the NFL as a whole during this offseason. They’ve rid themselves of Derek Carr and Darren Waller, with many fans wondering who the next player to go is.

Jimmy Garoppolo will be their quarterback in 2023, but his deal makes it so he can be cut after a year without too much dead money. It seems like Josh McDaniels and Dave Ziegler are aiming for a Patriots reunion, picking up Jakobi Meyers to pair with Garoppolo. The Raiders have made every move possible on offense, while mind-numbingly ignoring a defensive unit that, on paper, is easily one of the worst in the league.

The Raiders are in NFL purgatory. They don’t know whether they want to contend or rebuild, and by not making a choice, they’ve made the worst choice possible.

Winner: Atlanta Falcons

The Falcons made a variety of key signings during this period. Atlanta is a team on the rise, and with some of their moves this offseason, they seem to be just a quarterback away from contention.

On defense, the Falcons were able to grab Jesse Bates and David Onyemata. On offense, they added Mack Hollins and Jonnu Smith. These two, with Drake London and Kyle Pitts will make for a dynamic receiving corps.

Atlanta just needs their quarterback now. Whether their franchise quarterback will come through the draft, a trade, or he’s already in house, one thing is for sure: The Falcons have set themselves up very well and are a clear winner of this year’s NFL free agency period so far.

Loser: Green Bay Packers

The Packers have found themselves in quite the pickle. Green Bay has had a bit of a stagnant free agency, but their hands are tied. The main reasons for this are a lack of cap space, and the whole Aaron Rodgers situation.

The Packers do have his predecessor in Jordan Love, but they’ve been put in a precarious situation. Until they agree with the Jets on compensation for a Rodgers trade, their lack of cap space prevents them from signing any new free agents.

After the Rodgers saga is over, the Packers might very well come out of this offseason in a better place. As of now though, their lack of ability to sign notable free agents makes them a loser up to this point in the NFL free agency period.

Atlanta Falcons Mock Draft

Atlanta Falcons Mock Draft Post FA Edition

It’s time for a brand new Atlanta Falcons mock draft! The Falcons have been making massive splashes throughout the early parts of free agency. They added superstar free agent Jessie Bates III, veteran defensive tackle David Onyemata, re-signed Kaleb McGary, and added fun backup quarterback Taylor Heinicke. After seeing what the Falcons have done so far, it felt like the perfect time to drop a mock draft. So here we go:

(Used www.nflmockdraftdatabase.com for this mock.)

Alabama EDGE Will Anderson, the first pick in this Atlanta Falcons mock draft
Photo Credit: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Pick 8: Will Anderson, EDGE, Alabama

The Falcons made some massive moves on defense throughout free agency. The only piece that they seemed to need is adding to the pass rush. Luckily for the Falcons, the best EDGE in the class falls to them at 8. Anderson would step into the edge role opposite of last year’s second-round pick, Arnold Ekebetie, and should create one of the best young pass rush duos in the league.

Pick 44: Tyler Scott, WR, Cincinnati

Word on the street is the Falcons are enamored with Bearcats receiver Tyler Scott. Scott would bring massive big play ability and some familiarity with Falcons quarterback Desmond Ridder. Scott doesn’t fall into the “big receiver” type that Arthur Smith historically loves, but he is a converted running back to wide receiver, which would give Smith another massive weapon for the offense.

Pick 75: Darius Rush, CB, South Carolina

Atlanta added a new defensive backs coach in Jerry Gray and a new defensive coordinator in Ryan Nielsen. Part of me has to assume that they will get to pick some of “their guys” in the draft to help lay the foundation of a new and improved defense.

Darius Rush would give the Falcons another good, young corner to play opposite of star corner AJ Terrell. Rush is a longer, more physical corner who plays with great anticipation and awareness. Most of the work he needs are lower body mechanics, which Gray can hopefully fix.

Pick 110: Kenny McIntosh, RB, Georgia

The Falcons already have a “thunder” in current running back Tyler Allgeier; all they have to acquire is the “lightning”. Georgia running back Kenny McIntosh can be that. McIntosh is an explosive back who could step in and be a weapon on passing downs for the Falcons. As current fan favorite Cordarrelle Patterson gets older, McIntosh offers an immediate replacement who brings the same energy and explosiveness out of the backfield.

Pick 113: KJ Henry, EDGE, Clemson

In this mock draft, the Atlanta Falcons double dip at the EDGE position. Clemson pass rusher KJ Henry is a high character player who could hopefully add some juice to a pass rushing unit that severely lacks the ability to create sacks. Henry is a multi-scheme defender who can be used in a variety of ways and would hopefully elevate the back end of the Falcons EDGE room.

Pick 159: McClendon Curtis, OL, Chattanooga

McClendon Curtis is a mountain of a man, coming in at 6’6″ 324 lbs from Chattanooga. Curtis has experience starting at both guard and tackle in college. He has the arms of a tackle and the footwork of a guard, which is what makes him such a tough evaluation. Curtis is a traits-based pick at this point with hope that he could develop into a quality lineman one day.

At this point in the mock, it felt like a nice upside swing pick for an offensive line that has been wildly inconsistent over the past few seasons.

Pick 224: DJ Dale, iDL, Alabama

The Falcons have added to their defensive line with David Oneymata in free agency, but they could benefit from having a second defensive line plug on roster to help free up Grady Jarrett and Ta’Quon Graham to rush the passer. DJ Dale is a stocky 6’1″ 302 lbs defensive tackle who plays bigger than he is. However, even though he plays bigger than he is, his size still gets him into some issues with him being walled off fairly easily.

Pick 225: Dorian Thompson-Robinson, QB, UCLA

UCLA star quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson has been one of the most electric players in college football the past couple of seasons. He is the definition of a dual-threat quarterback. He can make plays through the air and on the ground, as he just dominates most of UCLA’s quarterback records.

DTR could provide some fun wrinkles for Arthur Smith to include into the offense. I think at worst, DTR would become a fun gadget guy in a similar mold as Feleipe Franks. At best, DTR would be a perfect number two quarterback behind new Falcons starter Desmond Ridder.

What do you think of this Atlanta Falcons mock draft? Let Hunter know at @hthompsonFB on Twitter!