Hunter’s Falcons Mock Draft (@hthompsonFB)
After the whole Lamar Jackson conversations on Twitter we decided to to take a breather from that and just talk NFL draft. Today, Falcons Around the Block contributors Hunter Thompson and Saivion Mixson go toe to toe in an Atlanta Falcons mock draft duel. Let us know who won over @Falcons_atb on Twitter!
Pick 8: CJ Stroud, QB, Ohio State
After choosing not to pursue Lamar Jackson this offseason, I have the Falcons kicking off my mock draft by taking my number one quarterback in the draft. Ohio State’s CJ Stroud is incredibly accurate, poised, and can be the superstar point guard that this offense needs to achieve new heights.
Pick 44: John Michael Schmitz, C, Minnesota
Drew Dalman was fine this past season, but he had his fair share of issues. For me, adding a franchise quarterback and a starting center in the same draft is too good to pass up. John Michael Schmitz would fit Arthur Smith’s zone blocking scheme to a T and should be able to build long-term chemistry with both Chris Lindstrom and our QB of the future. Oh, he is also the best center in this draft — so that is a bonus.
Pick 75: Zach Harrison, EDGE, Ohio State
New Falcons defensive coordinator Ryan Nielsen has a type at EDGE, with what seems to be bigger bodied guys being his preference. Zach Harrison fits that mold at 6’5″ 274lbs. Harrison could be used in a variety of ways across this defensive line as Ryan Nielsen looks to give it any sort of pulse going forward.
Pick 110: Julius Brents, CB, Kansas State
Julius Brents is a Senior Bowl standout who could be enticing for Ryan Nielsen and new defensive backs coach Jerry Gray. Brents and his 6’3″ frame tested very well at the NFL Combine, with a vert of 41.5″ and a broad jump of 11’6″. Those traits could are too enticing for the new defensive staff to pass up on in the fourth round of this Falcons mock draft.
Pick 113: Zacch Pickens, DL, South Carolina
Grady Jarrett can’t do it all by himself from the interior this season. Zacch Pickens is a guy who could be a good rotational piece with Ta’Quon Graham to help complement Grady and keep the defensive line refreshed. Pickens is a 4-year starter for South Carolina’s defense and got better each season. He has a powerful first step that can really disrupt opposing offensive lines.
Pick 161: Jadon Haselwood, WR, Arkansas
Jadon Haselwood falls into that category of “players from Georgia” that Terry Fontenot and Arthur Smith have been talking about. Plus they witnessed his ability first hand at the Shrine Bowl. Haselwood is a possession receiver who never truly broke onto the scene in college, but his frame and skillset could provide a nice piece opposite of Drake London and help chunk away at opposing defenses.
Pick 226: Warren McClendon, OT, Georgia
The Falcons choosing not to tag right tackle Kaleb McGary makes me a little wary of what they could be doing at the position, which is why I grabbed Warren McClendon here. McClendon is a solid lineman who lacks some of the athleticism to be a star, but could develop into a strong swing tackle — or even future starter.
Pick 247: Zack Kuntz, TE, Old Dominion
Is it really an Arthur Smith draft without drafting a tight end? As weird as it sounds, the Falcons could really benefit from upgrading the TE2 spot. Kuntz is a physical specimen with a 6’7″, 255lb frame who tested the best of any TE at the combine this season. He has a lot of work to do in polishing his game, but this late it just feels like a move we would make.
Saivion’s Mock (@MixsonS_NFL)
Pick 8: Devon Witherspoon, CB, Illinois
My FAVORITE cornerback to pair with AJ Terrell. This would lock up the cornerback position for years to come in Atlanta. Do I need to say more?
Pick 44: Jahmyr Gibbs, RB, Alabama
You can’t simply pass up running backs like Jahmyr Gibbs. An Alvin Kamara-type of back who is more than comfortable receiving in the slot. He would add yet another weapon for the quarterback of the future of this franchise.
Pick 75: Keeanu Benton, iDL, Wisconsin
The interior defensive lineman from Wisconsin is one of Chuck Smith’s protege’s from this draft cycle. You can bet that he will be more than ready to come into camp and add his pass rush chops to a defense begging for help getting to the quarterback.
Pick 110: Andrew Voorhees, iOL, USC
THIRTY EIGHT BENCHPRESS REPS. Now, the ACL tear may cause the Trojan lineman to slide some, but his strength makes his potential as a cornerstone of this Falcons offensive line worth it.
Pick 113: Jayden Reed, WR, Michigan State
Listen, do you want to stretch the field on offense? If so, Jayden Reed is 100% your guy. His ability as a route runner also makes him a perfect pick here, and a fantastic “Robin” to Drake London’s “Batman”.
Pick 161: Ivan Pace Jr., LB, Cincinnati
This is a guy who plays much bigger than his 5’10 and-a-half-inch frame. Pace is an absolute baller and adds a much needed “thumper” to this linebacker room.
Pick 226: YaYa Diaby, EDGE, Louisville
Another combine standout who just so happens to check off the “from Georgia” box that Terry Fontenot has hinted at. Diaby has a solid 6’3″ 263lb frame that would be a nice off-the-bench contributor to a defensive line that needs all the help they can get.
Pick 247: Dorian Thompson-Robinson, QB, UCLA
You really thought we weren’t going to add to the quarterback room? UCLA’s Dorian Thompson-Robinson (DTR) is a fun, athletic option who can be developed into a solid QB2 option for the Arthur Smith offense. And grabbing a guy like this, this late, feels like it’ll work.