2022 NFL Draft Linebacker rankings 1.0

This is the first 2022 NFL Draft linebacker rankings for ATB Network. The 2022 linebacker group looks to be weaker at the top versus last year’s class with Parsons, Collins and Davis all going in the top 20. We may only see one linebacker go in the first this draft. The depth, though, isn’t too bad.

You can see the previous part here: https://atbnetwork.com/2021/11/22/2022-nfl-draft-edge-rankings-1-0/

1. Devin Lloyd – Utah

2022 nfl draft linebacker rankings
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Lloyd is probably the only LB in the class with a shot at going in the first round. He has everything you look for in a linebacker in the modern NFL. He has an ideal size at 6’3 235. Long, explosive, and athletic with great range. He has shown he can impact the game in all phases, stuffing the run, in coverage, and as a blitzer. Also an ideal sideline to sideline player.

He shows fluidity in coverage and shows good awareness in zone and man. Lloyd can be fooled occasionally with misdirection. He can also play overaggressive at times and overrun things.

2. Nakobe Dean – Georgia

2022 nfl draft linebacker rankings
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Dean has shown he can also affect the game in different ways. He can cover and he can blitz. He is undersized but very athletic. Dean shows an ability to read run plays and flow to the ball. Dean can get a little overaggressive on run plays. He also can struggle at the point of attack due to his size. Dean could stand to add mass and strength to his frame. He plays best when he is kept clean. Might fit best as a WLB in a 4-3.

3. Terrel Bernard – Baylor

2022 nfl draft linebacker rankings
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Bernard shows great instincts on film. He also brings good overall athleticism to the field. For being a bit undersized he is a good tackler and is a willing hitter. With him having a smaller frame his body might be maxed out around 225ish. This means he might have to play WLB in a 4-3. Lots of special teams’ experience should boost his value. A couple of injuries in his history that need to be checked on.

4. Micah McFadden – Indiana

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McFadden has shown improvement every season, with still room for growth. He has upside due to his highly athletic profile and physical nature. While he wasn’t asked to drop in coverage very often he has shown the athleticism and instincts to be good at it with more experience. He is a good blitzer. He also plays well against the run, although he occasionally will overrun plays. Motor runs 110%

5. Henry To’o To’o – Alabama

2022 nfl draft linebacker rankings
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To’o To’o a transfer from Tennessee has raised his stock this season. While he is a bit undersized at 6’2 228 and looking like his frame is pretty filled out with average length. Overall he is an average athlete, although his explosiveness does stand out. He is at his best playing physical. His instincts while not elite are very good. He also shows some stiffness when asked to change direction. To’o To’o offers very little as a blitzer. He doesn’t show much in the way of ball skills.

6. Leo Chenal – Wisconsin

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Chenal is a huge man who plays a very physical game. He takes on all blockers and does not shy away from contact. He is a heady player that handles communications well. On film, he does not look like he offers versatility in coverage. He may not be able to play on 3rd downs at the next level. He can blitz through and blow through blockers.

7. Christian Harris – Alabama

2022 nfl draft linebacker rankings
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Harris is almost like the opposite of his partner To’o To’o. Harris is an athletic freak, but he struggles some with the mental aspect of the game. He has not shown improvement in coverage. He is explosive as a blitzer. Harris plays physically, and it shows in when he arrives at the ball. Any sort of misdirection gets him caught up.

8. Jack Campbell – Iowa

2022 nfl draft linebacker rankings
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Campbell is a good athlete that shows some good explosion. He is surprisingly good in coverage for a college linebacker, even covering some players out of the slot. His speed and agility of film look to be just average. He is tall with great length that he uses in coverage. Campbell does play too tall which causes him problems with getting off blocks. Plays finesse, you would like to see him play more physical.

9. Amari Gainer – FSU

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Gainer’s calling card is his versatility. He has been asked to do numerous things in the Florida State defense. He can cover slot receivers, stack, and shed blockers, play in the box, etc…Gainer has defensive back athleticism in a linebacker body. He shows a great burst and explosion when attacking a ball carrier.

Having been asked to play all over is also a weakness in that he hasn’t been able to develop his skills. While he plays hard he still lacks some physicality. Also tends to get too high.

10. Chad Muma – Wyoming

2022 nfl draft linebacker rankings
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Muma is another in a long line of 3 down linebackers in this draft. He can cover, rush the passer and play the run. He is explosive and agile. Muma shows great instincts against the run. He is a very good tackler who will lay the wood on occasion. Also, Muma has special teams experience which can only help his prospects.

His straight-line speed and range are only average. While he has decent cover skills they could be a lot better. He also has an injury history that should be checked on.

2022 NFL Draft Edge Rankings 1.0

With the 2022 NFL draft edge group it is almost the exact opposite of the defensive line. This group is strong at the top and DEEP! Cutting this down to ten was difficult. There were a number of guys who just missed out on this list. You can see the previous part: https://atbnetwork.com/2021/11/18/2022-nfl-draft-defensive-line-rankings-1-0/

So let’s get to the rankings.

1. Kayvon Thibodeaux – Oregon

2022 nfl draft edge
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Thibodeaux is a big, strong, bendy, physical freak of an edge rusher. He is explosive off the snap. He is an active run defender who plays hard 100% of the time and has a lot of power in his body, even with his average size. Thibodeaux does need to work on his pass rush plan and his moves in general. He still could add some bulk and muscle. He has very few flaws and is likely the #1 overall pick.

2. Aidan Hutchinson – Michigan

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He missed most of the 2020 season. Hutchinson is a freaky athlete who can rush the passer and defend the run. He moves smoothly and is fluid. He is known more for his power rushing, but can win with finesse. Hutchinson also has a strong motor that runs hot.

Hutchinson suffered a leg injury in 2020 that needs to be checked on. His lack of production before 2021 also needs to be looked at. He still needs to work on variety in his pass rush moves.

3. George Karlaftis – Purdue

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A large power rusher who plays hard. He also has positional versatility and can anywhere along the line. While he is not an elite athlete, he has some impressive explosion in him and solid agility. His flexibility is somewhat lacking. He is not one of those rushers that gets by with bend. Aggressiveness is somewhat lacking defending the run.

4. David Ojabo – Michigan

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Ojabo came over from Nigeria in 2007 and is a physical freak. At 6’5 250, he has great length but can still add bulk to his frame. He is explosive and bendy. He uses a pretty killer spin move. Also, he has great speed coming off the edge.

He is mostly wining right now using his physical tools, he needs to develop his pass rush moves and plan a lot more to be an effective rusher in the NFL. He also needs work on his hand usage and technique. Ojabo also needs to improve as a run defender.

5. Kingsley Enagbare – South Carolina

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Enagbare is a high-level athlete with great explosiveness. He brings good size with a large wingspan with the frame to still add weight. For his size, he also has great bend. He has shown to have already developed a solid repertoire of rush moves.

One major negative is that he struggles in the run game. While he has shown some improvements in this, he needs to continue to work on it. He does have a massive upside.

6. Drake Jackson – USC

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Jackson has positional versatility, having played both LB and DE at USC. Good pass-rush grades, although the stats haven’t been there in ’21. He has great athleticism and upside, and is very bendy.

Jackson does struggle in the run game. He can get too tall and does not play with power. For his size, his length is just adequate. He can drop in coverage fluidly. He has trouble getting off blocks once linemen get their hands on him.

7. Myjai Sanders – Cincinnati

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Sanders is a long and explosive pass rusher. He has vines for arms. Sanders can keep blockers off him with his long arms. He shows great quickness on film. He’s fast with an explosive first step. Has already has an impressive array of developed moves. A great motor that runs hot. Uses his strong hands to disengage from blockers.

He does have a skinny frame and may have trouble putting weight and strength on his frame. His bend is just average.

8. Jermaine Johnson – FSU

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Johnson, a Georgia transfer, has seen his stock go up this season. He is a big guy with a long wingspan. Johnson has lined up all over in his career. He even has played some linebacker. He is very fast and explosive. Johnson easily can switch from outside to inside pass rush. Johnson also has good bend to get to the QB. With being 260 pounds his strength on film shows big time. He also shows a good amount of different rush moves.

Still, Johnson needs work at being able to disengage from blockers.

9. Cameron Thomas – San Diego State

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If you are looking for versatility in your linemen then Thomas is your man. He has played all up and down the line and played it well. He is a very consistent player. Thomas has strong hands to disengage from blockers. He is very good at creating pressure and can play both the run and the pass well.

Athletically he is just average. He is also not a big sack numbers guy. Thomas lacks the elite closing speed that a lot of the other edge defenders have. He is strong at the point of attack.

10. Zach Harrison – OSU

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Harrison has elite explosiveness with a great first step. He is also long with good bulk. He can win with speed and has shown he can occasionally convert speed to power. His lower body can be a little stiff. He is not super bendy. Harrison is a solid run defender that sets a good edge. Makes a lot of backside plays due to his athleticism.

He really needs to work on figuring out his pass rush play. It does not seem like he has one. His motor can run hot and cold. He has a massive upside though.

For more 2022 NFL Draft coverage, follow the ATB Draft team on Twitter @draftrite_atb.

Matt Corral and the Race for QB1

Matt Corral
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Matt Corral, Carson Strong, Malik Willis, Kenny Pickett and Desmond Ridder are all candidates to be the top quarterback for the 2022 NFL Draft. The 2022 quarterback landscape is shaping out to be a much different race than it was this time last year.

Trevor Lawrence was the clear-cut front runner to be drafted first overall (as he was), but the talent beyond him was incredible. Players such as Justin Fields, Trey Lance, Zach Wilson, and Mac Jones were all viewed as legit threats to go in the first round, and there were honest conversations about them all going in the top 10.

With hindsight as our ally, we now know that this was not the case, yet all five quarterbacks did go in the top-15 picks of last year’s draft, and we saw three of them (Lawrence, Wilson, and Lance) get selected with the top three choices.

As it stands now, Mac Jones has looked like the best of the bunch, but there is still a ton of growth to be made for the other four rookies, and not many of them are in the best situations.

2022 Quarterback Class

As for the 2022 quarterback class, one could make the argument that the best one of the bunch would have been the sixth quarterback taken in the last year’s draft, and he may not have gone in the first round. So not only is the talent not as plentiful as it was last year, but there is also no consensus on who the top prospect is at the position.

Again, you could poll five different people, and there is a legitimate chance that each person would give you a different answer as to who the number one guy would be.

With that in mind, one of the front-runners to be the first quarterback off the board is Ole Miss’s Matt Corral. Matt Corral is a Redshirt Junior for the Rebels and has started the last two seasons for Ole Miss under head coach Lane Kiffin.

In two seasons (20 total games) as the starter for Ole Miss, he has tallied 6.110 passing yards while completing 68.8% of his passes. In addition, he has racked up 46 passing touchdowns and thrown 16 interceptions, 14 of those in his 2020 campaign.

Although many viewed Matt Corral as one of the top players at his positions, there were still some concerns with his game and whether or not he was worthy of being a first-round pick. Decision-making is one of those concerns, as evident by his interceptions numbers (six against Arkansas and five against LSU).

Corral has done a fantastic job spinning that narrative and eliminating the errant throws and poor decisions. However, there are still a few concerns with his game.

Film Review – The Negatives

The first clip comes from Ole Miss’s match-up against Alabama. The tight end on the right side of the formation will run across the field vertically, taking the corner’s attention and safety on the opposite side of the field. Unfortunately, this is where Corral’s attention is. The slot on the same side runs a dig route and comes open when he makes his cut. However, Corral locks onto the tight end for too long; he doesn’t anticipate the open window when both the corner and safety vacate.

Not anticipating windows and locking onto one read is something that appears on Corral’s tape too often. Instead of a 15 yard gain, the play results in an incomplete pass. He tends to focus on one guy for too long, often missing a receiver coming open late. He needs to do a better job of anticipating open windows and getting off his first read.

Film Review – The Positives

Here is another example of Corral just being half a second behind with his decision. He tends to wait to throw the ball until the receiver is open instead of foreseeing the open window. In the NFL, windows rarely come available, and they aren’t open for long when they do. On this play, the ball should be coming out as the receiver is making his break. Not when he is already flat and getting across the field. The ball being late over the middle gives the safety the chance to play as he does in the video.

Now we look at the positives of Corral’s game as a passer. First, he has excellent arm strength and the requisite accuracy downfield to make the above throws consistently. He shows great touch when throwing the ball deep and often gives his receivers the chance to run under the ball and make a play.

Getting air under the football when throwing it down the field is necessary. This gives the receiver the ability to adjust and run under the football while carrying his momentum down the field.

One trait that can mitigate some of Corral’s issues with anticipation is accuracy, especially when throwing over the middle of the field. Matt Corral is very accurate when targeting receivers in between the numbers. He can put the ball on the receiver’s numbers while the receiver can maintain stride. The receiver then can look to make a play after the catch.

In this clip, Corral executes the pass out of the RPO to near perfection. He starts by getting his base pointed into the direction of where he wants to throw the ball. Corral does this quickly enough to where the safety doesn’t have a chance to make his pass read and break on the ball. Then he can deliver a strike just outside the linebacker’s reach. He puts the ball in a place where only his receiver can make a play. Excellent execution and timing on display here from Corral.

Lastly, one area of his game that pops on tape is his ability to make plays with his feet. Both behind the line of scrimmage and beyond it. As a runner, Corral has racked up 523 yards and 10 touchdowns on the ground. 195 of those yards coming in one game against Tennessee. It’s more than just his rushing ability that makes him an intriguing prospect, though; he can get outside of the pocket and still throw the ball with accuracy, especially when moving to his right.

In this play, after Corral finishes his run-action, he gets pressure quickly off the edge but is able to get around it with his speed. After getting around the rush, he keeps his eyes downfield. Locating the open receiver, and delivering a strike on the move. Again, the ball placement here is stellar; he throws the ball low, helping the receiver avoid the collision. That would happen if he were to put this ball any higher.


There are plenty of tools to work with that make Corral an intriguing prospect. His accuracy is one, but his ability to make things happen out of the structure is massive because this is where the game appears to be heading. It will only make his early life in the NFL easier if he can get out of the pocket and make things happen because the speed of the game increases. He won’t have to sit in the pocket and diagnose everything to tee and have some room for error.

The clips above are from Corral’s first four games of the season. Concluding how he should be valued heading into the draft won’t be made. That said, there are areas in which he needs to approve. He has a real shot to be selected as the first quarterback if he has done so in the latter half of the season.

2022 NFL Draft Defensive Line Rankings 1.0

2022 NFL draft defensive line

With the 2022 NFL draft defensive line group, it is similar to the last class. Weak at the top and just average depth. It is probably better at the top with Leal, who would have been the #1 defensive lineman were he in the 2021 draft, but overall not great at the top. You can find the previous part here: https://atbnetwork.com/2021/11/11/2022-nfl-draft-offensive-line-rankings-1-0/

1. Demarvin Leal – Texas A&M

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Leal is a freak athlete for his size. He plays both the run and the pass well. Leal is super versatile, could line up at end, tackle, edge, and anywhere else along the line. He still has plenty of room to grow within his frame. With that, he does need to fill out his frame some more. Great length. Needs to add some power moves to his game, adding a speed to power move would help. Potential to be elite.

2. Jordan Davis – Georgia

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Davis is a huge man at 6’6 340. He has a super strong upper body and hands and is an elite-run defender. He easily takes up two blockers. Davis has had weight issues in the past and could probably stand to lose another 10 pounds. He hasn’t grown much as a pass rusher. He has shown some improvements as a senior, but may never be a major pass-rush threat. Also, his quickness off the snap is lacking.

3. Perrion Winfrey – Oklahoma

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Winfrey is a little undersized, but explosive. A former JUCO transfer, he still is a bit raw. He has excellent quickness off the snap and can pressure the passer. Still, he needs to develop his pass rush moves and plan better. His motor runs 100%. Partly because of his size and partly due to technique he can play a lot better against the run. As he will come out of his stance too high and needs to work on his pad level. Upside to be a very good penetrating 3-tech.

4. Devonte Wyatt – Georgia

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Wyatt is another JUCO transfer. He is kind of the yin to Davis’ yang. Wyatt is more of the 3-tech, pass rusher type of lineman. He also shows a good anchor and is solid against the run. Wyatt is still a bit raw and needs some more development on his pass rush moves and developing his plan. He also has good straight-line speed. Length with Wyatt is just average. Wyatt also offers versitility in that he can be used all over the line. His hands are inconsistent and need to be more accurate.

5. Haskell Garrett – Ohio State

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Garrett is a bit undersized at 6’2, but he offers a very quick first step and good agility. His length does hurt him at times, where he can have trouble disengaging from an offensive lineman. He still has a good amount of upside because he works hard and his technique is solid. He does end up on the ground more than he should and needs to work on that. A prototypical 3-tech.

6. Zacch Pickens – South Carolina

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Pickens brings prototypical size and length. He is a good athlete with great quickness and speed. Pickens also has an explosive first step. Has a lot of potential as a pass rusher. His pass rush moves and techniques are still raw and need work. There is a lot of raw power in his body, but he needs to learn how to use it better. He has started to come on in 2021 after a slow start to his career. A solid run defender.

7. Travis Jones – UConn

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Jones is a solid overall athlete with good size at 6’4 330. He is a sneaky athlete though, he may be 330 but his body fat % is only 13. So he doesn’t look like what you think he would at his size. He did sit out the 2020 season. Jones shows good agility on film. He has a strong upper body, with big strong hands. Jones tends to be a bit of a slow burn pass rusher. He shows on film to be a decent run defender. He has shown to have trouble with double teams, could learn to be more stout. Jones does need to work on his pad level. Upside is there as a pass rusher if he can develop more than just a rip move.

8. Zachary Carter – Florida

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Carter brings versatility with him having played DE in a 3-4, DE in a 4-3, 3-tech, and 5-tech. For an interior defensive lineman, he might be a little undersized at 285. He does show some natural bend as a pass rusher. Carter has solid but not elite length. Also on film he shows stronger than his size would make you believe. Carter does have good agility. His production has been pretty average for a player of his caliber. Has shown he can be confused by misdirection. Athleticism is just average overall.

9. Deslin Alexandre – Pittsburgh

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Alexandre has been a solid run defender for being a bit undersized. He is a former edge defender that just kept getting bigger. Alexandre still maintains a good amount of his athleticism from his former position. He is explosive. For being an undersized defender he has long arms which helps mitigate his lack of bulk. On film, he has shown the speed to chase down plays from behind. He has shown to have strong hands on film. He does need to improve his hand usage. Alexandre does end up on the ground too much and gets off balance. He also has versatility on his side, he can play up and down the line.

10. Phidarian Mathis – Alabama

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Mathis is a 5th year senior with long arms and big strong hands. He has come in in 2021 now that he has gotten a lot of reps. Mathis is an elite-run defender. His pass-rush production has been lacking though. He sports a quick swim move that could become a go-to pass rush move. Mathis does need to develop more moves if he wants to have an impact on the passing game. He plays hard every down. Mathis lacks elite athleticism. He is a player with a high floor and low ceiling. There is still some room for growth.

Atlanta Falcons Mock Draft: Dueling Edition

Ladies and gentlemen we are back with another Atlanta Falcons mock draft dueling edition. After that abysmal beatdown in Dallas we need something to look forward too. Lets have at it, vote on the winner only @falcons_atb on Twitter! As always thank you to RiseNDraft and nflmockdraftdatabase for the simulator!

Atlanta Falcons Mock Draft
Credit: Sports Illustrated

Hunter’s Atlanta Falcons Mock Draft

Round 1 Pick 12: Kenyon Green, iOL, Texas A&M

  • The Falcons OL needs help. With the Falcons likely committing to Matt Ryan for the long term, they need to keep him upright. Kenyon Green is a great start to that. The Aggie is an incredibly versatile piece who can play along the interior Offensive Line. Adding Green would be an immediate upgrade over Mayfield or McGary and help the Falcons Offensive Line set the tone for the future.

Round 2 Pick 45: Trevor Penning, OT, NIU

  • Here we have the Falcons double dipping on the OL with Trevor Penning. Penning is one of the biggest risers and has been shooting up Draft Boards. I don’t expect for Penning to be here at this point, but since he is we take him. Penning is a 6’7″ 320lb bear who just bullies opposing defenders. Penning could immediately step in for Kaleb McGary and then eventually take the reigns for the blindside when Matthews hangs it up.

Round 2 Pick 63: Travon Walker, DL, Georgia

  • Walker is a strong side EDGE in the Georgia defense who weighs in at a strong 6’5″ 275lb. Walker has the versatility to thrive in the Dean Pees multifront defense while serving as a formidable running mate to pair with Grady Jarrett. He isn’t a true nose tackle, but he should be able to replace the lackluster performances we have gotten from Marlon Davidson so far.

Round 3 Pick 76: Zion Tupuloa-Fetui, EDGE, Washington

  • Here we have the Falcons taking ZTF who is one of my favorites. I know I always talk about ZTF but he would be a nice addition to a defense who is missing a spark. ZTF has rebounded from an Achilles injury and has been starting to get back to his 2020 level of play. ZTF brings a motor that runs hot, a good toolbox, and high levels of athleticism. Adding ZTF would give the Falcons a solid prospect to help grow the defense while getting younger.

Round 4 Pick 115: Kevin Harris, RB, South Carolina

  • Kevin Harris is another one of my guys in this draft cycle. Harris is a powerful runner who can help the Falcons RB room improve. Mike Davis has been struggling and we have seen the Falcons use Cordarrelle Patterson in a variety of ways, which means we could use some RB help going forward. Adding Harris in R4 just feels like good value here for the Falcons who need to upgrade the running game.

Adam’s Atlanta Falcons Mock Draft

Round 1 Pick 12: Kaiir Elam, CB, Florida

  • Falcons need CB help bad. Elam gives them a running mate for AJ Terrell. Elam is a long CB who dominates in press coverage and can clamp up any opposing WR. Adding a player like Elam, gives Dean Pees the freedom to be more creative with some of his defensive schemes.

Round 2 Pick 45: Nicholas Petit-Frere, OT, Ohio State

  • Athletic OT from the Buckeyes has versatility at RT and LT. Immediately competes with McGary for the RT position and gives you that more prototypical type of RT that people want with long arms and a really good kick-step. Can maul you in the run game as well, won’t be surprised if a team takes him at the backend of the first, has day 1 starting traits for Arthur Smith and company.

Round 2 Pick 63: Brandon Joseph, SAF, Northwestern

  • Joseph is a young safety who would give us versatility on the backend of the defense, He dominates in zone and Pees can roll him and move him around as a defensive chess pieces. Joseph has the single high ability and could slot down into the box. He’s incredibly smooth in coverage as we have seen him play well against Ohio State WR’s in the past. Joseph is just a playmaker for a defense sorely missing them.

Round 3 Pick 76: Isaiah Spiller, RB, Texas A&M

  • Spiller’s been in a few of my mocks, but rightfully so. He’s a physical RB who is probably the best pass blocker in the class as well — something that Arthur Smith is high on. Spiller shows good contact balance and patience while running, and looks to finish runs physically. I think Arthur needs a bell cow to get back to being that balanced offense and I think Spiller fits the bill.

Round 4 Pick 114: Sam Williams, EDGE, Ole Miss

  • Sam Williams is another one of these long, physically imposing OLB’s, I think, at least from what ATL has done last off-season you’ll see the trend of these kind of pass rushers come to ATL. I think Williams is a great late round guy that presents big time upside with the power that he has. Against Alabama you see him numerous times just fold OT’s, and even at times he lines up inside standing up and uses his strength to push the pocket.

Stephen’s Atlanta Falcons Mock Draft

After picking Jordan Davis in (basically) every Atlanta Falcons mock draft so far, I decided to switch it up a bit this week. The theme for this week is physicality. The Falcons just suffered the worst loss they’ve had since 2004, and the inability to be the bigger bully has plagued them all season. For this mock, I went (mostly) with the meanest player available.

Round 1 Pick 12: George Karlaftis – Edge – Purdue

  • There’s been a lot of chatter lately about Karlaftis’ less-than-ideal arm length, but his tape shows it’s not a consistent issue for him. Fontenot showed a strong preference for long-armed rushers in the 2020 draft, so I won’t be surprised if the Falcons pass on him. I couldn’t bring myself to do it, though. Atlanta needs help everywhere, but an utterly invisible pass rush has been the most troubling storyline this season. Karlaftis has room to grow as a run defender but will enter the NFL as a polished and powerful pass rusher.

Round 2 Pick 45: Mykael Wright – Cornerback – Oregon

  • Wright isn’t the biggest cornerback in this draft, but you wouldn’t know it from his playstyle. He’s only 5’11, 182lbs, but has the attitude of a linebacker and doesn’t shy away from contact. Despite his size, Wright excels in press coverage and has the athletic ability to disrupt plays at the catch point. He’ll probably run in the low 4.4s, so long speed isn’t a concern. AJ Terrell has been excellent this season, but the rest of the secondary has been up-and-down at best. Wright gives Atlanta a pair of aggressive young corners to serve as cornerstones for this defense.

Round 2 Pick 63: Darian Kinnard – Offensive Tackle – Kentucky

  • If the pass rush is the most apparent need for Atlanta, an upgraded run game is a close second. Kinnard, at 6’5, 345lbs, is one of the most dominant run blockers in the nation. He isn’t asked to be much of a pass protector at Kentucky, and there are some valid concerns that he may struggle at tackle in the NFL, but his ability to single-handedly cave in a defensive line makes him an asset. Kinnard absolutely buries defenders, and the Falcons sorely need that sort of physicality on the roster.

Round 3 Pick 76: John Metchie III – Wide Receiver – Alabama

  • I’m not in love with the idea of drafting a receiver early(ish), but Atlanta doesn’t have any choice but to add to this group. Calvin Ridley’s future is in question, leaving Frank Darby as the only receiver left on the roster in 2022. Metchie has a similar skill set to Ridley, which would be a bit redundant if/when he returns, but at this point in the draft, Metchie was the best player available. He may not have blazing speed, but his ability to win routes early makes him a big-play threat. Paired with a deep threat to open things up, Metchie and Pitts can be lethal in the intermediate part of the field.

Round 4 Pick 115: Travis Jones – Nose Tackle – Connecticut

  • You didn’t think I’d get out of this exercise without adding a massive nose tackle, did you? Anthony Rush has brought some strength to the Falcons interior, but I can’t help but add another 350lb+ hog to this defensive roster. No one will mistake Jones as a premier pass rusher, but he has all the makings of a dominant run-stuffing nose tackle and can help collapse a pocket when he isn’t double-teamed. If Jordan Davis isn’t the pick in the first, Travis Jones is a solid silver medal option.