Atlanta Falcons mock draft: rounds 1-3

ATLANTA, GA-The bleeding has finally stopped as the 2013 season for the Atlanta Falcons came to an end with another close loss.

However, the loss has put Atlanta drafting in the six slot, which is surprising with only four wins to their name. The names being thrown around this draft are kids that can fill crucial positions that the Falcons need instead of the skill positions where little room exists on the roster for rookies.

I’ll go through the first three players that I think the Falcons should heavily consider and I will do so by the players projected draft ranking. The tentative draft order for the regular season is listed below.

TEAMS

1 Houston Texans
2 St. Louis Rams (WAS)
3 Jacksonville Jaguars
4 Cleveland Browns
5 Oakland Raiders
6 Atlanta Falcons
7 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
8 Minnesota Vikings
9 Buffalo Bills
10 Detroit Lions
11 Tennessee Titans
12 New York Giants
13 St. Louis Rams
14 Chicago Bears
15 Pittsburgh Steelers
16 Baltimore Ravens**
17 Dallas Cowboys**
18 New York Jets
19 Miami Dolphins
20 Arizona Cardinals
21 Green Bay Packers
22 San Diego Chargers
23 Philadelphia Eagles
24 Kansas City Chiefs
25 Cincinnati Bengals
26 Cleveland Browns (IND)
27 New Orleans Saints
28 New England Patriots
29 San Francisco 49ers
30 Carolina Panthers
31 Denver Broncos
32 Seattle Seahawks

Round #1- Jake Matthews OT, Texas A&M

Texas A&M

A possible replacement for Jeremy Trueblood. (Photo Credit: Brett Davis)

The senior offensive tackle from Texas A&M that has been protecting Johnny Manziel is one of the players rated to go as one of the top picks in the draft. However, four of the five teams going before the Falcons need quarterbacks. Teddy Bridgewater and Johnny Manziel could both go in the first three picks, allowing Matthews to possibly drop to Atlanta.

The Falcons lost Pro-Bowl talent on the line, but they shouldn’t spend too much time in the draft on the line since they have some depth. Don’t forget that the injured Mike Johnson and Sam Baker missed considerable time. Jake Matthews would be a nice addition to an emerging line that could play in the 2014 season.

Backup pick: If the St. Louis Rams bite on Matthews then the Falcons should go for Jadeveon Clowney to improve upon the defensive line.

Round #2- Ra’shede Hageman DT, Minnesota

Minnesotta Gophers

Re’shede Hageman using his massive wingspan to knock down a field goal. (Photo Credit: Renee Jones Schneider)

With the Falcons having three defensive tackles entering free agency it would be wise to draft Ra’shede Hageman. This man has raw talent and a unique build that have drawn comparisons to J.J Watt.

For the past five years the Falcons have taken higher draft picks and undrafted free agents and turned them into starters. After a full season I’m willing to stake Hageman could become their leader in sacks. Scouting reports say that he has the power to push blockers deep into the pocket.

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Round #3- Jackson Jeffcoat DE, Texas

Texas

Jackson Jeffcoat’s ability could compliment that of Osi Umenyiora’s (Photo Credit: Elisabeth Dillon)

The Falcons need depth and they need pass rush. Jackson Jeffcoat would provide an excellent bookend to Osi Umenyiora after some development. This 6-foot-5, 250-pound senior has a team high of 80 tackles, 21 of which were for a loss. He has experience dropping back into coverage as well as rushing the passer. He needs to add a bit more weight but his speed at the position would still be needed for the Falcons. With Worrilow covering the potential draw plays when Jeffcoat and Umenyiora are in I feel comfortable spending a third round pick on another pass rusher.

So to conclude, the two areas Atlanta needs to improve through the draft are the offensive line and defensive line, but with the free agent acquisition of Joe Hawley, Atlanta just needs a tackle and a viable guard. The first improvements to the defensive line should be pass rushers since that’s the way the team wants to play.

This would induce a bend but not break attitude near the redzone. If the defensive line can produce a good push, linebackers such as Joplo Bartu, Akeem Dent, Sean Weatherspoon and Paul Worrilow can deliver the knockout punch. Stop the gashing run plays, and on third and four the opponent will have to go to the pass. At that point you send in the young guys with fresh legs, let them pin their ears back and tee off on the opposing quarterback, whilst keeping outside containment of course.

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  • Apricot Napalm

    “Experts” project mock drafts every year (to entice fans to stay tuned to the NFL for as long as possible) and change them every other missed injury report all to be completely wrong on draft day. Personally I just wait and see- & curse the TV out every time the Buccaneers make a personnel move i dont agree with. Buc Nation!

  • Rodrell Green

    I’ll be the 1st to say I love it but highly doubt Hageman makes it past the 1st round! I bet he gets an invite Day 1

    • Dean Johnson

      Honestly, Hageman going in the first is highly projected so it might be a stretch. But if nobody bites I can see Atlanta making a deal before the second round to draft him. As for Jeffcoat, due to his size scouts are gonna sleep on him.

  • Troy Crawford

    If these were the picks I would like it