The Atlanta Falcons played it safe on opening night of the draft by standing their ground at number six and selecting Jake Matthews, offensive tackle from Texas A&M.
While this year the Falcons have played their role as expected, there was an unforeseen trend in defensive backs- nine were drafted in the first round while no running backs were selected, leaving a few first round prospects available in the second round.
First and foremost, Atlanta wants to build a better and bigger line in order to make a concerted effort to stop the run game. Not to mention to help generate pass rush in the process would be nice. This is evident by the recent addition of the veteran Paul Soliai and his hulking 6-foot-4, 340-pound frame.
I predict the top five teams will do this in the second round:
33. Houston Texans- Jimmy Garoppolo QB
It’s best not to take Derek Carr after the mess his brother left in Houston. Garoppolo has had a great career at the FCS level and he shows many of the fundamentals on paper that make him a sound QB. Good height, body size, and above average arm strength.
34. Washington Redskins- Cyrus Kouandjio OT
A massive kid and was projected in many mock drafts to exit somewhere in the first round in the top 15. However, here he is with the lingering issue of durability. Nobody wants to get burned by knee issues, especially Washington, but in the second round it’s a risk that’s worth taking.
35. Cleveland Browns- Marqise Lee WR
I believe Cleveland has already gotten good value for their first two picks in the first round and with the third pick in the second they have another amazing opportunity to get the best of the round. Trading their number four pick to the Buffalo Bills, they missed their chance on Sammy Watkins. Now would be the time to complement Johnny “Football” or Brian “The Destroyer” Hoyer with actual talent at the wide receiver position.
36. Oakland Raiders- Cody Latimer WR
Despite many experts thinking that Oakland might go quarterback here, I believe they will pick one up in later rounds. Now they will try to make a bigger splash to give their offense a few more weapons. With the addition of Maurice Jones-Drew they need to find a way to take the top off of opposing defenses so there new asset doesn’t get stuffed into eight man boxes.
37. Atlanta Falcons- Louis Nix III DT
The Notre Dame product of Louis Nix III was surprisingly left out of the first round. With the 37th pick in the second round the only perceivable obstacle in their way of acquiring a deal such as Nix would most likely be the Texans if they do not feel Derek Carr or Jimmy Garoppolo would not be worth the value in the second round. Nix’s big body would be a great addition alongside Soliai. The two men could trade off getting double teamed which would open up lanes for Osi Umenyiora and Kroy Biermann.