Nobody needs to be reminded how close we were to getting to the big game. However, in the playoffs our weaknesses were exposed. Certain things must be addressed before next season. With a significantly harder schedule we must up the talent level at certain positions if we want to be a serious contender. While many people might think we can't afford to miss in the draft I think we need a little risk to be contenders. Some picks may not work out, some may reach their potential. But a higher ceiling is what we need.
Hopefully these picks can have a great impact and help complete our team. Last year the contribution from our rookies were minimal. With the exception of Konz, who didn't start till the middle of the season, no rookie stood out and consistently made it on the field. We need players to perform.
Key Additions: Rolando Mclain, Jared Cook
*In this draft I have the Falcons trading their 1st and 7th for a early 2nd and 4th*
2nd: Margus Hunt 6'8" 280 DE
Hunt has all the potential in the world and he also fills a great whole. If you were to ask anybody what are greatest weakness was they would say pass-rush. Having somebody opposite of John Abraham capable of getting to the quarterback would pay huge dividends.
2nd: David Amerson 6'3 194 CB
Which came first, the chicken or the egg? Rushing the passer because of good coverage or good coverage because of pass rush? Here we address several needs. Last season the two starting corners were suppose to be Grimes and Samuel. because of injury we had to shift Dunta back outside. Luckily it worked out and McClain rose up. But Amerson is a great fit because of how often Dunta Robinson and William Moore get injured. He has the size to be an efficient safety and the skills to be a great corner. Also depth won't hurt.
3rd: Marcus Lattimore 6' 0 218 RB
Huge risk, huge reward. Some may see this as reaching but it's not. Yes there will be other running back options at this point but none with Lattimore's ceiling. He was the top option before he went down with with his devastating knee injury. He'll have all the time it takes to rehab with the Falcons and hopefully be able to contribute later on in the season. While everybody is not AP it is a positive seeing how well somebody can rebound. He can be a workhorse and lead our running game by the time the play offs roll around.
4th: Le'Veon Bell 6'2 244 RB
Two running backs back-to-back? Yes he will be a great complement to Rodgers. Many people are starting to say JaQuizz can carry the load and run between the tackles, but he is best when catching out the backfield. Bell can show flashes of the Turner we used to love,
4th: Kwame Geathers 6'6 355 NT
Last year our run defense was horrible. Geathers has a chance to help. With a big body he can plug up whole or command two blockers which will free up the other linemen. Also this gives our defense many different options since Mike Nolan likes to run a hybrid type defense. Geathers probably can't stay on the field but as a rotational player can contribute.
4th: Emory Blake 6' 2 193 WR
With Gonzo retiring we will need other options when distributing the ball. Emory Blake has good size and speed to open up the field more for Matt Ryan. Also after Harry Douglass the depth is pretty bad. Neither Cone, Davis, or Meier made any difference to the team.
5th: Cooper Taylor 6'5 235 S
Taylor will provide excellent secondary depth since, previously stated William Moore is injury prone. he is stout against the run and the pass. Also he has the size to play LB if needed. A player like this would be good in covering the athletic TE's that now fill the NFL.
6th: Michael Williams 6'6 270 TE
It will take more than one TE to replace Gonzo. However, Williams can help with something the hall of famer struggled with, run blocking. Williams as a great runner blocker and can immensely help out our running game. While at Alabama he did not catch many passes. Probably because they are a primarily running offense and he's not very good at it. He is a okay reciever at best right now.
7th: Tyrann Mathieu 5'9 175 CB
We all know about his off the field struggles, but we also know about his skills. I think we got all we got out of Christopher Owens and Dominique Franks. Speaking of Franks, he was a horrible returner and lost that role as we headed to the play-offs, Mathieu will be a significant upgrade that cantake our special teams to the next level
7th: Cornelius Washington 6'4 264 DE
Just because he's from Georgia