Ah, it is draft season. A time where we observe mock drafts on the internet for hours, listen to Mel Kiper get overly excited about someones ability to run 40 yards in complete spandex, and ultimately a great and exciting experience for fans who's team didn't have that great of a season i.e. the Falcons. Obviously the biggest need for the Falcons is the offensive and defensive line, they both played quite pathetic this year. Whether it was an injury, or just a talent issue. The Falcons are never going to get a Super Bowl if they do not fix it. So with out further adieu here is my 2014 Mock Draft (By the way, I'm not predicting any trades.. they are just too hard to predicate)
Round 1: Jadevon Clowney, DE, South Carolina. Clowney would really be the Dream scenario for the Falcons. He is unbelievably athletic (listed on the CBS sports Freak List), has the potential to be one of the premier pass rushers in the league, and he just makes plain sense here at pick 6. People will say that his production in 2013 was down (that is true), but his impact wasn't. Clowney impacted the game in ways beyond the stat line. He consistently drew double teams and teams basically schemed around him the entire year (allowing his team mates to make plays). Effort isn't really a concern either. Clowney was gassed at points during the season and that is understandable considering he rarely came on the field, and was facing top notch SEC lineman week in and week out. Clowney wouldn't be the answer to the whole pass rushing problem, but he would certainly be a start.
Best Case Scenario: Becomes an elite pass rusher and becomes a Pro Bowler year in and year out. Other
possibilities: Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M and Anthony Barr, OLB/DE, UCLA
Round 2: Cyril Richardson, OT/OG, Baylor: What I love about Cyril Richardson is his versatility. He has experience at both guard and tackle, so when he gets to the NFL teams can decide where he fits best. Personally, I think his best is at guard, but you can never tell. Richardson has excellent run blocking ability (a area where the Falcons definitely struggled), but his true strength is as at pass protecting. As with the defensive line, Cyril Richardson isn't going to fix the Falcons offensive line trouble, but he would be a start
.Best Case Scenario: Becomes an immediate starter on the offensive line and becomes one of the top guards in the league. Other Possibilities: Austin Sefrian-Jenkins, TE, Washington and Kony Ealy, DE, Missouri
Round 3: Aaron Donald, DT, Pittsburg: If Aaron Donald is here in the 3rd round and they don't select him they are insane. Donald is a true 3-technique DT who has the speed and explosiveness of a Geno Atkins. The Falcons are going to be incredibly thin at defensive tackle next with Jonathan Babineoux likely leaving for free agency. So Donald makes a lot of since here.
Best Case Scenario: Becomes the next Geno Atkins Other Possibilities: James Hurst, OT, North Carolina and Jeremiah Attaochu, OLB, Georgia Tech
Round 4: Morgan Moses, OT, Virginia: The worst position on the Falcons terrible offensive line this season was right tackle. Morgan Moses is a true right tackle prospect who has excellent run blocking capabilities and is surprisingly athletic for someone that is 330 pounds. A little raw in protecting the passer, but has a realistic shot of starting for the Falcons next year. Best Case Scenario: Locks down the right tackle position for years to come Other Possibilities: Dominique Easley, DT/DE, Florida and Arthur Lynch, TE, Georgia
Round 5: Dri Archer, WR, RB, KR, PR, Kent State: Archer is lighting in a bottle. Archer is one of the most explosive players in all of college football and add a new element to the Falcons return game. Archer has a chance to break the 40 yard dash record held by Titans running back Chris Johnson, and if he does he could go as high as the 3rd round, but if he runs it in the 4.3 range and he is available he would be the punt/kick returner and a chance to compete for a slot receiver position. Best Case Scenario: Has a similar impact that Cordarrelle Patterson had for the Vikings.
Round 6: Kapri Bibbs, RB, Colorado State: I'll be honest I didn't know much about Bibbs until the bowl game a few weeks ago, my eyes were opened when he ran for an explosive 75 yard touchdown vs Washington State. Bibbs had a ridiculously productive season at Colorado State rushing for over 1700 yard and 31 touchdowns. Bibbs falls to the sixth round for not playing the best talent and having only 1 productive year at the collegiate level. Best Case Scenario: You already know where I'm going with this, becomes the next Alfred Morris in terms of production.
Round 7: Deion Belue, CB, Alabama. The Falcons have their starting CBS in Desmond Trufant and Robert Alford, but they don't have much depth behind them. Belue was coached by one of the best DB coaches in the country in Nick Saban, so it doesn't hurt taking the Alabama product in the 7th round. Best Case Scenario: Locks down a position as the nickel or dime cornerback and a force on special teams.