We still have to wait months for the NFL Draft, but that doesn't mean we can't debate plenty of mocks.
You know how I generally feel about mocks as a predictive tool, which is that they're not useful in that capacity. What they are good at is getting a feel for how team needs are perceived and figuring out roughly where some of the impact players in the draft are going to go, and for the aforementioned debate.
Dan Kadar at Mocking The Draft has us covered on that front, and he's produced a truly intriguing mock for the Falcons. Here's a look at each of his three picks for Atlanta.
6. Atlanta Falcons - Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina
Somehow, someway, it just seems like the Falcons are going to come out of the 2014 NFL Draft with Clowney. General manager Thomas Dimitroff isn't afraid to pull the trigger on a trade, and whatever he'd give up would be worth it. Don't be lazy. Don't look at Clowney's stats from 2013. He was double teamed all season and played injured. He's as rare of a talent as people tout him to be.
I've said before and will say again that a trade up for Clowney would not surprise me. Getting the guy at #6, though? That's more or less a best-case outcome in this jaded Falcons blogger's eyes. If Clowney falls, I don't expect him to get by the Falcons.
Then Dan throws us a real curveball in the second round.
37. Atlanta Falcons - Ka'Deem Carey, RB, Arizona
Steven Jackson didn't have the year the Falcons expected in 2013. He didn't run for more than 100 yards in any game, and averaged just 3.5 yards per carry. Carey is arguably the best running back in this year's draft. He's a speed merchant who is just physical enough to break a few tackles. Get Carey in the open field and the Falcons have another wrinkle on offense. An offensive lineman would be tempting here, but the best ones are gone.
This is a fascinating selection in a muddled running back class. Carey has the size, speed and power running ability to be a true asset for the Falcons. He'll be a project in pass protection from the beginning, as several Falcons draftniks have noted, but he may well be the best back in the class.
The question is, can the Falcons afford to sink a second rounder into a running back? My inclination is to say no, particularly if a useful defensive tackle on the board. It's worth thinking about, at least, but I can't get there.
The third round gives us an offensive lineman, as you might expect.
68. Atlanta Falcons - Morgan Moses, OT, Virginia
The massive Moses is a player capable of lining up on either the left or right side and has the sheer size to immediately be an asset.
This would be a Lamar Holmes pick with more polish. Moses is a big, mauling tackle who could at least compete to start on the right side immediately. Given that many want to see Holmes compete for his job, this would be a smart pick on a lot of levels. At minimum, he gives the Falcons real beef as a backup in year one, with the potential to do more down the line.
Weigh in on this mock for the Falcons, if you would.