Mock us if you must, but we must mock players to the Falcons.
Four Falcoholic writers took a swing at predicting the first round pick for the Falcons of the upcoming 2013 NFL Draft. As you'll see, we went in slightly different directions, though
Of course, a trade in any direction would likely spell doom for even the most ambitious prediction here, but that's part of the fun.
Before we begin, let me remind that Alec Shirkey will have a full mock coming up, and we may still be rolling out a full draft from the four of us. You'll at least get the chance to see me get seven full rounds hideously wrong between now and the draft.
Let's do this!
Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame
As you all know, I'm Tyler Eifert's uncle. Not biologically, just in some weird, figurative sense. My name is James Rael, and I want him to be a Falcon. There, I said it - that feels better. I know the Falcons need a corner-of-the-future. I know there's a lot of tight end depth in this draft. I know this pick flies in the face of reason. And I just don't care.
I don't think he's leaps and bounds better than Zach Ertz. But he's faster and has better hands than Ertz, of that I'm sure. When you look at Tony Gonzalez, he's not just a ridiculous human being. He's not just a guaranteed hall of famer. He's Matt Ryan's safety net - averaging 81.5 receptions a season; we can't afford to have a void at that position, not even for a season, or even part of a season. Sure, there's a chance we could replicate his production by bringing a slot receiver not named Harry Douglas aboard. There's also a chance Eifert would be a dud, living up to the mediocrity his collegiate career numbers seem to implicate.
Call it a gut feeling, or simply call it pure insanity. I don't believe Chase Coffman is our tight end of future, and I don't see the Falcons passing on Eifert if he's there at 30.
Sylvester Williams, DT, North Carolina
This is assuming the Falcons stay put which is growing less likely by the day. Regarded by Sports Illustrated as "the best of the second tier of DTs" Williams actually does fill a need for the Falcons if they wish to stay in the 4-3 defense: The 1-technique.
Vance Walker was the sack generator for the 1-tech last year, if I recall right. Corey Peters had an injury problem, and there's no guarantee he'll be back to form next year. Williams has nice size at 6'2" 313, which fits the space gobbler notion of a 1-tech.
One of the things that actually plagued the Falcons offense was an interior rush, which is far and away the most devastating thing to a passing attack. The Falcons have a chance to upgrade theirs with Williams. Williams has also been projected as a possible 3-4 lineman, which fits Nolan's scheme of having versatile players who can play multiple positions.
The Falcons could go cornerback here, but in a pass happy league, the top tier of DBs will most likely be gone by the time #30 comes around. An upgrade to the interior defensive line gives the Falcons the option to look at DBs Blidi Wreh-Wilson, Jordan Poyer, or David Amerson in the second round.
Falcons Trade Up To Get Desmond Trufant, CB, Washington
(Ed. Note: This is technically cheating, but that's Alex for you)
There are already two Trufants playing in the NFL today. If third time's a charm, does that make Desmond a future Hall of Famer? Right?
OK, probably not, but clearly his lineage is talented. He ran a 4.38 40 at the NFL Combine. Obviously this inflates his value a bit, because people invest way too much stock in 40 times, but it adds to the fact that his speed on tape is legitimate.
I've seen comparisons drawn to Asante Samuel, so that tells me we're on the right track. Trufant can play from the start. He won't require too great of a leap up in the draft. The Falcons need a cornerback, badly. If they aren't willing to go for it all with Milliner or Rhodes, Trufant makes sense and helps reserve quality picks.
Tank Carradine, DE, Florida State
I'll take a little heat for this, but I'm sticking with my pick from the Mock Draft.
In a class loaded with defensive players, the rehabbing Carradine may well fall just because of sheer numbers. If the Falcons stand pat at 30, they're going to be looking for the best defensive player available or a tight end, and Tyler Eifert and Zach Ertz will probably be gone alongside Desmond Trufant. I still believe defensive end is a major, major need for these Falcons, and I still believe Carradine is the best one likely to be available. He's my choice.
If the Falcons trade up, I expect them to go hard for a cornerback, and I expect that corner to be either Desmond Trufant or Xavier Rhodes. We'll know in a week.
Share your thoughts on our mock draft!