The Falcons have been linked to Taylor Lewan for quite some time. The Michigan standout is unquestionably one of the better left tackle prospects in the 2014 NFL Draft, and the Falcons are clearly shopping for tackle upgrades because Sam Baker is expensive and has health questions and right tackle is a pu pu platter that may or may not have pork fried rice, you monsters.
Todd McShay knows this, and he's got the Falcons taking the man with a mustache tattooed on his finger at pick #6:
6. Atlanta Falcons: Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan
The tricky part with this pick is that Lewan is strictly a left tackle -- he isn't a mauler who would fit at right tackle and all his college experience (48 starts) came on the left side -- so the Falcons would need to be comfortable with converting either Lewan or existing left tackle Sam Baker to the right side. But they need to improve their pass protection for QB Matt Ryan, and adding Lewan would do just that. He has very good initial and lateral quickness, takes good angles and has very good recognition skills. But if the rumor that Oakland prefers Lewan over Matthews is true, my guess is Atlanta would be thrilled.
I concur with McShay's last point, given that I believe the Falcons would prefer Matthews to Lewan. That's simply my hunch, however, based on the all-around, quiet excellence Matthews can offer.
You're likely to have a visceral reaction to this pick, in the same fashion I did for Mel Kiper's selection of Lewan at #6 just a week ago. As we get closer to the draft, I become less and less willing to rule out possibilities, and that includes Lewan. Many are scared off by his overreliance on his natural ability and strength rather than technique, and others point to a couple of brushes with the law that have given him the dreaded "character risk" label. I'm wary of that, myself.
Something to remember, though. Those who listen to the podcast recall Jay Adams telling us that if the Falcosn took Lewan at #6, it would mean they were fully satisfied that he was not a major character risk. We should all be ready for that possibility, because Lewan does have loads of talent and the nightmare scenario—Clowney, Mack, Matthews, Robinson and your other favorite player going in the top five—would leave Lewan as one of the better options available.
Your thoughts on this mock?