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2015 NFL mock draft: Falcons land combine stud in first round

Adam Hagy-USA TODAY Sports

With the combine winding down, mock draft season is heating up. The drills have helped draftniks sort through this year's class and find the risers and disappointments who are likely to see their stocks shift ahead of April's draft, so you'll be seeing a lot of changes from Mel Kiper, Todd McShay and others in the weeks ahead.

This mock from Dan Kadar at SB Nation is a mock draft I enjoy, because the Falcons land perhaps my favorite player in the entire class.

8. Atlanta Falcons: Vic Beasley, OLB, Clemson

Beasley had an outstanding combine, both testing well and measuring bigger than most people expected. Atlanta's clear biggest need is a pass rusher, and Beasley fits the bill.

There were some concerns about Beasley's weight and how that would play at the next level, but he reported to Indianapolis with ten extra pounds and proceeded to showcase his supreme athleticism in drills. Beasley ran a blazing 4.53 40 yard dash, 41" vertical jump and 10'10" broad jump, which were all among the top marks for combine participants in the front seven. His athleticism was never really in doubt, but he put a stamp on it and likely allayed some concerns about his size, so he's a lock to go in the top ten.

In some ways Beasley's an ideal 3-4 outside linebacker, but the Falcons can use him effectively in a 4-3 as a stand up pass rusher. If he can add a little more weight without sacrificing his speed, Beasley could also line up at end at times, but ultimately his position matters less than his raw skill set, which is one of the most intriguing in this class. Given the Falcons' tremendous need for a pass rusher, Beasley could and should be on the table if he's available at #8 in the first round.

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