Charles Davis dropped an unusual mock draft the other day, and it was unusual chiefly because he didn't mock a pass rusher or offensive lineman to Atlanta with the eighth overall pick. He mocked Todd Gurley there.
This is a problematic pick for any number of reasons, and I was going to just ignore the mock because of how implausible the scenario is. But then the questions started rolling in, and people started taking this mock very seriously, and suddenly there's a fair number of fans who think Gurley at #8 is a realistic possibility. It is not.
Why are people so intrigued by this idea? Four reasons, as I see it:
- Many readers and Falcons fans are also Georgia fans;
- Gurley is clearly the most talented back in this draft class, when healthy;
- The Falcons haven't had a quality running game since Michael Turner was in his prime, and view a good running game as the key to making the offense more dynamic ;
- If the team doesn't take a pass rusher, their direction is (for now, at least) opaque.
I'm not saying the Falcons will shy away from drafting a back, because I fully expect them to grab one sometime after the second round. I am saying that drafting Gurley at #8 is the kind of move a team makes when it feels completely confident in the rest of its roster and needs that one piece, and this team is clearly not in that chair.