Let me just reiterate what Dave has already said so eloquently. It's unlikely that the Falcons will select UGA standout running back Todd Gurley with the eighth overall pick.
After D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal Constitution mocked Gurley to the Falcons with the eighth overall pick this morning, it seemed like a good time to remind everyone, particularly those who are enamored with the idea, that it's exceedingly unlikely. It may be wise to emotionally prepare yourselves accordingly.
To be fair, there is solid reasoning behind Ledbetter's selection here. He points out that drafting the best player available in the first round as opposed to drafting for need may be a more sound choice, particularly given how things went when the Falcons drafted Jamaal Anderson to fill a need in 2007 as opposed to drafting Marshawn Lynch, Patrick Willis, or Darrelle Revis, all of whom were available. Ledbetter says that in his mock draft scenario, the best player available on the board when the eighth pick rolled around was Todd Gurley, and that opting for Gurley as opposed to a pass rusher of lesser talent was the smart move.
And Gurley's talent is unmistakably extraordinary. Ledbetter quotes Gil Brandt, who believes Gurley could be the next Adrian Peterson.
I think that they are both about the same speed. I think Gurley is better coming into the league as a pass receiver and a pass protector than Peterson was when he came in as the No. 7 pick in the draft.
But Gurley's likely to miss several games of the 2015 NFL season as he continues to recover from an ACL tear he suffered last year, and that's a factor. Also, while there is sound logic behind the concept of drafting the best player available as opposed to reaching on a position of need, there are enough quality edge rushers in this draft that selecting one with the eighth overall pick shouldn't be a reach. The Falcons absolutely must address the pass rush, and they must address it in a way that will have a positive impact on the field this year. Their best chance to do that starts with the eighth overall pick.
Georgia fans, I know you love Todd Gurley. He's a very special player. He may well be the best running back to enter the NFL since Adrian Peterson. But running back is not Atlanta's greatest need, and the Falcons are not going to draft him with the eighth overall pick, no matter how many mock drafts suggest otherwise.
What do you think the Falcons will do with the eighth overall pick?