The names that have been thrown around most frequently when it comes to the #8 pick in the NFL Draft are as follows, and in no particular order: Vic Beasley, Dante Fowler Jr., Randy Gregory, Shane Ray and Bud Dupree. The Falcons have now either hosted or will soon host all of those guys for visits.
The #Falcons are looking into some top-level pass-rushers today: #Clemson’s Vic Beasley & #Kentucky’s Bud Dupree are both visiting.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) April 9, 2015
Speaking of #Falcons, who have 2 edge rushers in today, they did a private workout with Randy Gregory days after his drug test news broke— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) April 9, 2015
This is news only in the sense that it hadn't actually happened, but it was a fait accompli that these players would come to Flowery Branch. The Falcons want to ensure they get one of the top edge rushers in the draft, if one's available, and they're ensuring they get facetime with each one in case they win up in Atlanta on draft day.
I find the Gregory news particularly interesting, because there was some speculation his drug testing snafu would doom him with the Falcons. I don't think that's the case—he's currently the guy I think will wind up in Atlanta at #8—but it's nice to see the Falcons didn't dismiss him out of hand, the way they might have done in years past. This need has gone unaddressed for too long, and all signs thus far have pointed to the Falcons finally doing something about that need.
Fully expect anywhere from one-to-four of these players to be off the board by the time the Falcons pick, but I expect they'll walk away with someone they genuinely like nonetheless.