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Mel Kiper's 1st 2016 NFL mock draft has Falcons taking Clemson DE Kevin Dodd

ESPN's draft analyst released his first mock draft for the year. Which fast and physical player should Atlanta take?

Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

The release of Mel Kiper's first mock draft of the year signifies the start of draft season. Optimism is high. Your team is just a few pieces away, and with a solid draft, will probably win a couple of Super Bowls.

Another thing that happens just about every year is mock drafts linked the Atlanta Falcons to the top pass rushers. And as is tradition, the Falcons ignore pass rushers entirely until late in the draft.

What a time to be alive.

Mel Kiper is looking to turn the Falcons into Clemson's pro team, slotting Kevin Dodd to Atlanta. For those interested, Myles Jack went 10th overall to the New York Giants.

Shaq Lawson led the nation in tackles for loss, but Dodd was right there with him, No. 2 in the nation, and a constant presence in the backfield. The Falcons added pass-rush help with Vic Beasley last year, but is Beasley an every-down player? At 275 points, Dodd has the frame to hold up against the run and should help a D-line that lacks depth.

Dodd has impressive size, and certainly has what Quinn looks for in a player.

Dodd had 23.5 tackles for a loss and 12 sacks this last season, and was particularly impressive against Alabama's talented offensive line in the CFP Championship game. He would be a nice addition to Atlanta's weak defensive end depth, and help improve the team's middling defense.