Mike Mayock has released his first positional rankings of this draft season, listing his top five players at each position. The Falcons have a lot of needs on both sides of the ball, and there may be some players in this list that the team will be targeting on draft day.
There are some interesting tight end prospects on the list. Given the role of the tight end in Kyle Shanahan's offense, it's reasonable to expect that Atlanta may target one of these players. Guys who stand out are Ohio State's Nick Vannett, who has a prototypical NFL tight end body, decent receiving ability and the size to block effectively at the next level, as well as Jerrell Adams out of South Carolina, who needs some development but has good potential as a playmaker and run blocker.
The Falcons most certainly need a center, and while they may pursue a veteran in free agency, there are also some options in the draft they may consider. Nick Martin, the younger brother of Dallas Cowboys tackle Zack Martin, stands out for his nastiness, but may lack the athleticism for the zone blocking scheme Atlanta runs. USC's Max Tuerk may fall in the draft due to an injury he suffered last season, but he was widely considered to be the top center prospect prior to the injury.
Atlanta still needs someone to rush the passer opposite Vic Beasley, and they could choose to bring in his former Clemson teammate, Shaq Lawson, to come off the other edge. Lawson's a projected first rounder, and he's ranked third on Mayock's list behind Ohio State's Joey Bosa and Eastern Kentucky's Noah Spence, who is also a former Buckeye.
Linebacker is another position the Falcons need to shore up, and Darron Lee out of Ohio State is a great option. Lee started his college career as a safety, and he's very athletic and versatile. He can cover and rush the passer. Myles Jack out of UCLA and Reggie Ragland from Bama are also guys the team may consider if they want to address the linebacker position with the 17th-overall pick.
With the recent decision to part ways with veteran strong safety William Moore, the Falcons may choose to draft a replacement, and Vonn Bell out of Ohio State is a solid option. Bell is a projected second rounder, and Mayock has him ranked second at the safety position. Bell has good size, he's solid against the run, and he has good instincts in coverage.
You can check out Mayock's entire list at NFL.com. Which prospects stand out to you for the Falcons?