It's time for this week's mailbag, and our readers submitted a lot of good and important Falcons questions.
Reader rayice1319 asks, "Jeanna, who would you pick at 17?"
This is easy. I would pick Darron Lee, linebacker out of The Ohio State University.
Vebrand asks, "We know Soliai was designated a June 1st cut but who do you think the second person will be? Any other names you think will be cut?"
I do think if they decide to designate anyone else as a post-June 1st cut, it'll be Tyson Jackson.
SaltyFalconFan asks, "Who do you think has the most potential to be a star outside of round one?"
I get into this in the Storify Q&A below, but I'm really not a draft analyst. I would rather be honest about that than try to make up an answer here, truthfully.
Reader jstrauss01 asks, "With all the linebackers being added lately, do we still take a linebacker like Lee in the first or go strong side end?"
Then jstrauss01 implored me to answer fairly with no Ohio State favoritism, so I will. I still think Lee could very well be the first round target. They've added some stopgap pieces at the position, but the talent at that position group still isn't where it needs to be, and Quinn's going to want to build his defense through the draft. Lee is a great fit, in terms of speed, for what Quinn wants to do defensively.
Rayice1319 chimed in with another question, asking, "Do we resign Schraeder to a long term deal?"
I think they'd be crazy to not at least try to do so. Schraeder has played very well and shouldn't be terribly expensive.
MRFLAMBOYANT asks, "With the new signings at the LB spot...Do you think the Falcons would take a chance at a DT 1 round..and would you consider a DT like Robert Nkemdiche regardless of off field issues?"
My bigger concerns with Nkemdiche are honestly the on-field ones. His inconsistent production gives me pause, especially in a draft class that is so rich at the defensive tackle position.
Caviarhound asks, "Which pro day or prospect meeting the Falcons have engaged with do you find the most surprising?"
So the answer is Florida's Keanu Neal, and it's not because engaging with the prospect is particularly surprising. Quinn recruited Neal to Florida when he was the defensive coordinator, and Neal fits Quinn's ideal at the position. I'm more surprised by how disparate analysts' opinions on Neal are. Some people think he's a first-round talent, and others see him as more sixth or seventh-round caliber talent.
Don Emery asks, "When it comes to drafting personnel for the defense, please tell us Dan Quinn has final say on who to pick. I know he will look at hours on hours of film and I trust him."
Well, it's a collaborative process. Thomas Dimitroff has final say on who the team will draft, but Quinn's input is taken seriously, and if Quinn does not want to draft a player, Dimitroff said he will pass.
Don Emery also asks, "Has there been any sessions on adjusting to the new chop block rule? And what's your thoughts on the 25 yard line touchback?"
Teams aren't allowed to work with players at all until OTAs begin, so no, they haven't started working on anything like that. Changing the line of scrimmage after a touchback on a kickoff to the 25-yard line does have the potential to prevent injuries, so I'm not mad about it or anything.
Swampymux12 asks, "Wondering if there's been any market for Roddy or Willy Mo? If there's no market for Roddy, does it absolve Shanny of his sins?"
I haven't heard anything, but I haven't been paying particular attention, I will admit. I think the only thing that's going to make the fan base feel better about Shanahan is an improved offensive performance this season.
JG_Roy asks, "NFL owners/coaches met earlier this week and made several rule changes. If you could what rule would you change?"
Hotlanta8411 asks, "If you were the Falcons head coach in the draft room... Who would be your first three picks in the draft?"
Darron Lee, strong safety Vonn Bell out of The Ohio State University, and tight end Nick Vannett out of The Ohio State University. (Eventually you guys are going to get tired of this and stop asking me so many draft questions, I hope.)
Reader tenaciousD.. asks, "Do you think we have any interest in Karl Joseph from West Virginia??? Or Javon Kearse from Clemson??? Or a safety period in the draft?"
I don't know about those prospects in particular, but I am sure the Falcons are evaluating safeties in the draft.
SwedishFalcon had a couple of questions. "With both Reed and Upshaw at SLB (probably), where will Tyler Starr fit in? Could he be rotational LEO behind Beasley if we don't draft another smallish DE?"
I think that's exactly where Starr would fit in. I think that's the best guess.
SwedishFalcon also asks, "How much faith does the team have in Mbu? If he takes a step or two forward and get some of Soliai's snaps, I think we could have a good DT rotation."
Yeah, I think the team likes what Mbu brings to the table. He was one of their Plan D developmental guys last year, and his progress was rewarded with a 53-man roster spot. We'll see what he does in camp and the preseason, but I think their confidence in Mbu was a factor in parting ways with Soliai.