We only get two rounds in the annual SB Nation writers' mock draft through Mocking The Draft, so I hope to make them count. By landing Clemson defensive end Shaq Lawson in the first round and then turning my attention to one of the draft's best young safeties, I think I've improved the Falcons in this deeply hypothetical world.
Neal is a physical presence with terrific athleticism and quality coverage ability out of the box, and he should slide in as an immediate starter for Dan Quinn's defense, and I think once he irons out a few issues with being too aggressive, he'll be great for Atlanta. You could have made a strong case for a linebacker or tight end here, given that it remains a colossal need, but I think Neal's one of the best players left, and he fills a major need. Done and done.
Here's what Mocking The Draft editor Dan Kadar had to say about my pick:
Analysis: The run on safeties in the second round continues. Four of our last eight picks have come at the position, which brings up a bit of an issue with this choice. Do you select the fourth safety over the top tight end, Hunter Henry? My nod with this pick probably would have been Henry, but Neal does complete the starting secondary.
Here's my past mock picks, in case you forgot.
2015: DE Randy Gregory | CB/S Eric Rowe
2014: LB Khalil Mack | T Morgan Moses
2013: DE Tank Carradine | CB David Amerson
2012: RB David Wilson
2011: DE/LB Justin Houston | T Marcus Gilbert
2010: LB Sean Weatherspoon
2009: ILB James Laurinitis | S Michael Hamlin
2008: T Jake Long | QB Joe Flacco | DT Kentwan Balmer | CB Tracy Porter | RB Tony Hunt