Todd McShay and Mel Kiper put their immaculately gelled heads together and came up with a fairly intriguing three round mock draft for the Falcons, one we should weigh carefully because we're at the point in the pre-draft process where it becomes very easy to winnow down to only the familiar names you like. This one throws a curveball or two that could actually happen on draft day, so let's take a closer look.
Mel Kiper's pick: Darron Lee, OLB, Ohio State
If Lee lives up to his physical talent, we might wonder at some point why he wasn't among the top 10 picks in this draft. Thing is, it's not like he's raw. He can play early in Atlanta.
50. Atlanta FalconsTodd McShay's pick: Jonathan Bullard, DE, Florida
Bullard makes a ton of effort plays on tape, and he can play both inside and outside along the Falcons' D-line.
81. Atlanta FalconsMel Kiper's pick: Sean Davis, S, Maryland
The Falcons need to get a safety at some point, and I'll get them a pretty good one here. Davis can help soon.
This is an interesting class with a couple of unexpected names, but we'll start with Lee, who everyone knows by now. He's a speedy linebacker with a reputation for brashness and cockiness, and he'd probably immediately be the most effective linebacker in coverage on the team, which admittedly isn't saying much. I'm not in love with Lee as a prospect, but he's got considerable upside, his speed and athleticism are intriguing for a Falcons team that doesn't have much of either in the front seven, and he's been commonly linked to Atlanta, so it's a very defensible pick.
Bullard is a name that has cropped up a handful of times, and he's a very polarizing prospect. Proponents point to his quickness, instincts and effort, while others ding him for getting taken out of the play too often and not maintaining effective pad level, among other concerns. He's got the versatility to move inside at times, has the Florida connection and fills a still-persistent need for a quality pass rusher, though, so this would not be shocking.
Sean Davis, meanwhile, is a completely new name for Atlanta, and one I'm leery of, albeit based solely on scouting reports because I really haven't seen the man play. On the plus side, he's said to be a big hitter who can ballhawk, but on the other side of the ledger, he's got problems in coverage, with wrapup tackling, and with getting called for penalties. If any of those (or all of them) are accurate, the Falcons might want to look elsewhere, even if he's got genuine upside.
What do you think of this haul?