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2016 NFL Draft: The Falcoholic projects the Falcons' first rounder

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Who will it be? We're partial to linebackers.

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The DW

Projected Pick: Reggie Ragland

Ragland has been a bit of lightning rod for fans over the past few months. Many fans are concerned he doesn't have the speed to be a true 3-down linebacker at the next level and I initially shared those sentiments. However, after watching more about Ragland and seeing the Sports science analysis of him, I believe Ragland will put those fears to rest. On the field, Ragland is a physical player with good instincts. He also has the short area quickness you want out of your middle linebacker. Given that the Falcons have visited with him a good bit, I think Ragland is one of their top-5 players at 17. I wouldn't rule out a trade-down either, but that would hinge on finding a trade partner, which may be easier said than done. Either way, the Worrilow haters should rejoice: our middle linebacker issues will soon be fixed.

Caleb Rutherford

Projected Pick: Leonard Floyd

I'm making this pick under the assumption Shaq Lawson is off the board. I think he's the ideal pick, but past him, I think Leonard Floyd is the least of the remaining evils. Ragland is tough, but is he versatile enough for our defense? In my opinion, Floyd brings the most versatility plus the most room to grow. His lack of size now is a little concerning, but his versatility plus his potential give us a multi-way player that can play on 3rd down immediately. Not only that, but Floyd has the size and athleticism to cover tight ends, something Ragland probably can't do and Lee probably doesn't have the size to do. Floyd can also rush off the edge in a pinch and has experience doing so, so he wouldn't have to learn something completely new. I think Floyd's versatility gives him the edge, but I would also expect him to be a Vic Beasley-like project for the 2016 season.

Matt Chambers

Projected Pick: Shaq Lawson

I am coming around to the belief that Dan Quinn wants as many athletic players rushing the passer as possible. This is in stark contrast to Kroy Biermann providing pass rush along with two defensive tackles on third-and-longs. Quinn's mentality is what got him the job, and pass rushers are a premium position he needs to make it work. I think Shaq Lawson would be a great pick, but picking this deep in the draft it is nearly impossible to guess who will be available. Whether it ends up being Lawson, Floyd, Kevin Dodd, or someone else, another pass rush specialist will help this defense take another step forward, and move the team up from the bottom of the league in sacks.

Dave Choate

Projected Pick: Reggie Ragland

Lawson would be my top pick, but I think it's more likely that the Falcons wind up with Ragland, an athletic (yes, ATHLETIC) tone setter at middle linebacker, which is arguably the team's biggest remaining hole. Ragland will be an immediate asset against the run, should be better than what the Falcons have in coverage, and can be a three down player in the NFL. You could talk me into Darron Lee here, as well, but after waffling for a long time, I have the Falcons coming away with arguably the most physical player in the linebacker class.