The Atlanta Falcons have now added three players over the first two days of the 2016 NFL Draft. Following a trade with the Houston Texans last night, they now have three more picks: one in the fourth round, one in the 6th round, and one in the 7th round. But let's take a minute to appreciate the new additions. Below are my grades for the Falcons' second and third round picks.
Deion Jones: B+
Jones is an absolute burner, turning in a 4.38 40 yard dash time at the LSU Pro Day. Like the Falcons' first round pick, Keanu Neal, some will argue this was a reach pick. If it was a reach, it wasn't much of one, because Jones projected as a second or third round pick. He's a New Orleans native who played his college ball at LSU and whose father is a rabid Saints fan. (Just watching the Saints fans freak out on Twitter made this pick a solid one.) Ironically he was apparently named after Deion Sanders. This Deion is going to fly all over the field under Dan Quinn's tutelage. He profiles as a true hybrid and Quinn's influence was obvious when the Falcons picked him. I like this pick and I admire the Falcons for taking their guy.
Austin Hooper: A-
Hooper is an above-average, willing blocker and receiver. He's the closest thing to a "tight end of the future" the Falcons have had since Tony Gonzalez retired. He's a fearless, versatile, athletic receiver that can put points on the board. Throw another ten pounds on him and he can be even better. Hunter Henry got a lot of attention from Falcons fans leading up to the draft, but Hooper arguably has the same potential and pedigree. His route running and hands will need some work. (His drop rate hovered around 11 percent.) Overall, this was a smart, logical pick.
So what are your thoughts? How would you rate these picks? Discuss!