Day 2 of the 2016 NFL draft is in the books, and it appears to be a pretty solid one for the Falcons. The team stood their ground and landed speedy linebacker Deion Jones in the 2nd round, after trading down two spots and picking up a 6th round pick for the move. The team also picked up tight end Austin Hooper in the third round. Given Arthur Blank's statement that he expects the team to find 3 to 4 starters in this draft class, how do these players impact the depth chart? Let's take a look.
Within Dan Quinn's defense, Jones projects to be a weakside linebacker. While he has the speed to drop into coverage effectively against tight ends and running backs, Jones size is a bit smaller than what you'd normally expect out of an NFL linebacker, but he's well built and plays with a lot of physicality.
Will Jones be a day one starter? It's possible, especially given that he's in competition with Philip Wheeler and Sean Weatherspoon. As it stands right now, I'd still pencil-in Wheeler as the starter, but Jones will be given every opportunity to steal away the starting position. At the very least, I'd expect he'll take a significant number of snaps as the season progresses.
Predicted depth chart at WLB: Deion Jones / Philip Wheeler / Sean Weatherspoon
The Falcons newest tight end has the potential to come in and contribute immediately. At Stanford, Hooper was a capable blocker - both inline and downfield - and he showed excellent hands-catching, though he was prone to drops as well. He's not the greatest route runner, but he can fight through traffic and does a good job of high-pointing the ball. With a little more development, Hooper has the potential to develop into the complete package.
For now though, veteran TE Jacob Tamme will likely retain the starting position - especially given his familiarity with the offense. Hooper will get plenty of opportunities this year and could even surpass Levine Toilolo on the depth chart. This kid has a ton of upside - let's hope he can deliver on it.
Predicted depth chart at TE: Jacob Tamme / Austin Hooper / Levine Toilolo
What do you think of these picks and their impact on the depth chart?