As we’ve mentioned, the Falcons have a long list of free agents to consider after the Super Bowl is over, and while there aren’t a ton of huge names on said list, they’re going to need to keep adding talent.
The Falcons are, of course, well-represented at the Senior Bowl this week. While we’re not going to get overly invested in tracking potential draft prospects until after the Falcons finish beating the Patriots, there are a couple of names who have been linked to the team already, and it’s worth mentioning both of them.
The first is BYU running back Jamaal Williams, who rushed for 1,375 yards and 12 touchdowns this year with a combination of what scouts call very good lateral agility and better power than you’d anticipate for a 211 pound back. Williams is a potential mid-to-late round draft pick in this class, and if the Falcons did pick him up, he’d likely replace Terron Ward as the team’s third back initially. Devonta Freeman’s contract is up after the 2017 season and Tevin Coleman will be a free agent after the 2018 season, though, so Williams could also serve as the team’s principal backup if one of those guys leaves. Let’s not think too hard about that right now, though.
The second player who met with the Falcons is UCLA tackle Conor McDermott. The 6’8”, 305 pound prospect had a productive career in college and draws praise for his pass protection, in particular. The Falcons have been relying on stopgap swing tackle options for a couple of years now, and McDermott would give them a strong young backup with the possible upside to start if the team deals with injury or winds up eventually moving on from Jake Matthews or Ryan Schraeder (though that seems like a real longshot). As of today, I’d guess McDermott will wind up going between the 3rd and 5th rounds, but that’s a very early guess.
You’ll start hearing more names as the week goes on, and the NFL Scouting Combine will give us a very long list to monitor. Do keep an eye on Williams and McDermott, because the Falcons haven’t been shy about pulling the trigger on players they liked at the Senior Bowl in the past.
Look for Charles McDonald to deliver his observations and analysis of Senior Bowl practices a little later this morning, with a focus on the kinds of players the Falcons might be chasing.