Dwelling on this loss is inevitable and fair, but at some point those of us who still have the stomach for the Atlanta Falcons are going to have to start thinking about where this team goes from here. In that spirit, we’re on to the draft.
SB Nation’s Dan Kadar delivered his first post-Super Bowl mock, with the Falcons (obviously) selecting 31st. The haul here focuses on the trenches, which is inarguably where the Falcons will need the most help heading into 2017. On that basis alone, we like it.
Here’s a look at who Kadar selected for Atlanta.
31. Atlanta Falcons: Dan Feeney, G, Indiana
The Falcons need a defensive lineman who can create pressure up the middle, but getting better at right guard is also a priority. Feeney is the draft’s best pure guard prospect and could slot into the starting lineup immediately.
63. Atlanta Falcons: Chris Wormley, DT, Michigan
95. Atlanta Falcons: Tanoh Kpassagnon, DE, Villanova
To get a good sense of this potential haul, I turned to Falcoholic draft expert Charles McDonald. Spoiler: He (mostly) liked it, and everything that follows this point is his take.
I got a chance to see Feeney in person at the Senior Bowl practices this year and he was very impressive. He has the quickness and lateral ability movement to thrive in Atlanta's zone blocking scheme. Feeney is stout in pass protection and has the nasty demeanor that Dan Quinn, Thomas Dimitroff, and Scott Pioli are looking for in potential draft picks. Jake Matthews, Andy Levitre, Alex Mack, Dan Feeney, and Ryan Schraeder would automatically be a top three offensive line unit in the league.
The Falcons could use some more bodies on the defensive line. Wormley was also in attendance at the Senior Bowl and he had a solid week. With the way Atlanta likes to deploy stunts and twists, versatile defensive linemen are always going to be needed. Wormley played effectively all over the line at Michigan. His teammate Taco Charlton is getting more hype right now, but Wormley is still a good pro prospect in his own right.
Another Senior Bowl player! Kpassagnon had a mixed week down in Mobile. He was misused in Villanova's defense as a two gapper on the edge and it seemed like he was still adjusting to a one gap role during the Senior Bowl practices. He did show some nice quickness for a bigger player (6'7", 290) and a repertoire of pass rush moves. He's a guy whose stock my hinge on his combine performance since he's coming from a smaller school.
I give this draft a solid B+