Mock draft season is nearly over, because the season is nearly here. It is time to rejoice!
Anyone who doesn’t have a defensive end with some pass rushing chops or a guard going to Atlanta is an outlier, at this point. I’ve said for a while now that safety at #31 would be a major surprise to me, and while the Falcons like to throw the occasional curveball, their needs and what’s likely to be available line up so that they’ll likely stick with the lines. As is the case every year, however, we can’t know for sure what this team is up to.
Here’s a sampling of some of the most recent, relevant mocks from around the Interwebz.
Mel Kiper: Taco Charlton, DE, Michigan (or DeMarcus Walker, DE, Florida State)
The NFL Draft is 8 days away & @MelKiperESPN released his 3-round mock draft... here’s what he thinks the Falcons will do: pic.twitter.com/JMn5UZSXo7— Kelsey Conway (@FalconsKelsey) April 19, 2017
Todd McShay, ESPN: Taco Charlton, DE, Michigan
D. Orlando Ledbetter, AJC: Carl Lawson, DE, Auburn
Adam Stites, SB Nation: Forrest Lamp, G, Western Kentucky
Matt Miller, Bleacher Report: Malik McDowell, DT, Michigan
Mike Chiari, Bleacher Report: Budda Baker, S, Washington
R.J. White, CBS Sports: Tyus Bowser, LB/DE, Houston
Eric Robinson, The Falcoholic: Derek Rivers, DE, Youngstown State
Kevin Knight, The Falcoholic: Forrest Lamp, G, Western Kentucky
Me: Derek Rivers, DE, Youngstown State
The range of players here is predictably wide—Tyus Bowser is a truly new name for the first round, but an intriguing one—but the positions are significantly less surprising. Most analysts think we’ll wind up seeing the Falcons take a pass rusher in the first round, a handful think a gifted guard like Lamp, and then you have a safety or two sneaking in here. If it’s not one of those three needs, I’ll frankly be stunned.
My money’s on Rivers or Willis if they stay put at #31, but then, I suppose the Falcons haven’t been in the habit of rewarding our best guesses. Who is your favorite mock choice?