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2017 NFL Draft results: Falcons pick Duke Riley in the 3rd round

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The LSU product is the second linebacker from the school to head to Atlanta in two years.

LSU v Arkansas Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

The Atlanta Falcons traded back in the second round, apparently confident they could get their man in the 3rd. That man is apparently Duke Riley, the LSU linebacker the team was linked to shortly before the draft.

Riley fills a need for Atlanta, which has Deion Jones, De’Vondre Campbell, Kemal Ishmael and LaRoy Reynolds, and basically zero other true linebackers on the roster. While I’m a little surprised he was their second pick, they clearly like the guy, and linebacker is a position where you can never have too many quality players.

Riley’s not a player who was on my radar until recently, so it would be unfair of me to try to tell you how good he is. Scouts like his play awareness, coverage skills, and tackling ability, but don’t think he’s a plus athlete and think he’ll likely be limited to weakside linebacker in a 4-3 in the NFL. I’m not sure what this means for De’Vondre Campbell, but at minimum, the team should now be stronger and deeper at linebacker.

Welcome to Atlanta, Duke Riley!

Falcons Selections

Round 1, #31: Takkarist McKinley, DE, UCLA

Round 3, #75: Duke Riley, LB, LSU

Round 4, #135

Round 5, #149

Round 5, #156

Round 5, #175

Round 7, #251

Top Remaining Needs

  1. Safety
  2. Guard
  3. Tackle
  4. Defensive Tackle
  5. Tight End

Full Falcons Draft Coverage

Poll

How would you grade the Falcons’ selection of Duke Riley?

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  • 20%
    A
    (300 votes)
  • 46%
    B
    (674 votes)
  • 26%
    C
    (381 votes)
  • 3%
    D
    (56 votes)
  • 2%
    F
    (40 votes)
1451 votes total Vote Now