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!
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
- Defensive Tackle
- Tight End
Full Falcons Draft Coverage
How would you grade the Falcons’ selection of Duke Riley?
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