The Atlanta Falcons have had a pretty easy to follow offseason. They have made an effort to keep their own players, and there has not been much turnover. The biggest changes have been along the defensive line. DE/DT Adrian Clayborn left for more money with the New England Patriots. DT Dontari Poe left for more money with the Carolina Panthers. DE/DT Derrick Shelby. DE/DT Courtney Upshaw has not been re-signed.
It is pretty clear that they lost a lot along the defensive line. The only other major loss was cutting TE Levine Toilolo. We were not sure what the Falcons were going to do at right guard. They could have another training camp battle with Wes Schweitzer and Ben Garland, or even let former fourth-round pick Sean Harlow compete for the spot. Or they could add someone via the draft or free agency. This question was decisively answered when the Falcons signed the experienced veteran Brandon Fusco to a $12.75 million, three-year deal.
In fact, Kevin Knight just covered this a few days ago.
The Falcons generally keep 8-9 OL on the 53-man roster during the season. In 2017, they did the same, with some shuffling required for injuries. If you count them up, that’s already 13 offensive linemen. Even ignoring the three more developmental guys, the Falcons are already at 10 OL—which is one more than they generally keep on the 53-man roster. Any draft selection would be in direct competition with Schweitzer and Harlow for the final roster spot, with at least one of them being cut during the preseason.
The Falcons hit Garland with a 2nd-round tender, likely paying him nearly $3 million. Fusco is receiving $4.5 million guaranteed this year. Levitre agreed to a pay cut and is guaranteed to start. Atlanta still has Schweitzer and Harlow on cheap rookie salaries.
So, you see where this Albert Breer mock draft pick is heading.
26. Atlanta: Billy Price, C/G, Ohio State. The Falcons need to get better inside, and so they’re willing to taken an injured Price, even if it means they won’t get him until camp. A strong roster without crying needs gives them that flexibility.
Injured, you say? That’s right, Price partially tore his pectoral muscle at the combine. So if you are following along, the Falcons take a player at a position with a long learning curve in the pros, who will be even farther behind because of his injury, to start him over $7.5 million of other guards.
For reference, here is every single defensive lineman still on the roster not on injured reserve.
That is, by my count, only three players. Jack Crawford should be back, but the Falcons obviously need to add at least three to four players even with Vic Beasley moving back to defensive end.
Breer has the Falcons passing over both Taven Bryan from Florida, and Maurice Hurst from Michigan, two stout defensive tackles this team desperately needs. Not even a fun pick like tight end Hayden Hurst. I, quite frankly, am out of words to explain exactly how dumb this pick would be for the Falcons. So I asked resident University of Ohio fan Jeanna Thomas her thoughts on taking the Ohio player.
Yeah he tore his pectoral at the combine. Easily a first round prospect until that happened though. I’d say the second-best interior lineman behind Nelson from ND. I wouldn’t drop a 1st on a dude who just tore his pectoral benching at the combine. Period.
I then informed Jeanna that Price wasn’t Atlanta’s second-round pick, but their 26th overall pick.
lmao I didn’t even consider that you meant Breer had them taking him in the first because that’s dumb
We have been covering mock drafts at the Falcoholic for years, and this is definitely the dumbest one I can remember. I feel personally assaulted by this awful mock draft pick.