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NFL’s Daniel Jeremiah mocks familiar name to Atlanta in third edition

Right now, Taven Bryan’s got to be the favorite.

NCAA Football: Florida State at Florida Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

So, NFL draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah (one of the best in the biz) has published his third mock draft, and his pick for the Atlanta Falcons rings true to what many have been projecting for some time.

Jeremiah mocks Florida DT Taven Bryan to the team at pick 26, though he’s uncertain if Bryan will last that long.

Bryan is ultra-twitched up and he’s exactly what the Falcons are looking for in their defense. There’s a chance he could go much earlier than this spot, but if he’s still on the board, I can’t see the Falcons going in another direction.

Again, Bryan really *is* the quintessential Falcons draft target. He’s got the athleticism the team can mold, the intangibles that grow even stronger in Atlanta’s culture and fits the one glaring need on the team’s roster. He feels like the odds-on favorite right now.

The big question is if Jeremiah’s hunch that Bryan won’t be there at 26 prompts the team to move up the draft board and get their guy. The price to do so would be a bit nauseating, as they’d assuredly part ways with their third rounder, and maybe even their fourth if the team they’re negotiating with wants to play hardball. The team gave up a third and a sixth in 2013 to pop up eight spots to take CB Desmond Trufant (which would up paying off in dividends).

Hypothetically, Baltimore at 16 and Seattle at 18 are the targets they’d want to hit, and a third and sixth being swapped again doesn’t sound that bad if Bryan hits the ceiling many think he can. He may need some time, but with Grady Jarrett in tow, the Falcons won’t have to rely on Bryan to be a star defensive tackle right away.

Trading up for Bryan isn’t the most fun scenario to imagine, but it might be the most likely if this is really who Atlanta wants. They’ve done a lot of work with mid-range defensive tackles, so perhaps they’re happy with any number of guys to replace Dontari Poe. But, if they plan to double-dip, look for a DT like Bryan to be in strong consideration.

Jeremiah’s said before that Bryan could be in Atlanta’s “sweet spot” at 26, and if he’s there, he just might be the guy we see sport the Falcons cap next Thursday.

For NFC South purposes, we see Jeremiah mock G Quenton Nelson to the Bucs at 7, CB Mike Hughes to the Panthers at 24, and TE Dallas Goedert to the Saints at 27.

Nelson to Tampa Bay would be nightmarish, and their best offensive line acquisition in ages, Hughes would pair with James Bradberry to give Carolina a young, formidable corner duo and Goedert has the potential to be a headache for opposing defenses in New Orleans’ scheme. Let’s hope it doesn’t shake out like this for the conference challengers.

We’re inching closer and closer to draft night, and we’ll know soon enough if all the smoke around Bryan and the Falcons produces fire.