As you know, draft night is Thursday, and we’re getting closer and closer to seeing what the Falcons are going to do with that 26th pick.
Before we get there, though, let’s get out our flash cards and review which potential first round talents have met or have been linked with the Falcons.
Let’s take a look at the list, and then determine what this collection of names might mean for Thursday’s big show.
- DT Vita Vea, Washington
- DT Da’Ron Payne, Alabama
- DT Taven Bryan, Florida
- DE Harold Landry, Boston College
- DE Marcus Davenport, UTSA
- LB Rashaan Evans, Alabama
- LB Leighton Vander Esch, Boise State
- CB Jaire Alexander, Louisville
- CB Isaiah Oliver, Colorado
- C/G James Daniels, Iowa
- C/G Frank Ragnow, Arkansas
- G Isaiah Wynn, Georgia
- T Mike McGlinchey, Notre Dame
- T Kolton Miller, UCLA
- TE Hayden Hurst, South Carolina
We’ve known the past three years ahead of time that the eventual Falcons first-round pick was in their sights ahead of time, so if history holds, one of these names will hear their name called when the Falcons pick Thursday evening (if they don’t trade back).
Right now, the odds are on Bryan to be the pick, with Payne likely a close second. After that, consider the corners and linebackers lurking in the shadows as potential spoilers. A real surprise would be to see an offensive lineman get picked, or perhaps even one of the pass rushers.
The wild card is Hurst. There’s something enticing about nabbing Matt Ryan a first-round tight end, but also something very risky about it, particularly since Hurst is coming into the league as a 25-year-old rookie. He’d be their highest-taken offensive weapon since Julio Jones.
Now, the disclaimer is that the Falcons could’ve met with a guy we don’t know about, which is possible. Here are a handful of names that haven’t been reported, but that would make sense for Atlanta to have interest in. Note, we won’t list any receivers, since there have been no reports of any first-round receivers doing anything with Atlanta, and plenty of Round 2+ receivers meeting with the team. That seems to be a non-first round point of intrigue.
- DT Maurice Hurst, Michigan
- DE Sam Hubbard, Ohio State
- LB Roquan Smith, Georgia
- CB Josh Jackson, Iowa
- CB Mike Hughes, UCF
- CB Carlton Davis, Auburn
- G Will Hernandez, UTEP
- T Connor Williams, Texas
- TE Mike Gesicki, Penn State
- TE Dallas Goedert, South Dakota State
While we haven’t heard any links between the guys above and Atlanta, they’re well-regarded talents around the draft circle, and could be possible picks. We list Smith just in case he has an unexpected tumble down the board.
This is the most wide-open it’s felt in a while for Atlanta with the first round, and there are some exciting directions the pick could go. If you’re trying to impress your pals at the draft party, consider throwing out names like Bryan, Payne and maybe even Alexander, Oliver, Evans or Vander Esch.
We’re close, folks, so hold on tight. By Thursday night, you’re going to know the new Falcon.