We’re all reasonably certain the Falcons are going to take a defensive tackle in the first round if a quality one is available, which means they are absolutely going to take a wide receiver instead. Still, the sensible thing would be defensive tackle, which is why so many analysts are mocking the position to Atlanta.
The names you tend to see bandied about are Alabama’s Da’Rony Payne, Michigan’s Maurice Hurst, Florida’s Taven Bryan and Washington’s Vita Vea. Dan Kadar, the esteemed draft guru at our own Mocking The Draft, has gone in a different direction in his latest.
New mock draft! A bunch of quarterbacks are the top are pushing the best players in the draft down: https://t.co/BwwL39PQiV— Dan Kadar (@MockingTheDraft) April 2, 2018
The pick is Stanford’s Harrison Phillips, who our own Kevin Knight considers a strong run defender but a work in progress as a pass rusher at best. I would say Phillips would be considered somewhat of a fallback option for the Falcons if many of the other names on the board were gone, though he’s obviously a very good player who may well have his best football in front of him. He’d provide the Falcons with some beef next to Grady Jarrett, if nothing else, and Phillips would be a nice complement to Jack Crawford in 2018, as Crawford is expected to play a larger role on obvious passing downs.
It’s a bit of a unorthodox pick, but I wouldn’t really be surprised with any of the top defensive tackles going at #26, if the Falcons stay there.