I don’t think many of us necessarily expected Deadrin Senat to be the first (and only) defensive tackle the Atlanta Falcons selected in this draft, but the more I learn about him, the more pleased I am that he wound up here. In his rookie season, chances are good Senat will be the third or fourth man in this defensive tackle rotation, but there’s legitimately starter’s upside here.
To wit: Senat was one of the better stoppers in college football last year for his position, ranking just behind Harrison Phillips and Maurice Hurst. He totaled 37 stops, which is a testament to his skill and ferocity.
In Atlanta, Senat will step into a role right away, albeit a smaller one than anticipated after the team went out and got run stopper Terrell McClain out of free agency. Senat’s immediate impact also figures to be against the run, meaning he’ll be more of an early down option, and that means he’ll likely be fighting for snaps with McClain. Jack Crawford, who is recovering from an injury and has been talked up as a pass rushing option by Dan Quinn, figures to get plenty of snaps on obvious passing downs, leaving Senat to fight for his playing time. He has as much upside in this group as anyone not named Grady Jarrett, though, so I’m hopeful he’ll carve out a major role early on.
However much he winds up playing, and whatever his role may be, Senat should be one of the team’s leading run stoppers on the interior. I’m excited to see whether he becomes more than that, and how soon.