The Falcons have work to do along their defensive front this off-season. That’s something we’ve been saying for the past [checks the calendar, carries the 3, makes confused face] ... decade, give or take a year. And I imagine you’re sick of hearing it, because I sure am. If that’s the case, then you’re going to love Mel Kiper’s latest mock draft. (The full mock is behind a paywall and I encourage you to check it out, if you subscribe.)
With the 14th pick in this April’s NFL Draft, Kiper has the Falcons swooping up talented Houston defensive tackle Ed Oliver. Here’s Kiper’s rationale:
If Grady Jarrett’s price tag in free agency proves too much for the Falcons, Oliver is the perfect replacement as an interior game-wrecker. His tape was picked apart this season, and he was better in 2017, but he can dominate a game when he’s playing at his best. He needs to keep developing as a pass-rusher, however. Oliver is only 21, and he has a high ceiling.
I have mixed emotions about Kiper’s logic here. I’d like to think the Falcons won’t be foolish enough to let Jarrett get away in free agency. I’d like to think he’s a financial priority for them. And I’d like to think they would consider taking a guy like Oliver, even if they re-sign Jarrett.
Oliver falling to the Falcons at 14 would be a miracle. He was at one time projected as the number one overall pick by some pundits. Interestingly Pro Football Focus made an identical projection (Oliver to the Falcons at 14) earlier this week.
In Oliver the Falcons would get proven, dynamic football player that is frequently compared to Aaron Donald. Oliver regularly made teams look stupid as they tried to double and triple team him this year. He played consistently fantastic football over the past three seasons, notwithstanding the fact that he’s a little undersized.
Your thoughts about this latest mock?