When you have a chance to grab the third best corner and fourth defensive back in the 2020 draft, you do it, per Todd McShay’s first NFL mock draft. It is a big drop off for the Falcons, who flirted briefly with a top pick and potentially Chase Young, only to win a bunch of games in thrilling and memorable fashion.
This isn’t about the season, you fools! The point is the offseason!
Now that we are back in mock draft seasons, fans can again see the analysts juggle the same small handful of positions the Falcons have been unable to fix for the last decade. This time, it is corner. We will probably see some defensive tackles and defensive ends thrown into the mix, and probably a rare running back, linebacker, and safety with that first-round pick.
For reference, Chase Young goes 2nd overall to the New York Giants. Other corners, including Jeff Okudah, Paulson Adebo, are gone by the time the Falcons pick at 13. Derrick Brown takes a surprising fall all the way to 9, just out of Atlanta’s reach.
With pick 13, McShay has the Falcons taking CJ Henderson from Florida.
It’s too early to reach for an edge rusher -- this isn’t a deep class of first-round pass-rushers -- so let’s check off another box: cornerback. Henderson’s speed makes him a strong man-coverage defender, and he would be welcomed into a defense that allows 253.7 passing yards per game.
If the Falcons do go corner, it is likely a move for the future. The team cannot realistically cut Desmond Trufant in 2020, and based on his play, definitely should keep him. Isaiah Oliver was awful early in 2019 but bounced back into a real asset. Kendall Sheffield has also been solid starting in Trufant’s absence. The Falcons could certainly improve depth, but the first round feels very early for depth.
Needs should change a bit after free agency, but the Falcons should realistically be looking at defensive line, linebacker, or safety early in the draft. The team could go best player available and take a top running back like D’Andre Swift, finally appeasing UGA fans.
Would you be happy with a corner with the team’s first pick?