Believe it or not, we’re edging closer to draft season. The Falcons are going to be extremely active with their nine selections, so it’ll be worth keeping a keen eye out for who they’re keeping a keen eye on.
The standard caveats apply here: The Falcons having interest in a prospect does not mean they’ll be selected, as they only took two or so of the guys on a similar list a year ago (Isaiah Oliver, Foye Oluokun). That means if you love or hate a player on this list, you needn’t necessarily be overjoyed or panicked just yet.
Between our list and the always reliable Aaron Freeman’s at FalcFans, you should be well-covered for prospect visits and interest the rest of the way. I’ll add in analysis as interesting names are revealed.
Quick primer on format: We’ll have position, name, college, and where the Falcons reportedly checked them out, linked with the source.
QB Jordan Ta’amu, Ole Miss (Senior Bowl)
QB Easton Stick, North Dakota State (East-West Shrine Game)
RB Clinton Lynch, Georgia Tech (Local Pro Day)
RB Keion Davis, Marshall (Local Pro Day)
WR Jesper Horstead, Princeton (East-West Shrine Game)
WR David Sills, West Virginia (Senior Bowl)
WR Cody Thompson, Toledo (East-West Shrine Game)
WR KeeSean Johnson, Fresno State (East-West Shrine Game)
WR Terry Godwin, Georgia (East-West Shrine Game)
WR Kelvin Harmon, North Carolina State (Combine)
WR Trey Lansman, Nebraska (Meeting/Workout)
WR Darius Slayton, Auburn (Local Pro Day)
WR Shannon Smith, West Georgia (Local Pro Day)
WR Justin Sumpter, Kennesaw St. (Local Pro Day)
TE Kano Dillon, Oregon (East-West Shrine Game)
TE Matt Sokol, Michigan State (East-West Shrine Game)
TE Isaac Nauta, Georgia (Combine)
OT Martez Ivey, Florida (East-West Shrine Game)
OT Trey Pipkins, Sioux Falls (East-West Shrine Game)
OT Ryan Pope, San Diego State (East-West Shrine Game)
OT Brian Wallace, Arkansas (East-West Shrine Game)
OT Andre Dillard, Washington (Combine)
OT Micah Hyatt, Clemson (Combine, informal meeting)
OT Cody Ford, Oklahoma (Combine)
OT Caleb McGary, Washington (Meeting/Workout)
OG Josh Miles, Morgan State (East-West Shrine Game)
OG Ross Pierschbacher, Alabama (Combine)
C Nick Allegretti, Illinois (East-West Shrine Game)
C Lamont Gaillard, Georgia (Combine, uncertain meeting)
DE John Cominsky, Charleston (Senior Bowl)
DE Brian Burns, Florida State (Combine)
DE Clelin Ferrell, Clemson (Combine)
DE L.J. Collier, Texas Christian University (Combine)
DE Chase Winovich, Michigan (Met with team)
DE Maxx Crosby, Eastern Michigan (Met with team, not top 30)
DT Austin Bryant, Clemson (Combine)
DT Dre’mont Jones, Ohio State (Combine)
DT Michael Dogbe, Temple (Meeting/Workout)
DL Rashan Gary, Michigan (Combine)
DL Jonathan Ledbetter, Georgia (Combine)
DL Christian Wilkins, Clemson (Combine, informal)
DL Maxx Crosby, Eastern Michigan (Team Visit)
DL Desmond Branch, Georgia Tech (Local Pro Day)
LB De’Andre Walker, Georgia (Combine)
LB Deonte Roberts, Rutgers (Meeting/Workout)
LB Darius Harris, MTSU (Team Visit)
LB Bryson Allen-Williams, South Carolina (Local Pro Day)
S Parker Baldwin, San Diego State University (Meeting/Workout)
S Davanta Reynolds, North Carolina Central (Local Pro Day)
S Ridwan Issahaku, TCU (Local Pro Day)
CB Jimmy Moreland, James Madison (East-West Shrine Game)
CB Isaiah Johnson, Houston (Workout)
CB Joejuan Williams, Vanderbilt (Team Visit)
CB Justin Layne, Michigan State (Team Visit)
CB Ken Webster, Mississippi (Local Pro Day)
P Tyler Newsome, Notre Dame (Workout)
P Ian Berryman, Western Carolina (Local Pro Day)
Names to Watch
- OT Tytus Howard, Alabama State: Genuinely impressive at the Senior Bowl, Howard is a surprisingly nimble big man who just happens to play tackle, a position where the Falcons have a genuine long-term need. Drafting Howard to develop for a year or two while Ty Sambrailo holds down the position in the short-term would be a very smart play.
- C Nick Allegretti, Illinois: He fits the profile from the community involvement standpoint, as he was extremely active in helping out local organizations in college, and offers solid athleticism, movement and production as a mainstay on Illinois’s line. He’d go late or as a priority undrafted free agent, more than likely, but he’s a name to file away.
- WR David Sills, West Virginia: Sills enjoyed an absurdly productive college career, putting up back-to-back years of 60ish receptions, 980ish yards, and 18 and 15 touchdowns in his final two seasons. He’s big and pretty fast, and the Falcons could consider him in the mid-to-late rounds to fill the hole left by Justin Hardy, who is expected to reach free agency.
- CB Jimmy Moreland, James Madison: Moreland is a ballhawk, pure and simple, with terrific speed and instincts. He had 18 picks in college and returned six for touchdowns, and as a developmental fourth or fifth cornerback for this football team, he’d be a fun selection.
- CB Joejuan Williams, Vanderbilt: Williams offers physicality, a comfort level with pressure coverage, and the kind of length that comes with being 6’3” and over 200 pounds. He tackles well, he’s glue against all but the shiftiest receivers, and plays the ball well, but he’s also a bit penalty-prone and plays too often with his back to the ball. If he could iron some of those issues out, Williams is a compelling long-term starter with Dan Quinn’s ideal size.
The problem, as it stands, is that Desmond Trufant and Isaiah Oliver also profile to play best outside, meaning Williams isn’t an ideal fit with the current roster.