We are deep into Mock Draft Season and the Falcons are a popular destination for linemen. If you’ve seen a mock draft in the last few months, you have seen Ed Oliver sent to the Falcons. After an impressive combine, Oliver is more often not making it all the way 14.
Edge players like Montez Sweat and Brian Burns would seriously help the underperforming duo of Takkarist McKinley and Vic Beasley. The Falcons occasionally end up with an offensive lineman like Cody Ford, but defensive tackle is certainly the sweet spot.
Atlanta continued reworking its offensive line after re-signing right tackle Ty Sambrailo and adding guards Jamon Brown and James Carpenter. That leaves general manager Thomas Dimitroff to turn to the draft to fill some holes on defense. With Oliver gone, Wilkins is the next man up at defensive tackle, but the Falcons sure are giving a lot of attention to teammate Dexter Lawrence.
Christian Wilkins is the smaller Clemson tackle expected to go in the first round. Lawrence, at 351-pounds, could give the team some added size in the middle. However, these large run stuffers seem to end up as Danny Shelton (available now in free agency) more often than Pro Bowlers.
Wilkins offers much more as a pass rusher and more versatility but does not provide elite athleticism. Lawrence is exceptionally fast for a man of his size, reminiscent of Dontari Poe, but it didn’t translate to sacks in his last few seasons. Both Clemson tackles offer different pros and cons and it may come down to what Quinn wants to add to the defense.
Kadar has the Falcons in need of a defensive tackle, cornerback, and tight end. This mock was probably written before the Falcons signed Luke Stocker and brought back Logan Paulsen, but the Falcons could certainly use another pass-catching option. With cap issues expected it might make sense to find an eventual Austin Hooper replacement. The Falcons will certainly add a developmental corner in the draft to take the CB4 spot, and preferably replace an expensive Desmond Trufant in a few seasons.