It’s mock draft season all over the NFL media pond, though these things grow to be a bit repetitive as time goes on.
The Atlanta Falcons have been consistently linked to Houston DT Ed Oliver or Clemson DT Christian Wilkins when these things come out, though Good Morning Football’s Peter Schrager has found a different avenue for the team to take.
Schrager, who has his ear to the ground during this process and partly uses that in his mocks, has the Falcons taking Alabama offensive lineman Jonah Williams at 14.
The Falcons’ roster was ravaged by injuries a season ago, and they still put up big offensive numbers. GM Thomas Dimitroff has gone to the Alabama well before and struck gold with receivers Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley. In Williams, the Falcons are getting a gamer who can play tackle (though he does not have the ideal build for it) or guard.
Williams would automatically start at right tackle for the team if this move is made, barring a disappointment. With the money invested in Jamon Brown and James Carpenter, guard looks to be locked up and right tackle the only spot on the offensive line with any leeway for a new competitor.
He’d very much be flexible to play guard at some point down the road, and some feel that’s his natural NFL position. In Atlanta, he’d be a hoped-for bookend to pair with Jake Matthews and give the team stability once more at the tackle position.
Our draft expert Kevin Knight got a look at Williams around the combine and offered these thoughts.
The top offensive lineman in the 2019 draft class, Alabama’s Jonah Williams does it all—and does it well. He’s an elite technician that uses his superior understanding of leverage and excellent hand usage to defeat opponents that are bigger and stronger than he is. Which is good, because although Williams isn’t small by any means, he lacks ideal length for an NFL OT. Williams also possesses very good athletic ability and strength, making him a well-rounded player in both the run and pass game.
It goes without saying that I think Williams will be the first offensive lineman off the board, and he has very little chance of making it to pick 14. If he does wind up there, it will likely be because some teams view him as a guard only. Williams best fit is probably at LT, which wouldn’t necessarily make him an ideal selection for the Falcons. However, I have no doubt that he could transition to RT in time—it just may take Williams a season or two to fully grow into the position.
Shrager’s mock is a fascinating read, with guys we’d expect going a little later going much earlier, and vice versa. There are even a few names in there that’ll make you do a double-take as first-round selections. That’s the fun of an assembly such as this, and it’s worth getting his fuller picture of how things might shake out in April.
For now, it’s very possible Williams is the pick in 2019, and it’d give you hope this offense is as complete as it has been in years on paper. The defensive would still need major reinforcements in the latter rounds, but the team has struck gold on mid-round picks on that side of the ball before.
We’ve still got plenty of mock drafts to sort through before the big day, so continue to follow along to see what other ideas are out there for Pick 14.