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The Falcoholic staff predicts Falcons’ 1st-round NFL Draft pick

The NFL draft is one month away so what better time to guess who the Falcons will draft.

NFL: Super Bowl LIII Exprience Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

So far the Atlanta Falcons have kept their draft plans close to the chest. We know of visits, meetings, and workouts, but otherwise no reports or rumors on who Dan Quinn and Thomas Dimitroff love. Now that we are flying blind, what better time for a first round prediction roundtable with the staff.

Trade up for Ed Oliver

Few things are guaranteed in life. Death. Taxes. And Dimitroff trading up when he has a lot of draft picks. And boy does he have a lot of draft picks. Like Takkarist McKinley, Desmond Trufant, Julio Jones, and Sam Baker, Dimitroff is going to hop up the draft board. He could go for an edge player that falls out of the top 5 but Ed Oliver makes so much sense in that 7-10 range. - Matt Chambers

Nab the right tackle of the future

This is not my ideal case for the Atlanta Falcons, given that I <3 Ed Oliver and, failing that, would be extremely interested in the team finding their next top-tier edge rusher in a player like Montez Sweat or Brian Burns. But this scenario feels more plausible as time goes on.

Why? This is such an elite group of defenders here at the top of the draft that I fear things shake out just like they did in Dan Kadar’s recent SB Nation mock, where the best of the best defensive linemen and even linebackers are already gone by 14. If that’s the case, the Falcons would be left with that second tier of options—and admittedly they may love one and we just don’t know it—a top cornerback, or potentially as many as three of the top tackles in this class. If Jawaan Taylor, Jonah Williams or even Cody Ford are available at #14 and they’re better than the defensive talent on the board, I think the Falcons make an investment in keeping that offense humming at a high level for the foreseeable future. - Dave Choate

Find a new piece for the front four

The Falcons have a fuller roster at times than a lot of us remember; to be honest, the signings at guard leave them mainly set for 2019 outside of the glaring issues on the defensive line. The defensive tackle group needs another guy to help out with the run, and the edge group needs two more guys to really make sure the team has as many options as possible in the pass rush. The team has invested two first-round picks here since Dan Quinn got to Atlanta (Vic Beasley, Takkarist McKinley), but I imagine they’ll, at long last, invest another to make sure that group is as talented as it can be. Edge feels pressing, with Beasley a likely free agent in 2019. But an Ed Oliver or Christian Wilkins might be enticing to pair with Grady Jarrett, too. Defensive line feels like the obvious play, but it’s also felt like the obvious play in all the drafts we’ve had under Quinn. The team rarely meets expectations in April, so nothing’s set in stone. Dave’s idea about a right tackle feels like a strong possibility. - Cory Woodroof

Stay put and select the best available defensive lineman

I don’t think Dimitroff will trade up in the first round, but man I could be so wrong about that. I think a trade up will come eventually, but with so much defensive talent on the board early, not on Day 1. I expect a few QBs to be taken before Atlanta’s pick, which bodes well for a defensive stud falling to them at 14. The likely name on my mind is Brian Burns, as I think Ed Oliver will be gone by the time Atlanta steps up to the podium. - Adnan Ikic

The Falcons trade up for Brian Burns

I had a dream last night that the Falcons traded Vic Beasley and his mammoth salary to the Buffalo Bills. The prospect of banishing Beasley to the tundras of Western New York provided some of the best sleep I’ve enjoyed in quite some time, but I awoke to the inevitable reality that it was just that — a dream. Beasley is firmly entrenched on this team through next season, at a positional group that is aching for an upgrade. Brian Burns put on a show at the Combine which certainly helped his stock; but with Thomas Dimitroff possessing a wealth of draft capital and an ingrained, insatiable desire to trade up, I think the Falcons make a deal to land one of the most promising pass-rush prospects in 2019. - Carter Breazeale

Who honestly knows

I have accepted that no matter what I say, it’ll be wrong because Dan Quinn is random. Most people didn’t see Calvin Ridley, Takk McKinley, or Keanu Neal being the selections in their respective drafts. I will say that for the most part, those selections have worked out well for the team overall. I want them to take Ed Oliver, but knowing Dan Quinn, I’ll predict that they select defensive end Rashan Gary from Michigan. He really hasn’t been mocked to the Falcons, which makes him a perfect candidate. – Evan Birchfield

Falcons draft: Rusher McQBKiller

Look, I’m not gonna get hung up on which prospect is better than who. Guys like Kevin and Eric have all of that covered and do a great job with it. I just want a pass rusher. Someone who is going to make us forget about Vic Beasley getting paid $13 million this year to be marginally better than Ray Edwards was. Someone who we can put on the defensive line that will terrorize the NFC South for 8 to 10 years. If the Falcons draft pass rushers with all 9 picks, you will not hear a single complaint from me. I’m tired of this team ranking in the bottom 5 of sacks every single year. Get me a pass rusher or get the hell out. - David Walker

The Falcons stay at 14, only to trade up later

Atlanta has been mocked Ed Oliver more than any other player, and for good reason. He’s a perfect fit for Dan Quinn’s defense, and we already know that Quinn doesn’t care if a player is “undersized”. With the buzz that Quinnen Williams may fall outside the top-5 and that Buffalo is enamored with Christian Wilkins, the stars seem to be aligning for Oliver to fall to the Falcons. I do believe Oliver is ultimately the pick, but I don’t support a trade-up into the top-10—the price would simply be too high. However, I’m going to predict a different trade-up: the Falcons give up their second, third, and first fifth round pick to the Oakland Raiders to get pick 27—which they will use to snag OT Dalton Risner or an EDGE like Clelin Ferrell or Charles Omenihu. - Kevin Knight

The Falcons stay at 14 and get their man

For all the speculation about trading up, Thomas Dimitroff will realize this team isn’t one game changer away from being a Super Bowl-caliber team. There are pressing needs across the defensive line. They will also be wise to draft a right tackle to challenge Ty Sambrailo. A blockbuster trade would put a flawed roster at risk of not being able to improve in certain areas. Adding talent at cornerback and linebacker will need to be seriously considered. Losing draft picks doesn’t seem like a sensible approach for a team that was manhandled for the majority of the season. Ed Oliver should be in their target range. There is no reason to hesitate if a talent like Oliver is available. - Allen Strk

Trade Up For Either Burns or Oliver

Its quite obvious based on how the offseason has transpired that the Falcons are going to focus intensely on defense during the draft. What is a true need at this point (edge rusher) so happens to be arguably the best position in the entire draft. What happens to be a secondary need (interior defensive lineman) also has a deep pool of talent for the Falcons to choose from. Sitting at 14th overall, the Falcons can very well select a solid prospect on the defensive line in probably a BPA scenario. Or they can be aggressive, which we’ve seen from GM Thomas Dimitroff before, and add a talent that can elevate a young defense. Me personally, either Burns or Oliver would do just the trick and trading up from 14 into the top 10 will not break the backs of the Falcons as far as trade capital goes. - Eric Robinson