We’re at the tail end of mock draft season, and the Falcoholic staff have their selections to make. This is day two of our three-day, three-round mock draft where each of us are pretending to be the the general manager of the Atlanta Falcons.
As a refresher, here’s how this roundtable works: each writer participating will make their selection for the Falcons at pick 45, and they’ll provide a brief analysis as to why they selected that player. The selection has to be somebody whom the writer thinks will realistically be there at 45.
We’ll assume that the team will stay at 45 with no trade-ups, for the sake of not getting too convoluted.
We’ll do one of these roundtables for each of Atlanta’s first three selections. Expect to see our third round selections tomorrow. Depending on how this goes, we may do a roundtable for all seven rounds next year.
You can find our first round mock selections here.
You’ll see the writer’s name in italics, followed by their selection in bold, and analysis in block quotes.
Round 2, Pick 45: Chase Winovich (DE - Michigan)
After selecting Andre Dillard in the first round to complete the offensive line, it’s time to fill in the trenches on the defensive side with an incredibly capable pass rusher coming off of the edge in Michigan’s Chase Winovich.
Winovich has the physicality and motor which Dan Quinn relishes. He’s a technician who exhibits good footwork and hand movement in his chess match against opposing tackles. The Michigan man who was voted as a third-team All-American this last season looks to have one of the highest floors among all DEs in this draft, and will be ready to contribute from day one. He isn’t considered to be anything more than average as a run defender, but with the offseason additions on the defensive line, the Falcons wouldn’t need him to be anything more in that department as long as he exhibits proficiency in getting to the quarterback.
Make no mistake about it, Atlanta is still lacking at least one more quality pass rusher on this defense, and Chase Winovich is somebody who can step in and fill that void right away.
Round 2, Pick 45: CB Rock Ya-Sin (Temple)
I had the Falcons selecting OT Cody Ford in round one, so for round two I have them looking to the defensive side of the ball. I would prefer they take DL Dexter Lawrence out of Clemson, but because the Falcons almost never do the obvious, I have them selecting CB Rock Ya-Sin out of Temple.
Rock Ya-Sin not only has a fun name, but is explosive too! Many mocks had the Falcons looking at CB DeAndre Baker, but I think Ya-Sin in round two is their guy. His toughness is something head coach Dan Quinn will love, as he’s not afraid to tackle.
After selecting a offensive tackle and defensive back in my mock, the Falcons REALLY need to look at the defensive line come round 3.
Round 2, Pick 45: Tytus Howard (OT - Alabama State)
After netting EDGE Brian Burns in the first round, the Falcons address the other glaring need on the roster: right tackle. Tytus Howard has been closely linked with Atlanta from the very beginning. With more and more reports that Howard is climbing up draft boards, the Falcons can’t afford to wait until their third round pick if they want to get him.
While Howard is a small school prospect that is quite raw in his technique, he’s got rare size and athleticism that matches up perfectly with the new prototype that the Falcons are looking for on the offensive line. Howard isn’t a plug-and-play starter on the offensive line, but his potential is sky-high with some development time. Luckily, he’d be coming into the perfect situation in Atlanta: Ty Sambrailo is a competent spot-starter who can handle the position for a year or two until Howard is ready to take over. Once Howard is ready, he could legitimately become one of the top RTs in the NFL.
With EDGE and OT addressed, the Falcons are in a great spot after the first two rounds. Look for the team to potentially trade up to gain additional Day 2 picks as well.
Round 2, Pick 45: Rock Ya-Sin (Cornerback - Temple)
There is nothing about Rock Ya-Sin that Dan Quinn finds distasteful, no mild sin or grave failing. The fact that Ya-Sin is so clearly a Dan Quinn Cornerback (TM) with his length, physicality, and wrestling background suggests that if he’s here in the second round, he will be an Atlanta Falcon.
That’s fine, even if he’s not the trench pick you might stump for here. Ya-Sin has the potential to be a very good one, with an uncertain role in year one but the upside to be a top corner as soon as 2020. The Falcons will find ways to get him on the field during his rookie season and he’d be stellar depth in case of injury, but this is certainly a look-forward sort of selection, one that acknowledges the team’s most major needs at the moment are the ones coming up next year.
The Falcons haven’t gone with a defensive lineman in the first two rounds, per this particular train of thought, which is not necessarily the outcome we want. It would surprise few of us if it’s the outcome we get, however, and at least Ya-Sin looks like he could be a very good one.
Round 2, Pick 45: Chris Lindstrom (OL - Boston College)
Part of me can’t shake this idea Atlanta is going to double-dip on the offensive line, and that Lindstrom, who they put through a private workout earlier this month, could be joining my first-round guess, Cody Ford, on the newly-revamped OL.
Some see Lindstrom as a plug-and-play guard who projects much better at that spot than he does at tackle, but the Falcons love versatility. I could easily see the Falcons drafting Ford and Lindstrom with their top two picks and just figuring out where each guy goes when they get to camp. One would need to play right tackle in this scenario if they’re both destined to start.
I, quite frankly, am drawing a blank with how this draft is actually going to go, so I’ll throw out this theory. With Ford and Lindstrom, Atlanta would make its biggest draft investment in the offensive line yet and give this unit an irresistible influx of young talent.