Falcons GM “Trader” Thomas Dimitroff might choose to once again get antsy and trade away his 14th pick up and down the selection spectrum, but there’s always the chance he might just stand pat and take what he’s got in front of him.
Should he do that, what should Falcons fans expect as possible picks?
Let’s examine a few scenarios for how this might go.
A Run on Defensive Linemen
In this scenario, all the top-flight defensive linemen go in succession of each other. Forget guys like Nick Bosa, Quinnen Williams, Ed Oliver (sad face) and even Brian Burns in this scenario. They’re all gone by Pick 14. Montez Sweat seems destined to fall past 14 with his medical news, though that will probably prove to be a foolhardy decision for teams who skip on him.
Here, the Falcons see a good handful of the top offensive linemen available, like Jonah Williams, Cody Ford, Andre Dillard. We’ll guess Jawaan Taylor and possibly Williams are gone, since at least one offensive lineman usually goes in the top 12 picks and Taylor’s buzz is very strong in particular.
In this scenario, Clemson DT Christian Wilkins and DE Clelin Ferrell, Michigan DT Rashan Gary and LSU CB Greedy Williams are all available. Williams might be the top corner on the board but CB is not the team’s top need, while Gary could fall because of medicals. That would leave Wilkins and Ferrell, and that’s not the best case scenario.
A Run on Offensive Linemen
Here, teams get nervous about protecting their quarterbacks and take some of the top offensive linemen available. We’ll guess Bosa and Williams are naturally gone, but so are Williams and Ford. Dillard will probably be available at 14 barring a surprise pick, so Atlanta should be able to draft him unless someone trades up to get him.
Let’s imagine they do, just for the sake of the argument. An offensive tackle-desperate team pops up and grabs Dillard, making four OL claimed by pick 14. The guys on the bottom line of scenario one are all still there, but now Oliver has somehow slid to 14, as has Burns. Oliver sliding is more just for the sake of the argument, but Burns falling to this point is a very real possibility. He’d be the best pass rusher the team could add at that point.
A Run on Quarterbacks
Let’s imagine Kyler Murray, Dwayne Haskins, Drew Lock and Daniel Jones are all taken by Pick 14. The Falcons miss out on a quarterback (heh), but they gain in seeing a bunch of talented trench-men fall into their laps. We’ll call this the best-case scenario.
Teams like Oakland, New York, Denver, Cincinnati and Miami could get in on drafting signal callers, which could free up any number of OL or DL to arrive at 14.
Let’s say expected earlier picks like Oliver, Taylor and J. Williams all make it to this juncture, as well as a lot of the names above (besides Bosa and Q. Williams).
The most-likely scenario for Thursday night’s pick probably sees these names off the board: Bosa, Q. Williams, Oliver, Taylor, J. Williams.
Those guys are all probable top-13 picks, leaving still a sound grouping of talent available for the 14th overall pick. Ford, Wilkins, Gary, G. Williams, Dillard, Burns and Ferrell could all be taken here, or perhaps a shocking early pick like OLs Chris Lindstrom or Kaleb McGary.
At Pick 14, it is literally impossible for Atlanta to not take at least one of these names. Someone will be available for their liking; it just depends on what kind of draft night we’re dealing with here.
How do you want this all to go?