The Falcons surprised just about everyone—fans, analysts, and myself included—with their first round picks on Thursday. Atlanta chose to make a serious attempt at completely remaking their offensive line by selecting G Chris Lindstrom and OT Kaleb McGary. Lindstrom was my #2 overall guard, but was one of the most pro-ready players in the draft class. McGary was my #9 overall tackle, and I’m a little more mixed on the pick—but it’s clear the Falcons valued his attitude and physicality just as much as his traits.
The Falcons didn’t make a pick on day 2, which means their needs for day 3 remain identical. The team gave up 45 (their second rounder) and 79 (their third rounder) to move up to pick 31, but they did net the Rams’ sixth rounder (203). Here are Atlanta’s seven remaining picks in the 2019 NFL Draft:
Round 4, Pick 117
Round 4, Pick 137
Round 5, Pick 152
Round 5, Pick 172
Round 6, Pick 186
Round 6, Pick 203
Round 7, Pick 230
With that many picks and no selections on Day 2, it’s almost a given that Thomas Dimitroff is going to package some of them together to net a Round 3 pick. Let’s take a closer look at the Falcons’ biggest remaining draft needs and some of the best players available at those positions.
The biggest need, in my opinion, is on the defensive line. Atlanta has only one player under contract for 2020 in Takkarist McKinley. Vic Beasley, Adrian Clayborn, Steven Means, and recent free agent addition Chris Odom are all playing on one-year deals. We’re all hoping that Beasley can return to form and that Takk can finally reach his ceiling, but adding another young player with upside would be smart.
Even though I think EDGE is the biggest need for this team, I believe the Falcons see CB as the more pressing concern. After moving on from Robert Alford, Brian Poole, and Justin Bethel, Atlanta certainly has some spots to fill on the depth chart. The three starters are in pretty good shape with veteran Desmond Trufant, 2018 second-round pick Isaiah Oliver, and the mighty impressive Damontae Kazee allegedly taking over the nickel. Look for the Falcons to target a developmental CB with upside.
The Falcons went out and added quite a few veteran DTs in the weeks leading up to the draft, but they could still use another impact player at the position after missing out on Ed Oliver in Round 1. The starting group of Grady Jarrett, Jack Crawford, Deadrin Senat, and Tyeler Davison is solid—but I’d say this one is more likely to be addressed with one of the early Day 3 picks.
Other possible targets
I view these positions as likely to be addressed on Day 3:
WR - A developmental/high-upside player to take over for Mohamed Sanu in 2020
RB - An RB3 candidate to replace Tevin Coleman and upgrade their other depth options
C - A developmental center to groom behind Alex Mack and serve as the primary backup
What are the positions that you’d like to see the Falcons target on Day 3? Of the players remaining, who would you most like to see in a Falcons’ uniform?