The Falcons want their offense to be unstoppable. The defense? Not as much.
Favorite Pick: Chris Lindstrom
Most Questionable Pick: Jordan Miller
I’m excited the Falcons finally, truly addressed the offensive line. No more patchwork lines of late round draft picks, cheap veterans, an an occasional above-average blocker. If the plan was to build one of the best lines in the NFL, then mission (probably) accomplished. My biggest question is why the team decided to double dip at corner and ignore adding a defensive tackle. Atlanta went heavy on offense and ignored outstanding defensive issues. —Matt Chambers
Dan Quinn thinks he’s a wizard
Favorite Pick: Chris Lindstrom
Most Questionable Pick: Qadree Ollison
The Falcons didn’t set out to be popular, and they didn’t set out to fix a defensive front seven they think just needs health and some good ol’ Dan Quinn magic to turn into a terrific unit. That’s a questionable decision, in my opinion, but the Falcons did get terrific athletes along the offensive line and at cornerback, setting themselves up to be great at both spots in the near future. I also really like the pick of John Cominsky, but as good as Ollison and as intriguing as Green look, I can’t figure out why it was necessary to use draft capital on a pair of offensive skill position players, especially running backs. The Falcons have told us repeatedly to trust that changes to the coaching staff will yield better results, and now we’re just left to wait and see if that plus some beef on the OL will do the trick. — Dave Choate
The Falcons are remaking their offensive line—and I’m excited about it.
Favorite Pick: OT Kaleb McGary
Most Questionable Pick: RB Qadree Ollison
As is tradition, I’ve really come around on this draft class after a little processing time. I think the additions of G Chris Lindstrom and OT Kaleb McGary are both excellent, and could be far more impactful in 2019 than fans realize. Lindstrom has the potential to be a top-tier guard immediately. After doing a little bit of a deeper dive on McGary’s unconventional technique, I think he’ll be the player that winds up surprising us all. He’s physical, athletic, and nasty—exactly the type of player that the Falcons want on their offensive line.
The problem with this draft is the lack of an immediate impact addition to the defense. That being said, I do like all of Atlanta’s Day 3 defensive additions. CB Kendall Sheffield is raw, but might be the fastest player in the class—I love his potential as an elite slot CB in 2020 and beyond. EDGE John Cominsky is exactly the type of player that Quinn and TD love to add late in drafts: great size, fantastic athleticism, but significantly lacking in technique. CB Jordan Miller fell due to medical concerns, but he’s a talented outside option that could play a lot better (and sooner) than fans realize.
The head-scratcher for me was RB Qadree Ollison in the early fifth round. Ollison is a big, physical back with good speed for his size and solid vision, but I thought there were better options on the board. I actually like the sixth-round pick, RB Marcus Green, better—he’s a versatile WR/RB hybrid that has elite athleticism, and he’s the favorite to be the team’s returner in 2019. The lack of additions to the defensive line, however, mean that the pressure is on to mold the pieces that the Falcons already have into a competent unit. Can Quinn do it? We’ll see. Quinn and Dimitroff’s jobs may depend on it. — Kevin Knight
Another draft that requires patience and trust
Favorite Pick: Kaleb McGary or John Cominsky
Most Questionable Pick: A guard at 14 (though I like Chris Lindstrom as a player)
The Falcons haven’t made me feel this way about a draft class since 2016. I was proven very wrong then, and I’m accounting that my “it’s pretty good!” reaction will only get better when the season gets going and we see the fruits of this draft class. The team has a great track record with secondary players, which gives me hope that Kendall Sheffield and Jordan Miller will be ready to go when the time comes. Qadree Ollison and Marcus Green are good depth pieces.
I love Kaleb McGary’s tenacity, potential and be-a-bully mantra; the team has needed an offensive lineman like that for a long time. John Cominsky feels like a Dan Quinn special; the kind of raw athlete he can coach up into someone people double-take at being drafted in the fourth round.
It’s the guard pick at 14 I still don’t get. This team is projecting a lot for its defensive line to make a turnaround with the minimal investments they’ve made. They also paid two guards good starting money, and with Chris Lindstrom now here, one of them is destined for the bench. He’s an improvement on that plan, though, and I think Lindstrom will be a very good player. I love that the offensive line looks pretty complete on paper. I really do! But a lacking pass rush can lose you championships (*leers into the distance*). Why not invest there with the top pick with good names left? I just don’t see the complete reasoning for some of the offseason right now. To be fair, I didn’t in 2016, either. - Cory Woodroof
Protect the MVP
Favorite Pick: OG Chris Lindstrom
Most Questionable Pick: RB/WR Marcus Green
I mentioned in The Falcoholic Roundtable: 2019 First Round Mock Draft “If there’s one thing I’ve learned about the current Atlanta Falcons staff and management, it’s that they’re very unpredictable.” – and they were exactly that during the 2019 NFL Draft.
My favorite pick was the selection of Chris Lindstrom out of Boston College. Although like most people, I was initially thrown off, the Falcons made it clear that they wanted to protect Matt Ryan. Lindstrom is someone who can start for the Falcons for the next decade, and they’ll need it as Matt Ryan was sacked 42 times in 2018.
The current complaint among most fans is the Falcons not selecting a defensive tackle. The Falcons have plenty of depth at defensive tackle, with new additions like Tyeler Davison and Ra’Shede Hageman. Most importantly, veteran Jack Crawford is a perfect complement to Grady Jarrett. Crawford had career-highs in both tackles and sacks last season, and even recorded his first ever interception. Dan Quinn was very high on Jack Crawford, which you can read by clicking here. — Evan Birchfield