The Falcons made a big splash early in free agency by signing defensive lineman Dante Fowler and trading for offensive weapon Hayden Hurst. ESPN’s Todd McShay likes that plan and thinks the Falcons should do it again with their first two picks of the draft.
McShay drops his first multi-round draft because, as he notes, all of us are stuck at home and social distancing. There aren’t any sports and people need content. Now we can talk about more than just the first round in the national mocks.
First we have Javon Kinlaw, a popular pick for the Falcons if he drops all the way to 16. The versatile USC lineman could swap snaps on different sides of Grady Jarrett, pushing both the pocket up the middle on passing downs and playing the edge on run downs.
Kinlaw has the athleticism and production you expect out of a top pick. We have also seen him here more often than not, with McShay thinking he is a great value at 16. He also states the obvious: The Falcons need defensive help anywhere. McShay has the Falcons passing on speedster CJ Henderson, safeties Xavier McKinney and Antoine Winfield Jr., defensive end A.J. Epenesa who drops to 23, and K’Lavon Chaisson who drops to 27.
The second round pick is more surprising: Jonathan Taylor. The Wisconsin running back goes to the Falcons to either fill-in Todd Gurley, or to be a part of an explosive duo. McShay is not sure which, but thinks either should work for the Falcons.
The 5-foot-10, 226-pound back provides very good size with even better 4.39 40 speed. The NFL dot com’s official scouting report compares him to a more-durable Ryan Mathews. If that works out, there would be no more excuses for Dirk Koetter and the team’s struggling run game.
The Falcons will still be short on defense, entering the third round needing corners, linebackers, safeties, and some depth along the defensive line.