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2020 Falcons mock draft roundup: Defense or bust

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The only consensus is that Atlanta will be selecting defense in the first round.

Florida v Missouri

Before free agency began, the Falcons were strongly linked to players like K’Lavon Chaisson and especially A.J. Epenesa. However, the signing of free agent Dante Fowler Jr. and the release of starting corner Desmond Trufant has put a new light on what experts think the team will do in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft.

Interestingly, this most recent roundup shows a wide variety of options and a few even have the team making trades to go get their guy (I wonder why they think that will happen). Here’s how many experts think the Falcons first round is going to go.

11. Isaiah Simmons, LB, Clemson

NFL.com - Chad Reuter

Reuter is projecting a trade with the N.Y. Jets in this scenario to get the best linebacker in this draft class.

Following up the signing of veteran Dante Fowler with the selection of Simmons will help the Falcons move on from free-agent departures Vic Beasley and De’Vondre Campbell.

16. K’Lavon Chaisson, Edge, LSU

CBSSports - Josh Edwards

The Falcons continue to bolster their pass rush with the athletic, but somewhat raw player out of LSU.

Atlanta signed Dante Fowler Jr., which may not pan out as hoped. In any case, they supply some additional pass rush on the other side by selecting Chaisson in the first round.

16. C.J. Henderson, CB, Florida

CBSSports - Ryan Wilson

Three mock drafts in and we already have three different defensive players. With this pick, Atlanta grabs one of the top corners who has the size and length that Dan Quinn covets.

The Falcons released Desmond Trufant, and while they signed edge rusher Dante Fowler, they need to address the secondary and Henderson is the second-best CB in this class.

16. C.J. Henderson, CB, Florida

SBNation - Dan Kadar

Henderson appears to be gaining steam as a pick for the Falcons. It would seem that NFL experts don’t have a lot of faith in Isaiah Oliver and Kendall Sheffield being a solid 1-2 duo on the outside in 2020.

Surprise, it’s not a pass rusher for the Falcons. After releasing Desmond Trufant, the Falcons are dangerously thin at cornerback. Damontae Kazee is good, but he’s more of a slot corner/safety hybrid. Henderson would give the Falcons a lockdown outside cornerback.

16. K’Lavon Chaisson, Edge, LSU

CBSSports - Chris Trapasso

At this point, it seems clear that experts believe the Falcons still desperately need to fix the pass rush and the secondary. I doubt that many fans would disagree.

Chaisson gives the Falcons explosive edge rusher they desperately need opposite Takk McKinley

16. C.J. Henderson, CB, Florida

CBSSports - Will Brinson

Prepare yourselves for another year of experts calling for the Falcons to go corner in the first round, something that hasn’t happened since 2013. Perhaps this is the year?

I don’t see anyway the Falcons don’t focus on defense with this pick and they are not exactly loaded at cornerback right now, so nabbing one of the top guys here makes a ton of sense.

16. K’Lavon Chaisson, Edge, LSU

SI - Kevin Hanson

Even though experts are coming around on the idea of the Falcons drafting a corner, most of the experts still think pass rush is the way to go. You’ll get no argument from me.

Even though the Falcons have signed Dante Fowler, the team finished with the second fewest sacks (28) in 2019 and last year’s team leader (Vic Beasley, eight) is now in Tennessee. While Chaisson missed nearly all of 2018 with a torn ACL, the 20-year-old has elite burst off the edge and came on late—4.5 sacks in final four games—to lead LSU in sacks, tackles for loss and QB hurries in 2019.


Interestingly, in this latest roundup we did not see Javon Kinlaw taken. In some cases he was already off the board while in others the Falcons just prioritized other players or positions. He’s another name I think could be a legitimate option if he’s there when it’s time for Atlanta to make their pick.

What do you think the Falcons will do in the first round?

Poll

Mock Draft Roundup - April 4

This poll is closed

  • 31%
    C.J. Henderson
    (557 votes)
  • 7%
    K’Lavon Chaisson
    (133 votes)
  • 15%
    Isaiah Simmons
    (266 votes)
  • 42%
    Javon Kinlaw
    (752 votes)
  • 3%
    Other (explain below)
    (59 votes)
1767 votes total Vote Now