The 2020 NFL Draft is now behind us, with the Falcons adding six rookies and a whole bunch of UDFAs to bolster the roster. I had a chance to speak with former Falcons’ kicker and NFL Hall of Fame inductee Morten Andersen last week to get his take on Atlanta’s draft class. Read the first part of the interview below, where Morten discusses the players the Falcons selected and his overall thoughts on the 2020 draft.
Morten Andersen was speaking on behalf of Bet Pennsylvania.
Kevin Knight, The Falcoholic: After a few days to process things, how do you feel about the players the Falcons selected in the 2020 NFL Draft?
Morten Andersen: To me, the A.J. Terrell pick at 16—I know we need CB, I know we need a guy, but there were a lot of other guys that were available. Personally, that I thought were better than Terrell. But anytime you talk about the draft, who the hell knows, right? There’s a couple of layups—you know Derrick Brown is going to go ball in Carolina. There’s just certain guys you know are going to turn into All-Pros.
But, I did think that the Terrell pick at 16 was a bit of a reach for the Falcons, although I understand they needed CB. There were other guys: Jeff Gladney, Jaylon Johnson, and [Noah] Igbinoghene were available. I thought they were better, but that’s just my opinion.
I liked the center, Matt Hennessy, I thought that was a really solid pick. Marlon Davidson was a solid pick. Those two were my favorite picks. I’d probably say my overall favorite pick was Matt Hennessy because of the Alex Mack situation. [Mack]’s going to be 35 years old, and has shown a little bit of a decline, you could say. So Matt’s in a good spot, right? To be able to come in and learn from one of the best centers, and eventually take over.
As far as the LB, I don’t know much about that guy—Mykal Walker. Again, were there better LBs out there? I don’t really know, but they filled a need. The one that bothers me the most is probably A.J. Terrell, but he might go out and ball and surprise us all, you know?
I don’t know this kid (Sterling Hofrichter), don’t really know anything about this punter they took. They must see something in him, because unless you’re pretty good teams just generally don’t draft specialists—they just don’t—because they can pick them up as priority free agents post-draft.
K: Any other overall thoughts on the Falcons’ draft?
M: I initially thought that Dimitroff might be trying to trade-up to get a higher pick in the first round, but that never occurred. There had been some talk about a big-time player, like a Julio Jones, being the target. But that never materialized.
I think the team needs to be pretty active in free agency, post-draft, to get what they need defensively. To me, they still need a viable edge rusher. Their second-round pick (Marlon Davidson) can help them—he can play inside and outside—but they need another edge rusher. I mean, they’re trying to win now, but to me they under-performed. Certainly last year. I know they ended up 6-2 to finish the season, but I thought they under-performed to a certain extent.
Check back next week for the second part of the interview, where Morten discusses his thoughts on Atlanta’s roster heading into 2020, how competitive he thinks the team might be, and his take on the Falcons’ new uniforms.