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Twitter re-drafts the NFL, Round 4: Falcons select DT Cam Heyward

Following in the footsteps of ESPN’s NFL re-draft, we’re taking part in a more robust re-draft of our own. Teams have 6 rounds to build the best team possible. At pick 113 in the fourth round, the Falcons selected DT Cam Heyward.

Cleveland Browns v Pittsburgh Steelers Photo by: 2019 Nick Cammett/Diamond Images via Getty Images

We’re in the depths of the offseason with an uncertain training camp future ahead of us. So, naturally, we’re all looking for interesting things to do to fill the void. You might recall ESPN’s NFL re-draft, in which beat reporters for every team restarted every franchise from scratch with 4 rounds of drafting. Myself—and apparently many others—found that exercise a little lacking, so we’re starting up our own re-draft of the NFL.

Dan Kadar, formerly of SB Nation’s Mocking the Draft, is leading the effort, along with fans and analysts of each team. We’re aiming for 6 rounds, but if possible I’m angling to go further. The goal: build the best team possible with your selections. The salary cap obviously isn’t in play because we’re only planning for 6 rounds, and there are no other rules about who may be drafted. The draft order is based on the 2020 NFL Draft, and will be a fantasy-style “Snake” draft.

I’ll be recapping each round as it finishes, including a detailed breakdown of the player I’ve chosen for the Falcons and why that player makes sense.

Without further adieu, here’s Round 4 and my choice for Atlanta at pick 113.

Round 4, Pick 113: DT Cam Heyward

After focusing heavily on the offense at the top of the draft, the time has come to turn my attention to the defense. While the re-drafted Falcons are built to put points on the board, they also need a few stars to build around on defense. While EDGE players have been flying off the board, a few star DTs remain available in the fourth round. After missing out on Fletcher Cox in Round 3, I get another excellent interior rusher in Pittsburgh’s Cam Heyward.

Heyward is a criminally underrated player on the interior who has had a truly dominant stretch over the past 3 seasons. He has experience at both 3-4 DE and DT, but has been most productive at DT in recent years. Since 2017, Heyward has averaged 9.7 sacks and 12.3 TFL per season. 2019 was his most productive outing yet, with 83 total tackles (from the interior!), 33 total pressures, and 6 (!) pass deflections to go along with 9.0 sacks and 11.0 TFL.

Although Heyward will be 31 during the 2020 season, he’s clearly still in his prime years and should have at least a few more elite seasons left in him. His versatility to play in both odd and even fronts also adds to his value. Heyward gives the re-drafted Falcons a dominant interior presence to build around on the defensive line, which is a great start for any defense. We’ll see what other pieces we can add in the final two rounds of the Twitter re-draft.

Round 4 Results

Pick 97 - Kansas City Chiefs (@Bambam8109): CB Casey Hayward (CB11) | R1: WR Tyreek Hill (WR2), R2: WR Michael Thomas (WR3), R3: CB Xavien Howard (CB10)

Pick 98 - San Francisco 49ers (@beardedCameron): WR JuJu Smith-Schuster (WR14) | R1: TE George Kittle (TE1), R2: RB Christian McCaffrey (RB1), R3: S Tyrann Mathieu (S4)

Pick 99 - Green Bay Packers (@RossUglem): CB Richard Sherman (CB12) | R1: CB Stephon Gilmore (CB1), R2: OT Terron Armstead (OT4), R3: EDGE Shaq Barrett (EDGE16)

Pick 100 - Tennessee Titans (@_JL56): RB Derrick Henry (RB4) | R1: EDGE Khalil Mack (EDGE4), R2: WR Julio Jones (WR4), R3: CB Marshon Lattimore (CB9)

Pick 101 - Baltimore Ravens (@NateNFL): LB Isaiah Simmons (LB3) | R1: WR DeAndre Hopkins (WR1), R2: EDGE T.J. Watt (EDGE5), R3: QB Gardner Minshew (QB24)

Pick 102 - Seattle Seahawks (@BennettPrag): S Eddie Jackson (S5) | R1: OT Ryan Ramczyk (OT3), R2: EDGE Chase Young (EDGE6), R3: DT Kenny Clark (DT7)

Pick 103 - Houston Texans (@BrettKollmann): OT Taylor Lewan (OT10) | R1: QB Drew Lock (QB19), R2: WR Mike Evans (WR5), R3: EDGE Bradley Chubb (EDGE15)

Pick 104 - Minnesota Vikings (@AndyHort1): S Anthony Harris (S6) | R1: OG Quenton Nelson (OG1), R2: EDGE Za’Darius Smith (EDGE7), R3: CB Josh Kalu (CB9)

Pick 105 - New Orleans Saints (@DynastyPigskin5): RB Alvin Kamara (RB5) | R1: EDGE Joey Bosa (EDGE3), R2: CB Jalen Ramsey (CB2), R3: QB Justin Herbert (QB23)

Pick 106 - New England Patriots (@Henry_Primack): CB Byron Jones (CB13) | R1: OT Ronnie Stanley (OT2), R2: EDGE Danielle Hunter (EDGE8), R3: QB Jimmy Garoppolo (QB22)

Pick 107 - Buffalo Bills (@GbridgfordNFL): QB Teddy Bridgewater (QB25) | R1: EDGE Myles Garrett (EDGE2), R2: OG Zack Martin (OG2), R3: CB Marcus Peters (CB8)

Pick 108 - Philadelphia Eagles (@ByADiBona): RB Dalvin Cook (RB6) | R1: EDGE Nick Bosa (EDGE1), R2: CB Tre’Davious White (CB3), R3: QB Daniel Jones (QB21)

Pick 109 - Los Angeles Rams (@3k_): OT Orlando Brown Jr. (OT11) | R1: OT David Bahktiari (OT1), R2: QB Jared Goff (QB19), R3: LB Darius Leonard (LB2)

Pick 110 - Chicago Bears (@wiltfongjr): WR Allen Robinson (WR15) | R1: QB Kirk Cousins (QB18), R2: EDGE Josh Allen (EDGE9), R3: OT Lane Johnson (OT9)

Pick 111 - Pittsburgh Steelers (@ChrisTrapasso): EDGE Marcus Davenport (EDGE17) | R1: QB Josh Allen (QB17), R2: DT Chris Jones (DT2), R3: WR A.J. Brown (WR13)

Pick 112 - Dallas Cowboys (@NBarlotta_DSN): TE Mark Andrews (TE4) | R1: DT Aaron Donald (DT1), R2: QB Sam Darnold (QB20), R3: WR Jarvis Landry (WR12)

Pick 113 - Atlanta Falcons (@FalcoholicKevin): DT Cam Heyward (DT8)| R1: QB Ryan Tannehill (QB16), R2: TE Travis Kelce (TE2), R3: WR Keenan Allen (WR11)

Pick 114 - Denver Broncos (@DraftGowan13): EDGE J.J. Watt (EDGE18) | R1: QB Tom Brady (QB15), R2: WR Chris Godwin (WR6), R3: DT Fletcher Cox (DT6)

Pick 115 - Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@Andy_J_Nichols): S Marcus Williams (S7) | R1: QB Matt Ryan (QB14), R2: WR Davante Adams (WR7), R3: TE Zach Ertz (TE3)

Pick 116 - Indianapolis Colts (@ZachHicks2): WR Kenny Golladay (WR16) | R1: QB Matthew Stafford (QB13), R2: EDGE Chandler Jones (EDGE10), R3: WR Courtland Sutton (WR10)

Pick 117 - Las Vegas Raiders (@cincinasty_): WR D.J. Moore (WR17) | R1: QB Joe Burrow (QB12), R2: CB Jaire Alexander (CB4), R3: CB Denzel Ward (CB7)

Pick 118 - New York Jets (@justRVB): WR Jerry Jeudy (WR18) | R1: QB Tua Tagovailoa (QB11), R2: EDGE Yannick Ngakoue (EDGE11), R3: OT Laremy Tunsil (OT8)

Pick 119 - Cleveland Browns (@davy_d): CB Shaquill Griffin (CB14) | R1: QB Baker Mayfield (QB10), R2: DT Grady Jarrett (DT3), R3: DT Arik Armstead (DT5)

Pick 120 - Jacksonville Jaguars (@ZachCohenFB): S Justin Simmons (S8) | R1: QB Drew Brees (QB9), R2: OT Mitchell Schwartz (OT5), R3: DT DeForest Buckner (DT4)

Pick 121 - Arizona Cardinals (@blakemurphy7): EDGE Frank Clark (EDGE19) | R1: QB Aaron Rodgers (QB8), R2: LB Bobby Wagner (LB1), R3: CB Jeff Okudah (CB6)

Pick 122 - Carolina Panthers (@DakeZekee214): EDGE Jadeveon Clowney (EDGE20) | R1: QB Carson Wentz (QB7), R2: WR Amari Cooper (WR8), R3: EDGE Demarcus Lawrence (EDGE14)

Pick 123 - Los Angeles Chargers (@rjroepke): EDGE Montez Sweat (EDGE21) | R1: QB Dak Prescott (QB6), R2: WR Odell Beckham Jr. (WR9), R3: OT Tyron Smith (OT7)

Pick 124 - Miami Dolphins (@houtz): LB Fred Warner (LB4) | R1: QB Kyler Murray (QB5), R2: RB Saquon Barkley (RB2), R3: S Derwin James (S3)

Pick 125 - New York Giants (@geoffschwartz): CB Adoree Jackson (CB15) | R1: QB Deshaun Watson (QB4), R2: OT Trent Williams (OT6), R3: EDGE Cameron Jordan (EDGE13)

Pick 126 - Detroit Lions (@adam_benmoche): CB Darius Slay (CB16) | R1: QB Russell Wilson (QB3), R2: EDGE Von Miller (EDGE12), R3: S Minkah Fitzpatrick (S2)

Pick 127 - Washington (@bmealy17): WR Stefon Diggs (WR19) | R1: QB Lamar Jackson (QB2), R2: RB Ezekiel Elliott (RB3), R3: S Jamal Adams (S1)

Pick 128 - Cincinnati Bengals (@CoachMinich): S Kevin Byard (S9) | R1: QB Patrick Mahomes (QB1), R2: OT La’el Collins (OT7), R3: CB Marlon Humphrey (CB5)

Defensive picks continue to gain ground in the later rounds of the re-draft, with 19 defensive selections to just 13 on the offense. CB and WR were tied for the lead in selections with 6 each, followed by S and EDGE with 5 each. Behind them, surprisingly, was RB with 3 picks. LB and OT each had 2 selections in the fourth round, followed by QB, TE, and DT with one pick each.

Offense is still in the lead overall in terms of selections, with 68 total picks to 60 for the defense. The most popular team composition after four rounds has been a balanced one, with 2 picks for offense and 2 for defense, with 15 teams building this way. In second is an offensive-heavy composition, with 3 offensive selections to just 1 defensive pick, with 11 teams. In third is a defensive-heavy composition, with 1 offensive selection to 3 defensive selections, with 6 teams.

QB still leads all positions in terms of total picks, with 25 selected through the fourth round. In second is EDGE with 21 selections, followed by WR with 19 and CB with 16. Several positions are still clustered around 10 selections each: OT (11), S (9), and DT (8). It’s been interesting to see which positions are valued and which aren’t—although it continues to surprise me that teams are prioritizing taking RBs in a draft with only 6 rounds. The fact that 6 have already been taken is kind of shocking for a position with such little shelf life (and overall importance to an offense).

What are your thoughts on the fourth round of Twitter’s re-draft of the entire NFL? Are you happy with the Falcons pick at 113? Who would you like to see Atlanta target in Round 5, and how would you build your team in a scenario like this? Do you have any favorite teams based on who has been drafted so far?