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NFL.com’s latest mock draft sends Justin Fields, Travis Etienne to the Falcons

NFL Network draft analyst Chad Reuter released his first 3-round mock draft of the 2021 offseason this week, with the Falcons taking Ohio State QB Justin Fields at 4th overall and Clemson RB Travis Etienne in the second round.

CFP National Championship Presented by AT&T - Ohio State v Alabama Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

With the Super Bowl in the rearview mirror, the 2020 NFL season has officially come to a close. That means it’s draft season for every single team in the league, and new mock drafts are flying in from draft analysts everywhere. Here at The Falcoholic, we’ve already been hard at work on our own mocks: you can see my latest 7-round mock here, and Eric Robinson’s most recent mock here.

NFL Network draft analyst Chad Reuter’s most recent mock draft was released earlier this week, and it’s a head turner. For starters, Reuter’s mock goes for 3 whole rounds instead of the usual top 32 picks. It also has two very popular names heading to Atlanta, along with a third we haven’t seen connected with the team yet.

You can view Reuter’s full mock here on NFL.com.

For starters, Reuter has the Falcons staying put at 4th overall after the Panthers traded up to #2 to draft BYU QB Zach Wilson. The gamble pays off for Atlanta, as the team is still able to select Ohio State QB Justin Fields—my QB2 in this class and a potentially elite prospect. Fields is a terrific athlete with great command of his offense and a fantastic arm, and while he’s got some technical and decision-making issues to work on, he’s Atlanta’s best chance for a franchise QB outside of Trevor Lawrence.

Adding Fields is great, but it’s not completely unheard of. The second round is where things get spicy, as the Falcons are lucky enough to have Clemson RB Travis Etienne available at 35. Reuter has just Najee Harris going in the first round—to the Jets at 23—which leaves the speedy Etienne for Atlanta. It would be quite a departure from Smith’s last RB in Derrick Henry, but Etienne’s elite athleticism could be a tremendous addition to the Falcons anemic rushing attack.

In the third round, the Falcons finally address defense with the addition of Oklahoma EDGE Ronnie Perkins. This is not a fit I’ve seen before, and I personally think 68 is quite early for Perkins—I’d rather have Quincy Roche, Patrick Jones II, or Hamilcar Rashed Jr. ahead of him, and all three went after him in the draft. Perkins looks like an ideal fit to play strongside end in a 4-3 and has impressed with back to back 10+ sack seasons, but he’s very raw—particularly against the run. Consider this one questionable, but at least it’s a defensive pick.

What are your thoughts on this potential haul for the Falcons?