Having a draft pick in the top 5 is actually somewhat rare for the Falcons. The last time it happened was in 2008 in the aftermath of the Michael Vick scandal and the Bobby Petrino disaster of 2007. Having a pick this high gives you a host of options, with the hope being that you won’t be here again for a long while.
In this series, we’ll take a look at all the different ways the Falcons can use this pick to rebuild under a new regime. Today, we consider the option of drafting a safety.
Why it makes sense
Right now, the Falcons have Jaylinn Hawkins and T.J. Green under contract for the 2021 NFL season. Keanu Neal could be a target for several teams in free agency (including the Cowboys, where Dan Quinn is now defensive coordinator) and might be hard to retain.
The team may try to bring back Damontae Kazee on a one-year deal, but that’s far from guaranteed. This is clearly a position the Falcons will need to address, unless you believe Jaylin Hawkins and T.J. Green are the future at the position, which basically no one does. Of all the gaps on the defense, this one could be the most critical to fill. Injecting talent into the position could be the difference between a decent defense and a terrible one.
Why it might be the wrong move
To be blunt, there may not be a safety in this draft class worthy of a top-10 pick, much less on in the top 5. Depending on who you ask, the top safety in this class may be Trevon Moehrig, but he’s projected as someone who could fall into the early second round. After him, it’s even more of a toss-up. There just doesn’t appear to be “the next Earl Thomas” in this class and it doesn’t make sense to pretend that there is. The Falcons can address this position by waiting until the 2nd round or later and not burn that top pick when the talent doesn’t justify it. If the team trades down, they may consider scooping up one earlier than that if they love an option, but it’s far from a sure bet.
What do you think? Would you support grabbing a safety with the first round pick? Let us know in the comments below.