The draft and everything leading up to it this year will be different. Teams have to conduct interviews remotely, the NFL Scouting Combine is not really a thing this year, and workouts will be carefully managed with limited team staff allowed to be on hand. We’re getting closer to the nominal “end” of COVID-19 as something that needs to be worked around by everyone at all times, thanks to an influx of vaccines, but even if a critical mass of people do get the vaccines by, say, July, the draft and early offseason programs are going to be heavily impacted. All of that will make a prospect’s existing film more important, but it also means interviews are going to be potentially even more vital this year than they have been in the past.
Because of the relatively low cost and minimal setup with remote interviews—you don’t have to fly anyone out, for starters—it’s a fair bet that most teams will be extra diligent this year in terms of connecting with everyone they could possibly be interested in. That makes a list of “visits” perhaps a bit less telling than it has been in years past, but those lists never correlated exactly with who the Falcons were into in the first place.
With those caveats out of the way, here’s the beginning of what will be a running list of reported virtual meetings and the like for the Atlanta Falcons. It’s a light list at the moment—and big thanks to Justin Melo at The Draft Network for these reports—but I’m hopeful that we’ll see some players from this list wind up in Atlanta.
RB CJ Marable, Coastal Carolina (In touch with Falcons)
RB Javian Hawkins, Louisville (met with team scouts)
RB Shane Simpson, Virginia (Gridiron Showcase in January)
RB Kenneth Gainwell, Memphis (Contact with team)
RB/WR Demetric Felton, UCLA (Virtual meeting)
WR Austin Trammell, Rice (Unspecified interest)
TE Tommy Tremble, Notre Dame (Virtual meeting)
DT Darius Stills, West Virginia (Virtual meeting)
LB/S Jacoby Stevens, LSU (Senior Bowl)
CB Asante Samuel Jr., Florida State (Virtual meeting)
DB Trill Williams, Syracuse (Virtual meeting)
DB Darren Hall, San Diego State (Virtual meeting)
DB Tay Gowan, UCF (Virtual meeting)
K Evan McPherson, Florida (Unspecified contact with team)