Thanks to a trade with the Denver Broncos, the Falcons will have the day’s third and ninth overall picks in the fourth round. It’s a lucrative spot to be in, particularly with some neat collisions of draft need and talent beginning to line up for the team.
Who are some of the names to be looking out for when the day gets going here shortly? Forgive us if someone you like isn’t listed; the lower you get down the draft board, the less the consensus is on who is valued when. We’ve got some we like.
North Carolina RB Michael Carter
Carter has been projected to go as high as the second round, and he could pair with Mike Davis to be the lightning to his thunder right away. That’s the role he played at North Carolina with second-round pick Javonte Williams. It’d be great value to take him here, and the Falcons could lean on him right away to contribute on offense.
Memphis RB Kenneth Gainwell
Gainwell has many a fan around The Falcoholic, and he was thought to have third-round potential. He’s another guy who could give the team some of what Carter could, and you could argue he’s got an even higher ceiling in the passing game. Again, he’s ready to go in a contributing role and might be a diamond in the rough.
Central Arkansas CB Robert Rochell
Rochell is an interesting prospect; NFL’s Lance Zeirlein is a fan and compares him to Giants CB James Bradberry. A.J. Terrell needs some help, and Rochell would immediately compete for playing time if drafted. At the worst, he’s got the athleticism to contribute on special teams right away and add great depth. Atlanta desperately needs more talent in the secondary.
Florida State S Hamsah Nasirildeen
The Falcons just took a safety and have 2020 fourth-round pick Jaylinn Hawkins in tow, but the value for Nasirildeen here is just too good not to note. He was regarded to have Day 2 potential and comes with this recommendation from one of our draft gurus, Eric Robinson: “From day one, Nasirildeen can be next in line as the Falcons lead guy at the strong safety position.”
Iowa DT Daviyon Nixon
I figured Nixon would be gone by now, so he’s here if only because, again, the value is pretty stellar. He’s a disruptive figure in the interior of the defensive line who could play Grady Jarrett’s understudy early in his career if drafted.
Michigan State CB Shakur Brown
Another corner who could filter in right away to compete for playing time, Brown is a Stockbridge, Ga., native and could return to his home state to start his pro career. Zierlein feels he could be a CB2 one day.
LSU LB Jabril Cox
The Falcons have a really nice group at linebacker right now with Deion Jones, Foye Oluokun, Mykal Walker and Brandon Copeland, but Cox is just too good to not consider at the top of the fourth in terms of potential. Zeirlein says he’s got the speed you want at the position, and LSU has turned out a few really good LBs as of late, including Debo.
Oklahoma State WR Tylan Wallace
Wallace is another guy you scratch your head as to why he’s still available, and the Falcons certainly don’t “need” a wide receiver (unless they do the unthinkable and trade Julio Jones). The Oklahoma State product, though, could make this passing attack nastier than it already is and gives them great insurance for Russell Gage, who is in a contract year.
USC DT Jay Tufele
Tufele could add some stellar depth to the defensive tackle group. He’s a talented guy who might be the best defensive tackle left besides Nixon in what’s been regarded as a weak class at the position.
Duke OLB Chris Rumph
Mel Kiper really likes Rumph, and the Falcons need pass rushers, plain and simple. He had eight sacks last year for the Blue Devils and would be a nice fit in Dean Pees’ scheme.
Indiana S Jamar Johnson
Our William McFadden is a fan of Johnson, and says he’s “a very fluid deep safety who can flip his hips and make some great breaks on the ball.” The team already drafted a safety, of course, but stacking the position is never a bad idea.
Florida CB Marco Wilson
Wilson’s speed seems to be one of his defining traits, and you just can’t ever ignore the potential of a Florida secondary player. While this feels more like a Dan Quinn pick for obvious reasons, maybe the team could snag Wilson and develop him. He will have to keep his shoes on.
Pittsburgh DE Rashad Weaver
With 7.5 sacks for Pitt, Weaver remains one of the most intriguing pass rushers available at the top of the fourth round. He’d probably play up front in Pees’ scheme, and the team needs another reliable pure edge. Zierlein notes he’s got a perfect fit in a 3-4 front as a five-tech, which is what, in part, Pees will be using this fall.
Georgia QB Jamie Newman
Newman would make the Georgia contingent of the fanbase happy and could develop into a long-term solution to the backup quarterback spot, or, hey, maybe, the team’s next starter if the best-case scenario unfolds. Bulldogs fans know this guy is just scratching the surface.
Miami TE Brevin Jordan
The team already took a tight end in Kyle Pitts, but they just hired the tight ends whisperer in head coach Arthur Smith and Jordan’s upside is just too good to ignore here. If the team doesn’t pick up Hayden Hurst’s fifth-year option, he could project as a stellar running mate with Pitts as the years go on. Don’t expect it with other holes, but it’s a fun thought.
Alright Falcons fans, we’ll know soon enough who the team takes as the fourth round of the NFL Draft gets underway at 12 ET.