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2022 NFL Scouting Combine: Falcons notes and tidbits

What are we learning about from the Combine as things kick into high gear in the coming days?

NFL Combine Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images

Now that things are heating up a little bit at the Combine, it’s time to see what’s cooking for the Falcons.

Yesterday, we heard from Arthur Smith and Terry Fontenot on topics ranging from Matt Ryan to cap space. Today, we’ll follow along with interesting tidbits from interviews, confirmed interest from the Falcons in some of the bigger names attending the Combine, and more.

This will not be a tracker full of names. Remember the wise words of Michael Rothstein if you start getting too excited about a player popping up in connection to the team, though we’ll certainly try to get a list rolling at some point for those who love them.

With that reminder, we’re off!

Friday

UGA fans have not forgotten about the possibility of Davis landing in Atlanta for one nanosecond, but the hype around quarterbacks, receivers, and cornerbacks has grown enough that I don’t see the possibility mentioned as much as I did in, say, January. Davis is already a deeply intriguing player because of his size, strength and potential to be a truly elite run stuffer at the next level, and if he is even a reasonably impactful pass rusher to start his career he’s going to make a team very happy. Perhaps it will be Atlanta.

Thursday

Kris rounds up some very intriguing players here. There is seemingly no way someone like, say, Calvin Austin or Desmond Ridder would be in play at #8, but they could certainly be interesting for the Falcons in Round 2. Ridder has been persistently linked to the Falcons in rumors dating back to last fall and could well be the developmental option the Falcons settle on, if indeed they do in 2022.

Austin isn’t 6’4”, but as Rhim notes, his speed and athleticism are deeply intriguing for a team that simply needs more of both at the wide receiver position.

On one hand, this seems like the year to invest in a wide receiver in the first couple of rounds, as the Falcons seem likely to do. On the other hand, some of the top receivers look impressive not just based on their 2021 on-field results, but what they’re showing off in Indianapolis. It’s not clear the Falcons will have a realistic shot at some of the top receivers in this class if they’re not picking one at #8 or moving down a little bit.

The Falcons are, as you’d expect, talking to all the top backs, as they’ve also touched base with Breece Hall, James Cook, and Zamir White. Atlanta’s need for a young feature back is evident and this feels like the year they’ll end up landing one.

This feels like the year the Falcons are going to draft at least one University of Georgia player, given the caliber of players available and how closely their best draft options line up with this team’s needs. Shaffer is one to keep an eye on, given that he played well at left guard for Georgia and left guard is an outsized need if the Falcons haven’t lashed themselves to Jalen Mayfield for 2022.

Also in case you missed it, The Falcoholic Live crew talked about the pre-Combine presser and much more last night.

Stay tuned for more updates as they come in.

Wednesday

Add Chris Olave to the list of receivers who have met with the Falcons, and Olave talked up his fit in the Falcons offense. Another name to file away.

We knew this, I think, but the Falcons appear to be downplaying even the thought of taking one good-sized swing at a big name free agent in 2022.

The team appears to be doing their due diligence on a quarterback class they’re not as down on as many draft analysts are. If they are hoping to get through the offseason without touching Matt Ryan’s contract, as Steve Wyche indicated earlier this week, they’ll likely a potential quarterback of the future in the building. That doesn’t mean they’re definitely snagging one, but putting the time and effort into learning more about their options is just smart, and Corral clearly recognizes what he’d be stepping into in 2022 if Atlanta drafted him.

Again, this is not surprising but may prove to be noteworthy. The Falcons appear fated to sink significant resources into the wide receiver position even if Calvin Ridley and Russell Gage come back, and London is one of the top receivers in this class, if not the top. London is just 20 years old and is 6’5”, meaning he would seem to fit right in with Kyle Pitts in what would become a land of pass catching giants.

Of course, the Falcons aren’t going to limit their purview to just one receiver. Williams is also just 20 years old and was a tremendous weapon for Alabama, so it’s not shocking the Falcons will be one of approximately 32 teams interested in potentially adding him.

There’s nothing exceptional here, as you’d expect, but basically Fontenot says it was in the team’s best interest to move on from both.


Schedule

Wednesday, March 2: TE, QB, WR media; OL, RB medical exams and interviews; DL, LB arrivals and interviews

Thursday, March 3: TE, QB, WR measurements, bench press and on-field workouts; OL, RB media and interviews; DL, LB medical exams and interviews; CB, S, special teams arrivals and interviews

Friday, March 4: OL, RB measurements, bench press and on-field workouts; DL, LB media and interviews ; CB, S, special teams medical exams and interviews

Saturday, March 5: DL, LB measurements, bench press and on-field workouts; CB, S, special teams media and interviews

Sunday, March 6: CB, S, special teams measurements, bench press and on-field workouts

Monday, March 7: The last group finally escapes from Indianapolis