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Falcons choose edge rusher DeAngelo Malone at No. 82

Atlanta was linked to Malone in the pre-draft process, and they double dip with an intriguing young pass rusher.

NFL Combine Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images

Dean Pees said recently that the Falcons needed to improve their ability to pressure quarterbacks going forward. Terry Fontenot and the front office apparently took that seriously, as they’ve now double dipped and snagged a pair of edge rushers.

This time, it’s Western Kentucky’s DeAngelo Malone, a player the Falcons were linked to in the pre-draft process.

Malone is a plus athlete—shocker there—and a physical player who has been refining his pass rush toolkit over the years in Western Kentucky. He’s not necessarily going to be an asset against the run, but his speed and ability are genuinely intriguing, and he and Ebiketie could be a tremendous duo for a Falcons team that has struggled to rush the passer for a very long time now. That rotation at outside linebacker now includes a solid all-around player in Adetokunbo Ogundeji, Lorenzo Carter, Ebiketie, Malone and James Vaughters, and that’s a solid enough group for 2022. If Ebiketie and Malone realize their potential, the Falcons will be in great shape in the years to come.

If nothing else, seeing the Falcons invest two picks in pass rushers on the draft’s second day warms my heart. You can just imagine how Dean Pees feels about it, but while you mull that, please welcome Malone to Atlanta.