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Post-Draft Breakdown and Takeaways

I try to reflect on each draft, that way I get more and more acclimated to how the front office addresses needs and views talent acquisition. This draft gave us a lot to work with. I was going to breakdown my thoughts about each player as an individual as well as general thoughts about what we did and where we are going as a team.

Front Office:

- They had a draft that was in line with what I thought was the best strategy. It was not a strict BPA strategy. It was a BPA at a position of need strategy. The higher the need, the more priority that position got, and thus the higher ranked players within that position were ranked on their board.

- The team knew their weaknesses and thus knew how weak of a team they were working with this upcoming season. The defense and strategy that goes with it will be drastically different in 2022 than 2021. Whether it works or not remains to be seen.

- This upcoming offseason is all about battling for roster spots. I doubt they are going to give any player a guaranteed starting role, minus some of our stalwarts and the number 8 pick (Pitts, Matthews, Jarrett, Evans, Terrell, London).

- This team still lacks quality d-line players. I forsee a late push after camp cuts to bring in one or two more big boys up front. At least one more 3-4 DE to play opposite of Jarrett. I doubt they are wanting to roll with Davidson, Rush, Jarrett as their D-front in 2022. If there is no change then that will be your 2022 Atlanta Falcon base defense starting d-line.

- This team is in tune with its issues. Its all a matter of resources on how they can fix it. Just like with addiction issues, your first step to recovery is to admit you have a problem.

Drafted Players:

Drake London: Starting WR1 from Day 1. He will have no break in period, nor will he have that many mentors outside of maybe Zaccheaus and Patterson. London will be carving his own path, and hopefully he knows that his play on the field will dictate his success. As long as he keeps playing and producing decent results, nobody worth listening to will worry too much. Personally I think he will be just fine. Even though that injury will be something in the back of my mind for the first part of the season.

David Ebiketie: Starting OLB opposite Lorenzo Carter. This might be the most impactful defensive pick in the draft. With Carter meeting expectations and Ebiketie getting better throughout the season, we might actually have enough talent to get a sack or two. Instead of dead last, we can shoot for middle of the league, which would be a massive improvement.

Troy Anderson: This is the ILB4 for the season. I predict it will be Evans, Jones, Walker, and Anderson to start the year. They may use this as fodder to let Jones go though. Time will tell. A post-June 1 cut of Jones monetarily makes sense and having Anderson ensures that our depth doesn't get ruined. Plus, if he can have a shortened learning curve we could be looking at Walker and Anderson as our starting ILB's next year. We would be bigger and better run defenders up the middle if this were the case in 2023.

Desmond Ridder: Where there is smoke there is fire. This will be the most important camp battle we have had in ages. I truthfully think they make the QB1 role wide open. I DO NOT think Ridder beats out Mariota, but I think he won't be a pushover either. Ridder might be able to take the reigns next year. This was a genius pick. If he doesn't develop and we draft a QB again next year, we only burned a third rounder on a backup. Not good but not bad. If he takes the starting role and does well, then we just got incredible value. Very smart pick and hopefully Ridder becomes the next QB1 with time.

DeAngelo Malone: This is who takes over for Carter next year if things work out. At worst he is a passing down rotational piece. From a third round pick, that is perfectly acceptable. He has high upside and needs some time to work on his run stopping. No issues considering there is no pressing need to have him start Day 1. This was another great pick.

Tyler Allgeier: This was a later round pick I had going to Atlanta a lot, but I wasn't sure where they stood on the RB room. After the free agent acquisitions and the lack of talent elsewhere, I wasn't sure they would prioritize it. I see a very specific role for Allegier from Day 1. He is the short yardage/goaline back from the start. Those TD's he scored last year in college are what got him the drafted. That is what Atlanta will be looking to capitalize on. If you ask me, we cut Davis and use the money to help sign the rookies. Then we have Damien Williams as early down back, Patterson as the third down back and passing down back, with Allegeier as the short yardage/goaline back. As long as Allegier progresses as a RB, he will be the early down, short yardage, and goaline back. Maybe even the every down back if they decide to let go of Patterson in 2023.

Justin Shaeffer: He is a big run blocking Guard. I don't see him starting but I do see him being a solid reserve. He does fit the run first scheme that Arthur Smith is obviously trying to get started here in Atlanta. He technically could grow into the future Guard if Mayfield fails, but he needs as much work as Mayfield did last year, if not more. I doubt he is being looked at as possible starting material. Not until 2023 at the earliest. If I were to grade these picks from favorite to least favorite, this would be my least favorite. While he has potential, I simply do not see it as being a future starter. This was a purely depth move. If anything this was just to keep those Dawg fans from rioting after skipping over Dean (which I would have done as well).

John Fitzpatrick: He is obviously the TE3, and honestly might get some actual playing time if the o-line situation doesn't improve. I actually see him as being more a true Y type TE. Meaning he can catch and block, but he definitely has his strength in the blocking department, which is perfect for what Smith is trying to build here.

Overall Results:

- I expect every player in this draft to make the final 53. That is not always the case, and we usually have 1 or 2 that hit the practice squad, but I forsee all of these guys travelling with the team on gamedays in 2022. I forsee pretty much all of them seeing some level of playing time on Sundays as well. Fitzpatrick being our last pick this draft, very well might be seeing the field, which is phenomenal value.

- Love it or hate it, the front office had a plan and executed. They improved the future core of this team and made us better in 2022. They had incredible forsight on what the rest of the NFL was doing and never made their picks in a vacuum, which is highly useful when making sure you are getting the best possible picks you can.

- They exceeded my expectations, and did better than years past. This is a bit of an early reaction, but at first glance I like what I see and this is exactly what this team needed.

<em>This FanPost was written by one of The Falcoholic's talented readers. It does not necessarily reflect the views of The Falcoholic.</em>