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Falcons met with Bijan Robinson, C.J. Stroud, Will Levis and other top prospects

Atlanta has been having lots of talks with top prospects at the NFL combine.

2022 NFL Draft - Round 1 Photo by David Becker/Getty Images

Terry Fontenot, Arthur Smith and Arthur Blank have descended upon Indianapolis like the predatory falcon attacking its prey — except here, instead of eating the prey, it will pepper it with questions in the hopes of finding out who it will pay millions. Indianapolis at March is the time where every team will talk to nearly every player and we start to heavily evaluate what kind of meeting it was: was it a formal interview, did a coach just chat up the prospect between drills, was the general manager included?

The Falcons, picking at 8, should be performing due diligence on most of the top prospects. That should mean even the likes of Bryce Young and Will Anderson Jr., both extremely unlikely to be available to Atlanta even with a trade up, should get some sort of chat. That’s not to say we can’t learn anything.

I’d like to give a shout out to both Sports Illustrated’s Daniel Flick and Fox 5’s Miles Garrett for killing the combine coverage for Falcons fans.

While I do want to get to interviews and meetings, this note from Flick has to be very interesting to Arthur Smith.

Even Atlanta’s lightest rusher, converted corner Avery Williams, is nearly 200 pounds. The rest of the running back group are 220 to 230 pounds. Smith likes big runners. And may like the draft’s top runner at 6-foot-0, 222-pounds.

While Atlanta would be taking a very interesting approach to a rebuild (going TE, WR, then RB at the top of the draft in three straight seasons), there’s no question Smith is considering it. After all, it should produce the league’s best run offense.

The Falcons are sniffing around more than just Robinson.

Gibbs has good size (he’s light for an Arthur Smith back) but has a different skill set as a shifty runner and versatile pass catcher. He’d fit as Atlanta’s 2nd-round pick.

The Falcons are kicking the tires on quarterbacks. I don’t think that’s decisive on if Atlanta is truly looking at upgrading over Desmond Ridder. Teams should know plenty about a top player if they fall to their spot, or if they’d have a target for trading up. Interviews start with Ohio’s C.J. Stroud.

Will Levis has been an offseason “riser” after an injury-riddled final season at Kentucky. He presents a scheme fit with athleticism, but may not last until the 8th pick.

One passer testing very well is Florida’s Anthony Richardson. While the trend has recently been shorter, smaller quarterbacks, Richardson provides some old-school size.

Oh, and he interviewed with Atlanta. Where Richardson goes right now varies pretty widely, but he’s been popular in interviews.

Arguably the draft’s top lineman, facing very serious legal allegations, was previously lined up for a meeting with Atlanta. There is not much clear about the Georgia tackle’s situation, both legal and in the draft.

While Atlanta doesn’t have a need at tackle, the team needs to do a better job at building depth through the draft while keeping an eye on the future. We aren’t sure if Kaleb McGary will be on the roster in 2023, or how long the staff expects to hold onto Jake Matthews (who just turned 31, very young for an OT). It wouldn’t put fans in seats, but adding the draft’s top tackle makes sense.

There’s a name we’d love to see, especially after he blazed a 4.38 40, but this corner hasn’t met with Atlanta yet.

Follow along with both Flick and Garrett for more combine coverage as we sort out potential fits for the Falcons.