The Atlanta Falcons bolstered their trenches with both Day 2 picks, selecting offensive lineman Matthew Bergeron in the second round and defensive end Zach Harrison in the third. That leaves the Falcons with three remaining picks on Day 3, a fourth-rounder and two picks in the seventh.
What the Falcons do with those three picks (or even if they keep all of them) remains to be seen. Nevertheless, here are some of the top options available as we head into the final stretch of this league-wide pick parade.
DE Adetomiwa Adebawore
A pre-draft favorite amongst many here in Atlanta, Adebawore would still give the Falcons a defensive lineman with explosive upside coming out of this draft. After posting a dominant workout at the combine (he ran a 4.49-second 40-yard dash at 282 pounds!), Adebawore’s physical gifts put him on the radar in a new way. But it’s his inside-outside versatility that makes me think the Falcons could be interested.
The defensive line has become pretty log-jammed after a busy offseason, but Adebawore could be a prime candidate for the Richie Grant treatment and emerge in a big way in Year 2. This pick becomes less likely with the addition of Harrison, but he’s still worth mentioning here.
CB Kelee Ringo
The former Georgia star has slipped all the way down to Day 3, but a lot of Falcons fans would like to see them land Ringo. A two-time national champion – and a critical part of the first one – Ringo enters the NFL with a lot of accolades and name recognition. He’s a very physical corner with the size to match up against X receivers at the next level. While his athletic traits are outstanding, there are concerns about Ringo’s ability to match quicker receivers in space.
In Atlanta, he could begin his career with a smaller role and build from there. Arthur Smith hinted at something similar for Harrison, so perhaps the Falcons feel good enough about their roster that they are willing to take on players who need sizeable growth in certain areas.
LB Henry To’oTo’o
A classic example of high-level football instincts and fairly average size and power, To’oTo’o makes for a very intriguing Day 3 player. He’s not a powerful defender or tackler, but he keys on plays right away and he’s got the range to roam from sideline to sideline. While his coverage abilities leave something to be desired, the Falcons could probably live with him settling into the Rashaan Evans role and allowing others to handle coverage duties.
To’oTo’o is a smart player who has been called an extension of his coach on the field. Given Atlanta’s preference for high-character individuals, he makes sense from that standpoint.
OT Blake Freeland
Freeland met virtually with the Falcons before the draft, and he’s one of the most athletic linemen in this year’s class. After taking Bergeron, Atlanta may want to continue to add competition and depth to a major area of importance on their roster.
Freeland was a team captain in college, something both Falcons’ Day 2 picks had in common, and he is a former teammate of running back Tyler Allgeier. He may never be anything more than a high-end backup in this league, but that’s what Atlanta may be looking for on the offensive line.
S Christopher Smith
Another really versatile secondary player, Smith is lacking in size but has outstanding instincts and experience. He could conceivably help Atlanta out in the slot, in deep coverage and in run defense. However, it’s on special teams where Smith could really shine at the next level. The Atlanta native had a 96-yard blocked field goal return for a touchdown in the SEC Championship Game, and he’s earned praise for his leadership traits. On Day 3, teams could do a whole lot worse than adding a player like Smith to their roster.
As always, there are so many more players who could appear on this list, but we simply do not have space for them all.
Is there someone else who you think should hear their name called by Atlanta on Day 3? By all means, call them out in the comments below.