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Falcons Mock Draft (1.0)


Beef
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Okay I think we're far enough along that the 1.0 version of this can be done.  I'm pretty confident we are not quite done in FA, but I have no clue at this point who we're going to pick up.  Cheap guys like Rubin, Upshaw, Ishmael or Reynolds maybe?  Something to fill depth, however we still need guys who are essentially starters on our DL because of how our rotations work.  Especially at the 1-tech and 3-tech.

So before I do the mock draft, I'm going to lay out our depth chart for O and D, with projected snap counts (defense only) based on snap counts we had last year by existing players and depth at positions.  We average around 1,000 snaps on defense so I'm just going to use that to make it easy.  I'm also including the NASCAR snaps (~100) in our Nickel so I can shorten this a bit.

Anyone with an asterisk next to their name means they are NOT a guarantee to make the 53.

Offense:

QB: Matt Ryan | Matt Schaub | Garrett Grayson*
WRX: Julio Jones | Reggie Davis*
WRZ: Justin Hardy | Marvin Hall
WRS: Mo Sanu | Devin Fuller*
WRY: ???
TE: Austin Hooper | Eric Saubert* | Logan Paulsen* | ???
RBF: Devonta Freeman | Terrance Magee*
RBC: Tevin Coleman
FB: ???
LT: Jake Matthews | Ty Sambrailo
LG: Andy Levitre | Sean Harlow*
OC: Alex Mack | Ben Garland
RG: Brandon Fusco | Wes Schweitzer
RT: Ryan Schraeder | Austin Pasztor

Defense:
Base (~300 snaps):

LEO/7T: McKinley (150) | Reed (150)
WDT/3T: Jarrett (200) | ??? (100)
NT/1T: ??? (250) | ??? (50)
SDE/5T: Crawford (150) | Shelby (150)
SAM/9T: Campbell (300) | Beasley (0)
WILL: Riley (200) | ??? (100)
MIKE: Jones (300) |??? (0)
SS: Neal (300) | Mauger* (0)
FS: Allen (300) | Kazee (0)
RCB: Trufant (250) | Wreh-Wilson (50)
LCB: Alford (250) | McFadden* (50)

Nickel (~700 snaps):

RDE/9T: McKinley (500) | Reed (200)
RDT/4iT: Jarrett (550) | ??? (150)
LDT/4iT: ??? (350) | Crawford (200) | Shelby (150)
LDE/9T: Beasley (600) | ??? (100)
OLB: Campbell (600) | Riley (100)
MLB: Jones (700) | Riley (0)
NB: Poole (400) | Bethel (200) | Kazee (100)
SS: Neal (700) | Mauger* (0)
FS: Allen (700) | Kazee (0)
RCB: Trufant (700) | Wreh-Wilson (0)
LCB: Alford (700) | McFadden* (0)

P: Matt Bosher
K: Matt Bryant
LS: Josh Harris
 

Observations on holes/needs:

=> As we can see, there is a glaring hole at the DT position, and more precisely a 1-tech in our Base and starting DT next to Jarrett in our Nickel, PLUS virtually zero depth behind Jarrett.  Crawford and Shelby are not ideal for these roles.  They can play some 4i-tech in the Nickel and Nascar packages, but they are both mostly suited for the 5-tech in our Base.

=> We also need a backup DE behind Beasley.  If either Beasley or McKinley go down with injuries, we're in a world of hurt at this moment.  Reed is currently the only backup Edge that's guaranteed on the 53.  There's a slight chance that J'Terius Jones could compete for this backup role.  Shelby and Crawford could edge rush if they had to as well, but they are simply more ideal as interior DE's.

=> It would be really nice to relegate Duke Riley to backup LB.  He seems especially ideal as a backup ILB to Deion.  He can play inside and outside, but was a big liability last year on the outside.  I'm assuming he will have improved, but either way, we have serious lack of depth at the LB position in general.  Hoping we bring back Ishmael and/or Reynolds on the cheap as a safety net at LB.

=> We are obviously missing a FB.  It's kind of a sure thing since Quinn and Sark have both said we are going to install some power-running this year.

=> We don't appear to have a replacement for Taylor Gabriel.  Although there is no certainty we are even looking to replace him.  Sark barely used Gabriel in the role that Shanny did.  That said, our WR depth is precarious with Hall, Davis, and Fuller in general.  That's not really an eye-popping WR4/5.  Many think we should be trying to upgrade Hardy at the WR3 too.  And probably most of all, we don't have a KR/PR "specialist" in the bunch.  All 3 of them have done KR/PR, but they couldn't win the job last year so we brought in Roberts.  Not sure we're going to settle for a cross our fingers situation here.

=> TE just looks blah.  Saubert is a completely unknown commodity, Paulsen is purely a blocker who could actually be replaced quite easily, and Hooper is simply a Tier 2 receiving and blocking TE that could dab a toe into the Tier 1 pool if he can run better routes and not drop any balls.  Everyone would love to get a dynamic receiving TE here.  We could almost kill two birds with one stone by getting a tall dynamic receiving TE and avoid looking for this in the WR position.  That way we could conserve one of our draft picks and maybe find a shifty elusive WR in the mold of Gabriel that might also be a bona fide KR/PR too.

=>  Kinda looks like we need RB depth too, but I think Quinn and company likes Magee.  No doubt we will bring in some UDFA's to compete.  I don't expect us to draft a RB with any of our first 4 picks.  We just have other much greater pressing needs.

 

So what exactly are the Falcons' needs/wishes?  Don't forget that Dimi and Quinn love players with multiplicity ability.

By Priority:

1. NT/1T
2. DT/3T
3. TE
4. OLB
5. DE
6. WR/KR/PR
7. FB

Now this doesn't necessarily mean we will draft in this order, but according to our roster/depth chart, this is how our needs should be prioritized.  Unfortunately, the players around our picks don't always cooperate in the realm of quality and need, so we have to take some risks sometimes.

 

With that all said, here's my mock draft 1.0:

 

1-26: TE Mike Gesicki - Penn St.

http://www.nfl.com/draft/2018/profiles/mike-gesicki?id=2559889

=> 6'5, 247 lbs.  4.54 40 yd.  41.5 vert. Top performer in virtually every combine metric.  2017: 13 games, 57 receptions, 563 yards, 9 TD's.

Why?  Because first of all, Vea, Payne, Hurst, and Bryan may all be gone by pick #26.  Most of the mocks out there have all 4 of them gone by our pick.  Gesicki solves multiple problems.  He is essentially a 6'5 250 lb WR.  He can lineup anywhere, inside or outside.  This means we don't have to go big and early at WR.  Now when Hooper and Gesicki are on the field at the same time, along with the likes of Julio and Sanu, we have absurd mismatches everywhere.  Hooper is a pretty decent blocker too.  Now we don't have to worry about the question mark known as Eric Saubert.  Paulsen and Saubert can battle for the 3rd TE spot.  We're only dressing 3, so one of them is gone.  Saubert likely to PS again.

Alternate pick:  DT/3T Taven Bryan (the most likely of the 4 top DT's still possibly there at #26... If Bryan, Payne, Hurst, or by some miracle Vea is still there at #26, we pick one of them and go with the Alternate TE in round #2 since Gesicki will surely be gone by #58)  http://www.nfl.com/draft/2018/profiles/taven-bryan?id=2560140

 

2-58:  NT/1T Tim Settle - Virginia Tech

http://www.nfl.com/draft/2018/profiles/tim-settle?id=2560190

=> 6'3, 335 lbs.  2017: 13 games, 36 stops, 12.5 tfl's, 4 sacks.

Why?  Because we desperately need a true big body NT to replace Poe.  We could slide Jarrett over to the 1T and have him fully embrace the Brandon Mebane role, but then we're still in the same position of needing a 3T to make up the production of Jarrett who is not going to get the same production in the 1T as he did in the 3T.  This is an ideal spot to get Settle.  All the other DT/NT's in the top 2 rounds, besides Vea, are between 300-315 lbs.  Settle and Vea are legit 335-345 massive body NT's with legit skills and quickness for their size.

Alternate pick:  TE Hayden Hurst (IF Bryan falls to us at #26, Hurst is very similar to doing for us what Gesicki would have, but he's likely still available in the 2nd)  http://www.nfl.com/draft/2018/profiles/hayden-hurst?id=2560072

 

3-90:  DT Nathan Shepherd - Fort Hays St.

http://www.nfl.com/draft/2018/profiles/nathan-shepherd?id=2559892

=> 6'5, 315 lbs.  2017: 12 games, 38 stops, 12.5 tfl's, 4 sacks.

Why?  He can play both 3T and 1T in Base, and 4iT in Nickel.  Very quick with fast powerful hands and moves to shed blocks and penetrate the backfield.  Comes from a small school, so is raw and a bit of a project, but would have Jarrett and Settle in front of him anyway.  He's too athletic and the potential is through the roof.  He gave an Aaron Donald type performance at the Senior Bowl almost and left everyone asking who the heck this guy was and where did he come from.  Just too much potential to pass up and fits our multiplicity DT/NT needs.

Alternate pick: DT BJ Hill (very similar to Shepherd in measurables, just not quite as explosive)  http://www.nfl.com/draft/2018/profiles/b.j.-hill?id=2559857

Second Alternate pick: DT PJ Hall (might be a Grady Jarrett clone)  http://www.nfl.com/draft/2018/profiles/p.j.-hall?id=2560080

 

4-126:  OLB Uchenna Nwosu - USC

http://www.nfl.com/draft/2018/profiles/uchenna-nwosu?id=2559821

=>  6'3, 250 lbs.  2017:  14 games, 75 tackles, 11.5 tfl's, 9.5 sacks, 1 int, 13 pass breakups, 1 ff.

Why?  He's 6'3 250, runs a 4.63 40 yd, and has 19 pass breakups at the OLB position over the last 2 seasons (13 in 2017), is a tackling machine (75, 47 solo), and can also play edge rusher where he got 9.5 sacks last year too.  In other words, he takes care of 2 needs for us, WOLB (where Duke Riley struggled), and a backup to Beasley on the edge in our Nickel.

Alternate pick: OLB Hercules Mata'afa (similar to Nwosu)  http://www.nfl.com/combine/profiles/hercules-mata'afa?id=2560220

 

6-200:  FB Dimitri Flowers - Oklahoma

http://www.nfl.com/combine/profiles/dimitri-flowers?DB_OEM_ID=31000&id=2560135

=> 6'2, 248 lbs.  2017: 13 games, 26 receptions for 464 yards and 5 TD's.

Why?  Because he can actually catch, run, and block.  Three straight years with 4 or more receiving TD's out of the FB position.  Can pound the rock on goal lines.  Excellent lead blocker for Rodney Anderson at Oklahoma.  Can also line up at TE and block.  There's a slight chance he could be gone by pick 200, however.  I'm stretching the boundaries of being reasonable and maybe being too wishful here.  That's okay though, this is actually a FB-rich draft with quite a few good FB's that should be available late in the draft, all with similar production capability as Flowers.

Alternate pick:  WR Javon Wims (IF Wims some how makes it to this pick, we have to gobble him up, even if Flowers is there.  Wims is moving up the board though, so it's unlikely.)  http://www.nfl.com/combine/profiles/javon-wims?id=2560088

 

7-244:  WR/KR/PR Quadree Henderson - Pitt

http://www.nfl.com/draft/2018/profiles/quadree-henderson?id=2560004

=> 5'8, 190 lbs.  2017:  12 games, 36 rushes, 251 yards; 17 receptions, 186 yards; 25 kick returns, 524 yards, 1 TD; 21 punt returns, 243 yards, 2 TD's

Why?  Because he racked up 1,204 all purpose yards for Pitt in 2017, which includes 251 rushing yards on 36 carries (7.0 ypc), 186 receiving yards on 17 catches (11.0 ypr), 243 yards on 21 punt returns (returning 2 of TD), 524 yards on 25 kick returns (returning 1 for TD).  Finished his college career with 7 return TD's (4 kickoffs, 3 punts).  Not only is he similar to Taylor Gabriel, but he has the added dynamic of kick and punt returns, which Gabriel did not do.

Alternate pick:  FB Ryan Nall (but this is only if we grabbed Wims in round #6 instead of Flowers, or if Flowers wasn't there at #200) http://www.nfl.com/combine/profiles/ryan-nall?id=2560233

 

7-256:  S Tre Flowers - Oklahoma St.

http://www.nfl.com/draft/2018/profiles/tre-flowers?id=2560037

=> 6'3, 200 lbs. 4.45 40 yd.  2017: 13 games, 80 tackles, 1 tfl, 1 int, 8 pass defenses, 1 ff.

Why?  Tall, fast FS with some potential.  Also the brother of FB Dimitri Flowers.  Would be an interesting story line to get both brothers on the same team.  And, we could use some safety depth.

Alternate pick: QB Riley Ferguson (probably won't still be there by pick #256, but if he is he's an option since the Falcons brass met with him at the EW game)  http://www.nfl.com/draft/2018/profiles/riley-ferguson?id=2559951

Second Alternate pick: RB Chase Edmonds (can double as a backup RB as well as KR/PR, which he is adept at)  https://www.nfl.com/prospects/chase-edmonds?id=32462018-0002-5599-67b6-83e11d5abce1

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10 minutes ago, Yo_Lover said:

I don't want Settle at all. Other than that I like it.

Why not?

His highlights look stellar.  Dude has a really good motor and just pulverizes guys.  His impacts are violent AF.  Moves crazy good for 335 lbs.

 

 

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1 hour ago, Beef said:

Why not?

His highlights look stellar.  Dude has a really good motor and just pulverizes guys.  His impacts are violent AF.  Moves crazy good for 335 lbs.

 

 

When I watch that video I just see him getting by a bunch of idiot lineman that barely touch him. At one point he even had his back to the offensive lineman but the QB ran right into him. 

I also didn't like his combine.

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I'd be pretty psyched if we ended up with a haul like this.

I was on the Gesicki train well before he blew the doors off the combine, and fully agree that if there's not a DT worth taking at #26, Gesicki could quite possibly be BPA. He's my favorite TE prospect in years... maybe even ever... so I'd love it if he was a Falcon. I really like Nwosu a whole bunch, too & think he will be a steal for whomever gets him. I've brought up Quadree Henderson a bunch in various threads as a late round sleeper who can help in the return game. I've also mentioned Riley Ferguson as the one late round QB prospect I think would make sense for us. So it's cool to see you list those guys on here.

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4 hours ago, Yo_Lover said:

When I watch that video I just see him getting by a bunch of idiot lineman that barely touch him. At one point he even had his back to the offensive lineman but the QB ran right into him. 

I also didn't like his combine.

I know this sounds stupid but he has a sloppy body. He just doesn’t look like a DQ DL. 

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Good post. I didn't think we would be looking at a TE with our first pick, but it makes sense since a big receiving target like that could help some of our inability to get into the end zone.

EDIT: Just read the NFL.com draft profile for this TE; sounds like a baller.

Edited by fincavigia
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Overall I like but don't agree with double dipping at DT. With modern substitution packages for this passing league, you just don't need to spend semi-premium resources for three DT's (including Jarrett). The Falcons only need one more DT of the future and otherwise can fill in the remaining snaps with veteran JAG's like Rubin and 'tweeners like Shelby. 

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27 minutes ago, Summerhill said:

Overall I like but don't agree with double dipping at DT. With modern substitution packages for this passing league, you just don't need to spend semi-premium resources for three DT's (including Jarrett). The Falcons only need one more DT of the future and otherwise can fill in the remaining snaps with veteran JAG's like Rubin and 'tweeners like Shelby. 

That's not what's going on with out DL, we run both a 5-2-4 and a 4-3-4.

So we have one package that's a technique line of 7T-3T-1T-5T-9T.  This is essentially a 3-4 setup that needs 300-315 lb DT at the 3T, a massive 330+ lb NT, and a 280 lb DE as the 3 interior DL's, and then two Edge DL's that can play the run or drop into coverage.  But this package is a "stop the run" first 1-gap scheme.

The next package has a technique line of 9T-4iT-4iT-9T.  A standard "Wide-9", where the DT's cover 2 gaps.  These guys are typically in the 290-315 lb range.

A 1-gap DT is typically a different player and body type than a 2-gap DT.  Fortunately for us, Grady Jarrett excels at both.

The 5-tech is almost always the prototypical 3-4 DE type.  Too big to be an edge rusher, and too small to be a typical DT.  That's Crawford and Shelby for us.

So we are legitimately MISSING a bona fide 1T for our Base pkg, AND another 4iT for our Nickel.

Those are two starters we are missing.  You can't just toss Crawford or Shelby in either of those.  If we slide Jarrett over to 1T, then who's our 3T?  Who's still the other 4iT?

Rubin is a backup... and he's not on the roster.  Even if we signed Rubin back, do we want him as the starting 1T?

Worst of all, can you imagine what happens if Jarrett gets injured?

There is zero question we need to draft two DT's.  AND, we probably still also need a FA DT as backup.

Edited by Beef
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31 minutes ago, Summerhill said:

Overall I like but don't agree with double dipping at DT. With modern substitution packages for this passing league, you just don't need to spend semi-premium resources for three DT's (including Jarrett). The Falcons only need one more DT of the future and otherwise can fill in the remaining snaps with veteran JAG's like Rubin and 'tweeners like Shelby. 

So who is gonna be your DT rotation? Some wet-behind-the-ears rookie gonna come in and play 75% of snaps like poe did last year? 

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3 hours ago, MSalmon said:

I know this sounds stupid but he has a sloppy body. He just doesn’t look like a DQ DL. 

He looks like he's just flailing around and it works against them. Like they expect a real move and he moves like a carlot tube guy so it catches them off guard.

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I don’t like Gesicki or Settle so I guess I don’t really like your mock. WR is also a huge issue here, as well as CB depth. There’s nothing Settle does that Rhubin doesn’t. Settle *has* a motor for about 2 plays until he gets gassed; some terrible conditioning there imo 

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33 minutes ago, Vandy said:

So who is gonna be your DT rotation? Some wet-behind-the-ears rookie gonna come in and play 75% of snaps like poe did last year? 

Poe is a unicorn to be a guy that big and can play 700+ snaps. We're not replacing all that with one player. It will be a platoon. I doubt any rookie DT is playing more than 300 snaps. 

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