This is a 7-Round Mock Draft for the Atlanta Falcons with predictions for all 11 draft picks they possess, assuming they stay put and do not trade any.
Round 1- Pick 30: Cornellius “Tank” Carradine, DE Florida State
This is the type of pass rusher the Falcons can build around. Without a doubt he is top 10 talent, but because of his injury he would drop to the 30th overall spot. He has already healed back and has ran a 4.7 in the 40 yd dash. ACL injuries are not what they used to be, more advancements on the surgery and technology has allowed players to return in as little as 7 months. He will add a pass rush opposite of Umeniora andhe can adapt to whatever scheme the Falcons run, since he is 6-4 276 pounds, he could be a DE in a 4-3 or a 3-4. He has the balance in his game between run stopper and pass rusher, this makes him a no-brainer pick and the only red flag is the injury sustained during the 2012 season.
Round 2 – Pick 60: Tyrann Mathieu, CB LSU
This might surprise many of you, but I believe that Mathieu possesses 1st round talent but because of his baggage he would drop to possibly even third round. The Falcons have to add a defensive end and a corner back to either start or play significant roles on the team this year so I have designated their first two rounds to those spots. He can cover most receivers, but the elite receivers that the Falcons face will be covered by Asante Samuel anyways. He will also add a dimension on special teams that the Falcons have not had in quite sometime, as he is a game-breaker as a return man. This will also add value by picking him here. As for his off-the-field issues, the Falcons already have a strong locker room that is veteran laden, so he will be held accountable by his teammates. He has also been working with Deon “Primetime” Sanders, who played the same position and was a dynamic returner, who has pledged his support for for this young man.
Round 3 – Pick 92: Marcus Lattimore, RB South Carolina
If I surprised you here, just hear me out. The Falcons signed Steven Jackson to a 3-yr $12-million deal with only $4-million guaranteed. This means that the soon-to-be 30-yr old will most likely be cut after his first year for cap reasons. The reason you take Lattimore here is to ensure that you can lock up a premier back for very little $. This will help the offense stay balanced for years to come. His first season he would primarily come in to relieve the other backs and would not have a tough workload, almost taking a “redshirt” year. He then would become the premier back in 2014 and beyond with JaQuizz Rodgers providing the “complimentary” duties. He would also be a GREAT locker room addition and teammate. For the money you can not go wrong, he is definitely worth the risk.
Round 4 – Pick 127: Ricky Wagner, OT Wisconsin
This would be a good addition at this spot, Wagner would be a serviceable to good right tackle in 2013 and could evolve into a good to pro bowl caliber tackle. He might not ever play left tackle in the NFL, but with the departure of Tyson Clabo due to cap space, this is a must at this point in the draft.
Round 4 – Pick 133: David Amerson, CB North Carolina State
As stated before, the Falcons need help at corner back in this draft. Amerson some may remember was a top NFL prospect last year after his strong Junior campaign. He then had a down/inconsistent year in 2012, which has dropped him down to a fourth or fifth round grade. He has the potential and size to be a above average starter in the NFL but as a rookie would probably be a nickel or dime corner and play on special teams.
Round 5 – Pick 163: Kwame Geathers, NT Georgia
This is one heap of a man. Geathers should have probably stayed in school for one more season to refine his skills, this could have landed him in the first or second round. This, however is the path he chose and the Falcons could benefit as the price for him could be much lower. He is a 3-4 nose tackle at 6-3 353lbs or so. He would help transition the Falcons into that 3-4 base defense that Mike Nolan wants to implement. This could also give them flexibility on the defensive line.
Round 6 – Pick 198: Phillip Lutzenkirchen, TE Auburn
Well, there has been a lot said as to what the Falcons will do at Tight End in 2014 after future hall-of-famer Tony Gonzalez retires. I say they address it in part this year with a late-round selection where Lutzenkirchen could shadow Gonzalez and get groomed behind him. If it doesn’t work out then they can just draft/sign someone next year. Lutzenkirchen is known around the SEC, but does not get recognized anywhere else due to Auburn’s lack of offense in recent years. He is the type of H-Back where he can take the “fullback’s” place this season and also play TE. He can move around and has great hands, and actually reminds me of a “poor-man’s” Gronkowski. At this price and pick, this is a good value.
Round 7 – Pick 236: Johnathan Willard, OLB Clemson
This is a pick where the Falcons could gain some speed at the outside linebacker position. They need a linebacker that has “quick hips” and can keep up with the current Tight Ends mismatch that the Falcons have as they are in the same division as Jimmy Graham, Greg Olson, and Dallas Clark. This mismatch was also exposed in the NFC Championship game against the San Francisco 49ers, where Vernon Davis was a major key in defeating the Falcons. Willard could also add the versatility to the defense where Nolan could use him in the 3-4 defense as well.
Round 7 – Pick 243: Craig Roh, DE Michigan
Roh was highly touted coming out of high school and has had a good career at Michigan. He has the size to provide depth at the defensive end position, whether it be a 3-4 end or a 4-3 end. The Falcons need to continue to add these type of players to have depth and build a cap-friendly depth chart by building through the draft.
Round 7 – Pick 244: James Ferentz, C Iowa
Ferentz is a durable leader on the offensive line. He started 38 consecutive games in 3 years and was the leader of a very talented offensive line. The center position for the Falcons is one of need, as Pro Bowler Todd McClure has retired and the backup Peter Konz is taking over the starting role. Ferentz will be a quality backup at a very important position and can contribute immediately on special teams.
Round 7 – Pick 249: Ray Ray Armstrong, S Miami
Armstrong has been an above average safety at Miami, but was highly coveted in high school. He could be a quality backup for the Safeties the Falcons have, with Thomas DeCoud and William Moore, there is a major drop off in talent from starter to backup. This will be very important if there was an injury to one of these players, where the Falcons could hold up a little better.
Written By Daniel, Hammockd29