7-Round Atlanta Falcons Mock Draft 1.0: The Way-Too Early Edition

dantefowlerRound 1 – 8th overall

The Pick: DE/OLB Dante Fowler Jr, Florida

The Skinny: This stud is a three-down linebacker-defensive end hybrid, who can stop the run AND rush the passer. The Falcons have been embarassed by their lack of defensive attitude and prowess, and they get both with this all-around talent. He is a scheme fit for any scheme because of his size and athleticism.

Round 2 – 40th overall

The Pick: ILB/OLB Bernardrick McKinney, Mississippi State

The Skinny: This talented linebacker has the size, 6 foot 4 in 243lbs, and speed, 4.6 40yd dash, to be a long time starter in this league. With an upside as high as Navarro Bowman, and very little to be concerned about, this would essentially add a starter to this maligned defense and build a long-term solution to the woes that this front seven of the Falcons has suffered from for several seasons now.

Round 3 – 72nd overall

The Pick: TE Nick O’Leary, Florida State

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The Skinny: Strictly a value pick right here. I would argue that the players available on defense and the offensive line at this point in the draft would not be starters in year 1. I do however think that O’Leary could be an instant contributor to an already explosive offense and be an intriguing red zone aid, as the Falcons have not been able to fix their woes. I also believe that interior offensive line man, which is what the Falcons need can be taken later in the draft, no need to reach.

Round 4 – 104th overall

The Pick: OT Jake Fisher, Oregon

The Skinny: This would be a pick in which the Falcons could add quality depth and give a young guy to this group of veterans that can be developed over the next year or so into a solid starter at right tackle. Has a good frame and held together the offensive line for Oregon during their Pac-12 championship and College Football Playoff run.

Round 5 – 136th overall

The Pick: OLB Jordan Hicks, Texas

The Skinny: If you haven’t noticed the trend, it’s defense. The Falcons need potential starters and quality depth to improve this unit. Hicks is an agile player who could be a part of the youth movement on this defense that helps build a new identity.

davidandrewsRound 6 – 168th overall

The Pick: OC David Andrews, Georgia

The Skinny: With a nickname “Boss” how could you not take the undersized center in the sixth round. He was a three year starter at UGA, and a natural leader. He will have a chip on his shoulder and he has very high football IQ, which always helps the overall unit. And with all of the struggles on the offensive line, any type of leadership and attitude potential is a plus at this spot in the draft.

Round 7 – 200th overall

The Pick: CB Damian Swann, Georgia

The Skinny: Yes, I know i doubled down on UGA players, but this is a value pick for Atlanta. Swann is a three and a half year starter who had a great sophomore year, a below average junior year, and a stellar senior season. This is an asset because it shows how he responds to adversity. Both defensive coordinators that Swann learned under are both aligned with NFL principles and help his understanding of different schemes. He is a versatile defensive back that played corner and safety in college. He can help on special teams and add depth and versatility to a thin secondary.

 

Why Bobo will Succeed as a Head Coach

BoboMurray-Sanderlin-Former UGA Offensive Coordinator Mike Bobo has accepted the Head Coaching job at Colorado State University. Many may think that this is just an average hire for a mediocre program. Some would say a logical step for a coveted coordinator. I, however, believe that he is destined to be a success as a head coach. There are three major qualities each head coach needs that aid in the process necessary to sustain success.

The first asset is his demeanor. He has learned and grown under Mark Richt and has been able to watch him operate a program. The calm demeanor helps when your team is facing adversity and will benefit the program in the long run as it will give the players time to develop and show the coach their best without wilting under pressure. Demeanor carries with you in all aspects of life, because it is a measure of the confidence that person has.

The next asset is his humility, which helps when he figures out who his staff will be. The humility allows him to bring in the best coaches possible, and not try to do it all on his own. He has already announced his first hire, friend and coaching colleague Will Friend, former UGA offensive line coach. Friend is an excellent coach and equally excellent recruiter, as well as a great asset to have by Bobo’s side for the foreseeable future.

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The last main asset is his style and philosophy about football. It remains to be seen how he will approach defense and the schemes that go along with it, but offensively, we know he runs a pro-style system with spread concepts. He has mastered it over the last 7 years at UGA and should enhance it as he grows professionally. It also doesn’t hurt that Bobo is an excellent recruiter, and it should be easier to get players to follow him to CSU because he has a history of putting guys in the NFL.

bobo csuThis step in his career is temporary and should be a solid one on his way back into the SEC as a head coach, possibly at his alma mater the University of Georgia, obviously whenever Coach Richt decides to call it quits.