The State of the Falcons:
Truly the end of an era in Atlanta. Decade-plus quarterback Matt Ryan was sent to Indianapolis for one last push at a Super Bowl, while the Falcons re-tool a roster that has continued to overachieve. Their SIS-WAR expected wins was 3.2 last year, but they won 7. All efficiency metrics rank in the 20s. This is not a good football team.
With a hole at virtually every position besides their last two first round selections (TE Kyle Pitts and CB A.J. Terrell), the Falcons are looking for any piece of value coming their way. Trying to reunite Marcus Mariota with a coach who benched him for Ryan Tannehill in Arthur Smith is, a start. With Mariota likely just a bridge QB, the Falcons have plenty to address with their five Top 100 picks.
Hamilton is a versatile safety who impacts all three levels of the field and is a rangy playmaker with the cover skills, speed, and athleticism to be an elite-level defender against both the run and pass.
If there’s a slide for his testing metrics, the Falcons should jump on the incredibly versatile and dynamic safety.
Cross’ transition to a more diverse offense will be an adjustment, but he’s a true pass protecting left tackle displaying outstanding athleticism and body control, whose improvements already at a young age suggest a very high ceiling.
Cross is a franchise left tackle that can be a pre-built solution for their QB investment of the future.
Walker has the physical and athletic traits that are highly coveted as a versatile defensive lineman, and if he can reach his potential as a pass rusher at the next level, he can be a special pass rushing talent.
Walker’s phenomenal athletic upside and home-grown talent would make him a fan-favorite franchise building block.
Wilson has the speed, route running, and ballcarrying traits that excite teams, and if he can work on attacking the ball when it’s in the air and improving his ability along the sideline, he will be a strong starter very early in his NFL career.
The WR room in Atlanta is abysmal. We’ve seen the Falcons build around a WR previously (Julio Jones), and Wilson comes with the versatility to win anywhere and everywhere.
Walker’s ability to defend the run and play in zone coverage make him an intriguing prospect at his size and athletic profile, and if he can continue to improve his instincts, he has the potential to be a high-level starter at the next level.
The tools of a dependable LB, with pass game experience and run game excellence.
Raimann is a raw athlete with good size and the strength to hold up early at the next level, though refining his hands and overall skill set as a lineman could allow him to develop into a solid starter one day.
Let him have all the reps he needs, and use his athleticism to mold him into the franchise tackle the Falcons want.
Winfrey’s positional versatility, power, and pass rush ability will give him a chance to make an impact early on, but his body control and agility will need to improve for him to become a three-down player.
A Senior Bowl dominator, Winfree displays a dominant athletic profile, where he can work on technicalities with plenty of reps.
Walker isn’t the most dynamic running back, and his passing game skills will need to be improved if he wants to see an every-down workload, but his vision as a ballcarrier is excellent and should allow him to be a quality starter right away.
Patterson is a fun, dynamic player, but the Arthur Smith Titans leaned on a fantastic pound-the-rock runner, and Walker is exactly that.
The Falcons WR room is this bad. Each one of these receivers is a bit different, but would all provide needed upside and ability, something necessary for Marcus Mariota if he’s getting a real shot at a long-term starting gig.
Robinson is undersized and needs improved route sharpness, savvy, and overall receiving play detail, but his short-area quickness and extensive history as a ballcarrier give him an intriguing ceiling as a mismatch weapon out of the slot.
Bell needs to improve his route running separation skills, but his deep ball tracking and slippery ballcarrying abilities should make for a multi-level threat and a reliable, alignment-versatile third option.
Tolbert has the size, speed, and athletic body control to take the top off a defense at the next level, but he’ll need to improve on the finer points of receiver play to become a more versatile offensive contributor.
Rhyan is strong and powerful, generating push in the run game and using accurate hand placement in pass pro, but heavy feet, a lack of quickness, and the inability to redirect against pass rushers pencil him in as a backup swing tackle.
Could play tackle, but also projected to move inside. Smart and powerful, but technique refinement necessary.
Sanders has a relentless mindset with the length, repertoire, and hand use to be an effective three-down player, but he’ll need to keep his pad level down and focus on mixing up his pass rush moves in order to hit his ceiling.
The ceiling is high for Sanders, and plenty of snaps are available for him to develop more moves.
To learn more about the Falcons and their needs, visit their team page on our NFL Draft website here.