Atlanta Falcons 7-Round Mock Draft: Post-Combine Edition

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Atlanta Falcons 7-Round Mock Draft: Post-Combine Edition

Atlanta Falcons 7-Round Mock Draft: Post-Combine Edition
Brian Spurlock - USATODAY Sports

The 2013 season did not unfold the way the Atlanta Falcons were hoping it would. After coming so close to reaching the Super Bowl the previous season, the Falcons believed that they would once again be a contender in 2013. However, injuries to key players and a long string of close losses made them one of the worst teams in the NFL.

But the silver lining to such a terrible season is that Atlanta is now privy to early picks in all seven rounds of the 2014 NFL Draft, including the sixth overall pick. Picking so early could allow the Falcons to pick up several impact players, re-load quickly, and make another serious run at reaching the Super Bowl, especially since the Falcons aren’t in the market for a quarterback like so many of the other teams that will be picking before them.

Of course, it wasn’t just injuries that hindered Atlanta from being successful in 2013; they had plenty of other deficiencies and areas of need that they’ll have to address in this year’s draft if they’re going to have a bounce-back season in 2014. The Falcons have some dire needs along the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball, and that could be an area that Atlanta looks to address early and often in the draft.

Now that the NFL Combine is over, Atlanta should have a better idea of who they’ll be looking to draft and when they want to take them, so here is a mock draft of the seven players the Falcons will be drafting this year.

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Round 1, 6th Overall - Khalil Mack, Linebacker, Buffalo

Round 1, 6th Overall - Khalil Mack, Linebacker, Buffalo
Timothy T. Ludwig - USATODAY Sports

There’s a chance the Falcons trade up to get Jadeveon Clowney, which is what he wants to happen, but assuming they stick with the sixth overall pick, they’ll have to settle of Mack, which won’t be such a bad thing. Atlanta needs a big-time pass rusher, and Mack is certainly that player, as he’s not that far behind Clowney as the second best defensive player available.

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Round 2, 37th Overall - Cyrus Kouandjio, Offensive Tackle, Alabama

Round 2, 37th Overall - Cyrus Kouandjio, Offensive Tackle, Alabama
Derick E. Hingle - USATODAY Sports

After disappointing at the combine, Kouandjio is going to drop out of the first round and fall to the Falcons, who can’t pass up an offensive linemen this talented when their offensive line needs so much work. If Kouandjio’s stock rebounds and he ends up going in the first round, look out for Morgan Moses, another offensive tackle out of Virginia, to be on Atlanta’s radar.

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Round 3, 68th Overall - Weston Richburg, Center, Colorado State

Round 3, 68th Overall - Weston Richburg, Center, Colorado State
Ron Chenoy - USATODAY Sports

This is a tough choice between offensive and defensive line, but with quarterback Matt Ryan being so valuable after signing a big contract last offseason, the Falcons need to protect him, so grabbing one of the top centers available is the right move to make at this point in the draft.

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Round 4, 99th Overall - Daniel McCullers, Defensive Tackle, Tennessee

Round 4, 99th Overall - Daniel McCullers, Defensive Tackle, Tennessee
Kim Klement - USATODAY Sports

The Falcons can’t wait too long before taking a defensive lineman, and in McCullers they add a whole lot of size (6’7’’, 350 lbs.) to that unit. McCullers is great against the run and takes up a lot of space, which will make him a great complement to Khalil Mack, who they took in the first round.

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Round 5, 135th Overall - Justin Ellis, Defensive Tackle, Louisiana Tech

Round 5, 135th Overall - Justin Ellis, Defensive Tackle, Louisiana Tech
Steve Mitchell - USATODAY Sports

Atlanta decides to double up at defensive tackle, as they need to get a lot stronger up front. Ellis is a nice complement to Daniel McCullers, who they took in the previous round; McCullers is big and takes up space while Ellis is more athletic and will be more of a pass rusher coming out of the interior part of the line.

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Round 6, 166th Overall - Brandon Linder, Offensive Guard, Miami

Round 6, 166th Overall - Brandon Linder, Offensive Guard, Miami
Kim Klement - USATODAY Sports

Even with two early picks used on offensive linemen, Atlanta’s work at that position isn’t done yet, so they add Linder to give them a little more depth up front.

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Round 7, 197th Overall - Richard Rodgers, Tight End, California

Round 7, 197th Overall - Richard Rodgers, Tight End, California
Kirby Lee - USATODAY Sports

With Tony Gonzalez retiring, the Falcons need someone at that position, and Rodgers is an intriguing player. He wasn’t all that productive in college last year, which caused him to fall to the seventh round, but he has plenty of athleticism and a good upside, so he’s worth Atlanta taking a chance on in the final round.


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