The Atlanta Falcons finished the 2018 season a disappointing 7–9 after another injury-riddled year on defense.
Despite the poor finish, the Falcons will turn to the draft to bolster their roster into one capable of representing the NFC in Super Bowl 54. The team has Matt Ryan and Devonta Freeman leading the offense, allowing Atlanta to focus on rebuilding the offensive and defensive lines this offseason.
During last year's draft, the Falcons selected wide receiver Calvin Ridley with the 26th-overall pick.
How will they use their picks in this year's NFL draft? We’re breaking down every selection below, including grades from The MMQB's Andy Benoit. (Check out draft needs for all 32 teams.)
Here's the full list of picks the Falcons hold in the 2019 draft, which will be updated as each selection is made.
Round 1, Pick 14 (No. 14 overall):
Chris Lindstrom, OG, Boston College
Andy Benoit's grade: A-
When the Falcons paid meaningful money to guards James Carpenter and Jamon Brown in free agency, analysts like yours truly scratched their heads and wondered if this meant the team was moving to more of a north-south inside zone running game, rather than the east-west outside zone game around which they’ve built their offense. Carpenter and Brown, after all, are downhill maulers with limited lateral agility. Lindstrom, on the other hand, is dripping with athleticism. He’s expected to be an excellent outside zone blocker, which suggests the Falcons will indeed remain an outside zone running team. Carpenter, though not suited for that system, at least survived in it for many years as a Seahawk. Brown also played in it as a Ram and could be moved to right tackle, a position he played effectively during the 2017 offseason in L.A. The Falcons, who entered this draft with few needs and a ready-to-win-now roster, upgraded at a critical position.
Round 1, Pick 31 (No. 31 overall):
Kaleb McGary, OT, Washington
Andy Benoit's grade: B-
The Falcons took two first-round offensive linemen in one draft…and that’s after signing a pair of what looked like would-be starting guards in free agency. Assuming this is it for O-line investments, we now know where the Falcons stand (if not going into camp, then likely coming out of it): Chris Lindstrom will be the left guard and Kaleb McGary will be the right tackle, leaving Jamon Brown at right guard and James Carpenter in a somewhat expensive backup role. OK, it all makes sense now, though if you wanted to nitpick, you could say this is a lot put into one part of the roster, given that Atlanta’s four-man pass rush could use a bit of a boost.
Round 4, Pick 9 (No. 111 overall): Kendall Sheffield, CB, Ohio State
Round 4, Pick 33 (No. 135 overall): John Cominsky, DE, Charleston University
Round 5, Pick 14 (No. 152 overall): Qadree Ollison, RB, Pittsburgh
Round 5, Pick 34 (No. 172 overall): Jordan Miller, CB, Washington
Round 6, Pick 30 (No. 203 overall): Marcus Green, RB, Louisiana-Monroe
See every NFL team's 2019 picks by clicking the links below.
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