The NFL Draft was a success. Despite the circumstances that the league was put in with COVID-19 looming, they were able to adjust and make a virtual draft one of the most interesting setups we’ve seen in a while. The Falcons seemed to have success in drafting their players, filling important needs on a team that didn’t have many picks, or cap space to work with. Of course the draft grades were unleashed right after the draft, and the experts think the falcons did a solid job.
NFL.com gave the Falcons a B+ overall grade. This is their thoughts on their draft:
Atlanta met needs at cornerback, defensive tackle and the interior offensive line in the first three rounds. The Falcons also required help at the second level of their defense, and Walker fits that bill, although he might not have been the best player available to fill that need. Same goes for the Hawkins pick. Finding a young edge rusher post-draft should be a high priority
The Falcons had multiple needs going into the draft, and NFL.com realized that they tried to fill them immediately. Mykal Walker may have not been the best player available at that time, but he fits the fast and physical mantra that Dan Quinn likes. They’ll be looking for more pass rushing help in free agency.
Sports Illustrated also tagged the Falcons with a B+ overall grade. Here’s what they thought of the Marlon Davidson pick:
After quietly going 6-2 in the second half of this season, this talented team is in “win now” mode. It needed more defensive line depth. A versatile player like Davidson can potentially solve multiple problems.
One thing the Falcons needed to address in round one or two of the draft was help on the defensive line, and that’s what they did drafting Davidson. He can play on the end and inside next to Grady Jarrett, which can make for problems on opposing offensive lines.
And if Davidson hasn’t told you yet, he’s the best.
Pro Football Focus continued the solid grading of the Falcons draft, pinning them with a B overall. Here’s a thought on A.J. Terrell:
LSU’s Ja’Marr Chase bullied Terrell at the catch point in their matchup in 2019, but the former Clemson cornerback still put a ton of positive reps on tape and stayed in phase for the most part in that game.
The biggest knock on Terrell was the championship game against LSU. If you erase that game from his resume, he was one of the best corners in college football and should make an instant impact on a Falcons secondary that struggled at times last season.
To round out the draft grades, Mel Kiper of ESPN hands the Falcons a C overall. Here’s his thoughts on the Falcons picks:
The pick that stunned me the most on Day 1 was Atlanta taking cornerback A.J. Terrell at No.16. It’s one of the biggest reaches of the past few years.
I can give you the biggest reach of the past few years: the Raiders taking Clelin Ferrell with the fourth pick in the 2019 draft. It was noted that the Raiders were looking to take Terrell with the 19 pick, but the Falcons swooped him up. Kiper may just be the Simon Cowell of the NFL.
Overall, many experts liked the haul of players the Falcons picked in the draft. Now it’s time to get to work and see if they can meet these expectations on the field.