The Atlanta Falcons entered the 2020 NFL Draft with holes to fill on the defensive side of the ball and so far through four rounds of the draft general manager Thomas Dimitroff has answered those needs.
Dimitroff added another pair of defenders with inside linebacker, Mykal Walker, Fresno State, and safety Jaylinn Hawkins out of California. Those players were selected at No. 119 and 134 respectively.
Walker checks in at 6'3, 230 pounds. He played both linebacker positions and defensive end for Fresno State in 2019. Walker was a two-time All-Mountain West First-Team selection. In 2019, he racked up 96 tackles, nine tackles for loss, two and a half sacks and three quarterback hurries.
Pro Football Focus graded him as an overall 82.5 after his 2018 season. Walker adds much-needed depth to the linebacker position after De'Vondre Campbell left for Arizona at the start of free agency.
Hawkins comes to Atlanta as another depth selection. The redshirt senior played in all 50 games during his career at Cal. He was selected to the honorable mention All-Pac 12 in 2019. The former Golden Bear registered career-highs this year with 56 tackles, four and a half for loss, two sacks, and two forced fumbles. Hawkins also has 10 career interceptions to go along with 17 career passes defended.
Versatility is key and Hawkins has plenty of it having played corner, and both safety positions while at Cal.
Walker could compete for a starting positing right away while Hawkins may start on special teams and work his way into the rotation in certain situations. He has experience as a kick return specialist 129 career return yards.
The Falcons have now drafted five players in the 2020 draft. Barring any trades, they only have one selection left in the seventh round No. 228.