When the Atlanta Falcons selected Western Kentucky pass rusher DeAngelo Malone in the third round, it was one of Senior Bowl Director Jim Nagy's favorite picks in the entire draft.
"One of our favorite picks in entire draft," Nagy tweeted. "Twitchy, violent, fast, & productive. Perfectly suited for ATL’s 3-4 OLB. Should add to pass rush as rook & double-digit sack potential."
If Malone can reach that potential, he could become the first Falcons defender to achieve double-digit sacks since Vic Beasley back in 2016, the year the team last reached the Super Bowl.
Even if he doesn't reach the double-digit threshold, Malone can add to a unit that desperately needed some help last season.
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The Falcons had 11 players register a sack last season. Of the 11, just four finished the year with multiple sacks. Of those four, Deion Jones is the only one returning to Atlanta. Foye Oluokun is signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars and Dante Fowler Jr. was released by the team in February.
Malone played in 61 games during his five seasons with the Hilltoppers and recorded 32.5 sacks and posted six or more in each of the past four seasons.
Malone clearly has a knack of getting to the quarterback, and his 6-4, 240-pound frame should hold up at the NFL level.
Once he can adjust to the speed of the professional game and become comfortable in Dean Pees' defense, Malone just might be able to reach that double-digit number many people are expecting him to hit.