The Atlanta Falcons are 2-3 on the season and have shown improvement the last several weeks. Therefore, their potential draft position has steadily gotten worse.
That's a trade head coach Arthur Smith and general manager Terry Fontenot would gladly make.
The latest mock draft from Draft Wire's Luke Easterling goes three rounds and has the Falcons bolstering the pass rush with a pair of defensive lineman.
Easterling has the Falcons selecting defensive lineman DeMarvin Leal out of Texas A&M with the No. 8 overall pick. Listed 6'4 and 290 pounds, Leal would be a fit at defensive end in defensive coordinator Dean Pees' 3-4 scheme with his size, quickness and agility.
His physical ability would also allow him to play defensive tackle in a four-man front. Through six games this year, Leal has 29 tackles, 4.5 sacks and 6.5 tackles for loss.
This is one of the few mock drafts that doesn't have the Falcons taking a quarterback with their first-round selection. Matt Ryan is currently playing at a high level for Smith and the Falcons, and the quarterback class next year doesn't appear to be as talented as 2021.
Quarterbacks Trevor Lawrence (Jaguars), Zach Wilson (Jets), and Trey Lance (49ers) were the first three picks of April's Draft, but Easterling doesn't have a quarterback going in the top 10 of the 2022 Draft.
The first quarterback off the board on this particular mock is Liberty's Malik Willis, formerly of Roswell High School in North Metro Atlanta, at No. 13 to Washington.
If the Falcons are drafting in the teens and Willis is still available, he'd be a good candidate for Ryan's long-term successor.
Easterling has the Falcons taking edge rusher Zach Harrison of Ohio State with their second-round pick, No. 48 overall.
A third-year junior, Harrison won't turn 21 until August of 2022. At 6'6 and 272 pounds, Harrison fits the mold of an outside linebacker, in Pees' 3-4 scheme and fits nicely into a four-man front as a defensive end.
Harrison has played in five games this season for the Buckeyes and has 13 tackles and three tackles for loss. He's a young player with tremendous upside.
The Falcons have two second-round picks thanks to the Julio Jones trade, and they get their quarterback of the future with the pick they got in return from the Tennessee Titans.
Easterling has the Falcons taking quarterback Kenny Pickett with the No. 55 overall pick. Despite a last name ill-suited for a quarterback, Pickett has only thrown one interception on 168 attempts this season. Pickett is fourth in the country with 19 touchdown passes and 12th in the nation with 1,731 yards.
Pickett's 19-to-1 touchdown to interception ratio contributes to him being the second most-efficient passer in the country behind Coastal Carolina's Grayson McCall.
With their third-round pick, Easterling has the Falcons taking running back Kyren Williams out of Notre Dame. Current Falcons running backs Mike Davis and Cordarrelle Patterson are both free agents after this season. Getting a running back in next year's draft makes a lot of sense.
Williams is listed at 5'9 and 199 pounds and through five games has 370 yards on 96 carries (3.9 avg.) and 19 catches for 200 yards (10.5 avg.) He rushed for 1,125 yards and 13 touchdowns in 2020.
The Falcons have a lot of holes to fill, especially on defense. It remains to be seen if Atlanta uses two of its first four picks on the offensive side of the ball, but it's hard to argue with the need at quarterback and running back.
Getting a pair of defensive linemen with size and mobility are dire needs and using their first two picks on the defensive line is logical. The Falcons may want to address the cornerback position in the first three rounds as well.
Only A.J. Terrell has been a standout this season in the defensive secondary after the loss of nickle back Isaiah Oliver to a torn ACL.
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The Falcons are off this week before heading to Miami to take on the Dolphins on October 24. The Dolphins are in London this week against Jacksonville and will travel home to face a well rested Falcons team.
It should be a good opportunity for the Falcons to even their record at 3-3 and see their draft position slip further in 2022. If that means a shot at the playoffs and a winning record this season, Falcons fans will gladly settle for a lower pick in the 2022 NFL Draft.