The Atlanta Falcons dropped to 5-7 after their loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last week. The loss currently gives Atlanta the No. 8 pick in April's NFL Draft.
While the Falcons have needs all over the field, arguably their biggest needs are at edge rusher, offensive tackle, and cornerback. This is generally considered a good draft class for those needs.
In Ryan Wilson's latest NFL Mock Draft on CBSSports, Wilson has the Falcons passing on available edge rushers to take cornerback Derek Stingley Jr.out of LSU to pair with Pro Bowl candidate A.J. Terrell.
Former first-rounder AJ Terrell is having a great season, and Isaiah Oliver, who has also been good in coverage, is in the final year of his contract. After that, there's not much depth, and if the best CB in the draft is on the board here, it'll be hard to pass on on Stingley. The other option, of course, is targeting a quarterback here. - Ryan Wilson
Stingley would fit the "best player available'' mold that also fills a dire need for the Falcons, but the board would have to fall the right way for him to be available as low as No. 8.
The consensus mock draft from NFL Mock Draft Database has Stingley going No. 4 to the New York Jets.
Wilson suggests the Falcons target a quarterback at No. 8 if they pass over a player like Stingley. Either of those two options are unlikely. Stingley likely will be gone by No. 8, and there aren't quarterbacks in this draft the Falcons would likely be interested at No. 8.
Should the Falcons decide to go quarterback of the future in this draft, trading back for a player like Malik Willis makes more sense than reaching at No. 8.
In Wilson's mock draft, he has the New York Giants taking offensive lineman Charles Cross with the No. 7 pick. Should Cross and NC State offensive tackle Ikem Ekwonu surge into the top seven picks, Atlanta could find the opportunity to take Stingley or edge rushers David Ojabo or George Karlaftis of Michigan and Purdue respectively.
While Atlanta is still alive for a playoff spot, there are a lot of intriguing options in the 2022 NFL Draft should the Falcons find themselves drafting in the top 10.
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A combination of terrific players filling the Falcons' biggest needs would go a long way towards immediately improving the team in 2022.