The Atlanta Falcons performed well in the NFL Draft. Normally, the Falcons churn out a great draft class with a majority of their roster comprised of their own draft picks. So, let’s take a look at who will be leading Atlanta into the future!
DL Marlon Davidson, Auburn
Davidson and Derrick Brown were a formidable force on the Auburn defensive line. Now, they’ll be pitted against each other with Brown in Carolina and Davidson in Atlanta.
Davidson brings power to the Falcons defensive line. He’s also surprisingly quick for a big man, able to move well in short areas. One of the biggest knock on Davidson is he doesn’t have the tools to be a great edge rusher.
That’s okay, Atlanta plans on moving him to Defensive Tackle.
The transition will take some time, so expect Tyeler Davison to start alongside Jarrett until Davidson gets up to speed.
Davidson also needs to work on block shedding and getting to the Running Back. Stopping the run is his weakest trait, but as he transitions into a DT, he’ll learn how to get better at run stuffing.
Want to see how the Falcons draft started? Check out my breakdown of A.J. Terrell here!
IOL Matt Hennessy, Temple
Their only offensive pick, Hennessy is the last piece of this starting offensive line, for now. With the selections of Kaleb McGary and Chris Lindstrom last year, the biggest hole on the Falcons Offensive Line was at Left Guard.
Falcons General Manager Thomas Dimitroff spoke highly of Hennessy as someone who could play all three interior spots. Though, Hennessy is naturally a Center. The plan most likely is to play Hennessy at LG until Mack retires or leaves, then move Hennessy to Center.
What’s to like about Hennessy? Well, he hasn’t allowed a sack in two years. He is quick and fierce, always looking for someone to lay out for his running back. He is a better pass blocker than run blocker, but overall he can develop into the total package.
The Falcons offensive line is now set for the foreseeable future.
LB Mykal Walker, Fresno State
The Falcons have lacked a true WILL (weakside) Linebacker for many years. They had a great SAM (strongside) Linebacker in De’Vondre Campbell, though he left for the Cardinals.
With rising star Foyesade Olukon likely taking Campbell’s SAM spot, Walker will enter in as the Falcons starting WILL.
Dan Quinn loves his speed, and he raved about Walker quickness at getting to tackles and even in pass rush. Walker ran a 4.65 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine.
As previously mentioned, Walker can also be used as a pass rusher, giving them even more speed on blitzes.
Walker surely needs to get more consistent and refine some of his mechanics, but he is absolutely willing to hit everyone in front of him with force and speed.
S/LB Jaylinn Hawkins, Cal
The Falcons got a win-win prospect here.
Firstly, they badly need more defensive depth, especially after the many injuries they’ve sustained the past couple of years. Hawkins can slot in as a deep center safety, a Linebacker in the box or a man-to-man slot corner. Hawkins essentially will be a and plug and play guy.
Secondly, Hawkins is a great play-maker. He demonstrated this with his highlight reel interceptions and big hits on poor ball-carriers.
Hawkins is hot and cold however, so consistently being a great play-maker is what he needs to work on, otherwise he’ll just be a shallow depth player.
P Sterling Hofricther, Syracuse
Well, it’s a punter.
The Falcons rotated punter like crazy when Matt Bosher was injured. Then, they didn’t resign him when free agency started. So, going young and getting a starting punter is a decent move, even if it’s super boring.
Hofrichter had one of the best hang times in college and consistently could punt 50-60 yards. If he keeps working on his leg strength, mixed with his great hang time, the Falcons could have a fantastic punter on their hands.
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