The 2019 NFL Draft for the Atlanta Falcons possibly contains the solutions that could propel them back into the playoffs and contending for Super Bowl LIV in Miami’s Hard Rock Stadium. This article is a mock draft that predicts who the Falcons might look at from rounds 1-4 of next week’s Draft in Nashville.
With the 14th pick of the 2019 NFL Draft, the Atlanta Falcons select, Christian Wilkins, defensive tackle, Clemson.
Wilkins is a natural-born defensive leader that has very few deficiencies in his game. His success with Clemson shows that he is a player that can come in and contribute immediately for the Falcons. The fact he came back to Clemson for his senior season to compete for a national championship speaks to his high level of commitment and leadership. Wilkins will be the Atlanta Falcons selection at 14.
With the 42nd pick of the 2019 NFL Draft, the Atlanta Falcons select, Chase Winovich, defensive end, Michigan.
I saw Winovich perform during the 2019 Peach Bowl when his Wolverines faced off against the Florida Gators. Winovich has drawn comparisons to former defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch, and could lend some help to Atlanta as a pass rusher.
He impressed at the combine, recording 4.59 40-yard dash time, 4.11 short shuttle and a 6.94 3-cone. In 2018, the 6-foot-3, 255-pounder totaled 63 tackles, five sacks and one pass defensed. On his college career with the Wolverines, he racked up 166 tackles, 18 sacks, three forced fumbles and one pass defensed.
With the 79th pick of the 2019 NFL Draft, the Atlanta Falcons select, Isaiah Johnson, Cornerback, Houston.
The 6’2” and 208-pound cornerback has the prototypical size and athletic gifts to play in Dan Quinn’s cover three defense (see Richard Sherman as an example). According to NFL.com, Johnson was a three-star receiver recruit when he enrolled at Houston, coming off a successful high school football and track career. Johnson spent his redshirt season and two more years at receiver before making the switch to cornerback. Johnson started 5 of 12 games there in 2017, intercepting two passes and breaking up seven others. He had an impact outside again as a senior, starting 10 of 11 games played, compiling 66, two for loss, intercepting two passes, and leading the Cougars with seven pass breakups. The loss of Robert Alford to Arizona and Brian Poole to the New York Jets means there is a need at corner. Quinn’s ability to develop defensive backs may be an asset here as I project Johnson to go here.
With the 117th pick of the 2019 NFL Draft, the Atlanta Falcons select, Damien Harris, running back, Alabama.
Damien Harris was a consistent, chain-moving running back for the Crimson Tide and could be the answer for the Falcons’ short yardage issues. He also has shown to be a great compliment for different running backs at Alabama and it would be more of the same as Harris could spell running backs, Devonta Freeman and Ito Smith.
With the 137th pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, the Atlanta Falcons select, Dru Samia, guard, Oklahoma.
Samia played in an up-tempo offense at Oklahoma, securing second team all Big XII honors. Samia is 6’5” and 305 pounds. He did play right tackle in high school and during his freshman year. Also, he’s a passionate guy. Samia started all 14 games on the Joe Moore Award-winning Oklahoma offensive line in 2018, garnering second-team All-American notice from the Associated Press and a first-team All-Big 12 nod from league coaches.
With the 172nd pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, the Atlanta Falcons select, Khari Willis, safety, Michigan State.
Willis was a four-year contributor and two-year starter at Michigan State. He finished his college career with 196 tackles, including 6.5 for a loss, four sacks, four interceptions, 16 pass break-ups and two forced fumbles. As a senior and co-captain this season, Willis notched a career high 84 tackles to go with two interceptions and 10 pass break-ups. He was named a third team All-Big Ten selection by the media and honorable mention by the coaches. During the Senior Bowl, Willis was played nearly 50 snaps and only allowed one catch. If the Falcons select Willis, he could deputize at safety alongside Damontae Kazee, Keanu Neal and Ricardo Allen.