After being awarded two compensatory picks on Friday, Feb 22, the Atlanta Falcons have a total of nine picks in the 2019 NFL draft, which will be held April 25-27 in Nashville.
Here are all nine of the Falcons’ picks:
• Round 1: No. 14 overall
• Round 2: No. 45
• Round 3: No. 79
• Round 4: No. 117, No. 137 (compensatory pick)
• Round 5: No. 152, No. 172 (compensatory pick)
• Round 6: No. 186
• Round 7: No. 230
The Falcons were awarded two compensatory picks for losing free agents — Adrian Clayborn, Taylor Gabriel, Dontari Poe and Andre Roberts at the end of the 2017 season. With that in mind, here are the players Falcons fans should pay attention to heading into this week’s NFL Combine:
- Ed Oliver, Defensive Tackle, Houston
Oliver is 6’3″, 292 pounds and notched 122 total tackles, 53 tackles for loss and 13.5 sacks in 32 total games for the Houston Cougars. While draftniks say Oliver does not have the size to be a disruptive force in the next level, he does have excellent work ethic and a high motor. He does a great job playing against the run and plays the 3-technique very well.
- Deandre Baker, Cornerback, Georgia
While Baker wouldn’t be asked to explicitly cover receivers man-to-man in Quinn’s cover three defense, his speed, hips, ability to play the ball very well, and confidence will allow his skills to translate to the next level. The Falcons signed Blidi Wreh-Wilson for depth last week, however with the departures of Brian Poole and Robert Alford in free agency, expect the Falcons to draft another cornerback that could play in this defense.
- Isaiah Wynn, Offensive Guard, Georgia
If there is a run at any position during the early portions of the first and second rounds, expect Wynn to skyrocket on the Falcons big board. The 6’3″, 313 guard opened holes for two current NFL running backs (Nick Chubb and Sony Michel) and possibly one more in Elijah Holyfield. Wynn is extremely athletic and fluid for his size. He can be very sudden with his movement, sinks his weight well, he possesses great footwork is excellent, especially in the run game. The Falcons shortcomings in the run game have been glaring since Super Bowl LI. More importantly, Wynn was penalized once in the 2018 season.
- Dexter Lawrence, Defensive Lineman, Clemson
Lawrence is the pick I would make if he was available to the Falcons at 14. The 6’4″, 350-pound defensive lineman has the ability to rush the passer, disrupt the run game and harass the quarterback. His sudden burst commanded double teams from interior offensive linemen. While some draftniks believe he is not be a transcending talent like Aaron Donald of the Los Angeles Rams, Lawrence can help a team right away. With an excellent Combine, Lawrence could become a top-10 prospect.
- Clelin Ferrell, Defensive End, Clemson
Ferrell enters the NFL as a serial winner. The 6’5″ 265 pound defensive end had 53 tackles, 19.5 tackles, 11.5 sacks, four pass breakups, and three forced fumbles in 15 starts in the 2018 season. As a freshman, Ferrell had 44 tackles, 12.5 tackles for loss and six sacks. His consistent production jumped off the charts immediately. If the Falcons are still uncertain regarding Vic Beasley, Jr, then Ferrell is a viable option. He has the ability to drive with his hips and be explosive with his hands as he sheds the blocks from offensive tackles. Ferrell is above average against the run and has decent awareness. Although Ferrell’s movement is not sudden off the line of scrimmage, he wins battles through technique and film study.
These players are options the Falcons should evaluate at 14 and possibly consider into the first round if any of these players are available.