The Atlanta Falcons made it clear last night that they weren’t satisfied with their offensive line even after recent investments in the unit during free agency. Both Dan Quinn and Thomas Dimitroff stated in their press conference that they entertained offers to move up, but ultimately decided to stay put and select former Boston College guard Chris Lindstrom.
Then, after watching Cody Ford and Jawaan Taylor fall towards the end of the first, the Falcons surprised us all by trading their second (45th) and third-round (79th) picks to Los Angeles for the Rams’ 31st (and 203rd pick) to select Kaleb McGary, the athletic right tackle from Washington.
The hope is that both Lindstrom and McGary are projected starters in year one considering the “reach” perception and the cost incurred to acquire both players. Currently, the Falcons are the only team without a day two pick, but Thomas Dimitroff has made no bones about it that he would like to move back into day two of the draft using his seven pick ammunition.
So with that being said, here are three potential Falcons fits Dimitroff may be willing to move up for.
DL Michael Dogbe, Temple
After much speculation, hearts were broken when the Buffalo Bills selected Ed Oliver 9th overall last night. And although Atlanta isn’t necessarily hurting to add another interior lineman to the roster, a need still exists long-term to add more pass-rushers who can create havoc consistently.
Temple University has been one of the best programs in recent years to grab sound defensive players with Michael Dogbe being the next Owl in line to continue that tradition. Somewhat of a poor man’s Ed Oliver in terms of explosiveness and ability to disrupt the line of scrimmage, Dogbe had a stellar pro day posting a 4.92 40-time, 7.42 3-cone, and 34 reps on the bench press at 6’3, 285 pounds.
Add in his 2018 production where he collected 72 tackles (12.5 for loss) and 7 sacks and the potential is there for Dogbe to develop into a solid B-gap penetrator in Atlanta’s system. The Falcons had him in for a top-30 visit on April 1st, which we all know the organization uses as a tool to closely evaluate the prospects they’re most intrigued by.
It wouldn’t be a shock to see Dogbe’s name called at the end of the third round as the Falcons climb back into day two of the draft.
DB Sheldrick Redwine, Miami
It would appear the Falcons are set at both safety spots with Keanu Neal and Ricardo Allen on top and Damontae Kazee looming as the third safety/ nickel defender. However, the hole at cornerback behind Desmond Trufant and Isaiah Oliver is too much to not bolster the secondary for the future. And while this year’s corner class isn’t as good as years past, there are still some really good fits to grab on day two.
One of those fits is former Miami defensive back Shledrick Redwine. Like most Miami defensive backs, Redwine’s skills corner on having the physicality to exchange blows with ball carriers in the open field and the play speed to take on burner receivers downfield in the slot. In games against Virginia and Boston College in 2018, you’re able to see that blend come together as he prowls in shallow zone-coverage (many times in the slot) and consistently finds his way around the ball.
Redwine tested as one of the best defensive backs at the combine with workout numbers that included a 4.44s 40-time, 39″ vertical, and an impressive 130″ broad jump. By selecting Redwine, Dimitroff could make amends for his 2014 draft when he drafted a similar athlete (but not similar football player) in Dezmen Southward.
DB Nasir Adderley, Deleware
The darling in many analysts’ eyes if the Falcons were to select a defensive back on day two, Nasir Adderley checks off every box athletically and on the field for Atlanta. Initially I was skeptical of the first-round cornerback rumors, but in a pass-first league, it’s hard to imagine Dimitroff and Quinn sitting on their hands while some of the best backend defenders are being gobbled up this weekend.
At 6′, 203 pounds, Adderley has been one of the most impressive zone defenders in the entire draft, thanks to his sharp mental processing ability which allows him to be in position to consistently make plays on the football. Per the Delaware athletic department, he was timed in the 4.54s range in the 40 (despite injuring his hamstring during the run) and jumped 39″ in the vertical and 10’9″ in the broad jump with 19 reps on the bench press.
Presumed by many as the draft’s best safety, Adderley has slipped to day two due to his medical history and perhaps his level of college competition. Regardless, I still believe that Adderley is the best player available on Atlanta’s board and could step in as a key defender during his rookie season.
Photo from Temple University Athletics