I did another Falcons mock draft, this time, the March edition.
Am I part of the cure, or am I part of the disease?
ROUND 1 – G – Dan Feeney – Indiana
The Atlanta Falcons are currently in the middle of trying to sign DT Dontari Poe. That’s going to change here within the next few days, as they’re going to either sign him or not sign him. But, it signals that they may want to add some veteran play to the trenches at the DT position as opposed to taking a DT first. We previously thought DT Caleb Brantley could be the pick here, but besides being a Quinn guy, the team may wish to allocate a pick elsewhere.
So, this month, we’re mocking G Dan Feeney to the Falcons.
The move would be, in some eyes, a reach up, and you may be clamoring for an edge guy here. But, the team has reportedly been eyeing the RG spot seriously in the offseason, with G Chris Chester’s status in flux as he contemplates retirement. The team has spent sizeable amount of time with G Forrest Lamp out of Western Kentucky at the Senior Bowl and Combine, even taking the prospect out to dinner in Indianapolis. So, that means they’re evaluating the guard position. But, Lamp’s dominant combine performance could make him a mid-round draft pick, as offensive line picks are sure to be trendy in this year’s draft with the league (finally?) realizing that good offensive lines are important (who knew). So, in this scenario, the Falcons get the second guard off the board in Feeney, who would all but be assured to be gone by the time Atlanta picks in round two.
So, the team reaches up (to some) to grab their new right guard.
NFL’s Lance Zierlein writes:
“Four-year starter and two-time team captain, Feeney has been the consistent anchor along an Indiana offensive line that helped to produce NFL running backs Tevin Coleman and Jordan Howard. Feeney is a quality zone blocker with an ability to pull and lead the charge, but he might lack the play strength to become a reliable base blocker. His intelligence and ability to operate in space and protect the quarterback could make him an early starter with a ceiling of above-average NFL guard or center.”
So, let’s look at the credentials here:
- Four-year starter/team captain – the Falcons love that
- Can block well in a ZBS – great
- Intelligent – never bad
- Has literally blocked for Tevin Coleman before – another plus!
And, would you look at that? In the ever-so-important three-cone drill, Feeney scored a 7.52 (that’s good for this class). Thomas Dimitroff loves him a guy who can excel in the three-cone drill (the last first round offensive lineman, Jake Matthews, posted up a 7.34), so perhaps Feeney could be the next offensive lineman to make his way to the Falcons.
So, the team likes Forrest Lamp, but Lamp is probably gone before pick 31. Who’s next? Dan Feeney. He crosses all the boxes the Falcons like in a draft pick.
A pass rusher like Takk McKinley, Carl Lawson or Charles Harris is tempting here, but the Falcons have seen too many examples of what happens when you field sub-par offensive lineman. It may be imperative to nab a high-caliber player like Feeney while they can.
ROUND 2 – DE – Jordan Willis – Kansas State
The Falcons picked DE Tarell Basham in my last mock draft, but Basham may not be around when the team picks at their spot in round two. But, Kansas State’s Jordan Willis certainly could.
Willis is a popular name on draft twitter, scored the best among all defensive ends in the cone drill (6.85) and is known for his motor.
Zierlein writes Willis is “a productive three-year starter who plays with desired motor from whistle to whistle. Willis is a stack-and-shed edge defender with good play strength and quality hand work at the point of attack. He will need more creativity to be an effective NFL pass rusher, but he should be able to earn a roster spot and work his way up the pecking order in either a 3-4 or 4-3 scheme.”
He sounds like the perfect guy for Dan Quinn to coach up as he grows to be a pass rusher at the NFL level.
ROUND 3 – OLB – Alex Anzalone – Florida
Pick stays the same from the last go-around. Anzalone is a former Quinn guy and could reasonably be a great rotational player in Atlanta as he settles into his own. Maybe even an eventual successor for Brooks Reed.
ROUND 4 – ILB – Connor Harris – Lindenwood
In this scenario, the Falcons pop up a few spots, give up a 2018 pick and secure Harris, who Zierlein writes is a “rock ’em, sock ’em linebacker with an inextinguishable motor and the instant quickness and burst to thrust himself into tackle after tackle.” He sounds like the perfect upgrade to Paul Worrilow as the primary backup at inside linebacker and a great special teams contributor, which the team could use a few more of.
ROUND 5 – T – Dan Skipper – Arkansas
The Falcons need a new swing tackle, and they could add Skipper to compete with Carter Bykowski and Kevin Graf for the job.
ROUND 7 – FB – Anthony Firsker – Harvard
Fullbacks from Harvard have done pretty well in the NFL recently. Perhaps Firsker could follow suit.
There you have it. More nonsense. Enjoy it.