Sifting Through the Mock Draft Noise

The 2009 NFL Draft at Radio City in New York

The 2010 NFL Draft will take place over three days (and nights) at Radio City Music Hall in New York. During that time, 255 players will have their dreams of playing in the National Football League realized.

The Falcons have eight picks overall but we are going to focus on their first one. J. Michael Moore of the Falcons official site has a very slick Mock Draft Tracker which as he describes “will collect information from various mock drafts across the Internet and see what they’re saying about the Falcons’ first-round selection.”

The 19 mock drafts used in the survey have the Falcons taking 16 different players with the 19th pick. Of those 16 players, only one plays on the offensive of the ball (WR Golden Tate, Notre Dame).

Since it’s clear to everyone that the Falcons biggest need is defense, who are the front-runners? Of those 19 mock drafts and 16 different players, only two have been mentioned more than three times.

LB Sean Weatherspoon, Missouri

6-2 / 245 lbs.

The South Carolina native grew up in Texas before choosing Mizzou as his college of choice. He was a three-time First-Team All Big 12 member and a Butkus Award finalist, given to the nation’s best linebacker, his senior year.

Oct 27, 2007 - Michigan v Minnesota DE Brandon Graham, Michigan

6-2 / 263 lbs.

Graham, born and raised in Michigan, stayed home and played four years for Big Blue. He was a First-Team All-American and a Hendricks Award finalist, given to the nation’s top defensive end.

Either player would fit nicely with this Falcons defense. Weatherspoon would compliment savvy veteran Mike Peterson and rising star Curtis Lofton. Graham would add depth to the D-Line alongside John Abraham and could even usurp Jamaal Anderson if he continues to struggle.

What do you think? Is defense the way to go? Should the Falcons follow a “best athlete available” philosophy or focus on filling a need? Let me know in the comments.

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  • Nick Ewing

    I think the Falcons should definitely draft the best defensive athlete available. I do believe Golden Tate will be a quality NFL receiver but its not what the Falcons need most. Both Weatherspoon and Graham would be great picks in the first round, I would be thrilled with either!

  • Troy Heinzman

    I agree with you, Nick. Either player would help this defense out right away and give the Falcons some added defensive punch. They were really good against the run last year, it was their pass defense that struggled. Added a pass rusher helps the secondary because the opposition doesn’t have as long to throw the ball.