The Atlanta Falcons are in the market for several offensive lineman in the draft this year. The offensive line was in a shambles by the end of the season last year, and the Falcons need a complete rebuild.
They’re likely to use the 6th overall pick to take a pass rusher, since pass rushers aren’t going to be available later in the year. But, offensive lineman, and good offensive lineman, can often slip in the draft and be found in the later rounds.
That’s where the combine comes in today. Atlanta needs to mine this draft for sleepers on the offensive line if they want to get better right away.
A few players are starting to stick out as possible options for the Falcons after the first round. Gabe Ikard and Gabe Jackson, both interior lineman who excel in the running game, are likely to be around in the second or even the third round. I especially like Jackson, who is a straight-ahead tough guy who will immediately add strength to the guard position.
One of the most intriguing offensive line prospects this year is going to be tackle Seantrel Henderson. A big-time recruit coming out of high school, he struggled at Miami both on and off the field. He looks the part of a starting NFL tackle at 6’7″, 331 lbs. A physically gifted player, his combine workout will help his cause. He had an impressive 1.71 second time in the all-important 10-yard split of the 40-yard dash.
Atlanta is going to need a good, deep draft this year. That means they need to find some sleepers in the later rounds. The combine is the place where teams get a chance to find those sleepers.