Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports
The wait is finally over, the Falcons have their first round pick in Texas A&M offensive tackle Jake Matthews. After all the speculation about moving up and down in the lead up to the draft, the fact that Dimitroff stayed at 6 and took Matthews feels like an anti climax. Take nothing away from Matthews, he’s a solid pick and should be able to come in and be an instant starter. However, once the Texans had taken Clowney personally I did lose interest in the Falcons pick. Clowney was not only the clear cut number one player in the draft in my opinion but he was also the perfect pick for the Falcons needs. There are a couple of positives I see. Firstly, the Falcons didn’t trade up for Khalil Mack and secondly, they did take Matthews over Taylor Lewan. With all the talk this off season about getting ‘tougher’ along the lines I was terrified the Falcons would side with Taylor ‘bad cat’ Lewan over the much more polished and indeed better player in Matthews. At least sense prevailed here.
Who should the Falcons target on Day 2?
All along this off season I have been firmly on the ‘don’t take a tackle in round 1’ exactly because of the situation the Falcons find themselves in now. Coming into the draft my thinking was that the Falcons needed to emerge with at least 2 pass rushers. With the run on pass rushers in the latter part of the first round (which the Falcons did try and trade back into) the premium pass rushers available is an ever diminishing list. In my opinion the best option for the Falcons would be to hope Jeremiah Attaochu falls to them in the second. If not Attaochu then some names I imagine the Falcons will focus would be Kyle Van Noy, Demarcus Lawrence (if he passed the off the field tests) and maybe Carl Bradford. In my opinion Dimitroff and Co will try as hard as possible to go defense in round 2 and then grab a tight end or running back in the third. If a tight end drops to the Falcons in the third then I would expect Dimitroff to pull the trigger otherwise I think the Falcons will look very closely at running back Terrance West who they’ve spent a lot of time with this off season.
Drafting a tackle in the first round is never the most exciting pick and to be honest the Matthews pick does very little for me. It doesn’t anger or excite me. I am happy Dimitroff didn’t just trade up for the sake of trading up but I cant help but feel that once again the Falcons have left it too late to get a pass rusher, I really hope I’m wrong.