Atlanta Falcons: Three Potential Draft Picks for the Defense


Dec 31, 2014; Atlanta , GA, USA; Atlanta Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff (right) talks to asst. general manager Scott Pioli (left) during the game between the Mississippi Rebels and the TCU Horned Frogs in the 2014 Peach Bowl at the Georgia Dome. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

By now you’re tired of hearing about potential first round picks, schemes, Deflategate, Noisegate, and Dan Quinn. Let’s look to the future of potential picks that we could have. Assuming that we run a 4-3 (it’s going to happen), we need to find three potential draft picks that can really turn the scheme of us.  Also to note, these draft picks are not likely to go in the first round.  Here’s who I think the Atlanta Falcons could target in the draft.

1. Nate Orchard DE University of Utah

Nate Orchard produced over 17.5 sacks last year and could potentially be a speed rusher off the end in a 4-3. In the Senior Bowl, he intercepted Bryce Petty, stopped a huge end around.  So why is he a 2nd rounder?  Well he has narrow shoulders and he isn’t the most explosive guy. However his technique and awareness are huge parts of his game that could be a steal for the Atlanta Falcons.

2. Marcus Peters CB University of Washington

Every year it seems that there is always one or two players that tend to have character issues that gets them kicked off the team.  Two of those players, Tyrann Mathieu and Janoris Jenkins, have turned into very good football players.  The Atlanta Falcons ranked 32 in the passing game this past season.  This is after spending a 1st on Desmond Trufant, 2nd on Robert Alford, 2nd on William Moore, and 3rd on Dezmen Southward.  Marcus Peters has been projected to go in the 3rd as well as the late 1st.  Peters is considered the best CB of the draft with great physicality and a talent for not being burned.  If we have our pass rusher, adding a potential shutdown 2nd corner or even nickel corner would do wonders for this team.

3. Bernardick McKinney OLB Mississippi St. University

McKinney is 6-5 249 with the ability to cover and rush the passer.  In fact, one of the biggest games he had was against Texas A&M Cedric Ogbuehi.  I look at him and see DeAndre Levy from the Lions as a potential swivel player.  Having the ability and speed to cover end to end plus the ability to beat better pass blockers out there.  He would have the ability to cover bigger receivers out there in the NFC South such as, Jimmy Graham and Greg Olsen.  He’s what you look for in a linebacker to help lead this team.

Who do you think the Atlanta Falcons should target?