Atlanta Falcons Mock Draft – Blogging Dirty Writers – Round 1


Nov 29, 2014; Louisville, KY, USA; Kentucky Wildcats defensive end Alvin Dupree (2) forces Louisville Cardinals quarterback Kyle Bolin (14) to fumble the ball during the second half at Papa John

The 2015 NFL Draft is just over a week away, and all of us here at Blogging Dirty are bursting with excitement to see who the new additions to the Atlanta Falcons will be.

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In the meantime, we realized that each of us had differing opinions on who we thought the Falcons should draft in each round, and why. What better way to pass the time until the real draft than by having our very own Blogging Dirty Writers’ Mock Draft?

The mock draft works like this: Each writer will make their pick for Falcons in each round, based upon who they believe will be available and their perception of the team’s needs. They will then write a short summary of the pick to explain to all of us the reasoning behind it.

This mock assumes no trades, and that the Falcons will be picking based on the official draft order. Let’s get drafting!

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Most analysts and fans believe that the Falcons will be eying an elite pass rusher in the first round, something they have lacked since the team parted ways with John Abraham prior to the 2013 season.

It’s a good year for pass rushers, with Leonard Williams, Dante Fowler Jr., Vic Beasley, Randy Gregory, Shane Ray, and Alvin “Bud” Dupree all considered to be top-15 talents.

The Falcons could also elect to go in a different direction, depending on who is available at the #8 overall pick. Players like WR Amari Cooper or Kevin White, DT/NT Danny Shelton, CB Trae Waynes, RB Todd Gurley, or OT/OG Brandon Scherff could all be solid options for the team.

Who did our writers select with the Falcons first pick? Let’s find out!

Kevin Knight

8. player. 44. With Vic Beasley skyrocketing up draft boards and Dante Fowler Jr. unlikely to make it past Jacksonville, the Falcons are left with a choice between Gregory, Ray, and Dupree at 8. I would go with Gregory, who has prototypical size for the position at 6’5, 240. He’s already a stout run defender, and his hand usage is excellent. His technique needs refinement, but he’s an athletic marvel with the ceiling of an All-Pro player. Gregory was considered a top-5 talent before he failed his Combine drug test for cannabis. The Falcons should take advantage of his fall on draft day and make him the #8 overall pick.. OLB. Nebraska. Randy Gregory

Eric Robinson

Nebraska. Randy Gregory. 8. player. 44. Head coach Dan Quinn wants to get after the QB. We all know that. With Beasley and Fowler off the board, Quinn pulls the trigger on the talented pass rusher from Nebraska.. OLB

James Hicks

8. player. 44. To understand this pick, we need to see picks one through seven.  In my personal mock, I have the first seven picks going as such: 1-Jameis Winston, 2-Marcus Mariota, 3-Dante Fowler Jr., 4-Leonard Williams, 5-Vic Beasley, 6-Shane Ray, and 7-Kevin White to round it out.  With the top two pass rushers in Fowler and Beasley off the board by pick eight, it comes down to Dupree or Randy Gregory.  Other than the drug concerns with Gregory, I also have concerns with his work ethic and his size.  Dupree has long arms and tons of potential as a LEO in Dan Quinn’s new defense.. DE/OLB. Kentucky. Bud Dupree

Adnan Ikic

Gregory isn’t my top ranked pass rusher: but I expect Vic Beasley, Dante Fowler, and Leonard Williams to be off the board by the time Atlanta picks at eight. The next best pass rusher on the board is Nebraska’s Randy Gregory, who will undoubtedly slip due to his positive drug test at the combine. Gregory will come into the NFL as one of the most polished pass rushers from the draft. He has the size (6’5 and 235 pounds), the speed, and the pass rushing moves to flourish in the NFL. Gregory was perceived as a lock for the top 5 before testing positive, but his stock has plummeted as many teams will look to stay away from that kind of risk, especially after the <strong><a href=. OLB. Nebraska. Randy Gregory. 8. player. 44

David Neff

8. player. 44. Bud Dupree was the best player on the Kentucky Wildcats for the last four seasons. While his stats may not wow at first, here is a stat that most people forget to mention. Kentucky played against 8 option teams. What that means is Defensive Ends are always on the scramble.  Bud Dupree is a specimen for sure, and he could potentially average 7 to 10 sacks a season with this squad.. DE/OLB. Kentucky. Bud Dupree

Righteous Chester

The Falcons hold the 8<sup>th</sup> pick in the 2015 draft. They have several needs with pass rusher being the most glaring need. The NFL has become a passing league and just about every team ahead of the Falcons needs a pass rusher as well, I predict that the top 3 pass rushers will be gone by the time the Falcons step to the podium to select their pick. With that said the new regime believes in drafting the best players available instead of the old regimes style of drafting by need. When the Falcons step to the podium I expect to hear the words with the 8<sup>th</sup> pick in the 2015 draft the Atlanta Falcons select Trae Waynes, cornerback Michigan State. Pairing Trae Waynes with <strong><a href=. CB. Michigan State. Trae Waynes. 8. player. 44

Harrison Nayler

Randy Gregory. 8. player. 44. The Atlanta Falcons need an impact pass rusher with their first round pick. Based on several mocks and weeks of speculation, it seems unlikely that Florida DE Dante Fowler will be available at pick 8, and the Falcons may also not get the chance to select the quickly rising Vic Beasley out of Clemson. Whilst these are my top two preferences, I’m assuming they’ll be off the board before 8, and therefore my selection for the Falcons in the first round is former Nebraska OLB Randy Gregory. A physically gifted rusher, Gregory amassed 17.5 sacks in two seasons with Nebraska, and has all the tangibles to succeed in the NFL. A failed marijuana test at the Combine may have some teams ignoring the prospect, but the Dimitroff filter has been oddly lenient when it comes to marijuana in the past, so there is a chance the off field immaturities may be overlooked in favor of giving Dan Quinn a physical freak to coach up and turn loose on opposing quarterbacks.. OLB. Nebraska

Tyler Back

8. player. 44. Gregory’s failed drug test could turn out to be a godsend to the Falcons, who will have the most physically imposing pass rusher in the draft fall into their laps.. OLB. Nebraska. Randy Gregory

Sunny Minhas

Nebraska. Randy Gregory. 8. player. 44. In terms of ability and potential, I think Gregory is the best pass rusher in this class. His character and off-field stuff I can’t talk about but at least it doesn’t impact his on-field play. He improved a lot from last year and plays hard on the field. He’s light and occasionally does get washed out against the run but on the whole, I’d say he handles the run better than most of his peers. His technique and awareness are the reasons for that, and that makes his potential tied to how much bigger and stronger he can get without it adversely affecting his speed and quickness.. OLB

Freddie Boston

With Dante Fowler Jr. and Vic Beasley likely to be gone by the time the Falcons hit the clock with the eighth overall pick, they turn to Alvin Dupree out of Kentucky. The 6’4”, 269-pounder is an incredible athlete with a ton of potential. I give Dupree the edge over Randy Gregory and Shane Ray — Gregory mainly due to his off-the-field concerns. Dupree has the potential to become a top pass rusher in the right system, and Dan Quinn would find a role to get the best out of him in Atlanta.. DE/OLB. Kentucky. Bud Dupree. 8. player. 44

Aloïs Piet

Bud Dupree. 8. player. 44. Dan Quinn needs to improve his defense, no surprise, and that goes through finding a top-notch EDGE rusher. Vic Beasley and Dante Fowler will be already gone by the 8th pick, which means the Falcons will probably have to find a fallback plan. Bud Dupree is far from being a bad pick, although. He is a perfect fit for the LEO position. The linebacker might still be raw but this pick will help tremendously the team’s pass rush. Dupree provides pure talent and elite athleticism, but he must improve his technique in order to make an impact from Day One. He could reveal himself as this year’s <strong><a href=. DE/OLB. Kentucky

It looks like the consensus is that the Falcons will be selecting a pass rusher (aside from Chester, who has the team snagging the top CB in the draft instead), but who?

Six writers had the Falcons taking Randy Gregory, and four had them taking Alvin “Bud” Dupree.

Both are terrific pass rushers in their own right. It’s hard to say who will become the better player, as both have through-the-roof potential. Gregory has better size and technique, but Dupree is an athletic freak. I suppose we won’t know what Dan Quinn and the Falcons think until next Thursday.

Stay tuned tomorrow for our Round 2 picks, which should provide much more variety. Atlanta has several needs on day two of the draft, including LG, FS, ILB, and RB.

Do you agree or disagree with the picks so far? Who do you prefer, Randy Gregory, Bud Dupree, or Trae Waynes?

Next: Dirty Bird Daily: Adrian Peterson on Atlanta Falcons radar?

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