An early look at the 2018 Draft

CLEMSON, SC - NOVEMBER 05: Christian Wilkins
CLEMSON, SC - NOVEMBER 05: Christian Wilkins /
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Draft season has come and gone, but is it ever too early for the Atlanta Falcons to look ahead?

Going back to Dan Quinn’s first season as head coach of the Atlanta Falcons, the needs were pretty evident. According to, the Falcons needed a pass rusher, tight end, and corner. Plus, like every other draft, they needed depth all around. They got their pass rusher in Vic Beasley out of Clemson at pick eight and corner Jalen Collins in the second round. They also picked up Tevin Coleman to add depth to the halfback position and Grady Jarrett who’s become a disruptor at defensive tackle.

In Quinn’s second off season the needs were speed on the defensive side of the ball. Quinn surely filled that mantra with safety Keanu Neal, linebackers Deion Jones and De’Vondre Campbell and then added a tight end with Stanford’s Austin Hooper. Also they added Brian Poole as an undrafted free agent at corner.

All four Defensive players definitely contributed (including Poole) and Hooper came along as well. And the guys from Quinn’s first draft, Beasley, Collins, Jarrett all took a leap in their second year. As well as Tevin Coleman becoming apart of the best Running Back tandem in the league.

This past offseason, the needs were evident, but not as evident. We all knew that the Falcons needed to add another edge rusher opposite of Beasley, and of course, Quinn didn’t disappoint. He added the high motored defensice end Takkarist McKinley out of UCLA. He also kept up with the speed side of things by adding Duke Riley to the linebacker corps. The team also kept competition in mind by adding Damontae Kazee who seems to be a jack of all trades defensive back. Add Eric Saubert to the tight end group, and lets not forget Brian Hill who is just simply fitting the “The rich get richer” idea, and it was a pretty good haul.

So that brings us to now, what exactly are the Falcons needs? Could it be guard? Well Atlanta had added Wes Schweitzer a few seasons ago in a Quinn draft, and just added Sean Harlow so who knows if those guys will pan out. For the sake of the draft though, and the sake of the offense being so strong – lets say the guard is an afterthought. Cornerback is a strong suit, as is linebacker and safety seem to be as well.

That leaves us at defensive linemen. Grady Jarrett is someone who will work his way to a long term extension at defensive tackle but other than that, Atlanta is pretty limited. Though they signed Dontari Poe, defensive tackle definitely has to be on the minds of the Atlanta Falcons brass during the 2018 draft. As does pass rushers, because you can never have too many.

Assuming Atlanta will be picking around the end of the first round, lets look as prospects projected in that area, that fit a need. There are 14 possible players according to Matt Miller and his top 50, that could be on the Falcons radar and with it being a pretty deep offensive draft, it could work into Atlanta’s favor picking at the end of the round. So we’ll take a look at the prospects.