Atlanta Falcons: 2018 NFL Draft Notebook Vol. 2

HOUSTON, TX - FEBRUARY 01: General Manager Thomas Dimitroff speaks with staff during a Super Bowl LI practice on February 1, 2017 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - FEBRUARY 01: General Manager Thomas Dimitroff speaks with staff during a Super Bowl LI practice on February 1, 2017 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) /
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AUBURN, AL – NOVEMBER 25: Carlton Davis
AUBURN, AL – NOVEMBER 25: Carlton Davis /

Falcons Top Draft Needs Fits Heading Into 2018

It’s been a long season already filled with ups and downs but luckily for Atlanta the problems haven’t been more so of lackluster of talent than executing calls in the right scenarios. There are few positions that could very well be addressed in the Falcons front office this off-season so I took the liberty of passing through most of those positions for you and placed the best matched prospects to draft rounds their talent warrants them.

Offensive Guard: Miss State rSR Martinas Rankin

– Wes Schweitzer has had his ups and downs this season after going against some of the NFL’s best interior defensive linemen like Ndamukong Suh, Leonard Williams, and Kawann Short but it doesn’t mean he hasn’t Improved over the past few games. Still for Dan Quinn as a head coach you’ll want to assemble the best and most realistic players to lineup for you on Sunday so take a look at others positions where you may have a starter already in place could give the team an extra take on their self-talent. Miss State’s tackle Martinas Rankin is a versatile linemen who has experience at both guard and tackle. Rankin has an hard counter-puncher when defending pass-rushers and able to clear defender’s hands from his torso area and the power throughout his lower body to clear defenders through running lanes.

Other Potential Fits: Quenton Nelson – Notre Dame, Braden Smith – Auburn, Wyatt Teller – Virginia Tech, Isaiah Wynn – UGA, and Damian Prince – Maryland.

Cornerback: Auburn Jr Carlton Davis

– The week after the Falcons made the news that they would release troubled cornerback Jalen Collins would ironically be before the Falcons would be hit with injuries at the cornerback position (Brian Poole – Back. Desmond Trufant – Concussion) during the win against Tampa Bay. I do believe that the coaching staff still has a lot of confidence in C.J. Goodwin and Damontae Kazee filling in for the time being but it wouldn’t be surprise to see Atlanta be in the market for another corner on Day Two of the draft. Auburn cornerback Carlton Davis would make a lot of sense as a fit in Atlanta because of his size ( 6-1 201pounds), his ability to match-up man-to-man in press, and his fluid transitions skills make him impossible to overlook especially in another draft class that could feature multiple first-round corners.

Other Potential Fits: Joshua Jackson – Iowa, Adonis Alexander – Virginia Tech, Greg Stroman – Virginia Tech, and Henre’ Toliver – Arkansas. 

Interior Defensive Linemen: Washington rJr Vita Vea

– The phrase “Dancing Bear” is used a lot when describing interior defensive linemen who are capable of quickly moving horizontally to help penetrate run gaps but when watching Washington’s Vita Vea I think the term actually comes to life. Listed at 6-4 345 pounds, it’s easy to see why he goes unnoticed during film sessions but it is his rare combination of brute strength and speed that sets him apart from the rest. On multiple occasions you’ll find Vea being doubled-team on run downs and he is still able to shed blockers and hunt down backs in the backfield. Michigan’s Maurice Hurst Jr will be my top choice for defensive linemen heading into the 2018 draft season but don’t be surprised to hear more about Atlanta doing their due diligence on Vea.

Other Potential Fits: Andrew Brown – Virginia, Kendrick Norton -Miami, Derrick Nnadi – Florida State, Lowell Lotulelei – Utah, and Justin Jones – NC State.