Atlanta Falcons need to make a splash in the 2020 NFL draft

The Atlanta Falcons are on the clock with the 16th overall pick in the 2020 NFL draft. With four picks in the first three rounds, might we see them package picks to move up and take one of the elite players in the draft?

This is exactly what the Atlanta Falcons should do. With all the needs on defense, there is one player that would solve a lot of problems that the Falcons have and give them flexibility and creativity on defense. That player – Clemson’s Isaiah Simmons.

The redshirt junior was the best and most versatile defender in all of college football. Sure, Chase Young was really good in 2019, but Isaiah Simmons was elite in every meaning of the word. The only position that he Simmons did not play in 2019, defensive tackle.

The 6’4 240-pound linebacker played all three linebacker spots, defensive end, corner, boundary corner, and both safety spots. He was a one-man wrecking crew on Clemson’s top-ranked defense and was a bright spot for them in the national championship game against LSU.

Here was his position breakdown on the season at Clemson. He also had seven sacks on 71 blitzes this season; a 10 percent sack rate is incredible.

  • Safety: 218 snaps
  • Slot CB: 286 snaps
  • OLB: 160 snaps
  • ILB/MLB: 120 snaps
  • Perimeter CB: 17 snaps

Sure, there will be some Atlanta Falcons fans that are apprehensive of drafting another Clemson player after Vic Beasley, but I would remind everyone that Grady Jarrett has more than lived up to his abilities with the Atlanta Falcons.

Simmons is projected to go anywhere between the Jaguars at seven and the Cleveland Browns at 10. Not suggesting that the Atlanta Falcons sell the farm like they did for Julio Jones, but if they can swap first-round picks and add a couple more to move up to grab a game-changer like Simmons, they should exhaust that possibility to do so.

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One thing that is clear, the Atlanta Falcon have to nail this draft class if they are not going to completely waste the careers of Matt Ryan and Julio Jones. The majority of the pieces to make a run are here, with just need a couple more pieces and the Falcons should be back atop the NFC.

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