Notre Dame’s Julian Okwara is an edge rusher that is projected to go somewhere between the second, third or fourth rounds. The Atlanta Falcons require an edge rusher. It is widely known the lack of dominant or even capable edge rushers throughout the 50 plus year history of the organization. Okwara would seem like a reasonable decision given his athletic ability and long limbs, but he had a drop off in production during his senior season that also saw it end prematurely with a broken leg.
Experts say that, with time, he could be an elite pass rusher, but that is a big question mark. He could be a long project for the coaching staff that may not even pay off. He struggled against Georgia’s Andrew Thomas, who will more than likely be a first-round pick and a starter in the NFL. Watching him struggle that badly is a bit concerning. He is long-limbed and lanky, which is not usually a good thing when it comes to defensive ends who are going up against NFL offensive lineman consistently.
He could be a great player, but there are other options out there that seem like a better fit such as Bradlee Aae from Utah or Jonathan Greenard from Florida, both of whom are projected to be available in the early to middle rounds. They both had better production and are bigger and stronger.
There are plenty of guys to choose from and I am not necessarily saying the guys mentioned can’t or won’t be stars. These opinions are purely based on information about the player and nothing else. Hopefully, the Atlanta Falcons have an excellent draft and get the right guys for the right positions.