Round 2, Pick 35 – Edge Jaelan Phillips, Miami
The Atlanta Falcons defense struggled immensely in two important categories last season and that was in the back end and off the edge as Atlanta ranked 29th in sacks and dead last in passing yards allowed, and adding a presence off the edge will help start to turn around both of those areas.
Jaelan Phillips, the former top-ranked recruit had an impressive year last season for the Miami Hurricanes as he finally took the field, producing 15.5 tackles for loss and 8.0 sacks.
Phillips showcased a full box of tools while his abilities allow him to be a hand-in-the-ground-run defender while firing off the edge. Phillip is still evolving with only 20 career games to his name but has immense talent and is a high ceiling type player.
Round 3, Pick 69 – C Creed Humphrey, Oklahoma
If Humphrey was in fact available at the start of the third round then the Falcons would be feeling pretty good about themselves at the conclusion of Day 2.
Alex Mack departs which leaves a void in the middle of an already make-shift offensive line for the Atlanta Falcons. Humphrey is an exceptional pass blocker and was a true QB of the OL for the Sooners for multiple seasons where his football IQ and power were put on display.
Humphrey isn’t exactly a mauler in the run game as his athleticism is limited in space but when moving vertically he gets the job done consistently.
Round 4, Pick 108 – CB Shaun Wade, Ohio State
As previously noted the Atlanta Falcons secondary was brutal last season as they gave up nearly 4,700 passing yards along with 34-touchdowns and only 12 Interceptions.
Shaun Wade struggled mightily last season on the outside but thrived over the course of his first two seasons when his role was strictly to defend to the slot. Wade projects best as a nickel corner due to his athleticism and length and considering how much defensive coordinator Dean Pees likes to run the nickel this could be a good pairing.