Round 2, Pick 35
The Pick: Zaven Collins, LB Tulsa
Collins is 6’5” and weighs 260 pounds, he lined up mostly as an outside linebacker for Tulsa. Players this big should not move as smoothly as Collins does. Lining up across the formation he was regularly charged with rushing the passer as well as dropping in coverage. He posted impressive numbers at his pro-day and ranks as one of the most athletic linebackers in this draft class.
If Dean Pees runs more of a 3-4 look on defense as expected, Collins will excel as an outside linebacker who regularly gets the opportunity to rush the passer. His ability to sniff out the run and break up screens is also impressive and will lead to three down work for the Atlanta Falcons.
Round 2, Pick 46 (From NE)
The Pick: Asante Samuel Jr., CB Florida State
The son of former Falcon and all-pro corner Asante Samuel, Asante Samuel Jr certainly brings the pedigree and bloodline of an NFL corner to the Atlanta Falcons. Samuel is a bit on the smaller side for an outside corner, but his technique, competitiveness, and movement ability give him the edge when aligned on the outside.
He can be a long-time starter opposite A.J. Terrel for the Falcons and has the versatility to move inside when asked. As with many players in Dean Pees’ defense, versatility will be key to the success of the scheme.
Round 3, Pick 68
The Pick: Jevon Holland, S Oregon
Holland would be a steal in the third round for the Atlanta Falcons. He would slide in day one as a starter at safety. Holland is intelligent when it comes to aligning the defense and diagnosing his opponent.
He also possesses the size and speed to be utilized anywhere in the secondary. Whether it’s playing deep, coming up in the box, or working as a nickel cornerback, Holland will be a three-down player in this defense.
His ball skills are also excellent, accumulating nine interceptions in two years with the Ducks.