Atlanta Falcons play it safe in this full 7 round mock draft
Rounds Four and Five (114th overall and 151st overall)
First mock: Slade Bolden, WR (Alabama, 114th); Charlie Kolar, TE (Clemson, 151st)
Current Selection: Coby Bryant, CB (Cincinnati, 114th); Damone Clark, LB (LSU, 151st)
Once Day Three shows up, it’s rare to see players truly break out, but there are those rare instances. This is not to insinuate that Atlanta’s getting the next Tom Brady or Antonio Brown, but there’s always that slight possibility. The main thing is where a player lands that will determine their overall chances of success in the NFL.
With their two picks in the fourth round, the Falcons attempt to put a stopgap with their cornerback room, and justifiably, they’re smart to wait on this front. First off, AJ Terrell showcased that he was the best corner in the 2020 NFL draft last year, despite being torched by Joe Burrow (as many tried to claim to detract him). Then, looking at the room, Isaiah Oliver’s returning, and he was playing much better as a slot corner than outside the numbers prior to the ACL tear, and Casey Hayward, despite being older, is still a very good cornerback in the NFL.
Therefore, Atlanta waits until round four to try and provide some extra depth to this room, starting with Bryant, who was a four-year starter for the Bearcats and plays very instinctively from the tape. Listed at only 6-feet-1, Bryant can track passes and also provided help in the run defense from his cornerback position. Furthermore, his ability to space out high-low combinations allows him to focus on his receiver and not get taken out of responsibility.
As for Clark, his selection could be the best possible draft replacement in later rounds to replace the departed Foye Oluokun. Standing at 6-foot-3, his frame is impressive and playing alongside former LSU Tigers Devin White and Patrick Queen allowed him to shine while also learning from his former teammates.
That said, with Clark, there are two problems that may hinder his success rate in the NFL. First, he succumbs to the play fake more than the average defender, which will leave his area of the field open for quick slants and crossing routes.
The other problem is probably more severe: he recently underwent a spinal fusion surgery to repair a herniated disk last month, so who knows if he’d even play in 2022.