10 Players the Atlanta Falcons should consider in the 2023 draft
7. Nolan Smith, OLB | Georgia
Smith has taken a back seat in terms of notoriety on this Georgia defense, which makes sense considering they just broke the record for most draftees from a single school in a class. The former 5-star recruit in Smith will be next up though when it comes to players that will crack the first round.
Smith has good instincts mixed with consistent tackling when playing off the ball but puts good closing burst when coming off the edge. Smith could benefit by adding some strength to his frame and refining his initial get off but he uses his hands and arms quite impressively when getting off blocks. The versatility aspect of his game is what makes him such a coveted prospect as we just saw with Travon Walker, Smith can drop into coverage and be sound while the aggression he shows in the run game gives him a boost in his class.
8. Zion Tupuola-Fetui, OLB | Washington
Tupuola-Fetui missed most of last season after suffering a torn Achilles but returned sooner than expected. Tupuola-Fetui had 7.0 sacks in three games during a COVID shortened season where he showcased his power and versatility. The current Husky hasn’t had a full season to put his skill set on full display but should have that opportunity this fall where he is expected to terrorize the PAC-12 off the edge as an interior bull rusher.
Zion has the skill set to shoot up draft rankings and become a top ten pick. He would help Atlanta’s pass rush as well as solidify the middle of the defense.