2023 Atlanta Falcons Mock Draft: what best player available looks like after the initial free agent rush

Jalen Carter explodes through the line to chase down C.J. Stroud
Jalen Carter explodes through the line to chase down C.J. Stroud / Steve Limentani/ISI Photos/GettyImages
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Jalen Carter
2023 CFP National Championship - TCU v Georgia / Kevin C. Cox/GettyImages

Round 1, No. 8 overall: DL Jalen Carter, Georgia

2022: 13 Games Played, 32 Tackles, 7.0 Tackles for Loss, 3.0 Sacks, 1 QB Hurry, 2 Fumbles Forced, 3 Pass Deflections
2021: 15 Games Played, 37 Tackles, 8.5 Tackles for Loss, 3.0 Sacks, 3 QB Hurries, 1 Pass Deflections, 2 Blocked Kicks
2020: 10 Games Played, 14 Tackles, 3.0 Tackles for Loss, 5 QB Hurries, 1 Blocked Kick, 1 Catch, 1 Yard, 1 Touchdown

The Falcons may not have a starting need at defensive tackle, but the only names on the roster behind the presumptive starters of David Onyemata, Grady Jarrett, and TaQuon Graham are Timmy Horne, Jalen Dalton, and Amari Bledsoe. Those aren't names that inspire any confidence on the defensive line if they have to get in. With the philosophy of best player available being the theme of this draft, Jalen Carter would be the best possible player available and might be the best player in the entire draft. Carter would add depth and be a piece they could use to build around.

Carter was one of the best players in college football the last two years and was arguably the best player on the Georgia defense the last two seasons that was the best in the nation. His pass-rushing ability would be a boon for the Falcons who couldn't create any pressure on the interior once Graham went down with an injury. Adding Carter in pass rush sets to Jarrett could blow up the interior and allow the edge defenders to take advantage of their new one-on-one matchups. Carter is a monster, and he'd be able to change the face of the Falcons' pass rush.