2023 Atlanta Falcons Mock Draft: what best player available looks like after the initial free agent rush
Round 2, No. 44 overall: LB Trenton Simpson, Clemson
2022: 12 Games Played, 72 Tackles, 4.0 Tackles for Loss, 2.5 Sacks, 5 QB Hurries, 2 Fumbles Forced, 3 Pass Deflections
2021: 13 Games Played, 64 Tackles, 12.0 Tackles for Loss, 6.0 Sacks, 5 QB Hurries, 2 Pass Deflections
2020: 12 Games Played, 28 Tackles, 6.5 Tackles for Loss, 4.0 Sacks, 2 QB Hurries, 1 Fumble Forced
Continuing with the best player available theme, the Falcons take Trenton Simpson here. Simpson is a great linebacker from Clemson who fits in well with the Falcons' new defense under Ryan Nielsen.
He's solid in coverage but truly shines as both a run defender and blitzer who moves around the front seven. He's a freakish athlete who compares favorably to Ryan Shazier and has shown that he can cover a ton of ground quickly and would complement the current Falcons linebackers.
The Falcons would be able to add him to a unit that already has 2022 second-round pick Troy Andersen and veteran Mykal Walker as the presumptive starters. This pick would turn what was a weakness for the Falcons into a strength. Simpson and Andersen as the long-term starters with recent signing Kaden Elliss as the main three linebackers in 4-3 sets could allow Nielsen to run his defense as a heavy-blitzing, high-pressure one that should succeed in the NFC South.