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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Darius Rush
Darius Rush before he intercepts a pass against Vanderbilt / Michael Chang/GettyImages

Round 4, No. 110 overall: CB Darius Rush, South Carolina

2022: 10 Games Played, 38 Tackles, 2.0 Tackles for Loss, 1 QB Hurry, 2 Interceptions, 1 Fumble Forced, 7 Pass Deflections
2021: 13 Games Played, 25 Tackles, 2.0 Tackles for Loss, 1.0 Sack, 1 Interception, 8 Pass Deflections
2020: 8 Games Played, 8 Tackles
2019: 12 Games Played, 3 Tackles, 1 Punt Return, -2 Yards
2018: Redshirted

The Falcons need some more depth at corner and someone who can compete for the starting nickel role with Darren Hall, Dee Alford, and a newly re-signed Cornell Armstrong. Adding a solid all-around cornerback who can stuff the run and play in coverage is needed for the Falcons' depth. There's a bonus if he can also eventually start at cornerback No. 2 after Casey Hayward's contract ends after 2023. Darius Rush is the best player that fits the Falcons at this pick in this simulation.

Rush has great athleticism and fits the Falcons scheme. He was great for the Gamecocks in coverage and was their No. 1 corner. His coverage abilities were even more pronounced against teams like Georgia, Tennessee, and Texas A&M. He was only targeted 31 times all season and only allowed 18 catches over the 10 games he played according to Pro Football Focus. Being that successful in the SEC is normally a good barometer for success in the NFL, and he should fit in well in Atlanta.