2024 Atlanta Falcons Potential Draft Pick Profile: DL Braden Fiske

Braden Fiske could be a great pick for the Atlanta Falcons as a potential eventual replacement for David Onyemata.
2023 ACC Championship - Louisville v Florida State
2023 ACC Championship - Louisville v Florida State / Isaiah Vazquez/GettyImages
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The Atlanta Falcons could have a fantastic long-term replacement for David Onyemata if they bring in Braden Fiske on the second day of the NFL Draft. Fiske profiles well for the 3-technique defensive tackle role that Onyemata is expected to play in the 2024 season. Fiske profiles as an explosive penetrating defensive tackle similar to Sheldon Richardson and a potential team captain for the defense once he gets his footing with his pro roster.

Braden Fiske

Florida State University

Defensive Lineman


Athletic Comparison and Numbers

One of the better athletes in the draft at defensive tackle is Braden Fiske. Fiske compares well to Jay Ratliff who was such an explosive athlete at defensive tackle that they put him as a nose tackle in a 3-4 for a few years. Ratliff made his living penetrating into the backfield and made four Pro Bowls. Fiske has almost the same athleticism. He has shown that on tape too, the film matches the testing for Fiske, and that's always a good sign for a player.


Stats and Awards

2023: 13 Games Played, 43 Tackles, 9.0 Tackles for Loss, 6.0 Sacks, 5 QB Hurries, Third-Team All-America, Second-Team All-ACC
Transferred from Western Michigan to Florida State between 2022 and 2023
2022: 12 Games Played, 59 Tackles, 12.0 Tackles for Loss, 6.0 Sacks, 7 QB Hurries, 3 Fumbles Forced, 3 Pass Deflections, Second-Team All-MAC
2021: 13 Games Played, 43 Tackles, 8.0 Tackles for Loss, 4.0 Sacks, 3 QB Hurries
2020: 6 Games Played, 23 Tackles, 5.5 Tackles for Loss, 2.5 Sacks, 1 Blocked Kick
2019: 12 Games Played, 24 Tackles, 2.0 Tackles for Loss, 1.0 Sack, 1 QB Hurry, 1 Kickoff Return, 9 Yards
2018: 2 Games Played, Redshirted after the first two


Highlight Reel


Scouting Report

Strengths

Braden Fiske is a great athlete for his size and can run any sort of games up front whether it be twists, stunts or some variation. He's very smart with his pass rush plan and has extremely quick hands. He's extremely explosive off the line and collapses the pocket quickly. He plays the run with equal vigor to the pass and is more than willing to try and take down guys in the backfield on early downs whether they're a running back or a quarterback. He's going to try two, three and four times to get around an offensive lineman and will wear out some of the more burly offensive linemen out there.

Weaknesses

Because of his size and shorter arm length, Fiske gets caught up by bigger offensive linemen often. He can get held at bay by some of the more massive guards out there. He doesn't do well against double teams at all and needs to get stronger at piercing through them or at least learning how to draw a holding call against them. He has to get better with his alignment and using his quick hands to get off blockers better. He's got a lot to work with, but he's going to still need some refinement.


Intangibles & Off-Field Red Flags

One of the most obvious things about Braden Fiske when watching his film or following him through the pre-draft process is that he's an extremely hard worker. He has shown that on the field with a non-stop motor and off the field with his combine preparation that allowed him to put up one of the best combines in the draft. Natural athleticism is there, but the numbers he put up also show how hard he worked to get there. He's also one of the more natural leaders out there and is selfless to a fault. He switched sides in the Senior Bowl because one team was short and was just doing what coaches asked him to do in the glorified scrimmage.

NFL Stylistic Comparison: Sheldon Richardson 

Much like Sheldong Richardson coming out, Braden Fiske is a fantastic pass rusher who is going to get powered away by guards in the run game at times. However, he'll be a good penetrating player who can attack quarterbacks and collapse the pocket. Eventually, Richardson rounded his game out to be one of the best defensive tackles in the NFL and play nine years for four different teams making it to one Pro Bowl along the way. If Fiske can do the same, that's more than worth his projection.


How does he fit in with the Atlanta Falcons

If the Falcons want to bring in Braden Fiske, they will likely have to spend their second-round pick on him. Fiske would instantly upgrade the depth at 3-technique defensive tackle and could be a fantastic rotational piece with Grady Jarrett, David Onyemata and Ta'Quon Graham at the defensive tackle spots. Fiske should be able to improve the pass rush from the interior and be a good piece to take a bulk of snaps should someone get hurt again in 2024 at defensive tackle.

All advanced stats are courtesy Pro Football Focus or Football Outsiders. All traditional stats are courtesy of official team websites, NFLGSIS or CFB Stats. All RAS and athletic testing numbers are courtesy of DraftScout.com and Kent Lee Platte's RAS Football website.