Atlanta Falcons add respected Notre Dame leader in Saturday's 5th round

Notre Dame v Stanford
Notre Dame v Stanford / Thearon W. Henderson/GettyImages

Since taking Michael Penix Jr. in Friday's first round the Falcons have used the rest of their draft picks to add to the defensive side of the ball. This continued on Saturday with Atlanta adding JD Bertrand with their 5th-round selection. Bertrand was a leader for Notre Dame at the linebacker position and is a great addition to Atlanta's depth chart and special teams unit.

Bertrand lacks the needed speed to be a starting linebacker but could still contribute as a depth piece and special teams contributor. At this point in the draft, adding a player with this much experience and production should be considered a win.

Terry Fontenot has a recent history of finding surprise defensive contributors late in the draft. Clark Phillips, DeMarcco Hellams, and Troy Andersen serve as recent examples. Bertrand could continue this trend but it seems doubtful he will be able to compensate for his lack of speed at the next level.

Still, it is a solid pick for a team that badly needed defensive depth. As much as Kirk Cousins is a part of the backlash for Atlanta's first-round decision the second is the glaring needs on defense. Since drafting Penix the Falcons have added three defensive linemen and now a linebacker to help shore up the depth chart.

Atlanta has three picks remaining in the draft all falling in the 6th round. Positions to consider are corner, safety, and receiver. All positions that a 6th round pick would have a chance at cracking the depth chart. This is based on Atlanta being extremely top heavy at corner and receiver. Safety is a bit different with the team lacking depth after Jessie Bates. Hellams started at the end of the year if he can hold onto the starting role Atlanta still needs depth behind both players with Richie Grant a clear camp cut.