Atlanta Falcons Address Defensive Weaknesses in Mock Draft
By Joe Carlino
Round One TRADE w/LAC (21st Overall): Bijan Robinson, RB (Texas)
Yes, you're reading this right: the Falcons somehow manage to finagle a trade with the Chargers and bolster an already impressive running game that currently features Tyler Allgeier and Cordarrelle Patterson. In this mock, the Falcons sent their second-round pick, both fourth rounders, and next year's second, which the Chargers accepted handily.
While the PFF simulator graded this trade a "D-", the fact remains that Atlanta could use another thunder and lightning backfield and keep Patterson in the "guessing game" role for opposing defensive coordinators.
Atlanta hasn't had a true two-headed monster since Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman, and we all remember how lethal that core could be when it got going. Robinson is essentially that Freeman role, possessing the ability to reliably contribute as a three-down back and provide a spark alongside Allgeier, who just became the first Falcons running back in decades to rush for 1,000+ yards as a rookie.
Of course, one has to acknowledge the negatives of selecting a running back in the first round of the NFL Draft, and for good measure. The track record of these backs in recent years unfortunately doesn't pan out, with current talents like Saquon Barkley, Ezekiel Elliott, Christian McCaffrey and others getting massive workloads early and often. While Saquon and CMC are still threats, Zeke's body is beginning to fail him, as evidenced by the Cowboys releasing him a couple weeks ago.
Could history repeat itself with Robinson in the backfield?