Falcons draft pick clearly revealed by combine performances

Assuming the Atlanta Falcons are going to draft an edge rusher, we know exactly which one it will be after comparing combine numbers.
NFL Combine
NFL Combine / Stacy Revere/GettyImages

The NFL Combine matters a lot for upcoming prospects. They get to show off what abilities they have in an apples-to-apples situation.

Every team and coach has their own opinions and trends when it comes to each individual measurement.

Raheem Morris will have a big say in who ends up being the Falcons' first-round pick. I decided to look at what Morris has valued in the past when it comes to the combine and compare it with how each of the three top-edge rushers performed. In the end, there was one clear winner.

The combine tells us exactly who the Atlanta Falcons will draft

Raheem Morris spent three seasons as the defensive coordinator of the Los Angeles Rams. He was the mastermind of what they did on that side of the ball while head coach Sean McVay leaned more toward the offense. it is safe to assume Morris had a big say in the defensive picks.

I took each one of those players and averaged out their percentiles in each combine measurable, revealing that Morris has prioritized the broad jump, vertical jump, forty-yard dash, and wingspan.

I then took Dallas Turner, Jared Verse, and Laiatu Latu's broad jump, forty-yard dash, and wingspan (not including vertical since Latu was the only participant) and found the difference between theirs and the average of Morris' draft picks.

  • Dallas Turner: +48
  • Jared Verse: -2
  • Laiatu Latu: -73

Turner's percentiles in the broad, forty, and his wingspan were 48 points better than the average player that Morris drafted with the Rams, while Verse and Latu are both under.

When looking at all of the measurables, Turner still comes out on top but Verse is right on his tail. Also, just keep in mind that Latu and Turner had seven measurables while Verse had ten.

  • Dallas Turner: +40
  • Jared Verse: +32
  • Laiatu Latu: -122

Now, what does this all mean?

Well, it might mean very little. Many factors go into all of this; there is no way to scale everything equally. We are comparing three first-round talents to that of day two and day three players (Rams did not make a first-round pick in each of the past three drafts).

Personally though, I think this means something. Every mock draft has the Falcons taking Turner and for good reason. With what this team is looking to do, Turner is the most obvious fit—this just provides further proof.

There is also the simple fact that Turner comes from the SEC which is a conference Morris picked from five times, compared to one for Latu's Pac-12 and Verse's ACC.

Long story short, Dallas Turner is the most likely target for the Falcons if they stick with the eighth-overall pick. Too many things line up between the prospect and the team philosophy for him not to be.

Falcons mock drafts: