DRAFT PREVIEW: Pick 31 – Atlanta Falcons

The Falcons were so nearly NFL champions in 2016. Which players will they choose to take them that one vital step further?

Pick: 31

2016 Record: 11-5

What went right in 2016? Pretty much everything short of winning the big one. A much improved Matt Ryan, Julio Jones seemingly getting better with every game, a dynamic duo of running backs and a young defense capable of mixing it with the best. This was a heck of a team when it was on song.

And what went wrong? There were some inconsistent performances along the way, some games lost which ought to have been won. Jones’ tendency to pick up injuries which heal slowly is a long-term worry, too.

What do they need? Guard, Defensive End, Defensive Tackle

Who will they pick? All of the true first round defensive line talent is likely to be off the board at this point, so the Falcons will turn their attention to the interior of the offensive line. There’s only one true guard with first round potential, Forrest Lamp of Western Kentucky. If he is gone then they have the choice of either taking the Utah tackle, Garett Bolles, and playing him inside for a season (an option used by a lot of teams with young tackles anyway) or they could take a slight reach with Temple’s Dion Dawkins.

Richard O’Hagan

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Richard O'Hagan (276 Posts)

Writer on such diverse topics as sport, music, theatre, law and politics. Author of 'Eddie the Sheep'. Supporter of underachieving teams, including the Chicago Bears from before that brief, heady, period in the mid-1980s when they were actually any good. All I want for Christmas is a Jim McMahon away shirt.

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