Every Atlanta Falcons mock draft starts with the possibility of a trade down from the No. 4 pick. It makes more sense now that the top-three selections in the 2021 NFL Draft are expected to be quarterbacks.
For first-year general manager Terry Fontenot, it’s all about finding a happy medium between acquiring Matt Ryan’s heir-apparent and building up talent on a weakened roster. Remember, Atlanta is coming off a four-win season and has needs on both sides of the field.
Below, we offer a full seven-round Atlanta Falcons mock draft with one blockbuster trade.
Atlanta Falcons mock draft: Trading down, adding talent
- Trade: Atlanta Falcons deal fourth pick to the Carolina Panthers for eighth pick, second-round pick, fourth-round pick, 2022 first-round pick and 2022 second-round pick
- First round, 8th pick: Mac Jones, quarterback, Alabama
- Second round, 35th pick: Jayson Oweh, EDGE, Penn State
- Second round, 39th pick: Wyatt Davis, guard, Ohio State
- Third round, 68th pick: Jabril Cox, linebacker, LSU
It’s pretty clear that new Falcons general manager Terry Fontenot is looking to find an heir-apparent to Matt Ryan at quarterback in the 2021 NFL Draft. They are also now in position to land Trey Lance, Justin Fields or Mac Jones with that pick now that the 49ers moved up to the No. 3 pick for one of the three.
Instead of standing pat, this Atlanta Falcons mock draft has them trading down a few spots in the top-10 with the division rival Carolina Panthers. In turn, the Falcons expedite their retooling process by picking up a high second-round pick in 2021 and the Panthers’ first two selections in 2022 — taking advantage of Carolina owner David Tepper’s desperation.
As for Mac Jones, some recent struggles at Alabama’s second pro day could very well see him slide to the bottom end of the top 10. Despite this, he seems to be a perfect fit in new head coach Arthur Smith’s offensive scheme and is pretty darn pro-ready. The reigning Heisman finalist could sit behind Ryan for a season and be ready to take over in 2022. It almost makes too much sense.
In Round 2, Atlanta goes with a freak athlete and high-upside player who is now in the conversation to be a top-15 pick. Jayson Oweh falls in this specific mock even after running an absolutely absurd 40-yard dash at Penn State’s Pro Day.
At 257 pounds, that’s just ridiculous. Despite registering zero sacks with Penn State a season ago, Oweh is seen as an elite talent. It’s a need for a Falcons team that registered all of 29 sacks a season ago and must add young talent out on the edge.
Wyatt Davis is a plug-and-play guard who would likely start Week 1. It’s a need with Atlanta’s four other positions along the offensive line pretty much set. Meanwhile, Jabril Cox would be an absolutely perfect fit in defensive coordinator Dean Pees’ system. He is a hybrid linebacker-safety combo and would mesh extremely well with the talented Deion Jones in a Falcons defense that utilizes two linebackers on base downs.
Atlanta Falcons mock draft: Finding hidden jams on Day 3
- Fourth round, 108th pick: Caden Sterns, safety, Texas
- Fourth round, 113th pick: Trey Sermon, running back, Ohio State
- Fifth round, 148th pick: Demetric Felton, wide receiver, UCLA
- Fifth round, 182nd pick: Kary Vincent Jr., cornerback, LSU
- Fifth round, 183rd pick: Tre McKitty, tight end, Georgia
- Sixth round, 187th pick: Milton Williams, defensive tackle, Louisiana Tech
- Sixth round, 219th pick: Landon Young, offensive tackle, Kentucky
As you can see, the Falcons have a plethora of picks on Day 3. Given the team’s lack of depth at various positions, there’s a chance some of these players could start as rookies.
Caden Sterns in Round 4 would be an absolute steal. The Texas product is aggressive stopping the run and has the athleticism to be a starting strong safety in today’s NFL. The Falcons certainly need help in that regard with two new starting safeties slated to take the field Week 1.
As for the Trey Sermon pick, it’s another example of Atlanta acquiring depth in the trade with Carolina. The team now picks up two Ohio State products in Wyatt Davis and Sermon with that trade while still boasting multiple picks from the Panthers next year. Obviously, running back is a need in Atlanta with free-agent signing Mike Davis slated to start. A dual-threat option in the backfield, Sermon could be the Falcons’ version of what Derrick Henry gave Arthur Smith in Tennessee.
The Falcons then target two versatile options with their first two fifth-round picks. Demetric Felton is seen as an elite athlete who can play both running back and in the slot. Here, he’d likely play slot while acting as a great chess piece next two Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley.
Before opting out of the 2020 season, Kary Vincent Jr. was seen as a potential early-round pick. The smallish corner is limited to the nickel due to his size, but has a tremendous amount of upside and can play a role in the return game.