Atlanta Falcons
Matt Ryan was selected by the Atlanta Falcons with the 3rd overall pick in the 2008 NFL Draft (Cliff Welch/Icon Sport Media)

The Atlanta Falcons took a step back in 2017 after making a Super Bowl appearance the year prior. Atlanta was ousted in the Divisional round to the eventual champion Philadelphia Eagles. If it weren’t for some awful football down by the goal line, the Falcons end up beating the Eagles. That’s the difference when you replace Kyle Shanahan with Steve Sarkisian. Coming into 2018, the Falcons have much of the same roster to work with. Having said that, what can we expect from the Atlanta Falcons during the 2018 NFL Draft?

The Falcons hold the 26th pick in the draft and could go in a number of different directions. One possibility the Falcons could go with is a defensive tackle. Dontari Poe is off to Carolina via free agency and Atlanta has yet to really replace him. Vita Vea of Washington comes in a similar mold as Poe. Vea comes in a 330-pound package but is very nimble for his size. A 5.10 – 40-time is really great for his size and even played on Washington’s special team’s which shows how great of an athlete this guy is. Dan Quinn loved having Dontari Poe clog the middle for his defense and Vea could be the Falcons future Haloti Ngata moving forward. Vea next to rising star Grady Jarrett is a scary thought.

You can never have enough corners in the NFL and Atlanta is no different. Desmond Trufant, Robert Alford, Bidi Wreh-Wilson, and Justin Bethel are the incumbent group of corners. Bethel is mainly a special teams guy so the Falcons really need to bolster this group. Carlton Davis of Auburn would be an interesting prospect to take a look at. Davis, 6-foot-1, is a long corner who Dan Quinn seems to covet from that Seattle defensive mindset. Davis did struggle with deep speed threat receivers in college but that should be fixable given his speed (4.52) and technique in more press coverage.

Atlanta will also focus on interior line depth at some point. Andy Levitre and Brandon Fusco are the guards for the Falcons so adding elite or developmental guards figures to be something the Falcons will be in the market to do. Sean Welsh of Iowa and Colby Gossett of Appalachian State are two examples of the kind of guards the Falcons could target. You can’t go wrong with Big 10 offensive lineman and Welsh had a decent showing at the combine. The same could be said for Gossett who also did well at the Senior Bowl. Atlanta likes guards that can pull for the zone-blocking scheme so athleticism will play a part in who the Falcons decide to draft in terms of taking an offensive lineman.