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‘Analytics’ mock draft gives Falcons an extra first-round pick

The Falcons spent nearly $230 million on two offensive free agents and essentially did nothing on the other side of the ball.

Terry Fontenot has signed a few veterans to fill positions of need, but they are nothing more than depth pieces who should not have significant playing time. The thought process is that Atlanta will fill those holes through the draft, just that’s not the way Fontenot has operated in the past.

The Falcons GM’s track record of taking the best player available directly conflicts with draft experts’ reasoning for their mockery. “________” fills a long-standing need, because Atlanta just isn’t good enough.

If the explanation is that the Falcons are drafting “________” because he is the best player available, then I can get behind that. There are endless possibilities for the Falcons, and as Daniel Jeremiah recently noted, that includes an interior defenseman like Byron Murphy.

With their full allocation of draft picks, including the 8th overall selection, the Falcons could also be flexible and move around the board, which is exactly what they do in The Athletic’s latest mock draft highlighting the analytics .

Atlanta returns their top pick in a trade with the Vikings and picks up Minnesota’s additional first-round pick, filling their two biggest draft pick needs in the first round with Jared Verse and Nate Wiggins.

11. Atlanta Falcons (from MIN): Jared Verse, edge, Florida State

This is a top-heavy draft when it comes to offensive prospects, as 15 of the top 21 on our big board play on that side of the ball. But the Falcons are in much better shape on offense and need a pass rusher. Verse can fill that void, with some teams viewing him as the best edge player in this draft class.

23. Atlanta Falcons (from MIN): Nate Wiggins, CB, Clemson

As previously mentioned, the Falcons are well-set on offense. They don’t line up well at cornerback. After taking one of the top edge rushers at No. 13, we’ll boost our secondary with CB3 on the big board.

Austin Mock didn’t elaborate much on the trades, but I’m assuming it’s the Falcons giving up more than just the 8th pick for the 11th and 23rd picks because that doesn’t make any sense at all.

The Vikings may only need a third-round pick to move up three spots in the draft, so Minnesota must have gotten something else in exchange for Atlanta’s top pick.

Regardless of trade compensation, the pair of defensemen in the first round are great. In one offseason, Terry Fontenot was able to fill two incredibly important holes with potential long-term solutions.

Photographer: John Byrum/Icon Sportswire