(SportsNetwork.com) – New Falcons head coach Dan Quinn will want to bolster
his front seven rather quickly especially when it comes to the pass rush
and this draft is deep with players who can get to the quarterback.
Atlanta picks No. 8 overall and that might be a little too late to fill its
“Leo” spot with Florida star Dante Fowler or Clemson stalwart Vic Beasley. It
could have been a great landing spot for former Nebraska star Randy Gregory,
perhaps the best pure rusher in the draft, but his dalliances with marijuana
will almost assuredly send him tumbling out of the top 10.
The fast-riser is Kentucky’s Alvin “Bud” Dupree, who models himself after the
49ers’ Aldon Smith. Dupree is a natural rusher with long arms and solid
closing speed off the edge.
The Falcons could also use help on the inside at linebacker, while left guard
is also a pretty significant need. Meanwhile, the specter of Tony Gonzalez
still looms and tight end is problematic but all of those spots will need
to be filled later in the process.
2014 Record: 6-10
Top Needs: LB, OL, TE, WR
First Three Picks: No. 8, No. 42, No. 73
Number of Selections: 8 (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 7)
RECENT FIRST ROUND HISTORY: 2014 – Jake Matthews (OT, Texas A&M); 2013 –
Desmond Trufant (CB, Washington); 2012 – none; 2011 – Julio Jones (WR,
Alabama); 2010 – Sean Weatherspoon (LB, Missouri); 2009 – Peria Jerry (DT, Ole
Miss); 2008 – Matt Ryan (QB, Boston College), Sam Baker (OT, USC); 2007 –
Jamaal Anderson (DE, Arkansas); 2006 – none; 2005 – Roddy White (WR, UAB)