The Atlanta Falcons finished 7-10 this season in the first season under the watch of head coach Arthur Smith. Now they are left with the $40 million dollar question. What to do with quarterback Matt Ryan? Ryan has a dead cap hit the size of about two of team owner Arthur Blank’s Home Depot franchises. The true question becomes do they move on from Ryan after this season by drafting an heir apparent early in the 2022 NFL Draft.
The Atlanta Falcons currently have eight draft picks to work with.
I used the Mock Draft simulator from NFL Mock Draft Database. For this simulation, I used the consensus big board accumulated by NFL MDD, with the realistic draft mode setting.
Let’s see how it plays out.
ATLANTA FALCONS: 7-ROUND MOCK DRAFT
1-8: Ahmad Gardner, CB, Cincinnati
The Falcons already have a stud corner with AJ Terrell. Pairing him with Sauce Gardner could make their pass defense lethal.
2-43: Kingsley Enagbare, EDGE, South Carolina
The Atlanta Falcons have to do a better job of rushing the passer. Enagbare is going to be a 7-9 sack-per-year player who is also strong in the run game. I recently talked about Enagbare on the Daily Draft Report Podcast.
2-58: Wan’Dale Robinson, WR, Kentucky
The Falcons will likely move on from Calvin Ridley and will need to replace his explosiveness. The Kentucky product is electrifying with the football in his hands. Robinson can provide the ATL with the big plays they need on offense.
3-74: Kerby Joseph, S, Illinois
Joseph is a ball hawk on the backend. The Illinois safety recorded five picks in 2021 and showed off his range and cover skills at Senior Bowl practices.
4-112: James Cook, RB, Georgia
James Cook is a versatile RB. He can just as easily be a slot wide receiver. That versatility (and his speed) could make him the steal of the Atlanta draft class.
THE REST OF THE DRAFT
5-150: Terrel Bernard, LB, Baylor
6-188: EJ Perry, QB, Brown
6-211: Luke Wattenberg, C, Washington