FalconsUK Mock Draft: Wide Receiver

Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones, left, celebrates with teammate Brandon Powell after catching a 20-yard touchdown pass during the first half of an NFL football game against the Minnesota Vikings, Sunday, Oct. 18, 2020, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Bruce Kluckhohn)

With each “the Falcons should piece” argument, we will be posting a full seven round mock draft based around those arguments. Each mock has been run using the Pro Football Network’s mock draft simulator. You can read the case for a wide receiver here.

Round 1 – Pick 4: Ja’Marr Chase, WR, LSU

The Jaguars and Jets opt for Lawrence and Wilson respectively, and the 49ers don’t divert from the QB run early. They opt for Ohio State’s Justin Fields, giving the Falcons their choice of the top three receivers. Waddle is a great receiver in his own right, and the Heisman winning Smith is also an excellent choice, but Ja’Marr Chase is too good to turn down. Chase joins an already scary receiving room, headlined by Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley, and will be in a position to contribute immediately. Chase would become the Falcons WR3 in 2021. More importantly, will be in a position to grow over the next two or three seasons, ready to join Calvin Ridley on the outside, when Julio Jones moves on. Don’t let him choosing to not play in 2020 affect your perception of him. Ja’Marr Chase is the real deal.

Photo Credit: Jonathan Bachman-Getty Images

Round 2 – Pick 35: Wyatt Davis, G, Ohio State

Having seen turnstile impressions from Jamon Brown, James Carpenter, and Matt Hennessey in 2019 and 2020, the Falcons finally seal the left side of the offensive line for the foreseeable future. Wyatt Davis was one of the starting linemen that helped the Buckeyes make the 2021 College Football Playoffs final, and would be in a position to compete for a starting position immediately, with a view to have him step in long term. 6 foot 4, 313lbs, Davis is capable of dominating defensive lines, and giving Matt Ryan a level of security he hasn’t had for a while.

Round 3 – Pick 68: Javonte Williams, RB, North Carolina

In order for the Falcons to be successful in 2021, the Falcons need production from the running game. They find their long term RB1 in Javonte Williams in round 3. Williams has had a stellar college career, peaking at just the right time in 2020. 1140 yards from only 157 carries, an average of 7.3 yards per carry, and 19 touchdowns, is as good as you can get from the position. Williams would thrive in Arthur Smith’s outside zone scheme, setting up the Falcons for as good a run game as they’ve seen since 2017.

Photo Credit: Ryan M. Kelly-Getty Images

Day Three

The Falcons have a total of 6 allocated picks on day three. One in Round 4, three in round 5, and two in round 6. With that in mind, here are the remaining picks on the final day:

  • Pick 109: D.J. Daniel, CB, Georgia
  • Pick 149: Jamie Newman, QB, Georgia
  • Pick 179: Paris Ford, S, Pitt
  • Pick 182: Janarius Robinson, EDGE, Florida State
  • Pick 187: Nick Eubanks, TE, Michigan
  • Pick 218: Paddy Fisher, LB, Northwestern

The three picks to discuss from these six are Jamie Newman, Paris Ford, and Paddy Fisher. Jamie Newman is a player who, in an alternate reality, would be much higher on a lot of peoples boards. The North Carolina native transferred from Wake Forest to Georgia for the 2020 season, and was poised to start for the Bulldogs. When the pandemic hit, however, he opted out of the season, and is somewhat off the radar for a lot of QB needy sides. Out of sight, out of mind. Newman is still an excellent prospect, however, and could prove to be a steal in the middle of the draft. Newman would have the opportunity to learn the position behind Matt Ryan for a number of years, and would be in a position to compete for the starting role when the time comes. Atlanta needs a viable back up, and they could do a lot worse than Newman in 2021.

Given how thin the Falcons are at safety, Paris Ford makes absolute sense with the 179th pick. Ford opted out of the 2020 season halfway through the year, but registered 3 interceptions in that time, showing he has a nose for the ball. As The Draft Network has pointed out, however, there are a range of inconsistencies that hold him back from being more highly thought of, including a knack for missing tackles frequently. His upside is intriguing, nevertheless, and the Falcons should absolutely consider bringing Ford into the fold.

Photo Credit: Pam Panchak-Post-Gazette

Paddy Fisher was, once upon a time, a borderline generational prospect. That was four years ago, however, and his general perception has taken a hit as his limitations have become clearer. Fisher is a smart player, and absolutely capable of holding his own against the run. He’s not necessarily someone you will see down to down, but he’s certainly capable of becoming a contributor. More importantly, he offers something a little different to the Falcons current crop of linebackers, which could prove vital to Dean Pees finding success in 2021.

Featured Image Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn – AP Photo

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