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. Read the case for a cornerback here.
Round 1 – Pick 4: Patrick Surtain II, CB, Alabama
Despite the promise shown by A.J. Terrell in 2020, he alone isn’t enough to save the Falcons porous secondary. In Patrick Surtain II, they get themselves a stud. Surtain II’s height and length makes him the ideal CB1, capable of holding his own against just about any build of receiver. There are some concerns about his ability to defend deep passes, but that shouldn’t necessarily be an issue with solid safety play. Surtain II is a day oen starter, and should remain that way for a decade. Dean Pees’ defense gets a massive boost from the draft. That is gonna be fun.
Round 2 – Pick 35: Zaven Collins, LB, Tulsa
Continuing the defensive bolstering, the Falcons add a highly versatile defensive playmaker in Zaven Collins. Zaven Collins ended 2020 with 4 sacks, 4 interceptions, 2 forced fumbles, and 2 defensive touchdowns. He’s as adept at rushing the passer as he is playing in coverage, making him the ideal piece for a defensive aiming for multiplicity. Collins’ skillset makes him exactly the sort of player who ends up being taken sooner than many expected (where are New England picking?), but he’s a steal in the second round. The Falcons defense already looks in far better shape than at any point in 2020.
Round 3 – Pick 68: Tommy Togiai, DT, Ohio State
In the third round of the draft, Atlanta dip back into the defensive pool, fishing out Tommy Togiai. Togiai was a staple of the Ohio Buckeyes team that made the College Football National Championship. Sadly, he wasn’t able to help a defense that found themselves overwhelmed by a, well, overwhelming Alabama offense. Togiai would be an excellent contributor to the Falcons already pretty good run defense, chipping in against the pass where necessary. Togiai notched 3 sacks in 2020, showing the ability to get to the quarterback on occasion. Primarily, he’ll flesh out the Falcons defensive line, finally offering a true partner to Grady Jarrett on the interior.
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: Tommy Tremble, TE, Notre Dame
- Pick 149: Divine Deablo, S, Virginia Tech
- Pick 179: Jaret Patterson, RB, Buffalo
- Pick 182: Aashari Crosswell, S, Arizona State
- Pick 187: Robert Jones, OG, Middle Tennessee
- Pick 218: Ian Book, QB, Notre Dame
Let’s take a deeper look at Tommy Tremble, Aashari Crosswell, and Ian Book. Tommy Tremble has been something of the “middle child” in his time at Notre Dame, playing as the teams TE2 behind current Viking, Cole Kmet, and future star, Michael Mayer. That shouldn’t discount Tremble, however. His experience in a play-action heavy offense would set him up to make an impact in 2020 as the teams, you guessed it, TE2. Tremble might be seen as a development player, but is capable of sticking on, and contributing to, the Falcons for a while to come.
Aashari Crosswell opted out of 2020, which likely resulted in his stock taking a hit. Heading into the 2020 season, he was one of the more interesting prospects at safety. His reputation wasn’t allowed to bourgeon as he’d have liked in 2020, but that shouldn’t be reason to overlook him. Crosswell is a project safety who would be in a position to contribute in 2021 given the Falcons relative lack of depth at the position. Taking Divine Deablo early in the 5th gives the Falcons the luxury of taking a swing on someone like Crosswell. If it works out, the Falcons could have one of the deepest secondaries in football in the next few years.
Ian Book took the Notre Dame Fighting Irish to within one game of the College Football National Championship, and were obliterated by Alabama. Despite his competitive record, Book’s stock hasn’t really risen accordingly. He’s clearly very talented, and certainly capable of making plays when the design breaks down. There’s a general feeling that he’s elevated by the talent around him, however, which is probably why he’s not seen as much more than a late round talent. Book isn’t likely to push to start anywhere, both in 2021 and beyond, but there’s always room for a long term back up on any roster, and he has the ability to be that in Atlanta.