Sunday, April 10, 2016

2016 NFL Mock Draft: Eric's Perspective

Three weeks remain. Three weeks until we know for sure what exactly General Manager Thomas Dimitroff and the front office are going to do to help out the team. Only five picks are in their possession, so draft picks are going to be quite accurate. The needs of a middle linebacker, defensive end, strong safety, nose tackle, and offensive guard still remain. Which direction will the Falcons go? Here is an updated Falcons mock draft. 

Round 1, 17th overall – Emmanuel Ogbah, Defensive End, Oklahoma State

Ogbah getting a sack vs Texas Tech
Ogbah’s combine performance opened some eyes and turned some heads as the 6’4 defensive end ran a 4.63 40-yard dash with a 35 inch vertical and 121 inches in the broad jump. As Ogbah showed off an athletic realm to his game, the tape shows a defender with strength and solid technique. Ogbah also showed during the season the ability to convert speed-to-power. 

Ogbah earning a sack against Oregon
Ogbah’s production the past two seasons are in his favor as well with 29.5 tackles for loss and 22.5 sacks in the past two seasons. Adding a 270 pound end with speed with Vic Beasley and newly acquired Derrick Shelby will improve the defense greatly. 

Round 2, 50th overall – Keanu Neal, Safety , Florida

Keanu Neal hit on Terry Godwin
In my opinion, Neal is the best strong safety in the entire draft class. Aggressive, hard-hitting safety with 32 inch arms and 10 inch hands, Neal would easily replace the departure of former Falcons safety William Moore. Neal is truly dependable in run support and has also at times played in the box as well as single-high safety looks while at the University of Florida.
Keanu Neal interception vs Tennessee

His coverage issues in certain schemes are what could hurt him as a draft prospect but with the Falcons, playing in a Cover 3 scheme where his primary coverage assignments would be the intermediate curls and hooks routes, could be enough for Neal. The Falcons can really use a heat-seeking missile such as this prospect.

Round 3, 81st overall – Deion Jones, Linebacker , LSU

Deion Jones pick six against Eastern Michigan

One of the few linebackers in the draft that can hold his own in man coverage, which we knew was an Achilles heel for the Atlanta Falcons last season. Jones will be a much needed addition for a defense that can use a boost of athleticism. Jones blazed the combine with a 4.59 seconds in his 40-yard dash. Jones has solid sideline-to-sideline ability, even for a linebacker with an undersized frame. Dan Quinn will enjoy having this athletic specimen on defense. 

Round 4, 115th overall – Connor McGovern, Guard , Missouri

Connor McGovern sets a huge block for a Missouri touchdown

McGovern had a solid combine as he displayed plenty of strength and solid technique in field drills. McGovern also has solid ability to move and engage lineman with the intent to get to the second level to block linebackers and/or take on defensive backs, which is a must for the zone-blocking scheme. In addition, he's  6’4  and weighs 311 pounds, this is a definite thumbs up for an offensive line that added a Pro Bowl center in Alex Mack via free agency. 

Connor McGovern had a solid game against Texas A&M

Round 7, 241st overall – Devin Fuller, Wide Receiver , UCLA 

Devin Fuller's touchdown reception

Falcons could invest a late round flyer on a speedy receiver with size, slot ability, and return ability. Based on his Pro Day results, Fuller clocked in a 40-yard dash at 4.39 seconds with a 36 inch vertical. As a returner goes, Fuller averaged 11.8 yards per punt return and 24.2 yards per kickoff return. It seems that it’s a matter of time that the Falcons will move on from veteran receiver Devin Hester and Fuller can be a return specialist as well as upgrade the WR4 spot for Atlanta. 

Eric Robinson (@ERobinsonRSEN)