The Atlanta Falcons have six picks in the upcoming 2020 NFL Draft to build on what the team did in free agency. Here is their latest 2020 NFL mock draft.
The Atlanta Falcons certainly made some noise in free agency. They added players like running back Todd Gurley, linebacker Dante Fowler and wide receiver Laquon Treadwell to the mix. Atlanta also orchestrated a trade with the Baltimore Ravens for tight end Hayden Hurst. Interestingly enough, all four of these new additions are former first-round picks by other NFL teams.
Of course, Atlanta did lose a handful of players this offseason. Tight end Austin Hooper signed with the Cleveland Browns. Linebacker Vic Beasley is now on the Tennessee Titans. Defensive end Adrian Clayborn is with the Browns, too. Cornerback Desmond Trufant now plays for the Detroit Lions. Running back Devonta Freeman is still a free agent, but he’s not coming back to Atlanta.
Ultimately, the Falcons need to hit on a few of their draft picks in the coming days. Atlanta only has six picks this year: One in the first three rounds, two in the fourth round and one in the seventh round. Though they have three top-100 picks and five in the top 150, Atlanta only has one pick on day three if they need to round out depth there.
Primary draft needs for the Falcons are out along the edge, along the defensive line and at tight end. Secondary needs are at cornerback, running back and wide receiver. Though they may not be able to address most, or any, of their tertiary needs, the Falcons could use a quarterback, a safety a guard and a center. Here is the Falcons’ latest 2020 NFL mock draft. Who are they taking now?
EDGE Penn State Nittany Lions
If Atlanta goes with anyone other than a defensive player with their first-round selection at No. 16, it would come as a complete shock. While players like Florida Gators cornerback C.J. Henderson and South Carolina Gamecocks defensive lineman Javon Kinlaw could end up being taken here, let’s go with Penn State Nittany Lions pass-rusher Yetur Gross-Matos at No. 16.
Gross-Matos is 6-foot-5 and 264 pounds. He’ll join a pass rush headlined by newcomer Fowler, Pro Bowl defensive tackle Grady Jarrett and former first-round pick Takkarist McKinley in Atlanta. With his large frame and propensity of getting after the quarterback, Gross-Matos could be Clayborn’s suitable replacement out on the edge.
In 2018 and 2019, Gross-Matos was named First-Team All-Big Ten. He had two strong seasons to close out his college career in Happy Valley. As a sophomore in 2018, Gross-Matos had 54 total tackles, 20 going for a loss of yardage and eight of them were sacks. In his junior season in 2019, he had 40 total tackles, 14.5 for a loss of yardage and nine of them for sacks. He was productive.
With proven commodities playing alongside him in Fowler and Jarrett, Gross-Matos could be in for a big rookie campaign in Atlanta playing for Dan Quinn. Adding Gross-Matos provides both security if McKinley doesn’t have a good year, or better yet, could serve as a catalyst to get the most out of Atlanta’s former first-round pick out of UCLA back in 2017.