The Atlanta Falcons have the No. 8 overall pick in April’s NFL Draft, and it’s been hard to get even the slightest consensus on who they might take.
Six different players from five different positions were picked in a round up of 10 mock drafts compiled by the Atlanta Falcons.
Daniel Jeremiah of NFL.com made it seven different players in his latest mock draft. He has the Falcons taking high-upside edge rusher Lukas Van Ness from Iowa.
I expect Van Ness to put on a show at the NFL Scouting Combine. He’ll start capturing a lot of attention after he tests in Indianapolis. — Daniel Jeremiah, NFL.com
This isn’t the first time Jeremiah has mocked Van Ness to the Falcons. He did it in his first mock draft in January as well.
We called Van Ness a high risk / high reward type of player at the time because of his limited experience at the college level. He was moved around a lot at Iowa while the former hockey player figured out his best position.
Despite not being a full-time starter for the Hawkeyes in his two seasons, he still managed 6.5 sacks and 11 tackles for loss in 2022.
For the Falcons, he would represent a body type they simply don’t have on the roster right now. At 6’5 and 275 pounds with excellent length, Van Ness has the athleticism to be a force in the pass rush and the size to set the edge in run defense.
The Falcons have been linked with a similar player in Tyree Wilson of Texas Tech, but Jeremiah has Wilson going No. 3 ahead of Alabama’s Will Anderson to the Arizona Cardinals.
Other players still available on Jeremiah’s mock when the Falcons pick include several Atlanta will consider heavily like cornerbacks Devon Witherspoon and Christian Gonzalez of Illinois and Oregon respectively and Northwestern offensive lineman Peter Skoronski.
As Pro Football Focus put it bluntly earlier this week, the Falcons’ biggest need is “everything”.
At No. 8 there will be an impact player available at a value position… edge, cornerback, offensive tackle… and Van Ness could be the pick of the litter.