The Atlanta Falcons need help in virtually every position, but the defensive line, including the edge rushers, were a particular sore spot in 2021.
The Falcons have four of the first 74 picks in April’s NFL Draft, and fortunately for Atlanta, the draft appears to be deep in both edge rushers and interior linemen.
We wrote about Perrion Winfrey as an option for one of the end spots in Dean Pees’ 3-4, but what about the nose guard position?
Georgia’s Jordan Davis is considered the top prospect in that spot, but taking him with the No. 8 pick is probably too high, and he’ll likely be gone by the time the Falcons draft again at No. 43.
UConn’s Travis Jones may have played his way out of second-round contention as well. NFL Mock Draft Database currently has him rated as the 92nd best prospect, but I’ll be shocked if he goes that low.
At the Senior Bowl, Jones measured 6’4 3/8″ and 326 pounds with an incredible 82 3/4″ wingspan. He plays with enough strength and leverage to anchor the Falcons’ defensive line at nose guard and be an immediate upgrade over Tyeler Davison who started 11 games at nose guard last season.
Jones is versatile enough to stay on the field in passing situations. While his ability occupy blockers and drive them backwards is his primary strength, he uses his hands and reach extremely well to get penetration and disrupt passing lanes.
Jones had 42 tackles with 4.5 sacks and 7.5 tackles for loss last year with UConn. He’s a player Falcons fans should watch closely as the draft approaches and during the draft.
He’d be an excellent trade-back prospect later in the first round, and if he’s still available in the second round, he’d be a round peg in the round hole of Pees’ defense.