Darren Hall, San Diego State, Atlanta Falcons
Atlanta Falcons NFL Draft

Falcons address secondary, OL in fourth round

The Atlanta Falcons still have yet to select a pass rusher in the 2021 NFL Draft, but early in the fourth round, the Falcons addressed two other needs — the secondary and offensive line.

With the 108th overall pick, the third selection of the fourth round, the Falcons selected San Diego State cornerback Darren Hall. Then six picks later, Atlanta drafted Stanford center Drew Dalman.

A versatile defensive back, Hall played both on the outside and in the nickel spot in college. He led the FBS with 16 pass breakups in 2019. Then in 2020, Hall earned a spot on the All-Mountain West first team with 37 total tackles and 3 interceptions in 8 games.

Hall plays with inconsistent technique but a natural feel for making a play on the football. He lacks restraint and has head-first play qualities that create risk-reward in coverage. He loses positioning when trailing routes and is missing top-end speed to keep from being stacked by talented targets. However, his timing and accuracy to affect the catch-point offers hope that he can improve his technique. That said, he has limitations that might push him toward a zone-based defense where he can focus on playing downhill both in coverage and with plus run support.

Lance Zierlein of NFL.com

The Falcons acquired the 114th selection (the one they used for Dalman) in a trade with the Denver Broncos during the second round Friday night.

Dalman played three years at Stanford and made the Pac-12 first team in 2020. He’s listed at 6-foot-3 and 295 pounds.

The son of a former NFL lineman and coach, Dalman is unsurprisingly a quality technician with an excellent feel for hand usage and staying connected to his blocks. His biggest issue will be his lack of NFL size, which could impact his draft standing. He’s not strong by NFL standards, but plays with leverage and leg drive to win many more than he loses at the point of attack. He can handle all of the athletic asks in the run game and in pass protection, but how he deals with bull rushers could make or break his NFL chances. Ultimately his grit, consistency and technique could win out for him in the end as a zone-scheme center.

Lance Zierlein of NFL.com

The Falcons have four picks remaining on Saturday afternoon, including three in the fifth round. Barring a trade, they will next select at No. 148 overall. The pass rush remains the most glaring need the Falcons have yet to address.

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