The Atlanta Falcons used the Best Player Available strategy when they took tight end Kyle Pitts with the No. 4 pick in the NFL Draft on Thursday, but now they need to address their glaring holes on defense.
There are a dozen players available in the second round that were thought to have first round grades. The Falcons must look to address their 32nd ranked defense if they want to improve on their 4-12 campaign from a year ago.
Safety might be the biggest hole, and TCU’s Trevon Moehrig-Woodard is still on the board. CBS has Moehrig-Woodard as the No. 17 prospect in the draft, with Richie Grant, a player we’ve been advocating for, at No. 36.
Linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah might be the biggest surprise still available in the second round. The playmaker from Notre Dame has a similar skill-set to the Falcons’ Deion Jones. The linebacker position is fairly set for the Falcons, but JOK fits the best player available model and helps the defense as opposed to a third receiver when there’s only one ball.
If the Falcons were looking to get bigger in the trenches, Alabama’s Christian Barmore is the top defensive tackle on the board. Alabama had a record five players taken in the first round on Thursday, and many thought Barmore would join them.
Defensive lineman Carlos Basham out of Wake Forest is an interesting player for the Falcons to consider. Basham lined up at defensive end and defensive tackle at the Senior Bowl depending on down and situation. He had a terrific pro day with a 4.62 forty and 4.32 shuttle with a 10’2 broad jump at 6’3 1/4″ and 274 pounds.
Speaking of Alabama and first round talent, Landon Dickerson is coming off of an injury, but could be a plug and play type at center. The Falcons lost Alex Mack to free agency, and Dickerson could be the answer. He won’t help the defense, but he will help the Falcons 27th ranked rushing attack and protect Matt Ryan who was sacked the 5th most times in the NFL in 2020.
The Falcons ignored their needs with their first round pick by taking a luxury player in Pitts while still employing Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley.
They can’t afford to do that again in the second round.