The Atlanta Falcons three-game losing streak has helped solidify their spot in the top 10 in April’s NFL Draft. The Falcons currently have the No. 7 pick with a good chance of moving to No. 6 after this week’s slate of games.
If they feel confident at the quarterback position, drafting a pass rusher makes a lot of sense. In The Draft Network’s latest mock draft, Atlanta is choosing edge rusher Myles Murphy out of Clemson to address a historically weak pass rush.
The Falcons’ sack leader is an interior lineman who has just 5.5 sacks (before week 15). That ain’t going to cut it. They need a playmaker off the edge and that’s exactly what they are getting in Myles Murphy. He is an explosive pass rusher who wins with speed and burst off the edge. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Murphy develop into one of the best two or three players from this class.Brentley Weissman, The Draft Network
The Falcons pass rush has improved over last year’s statistically-impossible 18 sacks, but their 19 sacks with three games to play still ranks them 31st out of 32 teams. Only the Chicago Bears have been more anemic when it comes to getting after the quarterback.
The Falcons used a high-second round pick on edge rusher Arnold Ebiketie and a third-round pick on Deangelo Malone in 2022. Ebiketie has looked good as a rookie with 2.5 sacks this season, but he would be better as a compliment to a dominating pass rusher.
Murphy could be that guy.
At 6’5 and 275 pounds, Murphy has the size and quickness to be a force against the run or the pass. He could line up as a defensive end in four-man fronts and as a stand-up edge in defensive coordinator Dean Pees’ base 3-4.
Impressive athletic skills — Made Bruce Feldman’s ‘Freaks List’ at number 3. He wrote: “The 6-5, 275-pound junior is viewed by NFL scouts as a “significantly better player” than former Tiger Clelin Ferrell, who went fourth overall in the 2019 draft. Murphy bench-presses 405 pounds, power-cleans 335, and deadlifts 505. He also has vertical-jumped 35 inches, broad-jumped 10 feet and consistently clocked in the high 4.5s in the 40”NFL Draft Buzz
The big question for the Falcons will be at quarterback. Will Desmond Ridder show enough over the last month of the season that general manager Terry Fontenot can pass on a quarterback again in the Top 10?
If he does, Murphy is exactly the type of prospect the Falcons need to get to address their defense after going pass catchers in the top 10 of the last two drafts.
UPDATED NFL DRAFT ORDER:
1. Houston Texans (1-12-1)
2. Chicago Bears (3-11)
3. Seattle Seahawks (via Denver 4-10)
4. Detroit Lions (via LA Rams 4-10)
5. Arizona Cardinals (4-10)
6. Indianapolis Colts (4-9-1)
7. Atlanta Falcons (5-9)
8. Carolina Panthers (5-9)
9. New Orleans Saints (5-9)
10. Las Vegas Raiders (6-8)
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