The Atlanta Falcons currently have the No. 8 pick in April’s NFL Draft with plenty of holes to fill… especially on defense.
But could they turn the strength of the 2022 team, the offensive line, into a super power by adding the best offensive lineman in the draft?
NFL.com’s Bucky Brooks thinks it’s possible. In his first-mock draft of the season, he has the Falcons taking Northwestern offensive lineman Peter Skoronski at No. 8.
“The Dirty Birds elect to fortify an offensive line that will need to protect a young passer growing into the position,” — Bucky Brooks, NFL.com
While Skoronski may or may not be the best offensive lineman in the draft, he’s the first off the board in this mock, intimating the Falcons will have their choice of who they consider the best.
It’s not the first time the Falcons have taken an offensive lineman in mock drafts this year, and if pending-free agent Kaleb McGary isn’t re-signed, offensive tackle becomes a bigger need.
Skoronski is listed as an offensive tackle, but he is also considered a guard and even center prospect. That versatility has helped him become the No. 1 offensive line prospect on many boards ahead of the likes of Paris Johnson Jr. at Ohio State and Broderick Jones of Georgia.
Still, taking an offensive lineman may not sit well with a lot of Falcons fans who are tired of watching the Dirty Birds defense rank in the bottom quadrant of the NFL… year after year… after year.
The Falcons pass up edge rusher Myles Murphy of Clemson, cornerbacks Devon Witherspoon, Joey Porter Jr., and Christian Gonzalez of Illinois, Penn State, and Oregon respectively among others to select an offensive lineman in the top 10.
Atlanta does have the luxury of attacking several holes on defense in free agency, but after going pass catcher the last two years in the top 10 of the NFL draft, it seems some resources must finally be spent on the other side of the ball.
Again, the biggest needs on this team partially hinge on McGary, but general manager Terry Fontenot preaches “best player available”, and there should be several candidates on the defensive side of the ball that fit that bill at No. 8 before investing on offense again.