Devon Witherspoon Atlanta Falcons NFL Mock Draft - Matt Krohn via IMAGN
Atlanta Falcons News

New Name for Falcons in Kiper’s Latest Mock Draft

The Atlanta Falcons have been one of the busier teams in the opening-10 days of the NFL Free Agency period.

But that doesn’t mean interest has turned away from the NFL Draft. With the No. 8 pick in April, the Falcons should be able to get an impact player at a value position.

One of those positions would be a cornerback to pair with A.J. Terrell. Christian Gonzalez of Oregon has been a popular name in Atlanta’s spot, but in Mel Kiper Jr.’s latest mock draft, Gonzalez is gone at No. 7 to the Las Vegas Raiders.

Instead, Kiper has the Falcons taking cornerback Devon Witherspoon out of Illinois.

I thought about Will McDonald IV (Iowa State) and Lukas Van Ness (Iowa), but Devon Witherspoon‘s ability in coverage might be tough to pass up for a defense that struggled last season. Atlanta could add a great corner to put on the other side of A.J. Terrell. Witherspoon didn’t work out at the combine because of a minor injury, so he’s going to run in front of NFL teams April 5. That’s going to be crucial so we can see if his testing numbers line up with his fantastic 2022 season, when he allowed 3.3 yards per attempt and zero touchdowns as the primary defender in coverage, according to ESPN’s game charting. — Mel Kiper Jr. ESPN+

Atlanta is set to sign former Vikings’ first-round pick Mike Hughes at cornerback, but he wouldn’t stop Atlanta from adding another corner. The Falcons need more depth and talent at the position even after the signing of Hughes.

Georgia’s Jalen Carter is off the board at No. 6 to the Detroit Lions, but interestingly enough, Kiper has Texas Tech’s Tyree Wilson dropping to the Tennessee Titans at No. 11 (which means he’ll be a Falcon in a couple of years… we kid, we kid).

Wilson has been getting a lot of hype about being the first non-quarterback off the board. Seeing him available at No. 8, and then seeing the Falcons pass on him would be a bit of a surprise.

Kiper admits that he’s not as high on Wilson as a lot of people he respects and is concerned with his inconsistency.

The Falcons have greatly improved their roster in free agency, particularly on defense. Defensive tackle David Onyemata and safety Jessie Bates will be immediate contributors, and linebacker Kaden Elliss flashed brilliance in 11 games with the Saints.

The Atlanta Falcons suffered through two seasons of not truly being able to address immediate needs in free agency, yet they still scratched and clawed their way to back to back seven-win seasons with a thread-bare roster.

Expectations will be going up in Atlanta with an influx of talent including the No. 8 overall pick.

Will it be Witherspoon or someone else?

Hop into the comment section below, I’d love to hear from you.

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Scott Kennedy
Scott Kennedy is an Atlanta native and 20 year media veteran including time as Director of Scouting at, Managing Editor at 247Sports, VP Content Operations at Sports Illustrated and more. Scott has appeared as a recruiting and NFL Draft analyst on dozens of media including ESPN, NFL Network, USA Today, NY Times, and more.

2 Replies to “New Name for Falcons in Kiper’s Latest Mock Draft

  1. I watched Witherspoon play a couple of times. He wouldn’t be a bad pick. Every upgrade the Falcons want is in this draft. They just have do their due diligence.

    1. I like how physical he is.. that’s a big thing for me after watching Fabian Moreau for a year. I’d still probably want Tyree wilson in that spot though if he’s there. Thanks for checking in.

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