Mock Drafts Leaning Toward TE, DL for Falcons

Mock Drafts Leaning Toward TE, DL for Falcons

Jay Adams

Published January 28, 2013 at 2:20 PM

We’ll unveil our weekly Mock Monitor next week that keeps track of all the mock drafts and who they say the Falcons are picking come April.

But before we get to that point, it seems like the consensus so far in these early, early stages is that the Falcons will be looking at the tight end and defensive line positions with their No. 30 overall pick in the first round.

That’s a pretty easy assumption to make. For all we know, 2012 might have been Tony Gonzalez’s final year (as we still don’t know whether he will be back for another season) and replacing him is going to be a difficult thing for the Falcons to do. Naturally, the pick then becomes his successor, as is pointed out by NFL.com’s Bucky Brooks’ latest mock draft.

Brooks has the Falcons going with Notre Dame Tyler Eifert (6-foot-6, 251 pounds), who caught 50 passes for 685 yards and four touchdowns in helping take the Irish to the national title game. ESPN.com’s Todd McShay takes Stanford TE Zach Ertz (subscription required) with his Falcons selection. McShay’s most recent mock draft, however, was published back in December.

It’s important to point out that the Falcons have been widely pegged to take a tight end with their first selection in each of the past two drafts. Two years ago, the trendy pick for the Falcons was another Notre Dame product, Kyle Rudolph (who earned the 2013 Pro Bowl MVP award Sunday night). Rudolph ended up going to Minnesota while the Falcons traded up to snag Julio Jones at No. 6.

A year later, Stanford’s Coby Fleener was projected to be the Falcons’ pick if he fell to them in the second round. Fleener didn’t make it down to No. 55, where the Falcons sat with their first pick last year because of the first-round pick they gave Cleveland in the Jones trade, and he was picked up by the Colts at No. 34 overall, the second pick in the second round.

For other reputable mock drafts, the Falcons are most assuredly going for defensive line help. ESPN.com’s Mel Kiper Jr. has the Falcons taking 6-foot-8, 280-pound Southern Methodist defensive end Margus Hunt (subscription required).

WalterFootball.com has the Falcons taking a defensive lineman — Texas DE Alex Okafor in one mock, Purdue DT Kawann Short in the other — with the No. 30 pick.

There still so much more that can and will happen before the Falcons go on the clock April 25 as the 2013 NFL Scouting Combine gets underway next month along with Pro Days. Still interesting to see where the needle is pointing among those who scout the prospects.

Your turn to weigh in.

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