The Falcons have surprised everyone this year. Not how good they are, but how awful they are so far this season. With a 2-9 record, the playoffs are a no-go this year, for a team that is a year removed from playing in the NFC championship game.
With help needed needed on both sides of the ball, here’s a list of 5 NFL draft prospects that can help lead the Falcons back to playoff contention.
1. South Carolina DE Jadeveon Clowney
The ultra talented defensive end isnt having as explosive of a year as last season, but he is still going to be one of the prizes of the 2014 NFL Draft. Equally great against the pass and run, Clowney is sure to be a game changer at the next level. If not for Louisville’s Teddy Bridgewater, Clowney might be the consensus number 1 overall pick. The Falcons are in a great position to add an elite player to a already talented team. Clowney would start from day 1 for Atlanta, and immediately upgrade a putrid defensive line.
2. Texas A&M OT Jake Matthews
Like the defensive line of the Falcons, the offensive line desperately needs talent on it. Matthews is good at protecting the passer but his strong suit is run blocking. Something he is terrific at. This would help Atlanta find some kind of running game and open up holes to run through. The Texas A&M tackle is the cream of the crop in this years offensive line class, Atlanta would welcome him with open arms.
3. UCLA OLB Anthony Barr
Barr is somewhat of a “raw” prospect. This is only his 2nd year playing on the defensive side of the ball, and simply put, he is a force to be reckoned with. With rare speed for a linebacker, Barr causes havoc for offensive lineman. He is also very strong, something you would not think because of his lean 6’4 frame. He would be to Atlantas 4-3 defense, what Von Miller is to the Broncos 4-3 defense. If Clowney is off the board when the Falcons pick, Barr should be at the top of thier big board. His only downfall is he relys too much on his ridiculous athletic ability to make plays. Once he works on his technique more, skys the limit for this kid. He would give the Falcons a pass rush they have been desperately searching for, for years now. This is a terrific fit.
4. Michigan OT Taylor Lewan
In the case Jake Matthews from Texas A&M is gone, Lewan is their guy. With great size at 6’7 315 pounds, he was built to play Left Tackle. Long arms and quick feet, also make him an elite offensive line prospect. He has to learn to play with his head in the game more, to negate all the penalties he gets called for. Once he does that, no doubt in my mind he will be a great Left Tackle at the next level. Matt Ryan would love to drop back knowing this big guy is protecting his blinside.
5. Alabama FS Hasean Clinton-Dix
Clearly the best safety in this class, this guy has all the makings of a ball-hawk at the next level. With great hands and closing speed, Clinton-Dix would be an immediate upgrade to the safety position for the “dirty birds”. Like alot of young safeties he tends to get stuck on blockers, and he needs to work on his tackling ability. He does need to get stronger. Neither to big of a concern and can be worked on with good coaching. Ed Reed wasnt the greatest tackler coming out of the U either.