With the 2023 NFL Draft drawing closer to the day, various analysts and experts are beginning to unveil their latest mock draft predictions. While we’ve seen various iterations roll out over the past few weeks, these latest releases should be indicative of where each NFL team’s mind is at heading into night one on Thursday, April 27.
Ahead of the first round, several mock draft experts have listed their predictions for the Atlanta Falcons. We’ll break down what each one is saying in regard to the Falcons’ first and second-round draft selections later this week.
First round consensus
Kiper/McShay dueling mock: Christian Gonzalez, CB, Oregon
Peter King: Bijan Robinson, RB, Texas
Matt Miller: Nolan Smith, OLB, Georgia
Ryan Wilson: Jalen Carter, DL, Georgia
PFF: Anthony Richardson, QB, Florida
Adam Caplan: Myles Murphy, Edge, Clemson
Chad Reuter: Bijan Robinson, RB, Texas
The Falcons’ first-round selection comes at No. 8 overall and they may need to move up in the draft order if they have their sights set on a signal-caller. PFF has Florida’s Anthony Richardson mocked to them, but there is a high likelihood that he won’t be available at eight overall.
Nolan Smith, Jalen Carter, and Myles Murphy all make sense for an Atlanta defense that ranked dead last in quarterback pressure percentage (14.6%) and 21st in QB knockdowns (44). Despite finishing second in the league in rushing last year (159.9 YPG), I like the idea of drafting Bijan Robinson as their tailback of the future.
Cordarrelle Patterson is 32 years old and despite the upside of Tyler Allgeier, pairing the latter with Robinson would give them a dynamic tandem in the backfield.
Second round consensus
Wide receiver or linebacker appears to be the consensus in the second round for Atlanta, who holds the 44th overall selection. Drake London flashed his potential in his rookie year by catching 72 passes for 866 yards and four touchdowns, but it's clear he needs another wideout opposite him. Mingo or Tillman, who averaged 11.3 yards per reception last season, could give the Falcons a deep threat to pair alongside the athletic London.
The Falcons ranked 23rd in rushing defense last season (130.2 YPG allowed) and adding a defensive prospect who can run sideline to sideline would provide a boon to their run defense. Simpson, in particular, possesses rare speed for someone at his position and he would bring a perfect skillset as someone who can chase down an opposing offensive player from behind the line of scrimmage.