The Atlanta Falcons head into the 2023 NFL Draft in a transition period. They have a solid group of offensive skill players to pair with a big unknown in second-year signal-caller Desmond Ridder. Fortunately for Atlanta, they’ve got eight picks in the draft, starting with the eighth overall, to continue to build a young foundation that can make them competitive in the division again.
For the second time in the last three seasons, the Falcons finished last in the NFC South. They experimented with Marcus Mariota for most of the season, but his play, along with a lack of receiver depth, gave the Falcons one of the least productive passing offenses in the league. The team’s biggest problem, however, has to be a defense that ranked in the bottom third of the NFL in both yards and points per game.
The Falcons brought in another backup quarterback this spring, signing former Washington signal-caller Taylor Heinicke. They also signed Mack Hollins from the Raiders in the hopes that he can be the team’s No. 2 wideout behind Drake London.
To bolster their pass defense, Atlanta landed the top free agent safety on the market, Jessie Bates III, with a four-year, $64 million deal. They also added defensive tackle David Onyemata, who had five sacks last season with the Saints, as well as agreeing to a one-year deal with 36-year-old Calais Campbell. Still, don’t be surprised to see the Falcons spend some early draft capital on more help for that side of the ball.
We’ll be tracking their picks throughout the three days of the 2023 NFL Draft, as well as any trades they make between now and the end of Saturday.
Round 1: No. 8 overall: Bijan Robinson, RB, Texas
Round 2: No. 38 (from Colts via Raiders): Matthew Bergeron, OT, Syracuse
Round 3: No. 75 — Zach Harrison, DE, Ohio State
Round 4: No. 113 — Clark Phillips II, CB, Utah
Round 7: No. 224 (from Raiders) — DeMarcco Hellams, S, Alabama
Round 7: No. 225 — Jovaughn Gwyn, OG, South Carolina