The 2023 NFL Draft is in the books and the Atlanta Falcons continued their ongoing rebuild by making their selections. We break down the significance of their new pieces and identify any fantasy-relevant players for the 2023 season.
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
Atlanta scooped up some interesting prospects throughout the draft, but didn’t fully address their needs. While No. 8 pick Bijan Robinson projects to make an immediate impact at running back, they would’ve been better served going elsewhere with the selection.
Did Falcons fill needs?
The Falcons’ pass rush was poor in 2022 and they needed to bolster their defensive line this draft. Instead, they made a luxury pick in Robinson when Georgia defensive tackle Jalen Carter was right there for them to take at No. 8. They then waited until the third round to take Ohio State defensive end Zach Harrison and while talented, he was somewhat underwhelming throughout his career with the Buckeyes. The team will still have question marks up front heading into the 2023 season.
Robinson will be a top pick in several fantasy drafts as he will be a centerpiece of the Falcons offense. He will take some pressure off the shoulders of second-year quarterback Desmond Ridder, so you can expect head coach Arthur Smith to feed him the ball like he did with Derrick Henry in Tennessee.
Robinson is by far the Falcons’ best pick of this draft and figures to be a franchise cornerstone as they continue to rebuild. Don’t sleep on fourth-round cornerback Clark Phillips II, who could very well excel alongside AJ Terrell in the Falcons secondary.