Atlanta Falcons Draft Talk: 6 NFL Draft Prospects at Pick 26

Here are 6 NFL Draft Prospects the Atlanta Falcons could be interested in selecting at Pick 26 in Round 1 of the 2018 NFL Draft.

Maurice Hurst

The Atlanta Falcons had a few additions but a few losses in free agency. They lost Dontari Poe, Taylor Gabriel, and Adrian Clayborn in free agency but added, Brandon Fusco, Logan Paulsen, and Justin Bethel to help fill holes in the depth chart. They needed to replace Levine Toilolo for blocking at the tight end position and they might need another weapon for Matt Ryan in the slot. Their defense desperately needs a running mate next to Grady Jarrett and since Ricardo Allen signed a 1-year deal, they could use another defensive back at free safety. Here are some players they could be interested in on Day 1 of the 2018 NFL Draft.

1. Defensive Tackle: Maurice Hurst (Michigan) or Da’Ron Payne (Alabama)

Da'Ron Payne NFL Scouting Combine

Maurice Hurst out of Michigan and due to a heart condition, he may fall to pick 26. If he does, he fits as a 3 tech in their 4-3 defense as the Jarrett and Hurst duo would cause interior offensive lineman problems. The next best option could be Da’Ron Payne out of Alabama. Even though he was primarily a run stopper, he has pass rush potential and could be a better pro statistically with more pressures. Both would be great options if they both were available at the Falcons pick to replace Poe.

2. Defensive Tackle Taven Bryan (Florida)

Taven Bryan NFL Scouting Combine

If both defensive tackles already talked about are gone by pick 26, Taven Bryan out of Florida could be the move. He could be better as a 5 tech in a 3-4. However, he shows some burst as a one-gap penetrator that could cause a lot of havoc in the middle. He fits the mold of a Falcons type player. Indeed, he is a raw prospect but shows a lot of potential like Tak McKinley last year. Both McKinley and Bryan have a world of upside. Especially if they both develop pass rush technique and play better against the run.


3. Offensive Guard Isaiah Wynn (Georgia)

Isaiah Wynn NFL Scouting Combine

Even though they signed Brandon Fusco, they still could use some competition at offensive guard. Andy Levitre is not getting any younger and could use insurance if Fusco does not pan out as the starter. Isaiah Wynn out of Georgia would be a great fit to be the eventual starter. He is a sound technician that has some versatility to play offensive tackle.

4. Wide Receiver Christian Kirk (Texas A&M)

Christian Kirk NFL Scouting Combine

If the Falcons want a starter in the slot instead of Justin Hardy, Christian Kirk out of Texas A&M could give them a dynamic returner and a reliable receiver that would help out Matt Ryan. Julio Jones and Mohamed Sanu on the outside with Kirk on the inside would be a nice trio for Ryan to throw to. It might be too early to address a lower tier need. Nevertheless, Kirk does give the Falcons a great underneath threat to take a short route to the end zone.

5. Defensive Back Justin Reid (Stanford)

Justin Reid NFL Scouting Combine

Since Ricardo Allen is on a one year deal, a versatile defensive back like Justin Reid out of Stanford would give the Falcons insurance at free safety. He could play as a slot corner. As a late riser due to the combine, Reid would give the Falcons another ball hawk in their secondary. He has the size and is a speed freak that screams “Atlanta Falcons” given his skill set.


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Andrew Kim
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