Atlanta Falcons: Top Three 2020 NFL Draft Needs

The Atlanta Falcons started the season in 2019, 1-7. Atlanta was going to fire Head Coach Dan Quinn, but because they finished the season in the second-half 6-2, the Falcons decided to keep him for another season.

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Atlanta made adjustments on the defensive side of the ball and they may potentially need to make them in the draft as well.

On the offensive side of the ball, they signed running back Todd Gurley to a one-year deal worth $6 million. Gurley played his college football at the University of Georgia.

Todd Gurley was released by the Los Angeles Rams. The Falcons offense now has 11 starters that are former first-round draft picks.

They also traded for tight end Hayden Hurst and lost tight end Austin Hooper to free agency.

On the defensive side of the ball, they lost cornerback Desmond Trufant. Atlanta decided to release him. Trufant then decided to sign in free agency with the Detroit Lions for two years for $21 million.

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What that in mind, what do the Atlanta Falcons need as well? Also, here at IroniqMedia, will examine the top 3 needs of all 32 teams. The next team will be covering is the Atlanta Falcons.

Edge Rusher

Atlanta needs a consistent pass rush. The Falcons need to get after the quarterback. Atlanta lost Vic Beasley Jr. after they decided to release him. He signed with the Tennessee Titans for a one-year deal. The Atlanta Falcons have the 16th overall pick in the NFL Draft.

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K’Lavon Chaisson – LSU

At 6’3″ and 254 lbs, Chaisson wasn’t high on draft boards early in the college football season. Now, he is projected to be a top 15-20 pick. K’Lavon Chaisson is 21 years old.

He decided to come out of college after he completed his redshirt sophomore season. Chaisson is a pass-rushing machine and is considered to be compared to Aldon Smith.

A.J. Epensea – Iowa

Epenesa is one of the better edge rushers in the NFL draft. Some mock drafts have him going in the top 15 and some have him slipping. This would be good value here for the Atlanta Falcons at the number 16 pick.

Epenesa is 6’5″ and weighs 275 lbs. He is very good in any defensive scheme and is very explosive at getting to his spot. A.J. Epenesa will need to work on stopping the run but he could also be starting right away in Atlanta’s defense.

With more reps, Epenesa has a ton of upside none the less otherwise. He is drawing comparisons to Carlos Dunlap on NFL.com. A.J. Epenesa is 21 years old.

Terrell Lewis – Alabama

At 21 years old, Lewis has the capability to be maybe the best edge rusher in this draft class. The issue is injuries will cause him to slip into the second-round and teams are going to take a major risk on him.

Terrell Lewis is 6’5″ 262 lbs. He is athletic and built for the NFL. Lewis did not participate in the NFL combine. He only appeared in 26 career college games. With the right coaching, Terrell Lewis can be a star at the next level.

Running Back

Along with Todd Gurley, they released Devonta Freeman in the offseason. The Atlanta Falcons’ second running back is Brian Hill and I think they can upgrade at it.

Jonathan Taylor – Wisconsin

Taylor is the most talented running back in this draft. The reason why some teams don’t have him high on their draft boards is because of fumble issues.

Other than that, Jonathan Taylor is a playmaker waiting to happen in the backfield. He can run the football effectively and catch passes out of the backfield.

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Taylor’s question could also be pass blocking as well. He has all the tools otherwise to be a very effective running back at the next level.

Jonathan Taylor and Todd Gurley would be a dangerous pairing. Taylor is 21 years old. He is also 5’10” and weighs 226 lbs. Jonathan Taylor also won the Big 10 Rushing Title three years in a row.

D’Andre Swift – Georgia

Swift would not have to change venues much. D’Andre Swift is a downhill runner. He is powerful. D’Andre Swift has the potential to be a three-down back in the NFL.

He is also 5’8″ and weighs 212 lbs. Swift is a very strong blocker and he is also strong in all phases of the game. D’Andre Swift may not be known as much of a pass catcher, however. Swift is 21 years old. He also has a fumbles issue.

J.K. Dobbins – Ohio State

Dobbins is 5’9″ 209 lbs. J.K. Dobbins has solid speed and catches passes out of the backfield. The thing about Dobbins is that he may not be a three-down back. J.K. Dobbins is a beast otherwise and can work on being shifty.

He is 21 years old. Dobbins may be better with a pairing rather than a three-down back none the less.

Cornerback

C.J. Henderson – Florida

At 6’1″ 204 lbs, Henderson is a very physical corner. He can step in on day one and start in the NFL. C.J. Henderson has a tendency of breaking up passes. He is a beast.

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Henderson only played in nine games last season due to an ankle injury. Very good at reading the quarterbacks tendencies. He can also be off-balanced sometimes in press coverage, but that can be worked on.

C.J. Henderson is only 21 years old as well. He is the second-best corner most likely in this draft class none the less.

Kristian Fulton – LSU

He 21 years old. Kristian Fulton is 6’0″ and weighs 197 lbs. LSU is always known as a defensive back university none the less. LSU always has defensive backs being drafted in the first round.

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Fulton can be reached if teams need a corner. He will probably be one of the first corners off the board. Kristian Fulton loves to press in man-to-man coverage and that is one of his strengths. Will Atlanta let him do that a lot or will they play more of zone coverage which the Falcons love to do a lot.

He always has an eye on the football and wants to make plays. Fulton has a ton of room to improve because he allowed 40 percent of completions to his side. With the Atlanta Falcon, Kristian Fulton may have no time to work on it because he will be asked to be the top cornerback most likely right away.

Trevon Diggs – Alabama

Diggs is 22 years old and he is the younger brother of wide receiver Stefon Diggs on the Buffalo Bills. Stefon Diggs was traded from the Minnesota Vikings to Buffalo for four draft picks.

Diggs is 6’1″ and 205 lbs and has a bright future ahead of him. He would be more fit to start right away in this defense than Fulton would.

Trevon Diggs is drawing comparisons to Aqib Talib. Diggs played his fundamental techniques extremely well and he also picked off a couple of passes for touchdowns last season.

For some reason, Trevon Diggs is projected to go late in the first round, but I would not be surprised to see Atlanta reach for him because he has a lot of upside. Diggs sometimes judges the play before it actually happens and if that occurs, he will get burned.

Trevon Diggs has to go up against wide receivers like Emmanuel Sanders, Michael Thomas, Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Curtis Samuel, and D.J. Moore in that division.

Otherwise, he also has the strength and ability to diagnosis plays at the next level. That will be key at the next level.

Trevon Diggs will be a starter in his rookie season and could potentially be a candidate to win the Rookie of the Year Award and that will depend on where he ends up.

Diggs is also 6’1″ and weighs 205 lbs. He may have the most upside at this position in the NFL Draft.

What do you feel is the top need for the Atlanta Falcons? Leave a comment below.

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Follow Glenn Kaplan on twitter @glennkaplan13.

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