NFL Draft News & Analysis

Atlanta Falcons 7-round mock draft: Atlanta opts for more offensive firepower in Round 1

2TAMRC4 Washington wide receiver Rome Odunze (1) lines up out wide during an NCAA college football game for the Pac-12 Conference against Oregon, Friday, Dec. 1, 2023, in Las Vegas. (Aaron M. Sprecher via AP)

• Atlanta shuns defense in Round 1: Rome Odunze is the pick instead. His route running is smooth for a player of his size, and his acceleration is equally impressive.

• A sleeper in Round 3: Houston Christian edge defender Jalyx Hunt is very explosive out of his stance and has decent bend.

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As the 2024 NFL Draft nears, our seven-round team mock draft series continues with the Atlanta Falcons.

Round 1, Pick 8: WR Rome Odunze, Washington

Odunze, a former four-star recruit, was named the Nevada Gatorade Player of the Year in 2019. In addition to his football success, he won a state title in the 200-meter dash. His Washington tape is that of an alluring receiver prospect, one whose build and ability do not come around often. He checks the boxes for height, weight and arm length to play all three receiver positions. He does the same from an athletic standpoint. His route running is smooth for a player of his size, and his acceleration is equally impressive. He became a more reliable pass catcher through contact in 2023 and is comfortable hauling in throws away from his body.

Round 2, Pick 43: DI Braden Fiske, Florida State

Fiske played five seasons at Western Michigan, including three as a full-time starter, before transferring to Florida State in 2023. While the Power Five level presented a new challenge, he grew more comfortable over time. Fiske wins with a quick first step and fast hands, allowing him to be an effective one-gap penetrator and making him tough to reach block. His shorter arms limit the depth of his pass-rush tool bag despite his good understanding of moves. His club-arm over/swim is potent. His weight limits his strength in run defense, but he holds up well pound-for-pound and possesses good eyes and anticipation for where the ball is going.

Round 3, Pick 79: EDGE Jalyx Hunt, Houston Christian

Though a bit undersized (arm length and wingspan are great for edge), Hunt packs a punch. He is strong at contact and can push back OL or even completely erase TEs. He is very explosive out of his stance to go with decent bend. He lacks a well-rounded pass-rush profile (likely because he didn't really need one to dominate his competition level).

Round 4, Pick 109: S Tykee Smith, Georgia

Smith was a three-star recruit out of high school but very quickly outplayed that rating. He is a bigger slot player, which comes with useful extra power. He played the STAR position, a hybrid between a slot defender and linebacker, in Georgia’s system. In that role, he showcased his strength of taking on tight ends and offensive tackles better than most defensive backs. He is limited athletically, with adequate first-step explosiveness to change direction but below-average recovery speed and long speed. He is an aggressive tackler who sometimes takes poor pursuit angles. He also has ample experience and success as a gunner on punt and kick teams.

Round 5, Pick 143: LB Cedric Gray, North Carolina

His scouting report starts with his speed. He has very good short-area burst and long speed to meet ball carriers at the sideline. He has long arms, which aid him in wrapping up ball carriers. As a blitzer, his lateral movements are quick and explosive. He is a bit light and would do best more as a Will linebacker in space. His coverage in the box is good, but his slot coverage was inconsistent. His biggest area of concern is his anticipation. After three years as a starter, you would like to see him anticipate more than he does now, often reacting to where the ball is going after it moves.

Round 6, Pick 187: S Josh Proctor, Ohio State

Proctor has lined up in the slot, in the box and as a deep safety. He's a better run defender than he is in coverage, but at a minimum, he is capable of sticking around on special teams in the NFL.

Round 6, Pick 197: TE Tip Reiman, Illinois

Reiman is a throwback tight end with size and physicality. He is limited as a lateral athlete but has the potential to be a TE2 in an NFL offense that likes bigger tight ends.

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