Today, we will be continuing our look at every team’s results from the 2020 NFL draft. For part two of this series, we’ll focus on the Atlanta Falcons draft.
The 2020 NFL Draft has come and gone, and 255 collegiate athletes have fulfilled their lifelong dream of hearing their name called to join an NFL roster. In this series, we will be looking at each NFL team’s individual draft and reviewing just how well the team did at adding the next wave of talent to their roster.
Here’s a look at the NFC South’s Atlanta Falcons.
1st Round, Pick 16 overall: A.J. Terrell, Cornerback, Clemson
2nd Round, Pick 47 overall: Marlon Davidson, Defensive Lineman, Auburn
3rd Round, Pick 78 overall: Matt Hennessy, Interior Lineman, Temple
4th Round, Pick 119 overall: Mykal Walker, Linebacker, Fresno State
4th Round, Pick 134 overall: Jaylinn Hawkins, Safety, California
7th Round, Pick 228 overall: Sterling Hofrichter, Punter, Syracuse
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Falcons Draft: The Dive
Overall value against my board: -23 (39th Overall)
The Falcons secondary was not good in the 2019 season, and the team moved on from longtime cornerback Desmond Trufant in the offseason. Terrell is a solid press man corner who has solid length and coverage ability. This selection makes sense, and Terrell will form a solid cornerback tandem with Isaiah Oliver, but there was some risk with taking Terrell. He struggled against Ja’Marr Chase in the National Championship game, and now will be asked to cover some of the best receivers on the planet on a week-to-week basis in the NFC South.
Overall value against my board: -24 (71st Overall)
Despite the overall value on my board, I am more than okay with this pick. There has been talk about Davidson wanting to play on the edge, but he projects better to the interior at the next level. Davidson is a physical football player with a mean streak that should slot in nicely next to Grady Jarrett on the interior of this defensive line.
He’s been overshadowed by teammate Derek Brown but @AuburnFootball and @seniorbowl alum Marlon Davidson (@marlondavidson7) jumped from the 3rd/4th round to possibly late 1st this year. Look what does to a guy that will be a starting NFL left tackle 👇. #TheDraftStartsInMOBILE pic.twitter.com/wDZgtSkd20— Jim Nagy (@JimNagy_SB) February 17, 2020
Overall value against my board: +6 (72nd Overall)
This selection was clearly made looking towards the future, with Alex Mack getting up there in age. Hennessy is just a solid all-around interior lineman that will provide great depth in 2020 for the Falcons. Taking Hennessy will allow the Falcons to see a seamless transition at the center spot when Alex Mack retires.
This half-line drills features four @seniorbowl North players that should go in first two rounds. All could be rookie starters in NFL.@Temple_FB C Matt Hennessey @UMichFootball RG Ben Bredeson@UHCougarFB RT Josh Jones@DaytonFootball TE Adam Trautman#TheDraftStartsInMOBILE pic.twitter.com/iTwtwIm1KW— Jim Nagy (@JimNagy_SB) February 21, 2020
Falcons Draft: The Dive
Overall value against my board: -44 (163rd Overall)
Walker is a player that provides the Falcons with intriguing versatility on their defense going forward, but he will need some fine tuning before he is ready to see significant playing time. The team lost De’Vondre Campbell to the Atlanta Falcons in free agency, so bringing in Walker here makes sense as a guy who can work his way into that role down the line.
Overall value against my board: -41 (175th Overall)
Hawkins was an interesting depth safety option going into the draft, and that is the role he will play here in Atlanta. He is an inconsistent run defender, but he shows flashes of being great when asked to come up and make plays in the box. There are times where he is undisciplined, which result in big yardage for the opposition, but he should be a decent backup for this team while he develops.
Jaylinn Hawkins is my favorite sleeper safety right now. I’m a fan.— Nick Farabaugh (@FarabaughFB) March 2, 2020
Overall value against my board: N/A
Longtime punter Matt Bosher was not brought back in free agency after being injured in 2019. Hofrichter will compete for the Falcons punting job with Ryan Allen during the preseason, and could wind up being the Falcons punter of the future if he performs well.
Overall Draft Grade: B-
The Atlanta Falcons did a good job of filling holes on the roster throughout the 2020 NFL draft, but they seemed to go in with the mentality of playing it safe rather than trying to make a splash. Most of their picks are guys who I believe will be contributors on the roster during their rookie contracts, but I don’t see this draft being a truly memorable class down the road.