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APC Community Mock Draft: The Falcons are set to pick at no. 8

The Giants selected Charles Cross with the 7th pick, giving themselves a young tackle to pair with Andrew Thomas. The Falcons are now on the clock at 8.

Syndication: Florida Times-Union Joshua A. Bickel/Columbus Dispat / USA TODAY NETWORK

The Giants focused on offense with their second top-ten pick, opting to go with Charles Cross, the standout offensive tackle from Mississippi State. The Giants have said they intend to move forward with Daniel Jones at QB for now, and providing him help upfront is a good first step.

The Falcons had somewhat of a tumultuous offseason as they jump-started their first rebuild in over a decade. The team’s aggressive pursuit of Deshaun Watson ultimately failed in the 11th hour as the quarterback chose the Cleveland Browns. The Falcons were thought to be the favorite at one point due to Watson’s Georgia roots, but the deal couldn’t be sealed. The team then hit the reset button, trading longtime franchise quarterback Matt Ryan to the Indianapolis Colts. After Russell Gage left in free agency and Calvin Ridley was suspended for sports betting, the team is devoid of offensive weapons. But the draft represents the dawn of a new day for so many teams, and the Falcons are hoping their Days of Our Lives-esque offseason can be put to rest.

The Falcons could look to address their receiving corps with this pick, as the only proven option is 2nd-year tight end, Kyle Pitts. Marcus Mariota is a solid bridge quarterback, but he will need someone to throw to. Garrett Wilson and Drake London are both solid options here. Either receiver would inject some promise into a corps that’s desperate for talent. Assuming Atlanta plans to draft a quarterback in next year’s draft, securing a highly touted receiver this year would provide him with an established weapon who knows the offense well. If the Falcons decide to draft for value over need, Ahmad Gardner would give the Falcons a talented, young duo at cornerback with 2nd-year standout AJ Terrell.


Garrett Wilson, WR, Ohio State

One of two elite receivers from Ohio State in this draft, the other being Chris Olave, Wilson is a dynamic athlete who could be the first receiver off the board this spring. During his junior season, Wilson caught 70 passes for 1,058 yards and 12 scores, a mark that placed him top ten in the country. The goal for his new team should be to get him the ball in space and watch him work. While he doesn’t possess elite size, he is more than capable of high pointing a ball and keeping his balance. His small frame does present some troubles against press coverage and when blocking, but he has shown enough ability to recover on routes. Wilson has an NFL-ready game and should see his name called early this spring.

Drake London, WR, USC

London has impressed evaluators since his freshman season at USC, where he posted a line of 93 receptions for 567 yards and five touchdowns. His senior season was even more impressive, as he caught 88 balls for 1,084 yards and seven touchdowns in just eight games. We are sure to hear all about London’s all-state basketball pedigree on broadcasts for years to come, and it shows on tape. Standing at 6’5”, 210 lbs., London is a lengthy receiver who can naturally position himself to snag any ball. What he lacks in elite speed, he makes up for with elite tracking ability and the desire to box out anyone on the field. He can start right away either in the slot or outside and is sure to provide a nice highlight reel by the end of his rookie year.

Ahmad Gardner, CB, Cincinnati

The consensus top corner in this year’s draft, “Sauce” Gardner saw his stock rise in a magical Cincinnati season that saw the team make it to the College Football Playoff. At 6’3”, 190 lbs., the standout corner excels at using his length to jam receivers at the line and shut down a play before it begins. He famously did not allow a single touchdown in his college career and has said he has no plans to give one up in the league. That sort of cockiness defines how Gardner plays, as he aggravates receivers at the line and down the field. His length, timing, and fluidity all blend together to create a corner who will be a day 1 starter on the outside.


Poll

Who will the Falcons select at no. 8?

This poll is closed

  • 42%
    Garrett Wilson, WR, Ohio State
    (149 votes)
  • 24%
    Drake London, WR, USC
    (87 votes)
  • 33%
    Ahmad Gardner, CB, Cincinnati
    (117 votes)
353 votes total Vote Now

Will the Falcons address their lackluster WR room with a high-end talent? Or will they decide to eschew fit and draft a shutdown corner like Ahmad Gardner? Make sure to vote here and on Twitter (@acmepackingco) to find out. Next up, we’ll round out the top 10 with the Seahawks at 9 and the Jets’ second pick at 10.