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Amna Subhan's seven-round mock draft: Falcons trade down in first round to get their edge rusher and more 

Each member of the Falcons editorial team will release a seven-round mock draft this week. Terrin Waack and Tori McElhaney made their picks. To wrap up, Amna Subhan is on the clock. 

DISCLAIMER: The statements and opinions regarding players and/or potential future players in the article below are those of the editorial staff and are not of the Atlanta Falcons' football personnel unless noted in a direct quote.

Editor's Note: Over the course of the next few days, the Atlanta Falcons editorial team of Tori McElhaney, Terrin Waack and Amna Subhan will publish three separate seven-round mock drafts in preparation for this year's NFL Draft, which begins Thursday, April 25. Terrin Waack and Tori McElhaney made their picks. Lastly, Amna Subhan takes a run at her mock draft.

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. — In just about a week's time, the Falcons will be on the clock in the 2024 NFL Draft.

We'll finally get answers about what Terry Fontenot and Raheem Morris will do with the No. 8 pick and so on, as they continue to build a roster in hopes of taking Atlanta to new heights.

Until then... you get me.

I've run a full mock draft simulator — I'm not kidding — at least 50 times trying to create the best combination, especially with the later rounds. Not to mention pouring over Dane Brugler’s The Beast draft guide for hours. What I learned is the Falcons have built leverage through free agency and can get what they want, plus a little more, if they trade down.

So without further ado, my seven-round mock begins with a trade.

TRADE: Falcons send the No. 8 pick to the Indianapolis Colts in exchange for the No. 15 and No. 46 picks.

The top of the draft will be heavy with offensive prospects. Luckily for the Falcons, they used free agency to sign quarterback Kirk Cousins and load up on wide receivers. They're sitting pretty eyeing defensive weapons and use that leverage to trade down, picking up an additional second-rounder. In this simulation, the Colts use the No. 8 pick to select offensive tackle Joe Alt. Only two defensive players are taken before the Falcons are on the clock at No. 15 overall.


No. 15, first round — EDGE Jared Verse, Florida State

With the No. 15 overall pick, the Falcons select Jared Verse out of Florida State. It's time they draft a young rusher that can pound the edge. Verse emerged as a top talent at the NFL Combine and became a name heavily associated with the Falcons' first-round pick in the months since. The former Seminole recorded 41 tackles, 12.5 tackles for a loss and nine sacks in his final collegiate season. Along with being a seasoned talent after two seasons in the FCS, Verse perhaps has that factor Fontenot looks for as a culture fit.


No. 43, second round — WR Troy Franklin, Oregon

With the first of two second-round picks, the Falcons snatch wide receiver Troy Franklin off the board. Franklin tallied 2,483 yards receiving in four seasons as an Oregon Duck. He recorded over half of that total in his senior season with 1,383 yards and 14 touchdowns in 2023.

Franklin is a big body at 6-foot-2, but still has the speed to pair well with Drake London. He averaged 15.5 yards per catch and has the ability to be a down-the-field, big-play receiver, which the Falcons have missed in recent seasons.


No. 46, second round — CB T.J. Tampa, Iowa State

The Falcons use their second, second-round pick to potentially find a running mate for A.J. Terrell in T.J. Tampa. Who starts opposite Terrell in 2024 is still a question mark, but Tampa has the "tools and potential to be a starting perimeter cornerback" according to Brugler's The Beast. The cornerback recorded 9.5 tackles for loss, 22 pass breakups and three interceptions at Iowa State. Tampa, like Terrell, also grew up in Georgia. Tampa attended St. Francis High School in Alpharetta for a couple of years before moving out of state after his sophomore season.


No. 74, third round — OT Brandon Coleman, TCU

To start their third round the Falcons draft offensive tackle Brandon Coleman. Left tackle Jake Matthews will enter his 11th season in 2024, and Coleman gets to learn under Atlanta's ironman who blocked for Matt Ryan in eight of his 10 seasons. The lineman played both left tackle and guard in college, but got the majority of his reps at tackle. Coleman will get a chance to improve his technical skills under one of the more consistent offensive lines in the league.


No. 79, third round — QB Spencer Rattler, South Carolina

The Falcons find their third quarterback in the third round, drafting Spencer Rattler. Rattler accounted over 10,000 yards in five seasons, first at Oklahoma and then with South Carolina. The redshirt senior recorded over 3,000 yards in both seasons as a Gamecock to go along with 37 touchdowns of his 77 total scores. He'll get to learn under one of the most consistent and comfortable quarterbacks in the pocket with Kirk Cousins.


No. 109, fourth round — DT T'Vondre Sweat, Texas

With a defensive front currently consisting of Grady Jarrett, David Onyemata and Ta'Quon Graham, the Falcons pick up another defensive tackle in T'Vondre Sweat. The lineman recorded 45 tackles, eight tackles for a loss and two sacks in his final season at Texas while also notching a touchdown and a blocked an extra point. That year amounted to Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year honors. The Beast describes Sweat as "a rare athlete for his size, with the power and ingredients to be a dominant force against the run." Perhaps Sweat gained his defensive rushing prowess trying to contain his former teammate Bijan Robinson for three seasons. Plus, Sweat will fit in Atlanta culture quite well (trust me, just search up "T'Vondre Sweat Chain").


No. 143, fifth round — EDGE Gabriel Murphy, UCLA

The Falcons are thrilled to have Gabriel Murphy — a projected fourth-round pick — fall to them at No. 143, ending the draft just as they started by picking an edge rusher. Murphy notched 38 tackles, 16 tackles for a loss and eight sacks playing alongside top-5 rushing prospect Laiatu Latu. Murphy transferred to UCLA after three seasons at North Texas. Latu may have led the Bruins in sacks, but Murphy's 61 pressures would have been No. 1 on 128 FBS squads in 2023, according to Brugler's The Beast.

TRADE: Falcons send No. 187 and No. 197 to the Denver Broncos for a 2025 fourth-round pick.

After the fifth round, the Falcons are content with their seven-player rookie class to add to a roster they anticipate can win now. Instead of developing more young talent they, again, use that leverage to ship the No. 187 and No. 197 sixth-round picks to gain future draft capital in a 2025 fourth-round pick.

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