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Bair Mail: On Bijan Robinson, Jalen Carter, DeAndre Hopkins and Falcons first-round options

We weigh Myles Murphy, Christian Gonzalez, Tyree Wilson, Lukas Van Ness and Peter Skoronski at No. 8 overall

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

Back-to-back Bair Mails running on schedule? And both written by me?

(This is Scott, btw. Sup.)

That makes this a red-letter day.

Huh-freaking-zah. Ha.


Appreciate the influx of questions after Wednesday's mailbag. That'll help keep this good thing going. The Falcons got a good thing going during free agency, adding players who will instantly upgrade the on-field product.

It seems like we're in a lull across free agency while waiting for the market to settle, which provides opportunity to look at work the Falcons have remaining on the open market and in the NFL Draft. Let's get to it, shall we?

Carroll Lamb from Atlanta

I know it may seem a bit far-fetched by many, but wouldn't Bijan Robinson be a very wise choice? I mean we have a young QB so wouldn't it only make sense? And AS love for superior RB talent? I feel drafting him and adding depth at DE and CB in 2-3 bc of the talent at both positions this year could be real game changer! Thoughts??

Bair: Bijan Robinson is the wild card of this draft. He could go in the 20s, yet I wouldn't be shocked if someone takes him in the top 10. He’s a real game changer, just at a non-premium position.

Should the Falcons take him? They clearly have other, more pressing needs. Arthur Smith loves a strong running game, however, and Robinson and Tyler Allgeier would constitute a ferocious backfield combination. Maybe they could nab Robinson in a trade down, but you never know when he'll be available. Hence the wild card status.

I wouldn't put it outside the realm of possibility – I think it would make the Falcons a quality outfit around Desmond Ridder – but it's hard to call it a likely scenario. With Robinson's ability and Arthur Smith's desire for a strong and sustainable rushing attack, there's definitely a strong fit.

Will Smith from Summerville, Ga.

Hi, Scott. We all know that Terry and Arthur value locker room fit and high character. With that being said, Jalen Carter will most likely be available at 8. Does Terry pull the trigger? Please elaborate on your answer, and thanks.

Bair: This is a tough one, Will. I hope you don't think this non-answer reply is a cop out. It's just a difficult situation to assess. Jalen Carter has well-documented off-field issues. He clearly struggled at Georgia’s pro day. He's also a supreme talent at his very best, possibly the best non-quarterback available in that scenario.

You have to weigh all of those things when deciding whether to take a player like Carter. Look, I put him at No. 30 in my last mock draft. Do I think he falls that far? I do not. I also don't think he's a top 5 pick right now. So he may well be available when the Falcons pick at No. 8.

What would the team do in that scenario? Tough call. They talk a ton about culture and organizational fit and how important that is. Their backchannel research will offer clues to his character and work ethic and drive to help the team win. While I wouldn't call defensive tackle a pressing need right now, his talent might supersede that.

While I sometimes do the, "If I were GM" thing, I won't do that here because I honestly don't know. Seemingly big red flags vs. major talent. I do know it would be a difficult decision to weigh leading up to draft day. No matter what, Jalen Carter requires tons of homework the Falcons are certainly doing.

Cal Bowley from Tyrone, Ga.

I'd love to see us pursue Deandre Hopkins considering the overall lack of proven players at the WR position, plus I've heard that with the Brandin Cooks to the Cowboys trade, the Cardinals asking price has gone down. It's possible we could acquire him for a few later round picks, like maybe a 3rd and a 5th.

Bair: DeAndre Hopkins is a top-tier player. Of that there is no doubt. He's paid like one, with giant base salaries in 2023 and 2024. That deal would have to be re-worked and possibly extended. If you do that, you're pushing his deal into his mid 30s. Hopkins is nearly 31. Do you want to do that? And what do the Cardinals want in return? No way I'm parting with a first- or second-round pick. Hopkins is a monster when available, though he has missed a total of 15 games over the last two seasons for various reasons.

I'm not huge into trading for older vets unless I feel I'm a player away. I don't think the Falcons are there yet. I'd rather keep my picks and keep adding young talent on rookie deals.

Joshua Clendonon from Christiansburg, Va.

Who's you're pick given the options. And why ? Clemson's Myles Murphy vs. Iowa's Van Ness & If we go CB @ number 8 what's your prediction. Who you got ? And why Thanks for your work.

Bair: I have to do 8-10 mock drafts, and I think the last one will be my legit prediction at No. 8. I hate to cop out here, but it's all about who falls. I can't see Tyree Wilson making it to No. 8, but he'd be my top option if he does. Oregon cornerback Christian Gonzalez would be another easy pick. I still want to see Myles Murphy test at his individual workout. Then there are curveballs like Georgia's Nolan Smith, who hasn't been a top 10 guy in mocks but wowed at the combine and in other testing. He could be an intriguing option at No. 8.

I'm thinking pass rusher or cornerback at that spot – notice how I didn't say quarterback – maybe with Illinois' Devon Witherspoon in the cluster as well. While I recognize that Northwestern's Peter Skoronski is a real talent, I don't like going guard at No. 8, especially with both tackles locked up for multiple years.

Call for questions

Tori McElhaney has your mailbag on Monday while I'm at the NFL owners meetings. Submit your questions right here for inclusion in that mailbag.

Join us as we take a look at our 2023 free agency additions to the Atlanta Falcons roster.

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