NFL Draft

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Falcons 2015 Mock Draft Monitor 7.0

The 2015 NFL Draft is just over a month away, held April 30 - May 2 at the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University in Chicago. While NFL general managers, coaches and scouts continue with their player evaluations, the same can be said for most mock draft experts, including those predicting Clemson's Vic Beasley to be the Falcons' top choice with the No. 8-overall pick.

Vic Beasley, OLB, Clemson

"No player has risen more on the draft boards of teams across the league coming out of the NFL combine. When you run 4.53 with a 1.59 split, post a vertical of 41 inches and put up a bench press total (35 reps) that's as good as the strongest nose tackles, and at a chiseled 246 pounds — well, you turn some heads. Thing is, Beasley isn't just an athletic freak because he's been a one-man production line at Clemson, with 44.5 tackles for loss over the last two seasons. He can flat out create disruption and get to the quarterback, and that's exactly what Atlanta needs. The pass rush is desperate for production and Beasley can help soon."

Change from previous pick:* *Arik Armstead, DE, Oregon

Shane Ray, DE, Missouri

"We moved Ray down our board a little bit this week, to No. 15. His below-average performance in the bench press (21 reps) and the fact that he weighed in at just 246 pounds is a little bit of a concern when you scroll through the list of the NFL's sack leaders and recognize how many of them have power as a major component of their games. I also haven't been blown away by what I've seen from Ray on tape so far. However, he was a very productive player at Missouri, and once we get a chance to do his full evaluation and see his testing results at his pro day (he wasn't able to run in Indy due to an injury), we might move him back up. And the Falcons are in serious need of pass-rushing help for new head coach Dan Quinn's defense."

Change from previous pick: Arik Armstead, DE, Oregon

Vic Beasley, OLB, Clemson

"Dan Quinn needs an explosive edge rusher and Beasley fits the description."

Change from previous pick: Randy Gregory, OLB, Nebraska

Shane Ray, DE, Missouri

"Despite acquiring a pair of pass rushers in free agency (O'Brien Schofield and Adrian Clayborn), the Falcons could add another edge defender on draft day. Although Ray lacks the athleticism to drop into coverage, he is an explosive rusher with a knack for getting to the quarterback."

Change from previous pick: Vic Beasley, OLB, Clemson

Bud Dupree, OLB, Kentucky

"The Kentucky star posted the fastest 40 time of all linebackers in the 40, clocking in with a 4.57 and banged out a 42-inch vertical with a groin injury. Dupree can get to the quarterback, and with all the big quarterbacks in the NFC South, there's never enough quality pass rushers on a roster. The Legion of Boom got all the love up in Seattle, but the secret to Dan Quinn's defensive success the past two years might have been the pass rush. Dupree's a step in the right direction for Quinn's new team."

The last thing the 2015 Scouting Combine participants were thinking about was their facial expressions, which makes them so darn funny to look at

Change from previous pick: No change

Randy Gregory, OLB, Nebraska

"New Atlanta head coach Dan Quinn has to address their defensive front and in this spot there are still some nice options but it all depends on what happens in front of the Falcons. In this mock scenario Randy Gregory is the call. He's freaky athletically but needs to bulk up. Gregory was only 235-pounds at the Combine. Still, it's a great start for this new staff in Atlanta."

Change from previous pick: Dante Fowler, Jr., DE, Florida

Vic Beasley, OLB, Clemson

"The Falcons have the firepower on offense to compete, but lack difference-makers on the defensive front. At just 6-3, 246 pounds, Beasley lacks the bulk most clubs prefer at defensive end and therefore is being projected to outside linebacker by many. New Atlanta head coach Dan Quinn helped the Seahawks win with similarly built defensive ends in Cliff Avril (6-3, 260) and Chris Clemons (6-3, 254) in the past and will likely push for a pass rusher with this pick."

Change from previous pick: Shane Ray, DE, Missouri

Randy Gregory, OLB, Nebraska

"The Falcons have been active adding front-seven defenders via free agency, but that won't stop Atlanta from targeting a "Leo" pass rusher at this pick. Gregory has immense potential and would benefit from the coaching of new head coach Dan Quinn."

**Change from previous pick: Shane Ray, DE, Missouri

**

Vic Beasley, OLB, Clemson

"Beasley put on 10 pounds to get up to 246 and still blew out every test at the combine. He lived in opposing backfields, especially over the last two years with over 70 plays behind the line of scrimmage. The Falcons have not had an athlete like this since John Abraham."

Change from previous pick: No change

Shane Ray, DE, Missouri

"The Falcons won't run a 3-4 under Dan Quinn as head coach, but much like the Seattle Seahawks and Jacksonville Jaguars, they'll want a 3-4 style pass-rusher for the edge. Cliff Avril does this in Seattle, and I'm projecting the Jaguars to draft Randy Gregory to do it in Jacksonville. For the Falcons, Shane Ray becomes that Avril/Bruce Irvin-type player. And while Quinn may want Dante Fowler—a player he recruited to Florida—Ray has the speed and toughness to fit into this defense."

Change from previous pick: No change

Vic Beasley, OLB, Clemson

"At the Combine, Beasley assured himself a spot in the top 10. Anyone hoping he would slide some will be out of luck. Even though a player like Dante Fowler might be a better fit for the Falcons, Beasley can be brought in and turned into a pass rushing force as a rookie."

Change from previous pick: Randy Gregory, OLB, Nebraska

Leading Vote-Getters

  1. Vic Beasley - 5 
  2. Shane Ray - 3 
  3. Randy Gregory - 2 
  4. Bud Dupree - 1
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