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NFL Mock Draft Roundup: NFL's Daniel Jeremiah projects Falcons take J.J. McCarthy at No. 8 overall

In the final mock draft roundup before the NFL combine analysts identify which players the Falcons could take in the first round.  

Editor's Note: We'll track prospects the Falcons are linked to at No. 8 overall and beyond in mock drafts from respected analysts in this Mock Draft Roundup series, which will run through the 2024 NFL draft.

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. — With the NFL scouting combine just days away, a new quarterback name has entered the roundup chat.

Analysts have popularly projected the Falcons take either a quarterback or an edge rusher in each roundup (1.0, 2.0 and 3.0.) For the first time, J.J. McCarthy from the University of Michigan was mentioned by the pool of analysts.

Take a look at the fourth roundup projections:

Daniel Jeremiah, NFL

  • Date: Feb. 20
  • Falcons pick: No. 8 overall
  • Selection: QB J.J. McCarthy

Jeremiah's analysis: "A lot of people around the NFL expect the Falcons to be aggressive when it comes to finding a quarterback in this year's draft. They could trade up or, as they do in this case, stay at No. 8 and bet on McCarthy's traits."

Gennaro Filice, NFL

  • Date: Feb. 22
  • Falcons pick: No. 8 overall
  • Selection: CB Terrion Arnold

Filice's analysis: "Having originally arrived at Alabama as a five-star safety recruit, Arnold's still relatively new to the cornerback position, but he checks all of the trait boxes with size, speed, physicality and ball skills. Now he just needs a little polish. Who better to provide that than new Falcons head man Raheem Morris and defensive coordinator Jimmy Lake, two coaches with a wealth of experience developing cover men?"


Josh Edwards, CBS

  • Date: Feb. 22
  • Falcons pick: No. 8 overall
  • Selection: EDGE Dallas Turner, Alabama

Edwards' analysis: "Dallas Turner may not be the most well-rounded edge rusher prospect right now but he is a young player who is still developing. Atlanta has lacked a pass rusher capable of drawing the opponent's attention, but the hope is that Turner changes that narrative."

Chris Trapasso, CBS

  • Date: Feb. 22
  • Falcons pick: No. 8 overall
  • Selection: WR Malik Nabers, LSU

Trapasso's analysis: "The Falcons go offensive skill-position inside the Top 10 for the fourth time with the dynamic wideout from LSU."

The Athletic, NFL staff and more

  • Date: Feb. 22
  • Falcons pick: No. 3 overall (projected trade with Patriots)
  • Selection: QB Jayden Daniels, LSU

The Athletic's analysis: "Trade: Falcons send No. 8, No. 43 and a 2025 first-round pick to Patriots for No. 3.

This should be Daniels' floor. A team could jump Atlanta via trade, while the Patriots or Giants also could be interested. Either way, from a roster standpoint, Atlanta is the most QB-desperate team — meaning it could be a QB away from making noise."

Trevor Sikkema, PFF

  • Date: Feb. 16
  • Falcons pick: No. 8 overall 
  • Selection: EDGE Dallas Turner 

Sikkema's analysis: "Bears receive: A 2024 third-round pick (No. 74), a 2025 third-round pick. Falcons receive: Justin Fields. 

The Falcons will be one of a handful of teams that will try to get aggressive to move up for one of the top quarterbacks in this draft. But such a trade will be done before we get to draft weekend.

If they miss out on that chance, Fields remains a solid option. Some might think this price is too low, but I believe the hype and price of a top-50 (or even first-round pick) out there is more fan-driven than league-driven.

If they already have a quarterback option in hand, look for Raheem Morris to get his defense a premier athletic pass-rusher. Turner isn't the polished prospect Will Anderson Jr. was coming out last year, but his speed and flexibility are the best in this class."

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