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Question of the Week: Who should the Falcons draft at No. 8 overall? 

Scott Bair and Tori McElhaney discuss as the 2023 NFL Draft looms.

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. – We've made it. The week of the 2023 NFL Draft has arrived. And with it comes an excitement and feeling of hope that is almost exclusively reserved for this time of year. 

The Falcons have the No. 8 overall pick on Thursday night. There's a lot that can happen between now and when the Falcons are on the clock. And who knows, they may not even be the ones on the clock at No. 8, perhaps they trade that pick away and find themselves in a new spot in the first round.

We've already discussed whether or not we think they should do that, so for the sake of this exercise and discussion lets say the Falcons keep the No. 8 overall pick. Who would we take at No. 8? Scott Bair and Tori McElhaney discuss. 


Tori: Here's the thing… I know exactly who Scott is going to take at No. 8.

I know because he's said it… multiple times… on the record and off. He's a sucker for a certain running back out of Texas whose name rhymes with a certain type of mustard. So, I'm going to stay away from that particular name so that Scott can bask in all the running back glory. 

Personally, I tend to almost always lean defensively. When the pre-draft process began, I was high on the thought of drafting one of the best cornerbacks. I am still OK with that, to be honest. If Devon Witherspoon is there, or Christian Gonzalez, I am fine if either of their names are called. But at this point in time, I would prefer an edge rusher.


I don't think Tyree Wilson will be there at No. 8, but if he is? Take him. Take him. Take him. If Lukas Van Ness is there? I'm more than happy to pick him up, too. I'd even risk trading down in hopes he doesn't come off the board for a few picks after No. 8.

I still think there may be an early run on quarterbacks when Thursday night arrives. If so, that's the best case scenario for the Falcons at No. 8. It would essentially give them the opportunity to draft someone they maybe didn't even think would fall to them at No. 8. So, there you have it: I'm taking an edge rusher, or a corner, too (I am not closing the door there, either).

Now I'll pass the mic to Scott so he can write out four to five paragraphs about a certain running back…

Scott: Thank you, Tori. I've been waiting weeks now to extol the virtues of one Zach Charbonnet, a bruiser of a back from the greatest school on this planet, UCLA. Okay, not really. Despite the fact Zach and I are both Bruins alumni, I'm not willing to go with my heart here and make an irrational choice, selfishly looking for backup combating the heapings of flak USC product Drake London gives me for being a Bruin.

But Tori is correct in stating I think the Falcons should throw a wild card down and take Texas running back Bijan – rhymes with a type of mustard, Tori? I legit laughed out loud when I read that. – Robinson. 

Ms. McElhaney's logic is sound, stating that the Falcons could use top talent at edge rusher or cornerback. Honestly, that just might be the right play. And if Tyree Wilson's available at No. 8, I make that pick without regret. 

But I just keep thinking about how a creative, cutting-edge offensive mind like Arthur Smith could use Robinson. The Falcons head coach is a purveyor of positionless football, after all, and could move Robinson all over the formation to capitalize on a combination of versatility, elusiveness and physicality to take important yards in chunks. Also, can you imagine having Kyle Pitts, Drake London, Cordarrelle Patterson, Tyler Allgeier and Robinson on the field at the same time? And we haven't even brought up Jonnu Smith yet. That would have NFC South defensive coordinators shaking in their shoes.

Texas running back Bijon Robinson runs the ball during the second half an NCAA college football game against Alabama, Saturday, Sept. 10, 2022, in Austin, Texas. Alabama won 20-19. (AP Photo/Michael Thomas)

While another defender would be of great benefit, they don't need a first-round talent on that side of the ball after all that was done in free agency.

Look, I understand the trepidation taking a running back that high. He may not be at his peak when looking for a second contract. That's a real risk. When you're making a top-10 pick, you're hoping to find a star who can represent your city for two contracts or even three. Logic suggests that not happen with Robinson, but, again, Smith is a factor here. I have confidence he'd find the right balance between workload and production. 

It would be ideal to trade down and get Robinson, but why risk it? Take the man at No. 8 and watch those points per game go up.

Atlanta Falcons players are back at Flowery Branch to kick off prep for the 2023 season.

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