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Roundtable: Debating the Best DL Draft Prospect

The deepest position in the draft class is the defensive line. Who do you think is the best defensive linemen for the Falcons?

Kelsey Conway: A'Shawn Robinson. I listend to Robinson's press conference at the Combine and he was very serious and seemed extremely mature for his age. He comes from a school where they breed nothing but physical, hard-nosed defenders and he's exactly that. His powerful style of play makes him someone who's NFL ready. He's a beast, and a player who would excel under Dan Quinn.

Andrew Hirsh: At No. 17, the best realistic option in my mind is Sheldon Rankins. Based on Rotoworld's Consensus Big Board, the Covington, Ga., native is the best defensive tackle in this year's class by a healthy margin. The tape shows why: Although Rankins didn't post eye-popping stats at Louisville, he frequently took on multiple blockers, displayed strong hands and excelled in all situations. DT may not be the biggest need for Atlanta, but if the 6-foot-1, 299-pounder is the clear-cut best option when the Falcons are on the clock, it might be wise to draft him.

Keeping in mind Atlanta's free agent additions, do you believe the Falcons will take a defensive end or defensive tackle first?

KC: I think it will definitely depend on who is still on the board. I think the Falcons will take a linebacker in the first round, but I think if a solid DT is available, the Falcons could go that direction and continue to beef up that defensive line.

AH: I think they will if the team doesn't feel there are any linebackers left who are worth a mid-first-round pick. Also, if Thomas Dimitroff elects to trade down to the late 20s or second round, there should be lots of talented D-linemen to choose from.

If the Falcons decide to enter the draft with a "we need to get a pass rusher with our first-round pick" mindset, who do you see the Falcons taking?

KC: Noah Spence. The Falcons finished last in the NFL in sacks (19) and Spence is pretty much a gurantee to get you sacks. He finished the 2015 season with 22.5 tackles for loss and 11.5 sacks to go with 63 tackles, 15 quarterback hurries, three forced fumbles and a pair of fumble recoveries. That's exactly what you want out of your go-to pass rusher.

AH: I'll also go with Spence. While he spent last year playing against less-than-elite competition, the former Eastern Kentucky defensive end showed he's worth a first-round pick at the Senior Bowl by dominating some of the nation's best offensive linemen. Yes, he has some off-field questions, but on the gridiron, Spence has the skill to be a successful pass-rusher in the NFL.

At this point, who do you think the Falcons will take at No. 17?

KC: Leonard Floyd. I think the Falcons will take a linebacker and I think Floyd will be the best option available at this spot. He's fast and athletic, and I think he'd be a great fit and he hasn't even scratched the surface of his best yet.

AH: I'll change up my pick and go with Rankins. He wouldn't fill a major need like some of the linebackers, but that doesn't mean he can't make the Falcons a lot better in 2016 and beyond.

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