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Roundtable: Draft Projections and Positions of Need

1.The Falcons have a chance to improve in a lot of areas at this year's draft. What's one position you think they'll target in the early rounds?

Andrew Hirsh:Linebacker is one. In Seattle Dan Quinn had a lot of fast LBs who could tackle well, and there are plenty available in the 2016 Draft class. Adding one could go a long way towards forming a championship-caliber defense in Atlanta.

Jay Adams: I look squarely on the defensive side of the ball for this one as Dan Quinn will still be trying to put together the pieces of his ideal defense in Atlanta. Whether it's defensive end or outside linebacker, I could see another addition to the pass-rush portion of the game taken very high in this draft. Quinn wants to bring good pressure using his front four without sacrificing linebackers to blitz, so I expect the bulls-eye to be on those who can create pressure without much help. Kelsey Conway:Safety is definitely a position I think the Falcons could target early. Looking back on the 2015 season, Atlanta's secondary dealt with a significant amount of injuries within this position group. At some point in the year, William Moore, Robenson Therezie and Ricardo Allen all dealt with injuries that caused them to miss time. Adding depth here could be beneficial for the future.

2. Who's one prospect fans should know about?

AH: ILB Reggie Ragland is someone who really stands out when watching tape of Alabama's defense. The SEC Defensive Player of the Year is among the best defenders available because of the sheer quantity of positive traits. He's good in coverage, is a sound tackler, defends the run at a a high level and has the size needed to make a smooth transition to the pros. He could be an immediate starter in the NFL and has the makings of a field general. 

JA: OLB Myles Jack from UCLA is a guy to keep an eye on. He suffered a knee injury in 2015, but that shouldn't affect his draft status. Projected as a three-down linebacker, Jack is a tackling machine with athleticism that may be second-to-none in this year's draft. He even split time at running back during his years at UCLA and was named the Pac-12's Offensive and Defensive Freshman of the Year in 2013. He's a tackling machine who is also good in coverage. He may go before the Falcons get a chance at him, but he's one to keep an eye on. KC: DT A'Shawn Robinson from Alabama. At the end of the season, Dan Quinn talked about the importance of winning in the trenches; it wouldn't be surprising to see a talented run-stopper brought to Quinn and his formidable defensive front.

3. Every NFL Draft is filled with unexpected twists and turns. What's one surprising move you could see affecting the Falcons?

AH: The Falcons only have five picks as of Wednesday, so it could make sense to trade down at one point and acquire more selections. 

JA:Every year, much of the draft is decided by the top five teams, specifically as it pertains to quarterbacks. There are a couple of quarterbacks that some teams could covet, which means they could go earlier than expect. That being the case, pass-rusher or other defensive skill positions could be a nice second option for teams that weren't able to get their hands on the top signal-callers. That would certainly affect what the Falcons are left with at pick No. 17.

KC: Despite the Falcons being limited to just five draft picks, Atlanta has shown that they will go up to get a player they desire (i.e. Julio Jones and Desmond Trufant). Knowing the resources needed to move up in this year's draft are limited, I still wouldn't completely rule that idea out.

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