FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- If you're reading this and haven't read Scott Bair's Day 1 cluster, stop, go back and read it first. If you're reading this and you have read Scott's Day 1 cluster, great! Let's move on to Day 2.
The thought behind these articles is to give you a closer look at who could be available for the Falcons to take with their pick(s). This is not to say they target these specific players or that they'll even be picking at the spots specified in these articles. It's just to get you thinking about how things may fall throughout draft weekend.
So, yeah, that's my preamble. Here's who the Falcons could target with the No. 44 and 75 overall picks on Friday night.
The No. 44 overall pick, second round
WR Josh Downs (North Carolina) | Tyler Scott (Cincinnati)
Do you know who the starting quarterback for the Falcons is in 2023? Desmond Ridder. Do you know who Tyler Scott caught passes from in college? Desmond Ridder. Who's to say the Falcons wouldn't want to give Ridder a familiar face to throw to as a true starter in this league?
EDGE Felix Anudike-Uzomah (Kansas State) | Will McDonald IV (Iowa State) | Keion White (Georgia Tech)
CB D.J. Turner (Michigan) | Clark Phillips III (Utah)
IDL Mazi Smith (Michigan)
A couple Michigan guys could be up for grabs for the Falcons at No. 44 overall. Both helped Michigan's defense over the years in different ways, Smith holding down the interior and Turner holding down the secondary. Both have areas of which they can improve, but Smith's run stopping ability could catch Ryan Nielsen's eye while Jerry Gray could covet Turner's field smarts.
OG Steve Avila (TCU) | Cody Mauch (North Dakota State)
- Official free agency signings: S Jessie Bates III, DL David Onyemata, LB Kaden Elliss, QB Taylor Heinicke, CB Mike Hughes, LB Tae Davis, WR Mack Hollins; DL Joe Gaziano, WR Scotty Miller, DL Calais Campbell, OL Josh Miles, OLB Bud Dupree, CB Jeff Okudah, OL Ethan Greenidge
- Tori McElhaney's 7-round mock draft: Two trades reload the Falcons with edge rushers and wide receivers
- Question of the Week: Which Falcons position group is the highest priority to replenish in the 2023 NFL Draft?
The No. 75 overall pick, third round
RB Devon Achane (Texas A&M) | Tyjae Spears (Tulane)
If the Falcons don't pick up a running back in the first two rounds, perhaps they go after one at No. 75. If so, Achane and Spears could be on the board. Of the two, Spears may fit the Falcons offensive mold a little better. He's a bit bulkier than Achane, but Achane has an added strength as a pass catcher. If running back is the target in the third round and if both are on the board, it'd be interesting to see which third-round rusher the Falcons would prefer, if they like either at all.
WR Marvin Mims, Jr. (Oklahoma)
IDL Adetomiwa Adebawore (Northwestern) | Siaki Ika (Baylor)
I already wrote about Adebawore in my most recent 7-round mock draft. I won't reiterate what I wrote here, so my advice is to follow the link for my explanation as to why he's someone I'd be willing to draft.
CB Tyrique Stevenson (Miami, Fl.) | Julius Brents (Kansas State)
OG Chandler Zavala (NC State) | Anthony Bradford (LSU)
Someone who may have a connection with Atlanta's coaching staff already is Zavala. Current Falcons offensive line coach Dwayne Ledford was NC State's offensive line coach from 2016-2018, where Zavala played last year. Though the two never crossed paths as a player and coach at NC State, perhaps they met on the recruiting circuit or know mutual contacts. Sometimes in the later rounds of the draft, coaches are the ones who's gut feelings are followed with the picks, with decision-makers trusting the opinions of the position coaches and what they see. Is that enough for the Falcons to go after someone like Zavala? Maybe not, but focusing in on an interior lineman in the third round could be beneficial for the Falcons, who still need an answer at left guard.
LB Daiyan Henley (Washington State)
Take a look as the Atlanta Falcons put in that work for the 2023 season.