Monday, February 21, 2022

Atlanta Falcons 2022 NFL Mock Draft Roundup 4.0

Throughout the year and leading up to the 2022 NFL Draft, we will update our Atlanta Falcons Mock Draft Roundup showing picks for the Atlanta Falcons from several prominent sites and draft analysts.

The following are picks in recent mock drafts for the Falcons:

SI - Kevin Hanson (2/17)

8. Derek Stingley Jr., CB, LSU

Following his 2019 true freshman season, Stingley seemed destined to be the CB1 lock in this draft class, but he has played only 10 games since then and not at the same elite level. One of the youngest prospects in the draft (he turns 21 in June), the former five-star recruit has prototypical size and length, and elite athleticism and ball skills. If he reaches his potential at the next level, the duo of A.J. Terrell and Stingley will make it extremely difficult for opposing quarterbacks.

Yahoo! Sports - Eric Edholm (2/17)

8. Ahmad Gardner, CB, Cincinnati

The Falcons are in an interesting spot here, with no obvious pairing jumping out. But assuming they add pass-rush help in free agency, getting some depth at corner might not be a bad idea. Gardner and A.J. Terrell could make a very tough pair to throw against on the outside.

Draft Wire - Luke Easterling (2/17)

8. Charles Cross, OT, Mississippi State

The Falcons could go in one of many different directions here, but you can never go wrong when you prioritize overall value and quality offensive line talent. Cross is barely scratching the surface of his potential, and was battle-tested against some of the nation's best competition in the SEC.

ESPN - Todd McShay (2/16)

8. Drake London, WR, USC

A team has used top-10 picks on pass-catchers in back-to-back drafts three times since 1967, so this might seem odd for a roster that just went 7-10. But the offense could lose five of the eight players who had at least 70 receiving yards last season to free agency, and it's possible the Falcons additionally look to trade Calvin Ridley, who played in five games last year while taking time off to focus on his mental health. London, meanwhile, was on his way to a massive campaign for USC before breaking his right ankle in October. He's a 6-foot-5 target who has the body control and contact balance to make plays over the middle, the speed to produce vertically and the instincts to create against different defensive looks.

The Falcons passed on a strong QB class at No. 4 last April to draft tight end Kyle Pitts, but it might decide to go that route now. Matt Ryan is their guy for 2022, but if they fall in love with one of the signal-callers, it's a good spot to draft an heir to sit and learn behind Ryan. Perhaps Pitt's Kenny Pickett could fit.

Fox Sports - Rob Rang (2/16)

8. Jermaine Johnson, EDGE, Florida State

The Falcons finished dead last in the NFL in sacks in 2021, and it wasn't close, as they took down opposing quarterbacks just 18 times in 17 games (the Eagles were next on the list with 29 sacks). With the top-rated edge rushers (Hutchinson and Thibodeaux) long gone by this point, Atlanta faces a fascinating decision here, as this class is talented and deep but not limitless.

The Falcons certainly know Johnson well, as he signed as a highly touted prep with the Georgia Bulldogs before transferring and starring at Florida State and, more recently, in the Senior Bowl.

USA Today - Nate Davis (2/15)

8. David Ojabo, EDGE, Michigan

A native of Nigeria who grew up in Scotland, he had one tackle as a sophomore in 2020, so bit of an understatement to deem Ojabo raw. But what a breakout during his junior year, when the 6-5, 250-pounder erupted for 11 sacks -- though it certainly didn't hurt playing opposite Hutchinson. Atlanta, which hasn't had a player register even five sacks in the past two seasons, desperately needs a player who can bring the heat. The Falcons' 18 sacks in 2021 were 11 fewer than the next-worst team. And given they're in a bit of a rebuild situation, Ojabo should have a grace period to refine his skills.

The Ringer - Danny Kelly (2/15)

8. Tyler Linderbaum, IOL, Iowa

If the Falcons want to get the most out of Matt Ryan's final year or two with the team, they've got to do a better job of keeping him upright in the pocket. Linderbaum is a plug-and-play starter for this offense who would provide a boost to both the passing game and ground attack.

The Draft Scout - Matt Miller (2/14)

8. Malik Willis, QB, Liberty

The Falcons are the ideal situation for Malik Willis to thrive given the presence of Matt Ryan for the 2022 season. Willis can learn, acclimate and improve on a plan very similar to the one put in place for Trey Lance by the San Francisco 49ers. His arm talent and elusiveness as a runner are electric. - Chad Reuter (2/14)

8. David Ojabo, EDGE, Michigan

Ojabo is just scratching the surface of his potential as a pass rusher, but he's not so raw that he can't make an impact as a rookie.

PFF - Mike Renner (2/14)

8. Derek Stingley Jr., CB, LSU

Pairing Stingley with A.J. Terrell would give the Falcons defense remarkable potential. Terrell is already one of the best shut-down corners in the league, while Stingley has been the same at the collegiate level. Over his college career, the LSU product broke up or picked off 26 of his 129 targets in coverage.

MORE TEAMS: All NFL Team Mock Draft Roundups

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