The Atlanta Falcons’ biggest concern right now is their defensive line and if they want to make it to the playoffs in 2020, they’re going to need the best talent they can get on that line.
Fortunately, the Falcons know that and have been taking the time to look at all of their options including Florida Gators’ star defensive end Jonathan Greenard.
According to Draft Wire’s Justin Melo, the Falcons met with the edge via FaceTime:
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Greenard’s Collegiate Career
Greenard still managed to lead the SEC in sacks and tackles for loss last season even after missing playing time due to an ankle injury.
Before transferring to Florida, Greenard spent the beginning of his collegiate career at the University of Louisville. He had quite the season in 2017 recording 7 sacks and 15 tackles for loss. However, he missed the complete 2018 season with a wrist injury. From there, he left Louisville to reunite with his old defensive coordinator, Todd Grantham.
Thanks a bunch to Greenard, Florida had ranked in the top college football defenses last season. In just the first five weeks of the season, Greenard made himself notable accumulating 22 QB pressures.
The 6’4″, 262-pound edge has the starting abilities the Falcons need.
What Experts Say
Crazy enough, Greenard has been compared to Dante Fowler who recently joined the Falcons in free agency.
NFL analyst Lance Zierlein gives his take on Greenard with only one concern:
“Athletic, intelligent edge defender with enticing flashes as both a run defender and pass rusher. Greenard’s plus get-off and ability to bend and corner the edge are predictive traits for success as an NFL rusher but he’ll need a more reliable go-to counter as a pro. He’s tough and aware at the point of attack and plays with consistent leverage and motor. Edge defenders need forceful hands to set edges and open doors as a pass rusher and his hesitation to unleash his right hand after suffering a major wrist injury in 2018 is a concern. If his hesitation is more mental than physical, he should become an eventual starter in either an odd or even front.”
Not the Only Gator the Falcons Have Eyes On
Greenard is projected to go early in the second round meaning the Falcons will look to someone else in the first round.
There is word out there that the Falcons could draft cornerback C.J. Henderson at No. 16 to fill Desmond Trufant’s void. Henderson is also a Florida Gator and the Falcons have no problem playing in the same sandbox.
Henderson stands at 6’1″, 205 pounds. Last season he recorded 33 tackles and 11 pass breakups which led him to receive first-team All-SEC honors.
The Florida Gator proved himself NFL worthy as a junior, but really caught the attention of many scouts at the NFL Combine. He proved to be the most athletic athlete at his position. Henderson ran a 4.39 40-yard dash, had a 37.5-inch vert and he also put up 20 reps on the bench press.
Both Florida Gators would add exceptional value to Atlanta’s defense.
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