It’s nothing new that the Atlanta Falcons have endless holes to fill on their roster heading into the 2022 NFL Draft.
And one of their biggest needs for improvement (and bodies) is the Falcons’ pass rush, which finished dead last for total sacks in 2021 with just 18. Not to mention that the Falcons recently parted ways with last year’s team sack leader, Dante Fowler, and the only rusher under contract for next year is 2021 rookie Ade Ogundeji, who finished last season with one sack, and newly signed free agent edge, Lorenzo Carter. Meanwhile, Steven Means and Brandon Copeland remain free agents, which means the team will continue to address this need through free agency and in the draft be come April.
In fact, according to The Falcoholic’s Kevin Knight, the Falcons already have at least one edge on the radar in the University of Texas at San Antonio’s (UTSA) Charles Wiley.
Knight reported on March 28, per an anonymous source, that the Falcons have “shown significant interest” in Wiley and that the team is “really intrigued” by his skillset. He adds that Wiley has been invited to attend the Falcons’ local Pro Day.
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Wiley Shined at UTSA’s Pro Day
At 6’3”, 255 pounds, Wiley showed off his speed and athleticism during UTSA’s pro day where he ran a 4.51 40-yard dash and had 27 reps of 225 pounds on the bench press
In his last two collegiate seasons playing for the Roadrunners, Wiley started 25 of the 26 while recording 79 tackles, 19.0 tackles for loss, 5.5 sacks, 2 passed defended, 3 fumble recoveries, plus a defensive touchdown.
Prior to transferring to UTSA as a redshirt junior in 2020, he played at Ole Miss where he appeared in 26 games and logged 5.5 sacks and 12 tackles for loss.
If the Falcons continue to pursue the former Rebel, then you will see it come up that Wiley, along with a 21-year-old woman, were arrested in 2016 and charged with domestic violence. The charges ended up being dismissed, according to Antonio Morales of the Clarion-Ledger and Wiley has refrained from any off-field legal issues since then.
Knight considers Wiley a day-three prospect, but if you were to ask Wiley himself, he believes that he’ll go off the boards much higher.
“My work ethic and drive is unmatched,” Wiley said when asked by NFL Draft Diamonds what makes him a top draft prospect. “Regardless of the circumstances, I’m going to outwork the individual that I’m put up against. I’m fast and strong and can apply that to the football field.”
Falcons Sign a Former Dawg
The Falcons began to bolster their pass rush last week on March 21 by signing former 6-foot-5, 255 pounds Georgia Bulldog Lorenzo Carter to a one-year deal.
Carter, 26, was originally a third-round pick by the New York Giants in the 2018 NFL draft.
He saw limited playing time until 2020 when he entered the season as a starting pass rusher, however, a torn Achilles tendon in Week 5 sidelined him for the rest of the year.
Carter returned for the 2021 season but struggled to find any momentum until the final four games of the year as he logged a career-high five sacks, giving the Giants a reason to chase him this offseason.
Through four NFL seasons and 49 games so far, Carter has had 14.5 sacks, 153 tackles and 15 passes defended.