The Falcons have endless needs to address in the upcoming NFL draft and adding a cornerback is one of them.
Falcons’ digital managing editor and team insider, Matthew Tabeek, posted his 9th NFL mock draft of the season. With the Falcons’ first-round pick at No. 4 overall, Tabeek has Atlanta trading back with the Denver Broncos to No. 9 and selecting cornerback Patrick Surtain II.
“The Falcons trade back, land the top cornerback in this class and also pick up a second- and third-round pick this year (which will come in handy several picks later)”, Tabeek wrote. By the time training camp rolls around, the back end of the Falcons defense will look very different – and for good reason. Atlanta surrendered a lot of big plays (only the Lions allowed more total completions of 15-plus yards) and needs to inject more talent to go along with A.J. Terrell, a budding star. The Falcons add Patrick Surtain II, who many scouts and draft analysts consider the top cornerback prospect in this class. Pairing Surtain and Terrell together would go a long way in turning that defense around under Dean Pees and his “multiple but simple” defensive philosophy.
Yes, the Falcons drafted cornerback AJ Terrell in the first round of last year’s draft, but Terrell ended up being their only “go-to” as a reliable starter in the lineup.
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Patrick Surtain II’s Scouting Report
As a 6’2″ 202 pound corner, Surtain has been starting on Nick Saban’s defense since he was a true freshman. The, now, junior played in all 40 games with 38 consecutive starts for the Crimson Tide and recorded 116 tackles, 6 for a loss, four interceptions, and 24 passes defended, along with three forced fumbles.
This past season, Surtain was named unanimous All-American and won SEC Defensive Player of the Year, recording 37 tackles, 3.5 for a loss, an interception, and nine passes defended.
The Draft Network sums up Patrick’s talents and flaws in his scouting report nothing that football also runs deep in the Surtain family as Patrick Surtain II is the son of 10-year pro and three-time Pro Bowl cornerback, Patrick Surtain, who spent 11 seasons in the NFL.
“Patrick Surtain II is a highly touted cornerback for the Crimson Tide. A former 5-star recruit and coveted player, he’s been a three-year starter for Alabama. The son of former Miami Dolphins and Kansas City Chiefs corner Patrick Surtain, he has the DNA and football genes of a former successful NFL player. The junior cornerback’s length, discipline, and mild-mannered playing style are the best attributes of his game. Surtain II’s deep speed will be the biggest question that he will need to answer on the next level as there have been some occurrences of where he’s surrendered throws into the deeper portions of the field.”
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Addressing Atlanta Falcons Draft Needs
To get “more bang for their buck” the Falcons’ best bet will be to trade back. Several analysts have Atlanta drafting one of the several top quarterback prospects at No. 4, but if they plan on having Matt Ryan starting this season, it’s better for them to address their other needs first.
The Falcons currently have nine draft picks and trading back with another team could potentially give them three more in this year’s draft, according to Tabeek. That’s plenty of capital to fill their top needs.
They’ll likely turn to a quarterback in the second round, heck, even the third round would have some prized possessions at the signal-caller position. But, they’ll also need to draft an edge, offensive line help, tight end, running back, possibly another wide receiver, and then more offensive line depth.
However, Terry Fontenot‘s plan is to draft the “best available” on the board at the time and dismiss the idea of “needs” so we’ll see what Atlanta comes up with. Let’s just hope it’s more effective than last year’s draft.