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ATL News / Sports

Notable draft analysts mock Falcons taking receivers with 1st round pick

The Falcons have a few glaring needs on the roster. After trading Matt Ryan, Atlanta obviously needs another franchise quarterback. Marcus Mariota will be a decent stopgap, but he might be throwing to the worst receiving core in football. The Calvin Ridley suspension and Russell Gage signing with the Bucs have completely decimated the unit.

That’s not even mentioning the fact the Falcons can’t pressure opposing quarterbacks or protect their own. So, their first-round pick will likely fill a position of need despite Terry Fontenot’s desire to draft the best player available. Most draft analysts have the Falcons selecting a playmaker at the receiver position.

  • WR Garrett Wilson, Ohio State

“Adding a polished route-runner to the lineup to complement Kyle Pitts should help the Falcons’ passing game flourish with Marcus Mariota at the helm.”

Daniel Jeremiah, NFL.com

  • WR Garrett Wilson, Ohio State

The Matt Ryan era is over, so this could be a landing spot for a quarterback. However, Marcus Mariota is a serviceable option. And in the wake of Calvin Ridley’s suspension and Russell Gage’s relocation to Tampa, the Falcons have a desperate need for a wide receiver.”

  •  WR Garrett Wilson, Ohio State

So long, Matt Ryan. That means the Falcons will go with a quarterback here, right? Not necessarily. They have one of the league’s worst rosters and could try to get by with Marcus Mariota for a season before going all-in for a passer in the 2023 draft. There’s no guarantee they love Malik Willis or Kenny Pickett enough to take one of them with a top-10 pick. And based on where they are in my rankings — Nos. 19 and 20 — I wouldn’t, either. This is a team that is a long ways from competing, so it shouldn’t force the pick.

Atlanta could go with the best prospect available and fill a need position with Wilson, a field-stretcher who had 113 catches and 18 touchdowns for the Buckeyes over the past two seasons. He ran a speedy 4.38-second 40-yard dash at the combine. With Calvin Ridley suspended for the season, the Falcons don’t have any starting-caliber receivers on their roster to catch Mariota’s passes.”

Maurice Jones-Drew, NFL.com

With the suspension of Calvin Ridley and the relocation of Russell Gage, the Falcons must add to the receiving corps. How about the best wideout in this draft?”

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