Even after drafting Vic Beasley in the first round of last year's draft, the Atlanta Falcons still need to address the pass rush. The Falcons were last in the NFL last season in sacks, and haven't done enough to fix that issue this offseason. There's where this draft comes into play. Pass rushers like Leonard Floyd of Georgia and Kevin Dodd of Clemson are still available in this scenario.
Instead of Dodd, Dave Choate of The Falcoholic goes with another Clemson player with this choice.
17. Falcons: Shaq Lawson, DE, Clemson
Choate: The Falcons are starved for pass rushers, as they have been for years, and they need more power, physicality, and effort on their defense. Shaq Lawson should immediately be one of the team’s better pass rushers even as he refines his technique at the pro level and should give the Falcons another potent run stuffer for an improving defensive line.
The team has done an admirable job of adding useful defensive ends, from Derrick Shelby to 2015 Falcon Adrian Clayborn to Courtney Upshaw, who should kick from linebacker to end at times for Atlanta in 2016. What they need is a long-term solution, though, and a player they can pair with Vic Beasley, and I’m hopeful they’ll find that guy in Beasley’s former Clemson teammate.
Analysis: When this mock was playing out behind the scenes, my choice would have been between Lawson and Ohio State linebacker Darron Lee. But considering Atlanta's issues getting after the quarterback, Lawson makes sense.
Dan's Top 5 players remaining
- 11. Darron Lee, LB, Ohio State
- 14. Laquon Treadwell, WR, Ole Miss
- 15. Sheldon Rankins, DT, Louisville
- 16. Reggie Ragland, MLB, Alabama
- 17. Jarran Reed, DT, Alabama
- 1-17: Shaq Lawson, DE, Clemson
- 2-50: (coming April 18)
We have one more pick this week coming up at 3 p.m. Stephen Reed will be here to make the pick for Stampede Blue and the Indianapolis Colts.
Complete draft results:
1. Tennessee Titans - Laremy Tunsil, OT, Ole Miss (Link)
2. Cleveland Browns - Jared Goff, QB, Cal (Link)
3. San Diego Chargers - Jalen Ramsey, DB, Florida State (Link)
4. Dallas Cowboys - Carson Wentz, QB, North Dakota State (Link)
5. Jacksonville Jaguars - Myles Jack, LB, UCLA (Link)
6. Baltimore Ravens - Joey Bosa, DE, Ohio State (Link)
7. San Francisco 49ers - DeForest Buckner, DE, Oregon (Link)
8. Philadelphia Eagles - Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State (Link)
9. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Noah Spence, DE, Eastern Kentucky (Link)
10. New York Giants - Ronnie Stanley, OT, Notre Dame (Link)
11. Chicago Bears - Vernon Hargreaves, CB, Florida (Link)
12. New Orleans Saints - A'Shawn Robinson, DT, Alabama (Link)
13. Miami Dolphins - Eli Apple, CB, Ohio State (Link)
14. Oakland Raiders - Jack Conklin, OT, Michigan State (Link)
15. Los Angeles Rams - Mackensie Alexander, CB, Clemson (Link)
16. Detroit Lions - Taylor Decker, OT, Ohio State