The Atlanta Falcons found themselves in a unique position entering the 2022 NFL Draft. Their needs? Every position. That made it easy for them in the early rounds of the draft, where they were be able to draft the best player available.
The Falcons are a team in complete rebuild, which made the NFL Draft the most exciting part of their season. It’s going to be a long year for Atlanta fans, but if built right, the future could be bright in Georgia.
Falcons NFL Draft Picks 2022
- Round 1, Pick 8 (8th Overall): Drake London, WR, USC
- Round 2, Pick 6 (38th Overall): Arnold Ebiketie, EDGE, Penn State
- Round 2, Pick 26 (58th Overall): Troy Andersen, LB, Montana State
- Round 3, Pick 10 (74th Overall): Desmond Ridder, QB, Cincinnati
- Round 3, Pick 18 (82nd Overall): DeAngelo Malone, EDGE, Western Kentucky
- Round 5, Pick 8 (151st Overall): Tyler Allgeier, RB, BYU
- Round 6, Pick 11 (190th Overall): Justin Shaffer, G, Georgia
- Round 6, Pick 35th (213rd Overall): John FitzPatrick, TE, Georgia
The Atlanta Falcons have one of the worst rosters in the NFL. After letting Matt Ryan go to the Indianapolis Colts for a third-round pick, the Falcons are clearly in a full rebuild and could very well end up finishing with one of the worst records in the league this season.
After signing Marcus Mariota to a two-year deal, it was clear the Falcons would target a quarterback in the draft. Quarterbacks fell a bit in this draft, as the Falcons were able to land Cincinnati’s Desmond Ridder with the 74th overall pick.
Ridder is known to be a potentially erratic passer and struggles with his accuracy. He also has some questionable footwork, which is something that can be worked on with time. I’d expect Mariota to start the season under center as Ridder works and learns, but wouldn’t be shocked to see Ridder named the starter at some point.
The Falcons used their first-round pick to take Drake London, the first wide receiver off the board in the draft. Atlanta now has a young, talented wide receiver in London to pair with their stud tight end Kyle Pitts.
With the uncertainty around Calvin Ridley‘s future and losing after Russell Gage to the division rival Buccaneers, this is a step in the right direction but this offense still has a ton of work to do.
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Note: The Falcons NFL Draft predictions below were published before the 2022 NFL Draft.
Pre-Draft Falcons NFL Mock Draft Predictions 2022
- Round 1, Pick 8 (8th Overall): Garrett Wilson, WR, Ohio State
- Round 2, Pick 11 (43rd Overall): Cameron Thomas, EDGE, San Diego State
- Round 2, Pick 26 (58th Overall): Isaiah Spiller, RB, Texas A&M
- Round 3, Pick 10 (74th Overall): Marcus Jones, CB, Houston
- Round 3, Pick 18 (82nd Overall): Alec Pierce, WR, Cincinnati
More Possible Falcons Draft Targets: Travon Walker, EDGE, Georgia; Malik Willis, QB, Liberty; Drake London, WR, USC; Jameson Williams, WR, Alabama; Breece Hall, RB, Iowa State; Sam Howell, QB, UNC
Pre-Draft Falcons Team Needs 2022
1. Wide Receiver
Atlanta’s main offseason move was trading franchise quarterback Matt Ryan to the Indianapolis Colts and signing Marcus Mariota to a two-year contract. Mariota cannot be anything more than a bridge quarterback, and at the moment, does not have many offensive weapons to throw the ball to.
With star wideout Calvin Ridley suspended for the entire season and Russell Gage signing with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Olamide Zaccheaus finds himself atop the Falcons WR depth chart.
2. EDGE Rusher
On the other side of the ball, the Falcons were incapable of getting to opposing quarterbacks last season. They were dead-last in the league in sack percentage (3.03%) and sacks per game (1.1). The team could really use another edge rusher opposite Grady Jarrett to improve their pass rush for the future.
As mentioned earlier, the Falcons’ 2022 season is looking incredibly bleak. Next year’s quarterback class is projected to be much better than this one, and the Falcons could look to tank for their next franchise signal-caller instead of spending premium draft capital on a new one this season.
With that said, that doesn’t mean it’s not one of their most glaring needs.
Falcons May Also Consider Drafting: Offensive Line, Running Back, Cornerback