2021 Falcons Mock Draft: Atlanta trades back for play-making TE

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Scott Carasik
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When going over a new mock draft scenario every week, new and interesting situations come up. Today, we explore what it could look like if the Falcons were to trade down and select arguably the best receiving prospect available in the draft in Florida tight end Kyle Pitts.

As always, this was done with the help of The Draft Network’s Mock Draft Machine with premium features.

Trade 1: The Falcons trade No. 4 overall to the Detroit Lions for No. 7 overall, their second round pick (No. 41 overall) and a third round pick (No. 88 overall)

(Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images)

Trading down three spots and picking up a second and third-round pick is a no-brainer for the Falcons. If they get an offer anywhere close to this, the team should jump at it. They don't need to take a quarterback in this draft, and picking up more picks to fix the roster as a whole would be a much smarter move than taking a guy who'd sit on the bench for at least a year.

Round 1, No. 7 overall: TE Kyle Pitts, Florida

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The Falcons could use Kyle Pitts offense and have him play nearly every snap his first season. When he's not lined up as a tight end inline, or as an H-back, he can align as a slot receiver or out wide. The Falcons can instantly get an impact player here and have one of the best receiving corps in the league including tight ends.

Round 2, No. 35 overall: OL Dillon Radunz, North Dakota State

(AP Photo/Rusty Costanza)

Dillon Radunz played left tackle for North Dakota State, but he profiles best as a left guard for the Falcons. This looks good for Arthur Smith as he steals a concept from the Packers of taking a college left tackle and playing him at guard to get better pass protection. With James Carpenter being cut on Tuesday, the Falcons will have a hole at left guard that must be filled.

Round 2, No. 41 overall: RB Javonte Williams, North Carolina

(AP Photo/Karl B DeBlaker)

Trading down to get the extra picks only makes sense when a steal like Javonte Williams is available at the No. 41 overall pick. The great thing about this draft is the top of round two is full of guys who are closer to late first-round talents. At running back, that's especially prevalent this year with guys like Travis Etienne, Williams and Najee Harris.

Round 3, No. 68 overall: CB Ifeatu Melifonwu, Syracuse

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With the Falcons needing some better competition at outside cornerback with Kendall Sheffield not performing that well in 2020, they add Ifeatu Melifonwu here. Melifonwu is a great athlete with insane size for the position at 6-foot-3, 214 pounds. He's got a ton of raw skills but the ceiling for him is immeasurable. He could be the next Richard Sherman.

Round 3, No. 88 overall: S Jevon Holland, Oregon

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Finalizing the trade down with a prospect who can play free safety or strong safety in the scheme Dean Pees is going to run makes too much sense. Jevon Holland is a true ballhawk that can fit in the deep third, be an effective cover two safety and even play the underneath roles that a cover-three and cover-one strong safety can play.

Round 4, No. 108 overall: S Hamsah Nasirildeen, Florida State

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With new defensive coordinator and only one safety on the roster in Jaylinn Hawkins says the Falcons need to draft someone for depth at the very least. Hamsah Nasirildeen is a lot like Holland in that he can play either safety role and be effective. He is reminiscent of former Bengals safety George Iloka in a lot of ways.

Round 5, No. 149 overall: EDGE Daelin Hayes, Notre Dame

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The only true edge defender on the roster right now is Dante Fowler. Adding one is key for the Falcons this offseason. Daelin Hayes from Notre Dame is a pure pass rusher who might be a little raw, but should fit in very well with the new scheme and what Dean Pees wants from his edge defenders. Hayes would instantly have a shot at starting despite being drafted this late.

Round 5, No. 181 overall: WR Cornell Powell, Clemson

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The Falcons could use some good depth at wide receiver behind Russell Gage, Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley. Olamide Zacchaeus is a fun receiver, but there has to be someone more well-rounded in the group than just him. Adding Cornell Powell will help the team go five deep at wide receiver and be as good as any corps in the league.

Round 5, No. 183 overall: EDGE Patrick Johnson, Tulane

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Adding another edge to compete for a starting role would be smart. Having Patrick Johnson available here was just luck. Johnson fits well as a pass rusher for the Falcons' new scheme and even after taking a pure pass rusher like Hayes early in the same round, it never hurts to multiple players that can rush the passer. Continual rotation of pass rushers will only make the team better.

Round 6, No. 189 overall: RB Jaret Patterson, Buffalo

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Yes, the Falcons took a running back earlier in this scenario, but with just Ito Smith and Qadree Ollison under contract, they need another one to round out the roster. Arthur Smith seems like a guy who'd prefer to have four running backs on his final roster. Jaret Patterson was extremely productive for Buffalo during his time there and profiles well to an outside-zone scheme.

Round 6, No. 218 overall: NT Naquan Jones, Michigan State

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The Falcons taking a two-down nose tackle like Naquan Jones in the sixth could look like a steal. Sixth-round picks are ideal for role players who can play two downs and still be effective like Jones will be. He's still extremely raw, but if Atlanta can get the most out of the 6-foot-4, 325-pound former four-star prospect, the team could wind up with the steal of the draft.

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