The only thing slightly more obnoxious than mock drafts during the offseason are post-draft grades given out before the players have even signed their contracts.
If you want content in May, though, you can’t get picky about it. Once the Falcons made their final pick Saturday, the grades came flying in. Have a look at what different NFL analysts had to say about Atlanta’s 2022 draft class below.
Pro Football Focus Grade: A
“Ridder was seen as a fringe first-round quarterback, but the NFL evidently doesn’t like this class. He is a steal at No. 74 overall. He has the best processing of any of this year’s quarterbacks and boasts legitimate speed and athleticism with a solid arm. His accuracy is an issue (adjusted completion rate of just 72% for his career), but he has real starting potential on a team with no long-term starter in place.
A massively experienced player with five seasons of college production under his belt, Malone can rush the passer and bring power to the table despite being undersized. He was impressive at the Senior Bowl and has added some bulk during the pre-draft process. He had 180 total pressures across five years in college, never grading lower than 74.8 overall.“
Draft Wire Grade: B
“The Falcons got tired of watching Mike Evans dominate them in the NFC South, so they went out and got their own version in USC WR Drake London, who has similar traits and fills a huge need. Penn State EDGE Arnold Ebiketie was a perfect blend of need and value in the second round, while Montana State LB Troy Andersen is athletic but still plenty raw.
Ridder was a huge bargain, and can be their quarterback of the future. BYU RB Tyler Allgeier and Western Kentucky EDGE DeAngelo Malone are both underrated, productive players who should make an impact. Georgia OL Justin Shaeffer’s experience in the SEC was a solid grab in the sixth round to bolster their depth in the offensive trenches.“
Touchdown Wire Grade: A-
“The Falcons came into the 2022 draft with very little at receiver, and only second-year tight end Kyle Pitts to present any sort of real threat to enemy defenders. That changes now with the pick of London — if you’re high on his potential, he’s the next Mike Evans. If you’re concerned about his ability to separate, maybe he’s late-career Anquan Boldin.
Either way, it’s a need filled. Another need filled was at the edge, with the selection of Arnold Ebiketie, one of the most underrated disruptors in this class. Troy Anderson, an athletic linebacker, will try to fill the spot left by Foyesade Oluokun, and could do so over time. Tyler Allgeier, the BYU back, brings Marion Barber to mind as a pure power runner. The most interesting pick may have been Desmond Ridder, who fell to Atlanta as the draft quarterbacks plummeted down the board.“
USA TODAY's Nate Davis: C-
“Considering how important this draft likely is to their anticipated resurrection – including less-than-face-value picks they got for WR Julio Jones (2nd) and QB Matt Ryan (3rd) – the results feel a little … meh? WR Drake London at No. 8 might be the next Mike Evans, moving the chains and terrorizing the red zone. But he’s unlikely to be a game breaker, and those kind of receivers seemed to be on the table.
And there simply appear to be a lot of bets on upside here with a one-year wonder like Penn State DE Arnold Ebiketie and mid-rounders lacking Power Five bona fides. One was QB Desmond Ridder. Maybe the Cincinnati star blossoms while marinating behind Marcus Mariota … or maybe he becomes part of a roster that may still lack the foundational pieces it really needed to add.“
The Washington Post's Mark Maske: B
“There’s plenty to like but also room for questioning. Taking WR Drake London at No. 8 was acceptable, although some would argue Garrett Wilson should have been the first receiver off the board. Getting pass rusher Arnold Ebiketie in the second round was justified. The Falcons were wise to end the draft’s QB drought in the third round by choosing Desmond Ridder. He could become an alternative to new starter Marcus Mariota, but many will wonder whether Atlanta should have gone with Malik Willis.“
SI's Conor Orr: B-
“I think Drake London will be a really good NFL player, and maybe the Falcons have the capabilities to use him right now. Both Marcus Mariota and Ridder are on-time throwers who succeed more regularly with a defined system. But London can reward quarterbacks who can buy themselves time, re-set and throw the deep ball, which Mariota and Ridder can both do. Ridder was especially impressive in finding more time within tight spaces.“
NFL.com's Chad Reuter: B+
“The combination of London and Kyle Pitts should give a needed boost to the Falcons’ passing game. General manager Terry Fontenot addressed the team’s other major need on Day 2, strengthening a poor pass rush with Ebiketie and Malone, while also landing an athletic second-level defender in Andersen and smartly nabbing a potential future starter in Ridder.
Allgeier’s a solid pick but they could have met other needs with their first Day 3 selection. Shaffer lumbers a bit but can move the line of scrimmage. FitzPatrick wasn’t used enough at Georgia but has the potential to be a fine pass-catcher. Their defensive tackle group could use a strong undrafted free agent addition.”
ESPN's Mel Kiper: B+
Relative Athletic Score ranking: 5th
— Kent Lee Platte (@MathBomb) April 30, 2022
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