- Oops!Something went wrong.Please try again later.
With three of the first 60 picks in the 2022 NFL draft, the Atlanta Falcons should be able to find a few immediate contributors for next season. In terms of roster needs, almost every position could use an upgrade, or at least a serious infusion of depth.
Round 1 (8): IOL Tyler Linderbaum - Iowa
Joseph Cress/Iowa City Press-Citizen – USA TODAY
When you see who’s available at No. 8, Linderbaum makes sense because he’s a top-10 talent who can step in right away, while also providing long-term stability at a crucial position. Center was an issue for Atlanta last season following Alex Mack’s departure. Matt Hennessy, the team’s third-round pick in 2020, had a tough time taking over for Mack.
Round 2 (40): EDGE Jermaine Johnson II - FSU
(AP Photo/Butch Dill)
The Falcons have needed a productive edge rusher for some time, and with Dante Fowler Jr. likely on his way out, Florida State’s Jermaine Johnson has the tools to potentially be that long-term answer. After a productive Senior Bowl performance that wowed NFL scouts, Johnson’s stock is climbing around the league.
Jermaine Johnson is a certified stud, just absurd rep after absurd rep, it will be impressive when someone is able to stop him. Here he makes Paul (who has also had a good first day!) look silly with the inside move!b #SeniorBowl pic.twitter.com/WSck1UvgMQ
— Ben Glassmire (@BenGlassmireNFL) February 3, 2022
Round 2 (58): DB Jalen Pitre - Baylor
Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports
Pitre is another player that had a solid showing at the Senior Bowl. The Baylor safety does a lot of things well and would give Dean Pees another versatile chess piece that’s both physical and solid in pass coverage. Atlanta drafted Richie Grant in the second round last year, but he struggled early and played better after moving to the nickel spot later in the season.
— Baylor Football (@BUFootball) February 5, 2022
Round 3 (72): WR Jalen Tolbert - South Alabama
Bryan Lynn-USA TODAY Sports
This 6-foot-3, 190-pound speedster has both the explosiveness and catch radius to make the NFL leap successfully. Wide receiver is obviously a huge need for the Falcons — and potentially their biggest with Calvin Ridley’s uncertain future. Tolbert was a stud at South Alabama, averaging 18 yards per catch with 1,474 receiving yards and eight touchdowns in 2021.
— Mary Kay Cabot (@MaryKayCabot) February 1, 2022
Round 4 (110): RB James Cook - Georgia
Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports
Georgia fans don’t need to be reminded of Cook’s value after the running played a key role in the team’s National Championship run. The brother of Vikings running back Dalvin Cook, James has a lot of the same attributes as a runner. With elite top-end speed, Cook could be a nice change-of-pace back and weapon on third downs, especially if the team loses Cordarrelle Patterson in free agency.
— Def Pen Sports (@DefPenSports) January 1, 2022
Round 5 (148): DL Neil Farrell Jr. - LSU
Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports
The Falcons have needs at more than just the edge position on defense. Grady Jarrett is a force, but few other defensive linemen on this roster did a whole lot in 2021. In the fifth round, we have Atlanta grabbing LSU’s Neil Farrell Jr., a powerful nose tackle that can also rush the passer.
Nice win here by LSU DT Neil Farrell Jr. pic.twitter.com/grgYxQD5a8
— Marcus Mosher (@Marcus_Mosher) February 2, 2022
Round 6 (186): OT Logan Bruss - Wisconsin
Mark Hoffman / Milwaukee Journal Sentinel-USA TODAY NETWORK
Versatile, tough and a good zone blocker, Wisconsin’s Logan Bruss could provide depth at three positions. He played right tackle in 2021 after spending 2020 at guard. Bruss is a more than a capable run blocker and while he isn’t great in pass protection, the Badgers lineman hasn’t allowed a sack in two seasons.
Aidan Hutchinson is a good football player but @LoganBruss (RT, #60) annihilated him here. Gotta love the late push getting off the ground too. That’s the way to any former offensive lineman’s heart. pic.twitter.com/0yneWHl9FC
— Ryan Roberts (@RiseNDraft) May 7, 2020
Round 6 (217): RB Kennedy Brooks - Oklahoma
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Brooks is coming off a wildly productive season for Oklahoma in 2021, finishing with 1,255 rushing yards on 6.4 yards per carry and 13 touchdowns. Even after drafting a lightning quick back like Cook earlier, Brooks brings more of a power-running style that Arthur Smith could utilize well in Atlanta’s offense.
KENNEDY BROOKS WINS IT FOR THE SOONERS.
Instant classic. pic.twitter.com/X1leBrk6D4
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) October 9, 2021
Round 7 (225): S Markquese Bell - Florida A&M
Tori Lynn Schneider/Tallahassee Democrat-Imagn Content Services, LLC
At this point, you just want someone that can add depth and hopefully has a little upside. The Falcons would be getting that and then some with Bell. With both Duron Harmon and Erik Harris potentially on the way out, Atlanta needs bodies at defensive back.
Every time I watch #FAMU Safety Markquese Bell play, I’m blown away with his instincts, range and closing burst. Phenomenal angle and attack on the ball on the first play on the deep post, and gets to mesh point in a hurry on second play.
Easily of my favorite 2022 prospects. pic.twitter.com/gkxheEQfkk
— Devin Jackson (@RealD_Jackson) January 6, 2022