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Falcons land Heisman Trophy winner in latest 7-round mock draft

There are still three games left in the 2023 season, but it’s clear the Atlanta Falcons need to find a new quarterback this offseason. The Desmond Ridder experiment has not worked out and if Arthur Smith is lucky enough to return in 2024, the team will almost certainly address the QB position.

At 6-8, the Falcons are currently slotted for the 10th overall pick in the 2024 draft. In our latest seven-round mock draft, the team finally bites the bullet and picks a quarterback in the top 10.

Round 1, Pick 10: QB Jayden Daniels - LSU

Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports
Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports

The 2023 Heisman Trophy winner has all the traits that NFL teams look for in a franchise quarterback. LSU’s Jayden Daniels has size, speed, arm strength, accuracy, and consistently elite production. Daniels passed for 3,812 yards, 40 touchdowns and four interceptions this season, while rushing for another 1,134 yards and 10 touchdowns on the ground.

Round 2, Pick 42: EDGE Jonah Elliss - Utah

Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports
Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports

The Falcons took a chance on Kaden Elliss in free agency last offseason and it paid off big time. Why not take a chance on Kaden’s brother, Jonah Elliss, in the second round? The Utah edge rusher had a stellar season, finishing with 13 sacks, 24 hurries and a pass-rush grade of 90.1.

Round 3, Pick 74: WR Johnny Wilson - FSU

Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports
Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports

Mack Hollins’ contract is up after the season and the Falcons don’t have a ton of depth at the wide receiver position behind Drake London. Florida State’s Johnny Wilson would give the team another big target on the outside for rookie QB Jayden Daniels to throw to. With London, Wilson, Kyle Pitts and Bijan Robinson on offense, the team would be set up for success for years to come.

Round 4, Pick 110: SS Jaden Hicks - Washington State

Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports
Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

The Falcons secondary has made strides this season, but there’s still some uncertainty surrounding a few positions. Washington State’s Jaden Hicks put together the best year of his collegiate career in 2023, recording 64 tackles, two interceptions and a PFF coverage grade of 82.8. Hicks would add some competition to the strong safety spot and potentially develop into a starter alongside Jessie Bates.

Round 5, Pick 147: CB Kris Adams-Draine - Missouri

<a class="link " href="https://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/players/33535" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:Jordan;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">Jordan</a> Prather-USA TODAY Sports
Jordan Prather-USA TODAY Sports

Missouri cornerback Kris Adams-Draine may have to move to the slot at the next level but his coverage skills should have several teams interested. In 2023, he recorded four interceptions and finished with a PFF coverage grade of 89.5 for the Tigers.

Round 6, Pick 188: DL Keith Randolph Jr. - Illinois

(Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images)
(Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images)

Calais Campbell is 37 years old, David Onyemata is 31, and Grady Jarrett (30) is coming off of a serious injury. The Falcons need to find some young interior defensive linemen to add to the rotation. Illinois defensive tackle Keith Randolph Jr. would be a good option on Day 3 of the draft.

Round 6, Pick 204: OT Jack Nelson - Wisconsin

MARK HOFFMAN/MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL / USA TODAY NETWORK
MARK HOFFMAN/MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL / USA TODAY NETWORK

Jake Matthews has been a steady force for the last decade, but the team would benefit from a good developmental backup. Wisconsin’s Jack Nelson has plenty of starting experience and has excelled as a pass-blocker.

Round 7, Pick 231: WR Jacob Cowing - Arizona

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Wide receiver depth is still an issue, even after drafting Johnny Wilson in the third round. Arizona’s Jacob Cowing would be a good addition as someone who could immediately contribute in the slot. With 17 touchdowns and 1,750 receiving yards combined over the last two seasons, Cowing is worthy of a late-round flier at the very least.

Round 7, Pick 247: LB Nathaniel Watson - Mississippi State

Maria Lysaker-USA TODAY Sports
Maria Lysaker-USA TODAY Sports

Watson is too good to pass up here in the seventh round. He can do a little bit of everything and would immediately contribute on special teams. The Mississippi State linebacker finished the season with 71 tackles and an interception.

PFF grades our mock draft

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Story originally appeared on Falcons Wire