Falcons trade down for defensive help in PFF’s new mock draft

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Deen Worley
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On Monday, it was reported by Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer that the Atlanta Falcons have been in “exploratory talks” to potentially trade out of the No. 4 pick, but that shouldn’t surprise anyone considering the team’s lack of roster depth. Ever since the San Francisco 49ers’ blockbuster move to jump up from No. 12 to No. 3, NFL analysts seem to expect the Falcons to move down.

Ben Linsey of Pro Football Focus released a new mock draft that has Atlanta passing on Kyle Pitts, DeVonta Smith, Ja’Marr Chase and Trey Lance. Instead, Linsey has the team trading down to the Denver Broncos’ No. 9 selection and picking Alabama cornerback Patrick Surtain.

“Most of Atlanta’s pressing needs come on the defensive side of the football, but there isn’t a defensive prospect who makes a ton of sense as a top-five pick in this draft class. Surtain becomes much more interesting here for the Falcons after trading back with Denver.

Neither Isaiah Oliver nor Kendall Sheffield has impressed early on. Surtain brings three years of high-level production in the SEC, consistent technique and high-end athleticism to the table. Pairing Surtain with A.J. Terrell would give the Falcons two cornerbacks to get excited about heading into 2021 in Dean Pees’ defense.”

As pro days have come and gone, many Falcons fans have become enamored with the idea of the Falcons selecting Florida tight end Kyle Pitts. However, Pitts is more of a luxury selection, when Atlanta truly needs to add defensive help.

If the team truly wishes to address defense first with in the first round, then trading back is the only viable solution as there isn’t a defensive prospect highly enough rated to justify taking with the No. 4 overall pick.

Surtain brings SEC competition and NFL bloodlines. His father, Patrick Surtain Sr., was selected in the second round of the 1998 draft and spent 11 seasons in the NFL — seven with the Dolphins, four with the Chiefs. The Falcons would pair Surtain with A.J. Terrell, giving the team two viable outside corners.

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