Falcons upgrade defensive front in Draft Wire’s 2-round mock

The Atlanta Falcons have done a decent job of stopping the run through the first 10 games, but their defense has allowed more total yards (3,995) than any other team in the NFL this year.

With over $70 million in projected salary cap space to spend during the upcoming offseason, the Falcons will have the opportunity to go after big names in free agency if they so choose. However, the draft remains the most practical way for NFL teams to upgrade their rosters.

Currently, the Falcons’ 4-6 record puts them on pace to land the 12th and 45th overall picks in 2023. In Draft Wire’s new two-round mock, Atlanta uses those picks to select two defensive players, including one from Georgia.

Round 1 (Pick No. 12): DL Bryan Bresee - Clemson

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

“Grady Jarrett is one of the NFL’s best interior defenders, but he can’t do everything himself,” writes Draft Wire’s Luke Easterling. “The Falcons need to give him some help inside, and this situation gives them the perfect opportunity. Bresee has bounced back from last year’s season-ending injury with a strong 2022 season, and would be a great fit here.”

Atlanta could use another big man up front to complement Jarrett and second-year lineman Ta’Quon Graham. Bresee is listed at 6-foot-5, 305 pounds and does appear to be a good potential fit in the middle of the Falcons defense. Thus far in 2022, Bresee has 12 tackles (seven solo) and 2.5 sacks for Clemson.

Highlights: Bresee vs. Georgia (2021)

Round 2 (Pick No. 45): EDGE Nolan Smith - Georgia

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Draft Wire projects the Falcons to do the unthinkable in round two: select a player from Georgia early in the early rounds. The Bulldogs are absolutely loaded yet again, as reflected by their undefeated record and No. 1 overall ranking. Smith, a Savannah, Georgia native, has racked up 14 solo tackles and three sacks this season. Atlanta drafted Arnold Ebiketie in the second round of the 2022 draft, but with Lorenzo Carter on a one-year deal, the team could look to add another edge rusher in 2023.

Highlights: Smith vs. Kentucky (2021)

PFF lists 2 Falcons rookies in top 10

Drake London and Tyler Allgeier were listed among Pro Football Focus’ 10 highest-graded rookies after 10 games. How did London stack up against other first-round wide receivers? Click HERE to find out!

Falcons CB A.J. Terrell to return?

Falcons cornerback A.J. Terrell made his return to practice this week after missing the previous three games due to a hamstring injury. Terrell was limited again on Friday and is officially listed as questionable on the team’s final Week 11 injury report.

[vertical-gallery id=105603]

[listicle id=105487]

[lawrence-related id=105605,105594,105553,105560]

Story originally appeared on Falcons Wire