NFC South’s first round went well enough to worry Saints

dbrown2
Sep 30, 2016; Seattle, WA, USA; Stanford Cardinal running back Christian McCaffrey (5) rushes the ball against the Washington Huskies during the second half at Husky Stadium. Washington won 44-6. Mandatory Credit: Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 30, 2016; Seattle, WA, USA; Stanford Cardinal running back Christian McCaffrey (5) rushes the ball against the Washington Huskies during the second half at Husky Stadium. Washington won 44-6. Mandatory Credit: Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports /
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
2 of 5
Next
Apr 27, 2017; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Takkarist McKinley (UCLA) is selected as the number 26 overall pick to the Atlanta Falcons in the first round the 2017 NFL Draft at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 27, 2017; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Takkarist McKinley (UCLA) is selected as the number 26 overall pick to the Atlanta Falcons in the first round the 2017 NFL Draft at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports /

Atlanta Falcons

Round 1, Pick 26: Takkarist McKinley, DE, UCLA
Round 3, Pick 75: Duke Riley, LB, LSU
Round 4, Pick 136: Sean Harlow, G, Oregon State
Round 5, Pick 149: Damontae Kazee, CB, San Diego State
Round 5, Pick 156: Brian Hill, RB, Wyoming
Round 5, Pick 174: Eric Saubert, TE, Drake

After appearing in Super Bowl LI, the Falcons seemed like a team with a near-perfect roster. An unstoppable offense mixed with an athletic and gritty defense. Those were almost solidified when they went up 28-3 against the Patriots late in the 3rd quarter. Then, Tom Brady led New England to the biggest come from behind victory in Super Bowl history. The problems for Atlanta had never shined brighter.

Their biggest problems lay in pressuring the quarterback, which they addressed right away in this draft. Takkarist McKinley, the stand out pass rusher from UCLA, was selected 26th overall by Atlanta. The Falcons originally had the 31st overall pick, but swapped with Seattle in a draft-night trade to pick McKinley. The maneuver not only bolstered Atlanta’s front-7, but the Falcons were also able to keep McKinely from falling into the hands of other defensive end-hungry teams (notably Pittsburgh and New Orleans).

Riley was another great-value pick. He thrived at LSU and will give great depth (and potentially become a seasoned starter) to this Atlanta team. Kazee and Hill are also considered steals, solidifying an already impressive roster. Be very weary of the Falcons, Saints fans. They have huge chips on their shoulders, and have only gotten better after last year’s dominance.

facebooktwitterreddit