It’s draft time! We’ve had our experts tell you who will be drafted where, but now it’s time for you to throw on your GM cap and decide for yourself. Each day we will present an argument for each player and why the respective team should pick him. Then, it’s up to you. You make the pick. The next day, we will compile the results, and you can see who is off the board. Disagree with all of the options? Be sure to write in your pick below in the comments section. OK, let’s get into it. The Atlanta Falcons are on the clock.
While several draft analysts have pegged the Falcons as a team that could opt to trade up into the top five, general manager Thomas Dimitroff could take the best player available in the sixth spot. Fresh off a 4-12 season, Atlanta must shore up some of its holes to become competitive in the NFC South.
The team addressed some question marks on the defensive line in free agency by adding defensive tackle Paul Soliai and defensive end Tyson Jackson. They also re-signed veteran defensive linemen Jonathan Babineaux, Corey Peters and Peria Jerry.
The popular pick isn’t always the right one and adding to the offensive line could be an option that proves itself worthy. Another option includes taking the most polished cornerback in the draft.
So, who should the Falcons select with the No. 6 overall pick?
Auburn OT Greg Robinson
Robinson would immediately come in and compete against right tackle Lamar Holmes. With Sam Baker being signed to a lengthy extension, it’s unlikely the team would need Robinson to watch Matt Ryan’s blindside. The 6-foot-5, 332-pound monster is light on his feet and can effortlessly handle a wide array of speed rushers.
Texas A&M OT Jake Matthews
If the Falcons are looking to play it safe, they should opt for Matthews. After playing four seasons in College Station, the 6-foot-5, 308-pound tackle appears to be the most steady selection at No. 2 overall. On top of that he’s a natural athlete, coming from the Matthews bloodline. While he might not have the measurables of Robinson, Matthews is a very fluid athlete and has a lot of room to grow.
Oklahoma State CB Justin Gilbert
The Falcons released veteran cornerback Asante Samuel and have a hole to fill with Dominique Franks not being retained. Gilbert is a ball-hawking cornerback who would instantly improve the secondary. Plug him in opposite Desmond Trufant and defensive coordinator Mike Nolan has some pieces to build around in the secondary.
North Carolina TE Eric Ebron
A tight end in the top 10? Ask San Francisco 49ers tight end Vernon Davis how that worked out. Ebron, who average 17 yards a catch during his three-year career in Chapel Hill, has the size and speed combination to excel in the league. If the Falcons add another dynamic pass catcher, it would ease future Hall of Famer Tony Gonzalez’s retirement.
UCLA LB Anthony Barr
If Nolan wants to add another impact pass rusher, he need not look further than Barr. The 6-foot-4, 250-pound linebacker has met with the Falcons during the draft process and has the natural bend and athleticism to give opposing offensive linemen a headache.