Atlanta Falcons 2022 NFL Draft Recap

Atlanta Falcons 2022 NFL Draft Recap

by May 3, 2022 0 comments

The Atlanta Falcons entered the 2022 NFL Draft needing to make improvements to both sides of the ball. They did just that by selecting five players for their offense and three for their defense. In an offseason of craziness for the Falcons in which they suffered losing their starting quarterback, Matt Ryan, and starting receiver, Calvin Ridley they needed to make a statement in this draft. The statement was made right away in the first round and continued with the rest of their draft.

Make sure to check out all of our other NFL Draft Recaps.

Best Pick: Drake London (Round 1, Pick 8)

Heading into the draft it was obvious the Falcons had to find a way to add a receiver to a corps that has been decimated over the last couple of years. Most people viewed the Falcons as favorites to take Garrett Wilson or even Jameson Williams. Most scouts and analysts around the league viewed London as the third-best receiver in this class, some even had him as the fourth-best, behind Chris Olave. However, adding a big-bodied, physical force of a receiver to pair with Kyle Pitts only makes sense and can turn into a lethal one-two punch over the next couple of years. Marcus Mariota now has his target that he can simply throw the ball up to and count on to come down with the contested catches.

Grade: A-

For more on London, check out our scouting report on him.

Worst Pick: John FitzPatrick (Round 6, Pick 213)

Adding a tight end was not necessarily a huge need for the Falcons to address, already having Pitts and Anthony Firkser. However, the Falcons did not slip up much in this draft, but this pick only comes in as their worst pick due to the run on tight ends in the fourth and fifth rounds. It would have been nice to see them target a tight end around round five, but no harm was done. Tight ends began to fly off the board and adding a guy like FitzPatrick does not harm as he will slot in as the possible third or fourth tight end. Ultimately, the Falcons nailed most if not every aspect of this draft so it’s tough looking at their draft and knocking it in any manner. 

Grade: C-

Sleeper Pick: Desmond Ridder (Round 3, Pick 74)

It’s obvious that quarterback was a need entering the draft, but the mystery was, will they take one? If they do, which one will it be? Ridder comes into Atlanta as the perfect pick to battle it out with Mariota and even has the opportunity to come in and steal the job. Ridder and Mariota have similar traits, therefore having them fight it out and Ridder being able to learn from Mariota will go a long way in the development aspect of things. Over the coming years, it will be interesting to see if Ridder grows into the role of a franchise quarterback, but he has all the intangibles and weapons to do so.

Grade: B+

For more on Ridder, check out our scouting report on him.

Summary

Overall, Atlanta came into this draft with needs and left the draft having improved a good majority of those needs. They got better at receiver and added their quarterback of the future, what more can you ask for? On top of that, they added defensive depth and a guy who will come in and be their best pass rusher from the beginning of training camp, Arnold Ebiketie. Atlanta had a draft class that will not only make an immediate impact, but they added cornerstones for their franchise that will be there for the next five to 10 years.

Grade: A


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