3 Most Likely Falcons Draft Targets With the 8th Overall Pick
The Atlanta Falcons have now posted a losing record in each of the last five years after limping to a 7-10 finish in the 2022 season. Head coach Arthur Smith's squad is in rebuild mode and finding a way to improve through the 2023 NFL Draft is a must. It's the first step at getting back to a winning level.
Atlanta is in a great spot with the No. 8 overall pick. It is not too far away from the No. 1 spot to make a blockbuster trade and also not too low to benefit from a top-ranked prospect falling right into its lap. With that being said, here's a look at three of the most likely first-round draft targets for the Falcons.
Atlanta Falcons 2023 NFL Draft
1. Tyree Wilson, EDGE (Texas A&M)
The Falcons' recent struggles on defense can be traced back to a ton of reasons, but a lack of a pass rush is the biggest one. Atlanta finished ahead of only one other NFL team in sacks (21.0) and ranked last in pressure rate (14.6%). Drafting Tyree Wilson is one way to immediately beef up the defensive line. Wilson stands at 6-foot-6, weighs 275 pounds and has a 7-foot wingspan, so it's clear he has the size to compete. He is praised for his ability to win at first contact in pass defense and make an impact in rush defense with his lateral agility. The Texas A&M product tallied 50 pressures this past season to go along with 61.0 tackles (14.0 for loss), 7.0 sacks and 1 forced fumble.
2. Will Levis, QB (Kentucky)
While the Falcons may not be in position to draft either Bryce Young or CJ Stroud, they shouldn't be entirely ruled out when it comes to drafting a quarterback. After all, both Marcus Mariota and Desmond Ridder failed to show much potential in 2022. Will Levis could end up bing the selection at No. 8 overall. The Kentucky QB has the legs to scramble out of the pocket, which is what drew the Falcons to Mariota. He also has the arm talent to sling the ball deep, which was what Atlanta hoped Ridder could do. Levis is far from a perfect prospect, but he shined in college while running a similar offense to Smith's. He logged 5,232 passing yards and 43 touchdowns (23 interceptions) in two seasons with the Wildcats (24 games).
3. Quentin Johnston, WR (TCU)
Don't be too surprised if the Falcons throw everyone for a loop and select a pass-catcher with their first-round pick for the third straight year. Drake London was the only player to log more than 540 receiving yards in 2022 as tight end Kyle Pitts dealt with multiple injuries. Adding Quentin Johnston to the mix would give Atlanta a dangerous trio for whoever is throwing the football. The TCU standout is a precise route-runner that regularly creates separation using his stop-start abilities. He stands as a mismatch against any opposing defender given his 6-foot-4 frame and proved that in this past season. Johnston tallied 1,069 yards and 6 touchdowns on 60 receptions (14 games). He could be a difference-maker as soon as Week 1.
Larry Rupp is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Larry Rupp also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username phillyfan424. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.
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