Falcons Make Perfect First-Round Pick in Mel Kiper Jr.'s Latest 2022 NFL Mock Draft

Atlanta Falcons make an intriguing selection in Mel Kiper Jr.'s first 2022 NFL mock draft.
Atlanta Falcons make an intriguing selection in Mel Kiper Jr.'s first 2022 NFL mock draft. / Edward M. Pio Roda/GettyImages

It's no secret the Atlanta Falcons have some key areas that need improvement after missing the playoffs in Arthur Smith's first year as head coach. There's a promising foundation to build off of, though, and the upcoming NFL Draft is the perfect place to nab some difference-making talent.

ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. has the Falcons drafting the perfect player in the first round of his latest mock draft.

Falcons Mock Draft 2022

Kiper projects Atlanta to use the No. 8 pick on LSU cornerback Derek Stingley Jr. This selection would immediately boost a lacking secondary and give the Falcons a potentially elite CB duo in AJ Terrell and Stingley.

Terrell was a bright spot in coverage for Atlanta this year, earning second-team All-Pro honors after a standout sophomore campaign. ProFootballFocus still ranked Atlanta's secondary as the ninth worst in the NFL, since no player outside of Terrell earned a PFF grade better than 60.

Stingley could bring playmaking to this unit from the jump. He starred as a freshman at LSU, racking up 6 interceptions and 15 pass deflections in 2019 alone.

The one concern with DSJ is injuries, which limited the promising corner to just 10 games over the past two seasons. He failed to record an INT after his freshman his season, so it's clear his health issues have had a major impact on his play.

Still, Stingley didn't earn previous No. 1 pick consideration for nothing. His talent is undeniable, and if he reaches his full potential at the next level, the Falcons may have an unstoppable secondary for years to come.

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Isaiah De Los Santos is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Isaiah De Los Santos also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username zayyy05328. 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.