Mel Kiper's First Round Projection for Falcons is a Steal at No. 16

Zach Brunner
K'Lavon Chaisson to the Atlanta Falcons would be a big steal.
K'Lavon Chaisson to the Atlanta Falcons would be a big steal. / Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

ESPN NFL Draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. released the third iteration of his 2020 mock draft this week, projecting the entire first round less than one month out from the beginning of the 2020 NFL Draft on Thursday, April 23.

Atlanta Falcons' fans must be excited for what Kiper is projecting, with them selecting outside linebacker/edge rusher K'Lavon Chaisson at No. 16 overall.

The Falcons' pass rush was virtually nonexistent last season. They totaled just 28.0 sacks, which was tied for the second-worst total in the league. They also had a 5.8 percent adjusted sack rate, which was also below average.

Atlanta lost pass rusher Vic Beasley via free agency, but they were able to sign Dante Fowler Jr. to assist in getting after the quarterback. However, the Falcons could still use another strong presence up front to complement Fowler, and Chaisson can be that and much more.

Chaisson had to fight through injuries during his time at LSU, suggesting the best is still yet to be seen from the edge rusher. He arguably has the best explosiveness off the snap in the draft, quick enough to give even the best tackles issues. He also has the power, length and technique to get separation in both the pass rush and in run defense.

It's easy to see a scenario where Chaisson becomes the steal of the entire draft. If he is able to stay on the field and be in good health, there isn't much holding the LSU product back. Solidifying the pass rush is the way to go for Atlanta, especially when they now will be facing both Drew Brees and Tom Brady in the division.

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