Atlanta Falcons: Potential First Round Pick Montez Sweat

Atlanta Falcons, Montez Sweat (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Atlanta Falcons, Montez Sweat (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /
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Atlanta Falcons
Atlanta Falcons, Montez Sweat #9 (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images) /

Fit with the Atlanta Falcons

As previously mentioned, edge rusher is certainly an area of need for the Atlanta Falcons in the 2019 NFL draft. As of now starters Takkarist McKinley and Vic Beasley, along with reserve Steven Means, are the only defensive ends on the Atlanta Falcons roster. Brooks Reed was released and signed with the Arizona Cardinals and Derrick Shelby is not expected to be resigned. Vic Beasley typically plays much better when mentored by a veteran pass rusher. Now that defensive end Bruce Irvin has departed to join the division rival Carolina Panthers, Atlanta would be wise to use an early draft pick on a pass rusher, in case Beasley fails to return to his 2016 form. Deke Lloyd of ATL All Day took a look at the Dirty Birds draft needs in this article.

Being that edge rusher is a major need for the Atlanta Falcons, they certainly could select Montez Sweat if he is there at number 14. Particularly if defense tackle Ed Oliver of Houston University is off the board. Oliver is said to be a favorite of the Falcons coaching staff. In fact reports recently surfaced that the team is considering a possible trade to move up and select Oliver. James Parks of 24/7 Sports has the scoop in this article. I broke down Ed Oliver and his fit with the Falcons in this piece.

Barring a move up for Oliver or one of the draft’s top two defensive linemen, edge rusher Nick Bosa of Ohio State and defensive tackle Quinnen Williams of Alabama, the Atlanta Falcons should stay put at number 14 or move down. If available, Montez Sweat would be one if the best selections that Atlanta could make. Even though he is more of a straight line athlete like Vic Beasley, Sweat has more size and is much more physically imposing. He also has more pass rush moves, better awareness and a higher football IQ coming out of college.

Though I do like Sweat as a prospect, the Falcons should not trade up for him. Edge rushers have a high bust rate, making it too risky to risk assets and move up for a player who isn’t the top edge rusher in the class. His lack of bend around the edge, could limit his ability to produce huge sack numbers. There are other good edge rushers expected to be available around pick number 14, such as Brian Burns of Florida State University and Clelin Ferrell of Clemson who I covered in this article.

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Trading down and hoping to land two players such as one of the two Clemson Defensive tackles Dexter Lawrence or Christian Wilkins along with offensive lineman Cody Ford of Oklahoma would be a much better strategy than trading up for Sweat. In fact that may be a better strategy than drafting Sweat at number 14. The breakdown of Cody Ford’s game can be found by clicking here. After a quiet free agency period, the Atlanta Falcons must use their draft resources to near perfection, in order to build the proper depth. Anything less than a stellar draft class, will seriously jeopardize the Atlanta Falcons ability to make a serious run at Super Bowl 54.