Atlanta Falcons Potential First Round Pick: Dexter Lawrence

Atlanta Falcons, Dexter Lawrence (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
Atlanta Falcons, Dexter Lawrence (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) /
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Atlanta Falcons
Atlanta Falcons, Dexter Lawrence (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) /

Fit with the Atlanta Falcons

Grady Jackson, Paul Soliai and Dontari Poe are the three Atlanta Falcons defensive tackles in recent years, that compare favorably to Dexter Lawrence size wise. With each of those three men anchoring the middle of the defensive line, the Atlanta Falcons had some of the better run defenses in recent franchise history. Having a titan like Lawrence in the middle, would do wonders for the Dirty Birds run defense. Grady Jarrett the Falcons start defensive tackle, saw more double teams last season after the departure of Dontari Poe. If Atlanta drafts Lawrence, he would immediately move into the starting lineup at the one technique defensive tackle position. Such a move would allow Jarrett to work more one on one and could help turn Grady into a perineal Pro Bowl player. He would also clear more space for outstanding linebacker Deion Jones to make plays, behind and beyond the line of scrimmage.

The issue is with picking number 14 in the upcoming draft, is taking Dexter Lawrence that high would be a reach. The Atlanta Falcons would be wise to entertain trading down later in the first round, or down into the early second, drafting Lawrence and picking up an extra draft assets. This move is a no brainer if the Falcons are able to secure Lawrence, as well as a first round pick in the 2020 draft. This would allow Atlanta more picks to fill depth and give an additional first round picks to fill holes next offseason. Such an asset could prove to be extremely valuable, as the Falcons front office will have tough decisions to make on which young players to sign to a second contract. If the team is unable or unwilling to trade back and Lawrence last until round two, the team would be wise to trade up earlier into the round to select Dexter. Such a move would be much less costly than trading up for Ed Oliver in round one.

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Dexter Lawrence is the perfect fit for the Atlanta Falcons defense. He is exactly the type of player that the team lacks. Many detractors will argue that spending a first round pick on a player that primarily plays the run, would be unnecessary in today’s modern NFL that favors the pass. However even the team that throws the most, the Green Bay Packers, ran the ball 33.4 percent of the time in 2018. Two thirds of the NFL ran the ball at least 40 percent of the time and half of the NFL ran the ball nearly 44 percent of their plays or more. Combine those numbers with the fact that he should improve as a pass rusher, and Dexter Lawrence would make a wonderful addition to the Atlanta Falcons. He could just be the missing piece to help return the defense to top ten status.