Round 6 Pick 13
Jonathan Ledbetter – Defensive End, Georgia
The Atlanta Falcons turn their attention back to the tranches in round six of the 2019 Atl All Day Mock Draft, by drafting Jonathan Ledbetter from the University of Georgia. Ledbetter stands 6’4 and tips the scales at 280 pounds. He is a four-year player for the Georgia Bulldogs. He became a starter as a junior in 2017 and had a solid but unspectacular career at UGA. He finished with totals of 14.5 tackles for a loss, 4.5 sacks, and two forced fumbles during his time in Athens.
Jonathan Ledbetter is a high motor guy, who constantly pursues all plays. He’s an intelligent player who is good as reading what direction a play will take. He has good size and strength to hold up at the point of attack. Ledbetter is able to strike linemen with a powerful blow to break away from blocks. He’s also a sure tackler. He is definitely more than willing to sacrifice his body in order to allow a teammate to make a play. The issue with Jonathan Ledbetter is he’s almost strictly a run defender that does not bring much to the table as a pass rusher. He is not a quick twitch athlete and doesn’t have the speed to track down many ball carriers in pursuit. In addition he does not own the ability to change directions quickly. The number one concern scouts have with Jonathan is finding a positional fit. He lacks the speed of most defensive ends, and lacks the size to play defensive tackle. The issue that might bother teams is the fact that Ledbetter got himself into trouble multiple times in his first two seasons at UGA, though he seems to have gotten that under control in his last two years on campus.
Should Jonathan Ledbetter be drafted by the Atlanta Falcons, he would amazingly be just the fifth Georgia Bulldog to be drafted by Atlanta in the last 18 years. His role would be a defensive end in the base defense. He would compete for the opportunity to play snaps on early downs and other obvious running situations. Though the Atlanta Falcons aren’t searching for any starting defensive ends, the team lost both Brooks Reed and Derrick Shelby, who were often used to set the edge in the run game. That’s a role Jonathan Ledbetter can excel at, despite his limitations. Other day three edge setters that could interest the Atlanta Falcons are John Cominski, Michael Dogbe and Charles Omenihu.
2018: 56 tackles, 6.5 tfl, 1 sack, 2 ff
Expert Opinion – Kyle Crabbs The Draft Network
Projection: Round 6
"Jonathan Ledbetter is caught between positions and his pro team will need to help decide where he ought to play and dictate his weight from there. Ledbetter lacks burst and explosiveness at 280, to me he would be best served adding 10-15 pounds and playing as a B-gap defender in base odd fronts. Ledbetter has good, reliable hands and shouldn’t be asked to become something he isn’t as a penetration style player. Quality role player/depth player."
Round 7 Pick 16
Jimmy Moreland – Cornerback, James Madison
Armed with an extra pick from the Oakland Raiders trade in our Atl All Day Mock Draft, the Atlanta Falcons have now filled all of the most pressing needs and can take a flyer on a talented player at a position they feel needs more depth. In this scenario the Dirty Birds select Jimmy Moreland from James Madison University. Moreland is 5’10 and weighs 179 pounds. He is a true ball-hawking cornerback that had 18 career interceptions for JMU. Remarkably he converted six of those interceptions into pick-six touchdowns. He also has an astounding 63 pass breakups during his four years playing for the Dukes. Unbelievably he blocked six kicks as a collegiate athlete. Following his senior year, Moreland received many awards. He was named a First Team All CAA for the second straight season, CAA Defensive Player of the Year and a FCS All American by several publications. He was also voted the Buchanan Award winner, as the FCS Defensive Player of the Year after a phenomenal senior season and a wonderful career.
Jimmy Moreland has great speed and quickness. He is an in your face type cornerback who loves to jam wide receivers and annoy them with verbal jabs as well. He has good footwork and awareness. Moreland has outstanding ball skills for a man of his height and attacks the ball in the air like a wide receiver. On the negative side, Jimmy Moreland is small with a slight build. Bigger wide receivers can take advantage of him. He does not cover nearly as well in off-man coverage as he does when pressing. Moreland also needs improvement as a tackler. Teams will also be concerned with the fact that he was dismissed from the team after his freshman year along with two teammates, for a petty larceny charge. Trevor Sikkema of The Draft Network wrote a thorough piece breaking down the game of Jimmy Moreland. To read the article click here.
Jimmy Moreland would give the Atlanta Falcons a second cornerback in 2019 Atl All Day mock draft. This would be the first position Atlanta would duplicate. This time Atlanta would be taking a smaller cornerback by design, to compete for and be groomed for a slot position. This is the ideal spot for Moreland due to his lack of size. Moreland would also be a major contributor on special teams as a guy attempting to block punts and kicks, a role he thrived in at JMU. The Atlanta Falcons are known for the Falcon Filter, meaning they typically stay away from players that have had character issues in the past. However it speaks volumes that Moreland was able to return to the same team that dismissed him, and remained incident free for three years. With the talent he posses, Jimmy Moreland is a risk worth taking this late in the 2019 NFL draft. Chris Westry and Stephen Denmark are also day three options, should the Atlanta Falcons look for another tall cornerback to groom.
2017: 68 tackles, 2.5 tfl, 0.5 sacks, 8 ints, 1 td, 22 pd, 2 fr
Expert Opinion: Lance Zierlein NFL.com
Pro Comparison: Tony Carter (Broncos)
Projection: Rounds 6-7
"Undersized outside corner by trade who will move inside due to a lack of desired NFL size. Moreland is a ball-hawking playmaker who saw six of his 18 career interceptions turn into touchdowns. He’s tenacious and physical from press with the fluidity and speed to hold up in trail technique but his off-man coverage needs work. He’s thin and needs more functional mass and strength to play the NFL game, but his ball skills and toughness give him a shot at eventually finding NFL playing time as a press-happy nickel."
This concludes the 2019 Atl All Day Complete Atlanta Falcons Mock Draft. In our scenario the Atlanta Falcons are able to fill their five most pressing needs in the first three rounds of the draft. They Dirty Birds add much-needed depth to nearly every position group. They also add two guys who are capable of being explosive return guys, an area of attrition for the team. If the Atlanta Falcons can have a similar haul in Thursday’s NFL Draft, a return to the top of the NFC South and a playoff berth are soon to follow.