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Atlanta Falcons Mock Draft Roundup 3.0


Throughout the year and leading up to the 2021 NFL draft, we will update our Atlanta Falcons Mock Draft Roundup showing picks for the Atlanta Falcons from several prominent sites and draft analysts.

The following are picks in recent mock drafts for the Falcons:

EDSFootball - Hanson (1/1)

4. Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State

Per Spotrac, Matt Ryan (22.99%) will account for nearly one-quarter of the team's 2021 salary cap. While the new regime could go in a number of different directions, this will be the first time that the team will pick inside the top four since they selected Ryan third overall in 2008.

Barring a trade, this scenario would allow Fields the opportunity to serve as Ryan's apprentice for a season. While he's had a couple of multi-INT games in his past three, the dual-threat quarterback is a top-five prospect and has thrown 56 touchdowns (and rushed for 15 more) while throwing a total of eight interceptions in his two seasons with the Buckeyes.

San Diego Union Tribune (12/31)

4. Zach Wilson, QB, BYU

I imagine the new General Manager will want to target Matt Ryan's heir apparent if the Falcons end up drafting this high. The competition level hasn't been the strongest, but his performance has been impressive -- he's passed for 3,692 yards (third in the nation) and 33 touchdowns (second in the nation) against only three interceptions. The Davey O'Brien semifinalist's arm talent and improvisation skills are equally impressive.

Touchdown Wire - Schofield (12/31)

4. Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State

The Falcons are in a fascinating position. They can try to retool around players like Matt Ryan and Julio Jones and make a run at the playoffs in 2021, or they can focus more on life after those two cornerstone pieces.

When an organization has the chance to make a top-five pick, sometimes it makes the most sense to grab a quarterback for the future, even if it does not intend on playing him right away. You hope to never be back picking here, so it makes sense to take advantage of the opportunity.

Fields is likely the player who is hurt the most by the rise of Zach Wilson, as that has led to a corresponding slide of the Ohio State passer from the No. 2 to No. 3 QB on some boards. Some might even point to a rather dismal record of Ohio State quarterbacks in the NFL as a reason to avoid drafting him, but Fields has the athleticism necessary to succeed as a quarterback in the modern NFL. When he's ready, Atlanta will be glad they made him the selection.

PFF - Gayle (12/29)

4. Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State

No non-quarterback picked at No. 4 overall in 2021 will take Falcons from a four-win team to a Super Bowl contender with a 36-year-old Matt Ryan under center and on the books for more than $80M in 2021 and 2022 combined. I'm sorry. So, even if the Falcons' front office is still confident in going the distance with Ryan, adding an heir apparent at the quarterback position with the -- ideally -- rare opportunity they have drafting inside the top five should be an easy decision.

PFF's 10th-ranked signal-caller in terms of passing grade in 2020, Ryan offers trade value if Atlanta's brass can find a suitor or can continue to start ahead of a rookie quarterback with what should at least be an improved coaching situation and two top-flight wide receivers (Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley).

Fields has his fair share of concerns as a prospect, but he's still the No. 3 overall player on PFF's board and the first-ranked college quarterback in terms of PFF passing grade over the past two seasons (2019-20).

CBS Sports - Wilson (12/29)

4. Zach Wilson, QB, BYU

Matt Ryan, who will be 36 next season, has a $49.9 million dead-cap hit in 2021. So the new GM and head coach in Atlanta can bring in Wilson as their future franchise passer with the understanding that he doesn't need to be rushed onto the field.

Pro Football Network - Miller (12/26)

4. Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State

Parsons is another tricky name. He's touted as an absolute stud. He's a can't-miss player. Except that doesn't quite add up. He is still newer to the position, and it shows on the field. He must mature mentally as a linebacker to consistently make plays at the next level, despite possessing outstanding athleticism.

As a linebacker, coverage isn't necessarily a strength for him, and that hurts his value a bit because linebackers will be picked on at the NFL level if they struggle in coverage.

However, Atlanta is a great fit for him because his real value is as a pass rusher. He went to Penn State as an edge rusher, and his natural ability shines in those opportunities. Take an interior mammoth off the field, drop him down to the edge, and let him hunt QBs on third downs. ATLiens will love the pick.

PFF - Renner (12/23)

5. Kwity Paye, EDGE, Michigan

In an edge class loaded with physical freaks, Paye sits atop the bunch. He also saw his pass-rushing production take a massive step forward this season. After 37 pressures in all of 2019, Paye notched 22 in only four games before a groin injury this season.

Bleacher Report - Miller (12/22)

5. Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State

Drafting a linebacker in the top five is risky, but Parsons' three-down ability would be a major boost to a defense that has no answers for solid quarterback play. Don't think of him as just a linebacker--he's a run-stuffer, pass-rusher and cover man.

Previous update: Atlanta Falcons Mock Draft Roundup 2.0

MORE TEAMS: All NFL Team Mock Draft Roundups

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