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Atlanta Falcons 2014 Mock Draft: Round by Round Best-Case Scenarios

Scott CarasikContributor IIJanuary 13, 2014

Atlanta Falcons 2014 Mock Draft: Round by Round Best-Case Scenarios

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    Kevin Liles-USA TODAY Sports

    The Atlanta Falcons have quite a few needs to address with their 2014 NFL draft. However, the Falcons will have a focus on getting tougher and stronger all along the offensive and defensive lines this season. So the best-case scenario includes quite a few tough, talented linemen.

    Just breaking down the Falcons' biggest needs outside of the offensive line, they could also look into a wide receiver for better depth and some additional return ability, someone to complement Levine Toilolo and Chase Coffman at tight end, someone to compete for carries at running back, and some depth at linebacker.

    Looking at the current group of talent that's available, the Falcons have a ton of options that could turn their fortunes around. This is just one scenario that would be brilliant for the Falcons to go after.

Round 1: OT Greg Robinson, Auburn, 6'5", 320 Pounds

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    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    When you look for a franchise left tackle in the NFL, you want a guy who's got great length, great quickness and footwork and a powerful punch in both pass and run blocking.

    When looking at the college level for the top players who have those traits, you get two names—Texas A&M's Jake Matthews and Auburn's Greg Robinson.

    Assuming Matthews is unavailable when the Falcons pick and defensive end Jadeveon Clowney has also been selected, the Falcons should go with Robinson. It'd be the wise move; he'd allow Lamar Holmes to move back to right tackle and Sam Baker to slide to the right side as either a guard or a tackle in competition.

    The Falcons need to fix their offensive line, and fortifying the left side of it with the combination of the talented Justin Blalock and Robinson would be wise. Robinson and Blalock have the size and punch to road-grade on the left side and stand up better in pass protection than Holmes and Blalock did in 2013.

     

    Comrade Filter Fit

    While Robinson isn't the team captain or senior that the Comrade Filter normally looks for, he hasn't been arrested or suspended and his coaching staff loves him.

    The Falcons' need for more toughness on the offensive line would be easily filled by their new franchise left tackle.

     

    Career Stats

    2013: 14 Games Played at Left Tackle, 14 Games Started at Left Tackle

    2012: 12 Games Played at Left Tackle, 11 Games Started at Left Tackle

    2011: Redshirted

Round 2: DT Aaron Donald, Pittsburgh, 6'0", 285 Pounds

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    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Aaron Donald is the best defensive tackle in all of college football.

    He won the Bednarik, Bronko Nagurski and Outland Trophies in his senior year. He's a perfect fit for a 3-technique role in the Falcons defense and could complement a re-signed Corey Peters perfectly.

    The Falcons currently have Jonathan Babineaux as an unrestricted free agent, and unless he will take less money in the 2014 season and beyond, he's as good as gone. Donald would upgrade what Babineaux and Peria Jerry brought to the table in 2013 and could be the long-term upgrade needed.

     

    Comrade Filter Fit

    Never been arrested? Check. Never been suspended? Check. Team captain? Check. Donald is everything the Falcons want in a player. They don't care if he's undersized because he's produced at a high level in both the ACC and the old Big East.

     

    Career Stats

    2013: 13 Games Played, 59 Tackles, 28.5 Tackles for Loss, 11.0 Sacks, 16 QB Hurries, 4 Fumbles Forced, 3 Pass Deflections, 1 Blocked Kick

    2012: 12 Games Played, 64 Tackles, 18.5 Tackles for Loss, 5.5 Sacks, 11 QB Hurries, 1 Fumble Forced, 2 Pass Deflections

    2011: 13 Games Played, 47 Tackles, 16.0 Tackles for Loss, 11.0 Sacks, 11 QB Hurries, 1 Fumble Forced, 4 Pass Deflections

    2010: 13 Games Played, 11 Tackles, 3.0 Tackles for Loss, 2.0 Sacks, 5 QB Hurries, 2 Pass Deflections

Round 3: OG Xavier Su'a Filo, UCLA, 6'3", 304 Pounds

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    Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

    The Atlanta Falcons have a huge need for a talented right guard after Peter Konz and Garrett Reynolds both crashed and burned there this past season. While Xavier Su'a-Filo isn't the biggest or strongest guard out there, he's an intelligent and tough player.

    He's very talented as a pass-blocker and can create better push in the running game than what the Falcons have seen since Harvey Dahl left after the 2010 season.

    The only reason Su'a-Filo would fall to the third round is because of just how deep the guard class is this year.

     

    Comrade Filter Fit

    Atlanta gets criticized by some of the fans for not having guys who are tough enough and bringing in choir boys. Well, that small section of fans will hate it when they bring in Su'a-Filo, who spent two years on a Mormon mission. He's a definite fit for the Comrade Filter.

     

    Career Stats

    2013: 14 Games Played, 14 Games Started at Left Tackle or Left Guard, depending on injuries

    2012: 14 Games Played, 14 Games Started at Left Guard

    2011: Went on a Mormon mission

    2010: Went on a Mormon mission

    2009: 13 Games Played, 13 Games Started at Left Tackle

Round 4: DE Marcus Smith, Louisville, 6'3", 252 Pounds

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    Andy Lyons/Getty Images

    Marcus Smith has one of the best scheme fits out of any defensive end in the draft. The Falcons will also be coaching him at the Senior Bowl and could easily fall in love with him when they see that he can stand up and put his hand in the dirt in Mike Nolan's scheme.

    The Louisville end can pass rush effectively and would be a perfect complement in the rotation to Jonathan Massaquoi, Malliciah Goodman, Kroy Biermann and Osi Umenyiora.

    In the end, the Falcons would be smart to continue to add to their defensive end rotation here with Smith.

     

    Comrade Filter Fit

    Yes, here's another captain. And yes, here's another guy with toughness on the field. He's also a guy who's clean off the field and fits into Comrade Thomas Dimitroff's filter for guys you would want representing your franchise.

     

    Career Stats

    2013: 13 Games Played, 42 Tackles, 18.5 Tackles for Loss, 14.5 Sacks, 12 QB Hurries, 4 Fumbles Forced, 3 Pass Deflections, 1 Blocked Kick

    2012: 13 Games Played, 29 Tackles, 7.0 Tackles for Loss, 4.0 Sacks, 2 QB Hurries, 1 Interception, 2 Fumbles Forced, 2 Pass Deflections

    2011: 10 Games Played, 12 Tackles, 6.5 Tackles for Loss, 5.5 Sacks, 2 Fumbles Forced, 1 Pass Deflection

    2010: 9 Games Played, 3 Tackles, 1.0 Tackles for Loss

Round 5: WR Bruce Ellington, South Carolina, 5'9", 196 Pounds

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    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    While Bruce Ellington is short, he's not small. He's a stout 196 pounds and makes excellent breaks in and out of his routes. Much like wanting a power forward type of body for a good tight end, a good slot receiver is similar to a point guard.

    Ellington has experience both as a slot receiver and a point guard. But unlike most slot receivers, he can also play outside and let either Roddy White, Julio Jones or Harry Douglas play inside.

    Ellington would improve the depth of the Falcons' receiving corps. And it definitely needs it.

     

    Comrade Filter Fit

    Ellington was a captain for the Gamecocks on both special teams and offense during his four years with the program. While he is a redshirt junior, he's graduated early and is known for his high level of competitiveness. Ellington is almost the ideal comrade filter guy.

     

    Career Stats

    2013: 13 Games Played, 49 Catches, 775 Yards, 8 Touchdowns, 3 Carries, 14 Yards, 3 Punt Returns, 16 Yards, 5 Kick Returns, 108 Yards, 1-of-1 Passing (100.0 percent), 9 Yards, 1 Touchdown, 2 Tackles

    2012: 13 Games Played, 40 Catches, 600 Yards, 7 Touchdowns, 5 Carries, 28 Yards, 18 Kick Returns, 406 Yards, 2 Tackles

    2011: 13 Games Played, 17 Catches, 211 Yards, 1 Touchdown, 17 Carries, 106 Yards, 1 Touchdown, 20 Kick Returns, 463 Yards, 3-of-4 Passing (75.0 percent), 27 Yards, 2 Tackles

    2010: Redshirted in football, but played on the Gamecocks basketball team at point guard

Round 6: DT Ryan Carrethers, Arkansas State, 6'2", 330 Pounds

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    Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

    When it comes to biggest needs on the Falcons' defensive line, a 3-technique to complement a hopefully re-signed Corey Peters and a 1-technique to rotate with him and let him play some 3-technique are the biggest needs on the interior.

    Aaron Donald fills the need of a 3-technique defensive tackle. But Ryan Carrethers is the perfect fit for a 1-technique who can penetrate and stop the run.

    He will never be a 10-sack guy in the NFL or a Pro Bowler, but he will be a key contributor to a team's run defense.

     

    Comrade Filter Fit

    Another guy who is clean off the field, Carrethers has also been a captain for the Red Wolves. The redshirt senior is highly productive and fits into the mold of a player that Comrade Thomas Dimitroff can't help but love on and off the field.

     

    Career Stats

    2013: 13 Games Played, 93 Tackles, 8.0 Tackles for Loss, 4.0 Sacks, 3 QB Hurries, 2 Blocked Kicks, 1 Carry, 1 Yard, 1 Touchdown

    2012: 13 Games Played, 68 Tackles, 3.5 Tackles for Loss, 1.0 Sacks

    2011: 13 Games Played, 29 Tackles, 3.0 Tackles for Loss, 1.5 Sacks, 1 QB Hurry

    2010: 10 Games Played, 6 Tackles

    2009: Redshirted

Round 7: TE Crockett Gillmore, Colorado State, 6'6", 255 Pounds

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    Troy Babbitt-USA TODAY Sports

    To replace Tony Gonzalez, Atlanta needs to go with the best possible group of tight ends it can get. But the Falcons need to be smart about it and make sure they have guys who can play in-line and line up as joker-types out wide and in the slot.

    Between Levine Toilolo and Chase Coffman, the Falcons would have two tight ends who can do those things.

    But adding a third tight end in Crockett Gillmore would be wise.

    Oh, and Gillmore would be the Falcons' third tight end who is 6'6" or taller. This gives them a giant red-zone group if they decide to use it.

     

    Comrade Filter Fit

    Gillmore has never been arrested or suspended. By moving from defensive end to tight end, he has shown that he's a team player. And on top of that, he's been a captain during a few games for the Rams in 2013.

     

    Career Stats

    2013: 14 Games Played, 47 Catches, 577 Yards, 2 Touchdowns, 1 Tackle

    2012: 11 Games Played, 19 Catches, 263 Yards, 2 Touchdowns, 3 Tackles

    2011: 12 Games Played, 45 Catches, 468 Yards, 4 Touchdowns, 1-of-1 Passing (100.0 percent), 27 Yards, 1 Touchdown, 3 Tackles

    2010: 9 Games Played, 11 Tackles, 2.0 Tackles for Loss, 1.0 Sacks, 1 Fumble Recovered, 1 Pass Deflection

UDFA: LB Marcus Whitfield, Maryland, 6'3", 250 Pounds

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    Courtesy DiamondbackOnline.com

    Maryland's Marcus Whitfield is a bit of a forgotten man by most scouts and media.

    However, he's got the talent and ability to surprise much as Paul Worrilow or Joplo Bartu did in 2013. He's got an NFL body with speed that should time around 4.65-4.70 in the 40.

    The Falcons could use him in a multitude of spots as well. He's excellent as a 4-3 outside linebacker in college, but he has shown a penchant as a pass-rusher that would allow him to play outside in 3-4 looks.

    On top of that, his frame makes him a good fit inside at ILB in 3-4 looks as well.

     

    Comrade Filter Fit

    When it comes to the guys Atlanta looks for in undrafted free agency, Whitfield is ideal. He's a perfect fit for the Comrade Filter. He was the Terps' captain in 2013. He's also squeaky clean off the field.

    However, there is a definite toughness to his game that doesn't show in his off-field personality.

     

    Career Stats

    2013: 13 Games Played, 52 Tackles, 15.5 Tackles for Loss, 9.0 Sacks, 3 QB Hurries, 2 Fumbles Forced, 3 Pass Deflections, 1 Blocked Kicks

    2012: 12 Games Played, 9 Tackles, 0.5 Tackle for Loss, 0.5 Sack, 2 Pass Deflections

    2011: 8 Games Played, 11 Tackles, 3.5 Tackles for Loss, 2.0 Sacks, 1 QB Hurry, 1 Pass Deflection

    2010: 2 Games Played, 1 Tackle

    2009: Redshirted

     

    All stats used are either from Pro Football Focus' Premium Stats (subscription required), ESPN, CFBStats or the NFL. All contract information is courtesy of Spotrac and Rotoworld.

    Scott Carasik is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. He covers the Atlanta Falcons, college football, NFL and the NFL draft. He also runs DraftFalcons.com.

    Follow @ScottCarasik

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