Round 1, Pick 6: Jake Matthews, Offensive Tackle, Texas A&M
Round 2, Pick 37: Ra'Shede Hageman, Defensive Lineman, Minnesota
Round 3, Pick 68: Dezmen Southward, Safety, Wisconsin
Round 4, Pick 103: Devonta Freeman, Running Back, Florida State
Round 4, Pick 139: Prince Shembo, Edge Player, Notre Dame
Round 5, Pick 147: Ricardo Allen, Cornerback, Purdue
Round 5, Pick 168: Marquis Spruill, Linebacker, Syracuse
Round 7, Pick 253: Yawin Smallwood, Linebacker, Connecticut
Round 7, Pick 255: Tyler Starr, Edge Player, South Dakota
The Falcons kicked off their draft with the ideal Atlanta draft pick in Jake Matthews. He's from a family of greatness and was easily the most pro-ready offensive tackle in the entire draft. On top of that, he's able to play on either the left or the right side at a potential Pro Bowl level. He's a franchise guy.
Ra'Shede Hageman was a bit of a surprise for the Falcons after they went out and got Tyson Jackson and Paul Soliai in free agency. However, the selection made a ton of sense from a value perspective and wasn't shocking if you followed the Falcons throughout the offseason.
In the third and fifth rounds, the Falcons continued to add depth to their cornerback and safety groupings. Dezmen Southward and Ricardo Allen are both excellent fits for their roles at free safety and nickel cornerback, respectively. The question is whether they were the right picks at their spots in the draft value-wise.
Devonta Freeman is an instant replacement for running back Jason Snelling after Snelling retired earlier in the year. Freeman also has the long-term ability to be a starter if the Falcons decide to go with the zone-blocking scheme it looks like their offensive line should be playing.
Akeem Dent could be in for his last Falcons training camp with the fifth- and seventh-round selections of Marquis Spruill and Yawin Smallwood. Both guys are the same kind of great special teams player Dent is and the same kind of thumping inside backer he is.
Prince Shembo and Tyler Starr rounded out this draft by giving the Falcons a pair of pass-rushing projects late. Atlanta seems to have faith in Jonathan Massaquoi as its best pass-rusher on the edge, and the return of Kroy Biermann should help this aspect as well.
With the rotation at edge-rusher starting to expand even further without adding a premier guy, the Falcons need to make sure their interior pressure works better than it did in 2013. The Falcons should be tough to run on in 2014 at least. Improved linebackers and larger linemen will make it easier to stuff runs.