NFL Draft 2022 Rumors: Falcons Targeting WR with No. 8 Pick 'Hottest' Buzz

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVApril 8, 2022

ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 26:  The Atlanta Falcons logo is seen on a video board during the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft at AT&T Stadium on April 26, 2018 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
Tim Warner/Getty Images

The Atlanta Falcons are reportedly targeting a wide receiver with the No. 8 overall pick in this month's NFL draft.

Matt Miller of ESPN reported the "hottest rumor" is the Falcons targeting a pass-catcher for the second straight draft. Atlanta selected tight end Kyle Pitts with the No. 4 pick a year ago.

While it's rare for a team to draft a pass-catcher at the top of two straight drafts, the Falcons are in a unique scenario after losing Calvin Ridley to a one-year suspension for gambling.

After sitting out the free-agent period at wide receiver and not landing anyone at the position via trade, the team's depth chart is essentially barren of any top talent. Olamide Zaccheaus currently projects as the Falcons' top wide receiver next season.

The Falcons could be in a position to land the top receiver in this class as well. Wideout is considered arguably the deepest position in this class, with B/R's scouting department ranking six receivers in their top 21 players. USC's Drake London is considered the best of the bunch at No. 3 overall, but it's possible he slides out of the top five because of the overall depth of the position.

London recorded 88 receptions for 1,084 yards and seven touchdowns last season in only eight games before suffering a season-ending ankle injury that's also prevented him from working out for teams during the draft process. He's set to have a pro day April 15.

The Falcons don't appear particularly concerned with competing for division titles this season after trading away Matt Ryan following their failed pursuit of Deshaun Watson. It's likely Atlanta uses 2022 as a gap year before drafting or trading for its quarterback of the future a year from now—likely when said quarterback can have two promising young weapons in Pitts and a wideout to be named.