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2015 NFL Mock Draft: Atlanta Falcons pick Danny Shelton

With the 8th overall pick in the 2015 Bleeding Green Nation community mock draft, Atlanta Falcons GM GMinTraining selects ...

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Danny Shelton, DT, Washington

Atlanta Falcons fans should be quick to forget a regrettable season last year, consisting mostly of images of defenders escorting the opposing players to the endzone and the occasional Antone Smith 50-yard touchdown screen pass. What they should remember, however, is how it brought them a new coach in Dan Quinn, one that doesn't serve hot cocoa and hugs for practice, and a very favorable 2015 draft position.

It is no surprise that Atlanta looks to focus this pick in the draft on defense, specifically the defensive line.  Atlanta ranked near last in both run and pass defense in 2014, mostly attributed to a lack of talent from the big men up front. While Rashede Hageman provides some exciting (yet inconsistent) upside, the rest of the line leaves something to be desired (see Biermann).  All these factors bring us to this pick... Danny Shelton, DT, Washington.

The Falcons could go one of two ways here.  An argument could be made to reach for a pass rusher here, like Shane Ray or Randy Gregory, which may fit a bigger area of need.  These players however, would be exactly that, reaches.  With pass rushers Dante Fowler Jr and Vic Beasley both off the board already, the Falcons must go best player available in DT Shelton.

Shelton is the best player on the board at this position and would be an immediate upgrade for the defensive line.  It doesn't hurt either when your draft measurable and talent is compared to the likes of Haloti Ngata and Vince Wilfork. Shelton measures out to be a force at 6'2, 339 pounds. By plugging Shelton into the middle of the Falcons defense, he will demand double teams and undoubtedly contribute to a more successful pass rush and run defense in 2015.  His biggest criticism through the draft process thus far is his endurance.  This could work in his favor in the short-term while he splits time with veteran Paul Soliai and gives Hageman opportunities to shine through rotation.

Others considered:

·      Shane Ray
·      Randy Gregory
·      Alvin "Bud" Dupree
·      Brandon Scherff

2015 BGN Mock Draft Order

1) Tampa Bay Buccaneers (slickpablovick) - Jameis Winston, QB, FSU - [Explanation]
2) Tennessee Titans (mchiodo) - Leonard Williams, DE, USC - [Explanation]
3) Jacksonville Jaguars ("Snax") - Dante Fowler Jr., OLB, UF - [Explanation]
4) Oakland Raiders (kylebruneault) - Amari Cooper, WR, Alabama - [Explanation]
5) Washington Redskins (BigTimeTMZ) - Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon - [Explanation]
6) New York Jets (4thand26) - Kevin White, WR, WVU - [Explanation]
7) Chicago Bears (rohan915) - Vic Beasley, OLB, Clemson - [Explanation]
8) Atlanta Falcons (GMinTraining) - Danny Shelton, DT, Washington - [Explanation]
9) New York Giants (Grandpapa Joe) -
10) St. Louis Rams (deg0ey) -
11) Minnesota Vikings (ablesser88) -
12) Cleveland Browns (djcunningham) -
13) New Orleans Saints (del.champion) -
14) Miami Dolphins (drc242) -
15) San Francisco 49ers (SleepingDuck) -
16) Houston Texans (JaviYL) -
17) San Diego Chargers (StoneColeKiller58) -
18) Kansas City Chiefs (jimmyrustler) -
19) Cleveland Browns (NowWhat?) -
20) Philadelphia Eagles (sports00fan00) -
21) Cincinnati Bengals (Zach_The_Gamecock) -
22) Pittsburgh Steelers (KJ Brophy) -
23) Detroit Lions (KamiKazeJEDI) -
24) Arizona Cardinals (ItownBallers22) -
25) Carolina Panthers (AndyMcNabb) -
26) Baltimore Ravens (dceagles) -
27) Dallas Cowboys (kamjam) -
28) Denver Broncos (WubbaLubbaDubDub) -
29) Indianapolis Colts (ei78) -
30) Green Bay Packers (Nka727) -
31) New Orleans Saints (SwoopThereItIs) -
32) New England Patriots (naderg43) -

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