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NFL Mock Draft 2019: Atlanta Falcons take Rashan Gary

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With the 14th overall pick in the 2019 Bleeding Green Nation community mock draft, Atlanta Falcons GM Happy24 selects ...

Western Michigan v Michigan Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images

Rashan Gary, DE, Michigan

Atlanta Falcons Recent Recap

Before discussing the pick, let’s take a deep dive into to the Atlanta Falcons and their needs. When thinking about who the Falcons would draft, one question continued to pop into my head: WHO AND WHAT ARE THE ATLANTA FALCONS?! Seriously! I can’t understand that franchise one bit, specifically in recent years! What I do know about them is that Doug Pederson has a major stake in that franchise after owning them for 3 STRAIGHT YEARS(INCLUDING PLAYOFFS). Just take a look at them under Dan Quinn. They were 8-8, suffered a crushing loss the SB, lost in the Divisional round, and went 7-9 this year. Seems Successful. On paper you have a great team with a Star(Above Average) QB, Franchise RB, 2 Great OL(Jake Matthews and Alex Mack), Julio “FREAKING” Jones, bunch of other good receivers, Adequate D-Line, Deion Jones and Co, Desmond Trufant, Keanu Neal and Ricardo Allen, and a Defensive Minded Head Coach to elevate the defense!!! That is one heck of a team with loads of star power! Where are the championships? What happened last year? Is Dan Quinn the answer? The Falcons had all the talent to be the NFC champion the past 4 seasons! This years draft and season will be defining for the Falcons. Contracts are expiring and the team is getting older. Tick Tock!

Last year, the Falcons were 7-9. They had some major injuries at RB, Offensive Line, LB, Safety, and kicker. Looking at what happened in free agency, they lost Tevin Coleman, starting corners Robert Alford and Brian Poole, Bruce Irvin, some members along their offensive line, and franchise kicker Matt Bryant. They also did not make a major splash in free agency signings. They signed Offensive Lineman James Carpenter from the Jets(Biggest Signing), some other Offensive Lineman, Luke Stocker(Blocking TE from Tennessee), and SUPER BOWL 52 Victor Kenjon Barner. Their current major needs are Offensive Line(Right Tackle and Guard), Defensive Line, and Cornerback. With the Offensive trend in Free Agency, it seems to be gearing up for a heavy defensive draft for the Falcons. Ok, I finished my Falcon rant. Let’s dive into the draft and the pick!

Inside the Draft Room

In order to get an understanding of my mindset when choosing the Pick, I’ll going to relay to you how the selection of Rashan Gary happened through an EXCLUSIVE, exaggerated, Dave Spadaro-ish, inside the BGN mock Draft War room point of view.

“It was late at night. Picks in the BGN Mock draft were flying off the board. I studied and went through many scenarios of who could be left on the board, when the Falcons were on the clock. A loud moan was heard when Jawaan Taylor, a premiere Tackle of the future, went off the board. All focus stayed on our board wondering what was to come next. Gasps came at pick 9 as the Lions selected Ed Oliver, another Highly rated player on my board. It was Nail Biting time! Who is going to be there when I pick? Is there going to be a highly rated player or will I have to reach?! The Dolphins finally selected and the long wait was over. I was now on the clock. A great player had fell in the draft and I had all intentions of stopping that slide and snatching him up. I waited with anticipation and came to a final conclusion. With the 14th pick in the 2019 BGN Mock Draft, the Atlanta Falcons select Rashan Gary, DL, Michigan.

Rashan Gary (Measurables and Production/High Recruit)

In seeing what all the mock drafts and draft analysts have circulating around, I saw Rashan Gary’s name frequently in the top 10. I was not totally familiar with him so I took a look at some tapes/highlights and there is A LOT to like! Some great Offensive Linemen and Defensive Players were taken before my pick in this BGN Mock draft, but I feel I went BPA(Best Player Available). I love Rashan Gary and was so happy he fell to the Falcons’ pick. To my naked eye he is a BEAST. A big, powerful, and speedy Defensive Line prospect. Gary was the best recruit coming out of high school in 2016. He can play both Defensive End and Defensive Tackle. I also believe he could fit in a 3-4 or a 4-3 defense. He is a dream prospect for defensive coach and Dan Quinn would be all over him. More details about Gary below:

Rashan Gary Obligatory Spider Graph Picture via Mockdraftable:

Explosive - His best weapon as a pass rusher is his powerful first step. Erupts off the ball and has the speed and power to get around the best Offensive Tackles.

Best Pass Rush technique- Analysts say “Speed-to-power is his go-to move. He Bull-rushes and uses his long-arms to knock his opponent off-balance.”

More moves- Needs to add more pass rush moves to his repertoire, but is effective.

Run Defense - This dude is a great run stuffer. He is huge, fast, and tackles well. He uses his unique power to push off centers and guards and knock down some RBs.

Hitting the Hole- He could learn to find gaps more quickly. Sometimes he gets into trouble reading the wrong hole, in situations where he could have gotten the tackle.

Tackling - One of the Best tacklers in the Draft. Able to get his hands on an opponent and throw them to the ground. Also great at “safely” laying the wood on opposing QBs. Don’t want to get a Roughing the Passer flag these days!

Natural Position DE or DT- Gary has the ability to play all around the D-Line and in any scheme with great power, tackling, and speed. I would play him at Defensive End where he has a chance to be most productive and move him inside on any down to rush or stop the run. He can be on the field from Day 1, but may need more crafting to be a full-time starter.

Effort- Gary is an emotional player. His power is dictated by emotions. Some take this to mean he takes off on some plays, but I don’t see it. I would go as far to say the guy has a high powered motor who can go up against the best Offensive tackles with a chance for disruption all game.

Athleticism - Elite size, power and speed. Tested terrific for an edge defender except for his average 3-cone. Had a speedy 4.59, 40 yard dash at 277 pounds. Some may want him to add to his frame to play interior defensive line or add more muscle to become even better on the edge.

My Comparison and Sack Numbers

My player comp for Gary is Michael Bennett. The guy has tremendous power and great hands. He is going to be a major problem for Offensive Lines throughout the league. His run stuffing/tackling ability is also very strong. Michael Bennett’s best attributes are elite power and good run stuffing, same attributes as Gary. Where they differ, is in terms of sack numbers. Gary was moved around the D-Line during his time at Michigan playing multiple positions. He had 6 sacks in 2017 and 3.5 this season. He was also bothered by a shoulder injury early in the season this year. These numbers are a little alarming and could cause him to fall in the draft, but sack numbers don’t mean everything. There is a way to be productive and disruptive without the numbers, as we see in Philly with Fletcher Cox and Brandon Graham. We know they are great relentless pass rushers, but they may not get all the sacks/credit. Overall, I think he will be very productive in an NFL system, with NFL coaches, finding his best fit. Placing Gary next to Tak McKinley, Vic Beasley, and Grady Garrett is a MONSTER combination!

Gary Highlight Video:

A True Boom or Bust

Many see Gary as a Boom or Bust candidate. I believe Gary is the definition of a Boom or Bust Candidate. Gary has all the attributes to be a terrific NFL player. He has the ceiling, with a good D-Coordinator, to become one of the most disruptive pass rushers in the league who can be placed inside and outside on the line. He would not suffer in a scheme change, as he is very athletic to play in a 3-4 scheme. I could Gary become a Brandon Graham as well. Meaning, he could take time to adjust to the league, before building up his sack numbers and reputation. Worst case scenario, is that he would be unable to find a natural fit along the Defensive Line. He would still be a good rotational player in this scenario, just not a star starter. Can’t get anymore Boom/Bust than that!

Ed Oliver Slide? More like the Rashan Gary Slide

We heard all along throughout the past few months that there could be an Ed Oliver slide, but due to an impressive combine and pro-day, it seems less likely to occur. What seems to be occurring is a Rashan Gary slide. Recent mocks have Gary landing somewhere in the top 10 to the Raiders pick at 24. BGN’ s own Ben Solak, in his latest 6.0 mock draft, has the Falcons taking Gary at 14 as well.(Great Minds think alike!) I don’t think he’ll make it out the top 12, but if we have another QB frenzy draft, Dan Quinn and Co would love to scoop him up!

Fit on the Falcons and Falcons Draft History

The Falcons don’t have many “needs”, but the spots where they have “needs” must be filled with good and productive players. Rashan Gary was the best player on the board in our BGN mock draft and filled a Falcons’ need. The Falcons also need a Right Tackle and Cornerbacks. I believe they have addressed the Offensive Line well so far in free agency and should find a developmental Right Tackle later in the draft. This draft also has some aggressive cornerbacks and there should be some good ones that fall to round 2. Addressing the D-Line does not have to stop with Gary. Another interior D-Lineman could be taken in the mid rounds as well. The Falcons in the first round have drafted all across the board in recent years with Jake Matthews, Vic Beasley, Keanu Neal, Tak McKinley, and Calvin Ridley. I believe the Falcons will stick to Dan Quinn’s Defensive Background this year in the draft and would go bonkers for Rashan Gary.

Great Character and an Awesome Mama

In relating to character, Rashan Gary is a standup guy. I recently saw a special on the NFL Network about Gary and his close relationship with his mother. It was a wonderful look into Gary’s life and the support he receives from a great mother. The video shares a story about his mother, Jennifer, who commentated on some of his high school games on the team’s PA system. It shows the dedication and strong relationship that Rashan has with Jennifer and that support will always be there. This is great to see, especially when a few years ago another player’s mother decided to show her “support” for them on TV.

Does anyone remember Annie Apple? She is the mother of Eli Apple, formerly of the New York Giants, now on the Saints. When Eli Apple was getting drafted, his mother went on the NFL Network many times, not only to promote her son, but also boast about herself. This kind of relationship between mother and son did not seem right, but of course the Giants drafted him in the first round. Look where he is now, already on his second team! Glad to see Rashan Gary have a strong supporter and good background along with his talent.

Video of Rashan Gary and his mother Jennifer:

Video of Annie Apple:

(Embedding disabled for this video - click here)

Final Thoughts

It was great to be included in this year’s BGN mock draft! I had so much fun and would love to join again next year. Overall, I think Rashan Gary will be a really great draft prospect for any team that takes a chance. The Falcons would be a terrific destination. I think Gary will probably end up somewhere in the top 15, but if he drops below 15, I would not rule out the Eagles making some calls to snatch him up. Sadly, I don’t think Ed Oliver will be falling far either which is said for the Eagles and extremely depressing for the guys at SB Nation’s “The Falcoholic.” Those guys have an affinity for Oliver and talk about trading up for him many times. Don’t be surprised if the Falcons get Oliver or Gary. That would make for a beastly D-Line. Watch out for the Falcons next year, that is until they play the Eagles(Matt Ryan sucks vs Eagles). The draft is right around the corner! Can’t wait! Thanks to BLG and the other dedicated BGN members that will help occupy my time leading up to the draft and the start the regular season with nonstop awesome coverage! Both Birds(Eagles and Falcons) are in store for a great year this year and possibly another playoff matchup! Until the Draft, happy mock drafting and enjoy the rest of the BGN mock draft. Thanks for surviving the long reading everyone! I’ll leave you with the best fun fact out there:

THE PHILADELPHIA EAGLES ARE THE LAST TEAM TO SCORE A TOUCHDOWN IN A SUPER BOWL!

P.S. In honor of the Washington Team being next on the clock, take a moment to be thankful for the current NFC East General Managers. They all should get raises and extensions! LolSkins

Poll

Do you approve of this pick?

This poll is closed

  • 82%
    Yes
    (169 votes)
  • 17%
    No
    (35 votes)
204 votes total Vote Now

2019 BGN Mock Draft Order

1) Cardinals (Philliesandthebees): Kyler Murray

2) 49ers (SakPrescott): Nick Bosa

3) Jets (thealien2696): Quinnen Williams

4) Raiders (SisyphusNoMore): Josh Allen

5) Buccaneers (EAGLESBSU): Montez Sweat

6) Giants (ablesser88): Dwayne Haskins

7) Jaguars (20Safety_Hazards): Jawaan Taylor

8) Lions (89Tremaine): Ed Oliver

9) Bills (drc242): Jonah Williams

10) Broncos (ItownBallers22): Devin White

11) Bengals (Phoenix X Maximus): Cody Ford

12) Packers (Palaniappan K M): Brian Burns

13) Dolphins (wildcatlh): Andre Dillard

14) Falcons (Happy24): Rashan Gary

15) Washington (roberticus0):

16) Panthers (Triumph McCloud):

17) Giants (KevinDont):

18) Vikings (Eagles701):

19) Titans (Big Schmoopie):

20) Steelers (J. Wil):

21) Seahawks (NickfoleonDynamite):

22) Ravens (GMinTraining):

23) Texans (EaglesRock94)

24) Raiders (SummersInVA):

25) Eagles (I Need a Username):

26) Colts (Nolo0oo):

27) Raiders (SLC Eagle):

28) Chargers (LBCeaglesFan!):

29) Chiefs (Boxer Madness):

30) Packers (Kephas):

31) Rams (Matthieuck):

32) Patriots (Zett_66):

Now it’s time for you to vote for who YOU think the Falcons should pick in the 2019 BGN Community Consensus Mock Draft.

Poll

Who should the Atlanta Falcons draft at No. 14 overall?

This poll is closed

  • 51%
    Rashan Gary
    (75 votes)
  • 13%
    Brian Burns
    (20 votes)
  • 10%
    Clelin Ferrell
    (15 votes)
  • 16%
    Christian Wilkins
    (24 votes)
  • 8%
    Cody Ford
    (13 votes)
147 votes total Vote Now

2019 BGN Community Consensus Mock Draft

1) Cardinals: Kyler Murray

2) 49ers: Nick Bosa

3) Jets: Quinnen Williams

4) Raiders: Josh Allen

5) Buccaneers: Montez Sweat

6) Giants: Dwayne Haskins

7) Jaguars: Jawaan Taylor

8) Lions: Ed Oliver

9) Bills: Jonah Williams

10) Broncos: Devin White

11) Bengals: Devin Bush

12) Packers: T.J. Hockenson

13) Dolphins: Andre Dillard

14) Falcons: