FLOWERY BRANCH – It’s possible the Falcons can land three starters with the picks they have in the upcoming draft, which is set for Thursday through Saturday in Chicago.
The Falcons hold the 17th pick, 50th (second round), 81st (third round), 115th (fourth) and 238th (seventh round).
There were just two starters from the players picked in those positions last season, but San Francisco whiffed with the 17th pick in the first round on defensive end Arik Armstead, who played in 16 games, but made no starts.
If the Falcons can get a starter in the first round, they may be able to find starters in the second and third. Buffalo landed PFWA all-rookie cornerback Ron Darby with the 50th pick last season and took guard John Miller with the 81st. He started 12 games, but struggled mightily.
The Falcons had their fifth-round pick revoked by the league for penalties for pumping fake crowd noise into the Georgia Dome during the 2013 and 2014 seasons. They traded their sixth-round pick to Tennessee in the Andy Levitre trade.
Here’s a look at the players taken in the Falcons’ slots in the 2015 draft:
17th – San Francisco: Arik Armstead, DE, Oregon – He played in 16 games and made no starts. He had two sacks on the season.
50th – Buffalo: Ronald Darby, CB, Florida State – He played 15 games and started 15 games for the Bills. He was named the PFWA all-rookie teams after he made 69 tackles, two interceptions and a team-record 21 pass break-ups. The 21 break-ups were also the fourth-most in the NFL.
81st – Buffalo: John Miller, C, Louisville – He started 12 games at right guard for the Bills, but was one of the lowest rated players at his position in the league. He played 647 offensive snaps (60.2 percent).
115th – Cleveland: Ibraheim Campbell, S, Northwestern – He played in 15 games and made one start.
238th – Cincinnati: Mario Alford, WR, West Virginia – He played in one game.
The AJC’s D. Orlando Ledbetter gives his top players for the Falcons to draft at #17, talks about the interest in LB Myles Jack & tells CineSport’s Noah Coslov where the team may go in round 2.
NFL DRAFT 2016 – POSITION BY POSITION SERIES
Sunday, April 17 — QUARTERBACKS
Monday — RUNNING BACKS
Tuesday – WIDE RECEIVERS
Wednesday — TIGHT ENDS
Thursday — OFFENSIVE LINEMEN
Friday — DEFENSIVE LINEMEN
Saturday, April 23 — LINEBACKERS
Sunday, April 24 — CORNERBACKS
Monday, April 25 — SAFETIES
Tuesday, April 26
D. Led’s breakdown of the Specialists, kickers, punters and returners
Position by position: Specialists chart
Wednesday, April 27
Final mock draft