5 things to know about the Falcons on Draft Day

March 16, 2106 Athens, GA: Atlanta Falcons General Manager Thomas Dimitroff, head coach Dan Quinn and assistant General Manager Scott Pioli confer during Pro Day at the University of Georgia Wednesday March 16, 2016. Players, who have wrapped up their college careers, participated in a set of predetermined skills designed to test their strength, speed and agility in hopes of impressing NFL scouts. BRANT SANDERLIN/BSANDERLIN@AJC.COM

March 16, 2106 Athens, GA: Atlanta Falcons General Manager Thomas Dimitroff, head coach Dan Quinn and assistant General Manager Scott Pioli confer during Pro Day at the University of Georgia Wednesday March 16, 2016. Players, who have wrapped up their college careers, participated in a set of predetermined skills designed to test their strength, speed and agility in hopes of impressing NFL scouts. BRANT SANDERLIN/BSANDERLIN@AJC.COM

FLOWERY BRANCH – The NFL draft is finally here!

If things start on time at 8 p.m., the Falcons will make the 17th overall pick around 10:50 p.m. tonight.

Here are five things you need to know about the Falcons on draft day:

1. Staying at 17: The Falcons plan to stay at 17 and select defense. All they could probably receive for moving back in the first round is a mid- to late-third rounder or more likely a fourth round pick. That’s not enough in the team’s view. If someone steps up and throws a second-rounder at them, they’ll have to consider it.

2. The picks. The Falcons have picks in the first-round (17th), second (50th), third (81st), fourth (115th) and seventh (238th). They lost their fifth-round pick in the noise gate scandal and traded the sixth-round pick to Tennessee in the Andy Levitre trade. The Falcons and the Rams have the fewest picks (five) in the draft.

3. Best player available. The Falcons’ projected draft needs: linebacker or defensive end, safety, guard and tight end in the first four rounds. While filling needs they are talking more about selecting the best player available — BPA —  on the board.

4. Players Falcons have scouted. Here’s a list of players that have been linked to the Falcons through the pre-draft process:

  • Brandon Allen, QB, Arkansas
  • Jack Allen, C, Michigan State
  • Stephen Anderson, WR, California
  • Danny Anthrop, WR, Purdue
  • Eli Apple, CB, Ohio State
  • Sterling Bailey, DE/3-4DE, Georgia
  • Alex Balducci, DT, Oregon
  • Karnorris Benson, WR, Western Carolina
  • Moritz Wilhelm Boehringer, WR, Germany
  • Trevone Boykin, QB, TCU
  • Jake Brendel, C, UCLA
  • Kevin Byard, S, Middle Tennessee
  • De’Vondre Campbell, OLB, Minnesota
  • Jack Conklin, OT, Michigan State
  • Fahn Cooper, OT, Ole Miss
  • Su’a Cravens, OLB, USC
  • Joe Dahl, G/OT, Washington State
  • Clay DeBord, OT, Eastern Washington
  • KJ Dillon, SS, West Virginia
  • Kenyan Drake, RB, Alabama
  • Leonard Floyd, OLB/3-4OLB, Georgia
  • Will Fuller, WR, Notre Dame
  • Darion Griswold, TE, Arkansas State
  • Javon Hargrave, DT, South Carolina State
  • Joel Heath, DT, Michigan State
  • Kevin Hogan, QB, Stanford
  • Tyrone Holmes, DE, Montana
  • Austin Hooper, TE, Stanford
  • Germain Ifedi, OT, Texas A&M
  • Matt Ioannidis, DT, Temple
  • Myles Jack, OLB, UCLA
  • Jordan Jenkins, OLB/3-4OLB, Georgia
  • Deion Jones, OLB, LSU
  • Bronson Kaufusi, DE/3-4DE, Brigham Young
  • Shaq Lawson, DE/3-4OLB, Clemson
  • Darron Lee, OLB, Ohio State
  • Antonio Longino, ILB, Arizona State
  • Lene Maiava, OT/G, Arizona
  • Blake Martinez, ILB, Stanford
  • Braxton Miller, WR, Ohio State
  • Keanu Neal, S, Florida
  • Sherrod Neasman, S, Florida Atlantic
  • Dadi Lhomme Nicolas, OLB, Virginia Tech
  • Victor Ochi, OLB, Stony Brook
  • Emmanuel Ogbah, DE/3-4DE, Oklahoma State
  • Joshua Perry, OLB, Ohio State
  • Reggie Ragland, ILB, Alabama
  • Luke Rhodes, ILB, William & Mary
  • Mike Rose, DE, NC State
  • Jake Rudock, QB, Michigan
  • Steven Scheu, TE, Vanderbilt
  • Hunter Sharp, WR, Utah State
  • Justin Simmons, FS, Boston College
  • Terrance Smith, OLB/ILB, Florida State
  • Jason Spriggs, OT, Indiana
  • Lawrence Thomas, DT, Michigan State
  • Joe Thuney, G, NC State
  • Destiny Vaeao, DT, Washington State
  • Nick Vannett, TE, Ohio State
  • Nick Vigil, ILB, Utah State
  • DeAndre Washington, RB, Texas Tech
  • Josh Woodrum, QB, Liberty

5. Falcons five. Here are the five players on the Falcons’ radar screen for their 17th overall pick.

Before the NFL Draft beings, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s D. Orlando Ledbetter and CineSport’s Noah Coslov discuss the latest whispers at No. 17, the player to watch on Day 2 and the most intriguing late-round prospect.

NFL DRAFT 2016 – POSITION BY POSITION SERIES

Sunday, April 17 — QUARTERBACKS

Rams quest for franchise quarterback behind big trade –Wentz or Goff?

D. Led’s breakdown of the Quarterbacks

A look at the top 10 Quarterbacks in the draft

Monday — RUNNING BACKS

D Led’s breakdown of the Running backs — Is Derrick Henry the next Charles Muncie?

A look at the top 10 Running backs

Tuesday – WIDE RECEIVERS

D. Led’s breakdown of the Wide receivers

A look at the top 10 Wide receivers

Wednesday — TIGHT ENDS

D. Led’s breakdown of the Tight ends

A look at the top 10 tight ends

Thursday — OFFENSIVE LINEMEN

D. Led’s breakdown of the Offensive linemen

A look at the top 10 offensive linemen

Friday — DEFENSIVE LINEMEN

D. Led’s breakdown of the Defensive linemen

A look at the top 10 defensive linemen 

Saturday, April 23 — LINEBACKERS

Falcons searching for hybrid linebacker/safeties

D. Led’s breakdown of the Linebackers

A look at the top 10 linebackers

Sunday, April 24 — CORNERBACKS

D. Led’s breakdown of the cornerbacks

A look at the top 10 cornerbacks

Monday, April 25 — SAFETIES

D. Led’s breakdown of the Safeties

A look at the top 10 Safeties

Tuesday, April 26

D. Led’s breakdown of the Specialists, kickers, punters and returners

A look at the top 5 punters and top 5 kickers

Wednesday, April 27

Final mock draft

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