The Atlanta Falcons have six picks in the NFL Draft, including No. 31 in the first round April 27 in Philadelphia.
As the offseason program opens, the Falcons continue their attempts to put their Super Bowl collapse in the rearview mirror. While there are numerous reasons for the loss, the reality is that they were strong enough to build the lead they did.
There were few significant moves in the free agency, although the addition of defensive tackle Dontari Poe should help improve the defense. Also significant was the re-signing of cornerback Desmond Trufant to a long-term contract.
This is a very good roster that should also be helped in the draft.
Here is a look at the Falcons' five-year draft record with roster tallies reflecting totals as of the end of the 2016 season. Below that are key personnel moves made this year and the team's current needs heading into this draft and our projection for all their 2017 picks.
FIVE-YEAR DRAFT BREAKDOWN
. . . . . . . . . . . . . .2012 . .2013 . .2014 . .2015 . .2016
TOTAL PICKS . . . .6 . . . . . .8 . . . . .9 . . . . .7 . . . .8
STARTERS . . . . . .0 . . . . . .2 . . . . .3 . . . . .2 . . . .2
BACKUPS . . . . . .0 . . . . . .2 . . . . .2 . . . . .4 . . . .6
OTHER TEAMS . . .2 . . . . .2 . . . . .1 . . . . .1 . . . .0
OUT OF LEAGUE . .4 . . . . .2 . . . . .3 . . . . .0 . . .0
Top three draft needs
1. Right guard: With the retirement of Chris Chester, the Falcons are in need of interior offensive line help. Also, center Alex Mack is 31 and left guard Andy Levitre is 30. The Falcons could select Dan Feeney or Forest Lamp in the first round of the draft if they are available. They have put a premium on making sure that Matt Ryan is protected after they botched the previous rebuild of the offensive line.
2. Defensive end: The Falcons signed Dwight Freeney last season to help with the pass rush. They are heavily scouting defensive ends with pass-rushing talent. The draft is considered to have good depth and they could land a solid prospect in the second or third rounds.
3. Free safety: The draft is deep in defensive back talent. Converted free safety Ricardo Allen has been steady, but not spectacular.
Round and overall pick number listed, along with player, position, school, height, weight and 40-yard dash time.
1/31: Forrest Lamp, OG, Western Kentucky (6-4, 309, 4.98)
2/63: Marcus Williams, FS, Utah (6-1, 202, 4.56)
3/95: Jaleel Johnson, DT, Iowa (6-3, 316, 5.12)
4/136: Daeshon Hall, DE, Texas A&M (6-5, 266, 4.76)
5/174: Ishmael Zamora, WR, Baylor (6-3, 220, 4.58)
7/249: Ashton Lampkin, CB, Oklahoma State (6-0, 189, 4.52)
Now it's your turn. NFLDraftScout.com is ready to help with its list of the top 1,000 prospects in this draft.
--Howard Balzer and TSX NFL team insiders contributed to this analysis.