What if Falcons draft another first-round CB?

The Morning Show w/ John & Hugh
February 25, 2019 - 11:28 am

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While much of the conversation about the Atlanta Falcons offseason has revolved around the team adding a top-flight lineman from this year's NFL Draft, longtime AJC beat writer D. Orlando Ledbetter offered up a different perspective from his first Mock Draft of 2019.

In studying the stats and analytics on why the Falcons released Robert Alford and Brian Poole, Ledbetter believes Georgia cornerback Deandre Baker, the 2018 Jim Thorpe Award winner, will be the team's first round pick.

“(Desmond) Trufant's getting late in his contract. This might be your chance to have another left cornerback down the road. That's why I went with Deandre Baker," Ledbetter said.

And while most fans would rather the team draft a defensive lineman, like Ed Oliver out of Houston, Ledbetter thinks the team is happy with their personnel on that side of the line.

"I think they know it's a passing league. They think they can coach up the front to get after the quarterback, if the guys are in tighter coverage. That's why we went with Deandre Baker in the pre-Combine Mock Draft 1.0."

With needs on both sides of the line, and with a seemingly make-or-break season for head coach Dan Quinn, would the Falcons be comfortable picking up a player that may have to sit behind Desmond Trufant?

"I think you can get everything you need elsewhere. You don't want to overdraft a lineman there because the rookie lineman can't come in and play," Ledbetter said, explaining there have been a couple of exceptions that have been able to start immediately. "This organization hasn't done a good job picking offensive lineman. I don't really trsut them."

"You can't have enought corners," Ledbetter said, "If one goes down, that fourth corner is all-of-the-sudden Blidi Wreh-Wilson. And hey, if Trufant can get off to a bad start, maybe you can get the kid out there quicker than you thought you were going to. They definitely have to tighten up that converage."