The Falcons add yet another high-level athlete, this time finally addressing the defensive line.
Through four rounds the Falcons have made a concentrated effort to rebuild the secondary and to bolster the offensive line. With their first selection in the fifth round they’ve opted to address the defensive line with Ta’Quon Graham out of Texas. He was a 2020 All-Big 12 Honorable Mention, having 7.0 Tackles for Loss and 2.0 sacks in 2020, and has experience at both defensive end and defensive tackle. In Atlanta, he’ll likely both inside and outside, though we’ll have to see how Dean Pees intends to dole out playing time along the defensive line.
This is the first selection that the Falcons have made addressing a defensive position outside of the secondary. Graham is an incredibly athletic 6’3, 290-pound specimen with a 9.68 RAS (Relative Athletic Score). Atlanta’s fourth round pick Drew Dalman was a 9.99 RAS, which indicates a bit of a trend on Day 3. It is, like most of the selections today, considered a “reach” by some draft analysts, with many having Graham going in the sixth or seventh rounds. The Falcons are betting on his raw tools making him worthy of a fifth round pick and then some.
He’s a raw prospect with incredible athleticism. He will have to learn some more pass rush moves at the next level to be worth the selection, as Burnt Orange Nation indicates he won with power and strong hands at Texas. He’ll plug into a reserve role for 2021 and the Falcons will hope that strength and athleticism will make him a terror for this defense eventually.
Round 1, Pick 4: TE Kyle Pitts, Florida
Round 2, Pick 35: S Richie Grant, UCF
Round 3, Pick 68: OL Jalen Mayfield, Michigan
Round 4, Pick 108: CB Darren Hall, San Diego State
Round 4, Pick 114: OL Drew Dalman, Stanford
Round 5, Pick 148: DL Ta’Quon Graham, Texas
Round 5, Pick 182
Round 5, Pick 183
Round 6, Pick 187