Atlanta Falcons gearing up for 2023 NFL Draft
ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - The 2023 NFL Draft kicks off Thursday in Kansas City, the home of the reigning Super Bowl Champion Kansas City Chiefs.
The Atlanta Falcons have the No. 8 overall pick in the first round for the second consecutive year. They used their first-round picks on offense in their first two drafts. In 2021, they selected tight end Kyle Pitts with the 4th overall pick. In 2022, they selected wide receiver Drake London with the No. 8 overall pick.
Both London and Pitts have contributed and have been solid picks for the Falcons. However, you could make a case that other positions were of higher need. Fontenot did say they’re open to trading up or back.
Atlanta Falcons general manager Terry Fontenot’s NFL Draft philosophy has been the same since joining the team in January 2021. Draft the best player available.
With their No. 8 overall pick in the first round, the Falcons won’t necessarily go with necessity even though they have a lot of needs. This is Fontenot’s and head coach Arthur Smith’s third draft together.
They’ve already started having those conversations with other teams. There’s no doubt they need to improve their offensive and defensive line.
While the Chiefs, Philadelphia Eagles, San Francisco 49ers, Cincinnati Bengals, and Dallas Cowboys are among some of the perennial championship and playoff contenders across the NFL, the Falcons are optimistic they can find the right players to help the team rebound from their disappointing 2022 season and get back to the playoffs for the first time since 2017.
The Falcons have not won their division since 2017 and with quarterback Tom Brady retired, the Buccaneers may potentially no longer be viewed as a major threat in the NFC South.
Two major areas of need for the Falcons are their pass rush, cornerbacks, receiving corps, and their quarterback position, which remains a question mark.
The draft is set to begin at 8 p.m. on Thursday.
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