Atlanta Falcons 3-Round 2022 Mock Draft: Bypassing QB For Other Needs

2022 NFL Draft: Purdue Boilermakers EDGE George Karlaftis.Mandatory Credit: John Jones-USA TODAY Sports
2022 NFL Draft: Purdue Boilermakers EDGE George Karlaftis.Mandatory Credit: John Jones-USA TODAY Sports /
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2022 NFL mock draft: 2022 NFL Draft prospect George Karlaftis
2022 NFL Draft prospect George Karlaftis, Atlanta Falcons mock draft /

The Atlanta Falcons need a lot of help on this roster for a turnaround, and in this mock draft, they get plenty.

The Atlanta Falcons took a beating Sunday in their 32-6 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. It started with a lack of rhythm and connection on offense, and finished with the offensive line collapsing from everywhere around quarterback Matt Ryan. Richie Grant sitting out and Kyle Pitts nowhere to be found when Atlanta got into the red zone. It wasn’t a great effort, and it showed the lack of talent currently on the roster.

There’s a good chance that the Falcons end up near the top of the 2022 NFL Draft, and could be in the running to once again pick in the top five. It was questionable to see the Atlanta Falcons, clearly in a rebuild after trading Julio Jones, pass on a quarterback for Pitts, even though Pitts was a heck of a prospect. If they passed on Justin Fields and Trey Lance, odds are they will pass again in what is clearly a weaker QB class at this point. In this three round mock draft, the Atlanta Falcons pass at quarterback and opt to build up the roster. Let’s dive in!

Note: This Falcons mock draft was completed using the NFL Mock Draft Database simulator and used the order based on current standings.

Round 1, 6th Overall: George Karlaftis, EDGE, Purdue

The Atlanta Falcons have struggled on the edge for several seasons now. Vic Beasley fell off after a 15 sack campaign, and Takk McKinley never panned out. They’re banking on Dante Fowler showing them something to commit for a longer term, and hoping Ade Ogundeji can develop into a solid rusher.

The 2022 NFL Draft will have an abundance of pass rushers, and it’s even possible that the Falcons get into range for Kayvon Thibodeaux. Instead, they don’t get the chance and select Purdue rusher George Karlaftis. Karlaftis dominated the Big Ten as a freshman, putting up 7.5 sacks and 17 tackles for loss. After a shortened 2020, Karlaftis is set to put up big numbers as a junior in 2021.

Karlaftis deviates from the speedy rushers the Falcons normally covet, but his skill set is excellent. He wins at the point of contact by softening the edge with great hand usage. He can rip through contact and shed blocks to quickly make plays in the backfield. Karlaftis has the athleticism to change direction to win inside and use speed to power to collapse the pocket. His closing speed is also impressive and he crushes it on backside pursuit. Karlaftis would be a welcome addition to this defense.