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Falcons Earn an ‘B’ for Their Draft According to ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr.

The draft grades from ‘Draft Guru’ Mel Kiper Jr. are out, and one team that got a very good grade is that of the Falcons, who according to Kiper got an ‘B’ for their collection of players over the two days.

Here’s what he had to say:

Atlanta lost wide receivers Taylor Gabriel and Andre Roberts in free agency, and we knew the Falcons were going to address the position at some point in this draft. And after the season Calvin Ridley had at Alabama, I never thought he’d be available at No. 26. But then his testing numbers at the combine were just average, and he started to drop. Listen, you have to trust the tape with Ridley. He’s an advanced route runner who just gets open, and that’s against SEC defenses and some of the best defensive backs in the country. That’s why making him the No. 3 wideout behind Julio Jones (another Bama star) and Mohamed Sanu is a great move. Matt Ryan has to be elated with his options, and the NFC South only got tougher this offseason.

Elsewhere, defensive tackle Deadrin Senat (pick 90) could be a straight replacement for Dontari Poe, who left for the Panthers in free agency. Cornerback Isaiah Oliver (58) is a supreme athlete who also returned punts for the Buffaloes. Ito Smith (126) is insurance in case they can’t retain Tevin Coleman. Smith is only 5-9, but he’ll help in the passing game — he had 140 career receptions.

If there’s a qualm with this class, it’s that there’s no guard, and they could have used a young guy to push the starters. Still, I like Ridley, Oliver and Senat.

Round/Pick Name Pos College
1/26 Calvin Ridley WR ALABAMA
2/58 Isaiah Oliver CB COLORADO
3/90 Deadrin Senat DT SOUTH FLORIDA
4/126 Ito Smith RB SOUTHERN MISS
6/194 Russell Gage WR LSU
6/200 Foyesade Oluokun S YALE


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