FLOWERY BRANCH – The Falcons can’t mess this up like they did the last time they had the eighth pick in the draft.
They must pick the best player available (Todd Gurley) and not pick for need (pass rusher).
The best player available in Mock Draft 1.0 is former Georgia running back Todd Gurley and that’s who the Falcons should take.
Back in 2007, the Falcons were in need of a pass-rusher and selected Jamaal Anderson with the eighth overall pick. Anderson was stunned. He was told that he was a second-round pick.
It was a boom or bust pick. It went bust.
The Falcons picked Anderson to fill a need instead of taking the best player on the board. Running back Marshawn Lynch, cornerback Darrelle Revis and linebacker Patrick Willis were all still available.
Gurley reminds former Cowboys executive Gil Brandt of Minnesota running back Adrian Peterson.
“Peterson is taller than he is and probably weighs more than he does,” Brandt said on NFL Radio’s Late Hits show on Wednesday night. “I think that they are both about the same speed. I think Gurley is better coming into the league as a pass receiver and a pass protector than Peterson was when he came in as the No. 7 pick in the draft.”
After the Vikings selected Peterson, the Falcons turned in their card for Anderson.
Gurley, who tore his ACL in November, will not be ready until around five or six games into the season. There’s no need to rush him along.
Gurley has visited the Lions and the Panthers. He's set to visit 11 or 12 teams.
“His ideal playing weight is about 225 and at Pro Day I think he was 224 and at the combine he was right in the 220s,” Brandt said. “I’ll say this, whoever is lucky enough and fortunate enough to draft him...I think they are going to have a really great football player. They are going to have a guy who has the ability of Adrian Peterson, the back from Minnesota. That’s the kind of back that they are going to have.”
Peterson, who missed last season over his domestic violence case which involved the whipping of a child, has rushed for 10,190 yards and 86 touchdowns.
Gurley, who would also help the Falcons move those PSLs, gave an update on his recovery when he appeared on the show with Brandt and Alex Marvez.
“I’m feeling pretty good,” Gurley said. “I’ve started to run, do back pedaling and do jumps. It’s been going pretty good, going smoothly.”
Marvez tried to get Gurley to reveal some of his visits.
“A lot of teams (like the Falcons) don’t really what guys to talk about where they have visited,” Gurley said. “Out of respect (to the teams), I’m not going to say where I have been or where I’m going unless the team gives me (permission) to say something about it. I don’t want to get (anybody) upset. I don’t want to have to cancel any visits for that.”
Gurley will return to Indianapolis on April 17 and 18 to have his knee re-checked by league doctors.
(Sorry about the sideways video. Was breaking in the new selfie stick!)
Here’s how my Mock 1.0 stacks up:
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Jameis Winston, QB, Florida State
- Tennessee Titans. Leonard Williams, DE, USC
- Jacksonville Jaguars. Dante Fowler, OLB, Florida
- Oakland Raiders. Amari Cooper, WR, Alabama
- Washington Redskins. Vic Beasley, DE, Clemson
- New York Jets. Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon
- Chicago Bears. Shane Ray, DE, Missouri
- Atlanta Falcons. Todd Gurley, RB, Georgia
- New York Giants. Brandon Scherff, G, Iowa
- St. Louis Rams. La'el Collins, OT, LSU
- Minnesota Vikings. Trae Waynes, CB, Michigan State
- Cleveland Browns. Kevin White, WR, West Virginia
- New Orleans Saints. DeVante Parker, WR, Louisville
- Miami Dolphins. Landon Collins, SS, Alabama
- San Francisco 49ers. Randy Gregory, OLB, Nebraska
- Houston Texans. Jalen Collins, CB, LSU
- San Diego Chargers. Bud Dupree, DE, Kentucky
- Kansas City Chiefs. Danny Shelton, DT, Kansas City
- Cleveland Browns. Melvin Gordon III, RB, Wisconsin
- Philadelphia Eagles. Kevin Johnson, CB, Wake Forest
- Cincinnati Bengals. Ereck Flowers, OT, Miami
- Pittsburgh Steelers. Marcus Peters, CB, Washington
- Detroit Lions. Andrus Peat, OT, Stanford
- Arizona Cardinals. Eli Harold, OLB, Virginia
- Carolina Panthers. D.J. Humphries, OT, Florida
- Baltimore Ravens. Jaelen Strong, WR, Arizona State
- Dallas Cowboys. Eric Kendricks, ILB, UCLA
- Denver Broncos. Denzel Perryman, ILB, Miami
- Indianapolis Colts. Jordan Phillips, DT, Oklahoma
- Green Bay Packers. Eddie Goldman, DT, Florida State
- New Orleans Saints. Malcolm Brown, RB, Texas
- New England Patriots. Breshad Perriman, WR, Central Florida
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