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Thursday, March 13, 2014
Kiper’s Mock 3.0: Falcons

By Vaughn McClure

The Atlanta Falcons added some key pieces through free agency by addressing needs along the offensive and defensive lines. Now, they might have to plug their other holes through the draft.

Securing a pass-rusher, offensive tackle and free safety will be vital as the Falcons continue the retooling process. The tackle position would appear to be the priority based on the need to keep quarterback Matt Ryan protected. The Falcons, with the sixth overall pick, are sure to check into three tackles in particular: Auburn's Greg Robinson, Texas A&M's Jake Matthews, and Michigan's Taylor Lewan. Expect them to conduct private workouts with all three players.

In terms of a pass-rusher, the first name that comes to mind is Buffalo outside linebacker Khalil Mack, with the Falcons expected to use more of a base 3-4 defensive scheme. UCLA outside linebacker Anthony Barr also would be in that mix. But it would be interesting to see what type of choice the Falcons would have to make if South Carolina's Jadeveon Clowney fell to No. 6 because he's not ideal for a 3-4 scheme.

It's highly doubtful the Falcons would target a safety in the first round unless they traded down and picked up an extra selection.