Dynasty fantasy football is a year-round affair. A sharp manager will be thinking about all aspects of the dynasty season. Those managers keen enough to look ahead will be the ones who can grab themselves an edge over the competition. Industry professionals and content creators will spend most of the dynasty off-season discussing incoming rookies and the related topic, the NFL draft. We easily fall in love with the next workhorse running back or prototypical alpha wide receiver. But a manager in tune with the entire draft class will find themselves ahead of the game. Whether it is the next road-paving interior offensive lineman or genetic freak edge rusher, we can find ourselves at quite the advantage come April by building an entire picture of how the 2023 class will play out. Those who prepare ahead will not be often surprised at the outcomes.
Credit for the mock draft simulation goes to the NFL Mock Draft Database. Team needs are also generated from this site. Compensatory picks have not been assigned or included in this exercise.
2023 Season Recap
The Atlanta Falcons entered 2023 with mild expectations. Head coach Arthur Smith was entering his third year as the team’s head coach, and pressure was mounting. After coming from Tennessee, where he ran their powerful offense, he thought he could do the same for the Falcons. They loaded up this offense with high draft picks and had a new face at quarterback.
What would end up unfolding for the Atlanta Falcons was a hot mess. Playmakers like Kyle Pitts, Drake London, and Bijan Robinson couldn’t find a rhythm. Second-year quarterback Desmond Ridder would earn the job and sometimes lose the job, causing no momentum to be gained. Through it all, the results and the team could never go Arthur Smith’s way.
Owner Arthur Blank made a change as head coach, and despite many expecting Bill Belichick to take over, he did not. In comes Raheem Morris with a new coaching staff who is poised to be able to utilize this roster much differently. With him comes Los Angeles Rams quarterback coach Zac Robinson to call plays, which leads many to believe we may finally see some fantasy production.
The offense may have the pieces, but this roster still needs some attention. Here is the Draft Nerds approach to getting things hot again in Atlanta.
1.08 Jared Verse, Edge, Florida State
New head coach Morris needs a presence on the edge of his defensive line. Since Vic Beasley had double-digit sacks in 2016, they have been looking for that type of production at the edge position. Verse fits the bill, fills it out really, and gives them an immediate impact as a defensive player on the line.
2.43 Zach Frazier, C, West Virginia
The Atlanta Falcons have a very formidable offensive line established. They have room for growth at the center to clear running lanes for Robinson, and Frazier solves that here. He is coming off a broken bone in his leg that made him miss the Senior Bowl and may affect his Combine testing, but the film doesn’t lie.
3.74 Michael Pratt, QB, Tulane
Ridder is not the solution, in my opinion. Pratt has plenty of tools and the ability to be a fun NFL quarterback after being a fun college quarterback. He has some developing to do but he has shown he can progress each and every year he plays. Give me a kid with moxy and an ability to grow over any.
4.109 Javon Baker, WR, UCF
The Atlanta Falcons have five free agents at the wide receiver position, so expect them to draft some in 2024. Baker quietly had a solid Senior Bowl week, showcasing his physical style and red zone ability. I greatly like him as a complement to Kyle Pitts and Drake London.
5.145 Luke McCaffrey, WR, Rice
McCaffrey has only been playing wide receiver for two years after playing quarterback prior. He has an athletic profile that leads many to believe he can be something at the next level. This team has five free agents at wide receiver; give me McCaffrey as a long-term playmaker to be a playmaker in a year or two.
6.189 Jaylan Ford, LB, Texas
Ford is a high-motor linebacker with great instincts for the ball. He forces turnovers and tracks ball carriers, but his size may cause some to question his NFL ability. In the worst case, Ford strives as a special teamer or package-specific player, but I believe he is a great late-round dart throw for the Atlanta Falcons.
6.201 Joe Milton, QB, Tennessee
This pick creates a bit of a log jam at quarterback, but I like to bet on traits. Milton has the strongest arm in the 2024 class, bar none. What he lacks is accuracy; he is a wild stallion of sorts. If this Falcons staff can get him to settle down his wild arm and get the accuracy going, he has tremendous upside.
7.244 Bryson Nesbit, WR/TE, North Carolina
A true dart throw of a pick here, Nesbit has the athletic upside you look for in late picks. He played tight end primarily at North Carolina but was a versatile receiving option. Backing up Pitts or filling in at wide receiver would be his ideal role. The Atlanta Falcons can’t have enough weapons on offense with a young quarterback.
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