Falcons Draft Edge Versus Vic Beasley in Latest Mock

Vic Beasley


The Falcons haven’t had a double-digit player since Vic Beasley in 2016.

No team has struggled to win after quarterbacks more than the Atlanta Falcons in 2021. They’ve only scored 18 QB draws, the least in the NFL.

It’s hard to predict a major improvement, despite the arrival of outside protection expert Lorenzo Carter in the freelance company. So it makes sense for the Falcons to research the 2022 draft class for help getting through.

A draftsman has a compelling idea. It involved the Falcons using the pick they got from trading Julio Jones with the Tennessee Titans last season to their advantage over former Atlanta sacked king Vic Beasley.

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He ended up complacent to cheat after being picked eighth overall by the Falcons in 2015, but the franchise hasn’t had a player sign up for a double-digit sack since Beasley logged 15, 5 in 2016.

Unannounced edge thief in round 2

In his seven-ring model draft for The Athletic, Dane Brugler sends Oklahoma’s Nik Bonitto to the Falcons for the 58th overall. It was the choice the Titans gave Jones a year ago.

Given that Jones is now a free agent after a lone, disappointing season in Nashville, getting a passer proficient with that option would be a steal. Bonitto qualifies as a competent after a productive final season with the Sooners in which he netted seven times and lost 15 tackles, according to Sports Reference.

The numbers are good, and Bonitto’s ability to combine “stepping, stride length and versatility into an alarming package for tackles trying to slow him down,” according to Lance Zierlein’s Lance Zierlein.

It was Zierlein who called Beasley the clear professional comparison of Bonitto. The Falcons need not worry about this comparison, though Beasley has struggled to live up to expectations in Atlanta, before ending his career with the Titans and Las Vegas Raiders in 2020.

His only standout season came in 2016, when Beasley led the league in a sack. In the process, he helped the Falcons achieve Super Bowl LI.

Like the 6’3″ Beasley, the 240-pound Bonitto lacks elite size, but his speed contributes to the winning odds on the outside. As Draft PFF note, no other Big 12 edge matches Bonitto’s talent for creating pressure:

That’s a number the Falcons will applaud as defensive coordinator Dean Pees tries to assemble an improved arsenal of players who can reach the passer.

Falcons still have work to do to improve Pass Rush

Carter is an attractive signing who has the potential to take his career to the next level in Pees’ sights. The former New York Giants player ended last season with five eliminations in his last four games.

Potential aside, even a breakout season from Carter won’t be enough to boost Atlanta’s feeble passing pace. Combining a new appearance with an energetic rookie like Bonitto will give Pees’ plans a chance to work more effectively in Year 2.

Pees is trying to make his 3-4 version a success in Atlanta, but he will likely use Bonitto more as a quick runner in clear passing situations. The role should help alleviate concerns about what Zierlein called Bonitto playing “a little too small on staff” and being “sealed in containment missions”.

Waiting until the second round to find a new passer seemed like a risk when there was an obvious weakness. Still, the Falcons can afford to wait, especially when there are other pressing needs on the list.

General manager Terry Fontenot would be better served using the eighth and 43rd picks to bring in a new player on the wide flank and strengthen a weak attacking line. Falcons Draft Edge Versus Vic Beasley in Latest Mock

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