Of all the teams drafting in the top 10, the Atlanta Falcons are in the most advantageous position, save for Houston. With Julio Jones and Roddy White coming back from injury, a chance to add needed RB depth in the later rounds, and a franchise QB already in place, they can simply take the most talented player on the board.
Any seasoned Falcon watcher knows the team's two biggest areas of need are the offensive line and the defensive side of the ball. While Jake Matthews or Greg Robinson would also be fine choices, I believe that if Mack is still on the board, Atlanta should snatch him up without hesitation.
Mack has been compared to Von Miller, and the Falcons' desire for a front line defensive star is no state secret. They have openly pining for Jadeveon Clowney for weeks now. While some teams may talk themselves out of Clowney, it's doubtful that 5 teams will all make that mistake and allow him to fall to Atlanta. All the talk of the Falcons trading up is a smoke screen, they've already depleted their war chest in the past by trading 5 picks for Julio Jones. Considering one of their biggest needs is to replenish depth, it's more likely they would trade down than up.
Mack has been flying up draft boards ever since he made the wise choice to return to school after a solid 2012 season. In Buffalo's season opener against the highly touted Ohio State Buckeyes, Mack showed that his numbers weren't the product of inferior competition. He put 9 tackles, 2.5 sacks and returned an interception for a touchdown, looking like the best player on the field.
He possesses a quick first step, regularly causes disruption in opposing backfields, and has a nose for the football. For a defense that struggled to produce stops and turnovers on a regular basis, Mack could serve as a curing elixir. Only Oakland and Houston finished with less interceptions than the Falcons, and while they did recover 11 fumbles to finish in a tie for 10th, they only forced 13, ranking 18th. Advanced statistics have shown that such a high rate of fumble recovery is not sustainable season to season and is largely based on lucky bounces. This suggests they could benefit from a player of Mack's ilk.
Mack is a creator of havoc, someone who looks ready to play any linebacker position in the NFL and be an immediate contributor. If he lives up to his advanced billing, it could be a very short playoff drought in the ATL.
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