D. Led's Mock 3.0: Falcons trade up to get Dante Fowler Jr.

Dante Fowler in action against South Carolina.
Dante Fowler in action against South Carolina.

Credit: D. Orlando Ledbetter

Credit: D. Orlando Ledbetter

FLOWERY BRANCH – At this point the pre-draft process, the Falcon have realized that they can't sit at the eighth spot and be guaranteed of getting one of the talented pass-rushers in the draft.

They like Kentucky’s Bud Dupree, but they know that Florida’s Dante Fowler Jr. is better. They both best fit the size profiles that new head coach Dan Quinn likes.

The Falcons could sit and wait on Randy Gregory, but may decide he’s not worth the trouble.

So, in Mock 3.0, we have a trade!

The Falcons will make a deal with pal Dave Caldwell down in Jacksonville to move up into the third position so that they can draft Florida’s Dante Fowler Jr.

In 2012, the Browns moved up from the fourth spot to the third spot to draft Trent Richardson. They gave up a fourth, fifth and seventh.

The price to move up five spots would be a little steeper, but the Falcons need to hold onto their second-round pick and see if the Jags would take next year’s third, a fifth and seventh.

“Randy Gregory after testing positive at the combine and for his history or repeated poor decisions, there is a pretty good shot that he’s going to get to eight,” said NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock on 92.9 the Game on Thursday while talking to Marc James and Randy Cross.

Missouri’s Shane Ray is a little to light in the britches for the Falcons scheme.

“If you’re talking about Shane Ray, he’s 6-3 ½ 245 with the defense that Atlanta runs, he’s really not a defensive end,” Mayock said. “He would have to do what Khalil Mack does in Oakland or what Von Miller does in Denver and play outside linebacker on first down and then kick down with his hand in the dirt in sub packages and that’s realistic. I think Shane Ray is guy who makes a whole lot of sense in that particular scenario.”

By now the Falcons have figured out that Fowler is a better scheme than Clemson’s Vic Beasley.

“Vic Beasley is kind of the same thing,” Mayock said. “He’s a specialty pass rusher. He can’t play defensive end for you on first down. He’d either have to play linebacker or be a specialty guy like Aldon Smith was in first year in the league.”

Dupree is attracting more interest,  but there is a consensus that he would be a reach with the 8th pick.

“The guy that has picked up a lot of steam and makes sense for Atlanta’s scheme, who’s probably really not in the conversation … is Bud Dupree,” Mayock said. “This kid is 270 pounds and gifted. He’s a little bit inconsistent on tape. He fits the front that Dan Quinn is going to run a little bit more than the other guys.”

So, trade up for Fowler, take Gregory or go with the inconsistent guy from Kentucky by way of Wilkinson County High.

Trade up for Fowler is the move!!!!

ESPN analyst Bill Polian is a Fowler backer.

“The Florida kid has got really great explosion off the edge,” Polian said. “He’s a bigger version of a Bruce Irvin type player. He’s much bigger as a matter of fact. He can turn speed into power. He’s an aggressive player and pretty accomplished rusher.”

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Here’s how my Mock 3.0 stacks up:

  1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Jameis Winston, QB, Florida State 
  2. Tennessee Titans. Leonard Williams, DE, USC*
  3. *Atlanta Falcons. Dante Fowler, OLB, Florida
  4. Oakland Raiders. Amari Cooper, WR, Alabama
  5. Washington Redskins. Vic Beasley, DE, Clemson
  6. New York Jets. Danny Shelton, DT, Washington 
  7. Chicago Bears. Marcus Mariota, QB, Chicago
  8. *Jacksonville Jaguars, Randy Gregory, OLB, Nebraska
  9. New York Giants. Brandon Scherff, G, Iowa
  10. St. Louis Rams. La'el Collins, OT, LSU
  11. Minnesota Vikings. DeVante Parker, WR, Louisville
  12. Cleveland Browns. Kevin White, WR, West Virginia
  13. New Orleans Saints. Arik Armstead, DT, Oregon
  14. Miami Dolphins. Landon Collins, SS, Alabama
  15. San Francisco 49ers. Shane Ray, OLB, Missouri
  16. Houston Texans. Jalen Collins, CB, LSU
  17. San Diego Chargers. Bud Dupree, DE, Kentucky
  18. Kansas City Chiefs. Trae Waynes, CB, Michigan State
  19. Cleveland Browns. Melvin Gordon III, RB, Wisconsin
  20. Philadelphia Eagles. Kevin Johnson, CB, Wake Forest
  21. Cincinnati Bengals. Ereck Flowers, OT, Miami
  22. Pittsburgh Steelers. Andrus Peat, OT, Stanford
  23. Detroit Lions. Todd Gurley, RB, Georgia
  24. Arizona Cardinals. Eli Harold, OLB, Virginia
  25. Carolina Panthers. D.J. Humphries, OT, Florida
  26. Baltimore Ravens. Breshad Perriman, WR, Central Florida
  27. Dallas Cowboys. Eric Kendricks, ILB, UCLA
  28. Denver Broncos. Eddie Goldman, DT, Florida State
  29. Indianapolis Colts. Jordan Phillips, DT, Oklahoma
  30. Green Bay Packers. Denzel Perryman, ILB, Miami
  31. New Orleans Saints. Malcolm Brown, RB, Texas
  32. New England Patriots. Owamagbe Odighizuwa, DE, UCLA


First round: 8th overall selection

Second round: 42nd overall selection

Third round: 73rd overall selection

Fourth round: 107th overall selection

Fifth round: 146th overall selection

Sixth round: 185th overall selection

Seventh round: 225th overall selection

Seventh round: 249th overall selection*

*Pick is from New England through St. Louis


D. Led's Mock 1.0: Falcons select Todd Gurley with 8th overall pick

Falcons set to work on Vic Beasley in Clemson

Stanford's James Vaughters to participate in Falcons' locals day


Oregon DE Arik Armstead talked scheme with the Falcons

Falcons met with Alabama quarterback Blake Sims

Falcons to meet with Florida DE Dante Fowler Jr.

Falcons met with Wake Forest CB Kevin Johnson

Falcons met with Alabama safety Landon Collins


SOUTH CAROLINA: Ex-Gamecock Davis leans on brother for NFL help

SOUTH CAROLINA: RB Mike Davis (Stephenson High) has strong showing

GEORGIA: Todd Gurley reflects on his career in Athens

GEORGIA: Quarterack Hutson Mason has solid showing at Pro Day

Explore GEORGIA: Ray Drew shines at Georgia Pro Day

GEORGIA: Chris Conley performed well in position drills

GEORGIA TECH: Synjyn Days hopes to run to daylight in NFL

GEORGIA TECH: VIDEO -- Head coach Paul Johnson 

ALABAMA: Amari Cooper aiming to be top wide receiver in the draft

ALABAMA: VIDEO: Amari Cooper on his draft status

ALABAMA: Lineman Austin Shepherd has met with the Falcons

CLEMSON: Vic Beasley would love to play for the Falcons

AUBURN: Nick Marshall doing 'whatever it takes' to make NFL

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