Cover 9@9: D. Led’s Mock Draft 1.0 -- Falcons take Jordan Davis

Credit: D. Orlando Ledbetter/AJC

Combined ShapeCaption
Former UGA defensive lineman Jordan Davis talks about being a 'three-down player' as he meets with the media during the NFL scouting combine.

Credit: D. Orlando Ledbetter/AJC

(We’re going to proceed without nine items on the Falcons this week and do our Mock Draft 1.0)

Mock drafts before the scouting combine are trash.

I love that word that the millennials like to throw around. Seems like a lot of stuff these days fits as “trash.”

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The combine is over, and the dust is starting to settle. With the start of free agency, you can see the draft clearer. It is set for April 28-30 in Las Vegas.

The real mock drafts don’t start until after the combine. All that stuff before all of the numbers are denoted is just mere conjecture.

Post-combine, there are very serious issues to address, including what do we make of Notre Dame safety Kyle Hamilton, of Marist, running the 40-yard dash in 4.59 seconds?

Just because Jordan Davis ran a 4.78 in the 40, does that mean he can rush the passer on third downs?

Pitt quarterback Kenny Pickett’s 8.5-inch hand size must be factored into the post-combine mock drafts.

At the end of Falcons general manager Terry Fontenot’s combine news conference, our pal Jarrett Bell, a columnist for USA Today, grilled him on the importance of hand size for quarterbacks.

“Well, like I say, with any measurable, it’s all a piece of the puzzle, right?” Fontenot said. “It’s all a part of it, any measurable, any statistic, it’s all a part of the evaluation. But there’s never going to be one thing that that makes the decision.”

So, what about a quarterback with smaller hands?

“It’s all a part of it,” Fontenot said. “It all factors in, but there’s never going to be one thing that completely eliminates or makes a decision. For us, we’re going to look at everything.”

The widely accepted number is 9.5 inches for a quarterback’s hand size. The theory is that those smaller hands guys can’t drive the ball through the rain, sleet and snow up North when it gets cold.

There are thresholds at every position.

“We do have thresholds at every ... with every measurable,” Fontenot said. “With every statistic. So, there are things we look at, but the key is ... all that does is it makes that particular player or that particular whatever we’re talking about, it can make them an exception in a certain category, but it’s never going to make a decision.”

So, Pickett could be the exception. A quarterback with small hands who can drive the ball through the rain, sleet and snow.

Davis said he plans to play at 330 pounds in the NFL after stating that his average weight was 350 pounds last season at Georgia.

“Three hundred fifty was the average weight I was during the season,” Davis said. “The highest I’ve ever been was probably 360. Right now I’m trending down. I’m closer to 340s. Once I get into the 330s, I think that will be my spot, and that’s where I’d like to stay. Wherever I land, whatever plan they have for me, I’m willing to do it. That should be no issue.”

The Falcons’ 3-4 defense could use a massive anchor who would attract double-teams and free defensive tackle Grady Jarrett and linebackers Deion Jones and Mykal Walker to make plays.

The Falcons have a long list of needs, but Fontenot has repeatedly said they are taking the best player available.

Show me a better player than Davis at the eight pick. It better not be trash.

Credit: D. Orlando Ledbetter/AJC

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Offensive lineman Alec Lindstrom, whose brother Chris plays for the Falcons, works out during the NFL scouting combine.

Credit: D. Orlando Ledbetter/AJC

So, here are the picks for the Mock Draft 1.0 (No trades allowed):

1. Jacksonville Jaguars – Evan Neal, OT, Alabama

2. Detroit Lions – Aidan Hutchinson, DE, Michigan

3. Houston Texans – Kayvon Thibodeaux, DE, Oregon

4. New York Jets – Kyle Hamilton, S, Notre Dame

5. New York Giants – Ikem Ekwonu, OT, N.C. State

6. Carolina Panthers – Charles Cross, OT, Mississippi State

7. New York Giants (from Chicago) – Jermaine Johnson, DE, Florida State

8. Falcons – Jordan Davis, DT, Georgia

9. Denver Broncos – Ahmad Gardner, CB, Cincinnati

10. New York Jets (from Seattle) – George Karlaftis, DE, Purdue

11. Washington Commanders – Derek Stingley, CB, LSU

12. Minnesota Vikings – Travon Walker, DE, Georgia

13. Cleveland Browns – Chris Olave, WR, Ohio State

14. Baltimore Ravens – David Ojabo, DE, Michigan

15. Philadelphia Eagles (from Miami) – Drake London, WR, USC

16. Philadelphia Eagles (from Indianapolis) – Garrett Wilson, WR, Ohio State

17. Los Angeles Chargers – Andrew Booth, CB, Clemson

18. New Orleans Saints – Nakobe Dean, LB, Georgia

19. Philadelphia Eagles – Devonte Wyatt, DT, Georgia

20. Pittsburgh Steelers – Treylon Burks, WR, Arkansas

21. New England Patriots – Jameson Williams, WR, Alabama

22. Las Vegas Raiders – Daxton Hill, S, Michigan

23. Arizona Cardinals – Tyler Linderbaum, C, Iowa

24. Dallas Cowboys – Trevor Penning, OT, Northern Iowa

25. Buffalo Bills – Logan Hall, DT, Houston

26. Tennessee Titans – Malik Willis, QB, Liberty

27. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Zion Johnson, G, Boston College

28. Green Bay Packers – Kaiir Elam, CB, Florida

29. Miami Dolphins (from San Francisco) – Jahan Dotson, WR, Penn State

30. Kansas City Chiefs – Jaquan Brisker, S, Penn State

31. Cincinnati Bengals – Bernhard Raimann, OT, Central Michigan

32. Detroit Lions (from Los Angeles Rams) – Kenny Pickett, QB, Pittsburgh

On the fringe: Desmond Ridder, QB, Cincinnati; Trent McDuffie, CB, Washington; Christian Harris, LB, Alabama; Justyn Ross, WR, Clemson and Kenyon Green, OT, Texas A&M.

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