Cover 9@9: The Mock Draft 3.0: Falcons trade back, pick up Christian Gonzalez

In the latest mock draft, the Falcons make a trade with the Eagles and continue to stockpile help for their defense.

According to the Jimmy Johnson trade-value chart, the Falcons have a pick worth 1,400 points. The Eagles’ 10th pick is worth 1,300. Throw in the third-round pick (94th, 124 points) to make up the difference, and you have a deal.

The Falcons just shipped off a fifth-round pick to the Lions to land cornerback Jeff Okudah, and picking up an extra third-round pick, would be a shrewd move.

With the 10th overall pick in the draft, the Falcons will select Oregon cornerback Christian Gonzalez. He started his career at Colorado before transferring.

Some have Illinois cornerback Devon Witherspoon rated as the top cornerback.

Gonzalez, who’s listed at 6-foot-2 and 201 pounds, was named All-Pac-12 after he led the Ducks in interceptions (4), pass breakups (7) and blocked kicks (1) in 12 games.

Gonzalez left Colorado to follow position coach Demetrice Martin at Oregon.

Gonzalez is a big film-study guy.

“Knowing what the receiver I’m going against and how they want to go and attack me,” Gonzalez said. “Sometimes, I’ve got to switch it up. I’ve got a lot of tools in the toolbox, so just pulling them out and keep the receiver on their feet and their toes.”

Here’s a look at Mock Draft 3.0

Note: There are only 31 picks this year because the Dolphins had to forfeit their pick for violating integrity-of-the-game rules.

Here’s how the first round will unfold (asterisk denotes proposed trade):

1. Carolina Panthers: Bryce Young, QB, Alabama – The Panthers get over the size issues and take the best playmaker.

2. Houston Texans: C.J. Stroud, QB, Ohio State – Texans coach DeMeco Ryans said he is not looking for a savior, but he does need a quarterback.

3. Arizona Cardinals: Will Anderson Jr., DE, Alabama – Reportedly this pick is on the auction block for quarterback-starved teams. Anderson will help rebuild the defense if they stand pat.

4. Indianapolis Colts: Will Levis, QB, Kentucky – They’ll be impressed with Levis’ arm talent.

5. Seattle Seahawks: Tyree Wilson, Edge, Texas Tech – The Seahawks look to add to their defensive front.

6. Detroit Lions: Bryan Bresee, DT, Clemson – The Lions get some interior help to go with the outside rushers they picked up last year in the draft in Aidan Hutchinson and James “Da Problem” Houston VI.

7. Las Vegas Raiders: Paris Johnson Jr., OT, Ohio State – The Raiders need to make sure Jimmy Garoppolo is protected.

*8. Philadelphia Eagles: Jalen Carter, DT, Georgia – The Eagles look to add to their defensive front and reunite Carter with Jordan Davis and Nakobe Dean.

9. Chicago Bears: Peter Skoronski, OT, Northwestern – The Bears must improve the blocking for Justin Fields. Some believe Skoronski will be better at guard in the NFL.

*10. Falcons: Christian Gonzalez, CB, Oregon – The Falcons just traded for Jeff Okudah, but like former NFL coach Mike Zimmer used to point out, you always need another cornerback.

11. Tennessee Titans: Anthony Richardson, QB, Florida – This will be a bold move for new general manager Ran Carthon, who’s not married to Ryan Tannehill or Malik Willis.

12. Houston Texans: Jaxon Smith-Njigba, WR, Ohio State – He missed most of last season with a hamstring injury.

13. New York Jets: Broderick Jones, OT, Georgia – The Jets must make sure they find some pass protection for Aaron Rodgers.

14. New England Patriots: Darnell Wright, OT, Tennessee – Pats have to improve their offensive line.

15. Green Bay Packers: Lukas Van Ness, Edge, Iowa – The Packers look to improve their pass rush.

16. Washington Commanders: Nolan Smith, LB, Georgia – Some have him moving into the top 10. ESPN analyst Mel Kiper has him going to the Falcons with the eighth overall pick.

Credit: D. Orlando Ledbetter/AJC

17. Pittsburgh Steelers: Joey Porter Jr., CB, Penn State – The Steelers need help in the secondary. They signed Patrick Peterson and Keanu Neal, but those two are not long-term solutions. Former Falcons Neal and Damontae Kazee are with the Steelers.

18. Detroit Lions: Devon Witherspoon, CB, Illinois – The Lions are revamping their secondary and shipped Jeff Okudah to the Falcons. Witherspoon could develop into a lockdown corner.

19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: O’Cyrus Torrence, G, Florida – His physical style of play will fit in with the Bucs.

20. Seattle Seahawks: Quentin Johnston, WR, TCU – The Seahawks add an offensive weapon after going defense early.

21. Los Angeles Chargers: Myles Murphy, DE/DT, Clemson – Has potential to play 3-4 defensive end and edge rusher in the 4-3.

22. Baltimore Ravens: Zay Flowers, WR, Boston College – The Ravens signed Odell Beckham Jr., but still need to add weapons for new offensive coordinator Todd Monken.

23. Minnesota Vikings: Brian Branch, CB/S, Alabama – The Vikings need help in the secondary. “I feel like I’m versatile,” said Branch, who played at Sandy Creek High. “I can play anywhere in the back end.”

24. Jacksonville Jaguars: Bijan Robinson, RB, Texas – Strong runner who would help Trevor Lawrence’s play-action passes.

25. New York Giants: Jordan Addison, WR, USC – After paying quarterback Daniel Jones, they need to give him a legitimate No. 1 receiver.

26. Dallas Cowboys: Michael Mayer, TE, Notre Dame – The Cowboys need another weapon for quarterback Dak Prescott. Mayer is a dynamic pass receiver.

27. Buffalo Bills: Jahmyr Gibbs, RB, Alabama – The Bills need to run the ball better to take some heat off of quarterback Josh Allen.

28. Cincinnati Bengals: Darnell Washington, TE, Georgia – The Bengals get a big target for Joe Burrow to go with his fleet of wide receivers.

29. New Orleans Saints: Dalton Kincaid, TE, Utah – He’s considered the best receiving tight end in the draft.

30. Philadelphia Eagles: John Michael Schmitz, C/G, Minnesota – The Eagles have a hole at guard and could have Schmitz in place to take over when Jason Kelce retires.

31. Kansas City Chiefs: Jaelyn Duncan, OT, Maryland – He would get a shot to take over at right tackle for the Super Bowl champs.

On the fringe: Jack Campbell, LB, Iowa; Calijah Kancey, DT, Pittsburgh; Kelee Ringo, CB, Georgia; Cam Smith, CB, South Carolina and Luke Musgrave, TE, Oregon State.

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