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Depth at DE, Secondary Impressing Quinn Ahead of Draft
April 25, 2017 09:00 PM | Kelsey Conway
Throughout the entire pre-draft process, one of the biggest storylines has been the depth that this year's draft class possesses at edge rusher and in the secondary. Draft expert Mike Mayock even went as far as saying he believes this is "one of the best defensive drafts" he's ever seen during one of his pre-draft conference calls.

"This defensive draft at edge and corner is outstanding. Also at safety," Mayock said.

Falcons head coach Dan Quinn echoed a similar sentiment when asked about the talent level at these particular positions.

"I think when we look back years from now, this will come back through as a class that had a strong defensive line, and I think the secondary is a good group too when you go through those two classes or those two positions," Quinn said. "The depth that goes all the way down through the draft has been impressive."

At some point, a prospect at each one of these three positions has been mocked by a draft analyst to Atlanta with the No. 31 overall pick.

Here's a closer look at the most common names of players at these various positions who have been linked to Atlanta so far:

DE Taco Charlton, Michigan

"I've pegged Charlton as a good fit for the Falcons for the past month. Vic Beasley Jr. had 15.5 sacks last season, but no other Falcon had more than 4.5. Charlton can help against the run too." - Mel Kiper Jr. of ESPN DE Jordan Willis, Kansas State

"Willis really impressed with his athleticism at the combine, so now it's unclear if he'll even be available at this spot." - Chad Reuter of NFL.com

DE Charles Harris, Missouri

"Harris would be an excellent complement to Vic Beasley and provide the Falcons with a deadly pass rush." - Daniel Jeremiah of NFL.com

"The Falcons had incredible health and continuity along the offensive line, obviously have the quarterback and the weapons on offense and have some nice young pieces on defense. But they could use another capable pass-rusher to help out Vic Beasley. When you're guaranteed to face Jameis Winston, Cam Newton and Drew Brees six times a season, you can't have enough there. Harris can come in and help."- Mel Kiper Jr. of ESPN

CB Quincy Wilson, Florida

"Wilson was overshadowed by fellow Florida CB Teez Tabor this season, but some scouts I've talked to think Wilson has the higher ceiling of the two. At 6-1, Wilson has a good length/speed combination. The Falcons found a gem from Florida's secondary in the 2016 draft in Keanu Neal and could go back to the well this year." - Todd McShay of ESPN.com

S Jabrill Peppers - Michigan

"Dan Quinn has shown a willingness to bring in versatile defensive players (Keanu Neal and Deion Jones were the Falcons' first two picks last year). Indeed, Peppers has rare versatility and great straight-line speed (4.46 40), but he also shows limitations in coverage. Landing with an open-minded coach like Quinn would benefit Peppers in the long term." - Todd McShay of ESPN.com


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