The Atlanta Falcons finished the 2022 season with a second-place finish in the NFC South and a 7-10 record. With that finish, they earned the eighth overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft.

The Falcons relied heavily on young talent throughout this past season. Through the air, rookie wide receiver Drake London, and second-year tight end Kyle Pitts were two of their main contributors. On the ground, rookie running back Tyler Allgier burst onto the scene and led the group.

On the other side of the ball, safety Richie Grant, cornerback AJ Terrell, and linebacker Mykal Walker looked to be true cornerstone pieces. They all played some of the best football of their young careers.

Heading into the offseason, the Falcons have shown that they have a solid foundation in place. With star power on offense and quality pieces on defense, they are headed in a good direction.

With so many young players at key positions, the Falcons could have money to spend in the offseason. Adding a top-10 pick could mean that this team looks drastically different next season.

In recent years, the Falcons have leaned heavily on offense in the first round of the NFL draft. Over their past two drafts, they have used this pick on London and Pitts. But with this draft class, they should in turn choose to focus on the defense.

With this year’s NFL draft class, several elite defensive prospects will be available when this team makes their selection.

Here are three players the Falcons should consider with the eighth overall pick.

3. Kelee Ringo, CB, Georgia

Georgia’s Kelee Ringo could very well be the best cornerback in this year’s draft class. The 6-2, 205-pound defender has been an elite force over the past two seasons. With his addition, the Falcons secondary would be set for the foreseeable future. A pairing of him and Terrell could lead this group for the next decade.

Over the past two seasons, Ringo has been a key contributor to the Georgia defense. As the team won two straight National Championships, he was a driving force in the secondary.

Ringo took the field in 29 total games during his time at Georgia. He recorded 63 solo tackles, 76 total tackles, three tackles for loss, one sack, one forced fumble, 15 defended passes, and four interceptions during this time.

Ringo has consistently shown that he can keep up with even the best receivers. With how he plays, opposing offenses are forced to stay away from him.

With what he has shown, Ringo has the sort of playstyle that will immediately translate to the NFL. From day one, he could be a key member of this secondary.

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2. Bryan Bresee, DT, Clemson

The Falcons could very well choose to address the interior of their defensive line with the eighth overall pick. In doing such, Clemson’s Bryan Bresee should be at the top of their draft board.

During his three seasons at Clemson, Bresee proved to be one of the nation’s most dominant defensive tackles. Over 25 collegiate games, he recorded 28 solo tackles, 51 total tackles, 15.0 tackles for loss, and nine total sacks.

When looking at the interior of the Falcons defensive line, there is somewhat of a lack of firepower. The addition of Bresee would immediately address this.

At 6-5 and 305 pounds, Bresee has the sort of size that teams look for at the position. While he has at times dealt with injury, when healthy he has produced at a high level.

The addition of Bresee to the Falcons defense could at least be an intriguing possibility.

1. Myles Murphy, EDGE, Clemson

If the Falcons choose to address the outside of their defensive line, they could have a different Clemson playmaker on their shortlist. This comes in Myles Murphy.

In a 2023 draft class that is loaded with talent along the defensive front, Murphy has still managed to stand out.

Murphy spent the last three seasons playing alongside Bresee. Yet even while playing with another potential top-10 pick, he often looked like the best player in the group.

Murphy took the field in 35 total collegiate games. He recorded 61 solo tackles, 116 total tackles, 36 tackles for loss, 18.5 total sacks, and six forced fumbles.

In each of his three seasons, Murphy strung together consistent performances. He finished the 2022 campaign with 40 total tackles, 22 solo tackles, 11 tackles for loss, and 6.5 total sacks.

With the addition of Murphy, the Falcons would be getting a potential star on the edge. In what has seemed like the most important position on defense in recent seasons, they would finally have a young playmaker there.