Falcons: Predicting who Atlanta will select with the No. 16 pick in the 2020 NFL Draft
The Atlanta Falcons are amid a pivotal offseason for the franchise, with the team trying to get back to the playoffs. After a semi-active free agency, the next source of improving the roster comes in the form of the 2020 NFL Draft.
Throughout free agency, the Falcons have addressed a few positions. While the team released Devonta Freeman, they replaced him with Todd Gurley. Even though he’s had injury concerns in recent years, Gurley is still 25 years old and joined Atlanta on a one-year deal.
Also, on the offensive side of the ball, the Falcons acquired Hayden Hurst from the Baltimore Ravens via trade. The decision to trade for Hurst was made due to Austin Hooper departing in free agency.
As for the defense, Atlanta was able to ink a deal with Dante Fowler to provide a boost off of the edge. Along with signing Fowler, the Falcons released Desmond Trufant, leaving their secondary a bit more vulnerable.
Seeing that the Falcons gave Fowler a three-year, $48 million deal, it’s unlikely that they take an edge rusher in the first round. On the other hand, it would be ideal for Atlanta to add a new member to the secondary. With that in mind, here is a prediction on who the Falcons will select with the No. 16 pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.
C.J. Henderson (CB, Florida)
Again, one of the most notable moves the Falcons made this offseason was release Trufant. Without Trufant on the roster, Atlanta now boasts a cornerback trio of Isaiah Oliver, Kendall Sheffield, and Blidi Wreh-Wilson.
Given the current state of their cornerbacks, the Falcons would be wise to select one of the top prospects in this year’s draft. Regardless of what position Atlanta is looking for, they’d struggle to find many better players than C.J. Henderson.
From the moment Henderson stepped foot on the field at Florida, he became a coveted prospect in the NFL. In his first two seasons at Florida, Henderson amassed 60 tackles, nine pass breakups, and six interceptions.
Even though he failed to record an interception in his final collegiate season, Henderson still proved that he can excel at the next level. While some cornerbacks are questionable against the run, Henderson isn’t afraid to make a tackle in the open field.
Standing at 6-foot-1, 204 pounds, Henderson is the prototypical size for a cornerback that can play on the outside. By drafting Henderson, the Falcons could allow Sheffield to continue working as the team’s nickel cornerback.
Similar to other teams, Atlanta is going to have quite a few different options to go with in the middle of the first round. But with a sudden need at the cornerback position, they’d be remiss to pass on Henderson with the 16th pick.