Did Tom Brady just complete the most epic comeback in Super Bowl history? Or did the Atlanta Falcons have the biggest meltdown imaginable? Whichever side you agree with, the fact remains the Falcons could have used a few prospects from the upcoming draft to turn things around and walk away Super Bowl LI Champs. Here is a list of three prospects that are expected to be available for the Falcons in the 2017 NFL Draft.
Malik McDowell DL Michigan State
Grady Jarrett tied a Super Bowl record with three sacks on Tom Brady. However, in the second half Brady was giving a mostly clean pocket to dissect the Falcons secondary. More interior toughness and physicality are needed along the defensive line where a talented, but questionable motored, Malik McDowell would have lined up next to Jarrett to keep consistent interior pressure on Brady.
Dan Feeney OG Indiana
The inability to pass protect against the interior rush of Trey Flowers caused the final sack of Matt Ryan causing the Falcons to punt on a series that at one point was in the red zone. That field goal would have been the difference in the game and allowed the Falcons to win in regulation. Chris Chester has been a weak link all season for the offensive line and adding a top notch talent in Dan Feeney would have also allowed ex-coordinator Kyle Shanahan to run the ball more in the second half.
Charles Harris EDGE Missouri
The Falcons must look to add a pass rush opposite of NFL sack leader Vic Beasley this offseason. With that being said adding Charles Harris to attack Tom Brady and force the Patriots pass protection to worry about Beasley, Jarret and Harris would have been enough to keep the first half pressure on Brady throughout the game. Harris also has the quickness and agility to cover teh edge and prevent some of the devastating plays made by James White late in the game.
One of these three players could hear there name being called with the 31st pick in the 2017 NFL Draft. Unfortunately for Falcons fans they weren’t on the field for Super Bowl LI, but they can be part of the solution to get the Falcons back in the near future.