As a lead-up to the 2024 NFL draft, we’ve broken down the current depth chart of every NFL team and identified the biggest draft and team needs for the Atlanta Falcons.

You can find additional team-by-team draft needs articles and other draft content on our 2024 NFL Draft Hub.

Who Did the Atlanta Falcons Select in the 2024 NFL Draft?

The Atlanta Falcons selected Michael Penix Jr. (QB, Washington) with the No. 8 overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft.

The Falcons also drafted:

  • Ruke Orhorhoro (DT, Clemson)
  • Bralen Trice (EDGE, Washington)
  • Brandon Dorlus (DT, Oregon)
  • JD Bertrand (LB, Notre Dame)
  • Jase McClellan (RB, Alabama)
  • Casey Washington (WR, Illinois)
  • Zion Logue (DT, Georgia)

Atlanta Falcons Needs: Top Positions of Need in 2024

  1. EDGE
  2. Cornerback
  3. Defensive Line

What Picks Do the Atlanta Falcons Have in 2024?

The Atlanta Falcons have 8 picks in the 2024 NFL Draft, including:

  • Round 1 (8)
  • Round 2 (43)
  • Round 3 (74)
  • Round 3 (79)
  • Round 4 (109)
  • Round 5 (143)
  • Round 6 (187)
  • Round 6 (197)

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The preview is unlike anything you have ever seen, featuring stunning visualizations built with the reader in mind.

This preview shares insights into players, coaches, teams, and philosophies with one goal in mind: to prepare you for the 2024 NFL season by delivering the smartest information in the fastest, most direct way possible.

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Atlanta Falcons Draft Capital Stats

Our Sharp Draft Value Rank is a valuation of draft capital based on a combination of average performance delivered and average dollars earned on second contracts.

This is based on two public models: performance delivered based on draft slot (the AV model created by Chase Stuart) and contractual earnings in non-rookie deals based upon draft slot (the OTC model created by Brad Spielberger and Jason Fitzgerald).

  • Falcons Sharp Draft Value Rank: 6 of 32 teams
  • Falcons AV Model Draft Value Rank: 6 of 32 teams
  • Falcons OTC Model Draft Value Rank: 6 of 32 teams

Atlanta Falcons Draft Value vs. Other Teams:

The Falcons’ draft value is 21% higher than the league average of all 32 teams. Just five other teams have more draft value entering the 2024 NFL Draft.

Falcons Draft Value Infographic

Atlanta Falcons Draft Prediction:

Brendan Donahue has the Falcons selecting Dallas Turner (EDGE, Alabama) with the 8th overall pick in his most recent 2024 NFL Mock Draft.

Mock draft expert Ryan McCrystal believes the Falcons could target a pass rusher like Dallas Turner (EDGE, Alabama) with their top pick at No. 8 overall in the first round.

Atlanta Falcons Strength of Schedule, 2024

The Atlanta Falcons have the easiest NFL strength of schedule for the 2024 NFL season.

2024 NFL Strength of Schedule Infographic

Atlanta Falcons Offense: Depth Chart, Analysis & Draft Needs

Rich Hribar breaks down the offensive depth chart by position for the Atlanta Falcons, identifying areas where the team could improve in the upcoming 2024 NFL Draft.

Falcons Offense Infographic

Quarterback Depth Chart, Falcons:

  1. Kirk Cousins
  2. Taylor Heinicke

The Falcons are turning over to a new regime, and the first thing they did was go out and lock in Kirk Cousins as their quarterback during the free agency period.

Cousins will turn 36 years old this August. He had surgery for his torn Achilles on November 1, which should put him on track to be ready this summer.

Cousins comes with some risk due to age and a return from a significant injury, but there is also no question that Cousins is a significant upgrade over what Atlanta received from their quarterback rooms over the previous three seasons.

Atlanta QBs vs. Kirk Cousins from 2021-2023:

StatATL QBsCousins
Inaccurate %12.8%8.2%

Before his injury last season, Cousins was completing 69.5% of his passes, which would have been on pace to be his best season since 2018.

Now, with the addition of Cousins, the Falcons will transition from Arthur Smith to an offense led by Zac Robinson.

Robinson has been a part of the Rams coaching staff since 2019, where Cousins’ previous head coach Kevin O’Connell came from before taking over Minnesota’s offense.

As far as transitions into new systems go, this one should be clean.

Over the past three seasons under Smith, Atlanta had one of the least dynamic offenses in the NFL, ranking 30th in the NFL in dropback rate (55.1%) over those seasons.

They ranked dead last in the NFL in rate of passing plays in 11 personnel at 30.1%. The league average over that span was 70.8%. The next closest team to them was at 47.4% rate of 11 personnel on passing plays.

The entire coaching tree from Sean McVay has deployed more 3WR sets compared to the league average over that span, so this should be a huge offensive change for the passing game in Atlanta compared to recent seasons.

Atlanta still has Taylor Heinicke signed through this season as veteran insurance at QB2.

Running Back Depth Chart, Falcons:

  1. Bijan Robinson
  2. Tyler Allgeier
  3. Avery Williams
  4. Carlos Washington
  5. Robert Burns (FB)

The Atlanta backfield was plentiful and productive in 2023.

Their backfield combined for a league-high 538 touches while finishing fourth in the league with 2,591 yards from scrimmage with 14 total touchdowns.

Bijan Robinson was as advertised in year one, turning in 1,463 yards and eight touchdowns himself on 272 touches.

Only five other running backs had more total yards than Robinson a year ago, and he did that on 50.6% of his backfield touches. The others ahead of him had 69.5%, 72.1%, 62.2%, 76.0%, and 76.1%.

Robinson had a gain of 10 or more yards on 14.0% of his rushes as a rookie, which was eighth in the NFL among 49 running backs with 100 or more attempts.

The down-to-down efficiency is the only minor quibble if we are picking nits with Robinson’s first year in the league.

Robinson ranked 18th in rate of runs to result in a first down or touchdown (23.4%) and 38th in success rate (33.2%) among those same 49 backs.

He made up for some of that with production through the air.

Robinson accounted for 16.9% of the Atlanta targets as a rookie, which trailed only Christian McCaffrey (17.6%) in his position.

Robinson ended his rookie season with 58 receptions (sixth among running backs) for 487 yards (fourth) and four touchdowns (tied for third).

Part of what kept Robinson’s overall touch count at bay was that Tyler Allgeier was still an effective player.

Allgeier posted 876 yards and five touchdowns of his own on 204 touches.

Atlanta has made a solid draft investment into their backfield, and they have both Robinson and Allgeier locked up for multiple seasons.

Wide Receiver Depth Chart, Falcons:

  1. Drake London
  2. Darnell Mooney
  3. Rondale Moore
  4. Ray-Ray McCloud
  5. Khadarel Hodge
  6. Austin Mack
  7. Josh Ali
  8. Chris Blair

As noted above, this Atlanta passing game was operating an archaic approach compared to what the rest of the league was doing.

Atlanta wide receivers were once again dead last in the NFL in routes, running a combined 218 fewer pass routes as a group compared to the next closest team.

As a byproduct, Atlanta wide receivers combined to catch 124 passes for 1,650 yards and four touchdowns.

All of those were dead last in the NFL.

For additional context, CeeDee Lamb caught 135 passes for 1,749 yards and 12 touchdowns himself.

As highlighted with Kirk Cousins, this offense will make a major transition from relying on 2WR sets to opening up and spreading out.

This was backed up at the start of this offseason by the team adding Darnell Mooney in free agency and then trading for Rondale Moore.

Those two players fit specific roles alongside Drake London, who has only two years in the league.

Since he was drafted a year ago, London has been targeted on 25.2% of his routes run.

That rate is 16th among wide receivers over that stretch.

The problem is that he has averaged only 27.3 pass routes per game. That total ranks 70th among all wide receivers.

His 6.9 targets per game rank 33rd at the position over that span.

Rate stats provide context for analysis, but fantasy stats still stem from counting stats, something London has not had access to.

Not only forced to live on a low volume of opportunity, 16.3% of London’s career targets have been deemed inaccurate by his quarterback since entering the NFL.

Cousins has a 10.1% inaccurate target rate throwing to wide receivers over that span, which is the fifth-best rate in the league.

Desmond Ridder has a 17.4% inaccurate target rate throwing to wide receivers, 34th on the same list.

This was also a problem for Mooney while he was in Chicago.

Over his four seasons with the Bears, 16.4% of Mooney’s were inaccurate per TruMedia.

The only wide receiver with as many targets as Mooney and a higher inaccurate target rate over that stretch is Marquise Brown (18.5%).

38.9% of Mooney’s targets on throws 20 or more yards downfield were inaccurate over that span. No wide receiver has a worse rate with as many targets over that period. The NFL average was 29.1%.

Mooney inked a three-year deal while the trade for Moore is more of a trial period and a fresh start for a player who was selected in the second round in 2021.

Moore only has one season remaining on his rookie contract and will only turn 24 years old this June.

After catching 54 passes for 435 yards as a rookie in 2021, Moore has caught fewer passes for fewer yards in each of the past two seasons than one before it. He also has not caught more than one touchdown in any of his three seasons in the league.

65.0% of Moore’s career routes have come from the slot while he has only averaged 1.4, 5.5, and 5.2 air yards per target in each of his three seasons.

Moore has just 16 total NFL targets on throws over 20 yards downfield.

Atlanta also added Ray-Ray McCloud to play special teams and compete for ancillary snaps at wide receiver.

The additions here do not remove Atlanta from adding another young wideout during the draft, but it gives them plenty of leeway not to force the issue.


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Pre Order the Best Analytical 2024 Football Preview

Don’t miss out on Warren Sharp’s 500+ page preview of the 2024 NFL season.

The preview is unlike anything you have ever seen, featuring stunning visualizations built with the reader in mind.

This preview shares insights into players, coaches, teams, and philosophies with one goal in mind: to prepare you for the 2024 NFL season by delivering the smartest information in the fastest, most direct way possible.

Pre order the 2024 Football Preview now!