Draft Experts Weigh-In on Todd Gurley Going to the Atlanta Falcons


Todd Gurley is one of the most interesting figures in this year’s NFL Draft, as his immense talent and history of injuries has teams salivating and cautious all at once.

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Will Todd Gurley be a first round draft pick, and will he be the first running back selected in this year’s draft? If so, who will be the team to take the (if you can call it this) risk on drafting Gurley?

Many experts, such as ESPN’s Mel Kiper have Gurley possibly going to the Dallas Cowboys with the 27th pick, while others have him being snatched up even earlier in the draft, such as Todd McShay who thinks Gurley could go as early as 17th to the San Diego Chargers.

That said, there are a lot of folks in the state of Georgia who would love to see Gurley stick close to home, and to wear essentially the same colors he did at Georgia — red and black. Specifically, the red and black of the Atlanta Falcons.

The premise of Atlanta drafting Gurley isn’t all too odd, but the idea that the Falcons would take him with their first round pick (8th) seems a bit unlikely. Unless they trade up, Atlanta won’t draft again after that 8th overall selection until the 10th pick of the second round, 42nd overall.

There is maybe a 50/50 chance that Gurley drops that low in the draft, depending on draft day trades and what other running backs are taken off the board early.

Todd Gurley being drafted by the Atlanta Falcons is an interesting proposition, so I asked a few Atlanta Falcons draft experts about how they see the potential situation with Gurley and the Falcons playing out.

From Dave Choate, Editor-in-Chief of the Falcoholic:

"“I’d be tempted to go for Todd Gurley if he somehow slipped into the second round, though I highly doubt he’ll get that far. If he’s healthy, Gurley is a powerful, decisive runner who would instantly become the Falcons’ premier back. The Falcons would love him. The likelihood that they’ll be willing to invest a first round pick in him is extremely slim, however, so I don’t expect him to wind up in Atlanta. The team would be better off targeting a back in the later rounds and addressing the pass rush early.”"

From Scott Carasik, Falcons featured columnist for Bleacher Report and ProFootballSpot.com:

"“Gurley to the Falcons would be a great idea if he falls to them in the second round. Would be a good fit in the zone scheme because of his solid vision and excellent speed. His injury kind of scares you for his rookie season, but his selection would say that at least for 2015, the Falcons trust Devonta Freeman. Would be a great idea long term.” Nov 15, 2014; Athens, GA, USA; Georgia Bulldogs head coach Mark Richt and training staff tend to running back Todd Gurley (3) after a knee injury in the fourth quarter of their game against the Auburn Tigers at Sanford Stadium. Georgia won 34-7. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports"

From Jack Jorgensen, Editor at FanSided.com:

"“Gurley fits with the Falcons because the power running presence can seriously take some pressure off of Matt Ryan and the passing game. Not to say Steven Jackson didn’t bring that to the table, but they caught him at the tail end of his career. A young, power-back like Gurley to help build the offense around can do wonders for the next few years”"

So it seems those who follow the Falcons closely and cover the team are pretty much in agreement that unless Gurley falls to a later round, the chances of him winding up in Atlanta are pretty slim, but all agree that he’d be a huge addition to the club if it were to happen.

Personally, I don’t see Gurley going in the first round. Between some inevitable draft day trades, and GMs getting cold feet when it comes to drafting a player recovering from major injury, you have to think they’ll go safe. If that happens, he could fall to Atlanta and they’d be dumb not to take him.

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