Who Did the Atlanta Falcons Draft In 2024? Picks, Analysis, and More

The Atlanta Falcons had an interesting 2024 draft class and raised many eyebrows around the league when they drafted QB Michael Penix Jr. in the first round.

It’s a new era for the Atlanta Falcons, with QB Kirk Cousins inking a four-year, $180 million deal this offseason and former Los Angeles Rams DC Raheem Morris leaving his post to take charge of the Falcons for his second chance as a head coach.

But is it all well in Atlanta? Many aren’t so sure, especially with how their 2024 NFL Draft picks unfolded.

Atlanta Falcons Draft Picks by Round in 2024

  • Round 1, Pick 8
    Michael Penix Jr., QB | Washington
  • Round 2, Pick 35 (from ARI)
    Ruke Orhorhoro, DT | Clemson
  • Round 3, Pick 74
    Bralen Trice, EDGE | Washington
  • Round 4, Pick 109
    Brandon Dorlus, DE | Oregon
  • Round 5, Pick 143
    JD Bertrand, LB | Notre Dame
  • Round 6, Pick 186 (from ARI through MIN)
    Jase McClellan, RB | Alabama
  • Round 6, Pick 187
    Casey Washington, WR | Illinois
  • Round 6, Pick 197 (from CLE)
    Zion Logue, DL | Georgia

Who Did the Falcons Draft in 2024?

Michael Penix Jr., QB, Round 1, Pick 8

On the field, there is much to like about Penix’s game. He’s a fearless gunslinger with elite drive velocity and arm talent, which he uses to consistently fit passes into tight windows — windows he’s able to pick out with his patience, field vision, and processing ability.

At his peak, and if he’s able to stay healthy, Penix could be a Matthew Stafford-type of passer at the NFL level. He’s a quality pocket operator with functional mobility who can carve defenses at all levels with his velocity, angle freedom, surgical vision, and predatory passing instincts, and he’s a competitor his teammates can rally around.

Ruke Orhorhoro, DT, Round 2, Pick 35

After drafting for the future in Round 1, the Falcons selected a player that can come in and help them right away in Clemson DT Ruke Orhorhoro. NFL Draft Analyst Ian Cummings would argue this is a bit of a reach, but he definitely likes the player.

Especially for teams that emphasize alignment versatility and employ hybrid fronts, Orhorhoro is an easy sell. He’s solid enough to start early on in his career, and he has the ceiling to be an impact player in both phases — with the flexibility to disguise pre-snap looks and exploit angles.

Bralen Trice, EDGE, Round 3, Pick 74

We may be into the third round, but there are still talented players remain. NFL Draft Analyst Ian Cummings is quite high on Washington EDGE Bralen Trice.

A nuanced, versatile, and high-motor rusher with solid run-down utility, Bralen Trice is a stellar rotational add for NFL defenses with quality starter potential. He fits best as a stand-up EDGE in odd and hybrid fronts, but he also has the size and strength to play on even fronts.

Brandon Dorlus, DT, Round 4, Pick 109

Brandon Dorlus has a high floor as an alignment-versatile run defender and power-oriented pressure generator, and especially in odd and hybrid front schemes, he can be a valuable rotational add on day one, with quality starter potential down the road.

JD Bertrand, LB, Round 5, Pick 143

Outside of selecting Penix in the first round, the Falcons have focused exclusively on the defensive side of the football in the 2024 NFL Draft.

At pick 143, they selected linebacker JD Bertrand out of the University of Notre Dame. Bertrand has some upside as a pass rusher (which is the team’s biggest need), and he possesses a high football IQ. However, he doesn’t possess the athletic traits that project as a full-time starter in the NFL.

Jase McClellan, RB, Round 6, Pick 186

The flashes and improvement were undoubtedly there in some regard. Still, Jase McClellan’s lack of creativity, modest top speed, and limited lateral agility make him a Day 3 prospect who can contribute to an NFL backfield that utilizes several zone-rushing concepts.

Stuck behind Bijan Robinson and Tyler Allgeier, McLellan is unlikely to make an immediate impact. But if one were to go down, he could step in and perform admirably in a quality Falcons offense.

Casey Washington, WR, Round 6, Pick 187

Illinois isn’t exactly a powder keg for WR talent, but Casey Washington has the play speed and reliable hands to prove his worth.

Zion Logue, DL, Round 6, Pick 197

Zion Logue will never be a pass-rush paragon, but he can two-gap in run defense at 6’5″ and nearly 320 pounds.

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