2021 NFL Draft Grade: Atlanta Falcons

Nov 28, 2020; Gainesville, FL, USA; Florida Gators sigh end Kyle Pitts (84) smiles to the Gator fans after the Gators beat the Kentucky Wildcats at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, Fla. Nov. 28, 2020. Mandatory Credit: Brad McClenny-USA TODAY NETWORK


Round 1 Pick 4: TE Kyle Pitts

Round 2 Pick 40: S Richie Grant

Round 3 Pick 68: OT Jalen Mayfield

Round 4 Pick 108: CB Darren Hall

Round 5 Pick 148: DT Ta’Quon Graham

Round 5 Pick 182: DE Adetokunbo Ogundeji

Round 5 Pick 183: CB Avery Williams

Round 6 Pick 187: WR Frank Darby


The Falcons got arguably the most talented player in this draft class, so that in and of itself makes this a success. Kyle Pitts has the potential to become the next Travis Kelce type of tight end. If he can ever improve his blocking, he’ll be one of the best tight ends the game has seen. He brings ridiculous levels of speed to the position, and his route running is impeccable. With the departure of Julio Jones seeming imminent, this was the perfect time to bring in another big, dynamic target for Matt Ryan. The only difference being that Pitts may actually be a threat in the red zone. 

Atlanta also found quality picks for their secondary, especially their second rounder, Richie Grant. Similar to Miami’s Jevon Holland pick, Trevon Moehrig would have been a better choice, but Grant brings a ton of upside to Atlanta’s defense. He’s a ballhawk at the safety position, and the Falcons needed to add depth after losing a number of pieces this offseason. 

Jalen Mayfield played a lot of tackle at Michigan, but due to his lack of athleticism and foot speed, he will probably see more time at guard in the NFL. Still, this is a valuable pick for an Atlanta team that needed to protect Matt Ryan. Mayfield is a ferocious competitor in the trenches, and if nothing else, is a character guy that you want on the roster. 

The Falcons have also proven to be a team with an eye for wide receiver talent so remember Frank Darby’s name. Darby doesn’t have a massive speed burst in his arsenal, but he is not afraid of taking as well as creating contact at the position. He is probably a special teams-focused guy for now, but we could see him in the slot running underneath routes at some point. 

Grade: B

Again, anytime you get someone with the type of talent that Kyle Pitts has, it’s going to be considered a successful draft. The other guys Atlanta got aren’t scrubs by any means, but I saw better talent left on the board. Moehrig projects to be a higher quality player than Grant, for example. If Mayfield does in fact end up playing guard, someone like Wyatt Davis probably would have been a better pick as well.