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2015 NFL Mock Draft: Atlanta Falcons Select RB Melvin Gordon at No. 8

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

With the eighth pick in the DBN 2015 NFL Mock Draft, the Atlanta Falcons select...

Melvin Gordon, RB, Wisconsin

The selection and write-up were made by OhioCityBrownsBeliever:

The Falcons are coming off a disappointing 6-10 2014 season (despite going 5-1 in the division).  After missing the playoffs for the second consecutive season, head coach Mike Smith was fired and General Manager Thomas Dimitroff and Owner Art Blank hired former Seattle Defensive Coordinator Dan Quinn, as the new head coach.  As Browns' fans are also aware, it also means that Kyle Shanahan has landed in Atlanta as Offensive Coordinator and will be calling plays after his unceremonious exit in Cleveland.

As is invariably the case, new coaches means new schemes and new personnel; and the Falcons have had a busy offseason.  The Falcons are fortunate that they have a franchise quarterback in Matt Ryan and an elite wide receiver in Julio Jones.  While on the downside of his career, Roddy White is still a legitimate and formidable receiving option.  The Falcons offense ranked 12th overall in total points last season and 6th overall in total yards.

On the defensive side of the ball, the Falcons are pretty terrible.  They ranked 26th in total points and dead last in total yards.  They've been pretty bad on defense for awhile-even when they were winning.  This fact likely factored into the hiring of Quinn, whose defense in Seattle lead them to a Super Bowl victory.  Quinn has made numerous moves during free agency to shore up the defense:  they've added defensive end Adrian Clayborn; nose tackle Paul Soliai; and outside linebackers Reed Brooks, Justin Durant, and O'Brien Schofield.  That's a lot of change.

There's been some change on the offensive side of the ball as well, but that consists of the team cutting veteran running back Steven Jackson in February and losing running back Jacquizz Rodgers in free agency.  They've also added middling receiving options in Leonard Hankerson and Jacob Tamme.

With the 8th overall selection in the 2015 NFL draft the Atlanta Falcons select Melvin Gordon, running back from the University of Wisconsin.  I'm fully aware that this pick may prove controversial-or at least surprising.  Most draft analysts or mock drafts predict that the Falcons take an edge rusher here.  If Vic Beasley were still on the board I would have drafted him.  However, Gordon is not only the best running back in the draft, but the best player on the board for me outside of DeVante Parker and he doesn't make much sense for the Falcons.  Gordon is the next best player and he fills a need for the Falcons.  Their depth chart at running back consists of Devonta Freeman and Antone Smith.  I liked Freeman in the 2014 draft and the Falcons made a good selection when they drafted him in the 4th round, but I'm not convinced that he can be an every down back that can carry the load.  Despite some commendable production, Smith is pure depth in my eyes.  The Falcons have the ability to introduce a game changer at the position with Gordon.  Quinn will get his BeastMode in Atlanta with Gordon.

In describing Gordon I like to say that Gordon can run through you, around you, and past you.  He's got power, speed, and fantastic lateral quickness.  His natural instincts, patience, and vision are what truly set him apart though.  He's the complete package and can single-handedly dominate a game.  The 6'1 215 pound junior running back from Kenosha, Wisconsin lead the FBS in rushing with 2,587 yards.  He also lead FBS in yards per carry, and broke the all-time NCAA record for most rushing yards in a single game when he ran over Nebraska in November to the tune of 408 yards on 25 carries.  That Nebraska team, by the way, fielded two potential first round draft picks on defense in Randy Gregory and Jordan Phillips.  Gordon will excel in Shanahan's ZBS and will contend for offensive rookie of the year.  He will keep Atlanta's defense off the field, and allow all those new faces to come together and integrate with the development of last year's high draft picks Ra'Shede Hageman and Malliciah Goodman.

Yes! I say "yes" because this is what mock drafts are made for -- every year, no one comes close to mocking the first round accurately because teams have one thing in mind while all of the pundits have another thing in mind. In that sense, I think Gordon is a solid pick for the Falcons. He went No. 26 in the SB Nation Writers Mock Draft, so value would certainly come into question here, but Atlanta would be in a bind if they really wanted Gordon: if they trade down, another team might grab him. If they waited until round two, he might be gone.

The New York Giants are up next, led by Bizono.

2015 DBN Community Mock Draft Results (so far)

Pick Team Player Position School Username
1 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Jameis Winston QB Florida State BuenosAires_Dawg
2 Tennessee Titans Marcus Mariota
scott tizzle
3 Jacksonville Jaguars Vic Beasley
4 Oakland Raiders Amari Cooper
5 Washington Redskins Leonard Williams
6 New York Jets Dante Fowler
7 Chicago Bears Kevin White
West Virginia
8 Atlanta Falcons Melvin Gordon
9 New York Giants

10 St. Louis Rams

Ted Washington's Belly
11 Minnesota Vikings

12 Cleveland Browns

Adam Rice
13 New Orleans Saints

14 Miami Dolphins

15 San Francisco 49ers

Manly and Loving It
16 Houston Texans

17 San Diego Chargers

18 Kansas City Chiefs

19 Cleveland Browns

Royce Groff
20 Philadelphia Eagles

Matt Wood
21 Cincinnati Bengals

22 Pittsburgh Steelers

Marquess of Rockingham
23 Detroit Lions

24 Arizona Cardinals

25 Carolina Panthers

26 Baltimore Ravens

27 Dallas Cowboys

28 Denver Broncos

Maverick Hunter X
29 Indianapolis Colts

30 Green Bay Packers

31 New Orleans Saints

32 New England Patriots