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2014 NN community mock draft: With the 6th pick, the Atlanta Falcons select ...

The 2014 Niners Nation NFL mock draft is off and running. We move on to the Atlanta Falcons, courtesy of user CheekeeMunkee.

We're back for the sixth pick of the 2014 Niners Nation Community Mock Draft. You can see previous picks below in the draft table. You can also follow the mock draft board through this story stream.

With the sixth pick of the 2014 NFL Draft, CheekeeMunkee and the Atlanta Falcons select , outside linebacker, Buffalo. Here is a quick rundown of the alternates he considered. Some of the alternates he considered included:

1. Jake Matthews, OT Texas A&M: Franchise cornerstone at left tackle, would definitely be the safe pick if the Falcons should choose to go in his direction. Just as possible a pick as Mack, and a pretty high area of need as well.

2. Taylor Lewan, OT Michigan: Not as accomplished as a Matthews or a Robinson, but nearly as much potential for a team looking for a long term answer at tackle.

3. Anthony Barr, LB UCLA: Doesn't get quite as much hype as Clowney or Mack, but has every bit of the potential to be an impact, franchise player in the NFL at OLB. Fan favorite over at the Falcoholic, could possibly go to the birds if they were to trade down.

Here are his thoughts on the pick:

**Disclaimer: I need to say that I truly believe that the Falcons trade out of this pick, but for the sake of this draft they will be picking at their original spot. I think that there is a small chance that the Falcons trade up with the Rams at No. 2 if Jadeveon Clowney should fall, but their most likely scenario is to trade down to pick anywhere from 3-5 spots, or conceivably into the end of the first round, even. The Falcons have several holes that are best suited to be filled by multiple picks in the mid-to-late first round and early second round, and if they are able to make that type of trade (or trades) happen, I see them hopping, skipping, and JUMPING at the opportunity to address their holes at tackle, free safety, pass rusher and TE in that particular range of this draft.

However, since in this particular draft they will be picking at number 6, we shall move forward with the pick analysis:

With the Falcons seemingly making a push toward a more aggressive, 3-4 look on defense, I look for them to be placing a high value on versatile defensive linemen, safeties and linebackers in this draft and possibly the next few years as they transition smoothly into being able to effectively run the defense that they would love to run. Enter Mack, who should fill the role of outside linebacker and pass rusher to perfection in whatever defense they choose to trot out on ANY down for the foreseeable future.

In this scenario, I actually see Mack being a chess piece that the Falcons can mold into anything that they need him to be in their hybrid defense, which is why I chose him over a Jake Matthews or another potential cornerstone tackle (which is probably the safer pick at this point in the draft) at pick number 6. If the coaching staff wants to play the odds and shore up their offensive line with this high pick, then it would surely be a sensible move after paying Matt Ryan so generously, but if they would like to add a game-changing, explosive player that could potentially be a  10-15 sack per year guy, then Mack is that pick (assuming Clowney is not available, that is).

Mack will need coaching at the NFL level to improve the things that nearly all incoming rookies need to improve, - playing with leverage at the NFL level, anticipating the snap/"exploding off the ball", navigating traffic, and maintaining fluid movements/technique - but we have seen teams year-in and year-out take players that are raw and inexperienced at their positions if they show enough potential and eventual upside to become franchise-caliber players. Mack is certainly a guy with that high upside, and has as much potential as any prospect we have seen in recent memory. As a matter of fact, I believe that he would have nearly as much hype as Clowney if Clowney were not coming out in this year's draft. Additionally, Mack is not even inexperienced at his position, having started 48 games in his career at Buffalo, never missing a game due to injury in all that time.

Mack's combine numbers are as great as one would expect from a top-ten overall pick, but what makes him special is the fact that he is versatile enough for a team like the Atlanta Falcons to build their defense around, while also being explosive enough to impact those positions. While at Buffalo, his coaching staff would move him all around the front seven, which gives him as much experience as he could possibly have before entering the league (short of doing the equivalent in a conference like the SEC), and gives him the versatility to play in just about any scheme in which he could be drafted; a win-win for the Falcons here.

We have so often seen guys that have very high ceilings get drafted in the top ten, but Mack is really a guy that has a very low "floor" as well, as a guy that holds NCAA records for forced fumbles (16), and tackles for loss (75) as a 4-year starter for Buffalo. He should be a guy that could start from day one on a defense like the Falcons have, and I would expect that by the end of his first year he could be playing like one of the best at his position - a la Aldon Smith, and Von Miller.

Mack's biggest hurdles coming into the league are his lack of diversity in pass-rushing moves, and the fact that teams will just have to wait and see how he adapts his game to coverage and playing all-around at the NFL level, as is the case for all prospects. Mack showed teams exactly what he could do in 2013 against one of the NCAA's top teams and offensive lines in Ohio State (9 tackles, 2.5 sacks, and a 45 yard INT returned for a TD), but then also showed what can happen when teams have enough time to exploit his weaknesses in the nationally-televised bowl game versus San Diego State, where they limited him to just 6 tackles.

In total, his stat line for 2013 -100 total tackles, 19.0 tackles for loss, 10.5 sacks, five forced fumbles, three interceptions, three fumble recoveries, and two touchdowns...I'm pretty sure his upside far exceeds any limitations he may have, and NFL coaches will have nightmares in preparing for Mack on a weekly basis. The Falcons get a gem here if they should choose to make this move.

Trevor Woods: Mack is the best player still available on the board and he has tremendous upside. Mack could start from day one and provide a steady pass rush, he will go through growing pains but my bet is he has a good rookie season. With that said, I still the Falcons giving Matt Ryan some help along the offensive line. It needs improvement, and it needs to happen now for their offense to have any chance of succeeding next season. Matthews has the potential to be an All-Pro, and would bolster Atlanta's O-line from day one.

Nick Chiamardas: I have to believe the Falcons would be thrilled to stay put and land Mack. With significant needs along both the offensive and defensive lines, the only question surrounding the Falcons pick is which way will they lean. Mack's ceiling is as high as any player in the draft. Playing in a division where they face Cam Newton and Drew Brees twice a year, Mack's prowess for disruption is premium. Great pick.

Round 1



Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina [Full Story]


El Shorts Greg Robinson, OT, Auburn [Full Story]


9er4life22 Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville [Full Story]


Boss Clifford Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson [Full Story]


Mark Balliet Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M [Full Story]


CheekeeMunkee Khalil Mack, OLB, Buffalo [Full Story]




Hoopers Judge










El Shorts






Mira Loma Maulers




Desert Dog Runner
















Boss Clifford