Draft analysts give Falcons high marks

The Atlanta Falcons kicked off the Dan Quinn Era in strong fashion by putting together a solid, seven-player draft class.

Led by first-round pick Vic Beasley and third-rounder Tevin Coleman, the Falcons addressed needs on both sides of the ball. ESPN draft expert Mel Kiper gave the Falcons' draft an "B" in his grade breakdownInsider.

Kiper had an intriguing take on Coleman:

"I don't know if a running back can ever be a 'steal,' but Tevin Coleman comes close, as I thought he could go early in Round 2, and the Falcons nabbed him at No. 73 overall. I wouldn't be surprised to see him splitting carries with Devonta Freeman in 2015."

Actually, Coleman plans to grab the starting role and be the featured back, a mentality Freeman said he appreciates -- and the same mindset he intends to carry into the season himself.

ESPN draft guru Todd McShay selected Coleman as his favorite pickInsider by the Falcons, although McShay went on to select the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as his most improved team out of the NFC SouthInsider.

The Falcons might have some success with their later picks. Fourth-round pick Justin Hardy, a receiver from East Carolina, earned significant praises from ESPN analyst and long-time NFL executive Bill Polian, who applauded Hardy's ability to establish separation. Defensive tackle Garrett Jarrett was projected to go in the second round but fell to the Falcons in the fifth, and they traded up to get him. Jarrett could be part of the rotation immediately.

"He flies around the field as a defensive tackle," McShay said after Jarrett came off the board.

Second-round pick Jalen Collins from LSU is a first-round talent who admitted to failing three drug tests. He has the type of length and physicality the Falcons are looking for from a press cornerback.

The Falcons also picked up a pair of seventh-rounders in offensive lineman Jake Rogers, who could played either tackle spot, and defensive back Akeem King, a safety prospect who coach Quinn said would begin as a cornerback.