Falcons should focus on lines, linebacker, receiver at NFL combine

Ad Pro Test Clip 96 - March 2017 (2:16)

Ad Pro Test Clip 96 - March 2017 (2:16)

A closer look at the positions the Atlanta Falcons could target at the NFL combine in Indianapolis:

Positions of need: The Falcons need help on the offensive and defensive lines along with more speed at linebacker and a receiver to alleviate some of the pressure on top target Julio Jones. With coach Dan Quinn being a defensive line guru, it wouldn't be a surprise to see Atlanta think defensive line with the No. 17 pick. Linebacker probably would take precedence over a wide receiver in the first-round pecking order behind defensive line because a playmaking linebacker has to earn strong consideration as the first priority after the release of Justin Durant. The Falcons need help on the interior of the offensive line at guard and center, but that can be addressed later in the draft. Of course, Atlanta needs to add depth at defensive back with length and speed.

Three players the Falcons could focus on at the combine:

Shaq Lawson (DE), Clemson: Atlanta drafted two defensive linemen out of Clemson a year ago, first-round pick Vic Beasley Jr. and fifth-round pick Grady Jarrett. Lawson said he would be all for reuniting with his former teammates. He can get after the passer and plays with strength. Lawson plans to answer any questions about his athleticism with his performance at the combine. He led the nation with 25.5 tackles for loss last season and had 12.5 sacks. And the MCL injury he played with in the national title game is no longer an issue, as he plans to perform all the drills at the combine.

Myles Jack (LB), UCLA: Yes, Jack is considered a top-10 talent and is likely to be off the board when the Falcons select, but that shouldn't stop them from taking a longer look just in case he survives to pick No. 17 -- or in case Atlanta is bold enough to trade up for him. Jack, a former running back, has the speed to make plays all over the field and excel in coverage. He played under Falcons linebackers coach Jeff Ulbrich when Ulbrich was UCLA's defensive coordinator. Jack is coming off a major knee injury and is not fully cleared to run at the combine, but Atlanta should monitor him regardless.

Braxton Miller (WR), Ohio State: Miller turned heads at the Senior Bowl as he continued to make his transition from being an option quarterback. Folks still wonder how fluid he is catching the football, but there's no doubt Miller is an explosive playmaker. The Falcons probably would shy away from taking a receiver such as Laquon Treadwell from Ole Miss in the first round, but Miller just might be a viable option if available in the second round or later. Chances are, Miller will improve his stock at the combine.