Atlanta Falcons 2024 NFL draft picks: Full list by round

Why Michael Penix Jr. is ready to prove the doubters wrong (2:03)

Heisman Trophy runner-up Michael Penix Jr. is ready to give everything he's got as he enters the 2024 NFL draft. (2:03)

ATLANTA -- -- The 2024 NFL draft wrapped up Saturday.

Here is a look at each of Atlanta's selections:

Analysis of every pick | Updated depth chart

Round 1: No. 8 overall: Michael Penix Jr., QB, Washington

My take: Stunner. The Falcons pulled off the shocker of the first round, taking Penix earlier than just about every expert predicted. He was the fourth quarterback taken in the top 10. There's no doubt Atlanta saw something in Penix when watching him on tape and visiting him. The team sent a ton of staff to see him in recent weeks. Obviously, they felt comfortable with his durability, despite four season-ending injuries in college. Penix, a lefty, has an incredible arm, and from a skill standpoint, he's certainly right up there among the best signal callers on the board. And now he's the successor to Kirk Cousins.

Key stat for the player: Penix is the first FBS player with 4,500 or more passing yards in two straight seasons since Patrick Mahomes did it in 2015 and 2016 for Texas Tech. Penix led all of FBS in 2023 with 4,093 passing yards. He was second in 2022 with 4,641 yards. Penix also led Washington to the national championship game this past season, so it's not only statistics. He's also a winner.

Is this pick for depth or does it fill a hole?: Depth and the potential quarterback of the future. Cousins was signed last month to a four-year contract worth up to $180 million. That includes $100 million of guaranteed money. One would imagine Cousins is locked into the starting quarterback role for the next three years. With that said, Cousins is 35 years old and is coming off a torn Achilles that ended his 2023 season in Minnesota. Perhaps there are concerns about his health, or maybe the Falcons just wanted a young quarterback to learn under the veteran for a few years, a la Jordan Love in Green Bay. However, Love is 25 years old now. Penix turns 24 in two weeks.

Falcons DT Ruke Orhorhoro's prospect profile

Check out some of the top college highlights for new Falcons defensive tackle Ruke Orhorhoro.

Round 2: No. 35: Ruke Orhorhoro, DT, Clemson

My take: The Falcons needed a pass-rusher, particularly an EDGE. Most of the impact players at that position went in the first round. Atlanta attempted to trade back into the late first, but weren't able to do so. Instead, the Falcons took Orhorhoro, a defensive tackle who has pass-rushing chops from the inside. Since 2021, Orhorhoro had 9.5 sacks lined up as a DT, which were tied for third in the ACC. The Nigeria-born Orhorhoro didn't start playing football until he was a junior in high school, so the Falcons probably like his upside.

Will he start as a rookie?: Probably not. The Falcons still have Grady Jarrett and David Onyemata on the inside of their defensive line. Onyemata is from Lagos, Nigeria, like Orhorhoro, so he could be a solid mentor for the 22-year-old out of Clemson. Orhorhoro is likely to be in the rotation, at least, and is willing to play anywhere on the line. It all depends on the system new defensive coordinator Jimmy Lake ends up implementing.

Round 3: No. 74: Bralen Trice, EDGE, Washington

My take: The Falcons got their pure pass-rusher and, boy, did they need it. This is a team that has had 18 fewer sacks than any other franchise in the NFL over the past three seasons. Atlanta's pass rush win rate was dead last in the league in 2023. Trice had 16 sacks over the past two seasons, which was tied for the fourth most among Power 5 players during that stretch. He's had 12 games with five or more pressures since the start of the 2022 season, which leads all FBS players. Trice played mostly outside linebacker at Washington and he had a reputation for being able to get to the quarterback.

Ties to the team to know: Trice was a Washington teammate of QB Michael Penix Jr., whom the Falcons took in the first round. Not only that, but new Falcons defensive coordinator Jimmy Lake was the head coach at Washington when Trice was recruited there. That familiarity with Lake's system can't hurt at all. Trice ended up as the team captain at Washington and was known for being well-liked by his teammates and coaches.

Round 4, No. 109: Brandon Dorlus, DT/DE, Oregon

My take: It was somewhat surprising the Falcons didn't take a cornerback here or even a safety. But the team is clearly and rapidly reshaping its defensive line, which already had quality veteran players in Grady Jarrett and David Onyemata. Dorlus is Atlanta's second straight defensive line selection. And Dorlus, who led Oregon with five sacks, is extremely versatile. He can play inside, as a defensive end or even outside linebacker. Pass-rushers were the Falcons' biggest needs and now they have three rookies who fit the bill after not taking a defender with the No. 8 overall pick as many expected.

Key stat: Dorlus had 691 pass rushes as a defensive tackle and 391 as an edge rusher since 2021. Only three other players in the FBS during that time had 300 or more at both positions. At the NFL annual meeting, new Falcons coach Raheem Morris said there will never be a time where he won't want more pass-rushers. Well, he has three fresh ones to work with now after the Falcons' four draft picks thus far. And Dorlus and Ruke Orhorhoro are especially versatile.

Round 5, No. 143: JD Bertrand, LB, Notre Dame

My take: The Falcons are completely reshaping their front seven in this draft. In Bertrand, they not only get their second collegiate defensive team captain (Bralen Trice was captain at Washington), but also someone with significant physical tools. Bertrand was a three-year starter at Notre Dame, led the team with 76 tackles in 2023 and had 16 tackles behind the line of scrimmage this past season. He's also a former Eagle Scout and was a finalist for the Wuerffel Trophy for community service.

Round 6, No. 186: Jase McClellan, RB, Alabama

My take: The team needed a third running back behind Bijan Robinson and Tyler Allgeier, and that's presumably where McClellan will fit. McClellan was Alabama's primary starter for one year after returning in 2022 from a torn ACL. He ran for 890 yards on 180 carries with eight touchdowns this past season. McClellan, who's only 21, isn't flashy, but Atlanta has been taking upside and translatable physical attributes over flash this entire draft.

Round 6, No. 187: Casey Washington, WR, Illinois

My take: Depth at wide receiver was absolutely a need going into the draft, though it's still surprising the Falcons won't pick a cornerback until their final pick, if at all. Washington was sixth in the Big Ten in receiving yards during conference games (589) and finished his career with Illinois very strong -- 218 yards on nine receptions and three touchdowns against Northwestern back in November. Washington is 6-foot-2 and 200 pounds, and Atlanta did need size at the position. He'll be tied for the second tallest wide receiver on the roster after top wideout Drake London (6-4).

Round 6: No. 197 (from Cleveland): Zion Logue, DT, Georgia

My take: This draft, after all the controversy in the first round, was all about front-seven versatility and depth for the Falcons. Logue is a big body at 6-foot-6 and 314 pounds. And the team's fifth front-seven selection of the week. Atlanta has put a premium on length with its defenders so far and Logue has that to go along with his massive frame. The Tennessee native only started one year at Georgia, so he's relatively inexperienced with potential upside the Falcons are once again banking on.