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Atlanta will have a mid-round pick to start the draft

The draft order is set for April's selection party. The Falcons will have a mid-round pick in 2016.

With Atlanta’s 8-8 record, they will have the 17th pick in the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft.

Indianapolis and Buffalo also had 8-8 records, but the Falcons’ strength of schedule was worse than the other two teams giving them the higher pick.

Tennessee will have the first pick in the draft, followed by Cleveland, San Diego, Dallas, Jacksonville, Baltimore, San Francisco, Miami, Tampa Bay and the New York Giants.

The Falcons will have a lot of needs to fill in the draft. Of course, with free agency first the team will likely fill several holes with new veteran players. Atlanta is looking at adding help on the offensive line, at tight end and obviously some help on the defensive side of the ball.

Last year the Falcons took Clemson linebacker Vic Beasley with the 8th overall pick in the first round. Texas A&M offensive lineman Jake Matthews was selected two years ago with the 6th overall selection Desmond Trufant went with the 22nd overall pick in the 2013 first round.

The last time the Falcons had the 17th pick in the first round of the NFL Draft was 30 years ago, in 1986 when Atlanta took Syracuse linebacker Tim Green. He played eight seasons with the Falcons and is now an award-winning author. Atlanta also took Miami defensive end Don Smith with the 17th pick in the first round of the 1979 draft.

Listen to “The Bill Shanks Show” from 3-6 p.m. weekdays on WPLA Fox Sports 1670 AM in Macon and online at Follow Bill at and email him at

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