Falcons select OLB DeAngelo Malone with No. 82 overall 2022 NFL Draft pick


The Falcons have selected outside linebacker DeAngelo Malone from Western Kentucky with the No. 82 overall selection in the 2022 NFL Draft, which is the pick the Falcons acquired from Indianapolis for Matt Ryan.

Stats: 94 tackles | 17.5 TFL | nine sacks | four forced fumbles | four passes defensed

Honors: CUSA DPOY (2019, 2021), First-Team All-CUSA (2020 and 2021)

Instant analysis: Malone is the second edge rusher the Falcons have gone after on Day 2, having drafted Arnold Ebiketie with the 38th overall pick. Malone joins a position group that includes Lorenzo Carter and Ade Ogundeji. Like Carter, Malone is from the Atlanta area. He went to Cedar Grove high school.

The Western Kentucky product was is speed personified at the position, particularly with his acceleration at the point of attack. He finished his college career No. 1 in school history in sacks and No. 2 in tackles for a loss. Malone could put on a few more pounds of muscle mass, but with time he can become a primary role player in Dean Pees’ scheme. — Tori McElhaney

What’s next: The Falcons don’t have any more Day 2 picks, and traded a Day 3 selection (No. 114) for the chance to take Arnold Ebiketie in the second round. They now have three picks on the NFL Draft’s final day, with Nos. 151, 190 and 213. It’s tough to expect much of an immediate impact from later-round picks outside special teams, but the Falcons will have a chance to fortify their depth chart with young talent. There are plenty of examples of late-round talents becoming regular Falcons contributors, including Grady Jarrett, Foye Oluokun and Russell Gage. The best player available becomes the primary strategy here, though offensive and defensive lines remain strong draft options. And another possibility comes into play: would the Falcons draft a punter? — Scott Bair

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