Falcons trade up in 2nd round to draft Syracuse OL Bergeron
The Atlanta Falcons addressed a need on their offensive line by selecting Syracuse offensive tackle Matthew Bergeron after trading with Indianapolis in the second round of the NFL draft on Friday night.
Bergeron was introduced as a guard, an indication he will be given an opportunity to fill the left guard position left vacant when Elijah Wilkinson signed as a free agent with the Arizona Cardinals. Wilkinson started nine games at left guard for Atlanta last season.
The Falcons acquired the No. 38 overall pick in the draft from the Colts for the No. 44 overall pick in the second round and a fourth-round pick, No. 110 overall, on Saturday.
Bergeron, a native of Quebec, played right tackle and left tackle at Syracuse. He said he worked at left guard in one Senior Bowl practice and also talked with Falcons offensive line coach Dwayne Ledford about moving to guard in the NFL.
"We talked about my versatility," Bergeron said, adding "I told them how open I am (to the move).
"I think it's easier to move from outside to inside, especially when you play your whole life at tackle. If you play tackle in college you're a natural, you're athletic."
Bergeron's Atlantic Coast Conference loyalties surfaced when he was asked what he knows about Atlanta. "I know the Braves and I hate Georgia Tech," he said.
The Falcons chose Texas running back Bijan Robinson with the No. 8 overall pick in the first round on Thursday night. It marked the third consecutive year Atlanta's leadership team of general manager Terry Fontenot and coach Arthur Smith used their first-round pick to add a skill position player on offense.
Robinson spent Friday at the Falcons practice facility and posed with a No. 1 Falcons jersey while adding he hasn't decided on his real uniform number. Last year's first-round pick, wide receiver Drake London, wears the No. 5 Robinson wore at Texas.
FALCONS KEEP FIRST-ROUND FOCUS ON OFFENSE, TAKE RB ROBINSON
Robinson became the first running back selected among the top 10 draft picks since Saquon Barkley was the No. 2 overall pick by the New York Giants in 2018.
Fontenot spoke of Robinson's versatility as a runner and receiver as an example of "position-less football."
Robinson said he took pride in his ability to line up as a slot receiver at Texas and said versatile skills are the path to more running backs breaking into the top 10 of future NFL drafts.
"I see that's where the running back position is being valued now," Robinson said. "That's where I think it's going to be headed."