The Atlanta Falcons made two picks in the fourth round, selecting Fresno State linebacker Mykal Walker with the 119th overall pick and California safety Jaylinn Hawkins with the 134th overall pick. They closed out the 2020 NFL Draft by selecting punter Sterling Hofritcher in the seventh round with the 228th overall pick.
Walker is the fifth player the Falcons have selected from Fresno State University in franchise history and the first since 2006 (Adam Jennings). The California native totaled 183 tackles, 7.0 sacks, 11 passes defensed, three forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries, and one interception in 26 games and earned back-to-back first-team All-Mountain West honors. He saw time at middle linebacker, outside linebacker and defensive end in 2019 when he finished with 96 tackles. Prior to joining Fresno State in 2017, Walker attended Azusa Pacific University.
Hawkins is the fourth player the Falcons have selected from California club history and the first since 2008 (Thomas DeCoud). He totaled 56 tackles, 4.5 for loss, two sacks, two pass breakups, two forced fumbles, and led Cal with three interceptions on his way to an honorable mention All-Pac-12 selection last year. Hawkins started 39 of 50 career games while notching 158 total tackles (102 solo) with 9.5 tackles for loss, 2.0 sacks, 10 interceptions, three forced fumbles, and 17 pass breakups.
Hofritcher is the fourth player Atlanta has drafted from Syracuse and the first since 2014 (Marquis Sprull). The Florida native was the Orange’s starting punter for all 49 games from 2016-19, succeeding NFL punter Riley Dixon, and was a four-time candidate and a 2019 finalist for the Ray Guy Award, given annually to the nation’s top punter. Hofritcher ended his college career with the most punting yardage (11,651) in the school’s history, second-most in gross average (43.27), and second-most in number of punts (270).