ATHENS — ESPN’s Matt Miller emphasized that the Falcons aren’t likely to take Brock Bowers with the No. 8 overall pick. Atlanta has taken a skill player in the top 10 of each of the previous three drafts.

One of those was tight end Kyle Pitts back in the 2021 NFL Draft, thus not having a need for someone like Bowers. Even if he’s one of the best prospects in the class.

Miller didn’t compare Bowers to Pitts, but rather a different Falcons pick. That would be running back Bijan Robinson.

“It’s a lot like Bijan Robinson last year,” Miller said on a conference call with reporters on Tuesday. “We knew how talented he was as a player. It was really hard to find a natural fit for him. The Falcons obviously were pretty ok with taking a player early and they’ve got a great player.”

Robinson was a productive rookie, as he finished with 946 rushing yards, 487 receiving yards and 8 total touchdowns. Atlanta took him with the No. 8 overall pick in the draft, ahead of star Georgia defensive tackle Jalen Carter.

While Bowers only logged the occasional carry at Georgia, tight end has a similar positional value to that of running back in the eyes of the NFL decision-makers. Bowers is far and away the top tight end in this year’s draft class and is still seen as someone who could be a top draft pick. He won the Mackey Award twice in college, becoming the first two-time winner of the award.

Even with the success of Travis Kelcee and George Kittle, tight end is viewed as a premium position. Only one was taken in the first round last year, with Dalton Kincaid landing with Buffalo at pick No. 25.

It’s a deep draft at quarterback, wide receiver and offensive tackle, especially at the top. Seeing as how those are seen as top positions, Bowers has slipped in recent mock drafts.

Miller has Bowers landing with the New Orleans Saints at 14 and could see the Indianapolis Colts as a landing spot as well. Daniel Jeremiah has Bowers falling all the way to the Bengals with pick No. 18, though he admits that’s low for him.

Some team could end up benefiting from Bowers’ positional value and get a top 5 talent outside the top 10. The Detroit Lions took Jahymr Gibbs with the No. 12 pick in the draft and the running back played a key role in Detroit’s run to the NFC championship game.

“You’ve got a team that is going to look at best player available, regardless of position, that’s Brock Bowers,” Miller said. “We’re going to go ahead and draft him and know we’ve got a chance to get a Pro Bowl player.”

Bowers will get a chance to show what he can do at the upcoming NFL combine, where is likely to be one of the best testers, regardless of position. Bowers and the other tight ends will work out on Friday, March 1.

Bowers is one of 11 Georgia players that will be participating in the 2024 NFL Combine.