I think among the DTs, Cody has the highest ceiling, because he is just a better overall athlete than Castillo. But that doesn't necessarily mean they won't be good pros. I'm a bit surprised at how much Castillo is being undervalued thus far in this draft. In an era, where it seems teams are very very quick to jump over DTs, this year seems to be different. Maybe teams have learned that DTs aren't as valuable as they first thought, since in most cases it takes 2-3 years before they are really starting to play their best football. Castillo is that type of DT has been guys like Kris Jenkins and Shaun Rogers in recent drafts, that seems like a 2nd tier DT because he's not so flashy, but like those players will probably become the best DT in this class. I think because Cody can play potentially all 4 DL positions, you have to like him a bit more. But I think Castillo may become the more memorable figure in a few years.
As for safety, again I think it comes down to athleticism. Pool has more than Bullocks. Both are considered "coverage" safeties. You have to be a bit intrigued by Bullocks, since normally those type of defenders don't come out of Nebraska. Pool also plays for a team that has a rep of producing "system" players at Oklahoma.
At this point, my mindset is that the Falcons cannot go wrong with any of these 4 players. I think in both cases with Bullocks and Castillo, they may be the smarter and more controlled player that won't make as many mistakes, but with Pool and Cody you have the superb upside players that may not live up to the hype, but the risk of getting a player that is going to be a Top 5 player at their position is worth it.
I think the Falcons will go S early in the draft. I think Heard and Coady are more signings to add players with starting experience, but are really in the hopes both excel on special teams. I really think both are more likened to replacements for McCadam/Shabazz rather than an answer to Cory Hall. I think the rookie will be different. I'm really curious to see which safeties the Falcons target. I really think they need a run stuffer, but you never know. Both Coady and Heard are better vs. the run than the pass. That could either mean the Falcons are looking for that run stuffer, or they are just adding those guys for depth with the intention of getting a good coverage safety. Personally, I'm hoping for the latter and I think it is.
If that's the case, then Pool and Bullocks become less likely targets, and instead guys like Donte Nicholson, O.J. Atogwe, James Butler, and Jamaal Brimmer are stronger possibilities. Carpenter I think will only be re-signed after the draft if he's still available. I think the Falcons respect his veteran leadership abilities at such a relatively young age, but also do not expect much beyond being a speical teams guy and dime back.
I really don't think Pollack is a risk. I'm not sure who you have been listening to, but anybody that thinks David Pollack is a risky pick, probably doesn't know a lot about football. Pollack is a great player, and arguably the best prospect in this draft. I really think he's that much of a sure thing. He doesn't have great size, but as you mentioned guys like Dwight Freeney and Chuck Smith weren't any bigger, just to name a few, and they turned out very well. DE is really one of those positions that is more about desire than athleticism. It's why guys like Jason Taylor, Michael Strahan, among others weren't as highly rated as they should have been coming out of school. Kerney is successful because he has desire. All the top ends in this league had the desires to prove skeptics wrong, change their style of play, etc. Pollack definitely has that desire, and if there's anybody in this draft that I would consider HOF potential, it's him and probably only him.
Bottom line, if the Falcons are in a position to get David Pollack, and the cost is no more than moving a 2nd or 3rd round pick, because of those reasons mentioned above, it really is a small price to pay.
"Vincere scis, Hannibal, victoria uti nescis" -- Maharbal, 216 B.C.E.