Road to the Draft

newbus_alt

Here’s your handy guide to our roster situation as we head to draft day. It’s divided into columns, the first showing our 2015 personnel (refer Wikipedia) that remain on the current roster (refer AtlantaFalcons.com). I stuck with the positions listed by the Falcons page. Interesting to note that Beasley is listed as OLB. The next column is our free agent signings to date, which I’ll update as necessary. Links are provided with the names. The next column shows players signed with other teams, or noted as restricted FAs, or exclusive rights FAs (see definitions). And lastly, I have a column showing which positions experts are recommending that the Falcons draft. But since we know that Cagers are the premier experts, and to make things interesting, I’m asking that you post your top three draft needs (in no particular order) in the reply section below. Then I’ll copy them to the list here, color coded purple.

OFFENSE

Center
2015 Roster              Free Agent                   Unsigned                   Recommend Draft Pick
J. Stone                   A. Mack                    G. Gradkowski [out]

Guard
2015 Roster              Free Agent                   Unsigned                    Recommend Draft Pick
B. Garland              C. Rahrig                 C. Chester [UFA]         NFL.com
A. Levitre                                                                                       Drafttek
A. Replogle (OL)                                                                           ESPN.com
M. Person                                                                                       Arno
–                                                                                                        WaynesWR
–                                                                                                        Flo-Ri-Duh
–                                                                                                       TimeIsNow
–                                                                                                       PaddyO
–                                                                                                        JLOM
–                                                                                                       GritsBlitz

Tackle
2015 Roster             Free Agent                  Unsigned                       Recommend Draft Pick
J. Matthews          T. Compton               J. Long [UFA]
B. Harris                                                   R. Schraeder [RFA]


Tight End
2015 Roster             Free Agent                  Unsigned                        Recommend Draft Pick
B. Gardner                                              T. Moeaki [UFA]            Drafttek
J. Tamme                                                                                          Walter Football
D.J. Tialavea                                                                                     Arno
L. Toilolo

Quarterback
2015 Roster              Free Agent                   Unsigned                     Recommend Draft Pick
S. Renfree              M. Schaub
M. Ryan
M. Simms*

Runningback
2015 Roster              Free Agent                   Unsigned                     Recommend Draft Pick
T. Coleman
D. Freeman
T. Ward
G. Johnson*

Fullback
2015 Roster              Free Agent                   Unsigned                     Recommend Draft Pick
P. DiMarco

Wide Receiver
2015 Roster              Free Agent                   Unsigned                     Recommend Draft Pick
J. Hardy                  A. Robinson                R. White [out]                 Drafttek
D. Hester               J. Leslie                         L. Hankerson [out]       Walter Football
J. Jones                   M. Sanu                                                                     PoolerSpirit
E. Weems                                                                                             JLOM
N. Williams
C.J. Goodwin*
L. Jordan*

DEFENSE

Defensive Tackle
2015 Roster              Free Agent                   Unsigned                     Recommend Draft Pick
J. Babineaux                                               P. Soliai [out]               Drafttek
J. Mbu (nose tackle)                                                                        Arno
G. Jarrett                                                                                          WaynesWR
–                                                                                                          JohnWW
–                                                                                                          Flo-Ri-Duh
–                                                                                                         PoolerSpirit
–                                                                                                         PaddyO

Defensive End
2015 Roster              Free Agent                   Unsigned                     Recommend Draft Pick
A. Clayborn           D. Shelby                  K. Biermann [UFA]         NFL.com
M. Goodman                                                                                    Drafttek
T. Jackson                                                                                          ESPN.com
R. Hageman                                                                                      Walter Football
–                                                                                                          JohnWW
–                                                                                                          GritsBlitz
–                                                                                                          medallion

Linebacker
2015 Roster              Free Agent                   Unsigned                          Recommend Draft Pick
T. Starr                   S. Weatherspoon    N. Stupar [out]                  ESPN.com
–                               L. Reynolds               P. Worrilow [RFA]           Walter Football
–                                                                                                           NFL.com
–                                                                                                          Drafttek
–                                                                                                          WaynesWR
–                                                                                                           JohnWW
–                                                                                                           TimeIsNow
–                                                                                                           PaddyO
–                                                                                                           JLOM
–                                                                                                           GritsBlitz
–                                                                                                           medallion
–                                                                                                           PoolerSpirit

Outside Linebacker
2015 Roster              Free Agent                   Unsigned                     Recommend Draft Pick
V. Beasley             C. Upshaw                J. Durant  [out]                Drafttek
P. Wheeler                                                O. Schofield [UFA]         Flo-Ri-Duh
–                                                                                                           medallion

Safety
2015 Roster              Free Agent                   Unsigned                     Recommend Draft Pick
R. Therezie           D. Parms                    R. Allen [EFA]              NFL.com
C. Godfrey                                                                                       Drafttek
K. Ishmael                                                                                       Walter Football
–                                                                                                         WaynesWR
–                                                                                                         TimeIsNow

Cornerback
2015 Roster              Free Agent                   Unsigned                     Recommend Draft Pick
R. Alford                 D. Van Dyke             P. Adams [UFA]
J. Collins
A. King
D. Trufant

SPECIAL TEAMS

2015 Roster              Free Agent                   Unsigned                     Recommend Draft Pick
Kicker
M. Bryant                                                    S. Graham [UFA]

Long Snapper
J. Harris

Punter
M. Bosher

*2015 practice squad

Advertisements

482 thoughts on “Road to the Draft

      1. JB Falcon

        “One of the things I’ve learned about building a team, it’s an art, not a science,” the Jets’ current GM said. “What Bill(Parcels) said was, ‘Our best player will be our best worker, and he’s going to make everyone on the team better because they’re going to see the ultimate professional.’

        Reply
  1. just "little ole" me

    Flo – I know a number of people are high on Henry, but I just don’t get a good feeling about him. I need to look as some game tape on him and maybe I will feel better about him. If we do end up with him I hope he does well. At this point there are other TEs that I would prefer over Henry not just b/c of my gut feeling, but b/c they should be available later in the draft.

    Reply
      1. just "little ole" me

        Flo – you would think being in East Texas that we would get more Arkansas games here, but that isn’t the case. If he ends up a Falcon I hope he performs better than he ever thought he could!

        Reply
    1. Flo-Ri-Duh

      By the way Hunter Henry’s father was a starting OT for the Razorbacks & he lettered 4 years. Hunter Henry did much better at his Pro Day than at the combine: at 6’5″ 250 lb 4.67 40 and 21 reps on bench press. Known especially for his great hands, Henry dropped only two passes and had 88 receptions in his last two years. Also averaged 14+ yards per catch. (www.sports-reference.com)

      Reply
    1. John Waynesworld

      ” Biermann…Where is he now? Married to reality star Kim Zolciak”. LOL That’s a label he’ll never shake!

      Seriously, I got through 2 drafts and got too depressed to continue.

      Reply
    2. SinIsIn

      I’m looking at these drafts like who the hell are these people? Then it hit me. I didn’t start watching football closely til 2011. Half these guys were long gone by then 😦

      Reply
  2. Arno

    Call me completely out of step, but I’m alarmed the Falcons would even consider Shaq Lawson. We can’t afford the risk, and I’m not talking about the constraints of a mere five picks this year. We’re having to regroup after Dimitroff impoverished our roster. Let Lawson, if he works out, be some other team’s ‘hot’ pick. Face it, Falcons. Because of Dimitroff’s ‘success rate,’ we just don’t have the luxury of pulling the trigger on a guy like Lawson. We need several years of SOLID picks to make up for lost ground. Be smart. Be humble. Trade down. Build the team.

    Reply
    1. Grits Blitz

      ARNO – I agree with you on everything you’ve stated but the main problem remains. He’s still pulling the trigger and/or “advising” D.Q. so unless he completely changes his m-o overnight, insanity is predicted to continue thanks to Arthur.

      Reply
    2. medallion

      Lawson was once at the top of my wish list for # 17 if there wasn’t a trade down and if Lawson checked out o.k. medically, but I didn’t think he would make it to # 17 if medical was o.k. – hence, wish list. I then had Ogbah and Darron Lee as my back up plans.
      That was before the resigning of Clayborn and signing of Shelby for some big LEO roles. Still not sure how Upshaw ties in, but he could also play a big LEO role in the event of an injury to Clayborn or Shelby. So, Lawson and Ogbah aren’t on my radar screen for # 17 anymore. I am also not as high as I once was on Darron Lee.
      Trading down seems real nice to me now (just as it was before now), but someone has to be willing to trade up in a fair deal to accomplish that.
      Discussing what might be best for # 17 if there isn’t a trade down will be interesting to this amateur GM.

      Reply
      1. Arno

        “what might be best for # 17 if there isn’t a trade down”
        Alas… given the mindset of the Branch in the past, it’s the obvious question that I’ve been avoiding…

        Reply
        1. medallion

          Yes, but (to me) picking a DT at # 17 just doesn’t seem to fit with DQ’s rotational system for interior D linemen on early downs (in base) and a big DT/NT type like Soliai won’t play much (if any) in nickel and dime packages. Only DT we lost is Soliai and he played less than 1/3rd of defensive snaps last year. The mighty Babs (primarily used in nickel and dime packages last year) is a year older, but Shelby seems projected to play some DT in nickel and dime plus the youngsters of Hageman, Jarrett, and Mbu will (in theory) get better.
          While looking at stats in isolation can easily mislead, Mbu (in limited action as a UDFA last year) actually produced better stats per defensive snap than Soliai. While it was a very small sample size for Mbu, I hope Quinn saw the progress of the three youngsters as the reason to cut Soliai unless Soliai took a pay cut.
          At some point (this year or next year), some additional DT will have to be found (draft or UDFA or free agent) to replace the mighty Babs when he retires.

          Reply
          1. Paddy O

            If we are OK with Hageman, Jarrett, Mbu and Babs – which still seems light to me – I don’t have much joy thinking of Worrilow as the ILB again this year. You leaning toward LB at 17?

          2. Paddy O

            would DQ already have determined that Collins CB is a bust? it appears to me CB is relatively decent, except for some depth guys. LB is still our problem position on D – although it would be nice to have a S the level of Chancellor.

  3. Flo-Ri-Duh

    I saw that headline on Too Dumb’s failures in the draft earlier today and decided to pass on the article – nothing we didn’t hash and rehash a 1000 times before. Something about beating a dead horse? Suspect if The Cage voted on firing TD he woul obtain a super majority of thumbs down.

    Reply
          1. Flo-Ri-Duh

            Just saying that I agree with what you showed in the article and it’s depressing (sad). Can’t do anything about it now but move on and do better.

  4. Flo-Ri-Duh

    NFL’s Believe It Or Not: Darrell Green (CB) ran a 4.31 40 at age 42 – just before he retired. Won the NFL’s fastest man contest 4 times – and never lost. After retirement, at his 50th birthday party, Green ran a 4.43 40 in his back yard! Says he never took a drink of alcohol, never smoked a cig and never did drugs. (wikipedia.com and NFL TV.)

    Reply
      1. just "little ole" me

        Jared Green 26, played WR, was signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by Carolina, spent time in Dallas and Oakland before hanging it up and becoming a full time pastor at a church in Virginia.

        Reply
  5. just "little ole" me

    I always enjoyed watching Darrell Green play. Him and Art Monk on the Redskins back in the day.

    Reply
    1. SinIsIn

      Far as I know, that didn’t work out so well for Margus Hunt. I think farming other countries for players is tough, unless they have football experience. You can be mouth-wateringly athletic, but a never become even a half way decent football player.

      Reply
  6. Chop Buster

    Matt Ryan personally funds offseason workout for 27 Falcons teammates

    By Alex Marvez @alexmarvez

    Mar 31, 2016 at 1:33p ET

    Thanks to quarterback Matt Ryan, the offseason program for 27 Atlanta Falcons players has gotten off to an early start. Ryan sponsored a voluntary three-day passing camp in South Florida this week that served as a precursor to the official beginning of Atlanta’s workouts April 18. Following the final practice Thursday at St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Fort Lauderdale, Ryan spoke exclusively with FOXSports.com senior NFL writer Alex Marvez about how the camp came together, what he hoped to accomplish and the state of Atlanta’s offense heading into his ninth NFL seaso

    Q: I know this passing camp was something first discussed last December. How did this ultimately get done?

    Matt Ryan: I felt like it would be a good opportunity to get everybody together a little before we get started for our offseason program and just get away a little bit. Find a spot where guys can hang out, spend time together but also get on the field and get a little bit of work done and knock some of the rust off from the offseason.

    I talked to some of the older guys about where we wanted to go and where they wanted to stay and got the ball rolling. It was one of those deals where you’re thinking about something that could be fun and made it work.”

    Q: Having 27 guys involved makes this a lot bigger than the usual passing camps.

    Ryan: I think it shows the type of guys we have in our locker room, good teammates that enjoy spending time together and are willing to work. It’s a lot to ask somebody to take time away from their family or whatever they’re doing this time of the year to spend time with their teammates.

    Q: What were you able to get done the past three days?

    Ryan: We wanted everybody here about noon on Tuesday. We hopped on a bus, came up to (St. Thomas) and worked out. We kind of dodged the rain so we ended up being in the gym throwing the football around and (using) the weight room. We had a team dinner on Tuesday night. We were back out here on the field Wednesday morning. We had good weather before the rain came down and threw for probably two hours. We got back on the bus, took the afternoon off — I played golf — and then had another team dinner last night. We had one more workout Thursday morning and guys are flying out.

    Q: How did you coordinate all of this?

    Ryan: I tried to lean on my wife and different people from the area on who they might know. And I called people. It took some time. I found out I’m not very good at it [laughs]. I’m better at my job than coordinating stuff. But it was worth it.

    Q: Does all this come out of your pocket for expenses?

    Ryan: Yeah, it does. I put it together. I’m not going to ask guys to go out of their pocket. For me, it was a great chance to get everybody together and give them a little fun for a couple days.

    Q: Looking back at last season, the offense averaged 32.4 points a game during Atlanta’s 5-0 start and 16.1 the rest of the year. What happened and how do you reflect upon the 2015 campaign?

    Ryan: We made a lot of plays early in the season. When it got tough, we weren’t able to make the two or three plays in the fourth quarter needed to change the outcome. In our six-game losing streak, the first three games we lost by a touchdown or less. That’s the difference. When you’re 8-8, you did some good things and some poor things. We’ve got to clean up the poor things and keep doing the good things we did.”

    Q: How do you think Atlanta’s two big-free agent signings in (wide receiver) Mohamed Sanu and (center) Alex Mack will impact your offense?

    Ryan: One of the things I was most excited about coming down here was having the chance to get to know Mo and throw to him on the field. He’s got great hands. One of the things I noticed right from the start is how strong his hands are. He’s a really good worker. I think he can really help us. And Alex Mack, I got to meet him a couple times and obviously he’s one of the premier offensive linemen in the game. For us to add that at our center position, it’s such an important part of an offensive line to have that centerpiece and get everyone on the same page. I think the leadership he’s going to bring and level of preparation is going to help the other guys. That’s one thing in talking to him I know he’s fanatical about. He’s going to be a really, really good influence on our guys up front.

    Q: How much easier is it for you this offseason not having to learn a new offense like you did with coordinator Kyle Shanahan’s system in 2015?

    Ryan: One hundred percent. It’s just different. When you’ve been in the same system for seven years, you go on autopilot when you’re on the field. When it changes, there’s a lot of work that goes into it. Learning things, seeing things a little bit differently than what we had terminology-wise, speaking the same language. … I think we’re at a place where we’re really headed in the right direction. I thought we made strides as the year went on. But for me, even for this trip, to be able to talk in the language we’re going to use. … Last year, it was like, “Guys, I don’t know what we’re going to call this. Here’s what I want you to run.” That part of it I think is really nice.

    Q: How tough was it to say goodbye to Roddy White this offseason, and what do you think is next for him?

    Ryan: Roddy is a tremendous competitor. Obviously, he’s one of the best players I ever played with and has had a bigger impact on my career really than anybody I’ve played with because we were together for so long. It’s tough. That part of it sucks. It’s not fun because he’s a friend, a great teammate, a great leader in our locker room and an unbelievable competitor. You know all the things that you’re losing. We all understand that’s part of how it goes in this league. I think somebody is going to pick him up and he’s going to continue to play at a high level.

    Q: Finally, Jonathan Babineaux and you are now the longest-tenured Falcons players on the roster. What is the state of Matt Ryan at the age of 30?

    Ryan: I think I’m just hitting my stride. I feel like I’m in the best shape of my life at 30. I feel like I’ve learned so much about myself, my body, my game from the last eight years. I feel like that experience is going to serve me well in my 30s. I feel like I’m throwing it better than I ever have, I’m stronger than I’ve ever been. My best ball is still in front of me.

    http://www.foxsports.com/nfl/story/atlanta-falcons-matt-ryan-goes-deep-into-wallet-to-fund-offseason-workout-033116

    Reply
    1. Paddy O

      the Mack signing significantly strengthens the O line – but we are still lacking in 60% of the O line – both guards and RT. If these are not fixed, is Mack just window dressing?

      Reply
      1. Flo-Ri-Duh

        How true – the interior OL and ROT is still a question mark. I was watching Notre Dame’s Pro Day and their center Nick Martin, 6’4″ 299 lb. and noticed that he has played both center and guard in college (guard 10 games in 2014) and nfl.com now lists him as a guard. combine: 5.22 40 and 28 reps bench. His brother Zack was an All Pro guard as a rookie. He’s described as having nimble feet and has a strong base as a pass blocker. Plays with a mean streak and then some. (nfl.com) this could be the Falcons’ answer at right guard – 3rd Rd.

        Reply
        1. just "little ole" me

          Flo – I think Martin will probably be there at pick 50, but I think he will be gone by pick 81. I also believe the falcons will resign OT Schraeder, but they want him on the cheap b/c of the limited cap space.

          The need is there to draft an OG, but with only five picks where does OG fall on the priority list, and does one get drafted at all?

          Reply
          1. Flo-Ri-Duh

            jolm – Of course all depends on who is left on their “BOARD” but anything after 3rd Rd is a “project” or backup in this draft at guard. There are only a few that fit the Falcons scheme that have starting ability as a rookie. They should also re-sign Chester for 1 year if his shoulder checks out. Schraeder’s agent isn’t in any hurry to sign – looking for $$$$ and options. Falcons could be negotiating a long-term deal with a low cap for 2016 since it’s taking so long. What about trading down, picking up a 3rd, and drafting Cody Whitehair (G/OT)? If Falcons re-sign Schraeder long-term and then draft a WR (Fuller or Doctson – 1st Rd), a TE (Hunter Henry- 2nd Rd) & guard (Westerman- 3rd Rd) – the 1st team offense is complete. Then draft defense in 2017. This would be the completely opposite way of DQ’s philosophy which is defense first so it won’t happen.

        2. Paddy O

          how about the Alabama C Kelly? Could he also play a G position, learn from Mack ? would you consider taking Jaylon Smith if he is there at our Rd 2 selection?

          Reply
  7. Flo-Ri-Duh

    Jaylon Smith (LB) reported at Notre Dame’s Pro Day that he’s now squatting 400 lbs. and leg pressing 600 lbs. He bench pressed 23 reps in the only event he took part in. Many scouts have said he was the #1 player in this draft before his injury. If he passes his physical re-check of his knee and shows no nerve damage he’s still a 1st Rd pick in this draft – even though he will sit out the 2016 season most likely.

    Reply
    1. Seminole Warrior

      Flo, as you know, Jaylon is and has been my guy!!

      The absolute BEST linebacker in this draft class BAR NONE. If I were the GM, I would have in for a physical and have the great Dr. James Andrews do a complete assessment of his knee and its overall structure.

      If Dr. Andrews gives me the green light, he is a Falcon and he gets a year to get stronger and better on a limited practice schedule over the course of his first year. Then next year, when most of the scrubs we have at LB are allowed to take a hike, Smith and Beasley are cornerstones to build upon and around.

      Reply
  8. waynesworldreview

    FLO
    That’s awesome–this guy is going to be a STEAL…too bad it won’t be for us…..

    TD and Quinn were at Boise St Pro day–LB Correa and S Thompson are in the #50 range so that may be our direction in rd 2….

    Reply
    1. Flo-Ri-Duh

      WWR – Watched Jaylon Smith interview at Notre Dame’s “Pro Day”. He’s the complete package on and off the field. No doubt he’s the definition of exactly what Falcons are looking for – minus the injury. ion.

      Expect Falcons are interested in Thompson but I’m not feeling good about it. Hope Falcons don’t pull a Southward and “reach” for him in 2nd Rd. He’s a 3rd Rd pick in my book.

      Reply
    1. just "little ole" me

      Interesting read! I would like to know exactly how many prospects from each position were drafted in each round, showing how many were considered successful NFL players out of the number drafted in each round.

      Reply
  9. John Waynesworld

    It hasn’t been posted but this is from yesterday.

    http://www.cougcenter.com/2016/3/31/11332600/joe-dahl-nfl-draft-wsu-cougars-football-atlanta-falcons

    Dahl is a difficult projection because he can play multiple positions. I have seen his name in top 50 projections and I have seen him projected in the 4th or 5th round. He may have the same diverse value that Mitch Morse had last year. Morse was almost a consensus 4th round prospect who was taken in the middle of the 2nd round.

    Reply
        1. JB Falcon

          Really. Nothing surprises me when it comes to the FO. Maybe some of the reject GMs can put on a uniform and actually be worth something to the team!

          Reply
  10. The Time is NOW

    Last night I was thinking about Nick Martin, as Flo and jlom briefly mentioned above. As jlom observed, he is likely to still be on the board at 50, but unlikely to last to 81 (although I found 3 sites that rank him from the mid 70’s to the mid 80’s). He played LG for 1 season in college before taking over at C.

    My question for the Cage is this: do you like Martin as a G and backup C, while learning from Mack? If so, do you like him at 50, or only if he lasts to 81?

    Reply
    1. Flo-Ri-Duh

      With Martin’s versatility he would not be a bad pick at #50 and I would expect him to be a starter at guard day one. There may be a couple of others at #50 I would rate ahead of Martin at the guard position. I think he had ACL surgery 2 or 3 years ago and that needs to be carefully checked out. Don’t see any reason why Mack should not be able to play out his full contract so if I drafted martin I would draft him as a guard.

      Reply
    2. Seminole Warrior

      Time, The Tee Pee would take him at 50 and immediately plug him into the critical left guard position.

      That gives us here at TPS the ability to move Andy Levitre over to the right side when his run blocking skills can be better used and his pass blocking limitations are minimized.

      Reply
  11. John Waynesworld

    I am leaning toward agreeing with TIME that the Falcons won’t take a OL in the first 2 rounds. Someone else (sorry I don’t remember) mentioned that it shouldn’t be difficult to find lighter, mobile, ZBS-style OLs at the 2nd half of this draft. I agree.

    To that point, only a handful of teams (5 or 6) employ zone-running schemes so our odds of finding a good mobile OL in the later rounds are better than the majority of teams would have looking for a good power blocker.

    The Falcons put most of their FA money in the Offense. It just seems to make sense that they would focus on acquiring Defensive playmakers at the top of this draft.

    Reply
    1. Flo-Ri-Duh

      Normally I wouldn’t draft a guard before 3rd Rd – unless he’s elite. Don’t consider Martin elite but good enough to start. As it is we don’t have a starting quality guard on either side right now. There were two failures I saw with UFA signings: guard and ILB. Don’t see what I want in the draft early at ILB but there are possibilities at guard and I think we can wait until 3rd Rd – unless Whitehair is there at #50. The perfect case would be Billings (DT) at #17 & Whitehair (G/OT) at # 50. Two major needs filled for years to come. Falcons need to get more physical and quicker on the OL/DL and these guys are made for it.

      Reply
      1. medallion

        I don’t see Whitehair as a fit for outside ZBS and wouldn’t draft him at #50 if he’s there at #50. He also doesn’t seem to be a fit for PBS or inside zone ZBS to me. He could fall a long way.
        Why do you opine “we don’t have a starting quality guard on either side now”? Seems like an overstatement to me even though I admit I am worried about RG position. Why isn’t LeVitre a “starting quality guard”?
        Do you really want us to use the #17 pick on a DT that isn’t likely to play even 60% of defensive snaps in future years even if he turns out to be decent? If so, please explain why you think that would be a good use of a #17 pick.

        Reply
        1. Flo-Ri-Duh

          Med: That is my opinion. You have yours. Time will tell.
          #1) Whitehair: Since I can’t say it better I will let Gil Brandt do my talking.
          Gil Brandt lists him as one of his 10 most “underrated” offensive players in the draft.
          Compares him to Zack Martin. “With his combination of functional strength and body control, Whitehair might be one of the safest offensive linemen in the entire draft. Whitehair has the ability to be a very good starter with a ceiling that could reach the all-pro level.” (nfl.com)

          #2) LeVitre – My eyes say he’s not a good pass-blocker. He was flagged 5 times for holding, 4 times for false starts, 1 illegal block above the waist, 1 unnecessary roughness for a total of 95 yards. (www.pro-football-reference.com) Guess the refs saw some of that too. His run-blocking is acceptable at times; meaning he’s inconsistent. Seminole Warrior said on here some where that he would draft Martin at #50 and insert him on the left side for his pass-blocking acumen. I would do the same with Whitehair. LeVitre would then be moved to the right side where his pass-blocking deficiencies would be less impactful. I can go along with that.

          #3) Andrew Billings (DT/NT) – 6’1″ 311 lb., 4.96 40 at Pro Day, 5.05 40 at Combine, 31 reps bench
          http://www.nfl.com/draft/2016/profiles/andrew-billings?id=2555267
          “Something rarely seen – a playmaking nose tackle with the ability to dominate at the point of attack. Overwhelming strength, elite power and unusual closing speed for a big man.” (nfl.com)

          I see him as a 3 down player because of his ability to collapse the pocket and pressure the QB. [5.5 SACKS/15 TFL in 2015] The Falcons got little to no QB pressure inside in 2015 and the run defense was also lacking as they gave up more rushing TD’s than any other team in th NFL – with Soliai. Now Soliai’s gone. I don’t see Billings as your basic run stuffing NT. He’s equally effective as a 4-3DT or a 3-4 NT.

          Finally, at #17 I don’t want to “reach” for a LB that can cover but can’t stop the run or visa versa. That’s not a 3 down LB. I don’t want to “reach” for a DE either if he’s not worthy of a #17 pick. The best and most impactfull player I see available on the defense is Andrew Billings. Look no further than the Carolina Panthers. Their DT’s are the heart and soul of their defense.

          Reply
          1. medallion

            (1) Whitehair – talking heads talk with meaningless phrases like “10 most underrated players”. What does that mean – underrated in comparison to whom and for what round, etc? Flo – have you looked at why some suggest he should move at the pro level from LOT to OG? You now support drafting Whitehair if available at 50, but you wrote a piece a while back objecting to anyone being projected to move to a new position in the NFL and now you advocate Whitehair at 50 for guard. Why the change in opinion? Have you looked at some of his speed/agility scores that don’t seem to fit with outside ZBS?
            (2) Quoting NFL.com – Can you explain why you quote little snippets of things from nfl.com that support your opinion and leave out all the negatives from nfl.com?
            (3) While you see and characterize Billings as a “3 down player”, that seems like a talking head type statement since its vague and you didn’t respond to my specific point.
            (4) Using an isolated stat like allowing more rushing TDs than any other team doesn’t prove much of anything in isolation. What caused that? Was it because of poor run stopping at DT positions that could be cured by a better run stopping DT?

    1. Flo-Ri-Duh

      Falcons should either draft Hunter Henry (TE) 2nd Rd or pass on the TE position for ’16. Chances are HH is gone before #50. Wouldn’t be surprised if HH went early 2nd Rd but I wouldn’t trade up to get him.

      Reply
  12. Hamad Meander

    My ideal mock today using http://www.draftsite.com as a reference on value/position:

    1. Darren Lee – OLB – Ohio State. Speed/tackling/coverage combo (Lawson gone by 17)
    2. Shawn Oakman – DE – Baylor – 6’8″ 280 lbs beast can get his hands up filling passing lanes up with his shadow
    3. Jeremy Cash – SS – Duke – decent playmaker that covered slot guys and can blitz
    4. Bronson Kaufusi – DE – BYU – 6’6″ 285 end pushes Beasley to OLB
    7. Moritz Boehringer – WR – Germany – at 6’4″ 225 lbs and a 4.45, I think he could play ST, WR, TE, FB, and a few other positions.
    * All above subject to change due to the whims of the writer.

    Reply
    1. waynesworldreview

      Again, another incredible haul… surely our “brain”trust can do just as good in real-life…..?

      Reply
      1. Hamad Meander

        A 7th rounder is a 7th rounder. It’s pretty much a gamble either way, unless you are Thomas who should have gambled last year’s 7th on La’el Collins. There’s just so many times……..you can miss so bad.

        Reply
  13. John Waynesworld

    I was just verifying Roto’s projections from April 2015…

    http://www.rotoworld.com/articles/cfb/53209/325/norris-nfl-draft-big-board

    Funny how the Falcons got 5 of Norris’ top 69 players in 5 rounds:

    1st – Beasley (#10)
    2nd – Collins (#69)
    3rd – Coleman (#68)
    4th – Hardy (#46)
    5th – Jarrett (#23)

    Jarrett at #23 is insane but I will take that positivity and run with it. Despite that, Norris got many 1st round and 2nd round choices correct, although not in order.

    Reply
  14. Arno

    Flo-Ri-Duh April 1, 2016 at 10:22 am
    drafttek.com Falcons’ Mock (4/1/16)
    #1 Darron Lee (OLB)
    #2 Kenny Clark (DT)
    #3 Chris Westerman (G)
    #4 Jerell Adams (TE)
    #7 Robert Aguayo (PK)

    __________________________

    A symptom of Falcons pain is Matt Ryan conducting a receivers camp on his own initiative– telling me he’s almost in panic mode. Eight years/one playoff victory; time wasted on the likes of SJax, Hankerson, etc., etc. The clock is ticking, he can’t wait another year or two to get his career/championship goals back on track. Without a second receiver threat like Gonzalez, not to mention an OL to give him time, he’s determined to force the issue, or at least give himself a sporting chance now. He had some complimentary things to say about Sanu, but he says stuff like that about everybody.

    So as much as I like a defense driven draft, we are in the unfortunate position of not having protected our greatest asset– the time sensitive aspect of Ryan’s career. So I still put OG and TE as high priority. We have time to develop our D. No so with Ryan. So I like Drafttek’s take. I’ll sure be disappointed if we don’t mix it up.

    Reply
    1. Paddy O

      they’ve allowed the pass option comfort zone to get very bare. At this point, JJ is about it – with Tamme occasionally being a target. Hardy seemed decent to me. But, it does look like Ryan needs a comfort zone with his receivers. He does not have it with the current batch. I’m hopeful we will no longer run JJ on bubble screens and underneath routes, as even as a diversion, it is counter productive.

      Reply
      1. Seminole Warrior

        Paddy,

        I think that you will see that role (under routes and bubble screens) shift to Hardy and Sanu. Sanu was known for his physical presence back in his Big East days at Rutgers. He has deceptive speed after the catch and his route running and hands are above average. Hardy would appear to be the perfect slot WR and could evolve into something special.

        My concern with the WRs is that they are, in my opinion, at a disadvantage this year due to the loss, the CONSIDERABLE loss, of Coach Rob to the Titans. I am trying to figure out what the hell Raheem Morris brings as a WR coach when he has ONLY one year of offensive coaching experience; that coming as the coach of the offensive scout team at Hofstra in 1998. Ouch!!

        Reply
    2. Seminole Warrior

      Arno, my brother, actually, the defense IS a priority that has to be addressed.

      Come March 1st, 2017, both Falcon starting cornerbacks, Alford and Trufant, will be unrestricted free agents as their contracts will have expired.
      Additionally, projected starting SS Ishmael, and the veteran presence that is J Babs will also see their contracts come to an end.

      Now, it is possible that the Falcons could “tag” Trufant but that is a hell of a lot of cash (an estimated $14 million) for a CB that still is developing and has yet to reach sustainable performance levels. It would not break my heart to see Alford move on but given the lack of depth in the CB corps, that is problematic if we let that happen.

      Things are about to get very interesting…..

      Reply
      1. Arno

        I’d be happy with a defense driven draft if I had more confidence in Sanu, and more confidence that Mack will elevate the play of the whole OL. Just been too many years for me watching Matt have to make do.
        I expect we’ll hold on to Trufant, price tag and all. If Collins — big IF — shows he’s worthy of the pick, then that will help show us our level of commitment to Alford. Allen will be a RFA in 2017, so not as much pressure at FS. I do think SS needs to be addressed this draft.

        Reply
      2. medallion

        SW – I could be wrong since I haven’t looked recently, but think we should have a 5th year option on Trufant as he was a 1st round pick and therefore no “tag” type thing involved for Trufant for 2017 if option exercised.
        Alford, as 2nd round pick, is probably in his last year of the 4 year rookie contract.
        Let’s hope Collins or King develops to make any decision about Alford easier.

        Reply
        1. Seminole Warrior

          Medallion,

          Thanks for the QC. I checked a couple of other references and you are correct. There appears to be a five year option on Trufant.
          It is still very concerning that the team continues to gamble with the amount paid to players with expiring contracts upcoming. If he is the man they think he is, then let’s get it on and get a “nice” deal done early. Otherwise, the price is going to be extremely high.

          Again, thanks bro!!

          Reply
  15. Grits Blitz

    1. Ryan needs a wall. Still need OGs…2 more studs to be exact.
    2. Still need a genuine pass rush, not smoke and mirrors.
    At least one stud DE (get his bookend in 2017), move Vic to OLB, at least two stud LBs (ILB & OLB), one stud SS, and one stud TE.
    7 picks = should be easy for DimQwit

    Reply
  16. waynesworldreview

    All we’d have to do is trade out of the 1st for LA’s 2 2nd rounders and out of the 4th for 2 5ths and a 6th from DET…easy….

    Reply
  17. Flo-Ri-Duh

    Falcons Make A Deal With Seahawks:
    TRADE: Falcons #17 (1st Rd) for Michael Bennett (DE)
    Michael Bennett (DE) desiring a new contract threatened to hold out in 2015 but instead started all 18 games setting career highs in tackles (52) and sacks (10) and making the Pro Bowl. He has fired his agent and requests a trade to be with Dan Quinn (scout.com)

    #1) Michael Bennett (DE), age 30 – for #17 pick traded to Seahawks
    * Agrees to 4 yr deal ($36 mill) – $20 mill gtd.
    [Falcons release:Tyson Jackson (DE) & Malliciah Goodman (DE)]
    #2) Hunter Henry (TE), Arkansas, 6’5″ 253 lb.
    #3) Deion Jones (OLB), LSU, 6’1″ 222 lb.
    #4) Connor McGovern (G), Missouri, 6’4″ 306 lb.
    #7) Deiondre’ Hall (CB/S), Northern Illinois, 6’2″ 199 lb.

    Reply
    1. Seminole Warrior

      Flo

      If they make this move (trade for Bennett), I will simply sit back and cry. SERIOUSLY!! Why go after a 30 year old guy that is simply chasing the money when there is pure clone of Bennett readily available in this draft class that we can most certainly acquire in the first round?

      My God, will we EVER have a front office that has a clue? I really have had it with this group of total idiots and re-treads that AB allows to stick around.

      Reply
      1. Flo-Ri-Duh

        Seminole Warrior – Perhaps this was just a “rumor” so maybe it too shall pass. I’m not sure I see a clone of Bennett available to the Falcons in this draft however. Possibly the worst UFA signing in Falcons’ history was Ray Edwards (DE). I don’t see DQ going after Bennett as the price is just to much.

        What I see at pick #17 as the Falcons best value is actually a 3 down “playmaker” DT that can collapse the pocket. An inside pass rush is quickest way to the QB every time.

        Reply
    2. just "little ole" me

      Flo – If not mistake I believe SW was referring to Shaq Lawson as the Bennett clone.

      I would love to have Deion Jones! His DC called him the smartest player on the field and he’s fast, reminds me a little of Thomas Davis. I just don’t think he will still be on the board when we pick in the 3rd round.

      I also like OG McGovern. He would bring nice starting value out of a 4th round pick.

      Reply
  18. PoolerSpirit

    Safety Donte Whitner released by Cleveland… I liked him when he came out in the draft years ago… 30 years old now… What do ya’ll think? Do we even have the money it would take to sign him?

    Reply
        1. Arno

          ‘Your picks for that day must be time stamped one hour before the commencement of the draft for that day.’
          Dewey suggested this procedure– that there would be a separate deadline for your picks particular to each draft day. You would add your subsequent picks as a comment to your own post. You could post your entire mock in one post– as long as it is time stamped one hour before the start of the draft. These don’t have to be the final rules by any means. Open to suggestions. Dewey’s been the only one to suggest anything so far.

          Reply
    1. Chop Buster

      Is he a dog, at least 270 lbs, with the power to blow offensive lineman off the ball? If not, I’ll pass.

      Reply
    2. Hamad Meander

      Count me out. He didn’t impress at Pro Day and I’m not sure he’s a good fit for us. I see BUST written all over him in the NFL. Why? I really can’t put my finger on it yet. From CBSSPORTS.COM: “While boasting the length (including 33 1/8-inch arms) and quick-twitch athleticism to harass quarterbacks as an edge rusher, Floyd’s relatively spindly frame and lack of ideal functional strength make him a potential liability in the running game.” He pulled a hammie in INDY and then had stomach issues at Pro Day. Seems like something always comes up when he is supposed to deliver.

      Reply
  19. waynesworldreview

    He just never produced consistently at GA–I know we moved him around a lot, which adds value, but I’m leery….

    Reply

Join The Falcons Cage Discussion......

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s