Evaluating Falcons’ Core

retool

Continuous Retooling

Free Agency and Preview of Draft – Part One

Special Guest Writer: Roddy E. “Cocoa Mel” Nixon, Jr.

PRELUDE

My fellow Falcon friends, I have had time to sit back and reflect on the 2015 football season. Several reasons were at issue with me. First, I had to get over the fact that Dan Quinn was my new head coach. Simply, I did not like the choice. I will admit that I grew to accept it (as if I REALLY had a choice) but I still have serious reservations. Secondly, the new calendar year, 2016, brought the sustainment of my worse fear – the retention of Thomas Dimitroff as general manager.

So, once again, we here at Tee Pee Sports must turn our attention to the ongoing reconstruction; the seemingly continuous retooling of this franchise. This forum will be the first of a pair of narrative that assess the state of the franchise.

As always, my “Cocoa Mel” nickname is dedicated to the two men that have had the most significant influence on my development as a talent scout, draft analyst, and free agency evaluator. My enduring respect is extended to the great draft guru, Mel Kiper Jr. and the NFL’s premier general manager, the great sensei, Ozzie Newsome.

kipper-newsome

Mel Kipper, Jr. and Ozzie Newsome.

THE PREMISE

For a host of reasons, the Falcons offense took a step back in 2015 in several ways. As had been the case intermittently for the prior two years, the continuity of the unit was in a state of flux.

Let’s take some time to evaluate, position group by position group, the team’s core. We will use a scale of one to five to evaluate the needs of the group. A grade of one means that there is a minimal need for change at the position while a grade of five means a critical overhaul is needed.

As always, we will state the need, suggest draft prospects, and identify/evaluate free agent moves.

NOTE: The Falcons did do one thing that the TPS team has been a LONG advocate of; they shifted to a more intense focus as it relates to a west coast themed offensive (WCO) scheme. When TPS talks WCO, we are mindful of the roots of the Bill Walsh approach. The scheme has proven very successful having secured many Super Bowl titles for several franchises.

QUARTERBACK

Rating: Three (Increasing Concern)

As far as starting quarterback is concern, Atlanta is in very good hands. Many people are often critical of Matt Ryan. I am not one of those. Stability at the quarterback position is essential in today’s league and Ryan is the steady hand that has been CRITICAL to the success of this team since his arrival. The significant investment this team has made in him has been well worth it. And we here at TPS, while acknowledging some minor flaws in his game last season, are still of the opinion that most of the issues that have haunted MR2 have more to do with other areas than his talent, abilities, and leadership from the position.

Quarterback depth is an increasing significant issue for us at TPS. The move to bring home Matt Schaub was not a good one. Let me be clear. Matt was a fine quarterback but something has gone seriously wrong over the past few years. And the team’s failure to adequately develop Sean Renfree into a viable backup at least is glaring.

SUGGESTED DRAFT MOVES: None. This quarterback class is one of the poorest I have seen in some time. Sure, there are a few flash players but I do not see much that I would consider for my draft board. Undrafted free agency is the way to go here but even there, I’m not impressed.

RUNNING BACK

Rating: Two (Minor Concern)

dwashington

DaAndre Washington

The only bright spot for me in the 2015 season was seeing the emergence of DeVonta Freeman as the starting running back. For me, I knew he was the one. And as long as he is healthy, he will remain a force to be dealt with as he matures as a player. He brings the needed versatility that a successful WCO needs to take it to the next level as Freeman is a quality rusher as well as a fine receiving and blocking running back.

Depth is a concern as Tevin Coleman is still a great unknown and has issues staying healthy. Terron Ward is a sleeper that has captured the TPS staff’s eye each time he has had a chance as he checks off all WCO-themed RB requirements.

FREE AGENCY MOVES: None.

SUGGESTED DRAFT MOVES: UDFA. The team can’t afford a draft pick on a running back in 2016. But if available, via undrafted free agency, Texas Tech’s DeAndre Washington would be a great pickup and potential steal. He will be flying under the radar I assure you. Remember a guy named Alfred Morris and the Shanahan eye? I would like to see it in play in this case.

WIDE RECEIVER

Rating: Two (Minor Concern)

peake

Charone Peake

While I think that the team SERIOUSLY overpaid for his services, Cocoa is a fan of the signing of WR Mohammed Sanu. In Sanu, the Falcons acquired a younger, physical #2 WR that has the capacity to become a major force in the WCO. His ability to secure the reception as well as be a physical presence in the middle of the field are tremendous additions to the offensive scheme.

Justin Hardy is the next Julian Edelman or Wes Welker. This guy is going to be lethal as the slot WR in Atlanta. And like, Sanu and Jones, he brings a physical presence to the receiving game. Additionally, like Jones, once he secures the ball, yards after catch (YAC) is a major asset.

SUGGESTED DRAFT MOVES: WR Charone Peake of Clemson would represent a great depth move for this team if available via undrafted free agency.

TIGHT END

Rating: Three (Increasing Concern)

price

Sean Price

Like wide receiver, tight end is a troubling area due to inadequate depth at the position as well as relative inexperience. Jacob Tamme is serviceable and fills the need. But he is on the wrong side of thirty (30) and a long term deal is not viable for Atlanta. The future has to be addressed in some manner and it must be done soon. So why not “steal” one here.

FREE AGENCY MOVES: None. The cost was too great and value was just not there.

SUGGESTED DRAFT MOVE: Sean Price. Like Peake, the former South Florida Bull would represent a great depth move for this team if available via undrafted free agency. If you can recall former Redskins player Chris Cooley, then you have a very good idea of what the Falcons can obtain by signing Price and developing his talents. A silent, under-utilized quiet assassin, Price is a skilled receiver and an excellent blocker.

OFFENSIVE LINE

Rating: Three (Increasing Concern)

mmatthews

Mike Matthews – multiple o-line positions

This rating is down one from last year when I rated it as a major area of concern for this team. While depth still remains an issue, size, tenacity, leadership, and presence all improved with the signing of Alex Mack. Three key positions, LT, RT, and C are now secure for the next FIVE years if two things occur. First, Mack remains healthy. Secondly, the Falcons act quickly to lock up Jake Matthews and Ryan Schraeder LONG term. All three of these guys are solid in both pass protection and run blocking.

The two guard positions are where my concerns remain. Right guard is a revolving door of instability. Chris Chester is a reserve at best now. There is no depth. At left guard, Andy Levitre MUST improve ALL facets of his game in order to justify his $5 million salary cap hit. Jon Asamoah was lost to injury; a loss that hurt the team in many ways.

FREE AGENCY MOVES: While I am satisfied with the Mack move, the price was simply too high. I would have preferred to be more frugal and go after Ben Jones, the former UGA player. The Titans signed Jones to a four year deal that is $6.5 million less than the FIRST THREE years of the Mack deal. The additional cash could have been used to acquire a guard such as Geoff Schwartz.

SUGGESTED DRAFT MOVES: UDFA strikes once again. Mike Matthews of Texas A& M. Yep, one more trip to the well. Matthews is technically sound by all accounts and capable of playing all positions on the offensive line. Joe Thuney of NC State is another solid player that would fill the need.

SUMMARY:

thuney

Joe Thuney

TPS has now provided a few things for you to consider. Free agency is done by most measures. The TPS team continues to fine tune our big board for the draft or secured talent for selection via the undrafted free agency route. What remains clear, just as has been the case for the last few years, is that the Falcons fans need to be extremely focused as they approach the 2016 NFL draft. In the mean time, take your time and assess the following:

Is the Falcons offense now equipped to restore “lost” glory?

Does the Mack signing change the nature of the current offensive line makeup?

Is the overhauled wide receiver corps, as currently configured, a strength or weakness?

Does the offense appear more balanced or too one sided given its current makeup of players?

What are your thoughts on the evolution of a WCO offensive concept in Atlanta?

How many draft picks, if any, should the Falcons spend on the offensive side of the ball?

hardy-coleman

Impact of Hardy and Coleman?

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358 thoughts on “Evaluating Falcons’ Core

        1. Flo-Ri-Duh

          DePlane – Almost worthless but it does show the positions they are after. In UFA they went hard after ILB’s Trevathan & Freeman but failed to sign one so that is an obvious need. Also by trying to sign an ILB UFA they aren’t optimisitic about what there is to offer in this draft. I did get Vic Beasley right last year but he is the only one I got right.

          Reply
      1. John Waynesworld

        True Flo, and the only other names on the Walters list that we drafted were Tevin Coleman and Akeem King. Not one mention of talking to Jarrett at Clemson day (while working out Beasley and talking to some DB named Garry Peters) and absolutely nothing about Jalen Collins or Justin Hardy. No prospects on the list were from LSU or ECU.

        Were our 2nd, 4th & 5th round selections blind picks, with TD/Quinn reacting to their needs and the flow of the draft by taking players they didn’t work out? In my opinion, Collins was purely a positional needs grab based on their scouts’ overall rankings. Hopefully this year Quinn will be more prepared for Plan Bs and Plan Cs.

        A quick thought would be that the Falcons were playing the lying game, as all teams do before the draft, and downplaying prospects they really wanted. I’m not so sure. They over-waited for Coleman and Jarrett for sure, as most experts after the fact thought those 2 would have been taken at least one round earlier.

        Reply
        1. Flo-Ri-Duh

          JWW – Good observations there. No one in The Cage, as far as I know, has correctly predicted 3 players right in the draft yet. I, and someone else, (can’t remember who) got two right in 2014 draft. Walter has a long list and they only had 3 guys the Falcons drafted listed.

          Reply
        2. just "little ole" me

          JWW – I have to disagree on Coleman. I know many had him projected to go in the 2nd, but I thought the 3rd was about right for him. I iwsh we would have taken RB David Johnson instead. I had Johnson much high on my RB wish list than Coleman. Coleman’s game film showed that he had a high number of negative/no gain plays. His balancing factor was that he would occasionally break a long(15+ yards) run. I felt like Johnson was a much better all around RB. He did not have a high number of loss/no gain runs, he could break the long run, and he showed much better hands than Coleman catching the ball. Arizona drafted Johnson 13 picks after Atlanta took Coleman.

          Reply
        3. just "little ole" me

          I believe that SW would say that “over waiting” to draft a player is called letting the draft come to you. I like Jarrett, I don’t remember what the big knock was on Jarrett as to why he fell to the 5th, but I know there were many who were excited to see him selected in the 5th rd last year! We look at his play and we have to remember that he was a rookie last year. I think he will show improvement this year!

          Reply
    1. SG

      He also commends walterfootball for providing some excellent information. If you go there you can who’s been of interest to every team.

      Reply
    1. Flo-Ri-Duh

      JWW – Guessing who is left on the board when the Falcons draft is a big part of it and there are trades and surprises that can’t be anticipated. We do have one big clue we didn’t have last year. I think I would have actually selected Jalen Collins in 2nd as he fit all of DQ’s physical requirements. I passed because before DQ the Falcons would have given him the dreaded BLACK DOT for his drug history. That was TD’s policy and now we know DQ can override it.

      *Abe Lincoln – 4 hours sharpening the axe shows he was our 1st Prez to have obsessive-compulsive disorder.

      Reply
    2. JB Falcon

      JW, I’ve heard that saying many times but didn’t know it was Abe who originally said it. Makes a lot of sense in life in general. Goes along with Work smarter, not harder.

      Reply
      1. John Waynesworld

        Yes JB, it does mean a lot, although very outdated technologically, lol. Old Abe could have saved some time on that axe with an electric grinding wheel or by just taking it to the local hardware store!

        What I meant by it was…if Quinn is going to meet with players for a specific position, why not work one out for every round, including the rounds he doesn’t expect a player to be available? For one example, he has visited with 4 DTs but none rated higher than Javon Hargrave. What if one of the 2nd round DTs falls into the 3rd round? Is he simply assuming that none of the higher rated DLs will fall? Like he assumed Collins wouldn’t last year? Maybe if Quinn worked out and interviewed Jalen Collins properly, he wouldn’t have drafted him at #42.

        Reply
        1. just "little ole" me

          Each NFL team is limited to 30 in house private workouts. We don’t know what goes on that is not report through the media. I have no doubt, or at least I would hope that they are doing their due diligence in watching film and grading each prospect. I am sure that some get brought in to see how well they take direction b/c a correctable flaw if seen in their game film. Others maybe just as smoke and mirrors to throw the competition off the scent.

          Reply
          1. just "little ole" me

            The falcons LB coach Jeff Ulbrich was the LB coach then DC at UCLA while Myles was there. After doing a little research I also believe that he will be part of the reason that we don’t draft LB Aaron Wallace from UCLA. Wallace received very little playing time the first four years he was at UCLA under the tutelage of Ulbrich. He was going to transfer and play his finally year of eligibility at a different university, but HC Mora told him the Ulbrich was leaving(going to atl) and was being replace by a coach that Wallace had a good repore with. Wallace only started 3/4th’s of the games his last season and ended up leading the team in sacks(7) and tackles for loss(12.5).

        2. Grits Blitz

          JWW – Highly respect your logical contentions in the 2nd paragraph! Makes one wonder why a more intelligent process was not in place and the optimum term was “properly”!

          Reply
    1. medallion

      I don’t think that means Schraeder (or even Worrilow who signed his second round tender a while back) is now definitely a Falcon for the 2016 season.
      From what I have read, the deadline for offers from other teams hasn’t passed.
      What do you report Flo since you reported that was “good news”?

      Reply
        1. medallion

          I hope so, but I have seen others indicate that signing a tender doesn’t end the ability of other teams to make an offer that Schraeder could sign forcing the Falcons to match or accept 2nd round compensation and I haven’t been able to easily find any clear rules on how tenders and offers work.

          Reply
          1. Flo-Ri-Duh

            Med – Why is Schraeder & Worrilow now listed on the Falcons roster if signing a tender is not equal to signing a contract? I know there is a time frame but once a contract (tender offer) is signed then that’s the end of it. If you look at the link I had above it says Schraeder is a Falcon in 2016 and becomes a UFA in ’17 unless they negotiate a new contract or extend his contract. That’s just my take on this as I’m not a contract lawyer.

          2. The Time is NOW

            med – I tried to do more research, going so far as to read the CBA section on RFA’s. The process is still as clear as mud to me. What has become clear to me from the additional research, is that Schrader has guaranteed his minimum compensation for 2016 by signing the tender. Had Schrader not signed the tender, and gotten no offer sheet from another team by April 24, the Falcons could have rescinded the tender (while maintaining exclusive negotiating rights for 16) and then compensated him at a lower level than the tender ( off the top of my head 110% of last year’s contract). I am still unclear whether another team can give him an offer sheet, now that he’s signed the tender.

  1. Paddy O

    regarding Ryan Kelly: would you take him in the 2nd and use him as a G? Also, if Doctson was available at 50, would you opt for him?

    Reply
      1. Paddy O

        I opted for Doctson – in this specific mock, based on CBSsports ratings, I ended up with Spence, Doctson, Kamale Correa, Scooby Wright, and Mike Mathews.

        Reply
    1. Flo-Ri-Duh

      Doctson (WR) should go much earlier than #50 but if he’s there Falcons should definitely consider him. Kelly was born to be a center. That’s his calling.

      Reply
      1. Paddy O

        My thought is Kelly plays G while Mack runs out his contract, then transitions – that way you fix the OG depth problem, and Kelly learns from Mack. I ended up selecting Dotson, and took Mathews at 238 for the G depth.

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        1. just "little ole" me

          I agree! The cost to get JJ was very high in 2011. Maybe it would have been worth it to draft WR Randell Cobb instead seeing how he was drafted by GB at the end of the 2nd round. Then/Or we could have taken Alshon Jefferies in 2012 as he went in the second round to Chicago. So we have to look at production vs cost. Looking back now does the production we are getting out of JJ validate the cost of the trade that was made to move up to draft him?

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        2. Grits Blitz

          Flo – Ever know T.D. to state anything is “too expensive”? Price was willing paid in the past – many times.

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          1. Flo-Ri-Duh

            Grit Blitz – If DQ wasn’t there I would say Myles Jack is on the way to Atlanta at a rather high cost. With the Jalen Collins (CB) fiasco ongoing, DQ’s arse is on the line if the Falcons screw up this draft. It will all come back on him. I might have to eat buzzard but I don’t see the Falcons trading up high enough to get Myles Jack. Perhaps they are just preparing for all possibilities and hope he slides in this draft to where they think he’s “affordable”.

  2. Arno

    Our preseason opponents are Skins, Jags, Browns, and Fins. Our D was rated higher than these teams’ D, and our O better than Browns and Fins. Though first teams won’t be playing much, I’d rather have tougher competition in preseason.

    Reply
      1. JB Falcon

        James Walker
        ESPN Staff Writer
        The Dolphins’ preseason game in Week 3 against the Falcons will be nationally televised on NBC Thursday Aug. 25.

        Reply
  3. just "little ole" me

    Here’s a UDRFA prospect to check out.

    DT Trevon Coley, Florida Atlantic 6-1 307 lbs – Had a great week at the ShrIne game drawing rave review about his ability to get into the backfield. Most OLinemen in the NFL are going to be a bit better than the ones he faced in the E/W Shrine game. He is currently projected as a possible 7th round pick, but more likely an undrafted signee for a team.

    Reply
  4. just "little ole" me

    I know we have visited this before, but(means forget everything I just said) the team only has five draft picks at this point. I am interested to findout how each of you would rank the top five positions you think the FO should draft. A rank of 1 would be a first round pick, 2 second rd, 3 3rd rd, 4 4th rd, and 5/7 7th round. If you think we should double up on a position what rounds should be used to do that? Explanations of why you would pick a player for that position in any particular round are welcome.

    example: (not my preference, just an example)
    1. OLB – b/c FO is going to screw it up if they take a player from this position in a lower round, will probably screw it up anyway!
    2. TE
    3. OG – good value for this position in this round
    4. ILB
    7. DT – I really like Ivan Oder from ICU and his projected to go in this round

    Reply
    1. The Time is NOW

      My need based draft priorities (not listed by round – I don’t always follow instructions well):

      1-3) WLB, SS, OG – in no particular order, as we have no readily discernable starter at these positions;
      4) TE (or WR) – for 2 TE sets (or a deep threat/return man);
      5) DT – possible 1st round pick, due to value considerations in this draft class (build from the trenches).

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    2. Arno

      1. DT – Part of the reason is that we have to face Ryan Kalil twice a year. But the main reason is that our edge rush and the development of our LB play depends on bringing interior pressure. Without that interior pressure, improving on our DE and LB roster will show disappointing results.
      2. OG – Plenty has been said on this subject. Mack should improve the G play, but enough already! Give Ryan more than wishful thinking.
      3. TE – A key position where we can get the most out of sustaining drives, getting better in the red zone, sparing Julio wear and tear, and win some daggum games.
      4. SS – I heard some statistics on the radio (which I can’t quote, now) that when Wm Moore was healthy, we won the close games.

      Reply
  5. Dewey

    What’s up guys and gals? It’s been a while. First, let me say, I’ve missed you guys a lot. You’ve always been my escape from reality. That doesn’t sound right. You weren’t just my escape, you are brothers and sisters that share a passion with me that is the NFL, more precisely, our Atlanta Falcons. Recent events in my life have led me to understand that I’ve got to do what makes me a complete person, my own personal complete person. I don’t want to get into it, but my life of the last 10 years has just been thrown into complete chaos of which there is no turning back. So, I hope you all will take me back, warts and all. I should have never left in the first place. I read what some of you posted after I signed off, and it touched my heart deeper than any of you will know. It’s nice to be appreciated. With that, to keep my mind occupied, I’d like to weigh in on just “little ole” me’s topic.

    For years, about 12-15 years now, I’d thought I’d stumbled upon the ultimate formula for building an NFL franchise that could stand the test of time. In the draft, you draft for “wants”, not “needs”. How do you do that? Well, you could go with best player available. But I’m personally not a big fan of that method. Years ago, I thought, what if you drafted for next year? For example…this draft season, what if you looked at your expiring contracts for next season (in this case, 2017), and drafted to fill those holes. In some situations, that wouldn’t help for the upcoming season, and that’s the rub. You’d need to bite the bullet and start sometime. It’s pretty obvious that the current regime isn’t about to do this, but someday, I wish they would. Anyway, here is what I’d like to see, it wouldn’t win the popular vote, but it would be cool to see my plan in action just once before I’m gone.

    Without going into too much detail, here are the problem areas in 2017. TE (everyone currently under contract has an expiring deal in 2017), SS (pretty much the same situation as TE, unless you count Therezie). ILB, and OLB (don’t know the length of Wheeler’s contract, but if it’s 1 year, Reynolds, Weatherspoon, Worrilow, Starr, Upshaw and Wheeler all have contracts expiring in 2017.

    So, I would go…
    1st round-OLB…. I don’t know who would be available, but I believe we could find a game changer
    2nd round-SS…..there aren’t many/any SS’s that will go in the 1st. My choice, if available, would be Sua’ Cravens, USC. Some project him as a WLB, but I think he would be a monster at SS, in the Cam Chancellor mode. Either way, should have our picks of SS’s here.
    3rd round-ILB…. My personal love affair with Tyler Matakevich, Temple, has been well documented. But there should be a plethora of good, solid, ILB’s available in the 3rd.
    4th round-TE….this is a particularly weak TE class. Hunter Henry is the only one I see worthy of a 1st two round pick. No one else “should” be taken until the 4th. Of course there will be some taken, but I wouldn’t reach for someone. I really like Bryce Williams, ECU, but a warm body needs to be taken here.

    I have one position wild card….DT. Babineaux and Mbu both have contracts expiring in 2017. As of right now, both are being counted on for snaps in 2016. So my preference would be to trade down in the 1st, about 4-5 spots, and we may still be able to pick a DT that could provide some decent upgrade. A trade down would most likely net us an extra 3rd at least. So, my ultimate wish list, with a trade down in the 1st, would be……
    1st-DT-Sheldon Rankins, Louisville
    2nd-SS-Sua’ Cravens, USC
    3rd-ILB-Tyler Matakevich, Temple
    3rd-(by way of trade down in 1st)-OLB-Kyler Fackrell, Utah State
    4th-TE-Bryce Williams, ECU

    Yes, I would really like to get an OG and DE this year, and I won’t complain if we do. But I really believe in my “build for next year” method and would love to see it implemented at some point. The first year would be the hardest to swallow, but it would get increasing easier after that. For example, given current contracts, you would be able to start scouting right away in the 2016 season for who you’d need in the 2017 draft. FYI-the top choices would be DE, DT, OG, FS, RB, WR given the current contracts. Of course, cuts, injuries, etc could alter that plan, but you could make adjustments on the fly.

    Thanks for the ear/eye. Sorry to be so morbid at the start, but it is what it is.

    Reply
    1. Wings

      Dewey,
      Glad to see your post. You were missed! You were not morbid at the start; feelings are real. I hope you post on a regular basis.

      Reply
    2. Arno

      Great to have you back, Dewey! I’m on board for your approach. Too bad we’re having to scramble to fix past draft failures. Clock is ticking on Matt Ryan. Would be painful indeed to wait a year before we address the o-line needs.

      Reply
    3. SG

      Welcome back Dewey! We kept your seat open in the Cage War Room, (we knew we were just too irresistible a group to stay away from 😉

      Reply
    4. John Waynesworld

      Glad your back, Dewey. I hope everything works out and you have our support, just don’t be a stranger. 🙂

      I have also been looking at the concept of drafting for next year and saw those expiring contracts. Quinn certainly doesn’t have any allegiance to Toilolo, while Tamme is on the wrong side of 30 and doesn’t have the physicality to block when needed. Considering Shanahan’s prior history with using TEs, it makes me think that the Falcons may favor a Tight End in the 2nd or 3rd over a Guard or Tackle/Guard, but only if it is a TE they covet.

      It is a head scratcher whether they prefer Hooper or Vannett as a second option to Henry and there may in fact be no 3rd option in this draft outside of taking a UDFA Tight End. I have been also trying to make a Florida connection between Jake McGee and Quinn, maybe using our 7th rounder, but 1) he is a health risk and 2) he apparently has issues with his “10 and 2” feet and runs like a penguin. I would take him because he is reportedly a clutch 3rd down and red zone pass catcher. The Falcons desperately need a TE who can box out a defender and snag a pass in traffic on 3rd down to move the chains. McGee is that kind of player.

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    5. Paddy O

      my thought is the first 3 rounds should acquire you a player ready to start THIS upcoming year. the 4 & 5 round guys should be developmental – possibly playing a lot 2 to 3 years down the road. Beyond the 5th round, is a turkey shoot – but, you can obtain a long term kicker and punt returner that way. Others have said – TD’s drafts have been so monstrously bad, you have very few HIGH round picks playing for us or anyone else. As such, I’d actually draft an OG RD 1, then most likely a LB, then LB, then S or DT. Rd 7 I’d draft a developmental OG or DT.

      Reply
    6. just "little ole" me

      Dewey – Welcome back!

      I have to say that our FO has not done a very good job of drafting for the future. Sometimes I don’t understand how AB can’t see the current state of the franchise and understand that poor drafting has put the team in the rut that it is currently in. The only thing I can figure is that TD is blaming the previous coaching staff for poor player development. Ultimately it’s a combination of the two, but I still don’t know why TD still has his job.

      Reply
  6. waynesworldreview

    http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap3000000651197/article/report-uclas-myles-jack-visiting-atlanta-falcons
    I know it sounds stupid but–
    http://espn.go.com/blog/dallas-cowboys/post/_/id/4750332/trading-back-might-be-cowboys-best-option
    Myles Jack falls to the ‘Boys in most mocks and won’t get past the Jags at #5…so, If he’s “our guy” we’d have to deal with Jerrah Jones to move up and get him. This is a horrifying thought. Yes, the player is elite but like Julio Jones, VERY expensive to move up for. I’d rather take a chance on Jaylon Smith than move up for Jack….

    Reply
  7. waynesworldreview

    Shaq Lawson is the #17 player on many “Big Boards” (which is why lazy draftniks keep mocking him to us) but Dallas recently hosted him FOR 6 HOURS….I’m no longer writing this story off–it appears to have legs–it fits TD’s M.O. with an elite player at the cost of the rest of our draft (or a surprise trade, I guess). I hope this is just idle speculation brought on by the boredom of this time of year but with our FO, we have to at least face the possibility….

    Reply
  8. waynesworldreview

    The Cowboy’s writer at DraftTek says that Dallas’ big board has Jalen Ramsey, Carson Wentz, Ezekiel Elliot and Shaq Lawson at #4….
    one of these things is NOT like the others.
    one of these things does NOT belong….

    Reply
    1. medallion

      I find it difficult to believe anyone has Shaq Lawson as #4 prospect.
      Shaq seems like a very nice prospect. Dallas might well be considering some trade down from #4 or some trade to get a second 1st round pick in which Shaq then became Dallas’ draft pick..
      Shaq was at the top of my list for our #17 before we resigned Clayborn and signed UFA Shelby. Shaq might still be a decent choice for us at #17 despite the need for a DE like him lessened with the signings of Clayborn and Shelby.

      Reply
  9. SG

    From The Professor, John Clayton. No. 6 in his Top 10 of the best deals in this year’s free agency:

    “People underestimate what a top center can do for an offensive line. The Atlanta Falcons watched that last season. They struggled. Alex Mack will not only solidify the middle of the Falcons’ offensive line, but he will allow the line to get better production out of guard Andy Levitre, a decent acquisition last season. With Jake Matthews continuing to develop at left tackle and Ryan Schraeder becoming one of the better young right tackles, quarterback Matt Ryan should have the best offensive line in front of him since coming into the league in 2008.”

    Let’s hope.

    Reply
    1. medallion

      I have liked lots from Clayton over the years. So, his opinion gives me even more hope about the OL.
      Nonetheless, I still hope for another OG in this draft in 3rd or 4th round.

      Reply
    2. Flo-Ri-Duh

      SG – Clayton may be a NERD but he understands football. I’ve always considered the “C” as the most important piece of the OL as far as leadership goes. It all starts with the center.

      Reply
    1. Flo-Ri-Duh

      JWW – Falcons will need another OT if they don’t sign Schraeder long-term. He’s a UFA in 2017 unless Falcons reach a longer term deal with his agent. I think Schraeder (OT) will be even better in ’16 than last year…. meaning he’s not going to sign on the cheap with the Falcons.

      Reply
    1. Flo-Ri-Duh

      JWW – Ain’t that a b-otch? Tried my best to stay positive on this guy but he’s trying my patience. “Performance enhancing” drugs – at least it wasn’t weed. Maybe he did it to recover from his foot surgery faster. In any case this is disappointing.

      Reply
    1. JB Falcon

      Looks like the black dot should have been used. Jalen should be proud of himself. He now stands out among all current and past Falcons. There is no cure for stupidity.

      Reply
      1. John Waynesworld

        Truth. Also as a result of this news so close to the draft, this talent-less A-hole just made it impossible for the Falcons to consider Noah Spence or anyone else with a sniff of bad history, regardless of their present status. Dim probably called Arthur personally to tell him the bad news.

        Don’t you know that Dimlit feels more empowered than he was yesterday. I’m pretty sure he was against taking Collins with his LSU rap sheet, but Quinn took him anyway with his built-in new-hire gravitas. Oh well…we are back in the filter.

        Reply
  10. Hamad Meander

    I’m not the first to say it “Another wasted 2nd round pick”. Collins had substance issues as LSU, but we thought he would stay clean after he got paid? STUPID DIMITROFF/DUDE THAT SAYS “JACKED” ALL THE TIME. No way this guy EVER contributes.

    Reply
    1. JB Falcon

      You can’t pay a junkie to get clean. Force a contract revision; “Fail ONE daily drug test and you’re off the team.”

      Reply
    2. Hamad Meander

      Somebody needs to be fired. Collins, Dimitroff, Quinn, one or all of the above for drafting this guy.

      Reply
  11. Arno

    STATEMENT BY FALCONS HEAD COACH DAN QUINN: We are disappointed to hear the news regarding Jalen today. I have already spoken to Jalen about this, and I have no doubt this will be something that he will learn from.

    PLEASE EDIT TO READ: Jalen was disappointed to hear the news today that he’s already ruined his second chance. I have already spoken to Arthur and Thomas about this, and I have no doubt this will be something that WE will learn from.

    Reply
  12. Grits Blitz

    Dewey – Bring the heavy artillery as it’s good to see you are back “on the clock”!
    (Word was T.D. was all in a tiz not having your advice to refer to while the indecision bug keeps biting him. After all, his responsibilities are
    heavy with having to “advise” D.Q. on what players to acquire!)

    Reply
  13. Flo-Ri-Duh

    Who Is On The Falcons Roster Bubble After Free Agency? (thefalcoholic.com) Dave Choate
    #1 Malliciah Goodman (DE)
    #2 Charles Godfrey (SS)
    #3 Mike Person (C/G)
    #4 Nick Williams (WR)

    Reply
    1. Chop Buster

      Who Is On The Falcons Roster Bubble After Free Agency? (thefalcoholic.com) Dave Choate
      #1 Malliciah Goodman (DE) – Should have been gone long ago; has done NOTHING
      #2 Charles Godfrey (SS) – He’s in out constantly as an insurance policy; find one in the draft and be done with it
      #3 Mike Person (C/G) – Crap for a center, but I’d like to see what he could do as guard before letting him walk
      #4 Nick Williams (WR) – Too small and will lose out to better guys this year in camp

      Reply
      1. Flo-Ri-Duh

        Chop – Of these 4 Person has the best chance of sticking simply because of the lack of talent at guard. I still expect a SS, G & possibly a WR to be drafted at some point. My guess: SS (2nd/3rd Rd), G (3rd/4th Rd), WR (4th/7th Rd).

        Reply
          1. Flo-Ri-Duh

            Chop – LB is what they want in the 1st without a doubt. They have “interviewed/worked out” more LB’s than any ohter position. I’m hoping they don’t reach for a LB but go for a DT instead. I’m thinking with the release of Soliai they are looking at DT in the 2nd Rd.

          2. Chop Buster

            I’d like them to get a penetrating, disruptive DT like Sheldon Rankins–OR take a chance on Jaylon Smith (better than Jack to me). The other LBs in the first with the exception of Myles Jack aren’t worth the 17th pick IMO.

        1. Flo-Ri-Duh

          Chop – So far so good. Maybe we will dodge a bullet this time. Schraeder, at age 28, played ZERO football in high school! He walked on at Butler Community College three days before camp started and made the team. He was selected to the first team All-America team the three years he played at Valdost State. He was an undrafted free agent picked up by the Falcons and became a PFF All-Pro in 2015. An amazing story and he should get even better folks. Would like to see Falcons extend his contract some time during the ’16 season but the price could go way up. (wikipdia.com)

          Reply
          1. Chop Buster

            My concern is we’ve played UDFAs at starting positions, when in reality, their second string backups. I guess they’ve been the best of a bunch of subpar players to begins. But now, we need to fix all the mistakes Dumitroff & Smitty have made for real play makers.

    1. Chop Buster

      I don’t know who would give this guy more for his services unless they’re worse than the Falcons at evaluating talent. He’s no more than a backup; not starting material. I don’t know how many times last year I watch the guy get driven back into Matt–or simply blown by.

      Reply
      1. Flo-Ri-Duh

        med- In any case no one has made an offer for Schraeder so far and it’s not likely to happen since they have to give up 2nd Rd pick AND pay Schraeder.

        Reply
  14. John Waynesworld

    The latest update from Walters. A few new names added.

    Brandon Allen, QB, Arkansas (WOR)
    Stephen Anderson, WR, California (WOR)
    Danny Anthrop, WR, Purdue (EW)
    Eli Apple, CB, Ohio State (COM)
    Sterling Bailey, DE/3-4DE, Georgia (LOC)
    Alex Balducci, DT, Oregon (EW)
    Karnorris Benson, WR, Western Carolina (WOR)
    Trevone Boykin, QB, TCU (WOR)
    Jake Brendel, C, UCLA (EW)
    Kevin Byard^, S, Middle Tennessee (WOR, LOC)
    De’Vondre Campbell, OLB, Minnesota (PRI)
    Fahn Cooper, OT, Ole Miss (EW)
    Su’a Cravens^, OLB, USC (STM, PRI)
    Joe Dahl, G/OT, Washington State (WOR)
    Kenyan Drake, RB, Alabama (PRI)
    Leonard Floyd^, OLB/3-4OLB, Georgia (COM, PRI)
    Will Fuller, WR, Notre Dame (COM%)
    Darion Griswold, TE, Arkansas State (EW)
    Javon Hargrave, DT, South Carolina State (EW)
    Kevin Hogan, QB, Stanford (WOR)
    Tyrone Holmes, DE, Montana (EW)
    Austin Hooper, TE, Stanford (WOR)
    Germain Ifedi, OT, Texas A&M (WOR)
    Matt Ioannidis, DT, Temple (SR)
    Myles Jack, OLB, UCLA (PRI)
    Jordan Jenkins, OLB/3-4OLB, Georgia (COM)
    Deion Jones^, OLB, LSU (SR, WOR)
    Bronson Kaufusi, DE/3-4DE, Brigham Young (STM)
    Shaq Lawson^, DE/3-4OLB, Clemson (COM, WOR)
    Darron Lee, OLB, Ohio State (WOR)
    Antonio Longino, ILB, Arizona State (EW)
    Lene Maiava, OT/G, Arizona (EW)
    Blake Martinez, ILB, Stanford (WOR)
    Braxton Miller, WR, Ohio State (SR)
    Keanu Neal^, S, Florida (WOR, PRO)
    Victor Ochi, OLB, Stony Brook (EW)
    Joshua Perry, OLB, Ohio State (SR)
    Luke Rhodes, ILB, William & Mary (PRO)
    Mike Rose, DE, NC State (EW)
    Jake Rudock, QB, Michigan (EW)
    Steven Scheu, TE, Vanderbilt (EW)
    Hunter Sharp, WR, Utah State (EW)
    Justin Simmons, FS, Boston College (PRI)
    Terrance Smith^, OLB/ILB, Florida State (EW, LOC)
    Jason Spriggs, OT, Indiana (PRI)
    Destiny Vaeao, DT, Washington State (WOR)
    Nick Vannett, TE, Ohio State (PRO)
    Nick Vigil, ILB, Utah State (PRI)
    DeAndre Washington, RB, Texas Tech (SR)
    Josh Woodrum, QB, Liberty (WOR)

    Reply
  15. Hamad Meander

    I have no earthly idea why we spend any resources scouting quarterbacks. We need another QB as much as we need a new stadium. Boom. I said it.

    Reply
    1. Flo-Ri-Duh

      If they don’t get another guard they will, at some point, possibly need another QB. See link above stating MR was the 3rd most mugged QB in the NFL since 2012.

      Reply
      1. Grits Blitz

        Need Trump to “build that wall” for Ice? Still believe we need 2 starting stud OGs to vastly improve the O line as we already/realistically have 2nd stringers from last year who posed as starters. Perhaps DQ is still not convinced their talent level is just not there to be elite starters and/or perhaps it’s an ego thing that after a year he can now “coach ’em up” to stud status!
        I can honestly see T.D. & D.Q. “holding the co. line” during the draft, being delusional, and not selecting a single O lineman based on past drafts – all with tacit approval, of course, from Arthur. I shall not be disappointed again in this draft as I am expecting little from this FO.
        They have finally convinced me not to get hopes up too high for turning anything around anytime soon until major FO changes occur.
        Only question left is… can they even do one thing right in this year’s draft? (Would consider them trading “down” as that one right thing if they can get properly vetted players who can actually perform under pressure!)

        Reply
        1. gman

          I really believe Lavitre will be much better with Mack in the middle. The other side still needs help tho.

          Reply
    2. Paddy O

      lol. the new stadium is an exercise in owner narcissism, which considering who blank is, is NOT surprising.

      Reply
  16. Flo-Ri-Duh

    Falcons Mock: 4/8/16 (drafttek.com)
    #1 Darron Lee (OLB)
    #2 Darian Thompson (SS)
    #3 Landon Turner (G)
    #4 Jerell Adams (TE)
    #7 Robrt Aguayo (PK)
    * Three are repeats from last week: Lee, Adams & Aguayo

    Reply
      1. Paddy O

        the recent mock off of fanspeak had whitehair still there – but they rate him the #48 player in the draft – so, 50 is in the area.

        Reply
  17. gman

    Do we have enough CB’s to get us through 4 games or are we now going to have to burn another pick on one?

    Reply
    1. Flo-Ri-Duh

      gman – Even counting Collins who will miss 4 games due to suspension the Falcons are one CB short on the roster right now. The only CB they have shown interest in is Eli Apple (projected 1st/2nd /rd). Collins will eventually return so I see Falcons picking up a vet CB from the UFA list: should have signed Brandon Boykin when they had a chance.

      Reply
    2. The Time is NOW

      According to the Falcons website we currently have 4 CB’s on the roster, including Collins. One of them is this guy – a project 3 years in:
      http://www.nfl.com/combine/profiles/demarcus-vandyke?id=2495244
      We also have Akeem King, who is listed as a DB:
      http://www.nfl.com/draft/2015/profiles/akeem-king?id=2553456
      Gary Parms is also listed as a DB, but looks like a box safety with good underneath cover skills who has trouble covering downfield.

      Looks to me like CB is a real possibility for a draft pick….

      Reply
      1. Flo-Ri-Duh

        Time – I’m thinking the possibility at CB is more likely to be one of the remaining UFA’s this close to the draft. There are still several out there but most are near the end of their career. With Collins returning after 4 games, they could sign a UFA to a 1 year contract.

        Reply
        1. The Time is NOW

          Probably a post June 1 signing (once we see the cap relief from releasing Soliai). Still wouldn’t be surprised at a CB in the draft for development. The cupboard appears a little bare….

          Reply
  18. gman

    Just played the Fanspeak draft with the Draft Tek databse and ended up with:
    1 DE Dodd
    2 TE Henry
    3 OLB Deion Jones
    4 G McGovern

    I like it.

    Reply
  19. Flo-Ri-Duh

    JWW – Walter’s list:
    QB’s – 5
    WR’s – 6
    CB – 1
    DE – 5
    DT – 4
    C – 1
    S – 3
    OLB – 9
    OT – 4
    G – 2
    RB – 2
    TE – 4
    ILB – 4
    * Hunter Henry is not on this list and there are others. Ole Walter getting senile?

    Reply
      1. Flo-Ri-Duh

        PED’s – likely steroids or something to help him get stronger or recover from his foot surgery faster. I don’t consider this any kind of relapse from his past but still a major error in judgement. Maybe an act of desperation as Collins had stated his disappointment in his performance last season. I’m not ready to dump him yet – but he’s on his last strike as far as I’m concerned.

        Reply
  20. gman

    Watching A Football Life with Jimmy Johnsom who is having a conversation with Bill Belicek. They are both saying the one most important factor in bring in a player is intelligence. NOT TALENT. If you have an intelligent guy he can be taught. DUMB can’t be untaught..

    Reply
    1. Paddy O

      I guess folks already knew – the the football life on the 95 browns showed TD and Pioli both working under Belichick. Appears they were buddies. But, at this point it is pretty obvious that TD is a horrendous talent scout.

      Reply
  21. Flo-Ri-Duh

    Former New Orleans Aint’s star Will Smith, age 34, shot and killed saturday night in New Orleans in the Lower Graden District according to the New Orleans paper. Smith’s wife was also wounded when a confrontation errupted following Smiths Mercedes SUV being rear-ended by a Hummer 4. An argument ended with the driver of the Hummer pulling a gun and firing multiple shots. The weapon was recovered and the driver was apprehended.

    Reply
  22. waynesworldreview

    The shows that focus on the coaches are my favorites since their insight is priceless. If those two say IQ is paramount–tattoo it on the back of your eyelids and never forget it… The same can be said for choosing your next GM….

    Reply
    1. Flo-Ri-Duh

      WWR – It’s not all about “athleticism” at the NFL level. Football “intellgence”, leadership ability and character seperate winners from losers.

      Reply
  23. Flo-Ri-Duh

    espn: Teams expected to draft a QB –
    Atlanta Falcons will probably draft a developmental QB. It may be time to move on from Sean Renfree who is in the final year of his contract. They signed vet Matt Schaub but DQ made it clear Schaub would have competition for the backup role.

    Reply
      1. gman

        This IS the Falcons. Maybe instead of how we’re thinking this draft should go, they end up with:
        1. Trade 2nd and 3 to move up to get CB Jaylen Smith
        4. QB
        7. PK

        Reply
  24. Flo-Ri-Duh

    To be considered: nfl.com Profile
    Shaq Lawson compares to Courtney Upshaw – we already have Upshaw
    Kevin Dodd compares to Michael Bennett – we could use a Michael Bennett clone
    * Of these two, I like Dodd for what the Falcons need. I don’t like that he’s had only one season as a starter in college. I do like his upside. With Clayborn & Shelby signed for more than one year I don’t really see Falcons going 1st Rd DE. I’m still favoring DT at #17 due to the level of talent available and the fact the Falcons released Soliai. Babineaux, age 34, on the last year of his contract is subject to retire in ’17. Hageman and Jarrett are more DT than NT and struggle with double teams vs the run. Mayoc says the best run-stopper in this draft is not Robinson, Reed or Rankins – it’s Andrew Billings. That said, Billings is much more than a run stuffing NT – he can move in space & collapses the pocket. Billings next to either Hageman or Jarrett and the interior DL is set for years to come.

    Reply
  25. waynesworldreview

    amen, Flo–get the big man if we don’t trade back (or maybe even if we do, since some mocks have him falling into rd. 2) and lets keep working in the trenches …..

    Reply

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