Falcons Search for Identity

chicago

The State of the Franchise: Where Do We Go?

Special Guest Writer: Roddy E. “Seminole Warrior” Nixon, Jr.

PRELUDE

mcclure

McClure seeks answers.

As I sit here in the Tee Pee and finalize this narrative, we are less than two weeks away from the 2016 Annual NFL Selection Meetings (aka the NFL Draft). By now, most are well versed in the fact that the Falcons have only five (5) picks to work with in this draft. I wish we have a few more selections to work with but it is what it is.

Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank, in an interview dated 18 April 2016 with Vaughn McClure made it clear that he expects at least 60% of this draft class will become starters THIS fall. Additionally, AB made is clear in the same interview that he is astutely aware of the significant depth that is available defensively in this draft.

While I am inclined to agree with AB in regards to the defense, this team has MANY needs that will persist long after the stage lights are out in Chicago. This is a football team STILL in search of an identity. This is a football team with a lot of holes to fill.

So, where do we go from here? What do we really need from this draft class? What is the state of the Falcons franchise as we draw closer to the onset of the 2016 NFL season?

rosterA THOUGHT…

First, let me give a big “shout out” to my good friend “Just Little Ole Me”. His posting of 18 April 2016, 12:03am, was VERY telling and VERY supportive of the TPS opinion.

webster

Ruston Webster from Titans.

For years, we have been constantly railing against the “Big Lots” approach to team construction and composition. As so well stated by JLOM, a massive exodus awaits Atlanta at the end of the 2016 season. If you take a close look at the 30 players that are forecast to see their contracts end, there is only ONE that is, in the opinion of TPS, a sure fire retention. That would be Desmond Trufant. Every other player on that list, ALL twenty nine (29) are at risk.

I am not saying that each and every one is certain to be let go but just how many of these guys can you really see as being impactful enough to pay “premium” for? Consider we are talking Alford, Worrilow, Schrader, and DiMarco? Guess what, friends. Those are the BEST of the litter!! All are serviceable players for sure but is there anyone in that pool that you consider a franchise changer? Yep, thought so. The resounding answer is NO.

emery

Phil Emery from Bears.

EXPECTATIONS:

In an interview with Vaughn McClure, Atlanta owner Arthur Blank made it crystal clear that he is expecting big things from this 2016 draft class. AB expects that at least 60% of this draft class should be starters when the season opens in September. To take this point even further, AB has mandated, at least in this interview that 75% of the first four selections, should be starters. That means that the Mighty Quinn and our extensive collection of has-been GMs in our front office have their work cut out for them.

THE CHALLENGE…..

What Do We Really Need?

devaney

Billy Devaney from Rams.

This team has many, many needs. Many fans lobby hard for a strengthening of the inner core; a comprehensive focus on the offensive and defensive lines. Ok, I concur. Others would say that we absolutely need to generate and sustain a MUCH better pass rush. Ok, point noted. Yet, there is another group that feels that our linebacker corps is a disaster that cost this team time and time again in critical situation. I’m feeling you completely, brothers and sisters. And yes, there is even a contingent that would say that there are shortfalls in coaching at critical positions such as defensive line and offensive coordinator that have stagnated a once promise position group or facet of the team.

Five picks is a starting point. But let’s be clear. It is NOT the end game. Even if the Falcons are fortunately enough to land a full five starters from this class, most of them will fill in areas where depth is still highly questionable or missing in action.

THE APPROACH….

In the mindset of an expansion franchise, we continue to build the core of this team. Therein rests the most challenging aspect. If the vision of Quinn is to be given a full chance to turn the tide, Falcons fans (and Arthur Blank) have to understand that this is a long term project.

pioli

Scott Pioli from Pats.

The mistakes of the past have hurt this team seriously and will continue to haunt them for a few more years to come. There will be incremental progress in some areas but a Super Bowl leap is not likely.

Finding talent in this draft class and post draft free agency is absolutely critical in 2016. Given the daunting task of a schedule that this team faces in 2016, anything less will result in a very long season and an uneasy feeling as we leave the Georgia Dome for the world’s largest new luxury car dealership facility in 2017.

GREATEST NEEDS…….

After careful consideration, Tee Pee Sports feels that the greatest needs for this team in this draft class are in the trenches. The inner core of the defensive and offensive lines MUST be given prime focus and attention.

mckay

Rich McKay from Bucs.

Defensive tackle is absolutely essential to address given the facts that age, youth, relative inexperience, and inconsistent play have not given reason to sense that there is a measure of strength at the position.

Linebacker is in equal critical shape as we have not one single linebacker that is remotely considered a Pro Bowl talent. “Scheme fits” seem to have not worked and we are still facing considerable questions going forward.

The offensive line, even with the zone blocking scheme, is far from settled. A significant point of weakness was addressed with the signing of Alex Mack.

TPS views the left tackle position as still in question as Jake Matthews ranked 17th among left tackles and the OL as a whole ranked 30th in 2015. Ryan Schrader continues to show that he is at worse a quality reserve acting out the role of starter but is he the answer long term at right tackle?

At offensive guard, we have Andy Levitre and nothing else. And Levitre seems to have lost the mental edge he had while in Buffalo a few years back. Chris Chester is ready to move on and we have nothing else.

SUMMARY:

dimitroff

Thomas Dimitroff from Arthur.

It’s all on you now, my friends. What are your thoughts, opinions, etc. as we head towards the draft? Share that insight. In the mean time, I leave you with the following to ponder:

Expect another year of transition and with thus, frustration.

Can this draft class meet Arthur Blank’s desired expectations?

Do you STILL think that Dan Quinn is up to the task of turning this around in Atlanta?

Is an 8-8 record in 2016 enough to save Dan Quinn and Thomas Dimitroff in Atlanta?

Name the Falcon player that is MOST in need of a breakout 2016 campaign.

What is the greatest STRENGTH in the Atlanta organization?

What is the greatest WEAKNESS in the Atlanta organization?

clock

Round and around we go?

Advertisements

283 thoughts on “Falcons Search for Identity

  1. marko

    T minus 6, and counting.

    Did any of you hear the funny story about a team that pumped artificial crowd noise into their stadium? They were only trying to keep their fans awake, but the no fun league wasn’t laughing. No 5th round pick for you!

    http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/draft/players/2060411/jayron-kearse

    What good is a 5th round pick. If it’s Jayron Kearse, plenty. He looks like he has the raw materials Quinn turns into serious football players. I’ll be curious to see where he turns up.

    Reply
  2. Mike-N-Charlotte

    AB should have gone further than 3 starters. He needs to lay his expectation out as 3 quality starters. There is an opportunity to do that, but Trader Tom needs to be reaching out to teams like Houston, KC, and Denver and letting them know that the Falcons are open to moving back. If Lynch makes it beyond San Fran then he will likely fall into the late teens early 20s. I would expect KC or Denver to want to jump ahead of Buffalo and NY Jets. Atlanta could grab a 2nd round pick with a trade back w/ KC and possibly a 2nd and 6th with Denver. That would give them 4 picks in the first 3 rounds where they could draft LB, DT, OG, and either DE or S. If used correctly that could be 3 starters and a contributor.

    Reply
  3. John Waynesworld

    Just a quick thought from a Dim comment (with Quinn agreeing) yesterday…The explanation of what they are looking for in later round player ‘traits’ gives me cause to believe that regardless of any filter, it won’t matter because of Quinn’s preference for “relentlessness”. What I mean is that Quinn won’t make another “Collins” mistake this time around, he is going for 100% football players who are driven and dedicated to their craft above everything else. I believe now that our Head Coach (with Dim tagging along) will be selecting only very clean, gym-rat, first-guy-in-the-weight-room players and he will be doing it beginning in Round One.

    A perfect example would be Shaq Mason. Besides his great play, he is well-known for his on-field leadership as well as being a strong voice in the locker room. Another “perfect fit” would be Su’a Cravens, an impressive talent who said an interview on the Network that he has NEVER seen a live music concert, while living in Los Angeles his entire life. He’s rather watch game tape. Side note: The fact that the NFL website has decided to move Cravens from #1 Safety to #4 OLB and placed him just below Darron Lee says how good of an all-around player he must be.

    I’m not saying we will pick them but these two men are the types that truly want to be part of a team and to help their guys win. They are 24/7 football players. That’s who I think Quinn and his sidekick will target from the 1st round to the last. There won’t be any personal history question marks in this draft. I’m guessing our 7th rounder is going to have to be a real football psychopath to get picked by us.

    Reply
      1. Seminole Warrior

        Pass on him. He is not the sum of all parts. Trust me, I have been observing personally for three years.

        Reply
  4. Grits Blitz

    On a different slant…
    Seems The Cage is majority-agreed our team’s #1 problem impeding team success is our GM/FO.
    While it may be fun, it’s pure speculation to project ANY hope T.D. will be replaced anytime soon by Arthur with other viable GM candidates.
    Arthur is forcing attendance to his dance, but he can’t see he has a one-legged dance partner in T.D. and always will as long as he retains him (and he’s already spoken he’s more than willing to do just that). Time to move on with the “one who brung you” to this dance, I believe A.B. would say.

    Seems priority #2 would be to acquire more quality, football- intelligent players. Standing pat in the draft won’t cut it – even if Arthur updates “his expectation” and decides he now wants 100% draftees to be starters. (Again, DQ can oblige the boss at any time to make it happen regardless of actually earning starting status over any veteran as the hope would be a rookie only need to equal scrub-status with some current veterans to perform just as poorly to achieve a level playing status. And, using that logic (?), why not play a rookie over any veteran as they are younger and cost less? Sounds corporately delightful already!) Appears the ONLY way that would make sense to address priority #2 would be to simply trade down.

    Wouldn’t a smart GM identify at least 5 top-echelon teams (or any with ’15 winning records) that draft behind us and contact them in advance to draft night and just inquire as to gauge any interest for them to trade up? (Seems waiting until draft night appeals more to the “impulsive” GM who touts man-crushes and wonder if there remains many of them still employed…other than our own, of course.) Holding out hope when there appears no evidence there is any apparently is a true act of faith. One day when things truly do change – at the top – hope will abound…

    Reply
    1. JB Falcon

      GB, your last paragraph starts with the answer to your statement .”Wouldn’t a smart GM?” The answer is yes. We call TD “Too Dumb” because he has certification to prove it.

      Reply
      1. Grits Blitz

        JB – Indeed. He’s certifiably qualified as poster boy for the Peter Principle in action.
        (Certainly is a nice job if you have it and can keep it and TD has it …covered, A-Z!)

        Reply
  5. SG

    NFL’s drafy analyst Chad Reuter’s mock for all 7 rounds.
    http://bit.ly/1U8Ek21

    Short cut, the Falcons would get
    Round 1 (17): Darron Lee, OLB, Ohio State
    Round 2 (50): Keanu Neal, S, Florida
    Round 3 (81): Joe Dahl, OG, Washington State
    Round 4 (115): Thomas Duarte, TE, UCLA
    Round 7 (238): Darius Latham, DT, Indiana

    Reply
      1. PoolerSpirit

        I really like Neal in the second. But I’m having trouble deciding between him, Henry at TE thanks to so many comments on here about what he could do for our offense, and either Austin Johnson or Javon Hargrave at DT, assuming I go with LB in the 1st round. But Neal would be the athletic run-supporting headhunter Quinn wants at Safety…

        Reply
        1. JB Falcon

          And then there’s this. Too much like Willie Mo! Is that good of bad?
          “If he continues playing with that kind of reckless abandon, his career in the NFL might be over sooner than he’d like. He also relies on his hard hitting ability a bit too much, causing him to lose track of his man in coverage and/or ending up with a missed tackle. He’ll need to refine his coverage ability if he really wants to make an impact in the NFL.” – from SG’s link.

          Reply
          1. SG

            A younger version is OK and w/ DQ guiding his maturity makes for another plus. BTW the NFL.com draft profile compares him to Kenny Vaccaro.

    1. Paddy O

      this REALLY explains why TD does such a lousy job evaluating players. He can NOT look at a player and determine his relative value to an NFL franchise.

      Reply
      1. Seminole Warrior

        Both truly suck. I’m willing to take the days off needed to help him pack the moving trucks as he gets the hell out of town!!

        Reply
    2. Chop Buster

      Analytics, ANALytics (it’s for those that can’t find their a-hole, let alone talent naturally).

      If you’ve been around football for any length of time, you don’t need ANALytics to tell you whether a player has the right mentality, toughness, physicality, attitude and speed to fit on your team.

      Dumitroff may as well be a statistician because he has to use data to evaluate a player. This ANALytics is pure B.S.

      Reply
  6. waynesworldreview

    JWW
    Analytics is just another wrench in a big toolbox and we need a GM that’s proficient in using them all. Analytics can tell you plenty about physical attributes but nothing about heart or intelligence, for example…..

    Reply
    1. JB Falcon

      What good is a digital engine analyzer if you don’t know how to read it? Plus an analyzer can’t tell you that you need a quart of oil or your tires are slick/

      Reply
  7. The Time is NOW

    Last night, convinced that Arthur’s edict of 3 starters THIS year meant that we would not trade down, I started looking for ways to come up with extra picks by trading down after the first 2 rounds. I figured to get 3 starters this year, out of 5 picks, we would have to go LB, S with 17 & 50, then get a G in round 3. So I came up with this:

    ATL trades #81 (185 pts.) to
    DEN for #94 (124 pts.), #144 (34 pts.) & #157 (28.6 pts.)

    thus, gaining two 5th round picks, while keeping a late 3rd rounder to select McGovern.

    This morning, I read the link from WWR suggesting that the #17 pick was still on the market. So I decided that the time is now to create the fantasy mock dream of trader Time. Fill in your own choices at the positions selected, if it will make the game more palatable to you. Combining the earlier trade scenario I presented with CIN (#17 for #24, 88, & 122) the Falcons now have picks #24 (1), #50 (2), #88 (3),#94 (3), #115 (4), #122 (4), #144 (5), #157 (5), & #238 (7). Trader Time now trades #122 (50 pts.) & #144 (34 pts.) to SF for #105 (84 pts.). Without doubt the odds of all this happening is less than 1%; but, hey, it’s my dream.

    The time is now to trade back and add some depth mock:

    #24 (1) – Vernon Butler DT
    #50 (2) – Karl Joseph S
    #88 (3) – Kyler Fackrell LB
    #94 (3) – Connor McGovern G
    #105 (4) – Jerrell Adams TE
    #115 (4) – Kentrell Brothers LB
    #157 (5) – Graham Glasgow G/C
    #238 (7) – David Onyemata DT

    Reply
  8. JB Falcon

    Looks like the cage is going as slow as the days leading up to the draft. The closer we get the slower the days go by.

    Reply
    1. Paddy O

      this is really too long a dead period. NFL needs to move up at least 1 week- 2 really, unless they are worried about avoiding the income tax deadline.

      Reply
  9. medallion

    I have been and still am on the road for work (and a little sightseeing and more on the side) for the last 12 days and didn’t take any of my football notes with me, but I will try to inject some random ramblings for discussion: (1) the no trade scenario, (2) three different trade scenarios (without lots of explanation), and (3) who knows what by then.
    The no trade scenario:
    Pick 17 – Leonard Floyd – while maybe can’t be a 3 down player at first, might be down the road, can team this year with Beasley as outside edge rusher on obvious passing downs (Beasley from defensive left and Floyd from the right), Beasley’s replacement as a pass rusher if Beasley gets hurt, and might allow Falcons to use Beasley as WSLB and Floyd as an almost medium weight LEO on uncertain pass/rush downs. Side note – I didn’t go to college at UGA. If Floyd gets picked earlier and one of the top 3 or 4 OTs is there, I guess I go that way and figure out in camp which OT plays OG this year. Some have opined that Matthews should never be moved to guard. I am not opposed to moving any player to what might be a better spot for the overall good.
    Pick 50 – Lots of potential options at #50 depending on who drops or stays around where projected by many. I specialize in vague obvious ramblings at times. Some possibilities include OG Whitehair, TE Henry, OG Garnett (while slower than desired for outside ZBS, Mack can pull and Shanahan might not be around next year), WSLB/SS Cravens, one of the highly touted NT types projected for late first or early second, FS (maybe SS) Neal, and more.
    If Cravens is there at #50, I would pick him out of that group. If he isn’t, then one of the highly touted NT types if still there or OG Garnett.
    Wow – other ramblings will have to wait.

    Reply
      1. medallion

        I have seen many like that, but I have seen some into the low 40s. I just have a feeling he might drop even further because of his poor bench press (16) – call it the “Konz effect” – and other things.

        Reply
        1. Paddy O

          whitehair is ranked between 20 and 40; Henry is also ranked between 20 and 53 – many have the Giants taking Henry at #40. He is my guy for us in RD 2.

          Reply
  10. Flo-Ri-Duh

    Went to Atlanta thursday to visit my son and brother-in-law. Took in Cirque de Soliel at Atlantic Station. AMAZING! Saturday morning went to the Renaissance Festival in Fairburn. Knights, maidens, jousting & medieval times – ate a turkey leg for lunch. Fascinating to step back in time. Now I’m back and will soon attempt to prepare for this draft. With the re-signing of Chester is guard still a top priority for 2016 with the Falcons?

    Reply
    1. just "little ole" me

      OG is still a priority! The entire interior O-Line needs an upgrade from last year, not just one position. That being said, historically guards taken in the 3rd and 4th rounds have produced the most value. Even so it wouldn’t surprise me if an OG was selected in the 2nd or late in the first if a trade down event occurs.

      Reply
  11. just "little ole" me

    I saw this article posted on the Atlanta Falcons website. I posted the link and an excerpt. Does anyone else think it is interesting that the Falcon’s FO has four employees that have GM experience. Does this show lack of faith in TD and/or the scouting staff? It seemed like this article was a rebuttal the articles that gave TD a low ranking as a GM in the NFL, or at the very least an attempt to restore lost faith in the player personnel dept. right before the draft.

    http://www.atlantafalcons.com/news/blog/article-1/Experienced-Scouting-Staff-Paying-Dividends-/b6bd03e4-9545-405b-a17f-5162ba3301c4

    More than 14 months have passed since Quinn’s first visit to Flowery Branch, and that time has allowed every area of football operations—front office members, coaches, scouts, etc.—collectively revamp the Falcons’ approach to building a championship-caliber organization.
    That time has been used to integrate new additions, too, including national scouts Phil Emery and Ruston Webster, both of whom have been GMs in the past.
    “To have Scott Pioli, to have Phil Emery and Ruston Webster at the lead of our personnel staff, being able to communicate within our meetings with the rest of our staff I think is really solid and focused,” said Dimitroff.
    “We’re dialed in on crossing the T’s and dotting the I’s, which we always have been, but with more experience on this staff across the board, I think that’s going to be beneficial for us.”

    Reply
    1. Chop Buster

      This just shows how intent Arthur is on creating a Corporate atmosphere of joint decisions and collaboration with an army of GMs, personnel people and scouts. Falcons really beginning to look like an inept joke of an organization in its front office.

      After watching the Quinn/TD pre-draft conference the other day, they made a comment to the effect of having many options for the type of players they liked. Whether that translates to game changers on the field next year, I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

      Reply
    2. Seminole Warrior

      JLOM

      The Falcons front office is a joke and the whole world knows it. Even Arthur Blank has come around to the point. Each of these pathetic castaways that are in the front office represent a desperate attempt to use “experience” as a shield against a mounting pile of evidence that shows this team is still stuck on stupid.

      Could it be that front office is entrenched in one last ditched attempt to re-create, one last time, the magic of Patriot Way South. Yep, you read it correctly. TD, Pioli, and Emery are all disciples of Patriot Way. And each has had limited success in implementing it at their various stops.

      Could it be that in an act of desperation, out of loyalty to AB, Rich McKay “intervened” by bringing in his former partner in Tampa, Ruston Webster.
      After all, Webster was the director of player personnel for McKay as he built the core of that Tampa team that would win a Super Bowl.

      Webster would then head to Seattle as DPP and interim GM until he was released by the hiring of Pete Carroll. It should be noted also that one of the key tenets of Carroll’s reign was the massive purge of players that he oversaw in his first two years in Seattle; players that had been acquired under the watchful eye of Webster.

      Are we to believe that Lionel Vital and his team did not have a “national” focus when they would assess and review players for this front office?

      Reply
    3. Paddy O

      TD is a deluded BS artist. His past methods drafted people who were NOT NFL caliber -factor in the how injury prone is #1 draft pick is, and you have a blatantly inept GM.

      Reply
    1. Seminole Warrior

      Wings,

      I think that Cleveland may have finally gotten it right this time. Their front office pairing of Sashi Brown and Hue Jackson seem focused on a total changing of the culture within what has been a rotten core over the past decade or so.

      The first move, acquiring the tools to build a core for the team has been done. The next move, ensuring that the talent in place is determined to be a part of the plan, is evolving. Third, it would appear that they are also getting ahead of the pack in terms of establishing fiscal discipline as it relates to their team.

      The Browns are not a laughing stock anymore….I think they are slowly about to emerge as a sleeping giant.

      Recall, we went through the same with another Ohio franchise for a long time. And now, Cincinnati is a CHANGED team.

      Reply
  12. Arno

    Finally… in the home stretch to draft day. Revised/simplified scoring is posted on the MOCK DRAFT page for your review. Suggestions welcome. Will be happy to post additional extra credit scoring ideas.

    Reply
  13. marko

    http://walterfootball.com/draft2016not.php

    Walter gets bored occasionally. In his not draft, he predicts players teams won’t draft. For us it’s Reggie Ragland. He says that he doesn’t match Quinn’s standard blue print. He may be right, but it begs the question, why spend two days working out a kid that doesn’t match your ideal profile. Clearly Quinn saw something in Reggie that intrigued him. From the Senior Bowl, till the private workouts, he’s been on the radar. At this point we don’t know if our mighty Eskimo found what he was looking for or not. We’ll have a much better idea by this time next week.

    Reply
    1. Chop Buster

      I know what I saw in Ragland that would benefit the Falcons as a MLB…he’s a physical guy who can shed offensive lineman blocks (something Worrilow could never do) and shutdown runners at the point of attack. He appears to play fast enough to cover TBs and TEs as well–despite what the talking heads say. Like you said, Quinn didn’t spend two days working him out for nothing.

      Reply
    2. Seminole Warrior

      Simply put, Reggie Ragland is the second coming of Curtis Lofton. And the Falcons have not had a presence at the MLB position since we release Curtis.

      There is no doubt that Ragland in the middle and moving Worrilow to the SLB would be a significant advancement in terms of the depth and the skill of the Falcons linebacker corps.

      Reply
      1. just "little ole" me

        The big complaint I had with Lofton was his inability to drop into coverage. He was a great run stopper. I see some of that in Ragland. I only hope that if he is selected by ATL that his cover skills are better than what I have seen in the games I have watched.

        Reply
  14. just "little ole" me

    ESPN did an interesting segment this morning on Harvard TE Ben Braunecker. They classified him as a nerd in an NFL prospects body. The most interesting part of the segment was where they favorably compared him to Rob Gronkowski when he was drafted. It was an interesting segment. Braunecker should be available in the 4th rd and would be a steal if he became half the player Gronk is!

    Reply
    1. Seminole Warrior

      JLOM

      I saw that piece as well.

      I know that many are just in love with this Hunter Henry kid from Arkansas. Clearly, he is the “best” of a no-so stellar tight end class. Personally, Tee Pee Sports is not feeling the high draft grade that most are giving him. And actually, I have a clone of Alge Crumpler on my radar scope that could be an absolute steal in this draft class.

      He went to school at a program that is clearly under the radar (for all the wrong reasons) as it has found very little success over the past decade or so. They are a long-standing doormat in a power five conference.

      Stay tuned…..for once again, Tee Pee Sports feels that we have struck gold in a very unlikely place.

      Reply
        1. just "little ole" me

          I agree that Henry is the most game ready for the NFL, but I think when the 2016 draft is looked back on Henry will not be the best TE from this years prospect class.

          Reply
          1. Flo-Ri-Duh

            jlom – all to his own but I now what I saw in game after game in the SEC. Hunter Henry (TE) would be just what Falcons need in the second round. Will he be there?

  15. Seminole Warrior

    What’s Happening Cage…

    Draft week is FINALLY here and the staff is putting the finishing touches on the annual Tee Pee Sports Atlanta Falcons Mock Draft. After the release of the draft narrative to Arno for publishing, the hard working team here at TPS will be given some time off before they come back later in the summer to begin the detailed scouting of players for 2017.

    The draft is not intended to win our annual Cage Mock Draft contest. This is just a look into the eyes of Cocoa Mel as it relates to the desires we here at Tee Pee Sports feel the Falcons should address.

    We have hit on certain players in the past and we have also missed as well. We have advocated for players that are on the way to doing great things (i.e., Aaron Donald), we have advocated for player that did not live up to the potential we thought they had (i.e., Sean Weatherspoon), and we have advocated for players that did not have the desired maturity to handle the awesome professional and personal responsibilities of NFL life (i.e., Aldon Smith).

    Draft selection is a true roll of the dice. But it is something that we here at TPS truly enjoy and look forward to.

    Stay tuned..and get ready for an interesting week ahead.

    Reply
    1. Arno

      If you think Falcons will stand pat @ #17, and you are correct, that’s worth 2 points. If you think they will trade #17, and are correct, that’s worth 10 points (a higher risk guess). You will score an additional 10 if you get the trading partner correct.

      Reply
      1. JB Falcon

        So……If I’m a little late posting my mock, say sometime next Sunday, and get every one right, will I get the same bonus points I got last year?

        Reply
      2. JB Falcon

        And while I’m awake, that train up at the top of the blog is a freight train and I ain’t riding in a boxcar. I’ll just stay here and predict my annual 18-0 record. (Adjustable, of course)

        Reply
        1. just "little ole" me

          Awwww come on JB everyone should enjoy the train hobo experience at least once in their lifetime!

          Reply
  16. Seminole Warrior

    A nice mock draft currently being played out on the NFL Network. Charles Davis is picking for the Rams, Bucs, Falcons, and Bengals.

    Reply
  17. Seminole Warrior

    Arno

    The package has been delivered. Review as you deem appropriate and post when you feel it is time. I’m ready to answer comments, concerns, disagreements, etc. all in the name of fun as well as love for the game.

    The Tee Pee Staff is officially on vacation now leaving the leader of the pack to defend their hard work. I’m ready for the challenge.

    Reply
  18. just "little ole" me

    Here’s a draft speculation. How would the draft landscape change if Philly took RB Zek Elliot Ohio St? One might think why would they trade up to #2 to take Elliot. Elliot has been project to go as high as #4 to Dallas, so to keep any other team from jumping in front of them they trade to the #2 spot. The talking heads all say you don’t do that unless you are taking a QB, but they have two QBs on their roster that will make more than 7 million each. New Head Coach Doug Peterson was the OC in KC the last two years where he had Jamal Charles, who when healthy is one of the best 3 down backs in the game. Prior to KC he was the QB Coach in Philly with Andy Reid where they had LeSean McCoy as the bell cow back. So with four years in a system that had excellent 3 down backs it seems very plausible that the Eagles take RB Elliot. None of the other RBs currently on the Eagles roster can do for the Eagles what Elliot can in 2016.

    Reply
  19. Flo-Ri-Duh

    Speaking Of Differing Opinions: Flo-Ri-Duh’s Picks & Pans 2016

    LB’s: Picks For Falcons
    Scooby Wright (ILB) – 3rd Rd – UNDERRATED – I’ll take “football” instincts over track speed here – this guys a football player.
    …………………………………………….
    Darron Lee (OLB) – He’s a “reach” in the 1st Rd, OVERRATED – 3rd Rd is where I draft him – Why? His pass coverage is inconsistent and his technique needs work – lots of work. Not to mention that he’s not great in run-defense either.
    ……………………………………………
    Paxton Lynch (QB) – Elway knows QB’s and I don’t see him trading up in the 1st Rd to take him. Paxton Lynch is physically gifted for sure & has a big arm. His accuracy leaves a lot to be desired at this point – not ready to start any time soon in the NFL. He’s a 2nd/3rd year “project”.
    …………………………………………….
    Keanu Neal (SS) – a fantastic athlete but as a football player OVERRATED – When I watch his film I see inconsistency, missed tackles and missed assignments – – maybe 4th Rd but not 2nd Rd for sure.
    …………………………………………….
    Darian Thompson (SS) – another guy with excellent football instincts / good in run defense & coverage. One tough hombre. Not bad in 2nd Rd but bargain in 3rd Rd

    * I value football instincts over a track guy any day. Past drafts are littered with the carcasses of track guys that can’t play football.

    Reply
    1. medallion

      I sure don’t understand all the Keanu Neal love at many sites. I will be disappointed if Falcons pick him in 2nd.
      I don’t want Darron Lee in 1st, but if he fell to 50 that would be interesting – faster than Cravens in lots of areas and weighs a little more and similar versatility of perhaps SS/perhaps WSLB.

      Reply
  20. Flo-Ri-Duh

    I’m going to tick someone off here by comparing Darron Lee to Jalen Collins (on the field). He needs lots of work before he’s ready to start in the NFL.

    Reply
    1. Chop Buster

      Does this surprised anyone? Quinn had to come in and clean out the garbage players. Hope Dumitroff learns not overpay in the future.

      Reply
      1. John Waynesworld

        “Hope Dumitroff learns not overpay in the future.”

        We already lead the league in 2017 dead money with $6.9 Million AND we’re presently the only team with dead money in 2018 with $8.4 Million. This of course does not include the future dead money of Tyson Jackson, who has $3.2M in 2017 and another $1.6M in 2018.

        All this doesn’t even compare with Levitre’s future dead money of $15 Million for 2017 & 2018. It looks like he’s a guaranteed Falcon until early 2019. This deal is insane, plus we lost a draft pick. Fire Tommy Boy please.

        Reply
        1. Chop Buster

          Arthur is running a circus front office. You mean to tell me of all the ex-GMs on staff no one had the balls to tell Dumitroff he was overpaying mediocre players? I’m with you JWW, fire Dumitroff yesterday. He’s proven time after time he doesn’t have a clue as to what he’s doing.

          Reply
          1. just "little ole" me

            I am not defending TD, but seems like I remember reading somewhere that Rich McKay is the one in-charge of contract negotiations. Even so I would think the TD would have to sign-off on the deal.

          2. Chop Buster

            jlom, well it sounds like we’re even messed up more than I thought in our front office. You got the blind (McKay), leading the blind (Dumitroff). McKay has historically been known to overpay players. Now it makes sense. Thanks for the info.

        2. medallion

          Is that really you JW or did someone give you some really bad info that you repeated without checking it out?
          According to OTC, LeVitre could be cut today and the dead money is only 1.25 million.
          According to OTC, the only dead money for 2017 already on the books is 2.8 million for Soliai and there is no dead money for 2018.
          Based on lots of reading I did in preparation for boring salary cap writings, it seems impossible for any team to have dead money for 2018 at this moment.

          Reply
  21. Flo-Ri-Duh

    Falcons Mock Draft : -Trade Down 2016 –
    ===============================================================
    #2 (43rd) Hunter Henry (TE), Arkansas, 6’5″ 250 lb.
    *[17th (1st Rd) for Titans’ 43rd (2nd) & 45th (2nd)]
    …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….
    #2 (45th) Su’a Cravens (OLB/S), Southern Cal. 6’1″ 226 lb. = acquired Titans’ Trade
    …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….
    #3 (77th) Christian Westerman (G), Arizona, 6’3″ 298 lb. = acquired Browns’ Trade
    *[50th (2nd Rd) for Browns’ 77th (3rd Rd) & 99th (4th Rd) & 100th (4th Rd)]
    ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..
    #3 (85th) Austin Johnson (DT), Penn State, 6’4″ 314 lb. = acquired Texans’ Trade
    *[81st (3rd Rd) traded for Texans’ 85th (3rd Rd) & 195th (6th Rd)]
    ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
    #4 (99th) Miles Killebrew (SS), Southern Utah, 6’2″ 217 lb. = acquired Browns’ Trade
    ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..
    #4 (100th) Joe Schobert (OLB), Wisconsin, 6’1″ 244 lb. = acquired Browns’ Trade
    ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
    #4 (126th) Matt Judon (DE), Grand Valley State, 6’3″ 275 lb. = acquired Chief’s Trade
    *[115th (4th Rd) & 238th (7th Rd) traded for Chiefs’ 126th (4th Rd) & 165th (5th Rd)]
    ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….
    #5 (165th) Kalan Reed (CB), Southern Miss, 5’11” 195 lb. = acquired Chiefs’ trade
    ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
    #6 (195th) Nick Kwiatkowski (ILB),West Virginia, 6’2″ 243 lb. = acquired Texans’ Trade
    ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

    Reply
    1. Hamad Meander

      That is crazy! I thought this was done with last season. I wouldn’t be surprised if Tom Brady was losing his you know what right now. Flo-Ri – we found a way to let a terrible 49ers team beat us with Blaine Gabbert. Don’t you think a Brady-less Patriots team would beat us as well?

      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