Current State of the Roster, Part 2

Manuel

Marquand Manuel

by Michael Chastain – just “lil ole” me

Some of us love this time of year because we get to fantasize about what players may be signed and which ones might get released. What kind of trades we can put together as we play arm chair GM. Then we check out the prospects and build our own personal draft boards. We make more trades so we can draft most if not all the prospects we like. The depth chart gets constructed and we think “That team is going to win the Super Bowl!” On second look we change this and that as we reimagine how the roster will look come September. Others just sit back and applaud or shake their fist as the team we love makes offseason moves. The Falcons have a roster that was up by 25 points in the Super Bowl and at most will only lose two starters from that team. That in itself is worth getting excited about! No one can predict the future, but right now the future is looking good! Enjoy the offseason, the anticipation, and the imagination!


THE DEFENSE

Defensive Tackles:

Starters: Grady Jarrett, Ra’Shede Hageman – Jarrett is embedded as one of the starting Defensive Tackles. Hageman is the incumbent though he only started four or the twelve games he played in this season.

Backups: Chris Mayes, Jimmy Staten – Mayes spent the 2016 season on injured reserve. He will get the opportunity to earn one of the rotational spots in 2017. Staten was drafted by the Seahawks in the fifth round of the 2014 NFL Draft. He spent the 2014 season on Seattle’s practice squad. Did Coach Quinn see something in him in Seattle? Will it show up in camp for the Falcons?

Expectations: Defensive Tackle is a rotational position for Atlanta. The team really needs a minimum of four quality players to rotate during the game. That is one of the things that was lacking in 2016. It is why we saw players like Courtney Upshaw at 272 pounds playing some Defensive Tackle. Look for the team to bring in a number of new players to compete for these roster spots.

Jonathan Babineaux, the longtime Falcon we all know as “Babs” has already posted his good-byes to the Atlanta fans on Instagram. He was informed by the team that they will not be resigning him. He was a player that we all enjoyed watching over the years! Joe Vellano was promoted to the Falcons active roster during the post season after Adrian Clayborn was placed on injured reserve. He will be a restricted free agent. With his limited playing time the team should be able to resign him at the veteran minimum. This position is one of the biggest needs going into the new NFL year.

Some possible free agent signings are Jonathan Hankins, Dontari Poe, Dominique Easley, and Stacy McGee. These players are all under the age of 27 and will be able to contribute to the team for a number of years. Poe and Hankins both had down years due to injury. This might help keep their price tag down, as they are both proven game changers. Poe’s injury is a bit more concerning since it was a back injury he sustained in 2015 that he still has not recovered from. Easley played well this season after being cut from the Patriots. There are some off the field concerns that he hopefully has remedied. McGee graded well according to Pro Football Focus. He started nine games, one where he sacked Matt Ryan. He should have the lowest price tag of these four free agents. Two slightly older options are Stephen Paea and Chris Baker. They are both 29 years old. Paea was the beast of the combine a few years back benching 225 pounds 49 times. His play has been up and down the past few seasons. He had 6 sacks in and 2 forced fumbles in 2014. Baker had his best year in 2015 when he tallied 53 tackles, 6 sacks, and 3 forced fumbles. He followed it up this past year with 47 tackles, 3.5 sacks, and 2 forced fumbles. Baker is projected to get upwards of 7 million a year from the team he signs with which may be more than Atlanta is willing to spend on an older defensive tackle.

Listen for a Defensive Tackle’s name to be called during the draft and maybe two. Will it be a day one prospect or someone like Grady Jarrett who falls to day three? Caleb Brantley (University of Florida) is a smaller tackle who excels at disrupting the backfield. Some have compared to Atlanta’s own Jonathan Babineaux. If the Falcons are interested in him they will probably have to select him in the first round. It is doubtful that he will last until they pick in the second round. Carlos Watkins (Clemson) is a beast on the Defensive Line who keeps getting better. He is stout in the run game and disruptive in the backfield. Will Coach Quinn dip into the Clemson well again? Like Brantley, Watkins will need to be a first round selection. It is a slim chance that he makes it to the end of the second round. Dalvin Tomlinson (Alabama) only has one year of starting experience. He is more of a run stuffer at this point in his career. He moved well in Alabama’s stunt/twist oriented defense. Dalvin is a day two prospect. Montravius Adams (Auburn) was unblockable the first day of practices at the Senior Bowl. He has an explosive first step. Many feel that he underachieved at Auburn. His Senior Bowl showing should push him into the day two conversation. Eddie Vanderdoes (UCLA) was projecting to be a future first round draft pick before tearing his ACL in 2015. His 2016 film shows a different player than his body of work before the injury. Will an extra year removed from the injury help him return to the player he was pre injury? Most teams will not take that chance early in the draft which is why he is projected as a day three selection. DeAngelo Brown (Louisville) led the Cardinals in tackles for loss with 14. He plays with great leverage and is a disruptor in the run game. He is currently projected as a day 3 pick. D.J. Jones (Ole Miss) is a 320 pound player that moves like a fullback, but he is only 6’0”. He has a high revving motor and great lateral quickness. The knock on him is that he is shorter than most teams like their defensive tackles to be and he has short arms. He has been compared to Grady Jarrett. All DJ must do now is play like Jarrett when he gets to the NFL! He is projected as a late day 3 pick.

Adams_Watkins

Mantravius Adams, Carlos Watkins

Edge Defenders:

Starters: Vic Beasley, Derrick Shelby – Beasley had his coming out party in 2016 when he posted 15.5 sacks to lead the league. Shelby was signed to be the other bookend, but was placed on injured reserve after only 6 games. His play during those six games was not as good as many had hoped for. He will have to earn his starting spot in 2017 with improved play!

Backups: Adrian Clayborn, Brooks Reed, Tyson Jackson, Martin Ifedi – Clayborn was second on the team with 4.5 sacks. He continues to be a contributor in Dan Quinn’s Defense. Reed was brought in at a hefty price two years ago. After an injury riddle 2015 he was able to play 15 games with 7 starts in 2016. Even with a full season of playing time his statistical production has not reached what he did in Houston. Jackson’s production dropped off this year. Many consider him not worth the price paid for the pedestrian numbers he has put up since signing with Atlanta. Ifedi had 22.5 career sacks in college, but most scouts felt like his game did not translate well to the NFL. He has been on and off various practice squads the past two seasons. He will get a chance to compete in camp.

Expectations: Will Atlanta resign any of their free agent Edge Defenders? Courtney Upshaw played where ever he was needed this past season. He put up respectable numbers for being a rotational player. Dwight Freeney still has the fire to play the game. He was worth every penny of his one million dollar contract. Dwight has been a great mentor to the younger players. Will the Front Office bring him back for one more season? Tyler Starr is a project that only played in one game. Does the coaching staff like him enough to resign, him or is it time to move on?

There are a number of edge defenders on the free agent market this season. But, are they worth what they will cost to sign? John Simon, Alex Okafor, and Jarvis Jones are all three candidates that should come with a lower price tag because either they are not full time starters, or they have underperformed. That being said they are only worth signing if the coaching staff sees areas of their play that can be developed. Simon has averaged over 50 tackles and 4 sacks as a part time starter the past two seasons. Okafor had 8 sacks in 2014, but his production has dropped off the past two seasons. Can he still be the player that was terrorizing Quarterbacks? Jones is considered to be a first round bust. Can a change of scenery and coaches help him find the production he had in college?

The least expensive Edge Defenders come from the draft, but most take at least a year to adjust the NFL game. This is an area that has the potential to be addressed at any point in the draft. Here are some Edge Defenders with promise. Taco Charlton is a first round prospect out of Michigan. He is only a one year starter, but he has a violent punch with great lower agility. DeMarcus Walker (Florida State) had over 20 tackles for loss in 2016. He is a backfield disruptor in the run and passing game. DeMarcus is currently a second day prospect. Tanoh Kpassagnon (Villinova) is a very intelligent player that is just scratching the surface of his abilities. He had a good week at the Senior Bowl. Tanoh is an early third day prospect. Trey Hendrickson (Florida Atlantic) was one of the best looking prospects at the Shrine Game this year. He had good production at Florida Atlantic. Trey is projected to be drafted on the third day. Deatrich Wise (Arkansas) was the second best pass rusher against power 5 teams in 2015 as a backup. His 2016 season did not start well when he injured his hand in the season opener. He played through that and other injuries, but it affected his production. He has long arms to keep linemen away. One team will find a third day gem when they draft him.

Freeney_Charlton

Dwight Freeney, Taco Charlton

Outside Linebackers:

Starters: De’Vondre Campbell – Campbell was part of Coach Quinn’s infusion of youth into the teams defense in 2016. Expect him to continue to improve in 2017.

Backups: None

Expectations: Sean Weatherspoon, Philip Wheeler, Josh Keyes (ERFA) – Weatherspoon has only played one season where he has not missed a game. Wheeler is no longer the player that recorded triple digit tackles in 2012 and 2013, but he played well for his age when called upon. Keyes is a fluid athlete who is more like an over grown safety than a linebacker. In college he did well beating blocks to make the tackle. As an exclusive rights free agent expect him to resigned and compete in camp for the backup spot at weak side linebacker.

The Falcons are going to need to add two or more Outside Linebackers to fill the voids left by the free agents. Watch for Atlanta to invite Jelani Jenkins in for talks. Jenkins played for Coach Quinn in college, so there is some familiarity there. Jenkins is the complete outside linebacker. He can rush the passer, stop the run, and cover tight ends. His pedestrian numbers in 2016 were due to playing through a knee injury. This may help to keep his price tag down.

It is highly doubtful to see a day one pick at linebacker, but days two and three are different stories. Tyus Bowser (University of Houston), a three down linebacker, is an explosive, quick twitch athlete. He can be used as an edge rusher or in coverage. Tyus played two years of college basketball and those skills have helped his coverage. Currently he is a day two prospect. Alex Anzalone (Florida) has been injured most of his college career. He has great size and athleticism. Alex can play all three linebacker spots, but can he stay healthy? Even with the injury concerns he is projected to be drafted between the third and fourth rounds. Jalen Reeves-Maybin (Tennessee) is a linebacker safety hybrid who can cover. He excels at reading and reacting to the play. Senior season ended in early due to a shoulder injury that required surgery. He is currently a late day three projection.

Inside Linebackers:

Starters: Deion Jones – He played well considering he was a rookie thrown into the fire. Look for him to continue to improve in 2017!

Backups: None

Expectations: Atlanta is going to sign two or more Inside Linebackers. Paul Worrilow stepped in as an undrafted rookie to record over 125 tackles. He lost his starting role to Deon Jones this year. Expect him to be signed by a linebacker needy team where he will be starting. LaRoy Reynolds fared well during his limited playing time. Expect him to resign with the Falcons if the price is right.

Jon Bostic is a good bet to receive some attention from the Falcons in the free agent market. He is another one who played for Coach Quinn at Florida. He showed the kind of player he can be while with the Bears. Recent injuries have derailed his career. Can Coach Quinn get him back on track?

Other than Anzalone mentioned above it is doubtful that Atlanta would draft an inside linebacker before day three if at all. A possible third day developmental selection is Connor Harris from Lindenwood. He is 5’11”, 240 pounds and is one of the fastest inside linebackers in the draft. He has great agility and football IQ. The knock on him is that he has short arms and a difficult time getting off his blocker. A good showing at the combine could push him to early on day three in the draft.

Jenkins_Bostic

Jelani Jenkins, Jon Bostic

Defensive Backs:

Starters: Desmond Trufant, Robert Alford, Jalen Collins, Keanu Neal – There is no talk of trading Trufant by the front office. Even if that were something they are looking into I would expect it to remain very quiet. Unless Trufant is traded then look for Alford to play nickel cornerback and Collins to play opposite Trufant. Neal is going to be the man at strong safety. Free safety is the only open starting position.

Backups: Brian Poole, C.J. Goodwin, Sharrod Neasman – Poole played well for an undrafted rookie. He will continue to provide depth at corner and safety where he played some in college. Goodwin, the converted receiver, continues to improve. This may be a make or break year for him. Neasman will need to compete for playing time. He was versatile in college playing the nickel and free safety, but his lack of speed may be keeping him off the field.

Expectations: The Falcons need to fill the starting free safety position and bring in some competition for the backup spots. Ricardo Allen (ERFA), Dashon Goldson, Kemal Ishmael, Akeem King (RFA), Blidi Wreh-Wilson, Deji Olatoye (ERFA) – Allen is an exclusive rights free agent. Expect him to be tendered and resigned. There is a slight chance that Atlanta brings in a free agent or drafts a player to compete with Allen for the starting free safety position. Goldson, a former pro bowler, will be 32 and may not be in the Falcons future plans. Dimitroff has said in his most recent press conference that they are working to resign Ishmael. King will be a restricted free agent. He performed well in camp and was even mentioned as the possible third cornerback before ending up on the injured reserve list. Wreh-Wilson was signed when the team placed Trufant on injured reserve. If he is resigned it will be to compete for a backup position in the secondary. Olatoye is an exclusive rights free agent who was promoted from the practice squad in November. He played in five games and recorded 4 tackles. If he is tendered he will be competing for a backup position in the secondary.

There is not anyone that jumps out as a possible free agent signing for the Falcons. Matt Elam may be available on the cheap if he can cleanup his off the field antics. The Ravens parted ways with him after being arrested for possession of marijuana. Coach Quinn may give him a second chance in the NFL since he is familiar with the player from Florida.

I doubt the team drafts a cornerback high enough to be considered a starter, but a rookie free safety would not be surprising. Some interesting draft prospects to keep an eye on are Obi Melifonwu (Connecticut) who can play both safety positions. He is a big safety that is fast. He was the quickest player to the ball on Connecticut’s defense. It is doubtful that he will last to the third round. Kevin King (Washington) played safety and corner at Washington. He only has average speed, but is long and can fill in at any defensive back position. Early on the third day is where he is projected to be drafted. Jeremy Clark (Michigan) is coming off a knee injury that required surgery. He should be ready by the beginning of the season, but the team will need to do its medical homework on him. If not for the injury he should have been a day two prospect at worst. He is currently a late day three prospect.

Poole_Goodwin

Brian Poole, CJ Goodwin

Special Teams:

Starters: Matt Bryant (K), Matt Bosher (P), Josh Harris (LS)

Backups: Mike Meyer (K)

Expectations: No change to these roster spots unless Matt Bryant decides to retire.

Some of us love this time of year because we get to fantasize about what players may be signed and which ones might get released. What kind of trades we can put together as we play arm chair GM. Then we check out the prospects and build our own personal draft boards. We make more trades so we can draft most if not all the prospects we like. The depth chart gets constructed and we think “That team is going to win the Super Bowl!” On second look we change this and that as we reimagine how the roster will look come September. Others just sit back and applaud or shake their fist as the team we love makes offseason moves. The Falcons have a roster that was up by 25 points in the Super Bowl and at most will only lose two starters from that team. That in itself is worth getting excited about! No one can predict the future, but right now the future is looking good! Enjoy the offseason, the anticipation, and the imagination!

bulgaria

Bulgarian placekicker prospects (left to right): Kamen, Blagoy, Stanimer, and identity unknown.

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872 thoughts on “Current State of the Roster, Part 2

      1. Flo-Ri-Duh

        JB – I think that teams needing a QB will pass early on in the draft (because none of these QB’s are worthy of a top 10 pick) and jockey to move up late in the 1st Rd when their QB choice is still there. I would not be surprised to see the Falcons (at 31st pick) in the middle of one of these trades. In fact, (surprise – surprise!) my mock below involves the Falcons in such a situation.

        Reply
    1. JB Falcon

      He probably gets a lot of “Knocked Head Off” penalties. I guess the other guy would be out of the game?

      Reply
  1. JB Falcon

    I think we just set a new record for slow season! Took us eight days to fill up one page. Is there a trophy for that?

    Reply
    1. Flo-Ri-Duh

      JB – I did my part early this morning to get things going – and I have my bro in law, his wife and her dog in this weekend so I’ll be occupied (unfortunately). In fact I’ve got to vacuum now – as soon as I get fresh linens on our guests’ bed….. later!

      Reply
          1. JB Falcon

            Right. I just noticed that the cage from work does not have the reply/comment notification on it and my dog/avatar does not show up so if I miss replying to or liking a post from someone it’s because I didn’t see it.

  2. Flo-Ri-Duh

    =====================================================================================
    [……………………………….Drafting For The Future: Falcons’ Mock 3/24/17……………………………..]
    =====================================================================================
    #Jet’s (losers they are) Leap Frog Browns, 49’ers, Jags & Aint’s for their QB#
    – TRADE: [NY Jets (2nd Rd-39th) & (3rd Rd-70th) + Brian Winters (OG), age 25] –
    ………..EXCHANGED FOR…………
    [Falcons’ (1st Rd-31st) & (2nd Rd-63rd) & (4th Rd-136th)]
    —————————————————————————
    #1) Brian Winters (OG), Jets, 6’4″ 325 lb.,age 25, – acquired Jet’s trade
    Solid young starter with All-Pro Potential in zone-blocking System
    -replaces Chris Chester at ROG-
    —————————————————————————————————————————————————
    #2-39th) T.J. Watt (DE/LB), Wisconsin, 6’4″ 252 lb. – trade up from 63rd to 39th pick acquired in Jets trade
    Combine: 4.69 40 // Bench 21 Reps // 37″ Vertical
    Solid Run Defender with outstanding future as a pass-rusher
    – expected to add 10-15 lbs & play at 265+ lbs – in rotation at Base DE & to be eventual starter-
    —————————————————————————————————————————————————
    #3-70th) Tyus Bowser (OLB), Houston, 6’3″ 247 lb. – exchange of Jets 3rd Rd & Falcons’ 4th Rd in Jets trade
    Combine: 4.65 40 // Bench 21 Reps // 37.5″ Vertical // 127″ Broad Jump // 6.75 sec 3-cone Drill
    Explosive quick-twitch athlete, good in coverage vs TE’s, ascending pass-rush prospect
    – in rotation now and a starter sooner rather than later at the SAM Position –
    —————————————————————————————————————————————————-
    #3-95th) Antonio Garcia (OT), Troy, 6’6″ 302 lb.
    Combine: 5.15 40 // Bench 24 Reps // 31″ Vertical // 108″ Broad Jump // 7.98 sec 3-cone // 4.94 sec 20 Yd shuttle
    Excellent athleticism, agility and strength to develop into a starting NFL OT
    -Falcons’ new swing-tackle upgrade over Compton and eventual starter-
    —————————————————————————————————————————————————–
    #4-136th) – Traded to Jets
    ——————————————————————————————————————————————————
    #5) Jerod Evans (QB), Virginia Tech, 6’3″ 232 lb.
    Combine: 4.80 40 // 26.5″ Vertical // 112″ Broad // 4.41 sec 20 Yd Shuttle
    Jr. College transfer started 1 Yr at Va. Tech: 63.5 % Comp // 29 TD’s vs 8 INT’s // 3,546 Yds Passing
    – 3rd QB on depth chart while learning–Matt Schaub’s replacement in ’18 as backup to Matt Ryan-
    —————————————————————————————————————————————————–
    #7) Zane Gonzales (K), Arizona State, 6’0″ 202 lb.
    2016 STATS: 7-9 from 50 Yds + // 23-25 FG’s // 75% Kicks for Touchbacks
    -Matt Bryant, age 41, final year of his contract, UFA in ’18-

    Reply
  3. rumplestiltskin

    And with the 31st pick in the 2017 NFL draft, the NFC Champion Atlanta Falcons pick….

    OK, that’s the easy part, now to try and fill in the blank. Ideally, you’d like your 1st round pick to come in and be an immediate starter, even when you’re drafting at #31. So let’s take a look at each position to see where we could possibly use a new starter.
    OFFENSE
    QB-nope, not for a few years….next
    RB-nope, unless a RB falls to us that the team is absolutely enamored with, and the team decides it really can’t afford to pay Freeman, this move isn’t happening. Dalvin Cook or Christian McCaffrey are the only ones I’d take a 1st round flier on if such a scenario presented itself.
    FB-if we pulled this one off, it would be the last Falcons event I’ll ever watch
    WR-Jones, Sanu wrapped up for years with a lot of money attached, no chance of cracking this starting line-up. With Gabriel and Hardy behind them, it would be difficult for a young WR to even get in the top 4. Not happening.
    TE-this ones interesting. We’ve just committed $4million/year to Toilolo, drafted Hooper, who shows a lot of promise, in the 3rd round last year. Perkins is a good receiver and Tialeeva can do a little bit of everything. But if for some crazy reason OJ Howard or David Njoku were available to us, it wouldn’t be surprising to see us pull the trigger. A tandem of one of these guys and Hooper could be dangerous for a long time.
    OT-Mathews will have his 5th year option picked up, Schraeder just signed a long term, team friendly contract. Moving along.
    OG-currently don’t have a starting RG, Levitre is slated to be the starter at LG for at least one more season. There is really only 1 OG worthy of a 1st round selection, Forrest Lamp. Though I’m not as enamored with him as some. He has only played a couple games at G, his freshmen year, since then he has strictly been an OT. Feeney and Dawkins could be choices, but could probably get 1 of them in 2nd round.
    C-Alex Mack says it all. Need a backup, but you don’t draft backup C’s in the 1st round.
    DEFENSE
    DE-Right now, I’m assuming the starters week#1 would be Claiborne and Reed. Either of these could be upgraded, but each position is different. LE Claiborne is a bigger/stouter DE that offers more against the run then against the pass. Possibilities here could be Taco Charlton, Malik McDowell. Chris Wormley, Demarcus Walker. Not sure if any of the 4 would be a day one starter, but would certainly get plenty of playing time to work themselves into such a role. RE is a smaller player who offers more against the pass than against the run. The problem here is, in nickle and dime situations, Vic Beasley (listed as a LB) slides into this spot. However, like from his days in Seattle, Quinn would move this player over to the LE spot in passing downs. So, options could be Derek Barnett, Takkirst McKinley, Charles Harris, Carl Lawson, TJ Watt.
    DT-having just signed Poe, there’s no way a rookie comes in and starts in front of him or Grady, not to mention Hageman. We do need some more young depth here with Poe more than likely leaving and Hageman’s contract coming up, but we’re under the premise we are looking for starters here.
    OLB-This is a tough one for me personally. Listed starters are Beasley and Campbell. I didn’t see enough out of Campbell, but I did see improvement. Need to give him a second look before making any moves. Beasley plays mostly with his hand in the dirt. Plus, 60% of the time we’re in nickle/dime, where we only use 2 LB’s (Campbell and Deion). Drafting someone at ROLB would move Beasley to the bench in base defense or move him back to RE in base defense. The folks at Flowery Branch don’t want to see the former, and I don’t want to see the latter. However, possibilites here could be Haason Reddick, Jarrad Davis, Tyson Bowser.
    MLB-Quinn loves Deion at MLB. Me? not so much. In my perfect world, Deion would move outside and a bigger, stronger run stuffer with some pass coverage ability would replace him in the middle, coming out in nickle and dime situations. 1st round talent here is thin. Reuben Foster(dismissed from combine, no thank you), Zach Cunningham, Raekwon McMillian. Haason Reddick or Jarrad Davis could also be considered here along with being OLB’s.
    CB-with all of our talent under contract for a few years, I’ll be shocked if we draft a CB anywhere in this draft, unless Quinn has eyes on shifting him or a current CB to another position.
    SS-Neal was the real deal in 2016. Have a backup in Ismael. Nothing to see here.
    FS-Ricardo Allen has done a nice job. Definately not the weakest spot on “D”. But it could be upgraded. Jabrill Peppers(who I think is more of a SS), Budda Baker, Obi Melionwu and Marcus Williams could get consideration here.

    K,P-c’mon, we’re not the Raiders here

    So, here’s my list, in no particular order, who, if available, the Falcons could look at…
    RB’s-Dalvin Cook, Christian McCaffrey
    TE’s-OJ Howard, David Njoku
    OG-Forrest Lamp, Dan Feeney, Dion Dawkins
    LE-Taco Charlton, Malik McDowell, Chris Wormley, Demarcus Walker
    RE-Derek Barnett, Takkarist McKinley, Charles Harris, Carl Lawson, TJ Watt
    OLB-Haason Reddick, Jarrad Davis, Tyson Bowser
    MLB-Reuben Foster, Zach Cunningham, Raekwon McMillan, Reddick, Davis
    FS-Jabrill Peppers, Budda Baker, Obi Melionwu, Marcus Williams

    I think, Cook, Howard, Njoku, Lamp, Barnett, Reddick, Peppers, Melionwu will all be gone before #31.
    For varying reasons, I wouldn’t touch McKinley, Harris, Lawson, Foster, McMillian
    I believe 1 of Feeney, Dawkins could be had in the 2nd round if one wanted to go in that direction.
    I believe the front office when they say they will pay Freeman, so McCaffrey is a no go.

    That leaves my choices of
    LE-Charlton, McDowell, Wormley, Walker
    RE-Watt
    OLB-Davis, Bowser
    MLB-Cunningham
    FS-Baker, Williams

    of these 10, I only see 2 that could come in and start day 1 and have a positive impact on the defense.
    Budda Baker, TJ Watt

    FS-Budda Baker has “leader” and “future all-pro” written all over him. The only knock on him is his size. He weighed in at the combine at 195, which is about 15lbs heavier than anyone though he would. Still, the 2 players he most compares to are Bob Sanders and Tyrann Mathieu. Sanders battled injuries his entire career because of his size, Mathieu started down that path this past season. Plus, Quinn likes em long, I don’t see him going out of his way to select someone “undersized”.
    DE-TJ Watt has the family history, but that doesn’t mean squat. Watt hasn’t had a lot of football under his belt due to injuries, another question mark, but also a badge of honor to someone like Watt who plays relentlessly from whistle to whistle. Drafting Watt would mean Beasley stays at OLB in base defenses, which I’m ok with for right now. Beasley made tremendous strides in year #2 at the line of scrimmage, maybe he can make just as big of strides off the line in year #3. I could envision Watt and Beasley standing behind the DT’s as the opposing offense lines up, then moving to one DE spot or the other, flip-flopping throughout the game to help confuse the opposition.

    My choice would be Baker, hands down. A naturally gifted FS who anticipates plays and sees them before its too late. But I don’t see Quinn switching out 1 “undersized” FS for another.

    And, with the 31st pick of the 2017 NFL draft, the NFC Champion Atlanta Falcons select, TJ Watt, DE, Wisconsin.

    Reply
  4. rumplestiltskin

    With the 63rd pick of the 2017 NFL draft, the NFC Champion Atlanta Falcons select….

    Gets a little more difiicult here as you don’t know exactly who’s gonna be available(not the you know in the 1st round, but it is a little simpler).
    Since you can get a starter in the 2nd round, I’m going to look at the same positions. For availability, I’m using CBS sports(yea, these guys suck, but the do have the easiest pages to look at). I’m looking at players they have ranked #’s 26-90. However, I won’t be looking at RE since we drafted Watt in the 1st.

    RB-if we didn’t take a RB in the 1st for the reasons I stated earlier, let’s not burn a 2nd rounder for the same reasons
    TE-Evan Ingram, Adam Shaheen, Gerald Everett, Bucky Hodges
    OG-Dan Feeney, Dion Dawkins, Dorian Johnson, Isaac Asiata
    LE-Tarrell Abraham, Demarcus Walker, Chris Wormley
    OLB-Tim Williams, Duke Riley, Tyus Bowser, Jarrad Davis
    ILB-Jarrad Davis, Raekwon McMillan, Duke Riley
    FS-Budda Baker, Desmond King, Marcus Williams

    I believe Ingram, Dawkins, Wormley, Davis, McMillan, Baker, Marcus Williams will be gone
    I refuse to draft Tim Williams, except maybe if he’s still there in the 7th round.
    I don’t believe we’ll go TE in the 2nd with other holes, so Shaheen, Everett, Hodges are out.
    I don’t believe Isaac Asiata to be a system fit.
    That leaves….
    OG-Feeney, Johnson
    LE-Abraham, Walker
    OLB-Riley, Bowser
    ILB-Riley
    FS-Desmond King, Marcus Williams

    LE Demarcus Walker is a holdover from potential 1st round picks. I think he could develop into a very good player and wouldn’t be upset at all if the Falcons drafted him to replace Claiborne at LE in the future.

    OG Feeney can come in and start right now, especially without a proven commodity at RG. If he’s still available, he’s got to be the choice.

    With the 63rd selection of the 2017 NFL draft, the NFC Champion Atlanta Falcons select, OG Dan Feeney, Indiana.

    Reply
  5. rumplestiltskin

    With the 95th pick in the 2017 NFL draft, the NFC Champion Atlanta Falcons select…..

    OK. It’s getting a little more difficult to forecast here. you can find starters in the 3rd round, but you tend to more get lucky that a particular player turns out to be better than anyone thought(including yourself). So now we’re looking for depth, however, I’m still keeping some positions off the board, namely QB, RB, FB, WR, C, OG, C, RE, CB, SS (RE, OG because we already drafted players at those positions).

    Still using cbs, players #55-120

    TE-Gerald Everett, Bucky Hodges, Jake Butt, Jordan Leggett
    LE-Tonah Kpassagnon, Chris Wormley, Demarcus Walker(have to admit here, when I started did the first round, I wasn’t really paying attention to the list. I thought Demarcus Walker would be rated much higher. CBS has him rated the #97 prospect. going by my rules, I shouldn’t have had him in either of my 1st 2 round options)
    DT-Larry Ogunjobi, Dalvin Tomlinson, Montravious Adams, Vincent Taylor, Elijah Qualls, Jaleel Johnson, Carlos Watkins
    OLB-Duke Riley, Tyus Bowser, Ryan Anderson, Carrol Phillips, Alex Anzalone
    MLB-Alex Anzalone, Kendall Beckwith, Anthony Walker Jr
    FS-Desmond King, Marcus Williams, Marcus Maye

    Everett, Hodges, Leggett, Wormley, Walker, Ogunjobi, Riley, Bowser, King, Williams should be off the board.
    I’m not drafting anyone from Alabama. Because the team is always so good, you don’t get a true sense of how good the player is and it could cost you dearly. For every Julio Jones that comes out of ‘Bama, there are about 20 Tony Richardsons.
    With the high number of DT’s available, all seemingly of like play style, size and ability, I’m going to pass on the position all together for right now.

    That leaves choices of
    TE-Butt
    LE-Tonah Kpassagnon
    OLB-Carrol Phillips, Alex Anzalone
    MLB-Anzalone, Beckwith, Walker
    FS-Maye

    I would love for the Falcons to draft Anzalone. With all of his physical attributes, I think Anzalone could be a full time starter in the middle of our defense, allowing Deion to move outside where he would be even more of a threat. Having said that, a long history of injuries is what makes Alex slide to the 3rd round and will keep him off of the Falcons radar. It would be incredible if we drafted him and he managed to put all of his injury history behind him, I just don’t see the Falcons taking that chance with a 3rd round pick.

    Marcus Maye has played both safety positions in college and might seem better suited for SS. I believe with the right coaching, Maye could become an above average FS. Reuniting him with Keanu won’t hurt his mindset either.

    With the 95th pick of the 2017 NFL draft, the NFC Champion Atlanta Falcons select, Marcus Maye, FS, Florida

    Reply
    1. JB Falcon

      YO1 Rump! Maybe you should put some thought into your posts! 🙂 Very well thought out and presented. Now, make it happen and I’ll put in a good word to AB for you about a job.

      Reply
  6. Dewey

    Confirmed meetings so far per walterfootball

    Tyus Bowser, OLB, Houston (SR)
    Richie Brown, OLB/ILB, Mississippi State (EW)
    Austin Calitro, OLB, Villanova (EW)
    Austin Carr, WR, Northwestern (EW)
    Tim Crawley, WR, San Jose State (PRO)
    Julie’n Davenport, OT, Bucknell (WOR)
    Kevin Davis, OLB, Colorado State (EW)
    Evan Engram, TE, Ole Miss (SR)
    Antonio Garcia, OT, Troy (SR)
    Cam Keizur, G, Portland State (PRI)
    Tanoh Kpassagnon, DE/3-4DE, Villanova (WOR)
    Forrest Lamp, OT/G, Western Kentucky (SR, COM)
    Marlon Mack, RB, South Florida (STM)
    Fabian Moreau, CB, UCLA (EW)
    Hardy Nickerson, OLB/ILB, Illinois (EW)
    Antonio Pipkin, QB, Tiffin (SR)
    Donnel Pumphrey, RB, San Diego State (SR)
    Haason Reddick, OLB, Temple (WOR)
    Duke Riley, ILB, LSU (SR)
    Derek Rivers, DE, Youngstown State (WOR)
    Noel Thomas, WR, Connecticut (PRO)
    Dalvin Tomlinson, DT/NT, Alabama (COM)
    Kermit Whitfield, WR, Florida State (WOR)

    Looking back at last season, of the players we reportedly had discussions with, the only 1 drafted that we didn’t meet with was OL Wes Schweitzer. We had 3 meetings with Leonard Floyd, and 2 meetings with 6 others, including Keanu Neal and Deion Jones. Thus far this year, OL Forrest Lamp is the only one we’ve had multiple meetings with (2).

    Reply
    1. Grits Blitz

      Dewey – Don’t look now, but you just blew Stilts’ top 3 picks out of the water and we could use his guys…immediately.
      Perhaps DQ sent TD to meet with them…privately?

      Reply
        1. Grits Blitz

          Flo – That’s encouraging and some meetings no doubt will be so hush-hush even Comey won’t know anything!

          Reply
    1. Flo-Ri-Duh

      falcon21 – Something you will never forget I’m sure – and with your grandson is what makes it so special. Now he has so to – in addition to grandpa.

      Reply
  7. falcon21

    If any of you Cagers get a chance to meet Vic Beasley, do it. He is one cool and nice man. He was great with kids and adults today. He was at the opening ceremonies of Bartow County LL baseball today. My grandson is still on cloud 9..

    Reply
  8. JJ

    Want to thank all you Cagers for keeping the Cage going during this slow period. Too many to acknowledge (Anro/Jww) but we have to shout out to Flo-ri-da. Your crazy trade pic/mock drafts are comical at times but very appreciated!

    Reply
    1. JB Falcon

      ANRO?? 🙂 Have another for me JJ!
      I too appreciate the cagers who continue to keep the cage going. It is very difficult to come up with something when there is absolutely nothing going on. I heard MR dropped his toothbrush in the toilet this morning but that’s just a rumor.

      Reply

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