The Annual Tee Pee Sports Mock Draft

TeePeeSports2017 Edition

Cocoa Mel, aka Seminole Warrior, the CEO of Tee Pee Sports, managing six of picks for the 2017 NFL Annual Selection Meeting, and acting as lead agent for the Atlanta Falcons, respectfully submit the following selections. Our vision: The building of a team core and laying a foundation for the future.

As always, I want to pay homage to my draft mentors, Sensei Ozzie Newsome and Mel Kiper. Like the great Sensei, we will NEVER reach for a player; we will simply move on to the best player available at an immediate position of need. After all, our single mission is to acquire and develop productive football players.

Simply put, an infusion of defensive talent continues to be first and foremost for the team. So, let us get right to the heart and soul of the matter in the two rounds.


PRIMARY: OLB/ILB Jarrad Davis – University of Florida

SECONDARY: OLB/ILB Zach Cunningham – Vanderbilt University

First, to HELL with this bull—- of converting K. Ismael to linebacker. We need the depth at safety. This is one stupid move in the eyes of Tee Pee Sports. Sorry. I got carried away. Back to regular programming.

The Atlanta Falcons have not had a presence at middle linebacker since the release of Curtis Lofton. We attempted to change that last season with a mid-round selection. Post Super Bowl, it is now PRIORITY ONE.


Jarrad Davis, Zach Cunningham

Davis and/or Cunningham would bring INSTANT impact to the core of the Falcons defense. Both of these guys are serious football players, strong leaders, and astute students of the game. Both members of this dynamic SEC duo were clearly among the most productive and tenacious linebackers Tee Pee Sports has scouted in some time. Their drive and desire are relentless; both possess great sideline to sideline range as well as excellent anticipation skills, and utilize solid tackling techniques.

Both Davis and/or Cunningham can be disruptive when asked to blitz and either player would be an upgrade in pass coverage skills over any linebacker currently on the roster. Both tend to be a little overactive at times but quality coaching can clean this up in short order. Each represents the real deal!!!

Acquiring either of these immense talents and pairing him with rising stars Deion Jones and Vic Beasley would give the Falcons a linebacker corps of unparalleled talent, youth, and potential. The key elements of versatility, speed, tenacity, and improved coverage ability would IMMEDIATELY UPGRADE the intermediate pass game defense that was SERIOUSLY exposed by the Patriots in the second half of the Super Bowl. (PS: Yep, that is the REAL reason we lost the damn game!!)

ROUND TWO Primary Pick: FS Budda Baker – University of Washington

ROUND TWO Secondary Pick: DE/DT Demarcus Walker – Florida State University

The Falcons defensive backfield has the potential to be a great one. With CB Desmond Trufant and SS Keanu Neal looking like long term stars, the free safety position needs to NOW be addressed. Given the recommendations given in round one related to the upgraded linebacker corps, a dynamic, ball-hawking free safety is a MUST. And in the Pacific Northwest, Tee Pee Sports has found him.


Budda Baker, Demarcus Walker

Enter Washington’s Budda Baker. While scouting Baker, TPS constantly found comparisons to former Pro Bowl free safety Bob Sanders. The comparison is valid in our eyes. If we can get that kind of productivity from our free safety, the sky is the limit. Baker is the epitome of a free safety – a focused defender that displays strong tenacity and incredible scheme focus. Baker is always near the ball with a fiery presence. He displays great skill in pass coverage as he displays nice closing speed, the ability to change direction in coverage, and excellent field vision. His tackling technique is very solid and he is a physical presence. He has the heart of a lion and the ability to be a MAJOR upgrade at the position as well as a perennial Pro Bowler.

Speaking of legitimacy, the Falcons need a LEGIT presence at the defensive end position. Coach Dan Quinn needs a presence on his defensive front that is capable of being a force inside and outside. He needs a “Michael Bennett” like presence for his scheme. The Gulfstream next landed in Tallahassee.

Demarcus Walker represents OUTSTANDING value here. In terms of defensive ends, JB appears to be as solid as any of the so-called “true” defensive ends in this draft class. His work ethic, total team first attitude, willingness to play through pain, and dedication to improving all facets of his game, are critical facets that Tee Pee Sports feels strongly about. Walker is outstanding against the run and a presence as a pass rusher. Like Bennett, Walker also has the ability to move inside and impact the defensive interior. Think of him as the next Jonathan Babineaux. There are a few issues with technique that could be cleaned up with quality coaching but this pick represents great value!!


PRIMARY: OG Dan Feeney – Indiana University

SECONDARY: OG Dorian Johnson – University of Pittsburgh

The Falcons are STILL in need of OL depth across the board. Jake Matthews, in the eyes of Tee Pee Sports, is NOT the long-term answer at left tackle. But there is nothing we can do about it in the weak tackle class of 2017.


Dan Feeney, Dorian Johnson

Both offensive guard positions remain in a state of flux as Chris Chester is no more (retired) and Andy Levitre remains inconsistent. In 2017, given that he is a “slightly” better run blocker than pass protector as well as his cap figure, Tee Pee Sports will move Levitre into the right guard spot vacated by the retirement of Chester.

With that move, the staff took trips to Bloomington, IN and Pittsburgh, PA where they discovered a pair of very promising prospects that would excel in the zone blocking scheme and could become starters on day one in Atlanta.

Guards Dan Feeney and Dorian Johnson are both technically solid, position versatile, and leaders on the field. Both represent great value at this juncture in the draft and have the upside going forward to become very solid NFL players.


PRIMARY: RB Samaje Perine – University of Oklahoma

SECONDARY: FS/SS Xavier Woods – Louisiana Tech University
The Falcons are on the verge of a great move by retaining two-time Pro Bowl RB Devonta Freeman for the long haul. He needs a compliment. Tevin Coleman is a speed demon but can’t stay healthy. Given the extreme value Freeman gives the team as a cut back rusher and receiving option out of the backfield, TPS will allow Coleman to move on and find a larger compliment for Freeman.


Samaje Perine, Xavier Woods

The TPS G5 jet landed in Norman, Oklahoma where we found Samaje Perine. NFL Networks’ Mike Mayock , on the occasion of OU’s Pro Day, stated that SP reminded him of former Charger and Falcon Michael Turner. After reviewing more film, at 5’ 11 and 230 pounds, the comparison, both in terms of size and talent, are very accurate, friends. SP represents the total package; consistent in all facets – a true “thunder” compliment to the “lightning” represented by DF24.

The need for additional depth at safety is enhanced with the selection of Xavier Woods. The immensely talented All Conference USA player is a focused defender that displays strong tenacity and incredible scheme focus. He is always near the ball with a fiery presence. He displays great skill in pass coverage as he displays nice closing speed, the ability to change direction in coverage, and excellent field vision. His tackling technique is very solid and he is a physical presence. Though undersized in many eyes, Xavier Woods could be effective at either the FS or SS positions.

ROUND FIVE: TE Bucky Hodges – Virginia Tech

At tight end, Austin Hooper is showing signs of promise. Depth at the position is a need for Atlanta as the tight end is a critical element of the West Coast Offense. Tee Pee Sports strikes again with truly outstanding value at this point in the draft.


Bucky Hodges

At Virginia Tech, Bucky Hodges was a steady, improving force on a football team that was often offensively challenged until a head coaching change last season. Hodges is the prototypical tight end; a great combination of size and athleticism for the position. His movements are always smooth and he displays a great catch radius. Hodges can climb the ladder and win the battles with LBs/DBs with ease. Solid hands and the ability to separate in the intermediate game. Nightmarish red zone potential as he continues to fine tune his game. Shows some skill as a blocker with upside evident if afforded proper coaching and additional physical conditioning.

There are some things that need to improve in his game but the upside here is incredible. The potential for a Tony Gonzalez/Jimmy Graham like career is not out of the question if this potential is truly tapped. One of the best hidden gems in this draft class and an ABSOLUTE sleeper in the right hands.

ROUND SEVEN: QB Nathan Peterman – University of Pittsburgh

Matt Ryan is entering his prime as a NFL quarterback. The four-time Pro Bowler and reigning MVP is the most under-appreciated Atlanta Falcon EVER. Despite the constant and wishy-washy nature of the Falcon fanbase, MR2 serves as the field general for one of the most lethal offensive units in the NFL.

However, depth behind him is a SIGNIFICANT issue. It is time that the Falcons begin to develop that depth and perhaps, an eventual replacement. Once again, value strikes.


Nate Peterman

Nate Peterman is a very solid quarterback and has solid potential. He has nice touch on his passes at time and is solid placing the ball downfield. He has good pocket awareness and displays solid mobility. He is not afraid to tuck and secure yardage if the play is not there. Displays the ability to be patient and allow the route/play to unfold. Comfortable with three, five and seven step drops. Compiled a 47-to-15 touchdown-to-interception ratio the past two seasons at Pitt. Married (April 2016) with a mature lifestyle — high character individual and worker.


A true and honest review of film shows that Peterman needs some work but his upside is very promising. At times, he looks great and confident. Other times, he can frustrate the hell out of you. But at this stage in the draft, he is a developmental prospect that could become MUCH more. And having time to learn from one of the best students of the game and a true professional, MR2, can only serve as the ultimate motivation.

So, there you have it. The 2017 edition of what the defending NFC Champions need to address in the eyes of the Tee Pee. Let the discussion, pro or con, now begin….




1,223 thoughts on “The Annual Tee Pee Sports Mock Draft

  1. Greg Mendel

    I’ve wondered if the turnover of OCs had an effect on picks in this draft. Plus, as someone correctly noted earlier, drafting at position # 31 isn’t an advantage. I’m guessing there were certain key targets that simply weren’t available to Quinn — near-misses — for various reasons. Maybe that was why the Falcons pulled the trigger early on Starkist. I DO think Quinn knows what he’s looking for.

    I also think Quinn knows how to coach players and develop their strengths and potential. We’ve seen the results, even if the payoff didn’t appear in a rookie’s first year. This year’s Falcons draft won’t be complete until after the “Cleveland Round” — when we scoop up Browns rejects and turn them into superstars.

  2. just "little ole" me

    Here’s my UDRFA wish list. I know some of these guys have already signed with other teams, but I thought I would throw it out there anyway.

    OG Fred Zerlis Colorado – from Grayson, GA he had one of the highest PFF grades for an Olineman

    RB Matt Brieda GA Southern – Had a higher yards per carry and yards after contact than any RB in this years class for the 2014 and 2015 season, new Oline and coaching staff in 2016 saw his numbers drop significantly. I think he has signed with the 49ers 😦

    DE Joe Mathis Washington – Had maturity issues prior to 2016 season, he got married and had a kid, looked like a different player on the field. before getting injured he had a higher QB pressures per play average than any other defensive player in this years draft, He was recruited by Coach Sark to Washington.

    S Deron Washington Pitt St – Big body safety at over 6″ tall and 225 lbs, oh wait…I think Atlanta actually signed him!

    S David Jones Richmond – More of a pure FS than a box safety, needs to improve tackling, he tested well at pro day.

  3. SG

    From NFL’s Eliiot Harrison:
    “Damontae Kazee, CB, drafted 149th overall (Round 5) by the Atlanta Falcons: Remember, the Falcons managed to obtain five starters between last year’s draft and UDFA haul: Keanu Neal, Deion Jones, Austin Hooper, De’Vondre Campbell and Brian Poole. Kazee could be another unexpected contributor. My buddy and draftnik Mark Dulgerian had him as his sneaky corner. So did another of our co-workers, longtime Steeler CB Ike Taylor. The write-up on Kazee says he will hit you, too.”

    His 7 INTs and Mountain West defender of the year / first-team all-conference last season isn’t bad either.

  4. Seminole Warrior

    What’s Up Cage Family

    The draft has come and gone again. I’m taking a few days to review the process and think about it rather than explode over the selections as I have seen some do. I tried that before and it did not work. And while I am not totally pleased with the selections and the moves, I will take a calm, focused approach to addressing my concerns in the coming weeks.

    So stay tuned. I will be forwarding something to Arno in short order that will detail the thoughts of the Tee Pee as they relate to the draft class and the way-too-early peek at the 2017 season.

    I will say that this draft was a major boast for the NFC South as a whole. I will endeavor to say that other teams in our division are paying close attention to the ATL model, especially offensively. Tampa and DK are clearly making moves to be more dynamic like the Falcons. Carolina is in the initial stages of their makeover. New Orleans made defensive investments to compliment an already prolific offense.

    Stay tuned. This is going to be an interesting spring and early summer to watch unfold.

    1. SG

      Your QB of the future, Nate Peterman got high marks from Vanilla Mel stating he has the mental and physical attributes of a Brady, while NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah says he could be an instant success along the lines of Dak Prescott.

    2. Paddy O

      it appears Quinn is happy with who he got. If the RG lets up a big sack resulting in an MR2 injury, the season is pretty much shot. We shall see.

  5. Mr.B

    The more i think about it, i realize the rest of our division drafted offensive playmakers, we drafted defensive playmakers. We could have been conservative by drafting medicore overrated OL talent, but a guard is not exactly keeping up with the joneses. If TM gets sacks, and our new CB gets turnovers, and the LB plays anything like D Jones, thisWill be a A+ haul. We rolled the dice, but i think that is what u have to do. Only time will tell.

    1. SG

      Mr. B, overall, w/ the exception of Eric Saubert, I’m ok w/ the way it turned out. Anxious now to see some of those UDFAs.

    2. Paddy O

      you now have 2 low drafted OG competing for the vacant RG position. We’ll see how that works out.

    3. Flo-Ri-Duh

      Mr B – We draft defensive players because our defense was rated #27th worst last year. The offense was rated at the top. With that said, a lot of the ineptness was due to the guys being so young. They will be greatly improved in 2017 – maybe 15th to 20th worst.

      1. Paddy O

        if we get back to the SB, or even the NFC championship game, i’ll stop griping about Quinn. If you know Star Trek, Q would be a good name for him.

  6. Grits Blitz

    The Day After… When the entire Atlanta FO finishes congratulating itself for fleecing all other FOs and massages their genius at knowing what to do and when to do it, I wonder if a slightly different perspective may ever invade such delusions?
    It appears to me we were in need of filling priority (starter) positions and what we got (for the most part) was a draft dedicated to depth/backup talent (w/ the exception of T Mc if he can actually deliver) even at some questionable “need” positions.
    Now, DQ must hope Wes will fit-in at OG as starter material – ready or not. Wonder if the new philosophy will be to draft ’em middling and bottom of the barrel, let ’em marinate, and plug ’em in as (hopeful) starters? Although very economical, sounds like a very unsound practice to me, bordering on wishing and hoping, not to mention consequences to follow!
    Convinced it’s all about quality, stud players with strong, consistent quals/game film indicators for success who can… also be coached for improvement. Untalented players may be coachable, but will never achieve consistent, will-imposing achievement/dominance more times than not.
    Seems like we’re in for a “make-do” camp and preseason with the hope many needles-in-the-haystack materialize. (Also, have to highly trust for another year of key players not having serious injuries.)
    Sorry, but I am not excited after FA and the draft and am back on the train. We’ll soon see what we shall see and, indeed, it will be what it will be.

    1. John Waynesworld

      Gritz, while I agree from a show-me standpoint, I think they got a couple of good versatile OLs in Harlow and P-UDFA Cam Keizur. I will be interested in following those two. I believe they are the types that can handle any zone Guard concepts and both could also spell Mack at Center, Keizur more likely.

    2. SG

      Hold on brother, if nothing else, the unpredictability of this philosophy will be far more stimulating – and I trust, rewarding – over the long haul.

      1. Greg Mendel

        I don’t know squat about football, but I know there are no guarantees or warranties with draft picks. Even first-rounders can be busts, or get seriously injured. Depend on Quinn. That’s the only validation.

    3. Hamad Meander

      Grits – it was pretty simple. It was imperative to get a starting Guard in the draft to plug and play for Chester. That did not happen. It was also a priority to get a pass rusher. That did happen, albeit one that is recovering from surgery and may not be 100% ready to go day one. It was told that shoring up the trenches was the goal, but we got sidetracked by shiny playthings instead. Offensive line is the largest position group on any NFL team, yet we seem to be allergic to picking these players in the draft. Our defensive line base group are older than the average bear, yet we spend no draft capital there either. I stand here flabbergasted.

      1. Grits Blitz

        Hamad – Then I must standing in your shadow because I’m “flabbergasted”, too. “Shiny playthings” evoke the Smitty era to me, but obviously are alive and well (and the flirting will continue) with TD very MUCH continuing in the mix with GREAT influence! Until this FO makes a 180 shift away from believing their trenches can be studly with mere coaching and any warm body will do (aside from acquiring quality players w/ film-proven talent to begin with), looks like “progress” is destined to follow along a painful and long road while the competition laps us, imo.
        Funny, the SB-winning Patriots at #32 used a tact this year of saying no to the unproven rookie equation and opted for the known veteran commodity with…TRADES. (There’s a reason why their FO is smart and they keep winning!)
        Instead of letting this meat market draft come to us, the sucker lure obsession of prime-cut beef, once again, chopped us out of some other grade-A choice cuts needed to set our table! (This is the same price to be paid EVERY time for impatience and the consequences that are surely to follow. Appears everyone at The Branch is banking heavily on an upcoming injury-free season. Riverboat gamblers abound…)

    4. Paddy O

      we have the best C; LT is good; RT we got lucky. Levitre was a last minute pick up. Now, we have little depth and a contest for RG. Not the best way to go.

  7. Wings

    Maybe Flo could use the “short” URLs effectively.

    Then, there is an unknown factor of where his links might take us. LOL!

    Flo I’m just having some fun with you.

  8. Flo-Ri-Duh
    * 11th ranked OG – drafted 4th Rd 136th
    Played OT in college & will convert to OG in the NFL.

    Some think Harlow is our starting OG in ’17 – time will tell. As said he’s a “serviceable” backup. We got a “depth” pick in the 4th Rd, which is not a bad thing since they didn’t have any serious depth at OG. Now they do – but who is the starter? As stated in the profile above Matt Ryan was the 5th most hit QB in the NFL last season with 105 hits. OG may not be the most “sexy” position but when the DT is collapsing the pocket you wish you had one that could pass-block. Speaking of depth – where is their “serviceable” backup at swing-tackle? I like what DQ got in the 1st & 3rd Rd for the defense – even like the RB Hill but the rest? Did they really need another CB or another TE more than OL help? Maybe next year.

    1. John Waynesworld

      As said he’s a “serviceable” backup.</em

      Flo, all the NFL dot com profiles are done by one guy, Lance Zierlein. His football "experience" goes all the way back to 2015, when he was hired by the NFL after he had a sports talk show. Other than his dad working for the Arizona Cardinals, I don't know how he got experience evaluating OLs.

      1. Flo-Ri-Duh

        JWW – Sometimes these so called evaluators are wrong… so thanks for the hope. Harlow is starting material – down the road when Levitre take a ride. Maybe he’s an undiscovered diamond in the rough.

  9. Flo-Ri-Duh

    One name to keep in mind for the 2018 draft – Quenton Nelson (OG), Notre Dame. He could have come out for the draft in ’17 but chose to return to school. Many scouts rate him higher than Forrest Lamp & he’s my pick for the Falcons in the 1st Rd of the 2018 draft.

    1. Grits Blitz

      Flo – I’ll gladly join you on the Nelson watch, but doubt anyone at The Branch would or could bring themselves to pull the trigger if he were available. (You know, inmates at the asylum and all that!)

      1. Flo-Ri-Duh

        Grits – Taking the hgh road here – maybe they just didn’t see any OL worth drafting in this so-called worst draft in 10 years for OL talent (Mike Mayock). No use wasting a pick to just fill a hole if they don’t have enough talent to make the final 53 man roster. We still have the camp castoffs to sift through – and as long as Dimwitroff is around there’s a chance of a late trade for a vet OG/OT as done with LeVitre. Hope is all we have.

        1. Grits Blitz

          Flo – Well said, Bro. Flo! (It’s just disheartening we may have to settle for other teams castoffs to upgrade our own…unless a rewarding TRADE is made…likely costing us draft choices, anyway, for next year’s draft…since it’s not in TD’s DNA to actually trade one player for another – straight up. That scenario, giving up quality to get quality then creates another hole to fill. What a hamster wheel this FO loves to tread!)

    2. Paddy O

      I’ve thought for 3 year’s we’d draft and OG in the top 3 rounds; DQ does not put much priority on his O line

      1. Flo-Ri-Duh

        Paddy O- Let’s give DQ & Co. some credit when due….
        #1) Signed Alex Mack (C) long-term
        #2) Re-signed Schraeder (OT) long-term
        #3) Brought in Levitre for an upgrade – before DQ
        #4) Drafted Matthew’s (OT) 1st Rd – before DQ
        #5) Drafted an OG in 2017 draft 4th Rd
        * DQ’s priority #1 was to upgrade the pass rush – thus Takkarist McKinley

        1. Grits Blitz

          Flo – And, most undeniably, he will have n-o excuses to ignore one of the top 3 rounds for the O line in 2018! (Substandard, depth players will never be the answer, of course unless you’ve traded away your top choices and have to settle for…what’s left!)

    1. Grits Blitz

      Flo – What’s this? Cut backups to replace them with more backups? Seems like a zero net-effect!

        1. Grits Blitz

          Flo – Again, well stated! Now I understand … upgrades by minutia. Guess that passes as progress. A true concept ahead of all other NFL teams.

  10. Flo-Ri-Duh

    Grits – With the 32nd pick of the 2018 draft the Atlanta Falcons select ___________.

    * I predict the Falcons will defeat the Pat’s in a revenge rematch of Super Bowl LI – also known as Tom Brady’s final NFL loss as he announces his surprising retirement.

    1. Grits Blitz

      Flo – Wonderful concept! Better than a trip to Disneyland. We’ll take it.
      P.S. Have you been spending too much time in Colorado with all that “Latin Lettuce” in the air? Tell the truth, now.

  11. Arno

    Here’s Beasley at yesterday’s Atlanta United game. A reminder that ATLUTD will offer a good distraction during the upcoming dreaded NFL dead zone.

  12. John Waynesworld

    I am not as alarmed as many Cagers here are about the one hole in our Offensive Line, and that is an understatement. Did everyone not notice that Chester’s deficiencies in 2015 almost disappeared the moment Alex Mack appeared? Maybe everyone was reading many of the football sites that repeatedly said that Chester was the weak link of our O-Line, yet as fans we hardly noticed…on our way to playing in the Super Bowl? So now Chester is some mythical Offensive Guard-ian of the Galaxy that only a top Draft pick can possibly replace? Sorry but reading some comments made me pop.

    1. falcon21

      Good one JWW and totally agree. I wanted another o-lineman but it wasn’t in the cards. The team under DQ is pretty good at developing players. I’m sure we will pick up another or two and I still think we already have replacements on the roster. We shall see.

    2. Paddy O

      4th quarter with Mack hobbled Ryan had a lot of pressure up the middle; against lesser teams it might not have an impact; we also had problems against McCoy the first game.

      1. Grits Blitz

        Paddy O – You speak the truth, Sir. Believe you and I know what we’ve been seeing regarding Chester’s performance for multiple years. Strongly doubt he’ll ever be “missed” and if DQ can’t find an upgrade over his performance this unit will continue to flounder. (Ryan best keep practicing those pop passes until this leak is plugged. Do you think we’ll ever see this O line get 1-2 yards again, at will, in our lifetime?)

        1. Paddy O

          I wanted him back for depth and emergency starter – never dreamed we would again fail to make drafting a good quality OG a priority

    3. JJ

      JWW / F21,

      You guys have been around as long as I have. Every yr we hate the draft and within a week cagers come around. WE all hate dimwitt moving up, cause the hair-wonder does it almost every yr. But IF DQ SAID HE WANTED THAT GUY (and he would have been snagged before 31)…fine. DQ has earned our trust (limited) after last yr. Will never trust dimwitt again and have no idea why hes still employed.

      After some reading up on the other pics, not bad at all. Could they have pic better, of course. But with DQ coaching them up, we could see 3 or 4 of them contributing/spot-starting this yr.

      Respect all those that disagree…GO FALCONS…is all that matters!!!

    4. Flo-Ri-Duh

      JWW – While Chester was the “weak link”, mostly in pass-blocking, he was once a solid OL that was in decline but an experienced vet. The next guy up is likely to be a “rookie” as far as being battle ready. Is a “declining” vet better than a 4th to 6th Rd untested draft pick? We will know in few months.

  13. Mr.B

    We have the highest paid center in the game, just signed our RT, have a no 1 at LT, and a high dollar RG. This was a bad draft for lineman, we have invested plenty in our OL, and no reason to force it out of desperation. Depth? That is what 4th rounders are for. Personally, I dont care what we draft as long as who we draft are good at what we expect them to do. I see NE got a C in the draft, is their reign coming to and end? Lol.

    1. Paddy O

      we’ll see – that O line allows the QB to operate the offense; with a decent O line, MR2 was MVP. If he gets hurt due to bad play from the OG, we are toast, even with Schaub.

      1. Grits Blitz

        Paddy O – If any O line is granted the priority focus by most QBs – over RBs & receivers – then it stands to reason it is because they allow him to operate at his greatest peak efficiency… to showcase what he really can achieve… given the time to complete passes, gain the tough 1-2 yards for 1st downs, and then (w/o excuse) to execute his OC’s game plan. Problem seems to be many FOs do not factor a QB’s preference for acquiring and keeping stud O line trenchmen though it would be welcome if they began taking a QB’s poll. No worries in Atlanta, though. Wonderful.
        (Just thought all along a great O line can make a below-average QB look pretty decent if he’s got just a modicum of skills. If he (& they) are really talented, the Lombardi is within reach!)

        1. Paddy O

          Both recent Dallas squads that were good – Aikman and Prescott – had high quality O lines. Murray has not been the same RB since he left Dallas.

  14. Greg Mendel

    “You guys have been around as long as I have. Every yr we hate the draft and within a week cagers come around.” — JJ

    “Personally, I dont care what we draft as long as who we draft are good at what we expect them to do.” — Mr.B

    Exactly. I understand the fun of the draft, and I admire and respect Cagers who really get into it — as well as their reactions to the picks. Me, I just depend on Quinn. It’s his team and his butt on the line. And I figure he knows and worries about stuff about which we fans are clueless.

    1. Paddy O

      depends – I’m a Red Sox fan – and I can tell you, our manager is an idiot – John Farrell – our previous GM was inept at MLB roster construction (which is why we traded away Lester, Lackey and Miller in late July 2014) – only to discover our pitching was terrible in 2015. Long time fans of a team may know a whole lot more about the team than the professionals who run it – I don’t know that much about football, and don’t have time to track all the college draft guys – but, I do know we have a gigantic hole in the starting o line that we’ve decided to plug with two late round draftees, NONE of whom have played much – unless we are using Ben Garland to play RG, he at least has some NFL experience. The key to us winning is our offense. DQ may not like that, but KS understood it, and against even pretty good teams his aggressiveness paid off – against the BEST in the SB, it blew up in his face.

    2. Paddy O

      I can explain to you how to build a WS winner in baseball, I’m not as proficient in football – but, that gaping hole in RG exists, and we have not addressed the problem.

  15. Dewey

    I have yet to weigh-in on our total draft haul yet. I have my opinion, however, I will wait until SW unveils his promised post on what he thought of our latest draft. We had a conversation on these pages the day before the draft, possibly the day of round #1, I can’t quite recall. Anyhow, our trains of thought were starting to point in the same direction. So, out of respect, I will wait until SW posts his latest thoughts, just in case we are of like minds on this. Don’t want to steal his thunder, as it were.

      1. Dewey

        Maybe. I can tell you this, I have no major problems with any of the players, it was the process. I’ll give it another couple of days.

          1. Dewey

            Comfortable? No. Sometimes in sports you do get surprised though. For all we know from our seats in our living rooms, Schweizer was a better option than Chester last season, or at least as good. Maybe rather than letting him “learn on the fly” last season, DQ let him learn in practice because we could get by with Chester. The one thing I trust in Quinn, is he seems to know when players are ready for the big stage. Last season, Collins wasn’t forced down our throats when he was re-instated. I believe he was even inactive for the 1st couple of games back. I don’t think we’re looking at another Peter Konz debacle.

  16. just "little ole" me

    The pain in my neck has kept me awake so I did some digging and I found at least a tryout player, to convert to FB, who might can fill the spot that Tyler Renew has. His name is Robert Meade (6-3, 245) from Kean University. He played QB, so he has decent hands, and threw for over 2,000 yards before switching to LB. This guy likes to hit!!! Checkout the link below if you have time to kill.

    1. Flo-Ri-Duh

      jlom – Kean University – it’s amazing how you come up with this stuff. Truly amazing.

    1. Grits Blitz

      JWW – OG, Zerblis! Why he would not be invited for a meeting and/or workout – immediately – is well beyond my pay grade (not to mention a couple of other OTs).

    1. Paddy O

      I did not consider a QB pressuring DE to be our highest priority. OG, LB, DT, S, DE. But, I’m not paid to do it.

  17. ajarnbangkapi

    There are a couple ways of looking at this draft haul IMHO-

    a) Were critical needs (that weren’t addressed by FA) addressed? I am thinking filling holes from retirements, FA’s leaving, injuries, etc. For example, we lost two starters off the top of my head, both off the offensive side of the ball – OT and FB (both can impact the running game). One backup TE as well.

    b) Was value received, based on when we had choices?

    c) Basic question I know, but will the picks make the roster, provide improvements over what we now have?

    I am thinking like a teacher that has to assess students overall progress instead of a “just win baby” fan (the whole assessment subject can be a real snakepit), but I think this is a legit way to evaluate the value of a draft to a team, any team.

    I don’t have answers to those questions at this time, it would need some research.

    1. Grits Blitz

      ajarn – Very much like your (teacher) analytical approach! Doesn’t it all boil down to the basic philosophy/vision of the FO in question? They can put a spin on anything they do. In the final analysis, it seems the only true measure will be above-average performance on the field of battle. Seems a wise FO would know the critical needs to be addressed ahead of the draft and pursue filling them – FIRST. There seems to be evidence at The Branch a lingering problem persists and, no, I do not believe this draft filled “critical needs” so expected consequences are likely to follow, imho.

      1. Grits Blitz

        ajarn – Also, same sentiments apply to FA. (Interesting…we signed Poe and drafted T. Mc, and both are suspect health-wise although are needed immediately. Wishing and hoping, again.)

        1. Paddy O

          my experience with players injured in college – they get hurt again; pro league is way above college – faster, heavier guys leading to bigger impacts..

      2. ajarnbangkapi

        Gritz – Thanks!!
        Assessments is always a slippery slope (beauty in the eyes of the beholder, self interest of reviewer aka rationalization), subjectivity, etc., and is a challenge in many areas – hence analytical.

        In this case, I look it as repairing dam with some leaks (new leaks pop up every year).
        Did we simply.
        A) Repaint the bridge,
        B) Rebrand it as a waterfall,
        C) Toss a used bandaid on it (which we may have pair too much for)
        D) Slap a serviceable patch on it that may last a year
        E) Perform a quality repair that is actually stronger than the surrounding areas

        Look at each weakness or potential 2017 weakness (leak in the Lambardi Dam) especially OT, FB, DT, S. Pass Rush, Run D, etc.
        We put a serviceable patch that may last a year on the DT (and run D hopefully) with Poe
        We performed a quality repair on the Pass rush with our 1st rounder but it will need to cure a bit.
        I don’t know about our starting FB, that could be a repaint or rebrand – used bandair at best at this stag.
        O-line, I m lost.Perhaps last years trainees are ready to step up?
        S I am lost as well.

        1. Grits Blitz

          What about our “trainers”? Hope they are ready to help the walking wounded… from day one!

      3. Paddy O

        DiMarco was VERY valuable in the way we used him; and, Freeman ran better with him leading. RG failure is a head scratcher.

    2. Paddy O

      FB they should have just signed DiMarco – certainly he is worth MORE than a back up QB. The back up TE does not bother me; the RG is what makes me nervous.

  18. ajarnbangkapi

    Updated Roster May 1


    2 Matt Ryan
    8 Matt Schaub
    — Alek Torgerson

    Running backs

    40 Derrick Coleman FB
    26 Tevin Coleman
    24 Devonta Freeman
    38 Brian Hill
    39 Tyler Renew FB
    43 Soma Vainuku FB
    28 Terron Ward

    Wide receivers

    87 Deante Burton
    16 Anthony Dablé
    13 B. J. Daniels
    84 Reginald Davis III
    13 Devin Fuller
    18 Taylor Gabriel
    14 Justin Hardy
    11 Julio Jones
    7 Josh Magee
    19 Andre Roberts
    12 Mohamed Sanu
    89 Garrett Scantling
    15 Nick Williams

    Tight ends

    49 Darion Griswold
    81 Austin Hooper
    82 Joshua Perkins
    85 Eric Saubert
    86 D. J. Tialavea
    80 Levine Toilolo

    Offensive linemen

    61 Travis Averill C
    76 Daniel Brunskill T
    79 Wil Freeman T
    63 Ben Garland G
    66 Kevin Graf T
    64 Sean Harlow G
    62 Cam Keizur C
    75 Andreas Knappe T
    65 Robert Leff G
    67 Andy Levitre G
    51 Alex Mack C
    70 Jake Matthews T
    68 Trevor Robinson C
    73 Ryan Schraeder T
    71 Wes Schweitzer G
    72 Hugh Thornton G

    Defensive linemen

    99 Adrian Clayborn DE
    50 Brooks Reed DE
    95 Jack Crawford DE
    77 Ra’Shede Hageman DT
    97 Grady Jarrett DT
    — J’terius Jones DE
    74 Chris Mayes DT
    98 Takkarist McKinley DE
    93 Chris Odom DE
    92 Dontari Poe DT
    90 Derrick Shelby DE
    91 Courtney Upshaw DT
    — Joe Vellano DT


    44 Vic Beasley OLB
    59 De’Vondre Campbell OLB
    54 Darius English OL
    36 Kemal Ishmael OLB
    45 Deion Jones MLB
    52 Josh Keyes MLB
    53 LaRoy Reynolds MLB
    42 Duke Riley MLB
    46 Chrisitan Tago LB

    Defensive backs

    23 Robert Alford CB
    37 Ricardo Allen FS
    35 Marcelis Branch FS
    32 Jalen Collins CB
    29 C. J. Goodwin CB
    39 Janor Jones CB
    27 Damontae Kazee CB
    25 Akeem King CB
    41 Quincy Mauger CB
    48 Jordan Moore SS
    22 Keanu Neal SS
    20 Sharrod Neasman FS
    30 Deji Olatoye CB
    34 Brian Poole CB
    38 Taylor Reynolds CB
    21 Desmond Trufant CB
    49 Deron Washington SS
    33 Blidi Wreh-Wilson CB

    Special teams

    5 Matt Bosher P
    3 Matt Bryant K
    47 Josh Harris LS
    6 Mike Meyer K

  19. PoolerSpirit

    Speaking of the RG situation… I mentioned in a post pre-draft that I thought we’d grab somebody in the later rounds to fill Chester’s spot. I pointed out that that is one of the strengths of the zone blocking scheme, that you don’t have to have a first round draft pick at every Oline spot. And that’s exactly what we did. Have you seen video of Sean Harlow in action? If not, let me tell you… He’s a bad man! Google him for his highlight video and tell me you don’t agree!
    And if he doesn’t work out, then I’ll be very happy to just plug last year’s 6th round pick Wes Schweitzer in at that spot. Remember last preseason, when he nearly beat out Chris Chester for the spot? You would expect that, after a year of practicing with the Falcons, he’d be ready to beat him out this year if Chester hadn’t retired.
    And Ben Garland ain’t bad for a backup either. So I think we’ve got the Right Guard spot covered, even considering the Kawaan Short’s and Gerald McCoy’s and Nick Fairley’s in our division. We’re going to have a more dynamic offense this year than we had last year, if Right Guard is that crucial to our offense.

    1. John Waynesworld

      Absolutely agree on Harlow, PS. I am having too much fun with this Harlow highlight video. Must share…

      He might have a little Judo training and he definitely likes pancakes with a little mustard at the end of each play. A real manimal!

      1. Dewey

        One thing I noticed in the videos that he will need to correct at the next level is he is leaning in his stance before the snap whichever direction he is going after the snap.
        After watching 5 plays, I knew where the ball was going (left or right) on every play after that.

      2. Grits Blitz

        JWW- If Harlow develops a nasty streak like Harvey Dahl had, he does seem to have very positive potential ability-wise to bust some chops! Hope he gets a complete camp opportunity in competition to win an OG spot. Looks like he could also backup some at OT. Some real hope here!

  20. JB Falcon

    Thanks for all the great clips ya’ll. The better half and I had some great laughs of excitement! Little coaching here, little practice there and then “Sic’Em Killer!”

  21. Mike-N-Charlotte

    I think like many I have been guilty of thinking about who we did not get rather than who we did. Before we added one player in the draft our defense was already better than last year. You have Poe in the middle, which should keep bodies off of our LB’s. Now you add Riley to the mix and it is really interesting. Jones and Campbell should improve off of very solid rookie seasons. If Riley is able to win a starting job that makes this group even better (seeing as he would have to outperform Campbell to do so). We were without Shelby last year and added Crawford in the offseason. So now with Claiborne coming back healthy, Beasley having one more year of development, and adding McKinley….we should be one of the top pass rushing teams in the NFL. Trufant returns after Collins played well in relief of Trufant last year. In base you will have Alford and Trufant with Alford likely to kick inside in Nickel. I would be interested to see if they give Poole a shot at competing for a FS position. He has shown that he has good ball skills and hits like a safety. I wonder if moving Poole over was a thought when drafting Kazee.

    I am hoping that the guard position is not going to be an issue. DQ should know what they have in Schweitzer at this point. Other than that I am not sure what they really needed on offense. Hill will add size and depth at RB. Also if he is as good as some scouting reports then I think he may add some insurance should Falcons be unable to retain the services of Freeman beyond 2017. I will say that adding the TE shocking to me. I really knew and still know little about Saubert. If there is one pick that I expect not to make the roster in 2017, Saubert would be where I would place my bets. Hooper is a lock and Toilolo likely makes the squad. Perkins impressed me last year on a couple of occasions. The one downside to the draft is our division is a whole lot tougher now.

  22. JB Falcon

    Great post MnC, optimism at it’s best and I agree 100%. We’re not building a team here. The team, like it is, is a Super Bowl contender that we’re trying to improve upon and add depth, just like we’re supposed to be doing.

    1. Greg Mendel

      I agree, and I think MnC’s view is realistic. All last season, I thought of the team as rebuilding. I still think it was, but it rebuilt much faster than I thought it would. There were hungry players in that Superbowl game. They’re still hungry, and they have some hungry, talented additions. I honestly think Quinn and his system can make magic with carefully selected new players. Every season is tough for every team, but I think the Falcons will be devastating in 2017. We lost the Big Game, but we’re still the NFC champions.

  23. John Waynesworld

    A 2017 4-Round Pass Rusher Re-Cap (omitting ILBs & adding a few versatile DTs):

    #1 Myles Garrett
    #3 Solomon Thomas
    #13 Hassan Reddick
    #14 Derek Barnett
    #17 Jonathan Allen
    #22 Charles Harris
    #26 Takkarist McKinley
    #28 Taco Charlton
    #30 T.J. Watt
    #35 Malik McDowell
    #47 Tyus Bowser
    #49 Ryan Anderson
    #51 DeMarcus Walker
    #57 Zach Cunningham
    #59 Tanoh Kpassagnon
    #68 Duwuane Smoot
    #73 Jordan Willis
    #74 Chris Wormley
    #77 Daeshon Hall
    #78 Tim Williams
    #80 Tarrell Basham
    #83 Derek Rivers
    #103 Trey Hendrickson
    #116 Carl Lawson
    #125 Samson Ebukan
    #131 Deatrich Wise

    1. Chop Buster

      Jlom, he looks like an undrafted free agent. Needs some polishing…which he might be able to get in camp. We’ll see how it turns out.


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