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TheDirtyWordII last won the day on February 6 2012

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  1. To me, Takk has the chance to be Terrell Suggs 2.0...only faster. I think given his medical situation though, in 2017 his job will be 'go get the QB' in obvious passing downs and the rounding out of his game will follow in 2018 and beyond.
  2. Fair enough on the what you think the Falcons will do v what you think they will/should. Andre Roberts since 2012 - 57 games 104 receptions, 1247 yards 5 TD's. My hopes aren't too high Devin Fuller - 7th round draft choice. Has never played an NFL snaps (reg. season) Justin Hardy has a career 5.6 Yards/Target mark. ...and while I like what Gabriel brought to the Falcons last year, he was a guy we got a bead on specifically because of Shanahan. So can a new OC who meets him for the first time during OTA's, make the same use out of a guy who is a very situational and specialized player? Not to mention - with $20M already committed to the position - can we afford to invest more big $$ at that position.
  3. I've not understood the notion of a TE upgrade... Hooper - 2nd year guy, room to grow. 3rd round investment in 2016 Toilolo - just signed a 3 year deal @ $4M/year we have both of these guys (if we want) thru 2019. Not to mention a guy in Josh Perkins the Falcons seem to like at least from a developmental standpoint. So we'd be drafting on Day 2 a 3rd/4th TE? Yet you throw up all over WR investment when beyond Julio/Sanu and 2017 - there is a lot of uncertainty?
  4. Why would anyone be worried about the schedule? We're the NFC Champs.
  5. Feedback on some of the common commentary provided: 1. DE/Edge - I feel like where we are picking, we'll be missing out on 'the run' at the position. Have we been interviewing 'tons' of guys - yes. But in Round 1 I think the players who could come in and make an impact are gone (Barnett, McKinley, Harris). Even when you get to Round 2 and the next tier...I sense the same dynamic (Willis, Rivers, K-Pass). And when I look at our depth chart - while I don't see a pure pass rusher beside Beasley, I do see a lot of pro's pros. Clayborn, Reed, Crawford...if Shelby can come back healthy (an 'if' I grant you) I think that's a deceptively more difficult rotation to crack than folks are giving credit for. It's not to say a pick shouldn't be expended, but I think it levels the playing field - position need wise. When it relates to pass rush, I think it's interesting the guidance provided to Poe...get down to 330. For his size, he can be very quick and early in his career he showed pass rush chops. Upfield penetration by both him and Jarrett can really keep the pocket deep. Also, consider that it took Beasley - a top 10 pick, a year to adjust to the NFL as a speed rusher and I simply wonder if anyone we draft on a Day 2 does anything in 2017? I don't dispute that at some point in time we want to grab a here...but patience can work to the Falcons advantage here. I'd rather not reach and I think we would be on Day 2 for any of the candidates being tossed about. 2. Henderson - Whether I'm looking to far into the future or not, even if you think Andre Roberts can give the Falcons good snaps offensively, and even on ST (I don't)...he's a one year guy. Through 2 seasons, Justin Hardy has averaged a dismal 5.8 yards/target. To be fair, he's still a young player who could have the light come on in Year 3. But he actually played 47 fewer snaps in 2016 v 2015 (337-to-290) despite playing in 10 more games (including playoffs). To @RandomFan - I don't think it's a question of his hands. I think it's a question of 1) his ability to get open downfield (his YPT shows that's an issue) and 2) the trust the coaching staff and Ryan have in him...and in Year 2, 2 guys who came in off the street (including 1 who had 1 reception since the 2013 season) usurped Hardy on the depth chart. Again, I thought Gabriel was a tremendous addition for the Falcons. But at 5'8 165...he can't be on the field 500-600 snaps in a season and be expected to hold up physically. With $20M being spent at this position already...are we really going to give Gabriel a long-term deal? Especially since as a #3 WR at best, he doesn't provide any value on Special Teams? Henderson isn't just a slot guy...he's 5'11 200 pounds. He can beat you deep and has great YAC ability, plus, can be a ST contributor. All in all - I'm not as comfortable with the depth we have at this position as most of you are. I think we cobbled together a solution that worked last year in large part because Matt Ryan was the best player in the NFL. But behind Julio/Sanu...I think that's a point of exposure. 3. Salary cap - It's a position the Falcons have not been in for some time...but they have ALOT of young talent they'll need to be locking up over the next 2-4 years. In addition, you're likely going to see Ryan up his ACV from the $20M range to the $25M+ range. So spending $4.5M on a back-up means you'll be committing ALOT of money to the QB position. Proven veteran back-ups are still getting paid quite well and if you're going to try and groom a kid...looking now so you feel comfortable in 2018 and beyond is an option I think the Falcons have to take seriously. We watched Trufant get his big deal and Freeman is likely to follow. They are just the tip of the iceberg. Matthews, Beasley, Jarrett will all pull in $10-15M/year and then you've got the 2016 draft class. While it's a long way off, planning in advance to get a $4-5M (minimum) back up QB salary off the books isn't a bad use of a 5th rounder.
  6. Getting over the SB – I was in Dominican Republic last week. Brought my golf clubs…I have a Falcons golf bag and was playing a pretty nice course where you get a caddie. While the caddie didn’t speak much English, he looked at my golf bag, shook his head and in his broken English said ‘that was rough’. Point of the story: The Falcons collapse and it’s spectre is omnipresent now with regard to the franchises identity. Quite frankly, how they react moving forward will be watched closely because this really is unprecedented. How can a team that had essentially won the SB…and then lost it, respond? The volume of this chatter will only increase. You’re sick of it now? Wait. DL Veteran Talent Infusion - In the context of Johnathan Hankins 3 year $30M deal he just signed with the Colts, getting Dontari Poe on a 1 year $8M deal feels like a bargain. Jack Crawford seems like a decent albeit unexciting rotational piece. With Jackson/Babineaux and likely Freeney gone….that’s about 1400 defensive snaps the Falcons needed to replace. I had thought the Falcons would have to dip into the FA talent pool for DT. Getting two pieces even better. So the DL rotation looks like this: Clayborn Beasley (DE/LB) Jarrett Poe Hageman Crawford Shelby Upshaw Reed (DE/LB) Question I have is this: While a highly drafted rookie always has a chance/path to start…this unit feels deep albeit not stacked with top tier talent (aside from Beasley) on the edge. Could this be an overrated focus for the Falcons on draft day 1 or 2? OG? – So right now, we have the combination of Hugh Thornton, Wes Schweitzer and Ben Garland. Thornton is an interesting guy for me. Yes, he’s hardly established himself at the NFL level. But he was regarded highly enough to be a Day 2 pick in 2013. If you remember how we acquired Levitre, while he had experience NFL success (unlike Thornton), he was seen as a washed up player coming off a spate of injuries and the Falcons were dumb to relinquish Day 3 picks for him. Thornton has had a year to get his body right. He played on terribly talented units in IND. Maybe being just a piece to a good OL is the type of situation he needs to finally elevate his game. This POV certainly doesn’t preclude the Falcons making a rather high investment in OG – protecting Matt Ryan is still the priority here and you want to leave as little to chance her as possible. But I’d like to see if Thornton can find a home here. Matt Ryan – If you had to guess, how many players on the Falcons roster are older than Ryan? I’ll break the suspense for you. It’s 2. Tough to believe. Only Schaub and Matt Bryant are older. But last year, from my POV, in addition to his otherworldly production – he elevated his stature and leadership of the Falcons finally to a level where he became its true inspirational and motivational epicenter. So obviously, given what transpired on 2/5…all eyes will be on the 2016 MVP. His national profile is really going to explode due to him raising his game to a rare level in addition to the circumstance he and the Falcons find themselves. This is where I think the Falcons really stand to benefit from his business as usual approach. I mean – I haven’t watched the phuking game yet (and won’t)…and he watched it 3 times within 72 hours of it happening!!!??? As the leader of this franchise, he can set the tone and likely did this week in FL. There’s work to do and the Falcons have an incredibly talented team that’s very much capable of finding their way to Minnesota come February. Keeping the Falcons on point and focused will be a tougher task than you’ll think once the season starts. A 2-game losing streak will bring forth chatter about the Falcons collapsing again because of the hyper-reactional mode NFL seasons take once they get going. It took the Panthers one opening Thursday night game to lose their focus and get off track 2016. But IMO, Ryan’s even keel could be one of the Falcons greatest assets in coming back strong and putting the SB loss behind them. Mock Draft 2.0 It’s amazing how quickly the Falcons went from having a roster bereft of talent (supposedly) to having one of the best and deepest rosters in the league. Quite frankly, I think even a 1st rounder could struggle to secure a starting role with the exception of OG. So IMO, this draft is more about 2018-2020. As the Falcons start to have to make tough calls on who stays/who goes…they’ll need to make sure that the talent funnel is prepping them to have guys take over that have been in the system for 1-2 years, instead of relying on rookies/draft to fill roles when players depart. With that said, here’s my Take Two. 1:31 – Budda Baker – FS; Washington Ultimately, I think Baker is the best value at a position where the Falcons could secure an immediate contribution from. While I like Rico Allen, he’s a player on an EFRA contract so he can still be seen as a value depth piece to the Falcons if he loses out to Baker from a TC competition standpoint. I wouldn’t count him out retaining that starters role into the season. But Baker can slide down to nickel corner allowing the Falcons to play around with different alignments in the secondary with Poole/Baker and disguising coverage. Baker profiles as a ballhawk type of player and if he fulfills his talent, could give the Falcons the best (and deepest) secondary in the NFL. 2:63 – Carlos Henderson – WR; Louisiana Tech I expect this to be the pick to be met with quite a bit of derision. Hear me out. Question: Do you expect Taylor Gabriel to be a Falcon in 2018? Me? I don’t. I think he either plays well enough to earn a long term deal which I would not prefer the Falcons not match (or get into a bidding war)considering they have $20M/year invested in Julio/Sanu…or he has an underwhelming year. I like Gabriel, but I also think that at his size, he’s not going to be able to have significant workloads. He’s a situational player – a really good one at 100%, but situational nonetheless. I pointed out earlier in the off-season that Aldrick Robinson actually played more snaps than Gabriel. If Julio/Sanu goes down, it's not Gabriel that takes on the additional workload (at least it wasn't last year). And Hardy has hardly distinguished himself in two seasons. So when I look at the WR position for the Falcons beyond 2017, I have concerns. Henderson has had a very good draft process and is the type of player who I think comes in – plays limited snaps of offense while he learns the NFL game while becoming a significant special teams contributor (think Tyreek Hill type player). And then in year 2, that’s when he starts to become a significant weapon for Ryan. BTW, if you look at the March 28 update for Henderson on Rotoworld, an NFC South scout was quoted as follows: “He plays with good route strength and speed and he has good hands," the scout said. "His return value should lock him into a team. I think he will come in as a fourth receiver, but he could have upped his draft value with another year at school.” With SF, NO, CAR hot on Henderson’s trail, I wouldn’t be surprised if this was a Falcons scout and the Falcons are playing coy about their interest in Henderson. The situation profiled above is exactly how I think he’d fit in with the Falcons. 3:95 – Dalvin Tomlinson – DT; Alabama Again, playing the contract game for the Falcons, next off-season, the following players could become FA’s; Ra’Shede Hageman, Dontari Poe, Courtney Upshaw. In addition, the Falcons will have to start long term planning on the contract situation for Grady Jarrett, a player who I think has a chance to explode in 2017. Bottomline – while the Falcons were smart (and fortunate) to get Poe cheaply for 2017, there is a lot of uncertainty for the Falcons at DT beyond this season. Tomlinson is a lunchpail type of player who the Falcons have shown interest in. For 2017, he likely doesn’t see the field much but for ST. But the Falcons get a redshirt type season out of Tomlinson to truly see what kind of player he can be in 2018. 4:136 – Julie’n Davenport – OG; Bucknell As mentioned above regarding OG, the Falcons have a hodge-podge of players on the roster currently that I think they want to believe they have a solution to replacing Chris Chester with. And perhaps if they were drafting in a different slot, they’d have an opportunity to feel better about the options for filling that hole earlier in the draft. But ultimately, I think they go developmental here on a guy with some projected versatility to OT if need be. I don’t want to write off any of the options on the roster currently, but adding a mid-rounder to the mix seems prudent, although at the #136 spot in the draft, Davenport likely isn’t a candidate to start in 2017 meaning Garland/Thornton/Schweitzer are likely battling for 2 roster spots in this scenario, if not 1. 5:174 – C.J Beathard – QB; Iowa If ever there was a player coming out of college that looked like a career NFL back-up QB, it’s Beathard. He doesn’t have starter tools, but he’s tough, smart and will become a guy IMO who hangs around the NFL for a decade plus holding a clip board. So why would we go get him? Matt Schuab’s 2 year $9M contract. That’s why. Beathard played in a pro-style offense at Iowa, so he doesn’t need to ‘learn’ the position like some of the newer versions of QB’s coming out of college these days do. And if Beathard can compete for that back-up job in 2018 or maybe even show enough to allow the Falcons to cut bait on Schaub after the 2017 season, it will provide the Falcons a nice cap infusion as they start to lock-up their core young players when it comes time to re-sign them. 7:249 – Freddie Stevenson – FB; Florida State I didn’t expect to lose DiMarco, but I also wasn’t signing him for he signed for. Changes from Mock 1.0 Why did you change Round 1 from Tanoh Kpassagnon to Baker? Really came down to need and also available snaps. Prior to signing Crawford/Poe, I thought K-Pass might be in a position to contribute 300-400 snaps his rookie year. But Crawford (who actually feels like a clone of K-Pass physically although perhaps not as impressive) would likely gobble those up. If K-Pass made it #63, he’d definitely be in consideration for me. But I think he’s gone by then. You also made a strong case for RB in Mock 1.0…why the change? My feelings about WR changed in the last 4-6 weeks, namely how barren the long-term outlook was beyond Julio/Sanu. The Falcons have to have weapons for Ryan…they can’t allow the cupboard to go bare here. Julio is piling on the miles and while I don’t expect him to go all Megatron and retire early, his physicality likely will take its toll on Julio at some point in the not so distant future. While I do believe the Falcons should continue to watch out for RB value in the draft, the move to secure a WR in this draft meant that I had to throttle down expectations of drafting a RB in addition to WR. No edge rusher then? At the end of the day, you can't do EVERY thing you'd like to do or address every need...with a rejuvenated Poe and hopefully about to bust out Jarrett pushing the pocket while introducing another ballhawk to the Falcons secondary in Baker (I like Allen, but do OC's say - watch out for this guy...?), my hope is that the Falcons have the horses on the front 4 to get after the QB while the secondary forces a bit more doubt and indecision in the passing game.
  7. This is a guy I really like. And while S two years straight in round 1 would be unorthodox, he fits in at a position where he could (not he will) provide an immediate upgrade. To your point, I don't think he lasts to #63.
  8. I'd say it's more about stopping DAL or a team that can control game tempo through their run game.
  9. Day 2 is a 2nd/3rd rounder... Now I thought Gabriel was a great addition to the Falcons last year. But he's 5'8 165 and at that size, durability and ability to play significant snaps is going to be an issue (Aldrick Robinson actually played more - including playoffs 343 to 331). Plus, is he THAT established as an NFL WR? I'd love for Gabriel to build on his 2016. But I also recognize that he's a bit of a wild-card. And with Robinson gone and Hardy who has hardly distinguished me this is an area that might not be as deep as we think it is. At the end of the day, the Falcons are still built around Ryan and while he's gotten better at making the players around him more than they don't want to take this position for granted. The Falcons have not spent a Day 1 or 2 pick on WR since Julio, with a roster that has depth along with a solid talent base...I just think this could be an area of focus where you draft a kid high, allow him to fight for snaps against decent, but not otherworldly, talent his rookie year with an eye on said player taking on a more significant role in 2018.
  10. I think this is an under the radar focus for a Day 2 pick. Gabriel will get paid or be damaged goods in 2018. Either way, with $20 ACV committed to Julio/Sanu...the way to replenish the position will be via the draft. And Rounds 2/3 are where you get value at need positions.
  11. I think a lot of us need to undergo a shift in thinking with respect to how you draft for a team coming off an 18-30 stretch vs. one coming off a SB appearance. #1 - If you made the SB, then likely the amount of starting slots open and thus snaps to consume in the near term is less than it would have been 12 months ago. We hit HR's with Neal/Jones/Campbell. But they also had line-up gaps to step into. Those gaps have lessened dramatically. #2 - So if you're a franchise builder, picking #63 or #95...the chances of finding a player that can immediately contribute in a large manner immediately for a SB team is going to be much more limited. Meaning the gaps you are looking to fill are for 2-3 years down the road. As it stands now, your 3rd round pick (Hall) given the players we have along the DL could be largely a gameday inactive in 2017. Especially if we drafted Watt in Round 1. #3 - What's interesting about our WR usage in 2016 is that Gabriel/Hardy/Robinson all played more than 300 snaps but less than 350. Robinson led the trio with 343 but 105 came in the two games Julio missed. My point? Hardy/Gabriel are similar players, Robinson had a different skillset. Is Roberts OK? Well, for a team that struggled to find pass catchers in 2016 (DET), he had 14 receptions. I see him more as a replacement for Weems on ST.
  12. Obviously Poe would be a big get and I hope we're able to close the deal there. I also like idea of bringing Burkhead in as a swiss-army knife type of player at RB. Replacing the snaps of Jackson/Babs would be complete with Crawford/Poe. Obviously, someone could lose their place in the pecking order, but: Jarrett Beasley (I count him as a DL given how much he has his hand in the ground) Hageman Reed Shelby Upshaw Clayborn There isn't a lot of irreplaceable on that list. But there's a lot of good professional players there that I wonder how much a rookie would impact. My original scenarios in the off-season had Freeney retiring and only signing one DL. With 2 DL signings, I'm wondering if the Falcons don't go more developmental along the line. Reed is likely the 'weak-spot' where you can bring a rotational player in and Watt would be a nice fit there. What other positions does that leave? Obviously OG. FS is a possibility. Given the depth at DL, 1st round is still in the mix for sure, but for a rookie, that could be a tough rotation to crack. An underrated focus of a Day 2 draft pick IMO could be WR. I know it's not talked about a lot but consider: Julio is a beast and should give the Falcons #1 WR production for at least 2-3 seasons. But if you remember Roddy - he started to breakdown in his 9th season. Julio is entering season #7. Sanu has shown himself to be a nice complimentary player. But while Gabriel was a revelation - is he a guy the Falcons see as a long term investment? Meaning - we got him in 2017 for cheap. But if he has a good season in 2017, he likely prices himself out of the Falcons ability to pay another WR. And Hardy seems to be a bit player. Bottomline - the WR position for the Falcons beyond next season is murky beyond Julio/Sanu. So this is an area the Falcons could look to invest a high pick in the more I think about it.
  13. If Blank is at the dinner, he'll be signed by dessert.
  14. Of the DE prospects on your list we have decent access to, Charles Harris is the guy I thought had the best weekend/Sunday. Looked fluid/smooth and strong/solid frame. I know you like Tim Williams, but he's a guy I'm fairly down on. In this day and age of going over kids character with a fine-tooth comb - he's one with a lot of red flags. You mention that in your write-up, but when character flags start popping up, I don't see it as a mark in the 'con' me it's more akin to a virus that infects the prospects entire eval. In addition, he seemed fairly slight when I saw him Thursday. Slighter than I thought he would. Very Barkevious like...I'd be bumping him down/off. Brantley seems to be a guy lots of people like - no one loves.
  15. This is the year to be buying at this position FA-wise.