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g-dawg

I Don't Want To Go Free Safety Early In This Draft, But Looks Like Its Coming

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I've been puzzled by the lack of movement in free agency to replace the cut starting free safety - Thomas DeCoud.

There is ZERO chance that Mike Nolan has seen anything in Zeke Motta or Kemael Ishmael that gives him comfort - both of those guys are more of the "strong safety" type. Dominque Franks is a free agent and Robert McClain is a slot corner that could be plucked in restricted free agency.

Given the lack of moves in free agency, the slim pickings available on the market and the total lack of interest in Flowery Branch about replacing/filling this need - it tells me that we are obviously going free safety in this draft - and likely in the first 3 rounds.

Maybe we still go after a Chris Clemons but he is visiting - who is it? the Detroit Lions?

Phil Savage, former Browns GM and Senior Bowl(Mobile) Executive was quoted before free agency as saying - "If you are a team this year that needs a safety, you better get him in free agency, there are not many in this draft".

What rookies could actually come in and start? The safety position is the QB of the back-half of a defense and has to play chess matches with NFL QBs - many of them franchise type signal callers - free safety is a very hard position to play in the NFL.

Who are the guys capable and what rounds do they project to go in this draft?

1) Ha Ha Clinton-Dix (top 25)

2) Calvin Pryor (top 25)

3) Jimmy Ward (2nd round)

4) Deone Buchanon (2nd-3rd) - more of a strong safety like William Moore

5) Terrance Brooks (2nd-3rd)

6) Ed Reynolds (3rd-4th)

Unless we reach for a safety at #6(unlikely) do a trade down from #6 or a trade-up from #37 - you would figure that both Clinton-Dix and Pryor will be off the board.

This team has so many other needs besides free safety - I just don't understand why we did not move to fill this need in free agency where we could get a young free safety next year. Maybe Falcons will decided to move on Chris Clemons.

I would prefer to focus on pass rushers and offensive tackle in the first 3 rounds but it seems to me with no moves in free agency - that Falcons will be making a move for one of those top four safeties.

What say you?

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I wouldn't mind Pryor in the 2nd or Brooks in the 3rd. We do have a lot of other holes, so I'm also confused why we cut DeCoud. Did we need the cap room that bad? So we can get an aging kick returner? Yea, DeCoud was bad last year, but he was decent before that. If the plan was to go after a FA FS and we missed out on that person, couldn't we have tried to sign them first, then cut DeCoud?

Also, what's with the avatar? You lose a bet?

rugger8 likes this

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I wouldn't mind Pryor in the 2nd or Brooks in the 3rd. We do have a lot of other holes, so I'm also confused why we cut DeCoud. Did we need the cap room that bad? So we can get an aging kick returner? Yea, DeCoud was bad last year, but he was decent before that. If the plan was to go after a FA FS and we missed out on that person, couldn't we have tried to sign them first, then cut DeCoud?

Also, what's with the avatar? You lose a bet?

Pryor won't sniff the 2nd round.

The avatar is because I'm the Tampa GM in our little fantasy Draft/Free Agency thing going on in the other forum - called IMD.

kane#7 likes this

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considering we have 2 very young corners we are probably trying to get a young FS as well so that they can be part of our secondary for the next 5+ years

Adam25 likes this

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we have a lot of needs but Safety is a top 3 need, so I would expect we take a safety with one of our first 3 picks. I'm not super concerned with starting a rookie at FS if the front 7 plays well.

Conquistador Zebra likes this

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If you remember, the CB class in last year's draft, wasn't very good either, but we still emerged with the best CB in that draft. We held on to Vital, b/c he's know to have a great eye for DBs, and was supposedly a key part in the decision to draft Trufant. It's possible, that he's keyed in on a FS, in this draft, that he believes is a slam dunk, but hasn't garnered as much acclaim as others.

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Bottom line is if we don't go FS early then its not upgrading. We couldve just kept DeCoud if we don't draft one early. And for the Clemons fans if he was any better he would be signed right now but he is still looking for a job just like DeCoud.

Boogie Man likes this

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http://walterfootbal...tionreviewS.php

This article hasn't been updated since the Combine, and Charlie Campbell isn't exactly a draft guru, but it's still a pretty good starting point when looking at this year's safety class.

I personally would like to see us draft Brooks, Bailey, or Ladler in the 3rd-5th round, after going pass rusher and OT in the first 2 rounds. And then also bring in a veteran like Clemons, Adams, Lewis, or Wright for competition/depth.

Kenneth Ladler - http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/draft/players/1737392/kenny-ladler - is my sleeper prospect. And he's from Stone Mountain, to boot.

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We really need a decent vet safety. It may not be what happens, but if you retool your D, you'd like a guy back there who's seen a little bit.

Plus, I'd like to be able to spend those picks on OL and pass rushers.

But yeah, looks like Flowery Branch may not see it the same way

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TATF suggestions don't count as rumors.

Saw it in an article. Looking for it. Shoulda bookmarked it yesterday.

EDIT: Here it is:

"I am of the opinion that the recent Falcons moves have pointed to an increased role for current Nickel CB/PR Robert McClain. Atlanta has brought in multiple PR specialists and has signed the Nickel/PR Arenas. We could get wild and speculate that McClain is the in house solution to the Falcon’s free safety situation. But I believe these players have been brought in because defensive coordinator Mike Nolan envisions a much bigger role for McClain because of the guys brought in that could handle his ancillary roles. "

http://www.yardbarker.com/nfl/articles/free_agency_head_scratchers/16056178

Just a theory right now but McClain could be in the mix to compete for the free safety spot if it came to it.

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There is ZERO chance that Mike Nolan has seen anything in Zeke Motta or Kemael Ishmael that gives him comfort - both of those guys are more of the "strong safety" type.

This isn't necessarily true. Moore and Decoud switched off quite a bit last year and played both positions. So it's possible that Moore slides over to Free Safety and one of the younger guys plays Strong.

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Saw it in an article. Looking for it. Shoulda bookmarked it yesterday.

EDIT: Here it is:

"I am of the opinion that the recent Falcons moves have pointed to an increased role for current Nickel CB/PR Robert McClain. Atlanta has brought in multiple PR specialists and has signed the Nickel/PR Arenas. We could get wild and speculate that McClain is the in house solution to the Falcon’s free safety situation. But I believe these players have been brought in because defensive coordinator Mike Nolan envisions a much bigger role for McClain because of the guys brought in that could handle his ancillary roles. "

http://www.yardbarke...tchers/16056178

Just a theory right now but McClain could be in the mix to compete for the free safety spot if it came to it.

Wild speculation, from a site called "yard barker" of all things, doesn't count as a rumor, either. They have no more credibility than you or me.

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I'll say it until I'm proven wrong. Bucannon is not just a in the box safety. He rsn a 4.49 fourty and displayed just as much agility as nfl safeties dashon goldson and eric reid. If you review his tape most of his big hits came from tracking the ball at the FS position. He isn't as good in coverage as Jimmie ward but at 6-1 211 probably stands a chance to be more durable( just my opinion).

But to your point we would be smart to go with either one of those guys over brooks and reynolds.

Adam25 likes this

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I'll say it until I'm proven wrong. Bucannon is not just a in the box safety. He rsn a 4.49 fourty and displayed just as much agility as nfl safeties dashon goldson and eric reid. If you review his tape most of his big hits came from tracking the ball at the FS position. He isn't as good in coverage as Jimmie ward but at 6-1 211 probably stands a chance to be more durable( just my opinion).

But to your point we would be smart to go with either one of those guys over brooks and reynolds.

Bucannon played both SS and FS in college.

He has shown that he has the ability to cover the deep end of the field and has good range.

He is more of a hybrid safety because he can play both positions.

He is similar to the Niners FS that they took in last year's draft Eric Reid.

atlGM likes this

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The only early safety I like is Jimmie Ward, but I don't like him where he is likely to go (first half of the second round). I would love him in third but he will not be there. I like Buchanon but he is not enough of a coverage safety to fill our need IMO. I like a bunch of mid round safties though. More than all, I like Antone Exum. I know fans are allergic to VT DBs but Exum can be a great saftey, and even a good corner. Not playing this year is a bit of a red flag though. I also like Marqueston Huff and Daniel Sorensen in late rounds or UDFA. So my list is:

1- Jimmie Ward (if in 3rd which won't happen)

2- Antone Exum (5th)

3- Marqueston Huff (6th)

4- Daniel Sorensen (UDFA)

The problem is that none of these guys can be relied on to start. I have no idea what TD is planning to do with FS.

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4 Beau Bell UNLV

4 Martin Rucker Missouri

6 Ahtyba Rubin Iowa State

6 Paul Hubbard Wisconsin

7 Alex Hall St. Augustine’s

2007

1 Joe Thomas Wisconsin

1 Brady Quinn Notre Dame

2 Eric Wright Nevada-Las Vegas

5 Brandon McDonald Memphis

6 Melila Purcell Hawaii

7 Chase Pittman Louisiana State

7 Syndric Steptoe Arizona

2006

1 Kamerion Wimbley Florida State

2 D’Qwell Jackson Maryland

3 Travis Wilson Oklahoma

4 Leon Williams Miami (FL)

4 Isaac Sowells Indiana

5 Jerome Harrison Washington State

5 DeMario Minter Georgia

6 Lawrence Vickers Colorado

6 Babatunde Oshinowo Stanford

7 Justin Hamilton Virginia Tech

2005

1 Braylon Edwards Michigan

2 Brodney Pool Oklahoma

3 Charlie Frye Akron

4 Antonio Perkins Oklahoma

5 David McMillan Kansas

6 Nick Speegle New Mexico

6 Andrew Hoffman Virginia

7 Jon Dunn Virginia Tech

Phil Savage draft picks

Might not be the best GM to quote.

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Ed Reynolds. Purest FS in the draft, also not afraid to come up and deliver the boom Ran an unofficial 4.45 and 4.42 at his pro day yesterday

g-dawg likes this

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Maybe I'm forgetting someone but my concern is that we basically have 1 saftey on the roster with more than very little experience.

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I for one wouldn't mind seeing Bobby Mac at FS tho. I know he has less than ideal stature for the position but he's fast, takes good angles, and it's a VERY solid tackler.

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