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The Dirty Bird

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  1. Pretty sure Spotrac has the details wrong on the contract. Everyone who has seen it/gotten their hands on it and written about it has stated that it's easy to get out of after two years, and that's the point behind guaranteeing the first 2 years of the deal. Spotrac is pretty good, I like that sight. But this is a new deal and I seriously doubt they know the intricacies of it. $10 mil guaranteed, with only the first two years guaranteed -- which we know -- means that the salary numbers afterwards do not count against the cap.
  2. ........with the ball in his hands. Fixed it for you. And I actually said, if you bothered to read any of the following posts, that it would make more sense to trade LB Akeem Dent in Harry's place since they already traded for a mediocre slot WR (why trade for another?) and could really use an ILB to pair with D'Qwell Jackson. Getting Dent, who still has some years left on a rookie deal, and a draft pick of some worth for two guys who will be bench players in 2013 and off the team in 2014 is a good deal for Cleveland. It's also a great deal for us, as we upgraded on Dent with Brian Banks this offseason and we can add a young DE/OLB with upside and a young DT that fits our defense very nicely. We can see how they fit with the team for the 2013 season, decide if we want to keep one, none, or both, and re-sign them or let them walk in free agency. We may even get future compensatory draft picks back if they walk in free agency and we don't sign anyone --- so in that scenario we would be getting 1 year rentals that improve our team in the short term and improve it in the long term by giving us more 3rd/4th/or 5th round comp picks.
  3. Yes, a 10 mil signing bonus but it's really a 2 year deal and cutting him after that would result in a negligible cap hit. I know this because I researched the topic and this is a known fact at this point about his contract. "Baker will receive $41.1 million for his six-year deal, including a $10 million signing bonus. Pat Yasinskas took the time to break down the numbers on Baker's new contract. [Only] The first two years are guaranteed. Here's the layout." You can look at it yourself: http://www.thefalcoholic.com/2013/3/13/4101174/sam-baker-contract-numbers-released This next year his salary will be $1 million so we will definitely be keeping him for a total cap number of under $2.8 million for the year. His second year of the deal his salary will be $3.25 million so his total cap number will be under $5 million -- still very affordable for a starting left tackle even if he is only mediocre. At this point Lamar Holmes should be ready to take over the blindside full time IMO, or we will have developed Schraeder into our starting left tackle from just our swing tackle, or we will focus on an OT in the draft to land on a cheap, end of the 1st round 5 year rookie deal. His third year the salary number jumps to $4.25 million and it is no longer guaranteed, as I've already pointed out. Like I said, it's a two year fully guaranteed deal to ensure he will be around for $2 more years an receive a $10 mil signing bonus plus $4.25 mil in salary. That deal comes out to around $7 mil a year for a starting left tackle on a title contender -- that is fair. The 4 years after that, it is a non-guaranteed team option. We can either choose to cut him, or pay him his salaries each year going forward. We already paid the $10 mil signing bonus, so we can either keep a very cheap starting LT at $4.25 million, then $5.25 million, then $6.5 million, and then $6.6 million. Notice that is doesn't continue to increase because Baker knows if it ever got over $7 million a year to pay him then we would 100% cut him no matter what other option we had. He and his agent know that he is a mediocre left tackle with a back problem that would likely struggle to find work at all if his back flared up. We paid him for these next two years. After that, he is likely gone if we can find a better left tackle. It was a good deal by TD. Next time before you start making statements, know what you're talking about first and maybe do a little research.
  4. I guess as a 6] need we can put cover LB. We didn't take one in the draft which was also surprising, but IMO that is because the f*cking Bengals took Sean Porter before we could. We loved Porter in the draft process and he just didn't fall to where we thought we'd take him. We got a guy with insane measurables in Bartu, the 6'2 240 lbs ILB. Forget the 40 yard dash because that is the wrong metric to look at when considering an inside linebacker. Sure, Patrick Willis' 4.3 40 is really cool to think about, but the 10 yard split is the important "speed" metric, and the 3 cone drill and 20 yard shuttle are the ones that measure agility and acceleration and movement skills in tight spaces which is where he will make his money. Bartu has measurables in those drills that were superior to very gifted running backs such as Arian Foster. That means his top end speed isn't elite since his 40 is a 4.8 (hasn't hurt Laurinaitis in St. Louis), but in those first 10 yards he comes out of his stance as fast as practically anyone on the field. And since he will be lining up 5 yards back from the line of scrimmage, and the opposing RB will be lining up 5-7 yards back from the line of scrimmage on the other side and coming forward....10 yards is all you need to care about. Bartu is a raw player however and will likely take the place of Robert James as a special teams demon and developmental LB. I think we could really make a player out of Bartu, as he could be what we were wishing for with Akeem Dent as a buster of a 4-3 MLB and a 3-4 ILB prospect with rare explosion. I wonder why no one has picked up Kenny Tate from Maryland as a UDFA? He was a top WR prospect coming out of high school, moved to free safety to get on the field, and then moved up to LB because he wasn't a great safety in deep coverage. He's still a 6'4 230 lbs athlete who can run and tackle pretty well and played strongside LB at Maryland last year. His size and athleticism would allow him to sufficiently cover guys like Jimmy Graham, Jermichael Finley, Tyler Eifert, Rob Gronkowski, etc. --- or atleast cover them better than any player we current have can. Tate would be a core special teams player for us, and a role player on defense as a nickel defender with Spoon to help in pass coverage. He could also drop deep as a 3rd hailmary free safety instead of having to risk Julio back there, and he's taller than Julio at 6'4. Either way we NEED a coverage LB. We have Banks as a thumper at 4-3 LB and also 3-4 ILB, and he's probably a better version of Akeem Dent who lacks any kind of explosiveness. I'd love to maybe trade Dent instead of HD to the Browns, who are looking for a 3-4 ILB to pair with D'Qwell, and bring in a cover LB. The Titans are seemingly full of cover LBs and have no thumper LBs. Dent and a draft pick for Zach Brown or Zaviar Gooden would be a win for us. Brown is obviously not touchable, but maybe if we threw in a draft pick. All 3 are 4-3 weakside LBs who can cover. Yes they got Colin McCarthy at MLB who we stupidly let go instead of a piece of sh*t loser like Peria Jerry, but Dent could be a good thumper at SLB. For base sets they could use Brown at WLB, McCarthy at MLB, and Dent at SLB to really improve on their run defense. For coverage, they can bring in Ayers for Dent. We could also go for a guy like Akeem Ayers who could be re-born as an NFL linebacker with a DC like Mike Nolan. They are using him as a 4-3 SLB and bringing him down to DE to get extra pass rush because one time fan board favorite Derrick Morgan can't get after the passer. Ayers always should have been a 3-4 OLB, and we could use a 4-3 SLB like Ayers anyway with Nicholas' play falling off a cliff. We could also look to sign one of my all-time favorite draft prospects and former Titan Gerald McRath. He could fly around the field and always had a million tackles at Southern Miss. He'd make for great depth as a Falcon. He and Spoon as OLBs would really help our speed on the edge and in coverage, and McRath would provide some quality special teams value that Dent simply does not. IF we could pry Zach Brown from them for Dent and a conditional draft pick......TD would be a hero. Brown has the kind of speed and playmaking upside that we desperately need next to Spoon. The idea of 6'2 245 Sean Weatherspoon with 4.5 speed and 6'1 245 lbs Zach Brown with 4.4 speed as 4-3 OLBs in our 2 LB base set with Trufant and Alford on the field with 4.3 speed....our team speed on D would be insane and we'd have a legit swarming run defense and a strong pass D. They'd rival the athleticism inside the 49ers 3-4 defense with Willis and Bowman. Probably unrealistic, unless you begin talking about including DT Corey Peters because they have DT Jurrell Casey as a starting 4-3 DT for them and signed Sammie Lee Hill who I think will be great but we could convince them they need at least one proven DT commodity on that D-Line. For Brown and Spoon as our LBs, it'd be worth giving up Peters and rolling with Babs, Robertson, Jerry, Replogle from our UDFA class, and moving Deon Goggins back to DT. For them, Ayers at SLB/DE, Dent at MLB/SLB, and McCarthy at MLB, and Gooden at WLB with Peters at DT is certainly worth the trade off.
  5. In reply to #3 --- so what? A ton of guys are good in college and then aren't good in the NFL. Less than half of the guys who are good in college become good in the NFL. HD is one of those guys who was good in college and not good in the NFL. And HD is 30. Patton is more explosive, and I'd rather have him in the slot when we need a 3rd WR than HD. That college statement really made no sense at all. Like I said, I think one of our UDFA guys if not the two of them (Evans and Johnson) make a push for the #5 spot. We also have Drew Davis who was impressive last year, and Kevin Cone. All are younger and at this point more athletic and faster than HD. All are also better weapons with the ball in their hands, and all are notably cheaper. HD is getting paid multi-millions a year to catch 30-something balls and do nothing with the ball once he catches it. It really makes no sense -- it's just a case of TD paying one of "his guys" as opposed to admitting failure and finding someone else. In reply to #4, like I said, we didn't really sign Baker to a long-term deal. TD is smarter than that. You don't sign an average OT to a long-term big money deal who has long dated back problems. You just don't. It is really a 2 year deal for a small amount of money. The other 3 years are a team option, which we will not exercise. It gives us two years to find a replacement in the draft, or we can move Lamar Holmes to left tackle which was the original plan before he got hurt early on as a rookie and we can move Johnson to RT, develop one of our two talented UDFA OT's in Schraeder who is actually very gifted or Terren Jones who has Phil Loadholt potential at RT at 6'8 341 lbs although I love him as a guard prospect. Mark my words, Sam Baker will not be a Falcon in 2016 unless it's on a heavily reduced deal as swing OT depth. Are the cut-outs on sale?
  6. I think it's more likely the Bengals would move Jermaine Gresham as he'll be a free agent next year and there is no chance they will re-sign him with Tyler Eifert on board as his replacement and Orson Charles as the #2 role player TE. I think Greshman is a realistic candidate for us to sign as a free agent next year because no team can offer him a better role than we can. Trent Cole would probably cost far too much, but Vinny Curry makes a ton of sense.
  7. My trade idea that I keep pushing is with the Cleveland Browns: WR Harry Douglas, conditional 3rd round draft pick on if we win a Superbowl or not for DE/OLB Jabaal Sheard and DT Ahtyba Rubin The reasoning is that the Browns put both Sheard and Rubin on the block prior to the draft because they were changing schemes and had already brought in free agent DTs the new regime liked better than Rubin. The Browns drafted Mingo at #6 overall and signed Paul Kruger, so now the talented young Sheard is on the bench. The Browns are trying to bolster their god awful passing offense, and traded basically nothing for Davone Bess who is purely a slot WR. On the outside they have the still raw Josh Gordon, Greg Little, and Travis Benjamin. Harry Douglas can add a veteran presence and can play inside or outside and be a solid target for Weeden or Campbell. They'd be getting Douglas on an affordable deal for a few years, while getting rid of players who don't really have a role with the team anymore and will be free agents after this next season who won't re-sign there. The Falcons get Sheard, who is an ideal 4-3 DE that can stop the run but also has great athleticism to get after the passer. He can play on either side because he has RDE athleticism and LDE size. He also has movement skills so that he can play as a 3-4 OLB -- most thought he would be taken by a 3-4 team coming out of Pitt. He's long on talent and upside, and we have a strong locker room to help him grow as a player. Ahtyba Rubin is a run stuffing nose tackle who also has some athleticism to collapse the pocket vs. the pass. I don't know why the Browns has phased him out because he'd be a very good 3-4 NT like Jay Ratliff was in the scheme with even more bulk to stuff the run, but they took Phil Taylor (higher upside) in the 1st round the other year, drafted John Hughes in the 2nd round last year as a 4-3 DT and 3-4 DE, and the new regime this year really wanted Desmond Bryant from the Raiders so they signed him to be the other 3-4 DE and Rubin has fallen by the wayside. He has an ideal skillset to play 4-3 DT next to Babs, as he will help shore up our run defense along with Biermann at DE next to him or Goodman at DE next to him in base 4-3 LDE sets. He's a better pass rusher than Peters or Jerry as well, so he'd really be our 2nd best DT in a hurry. The Browns add the draft pick a year early, as opposed to holding out hope for a compensatory selection in 2015. And if they sign players next year in FA, they wouldn't qualify for a comp pick anyway.
  8. Please keep these to realistic possibilities only, given our team needs, and who is either A] openly on the block for others teams B] guys who are old regime players on teams with new coaches or front office staff C] players now buried on the depth chart after FA signings or the draft, or D] players who are no longer fits with a team due to a change in offensive or defensive scheme We did a good job of attacking a few major team needs this offseason, the first obviously being at RB with the release of Turner and the signing of Steven Jackson. The second was shoring up the TE position for this year, and furthermore improving our TE depth and red zone offense, by bringing back Tony Gonzalez and drafting 6'8 role player Levine Toilolo. The third is also pretty obvious to improve our CB coverage and get more athletic in the back end by releasing Dunta Robinson, moving on from injured Brent Grimes, and importantly trading up for Desmond Trufant (6 ft, sub 4.4 speed) and taking a chance on character-issue by 1st round talent CB Robert Alford in the 2nd (5'10, legit low 4.3 speed). The Alford pick also finally landed us a legit return man, which is something we've all been begging for. We did a decent job of shoring up our offensive line, bringing back Sam Baker, moving Konz to Cener, cutting Clabo and putting the better pass blocker in at RT who is Lamar Holmes, and bringing back Reynolds to compete for the RG spot with Mike Johnson -- most forget Reynolds was very strong in his starts at RG before getting injured. We do still have some glaring team needs however: 1] Pass rush. We didn't address DE in any way to improve our pass rush. We swapped Abe for Osi, who is a less explosive pass rusher but is 3 years younger so presumably can be with us for longer. Biermann is still Biermann, who IMO is best suited for an off-the-bench 100% effort utility role as a DE and OLB. Matthews and Mass showed nothing last year, leading us to draft two more developmental guys in the 4th and 5th round -- Goodman and Maponga. Both guys are better than the low round guys we took last year, but neither can make an impact with pass rush as a rookie. Goodman strikes me as a Ray Edwards-clone skill wise, but without the attitude problem and with long arms. Remember, our run defense was significantly better when Ray Edwards was in our starting line up. Yeah, he was a piece of sh*t and I'm glad he's gone, but he was our base 4-3 LDE and he stopped runs on the edge very well. We drafted Goodman to do the same thing for a fraction of the cost and with no character concerns. From that point of view, it was a good move. From the pass rush point of view, Goodman isn't good at it. Maponga is almost idential to Massaquioa and needs a ton of development. He fell to the 5th round for a reason, and while I like his bravado relying on a low round rookie to bring pass rush versus quality NFL OT's in the playoffs is a HORRIBLE IDEA. 2] Defensive tackle. I'm really shocked in a draft so deep with defensive tackles that could have easily earned a role in our rotation ahead of Peria Jerry that we didn't take even one. Kwame Geathers in the 7th round would have pushed Jerry off the roster and likely would have earned playing time eventually even over Peters. Robertson is a huge question mark and people love to hype him up just because we've never seen him prove us otherwise. Babs is still a great 4-3 undertackle, and I think he could be a very good weakside 3-4 DE, but we have no one else. DE and DT remain our biggest post-draft needs. 3] slot WR. We signed a ton of talented slot WR prospects in the UDFA phase after the draft, but no one that is a shoo-in to make the team and earn reps. HD is about to be 30 already and isn't a weapon with the ball in his hands. He also doesn't run great routes, and is probably the worst slot WR on a contender in the NFL and that isn't an exaggeration. Seahawks = Percy Harvin, 49ers = Quinton Patton, Packers = Randall Cobb, Saints = Lance Moore, Giants = Victor Cruz, Patriots = Danny Amendola/Josh Boyce, Broncos = Wes Welker, etc. I really think Darius Johnson and Rashad Evans will shine in rookie camps and could lead to us putting Harry Douglas on the block for one of the 1st two needs. Slot WR is such a bit role for us anyway with Julio, Roddy, TG as our first 3 options in passing attack and then our RB, either SJax or Quizz, as the 4th option, and I assume we'll run more 2 TE sets this year with 6'8 Levine Toilolo. No need to put HD on the field when he never, ever makes plays. If we had a player like Percy or even Quinton Patton for the slot, I'm sure we'd run more 3 WR sets than 2 TE sets. 4] Right Guard & Left Tackle. We have Reynolds and Mike Johnson duking it out, but that doesn't necessarily make me feel comfortable as of right now. I like Reynolds to win it, and if he stays healthy I like him to do quite well as the RG in a pass-first scheme. Yes, we re-signed Sam Baker. While it looks like an expensive 5 year deal, it's really a cheap 2 year deal and if we want t keep him we have a team option for a 3 year deal that is more expensive. I'm pretty sure Baker knows he won't get it. I don't think Baker is good -- he had an "okay" year in a contract year and was healthy for once. Doesn't mean he will stay healthy, as he always struggles with his back and a myriad of other issues. Plus, he just isn't that good as a pass protector with short arms and slow feet and he's awful versus the run. He got blown up by good DEs all year, and did well vs. bad DEs. In the playoffs, they are mostly all good DEs ---- and he got abused. [Would love to see Branden Albert come to town for Baker and a 3rd.....but I don't think this is realistic] 5] RB of the future. Probably not a position we'd address in a trade, I'm just surprised we didn't draft a RB late to add to the mix behind SJax and with Quizz. We are paying Snelling over a million a year to not even get on the field, and we could cut him, save money, and could have drafted a guy like Mike Gillislee in the 6th. And yes, I am still bitter about passing on Lattimore to take Goodman, only for Lattimore to get taken by the 49ers right before our 4th round comp pick where maybe we would have taken him. **** you Jimmy Harbaugh. I hate you.
  9. People forget that Dunta Robinson has been abominable in man coverage and was routinely burned all year and in the playoffs. He was an "okay" signing, but in terms of the money and what we were looking for as a #1 corner kind of a bust. And he was our starting CB for a while, and then we were planning on relegating him to slot CB duties only last year, and off the field entirely in 2 CB sets with Grimes and Asante as our man cover guys. Grimes got hurt, and Dunta was a starter again. I don't know how or why people forget this so easily. Our man coverage from our CBs was pretty bad last year, especially Dunta. Asante has lost step, although he is still a good player. As a smart preventative measure, we doubled down on 1st round talents at CB this year because if Asante loses another step we could have another Dunta in the line up in the playoffs. Now, we would be able to take Robert Alford who had a whole year of training and experience and be able to plug him into the lineup opposite Trufant, and move Asante into the slot or off the field entirely. And we also have amazing injury insurance, and a studly 4th CB with 4.3 wheels. I'm not afraid at all of the 4 WR sets the Seahawks, 49ers, or even Packers could role out. The Packers do have size on us with 6'3 Jordy vs 6' Trufant and 6'1 James Jones vs 5'10 Asante Samuel, but inside we have 5'10 Robert Alford or Robert McClain vs 5'10 Randall Cobb. And we have a 6 ft SS ballhawk in William Moore and a 6'2 solid free safety in Thomas DeCoud. If we wanted to, and it would probably be best, we could put 5'10 Asante on 6'3 Jordy Nelson with 6'2 Thomas DeCoud over the top of him and run 6' Trufant on 6'1 James Jones. Alford is the same height as Randall Cobb but is more athletic and is faster, he should be able to stick him. McClain can be on the field as a 4th CB to help guard Finley with some help from William Moore or Spoon, or no McClain and we have a cover LB like Bartu if he makes the team cover Finley with Spoon in a Cover 1. We just need the pass rush to really step up, because anyone can get open with sufficient time. Outside of Osi we don't have any proven pass rushers, and we have all 4th round or lower young DEs. That's why I really feel that we need John Abraham back. OR we can swing a trade with the Browns for young 4-3 LDE Jabaal Sheard. This would be ideal, as he is on a rookie deal still, is ideal for our system, we have the locker room to support him, and we can afford him. Sheard has a ton of upside, but also if he leaves next year to sign a bigger deal elsewhere we could get a compensatory pick in the 2015 draft. A conditional 2014 draft pick (up to a 3rd) would be a good deal IMO, if he ended up a starter and we won the Superbowl --- would certainly be worth the 3rd.
  10. Yes very much so. I'm already preparing myself for this season to be Nolan's last with us as a coordinator and he'll likely land a head coaching gig elsewhere. Could be nearby in Carolina, or it could be up in New York. I'm also preparing myself for hoping we bring in Rex Ryan as a replacement at DC if the Jets suck this year, who has always been a defensive GENIUS. Geno I think will surprise a lot of people, especially with Ivory at RB, and a healthy Santonio, Stephen Hill, and Jeremy Kerley at WR. Defenses struggle to contain athletic QBs who they don't have tape on (that's why many rookie QBs succeed and then falter as 2nd year guys), and they don't really have tape of anyone on that offense with Ivory also in at RB and no one knows how the new OC will use them. With a dominant D and an offense that can actually score points, the Jets could surprise people this year just like the Seahawks surprised many people last year. Not saying Geno is Russ Wilson, but if he interviewed better in the draft process it's on record that he would have been the #1 overall pick -- atleast #3 to Oakland. Anyway, we finally have two young man CBs with sub 4.4 speed to use Nolan's ideal schemes, and both guys also drop into zone quite well which is important for different blitz and coverage packages that Nolan likes to use. I've realized this is why we preferred Trufant over Rhodes, even if Rhodes ends up becoming the better CB down the line. We needed a starting CB right now, and Trufant was the most ready with the most talent. If we had succeeded in signing Keenan Lewis (F U Saints), we probably would have targeted Xavier Rhodes as he has a higher upside IMO and could have been brought along as a role player as opposed to a starter. Or we could have traded up for a pass rusher....who knows.
  11. Sensible, most likely: John Abraham, back on a one year incentive-laden deal. But for who would be a "realistic" "surprise"? A Tyson Clabo come back. We obviously are planning on having Lamar Holmes start at RT and I think our pass protection will get even better. But I've always thought Clabo would be a better fit as a RG (an All-Pro perhaps) like the 6'8 RG in San Fran who used to be a Right Tackle who just made All-Pro. He's a mauling run blocker, and with the soft market perhaps now he'd be open to coming back and being paid decently for a guard. The idea of SJax running the ball with Justin Blalock and Tyson Clabo as the guards is too awesome to not at least write a post about it. They'd be slot in between Baker, Konz, and Holmes who are all more pass blockers than run blockers to balance out the line. Clabo inside at RG would minimize his pass-blocking issues with speed guys, and allow him to really get after DTs and LBs in the run game. Would be down with it if Johnson nor Reynolds was impressive in minicamps and Clabo was still available on the market. It would make the RG spot an area of....strength. Who knew that could be possible.
  12. I started a similar thread, and IMO you left of our biggest name UDFA signing who has great potential as either a Phil Loadholt RT or a stud Alex Boone-type RG: Terren Jones. TJ is 6'8 341 lbs and DOMINATES in run blocking. Obviously the height works against him on the edge as a pass blocker and he doesnt have the quickest feet, but once he latches onto you oh not, pray it isn't a pancake because that not is BIG. I think we enticed him to come to Atlanta with the hole at RG and I'm sure he feels like he could step right in, pave giant holes for SJax, and keep DTs out of the backfield in pass pro with his massive frame and strength. There's also the possibility we told him we'd groom him for the RT spot that he could take over in Year 3 of his young career because we really want Lamar Holmes, the gifted young pass blocking OT we just drafted, to be on the blindside. We resigned Sam Baker to what really amount to a 2 year deal for maybe 3-4 mil a year, and then a team option for a very expensive 3 years after that which we will likely void. Schraeder likely also came aboard for that same reason, aside from that we use a swing tackle as much or more than any other team in the league with Will Svitek over the year and Schraeder has the ability and future potential to be 20x better than Svitek because hes an impressive athlete. I really love our UDFA class this year. The WRs are great even if we didn't get Da'Rick, our LB has insane measurables (ignore the 40, praise the agility tests), our two DTs have potential as 4-3 rotational guys, Goggins can be a great utility player on offense, defense, AND special teams as a FB/DT/DE/ST, two runningbacks -- one of which in a Ronnie Wingo actually has a TON of promise and will likely get Snelling cut and the other is former UGA 2way standout Richard Samuel who is a load at 6 ft 240 lbs with a 4.56 40 and is just a natural athlete (can compete at RB is built like a taller Turner, and played LB for UGA too so he can be a special ST player amd mayne even a cover LB prospect), and our three OL can have nice roles in a few years if not right out of the gate as swing tackles or jumbo OT/TE types. Plus we got a great athlete who went to UGA
  13. The last person we'll actually sign is Dansby. For a team planning on playing with a base defense of 2 linebackers and ONLY using 3 on definite run stopping downs and at the goal line with bringing in the disappoint Lofton-clone Akeem Dent, we are set with Spoon, Nicholas, Dent, Banks, Schiller, Biermann as a sometimes OLB and our UDFAs one of which will make the team cheaply and be a special teams demon (Bartu is my pick). I like Dansby and want him, but we've made it very clear by not even drafting a cover 'backer that we now share the Giants view that offense and a pass rush/secondary are the way to a Superbowl. Seymour also isn't a strong fit with what we have and what we need - a guy like Tommy Kelly would have been better or if we got Terrance Knighton instead of the Broncos. What do 4 young, low round defensive ends have anything to do with future HOF candidate John Abraham -- spoiler alert, nada! If we had taken a DE in rounds 1 or 2, particularly Corey Lemonier in the 2nd instead of Alford, then you're probably right. But we took 2 guys in the bottom of the draft last year with flaws who showed NOTHING as rookies, and 2 incomplete DEs in the mid-bottom of the draft this year also with flaws who need developing. If anything we just decides that after one year the developmental guys we had from the 2012 draft didnt have near as high a ceiling as we thought once we had our hands on them and are swapping them out for Goodman who is a much better version of Matthews as a 4-3 base LDE with a strong base and vine like arms and Maponga who is pretty much identical to Mass except a teeny bit better of a DE. We have Osi, and we currently have Biermann penciled in as the other starter although he'd best be used as a utility rusher / linebacker like how the Giants use Kiwanuka who was a DE at BC and they've used as a strong side LB and situational pass rusher. When the Giants want pass rush though, prior to drafting JPP, they had Osi and Tuck at DE and Kiwanuka blitzed from SLB or moved Tuck inside to DT and brought Kiwi down. We need Abe opposite Osi at DE with Biermann as a blitzing SLB, or can put Goodman inside as a Tuck-like undersized DT with Abe and Osi on the end. None of our young DEs are ready to make an impact we saw that last year. Relying on a 4th round comp pick DE and an even later round rookie DE to make an impact in their 1st season in the NFL is a horrible, horrible plan. I still think we get Abe back. Guys like Roddy have been publicly campaigning for him back, he wants to retire a Falcon and we are sooooo close to bringing home the big one. We just need to get our finances in order, extend Matt, and then bring back Abe. Extending Matt will save about 6 mil of this years cap which is more than enough in extra cap to sign our draftees and bring JA55 back for one more go.
  14. This is a good thing guys. Bryant McKinnie was in a similar situation with the Ravens for months as a free agent -- he wanted to be a Raven, the Ravens wanted him back to play LT, but the Ravens didn't have any impetus to sign him for any amount of money over the minimum because he didn't have any other contending offers so talks were at a standstill and they were hoping he would just cave. Then the Dolphins missed on a LT in the draft and so did the Chargers, and with offers from them he finally had something to take back to Baltimore and Ozzie got a 2 year deal done. We want Abe back, and Abe wants to come back as a Falcon -- we just don't have any reason right now to go out and give him a few million dollars a season when we could maybe get him for less if no one else gives him a deal. With the Titans potentially about to offer him a deal, he would be able to take that back to TD and we can get something worked out probably in the 2 year area as well or since we have Osi just a one year deal full of incentives. Our team obviously becomes better with Abe and Osi on both edges in pass rushing situations, and it will allow us to develop our young guys like Maliciah Goodman for his specific base LDE role, Stansly Maponga for his hopeful 4-3 RDE role, and Massaqioua for a 4-3 DE/3-4 OLB role. It's just about the money. We also need to get the Matt Ryan extension done, which will free up just enough money to sign our draft class, plus a couple UDFAs, plus Abe. Then it's us vs. the league in pursuit of the Lombardi, and we'll have just a good a shot as anyone.
  15. ******! Of any team, not the Bengals! The Bengals are literally littered with guys that the Falcons' FO has loved and just missed on in the draft for 3 years running. I also loved their draft last year and this year. Last year I was begging for DT Devon Still from PSU to fall to our 2nd round pick as I was sure he'd be our pick and easily BPA and he went 2 picks before to the f*cking Bungals! D@mn them to ****!!!!! WR AJ Green from 2011 (this worked out just fine for us though). DT Devon Still, DT Brandon Thompson, TE Orson Charles in 2012. TE Tyler Eifert, RB Giovana Bernard, DE Margus Hunt, LB Sean Porter in 2013 (really crushed the draft this year). We may also get an up-close-and-personal look at our future TE Jermaine Gresham in these practices. With Orson as the #2 blocker/joker TE and Eifert as Greshman's replacement, Greshman will not be back on the franchise tag or a new deal. He has great athletic gifts and has been held back by his coaching staff kind of like Jared Cook in Tennessee. Gresham as the TG-TE with Toilolo as the #2 TE/blocker could be a great duo, especially with Julio and Roddy opening up the middle and teams worried about SJax. Cincy has been asking him to do way too much blocking because they didn't have anyone else ready to go onto the field as a TE, and we would ask him to do the same amount of blocking we ask TG to do (very little, and never any blocks crucial to a play.) I think we could land Gresham on a deal similar to what the Giants/Bears got Martellus Bennett for, which would be great and allow us to go DT/DE in the 1st and 2nd, and double down in the 3rd and 4th to fill that position out like we did with CB this year and now we should be set their for a decade with Trufant, Alford, McClain as our Top 3 and Franks as a #4 or any rookie to develop as a dime CB.
  16. Well hold on, I didn't say Toilolo was a waste of a pick. I just said taking a role-specific player, while we may be able to get him on the field as a rookie, is always a mistake as compared to taking the guy with All-Pro upside that needs some grooming. We needed a #2 TE this year as a blocker and red zone guy, so we went for Toilolo. He should be pretty good in that role, but he'll never be the guy IMO and we'll need to take a TG-worthy TE next year to comprise that role. Toilolo will likely be a Falcon for the next decade (I disagree with you here too) because he'll never put up big numbers and he'll always be more valuable to us than to any other team as our very specific #2 TE, blocker, and red zone threat. And taking a TE next year isn't necessarily bad, as my two favorite TEs in college last year both didn't come out for this draft. My personal favorite is a guy who flys way under the radar but was a phenom in high school and is playing on a bad Iowa team -- CJ Fiedorowicz. He was just recently written about in an article on 25 players to keep an eye on and the reasons they wrote are what I've been saying for over a year. He has the measurables of an all-star TE, he can block, and he can catch. I've never been so certain a guy would be a star in the NFL at TE since Gronk was at Arizona and people that have been around here long enough know that. The other guy is a tremendously talented knucklehead, Austin Seferian-Jenkins. He'll likely go to high in the draft, unless he does more knucklehead stuff which is very possible, or if we make another trade up (likely bigger than the one for Trufant). But CJ or ASJ as our TG tight end and 6'8 Toilolo as our #2 TE and red zone threat would ensure Matt Ryan had elite weapons and an elite future. Unfortunately we didn't add any DTs or high round DEs in the draft, so my hope next year is to add ASJ or CJ in Round 1 and then in 2, 3, 4, and 5 add two DTs and two DEs. This way in 2015 we can focus on replacing Roddy with another stud WR and replacing SJax with a stud RB (TJ Yeldon, please!) so that for Matt's career he can have a stud RB like Yeldon, two stud WRs with the rookie and Julio, and a stud TE and a 6'8 #2 TE. I think our offense will resemble a better version of what New England runs at that point, as we will have 2 very good TEs, 2 great WRs, and a great RB. New England has 2 great TEs, a slot WR, and 2 "good" RBs.....and Tom Brady. By then, Matt's talent level should be as good as Tom Brady as Matt will be 29. Surrounding him with stars will keep us in the hunt every year. My early wish list mock for next year is: 1) TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins or DT Daniel McCullers (the thought of McCullers, while raw, in the middle of Nolan's D and teams unable to run up the middle with Spoon, Dent, Banks at LB behind him and how it frees up the edge is great) 2) DT Ra'Shede Hageman or TE CJ Fiedorowicz (CJ is the better value since Iowa still sucks, and Hageman is next year's Sheldon Richardson without the bad attitude...he'll probably end up in the 1st at 6'5 302 and a sub 4.9 40) 3) DE James Gayle, VT (athletic freak, amazing speed off the edge in the 4.6s at 6'4 270 lbs....will blow up combine but inconsistent play could push him down. Sack number dipped from 7 in 2011 to 5 in 2012, and that could keep him in the 3rd. Big time potential) 4) RB Silad Redd, USC (I'm a PSU fan still a bitter with Redd, and another bad year at USC is going to crush his draft stock. He has a great all-around skill set, and that kind of RB in our offense is a better version of Stevan Ridley in the Pats' offense. He can catch very well, he can pass block, he can run with deceptive power inside, he can bounce runs outside for the distance. And he shared the rock last year and likely will next year also so he'll have little tread on him compared to guys like Montee Ball and Le'Veon Bell. I do want a stud RB in the next draft like TJ Yeldon, but Redd in Round 4 is too good a deal and he can help out right away. He can also be the #2 RB like Vereen to Ridley and share the load all year with a more dynamic runner.) No Barkley will also really hurt Marqise Lee, just as Robert Woods dropped this year from a consensus Top 10 pick to the 2nd round. Wouldn't be surprised at all if Marqise Lee fell to the 2nd round if the new USC implodes, in which case we strongly consider him in Round 1 as our immediate stud slot WR to keep up with the Seahawks and 49ers in the offense arms race and eventual dynamic replacement for Roddy
  17. I actually understand why we took Sean Renfree over Tyler Bray --- Bray has upside to be a starter in the league eventually, but we need a guy who will be an asset as the clipboard holding #2 QB and it would be great if we could find one to pair with Matt for his career. Renfree is the smartest QB in this years draft group, and he doesn't have the arm talent to ever be a starter in the NFL. He'll be an asset for us in the clipboard holding role working with Matt and he'll re-sign to do the same role after 4 roles which will be great to keep that continuity. Bray isn't as smart and wouldn't be as good in that role, although he may be better if he had to go onto the field. We have Dom Davis as the actual #2 QB onto the field however. Bray would likely leave as a free agent after 4 years to look for a starting job. Maybe we could have gotten a draft pick for him eventually, but we didn't want to risk not getting Renfree. And seeing how the Pats can't get a pick for Mallett, maybe we wouldn't even be able to trade Bray. Thanks for the praise though.
  18. Unfortunately the one thing the media did positively talk about for the Falcons early last year -- us having the best safety tandem in the league -- I never even agreed with. They are certainly Top 5, and both make plays and are entering/in their prime, but they also got beat sometimes deep and get caught out of position and that doesn't happen for the best. Last year's combo of Whitner and Goldson was probably #1 -- Whitner is an underrated vet and is a more consistent version of Moore, except maybe less ball skills, while Goldson has been the best safety in the league for a few years now as an amazing all-around safety. Unfortunately that means the Bucs have the potential to have the best safety tandem in the league this year with Goldson at FS, leaving recent Top 10 pick Mark Barron to play the Donte Whitner strong safety role. Barron has potential to be 5x the player Whitner is, so this isn't good for us or the NFC. They also have Revis to take away a team's #1 WR if healthy, so the safeties will be able to roam over the rest of the defense. That's why the defense was so good for the Jets with a healthy Revis -- with a CB able to take away a team's best WR by himself, you then have 3-4 other secondary players and 3-2 other linebackers to go against a maximum of 4 other skill players (usually 3 because a TE or RB stays in to block for the QB). What is good for us is Revis will probably match up with Roddy because he can't take a WR like Julio out (struggles vs. athletic freaks that he can't press on), so Julio will get the burnable John Banks or extremely burnable Eric Wright with a safety over the top and he should still be able to get open. What's ironic is that the team likely to be the worst in the NFC South (the Bucs) we will actually match up the worst against because of their secondary and Lavonte David who can potentially cover TG. Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor are also probably one rung above Moore and DeCoud, so I'd put our safety combo at #3 in the league last year. They have potential to be the best in the league, but they need to be more consistent. They were shredded, along with our LBs, in the playoffs last year. That is troubling because it means that they look good versus bad teams, but are still not great versus good passing teams. They can each have 4+ INTs on the year because they get to the right spot at the right time after a good jump, but then they also try to jump a route and get beat deep which you just can't do. They also sometimes just take horrible angles vs. underneath routes (see: any time a TE came open across the middle). They need to take the next step this year if we're going to go to the Super Bowl and win. If Trufant and Alford develop into a shutdown CB duo (I like that we took them in the same draft 1-2 because it will allow them to grow together from Day 1), and we keep the young Robert McClain around for as long as we keep Trufant and Alford.....I really think we could have the best secondary in 3 years with two veteran safeties still in their prime leading our secondary and 3 extremely athletic, young CBs entering their prime roaming around all game. WE NEED A PASS RUSH FOR THEM THOUGH -- I think the focus of the next draft will be DE/OLB and TE. Probably 2-3 DE/OLB types, 2-3 DTs, and 1 TE. I think we passed on taking a TE early because that will be our Round 1 target next year and we could do a similar small Trufant-esque move up to land Austin Seferian-Jenkins or CJ Fiedorowicz, whoever we like better.
  19. This is our all-around best UDFA class we've ever had under TD. With Replogle as a rotational DT, Goggins as either a 4-3 undertackle or goal-line fullback, Rashad Evans and Darius Johnson as slot WR prospects, Quentin Sims as a developmental stud outside WR at 6'3 210, Terren Jones who everyone wanted as an OL prospect (6'8 340 lbs meanstreak) and can develop into a Phil Loadholt-esque RT or a sick RG to masque his pass blocking weakness, FREAK athletic LB Joplu Barto who is 6'2 240 lbs but has measurables of an all-around running back and can be developed into a studly 3-down MLB in a 4-3 or perhaps an even better 3-4 ILB, 6'7 OT Ryan Schraeder who has great feet and potential as a quality swing OT who can be better than Will Svitek, AND unheralded RB Ronnie Wingo who played the full-back position at Arkansas that also say Peyton Hillis toil away in anonymity and then tear up the NFL (Wingo has superior measurables to Arian Foster and can potentially dominate in a zone-blocking scheme like the one the Texans use), we got a GREAT UDFA class. I fully expect several of these guys to be on our practice squad, and more than one to outright make the final 53. I think Ronnie Wingo is a shoo-in to make the final 53 as a 4th RB replacing Snelling who is an older, less explosive version of the 6'2 230 lbs Wingo at this point. I also think Goggins can make the final 53 as a situational DT and FB, kind of like a mini-Fridge for us as he is a very rare athlete in terms of quick-twitch explosiveness, motor, and his stature is uncommon (6'1, 274 lbs) kind of like John Simon of OSU. I like one of Rashad Evans or Darius Johnson to make the final 53 as a slot WR and I think we may put HD on the block for a receiving TE prospect (James Hanna from the Cowboys) or a defensive tackle (Jared Odrick from the Dolphins who just traded away Davone Bess and missed on drafting slot WR Josh Boyce). Quentin Sims could make the final 53 as a replacement for the recently waived Kerry Meier as an outside WR, or he could be a practice squad phenom for a year like Victor Cruz was. Schraeder will likely be our best OT on the practice squad, and could be called up at one point due to injury to Sam Baker (cross your fingers) or be developed as a blindside OT to eventually replace Baker after his cheap two years are up. I really like Terren Jones as a developmental prospect at right guard or even right tackle if we want to move Lamar Holmes to his ideal spot on the blindside. Just imagine this for a goal-line set: 6'7 330 lbs RG Garret Reynolds, 6'6 320 lbs RT Lamar Holmes, 6'8 340 lbs extra OT on the right side Terren Jones, power I backfield with 6'1 275 lbs FB Deon Goggins, and 6'2 230 lbs RB Steven Jackson behind them all on a 4th and inches. Awesome, I know. He still sucks IMO at drafting in Rounds 4-7, as we gave up a ton of value at every pick for very specific, positional needs (always a mistake) because a guy like Levine Toilolo who can at best hope he becomes a #2 TE in the NFL for his career and the blocking guy could become overshadowed entirely by a guy like Demetrius Harris who could be groomed a la Jimmy Graham into an all-around athletic freak at TE and game changer if we would only give him a season or two to grow. Harris is a freakier athlete than even Graham, as he is bigger 6'7 260 lbs-ish and runs a 4.52 40, and was a power forward playing college hoops.
  20. I was hoping we'd give him a shot as a 4-3 rotational undertackle. He's certainly more explosive as an athlete than Peria Jerry, and even Corey Peters while Peters is probably a better DT. I just want Jerry gone already, he shouldn't have a role on a SB-caliber team and it is sad that we still try to find him one just because we used a 1st rounder on him. Hopefully the other UDFA Replogle will take Jerry's role in the 4-3 undertackle rotation --- I've read some things about him being a steal as a UDFA and how we can make an impact in a rotation as a 4-3 DT. I also don't mind Goggins being used a FB, but I'm sure it is for short yardage and certain blocking situations. He is kind of like Turner then in tipping what kind of play it is -- he can't catch, and I doubt he can pass protect very well, so if he is on the field then it is either a certain run or it will be a goal-line play action pass. But like I said, I'm sure it would be very specifically for those situations anyway. Kind of like a mini-Fridge haha. Bradie Ewing is coming off of injury and was also more of a Kuhn-back than a true full back as he was a runner, receiver, and blocker for Montee Ball at Wisconsin. Ewing will still be our main fullback, and I'm excited for him in our offense because both he and SJax can catch.......this means that a traditional FB/RB formation with TG at TE and Julio and Roddy at WR can audible into a 5 receiver formation with Matt checking into 2 RB shotgun at the line and Ewing and SJax releasing into routes, or one pass blocking (Ewing) and then releasing. I'm really excited for our offense this year. Just wish we used an earlier pick on a slot WR or receiving TE. Seeing how early Josh Boyce went to the Pats, and how the Dolphins also badly wanted him, I am now even more convinced that Boyce (who I've been loving as a slot prospect for a long time now and had been on record saying he was my 2nd favorite slot prospect in the draft, even over Goodwin -- and he was taken before Goodwin!) is going to be a HOF'er type slot WR with the Pats and make an impact in short order. Wouldn't be surprised if he beat out Amendola and they end up getting Amendola or trading him. Kid can fly and is built like a RB.
  21. They did, it's called going BPA which will give us the best player for the long haul. Asante has maybe 1-2 years left (my guess is this is his and TG's last season as a Falcon). Alford will step in opposite Trufant in 2014 as starters on the outside, with McClain in the slot. Our CB trio will be set for a decade, which is very exciting to be able to lock a spot down like that with two 1st round grade outside CBs with amazing athleticism and a tough, gritty, fiery interior CB who fought his way onto the roster. Good teams go BPA early when 1st round talents are still available. Yes, I would have preferred a guy like DE/OLB Corey Lemonier and think in 3 years he may be a dominant 3-4 OLB in San Fran opposite Aldon Smith with Tank Carradine being used out of place as a 3-4 weakside DE (just wanted to mention that too). But Alford will make his mark as a rookie on returns, and if he can return 3 or so for TDs and more importantly either break one for a TD in the playoffs or give us consistent good field position it will be great. Alford also provides tremendous injury insurance for any of our 3 CBs. We had real problems last year when Dunta would miss time, or Asante would miss time, and we would have to put bust Chris Owens onto the field or bad player Dom Franks onto the field. Now Owens is gone, Dunta is gone, Grimes is gone, and Franks still sucks. Our base secondary CBs will be Asante and Trufant, with McClain as the 3rd CB covering the slot. Alford can play inside or outside, so if Asante misses time he can slot on the outside and we can carry on. McClain also showed that he can hang on the outside, although it isn't his ideal spot, so Alford can come into the slot and McClain can bump outside. Same for if Trufant gets hurt, or if McClain does. Bringing in a 1st round talent off the bench with sub 4.4 speed and insane athleticism plus fiery competitiveness is ideal for a true title contender. In the past, Owens has had to come onto the field and he'd been burnt really badly. Now if a team like the Packers goes 4 wide with Jordy, Jones, Cobb, and a rookie like Charles Johnson who has Julio measurables, then we can bring in Alford to match up with Johnson and hopefully win that match up. Or we can stick Alford, who is a freak athlete himself, on Cobb on the inside to keep up with his speed and put McClain on Johnson or outside on Jordy to get a little more physical with him than Asante would. Drafting Robert Alford, even though we all wanted a pass rusher after we took a CB in the 1st, will help us neutralize big time NFC playoff threats like Seattle's Percy Harvin, Green Bay's Randall Cobb, San Fran's rookie Quinton Patton as a slot WR inside Anquan and Crabtree, New York's Victor Cruz, New Orleans' Lance Moore/Joe Morgan, St. Louis' Tavon Austin if they get to the playoffs, etc. If you want to feel good about the Alford pick, and I've come to terms with it --- really bask in the injury protection we get by being able to bring in a guy the draft community had as a 1st round talent who is a superior freak athlete to Brent Grimes and will also FINALLY be our high impact return man which is something we all have been begging for for years! Brent Grimes: 5'9, 177 lbs, 4.57 40 yard dash, 33.5" vertical jump, 4 bench reps, 7.13 3 cone drill, 4.25 20 yard shuttle Robert Alford: 5'10, 188 lbs, 4.34 40 yard dash, 40" vertical jump, 17 bench reps, 6.89 3 cone drill, 4.23 20 yard shuttle I mean....holy ****!!!! I didn't even realize this until looking at the numbers across the board now. Robert Alford is more than just an elite athlete....he is one of the best athletes at CB in the NFL right now. And 17 bench reps at 5'10 188 lbs? That's unbelievably strong, so he'll certainly be strong enough to press at the line of scrimmage and jam a WR off his route. A 4.34 40 at the combine? I wonder if he could have broken into the high 4.2s if he ran at a pro day surface! And, a 40" vertical jump. We thought Grimes could leap to the moon and at his pro day he posted a 33.5" vert. Alford can run with any WR in the league, out jump any WR in the league to break up the pass no matter the WRs height, can out muscle most WRs in the league, and has superior agility and acceleration to stick with any WR on slant and quick interior routes. He was a redshirt senior so he is experienced and can have an impact right away if need be.
  22. He's very raw, but his measurables for an interior LB are pretty insane. The 40 doesn't really matter because you're only moving within the box up front and coming up to take on a lineman or a back. His 4.85 40 will prevent him from being a good coverage linebacker as he won't be able to stay with tight ends or receivers down the field though. But he has a 10 yard split of 1.61 seconds which is faster than Arian Foster, has a 39.5" vertical which is extremely impressive, runs a 6.94 second 3 cone drill which is better than most TEs and even some WRs, and a 4.24 short shuttle which is a running back time. And he is 6'2 240 lbs. Maybe I'm wrong about his coverage potential but those quickness measurables are pretty insane for any LB, let alone a 6'2 240 inside LB. Thanks I appreciate it, this is also why I put these together -- for those that want to learn about prospects that they otherwise may not know. I'm sure some reading deficient posters missed out on this information, and they know who they are if they have managed to read this far in this post. I know it's tough for them. And yes we could move to a zone blocking scheme if that's the best fit for our more nimble offensive line and pass-first offense. If we aren't suited to a power running attack and we can run a successful ZBS and our RBs (after SJax) are ideal ZBS runners like Quizz and Wingo......then it would be a detriment to our offense not to run it.
  23. I'd also be remiss if I didn't mention Syracuse defender Deon Goggins, who I don't really know how to classify. He is basically a more explosive version of Ohio State's John Simon who was drafted. Simon is an undersized DT who plays more like a DE at times and is a workout warrior. Goggins is 6'1, 278 lbs and runs a 4.86 40 yard dash and a scary 10 yard split of 1.66 seconds. To go back over this, Arian Foster had a 1.62 second 10 yard split coming out of Tennessee. So as a defensive line player shooting into the backfield, he is 4 hundreds of a second "slower" than Foster who is trying to get outside on a pitch. Goggins also put up 31 bench reps, and had an insane 37.5" vertical jump. You did not read any of that wrong --- Deon Goggins is a phyiscal freak. He can play inside as a DT, outside as a 4-3 LDE like we used Babineaux last year, and due to his great movement skills he can rush as a 4-3 RDE or a strongside 3-4 OLB. Yes, he's oddly shaped to do that but he can come at an OT like a 6'1, 278 lbs locomotive and destroy him. I have never seen him play, but the measurables and strength to go with the elite quickness and his size reminds me a lot of an unheralded DT that came out from Georgia a while ago: Geno Atkins. Geno Atkins measurables: 6'2, 293 lbs, 1.68 seconds 10 yard split, 34 bench reps, 33" vertical jump, 7.33 seconds 3 cone drill. Deon Goggins measurables: 6'1, 278 lbs, 1.66 seconds 10 yard split, 31 bench reps, 37.5" vertical jump, 7.30 seconds 3 cone drill. Goggins, as a college DT/DE coming out for the draft, is a superior athlete in every important measurable for a defensive lineman except for 3 bench reps of 225! That, ladies and gentlemen, is nuts. While Goggins didn't have a ton of sacks, he had 54 tackles last year as an ultra-active defender and 8.5 tackles behind the line of scrimmage to go with 1 sack of the QB and 2 QB hurries. He had 7.5 tackles behind the line as a junior to go with 1.5 sacks, 3 QB hurries, and 1 FF and another 43 tackles. I think Goggins could be another player who is much better in the pros as a rotational 4-3 under-tackle and with how a guy like Mike Nolan could creatively use a physical freak with a non-stop motor like that. Remember, many thought that Geno Atkins would only ever be a rotational 4-3 DT and never a star, just a solid contributor. Marvin Lewis let go of the leash and gave Atkins a chance to start and disrupt the pocket consistently instead of forcing a rotation. Because our DT position is so weak and we did not address it during the draft, I really think some UDFA guys have a shot to make the team. This Goggins kid could very well single handedly end the Peria Jerry era in Atlanta. He has similar size, but is 100x the athlete Jerry is and has 50x the motor Jerry has. We also landed Adam Replogle from Indiana who has been pegged as a sleeper 4-3 undertackle contributor by draftniks. Sidenote: With the draft, regular FA signings, and these UDFA signings it is very clear our main defense will continue to be a 4-3. 03/08/13 - 2013 Syracuse Pro Day: Feeling snubbed he never got an invite to last month's NFL Scouting Combine, Deon Goggins woke up Thursday morning a little nervous before the most critical workout on his pre-draft calendar. A five-minute Facetime chat with his son back in California put those nerves to rest, however, and Goggins, by all accounts, turned in one of the better performances at Thursday's pro day at Manley Field House. "Goggins really lit it up," Will Hicks, assistant athletics director for athletic performance, said of the former defensive tackle. "What he did today was show his speed. He ran faster than Chandler (Jones) ran last year." Official results were not released, but any comparison to the 21st pick in last year's draft is not too shabby. Goggins said scouts were pleased with his break off the ball, but if there's a knock on Goggins, it's his 6-foot-1, 270-pound frame. "I thank God for (the coaches) actually putting me in the middle because it made me more versatile for the next level," he said. "Whatever team takes a chance on me I'm able to play the inside, play the outside and even stand up." Goggins said he will soon return to California and continue training at Proactive Sports Performance. "This is a business," he said. "You never know. I just wanna get my foot in the door. After that, that's all she wrote. I can start finishing my legacy that I started." - Nate Mink, Syracuse.com
  24. I think we got a great UDFA class compared with what we usually get because the Falcons are finally getting some love in the media consistently for having a potentially dominant offense, and a young defense with potential. UDFA signings are impacted by two things, and I think the more important one is appeal. The kids decide where they want to go if given an invitation, and most would choose an in vogue team over a team like the Browns. The second determinant is opportunity, which I guess is 1b to 1a because the player wants to make the team. The Falcons actually have some big holes to fill still, or at least have open competition at certain spots like some other great teams don't --- the 49ers and Seahawks are going to have a hard time keeping their draft picks from rounds 5-7 on the roster, let alone the UDFAs they signed and they got some good ones (this will make for a very interesting 2nd round of UDFA players eventually after first cuts). Some players that should have been drafted fell out of the draft, and we didn't get the biggest names of those guys like Da'Rick Rogers or Kwame Geathers or Robert Lester or Rod Sweeting or Kevin Reddick. We usually get guys that no one has ever heard of it and no one ever makes the team. But this year we got some guys that can actually contribute on the field and were hot name UDFAs that many expected to be taken in the 7th or be priority free agents, and I think will make the team over a guy like Kemal Ishmael who we drafted in the 7th. Some guys I am really excited for are the WR group we got is really promising: we got 2 slot WR prospects that could make the team, and without exaggeration make HD expendable in a trade to bring back a DT. Darius Johnson from SMU doesn't have world class speed for the 40 yard dash, but he's a shifty 5'10 180 lbs slot WR who runs in the 4.5s and most importantly -- makes big plays consistently and puts together 100 yard games like it's nobody's business. He was named MVP in back-to-back bowl games as a junior and a senior at SMU. Along with Emmanuel Sanders (also SMU) he's the only other WR in school history with three 60 catch seasons. Last season he had 64 receptions for 787 yards and 5 TDs, and as a junior he had his best season as a Mustang with 79 receptions for 1,118 yards and 8 TDs (had a similar season as a sophomore as well 78/845/6). Rashad Evans from Fresno State is the other slot WR prospect who I've already written about. Evans is similarly built at 5'9 185 lbs, but due to a much worse passing attack than the high flying SMU Mustangs' offense -- Evans numbers are much worse across the board. He only had 34 receptions last year for 314 yards and 5 TDs, but was a pretty good punt returner averaging over 9 yards a return and returning one for a TD. As an athlete however, Evans can be considered a modest man's Tavon Austin. I won't say poor man's because aside from the 40 yard dash and the 20 yard shuttle, Evans can be considered to have a little more lower body explosion to his game. Evans ran a 4.44 40 yard dash with a 1.57 10 yard split while Tavon Austin ran a 4.28 40 with a 1.5 flat 10 yard split. The split is more important IMO for a slot WR, as your main role is to get open underneath off the line. They are within 7 hundreds of a second with their explosion out of their stance off the snap. Tavon has better top end speed, so he finished the 40 faster after those 10 yards --- but Rashad was within a few eyelashes of Tavon after the 10 yards. Tavon also had a 33" vertical jump, which means while he is super fast in a straight line sprinting he isn't as explosive going up and getting the ball or making quick cuts as you may think. Rashad had a 38.5" vertical jump, noticeably better than Tavon. His broad jump was also one inch better than Tavon's. He's an elite athlete with good hands, and will add a strong competitor to our return man competition brewing between Robert Alford, Quizz (I expect Quizz to be taken off returns and to focus on RB since we didn't draft a RB), Antone Smith, and himself. As an outside WR, aside from Da'Rick Rodgers and a few others we may have gotten one of the more exciting UDFA WRs in the entire pool with ex-Georgia Tech WR Quentin Sims. Sims transferred to Tennessee-Martin, home of my beloved Montori Hughes, and dominated. Quentin Sims is 6'3, 210 lbs with 32" long arms (1/4" longer than Patterson's) and an under-whelming 4.59 40 yard dash which is slower than his speed on the field. Quentin had a TD catch in every game last season and finished the season with 86 catches for 1,092 yards and 16 TDs. As a junior, Sims had 54 receptions for 712 yards and 11 TDs. His last conference game as a Skyhawk he had 8 catches for 176 yards and 3 TDs. He's an experienced play-maker and #1 WR, and a lot of people think we got a steal with signing him as a UDFA. He could be a guy who immediately gets a look as a #4 WR if we're looking for size, but I like him long term as a potential replacement for Roddy. Yes, it's usually foolish to expect UDFA's to replace stars on your team, let alone starters at all, but Sims has serious talent -- this was just a very deep draft which is evidenced by an unprecendted amount of highly rated players being available after the draft ended. He has the size, speed, production, and mental make up to be a factor in the NFL. This quote is from NFL Draft Zone: "Quentin Sims could be one of the most underrated wide receivers in this class. Sims is definitely one of the more athletic wide outs, who understands more about the position that others because of his time spent at QB. Sims was a stand out quarterback in high school and has transitioned very well to the wide receiver spot. This year, Sims the athletic senior, finished the year with 16 touchdowns, the most in the OVC. Sims has the size to be great at the next level as he stands in at 6’3 and weighs 202 pounds. Sims will be looking to impress scouts over the next few months, and he could end up solidifying himself a draft spot." Rest of the interview: http://nfldraftzone.com/draft-news/draft-zone-spotlight-quentin-sims-wr-tennessee-martin-university/ RB Ronnie Wingo Jr., Arkansas Wingo Jr., if we're lucky, can be the next Peyton Hillis. By that I mean, be the third unheralded back from Arkansas to enter the draft with his two better known counterparts and end up becoming arguably the best of the three. Hillis was te fullback at Arkansas, lining up in the center of the backfield and receiving carries up the middle but also blocking for Darren McFadden and Felix Jones. The fullback also takes fake handoffs mainly up the middle and then the QB pitches it outside to one of the RBs who went in motion. This last year Wingo was that guy, with Dennis Johnson and Knile Davis playing the outside RBs. The team was a total mess after the Petrino scandal and no one produced, costing Tyler Wilson millions of the dollars in the process -- if Arkansas had its act together and the WRs didn't just go to the NFL, Wilson could have legitimately been the #1 overall pick. Wingo is a very intriguing height/weight/speed guy, and his abilities are almost idential to Peyton Hillis. He's a selfless player who will give up his body, and he can do a multitude of things just like the role Jason Snelling plays (or at least used to play) for us. Coming out of college, Peyton Hillis was 6'1, 240 lbs, 4.57 40 at his pro day (4.64 at the combine), put up 26 bench reps, and a 30.5" vertical jump from the combine. Ronnie Wingo is 6'2, 230 lbs and ran a 4.47 40 yard dash to g with a 33" vertical jump, although a little less bench reps with 18. As you can see, Wingo is an inch taller, 10 pounds lighter, and a little less stout with 8 less bench reps ----- aka, he's more of a true tailback whereas Peyton Hillis was a glorified fullback like Mike Alstott. Wingo's great straight line speed but not great short area agility is a lot like another undrafted RB of the last 5 years: Arian Foster. Foster came out of Tennessee as a one-cut runner who was 6'1, 230 lbs and ran a 4.69 40 yard dash with a 32" vertical jump. Arian's 10 yard split was 1.62 seconds, while Ronnie had a 1.60 10 yard split. Basically, Ronnie is an inch taller with equal burst off of his one cut but superior top end speed to take it the distance. Like Arian he wasn't a star in college and was overshadowed by other RBs on his own team. But also like Arian, he will likely be a better pro running back than college player. I actually expect Wingo to make the team and for us to cut one of Jason Snelling or Antone Smith. If Smith loses the return competition to Alford or Evans, I expect he will be cut along with his multi-million (low) extension to save money. With a weak box as defenses focus on our passing attack, I think with a zone-cut scheme Wingo could have some very productive runs for us. If we continue to move to a pass-first team that values pass blocking over power run blocking (that move has already started with the drafting of Konz as a center, re-signing Baker, and moving Lamar Holmes to RT), I could see our run game eventually moving to a zone-cut scheme like the Texans or Redskins and a guy like Wingo becoming an Alfred Morris success. And perhaps the biggest UDFA signing of all (pun intended), and he who also had the biggest name attached in the media: OL Terren Jones. Terren Jones is a 6'8, 341 lbs offensive tackle from Alabama State who really stood out at his pro day according to Gil Brandt: 03/05/13 - 2013 Alabama State Pro Day: OL Terren Jones stands out at Alabama State pro day...Alabama State held its pro day under the lights for what is believed to be the first time on Monday. Massive offensive lineman Terren Jones stood out during the workout, held on field turf outdoors. Jones (6-foot-7 5/8, 341 pounds) ran the 40 in 5.59 and 5.50 seconds, had a 24-inch vertical jump and 8-foot-7 broad jump, did the three-cone drill in 8.26 seconds and the short shuttle in 4.97 seconds. He did not lift, but his arms measured 36 inches. - Gil Brandt, NFL.com While I don't think we plan to use Terren as an offensive tackle if he makes the team, I really think we enticed him to join the Falcons because of the wide open hole he can massively fill at RG for us. He probably has more natural talent than both Garrett Reynolds and Mike Johnson. Reynolds, who is 6'7 310 lbs, looks like a tall twig compared to Terren Jones at 6'8 341 lbs. I think, if he can be coached up to be a consistent OG with proper technique, could dominate on the inside as a run blocker and also be too big for a DT to overwhelm or a blitzer to get around that he could help our passing offense. The height shouldn't be a problem for Matt Ryan who is 6'4, and also Reynolds has started at RG anyway and he is 6'7. But Jones' potential as a RG reminds of Alex Boone of the San Francisco 49ers. Boone was drafted as a right tackle by the 49ers as a 6'8 300 lbs kid from Ohio State. He was freaking horrible and was beat like a drum consistently, and instead of wallowing in their misery, the 49ers moved him inside to RG where his pass blocking problems immediately evaporated and he became an All-Pro right guard. And that's at a skinny 300 lbs for a 6'8 guy. Now imagine that kind of huge RG, but add 40 lbs and a mean streak and you get 6'8, 341 lbs Terren Jones who can move for a big guy like that and has some athleticism to him. I think we may have found the Ted Washington of the offensive line with this signing, and I'm really pumped TD was able to get this kid on board. Every year we usually sign a bunch of bums who never make the roster, or if they do they are on the practice squad or just sit on the bench. But any of those 3 WRs could suit up on Sunday for us, and I think one of the slot guys will end up pushing HD for his job and taking it by Year 2 since we are in win-Superbowl-now mode and we want to keep the veterans. Wingo should push Smith off the team, unless we want to keep the speed in case he'll push Snelling off the team and offer a better version of what Snelling is selling. And then there is Terren Jones, who can either compete for the RG job right away, or we can have the winner of Johnson/Reynolds play RG and groom Terren Jones to be the LG of the future when Blalock's contract is up. Maybe he can even be a Phil Loadholt kind of RT if we don't think the pass blocking will be a problem (this is a problem for Christian Ponder for example, but AP looooves Loadholt as a RT). If that's the case, Lamar Holmes can play Left Tackle and we can cut Sam Baker and save millions of dollars in cap space and bring back John Abraham or sign Karlos Dansby. But yeah, while I hated Day 3 of our draft ---- way to make up for it TD by signing a great UDFA class!!!
  25. Headcases? The only headcase is Da'Rick Rodgers. I hate when people do this, you're making an assumption based literally on nothing. Montori Hughes is a good kid, I don't know what you're reading. A school doesn't usually let a player come back and work out when they were dismissed if it was because he was a headcase or off-field problem. He couldn't keep his grades up, and the school had to release him from scholarship. He went to Tennessee-Martin for the one year and destroyed everyone. They like him at Tennessee and let him come back and participate in the Pro Day. Everyone likes him. The Colts are about to love him. Cornelius Washington isn't a headcase, he's an unselfish player that sacrificed personal stats for the good of the defense and played out of position like he was asked and tried his best. A ton of player would complain, not give 100% effort (like Sam Montgomery), or transfer to somewhere where he could be highlighted. He put UGA before himself and he's about to be rewarded by landing in an ideal situation in Chicago where he can be brought along slowly like Henry Melton was, and given a chance to earn the starting 4-3 LDE job down the line.
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