My .02 on draft picks:
#5 Kyle Pitts: GRADE A+
Love, love and love this pick even more. Grabbing a playmaking unicorn is always a great thing to do
Round 2: Richie Grant Safety Grade A
-I don’t think that he’s an Earl Thomas type of talent, but that isn’t really needed. He’s a clear upgrade over Rico or Kazee from last year. He’s a hard hitting guy with some ball skills. Very good size
-Hard to fault the falcons for picking up a fourth rounder in trade and still land a potential day one starter
-Nice to actually draft a legit Safety finally
Round 3: Jaylen Mayfield, G Grade A
-At worst, he’s a swing OT/OG. I think that he can be an above average to good long term solution at Guard. I’m guessing he’ll compete for LG.
-Was he the best talent? Not sure. But he’s mean, he’s stout and he has a great motor. So i may have graded a bit low.
-Fires off the snap FAST!
-He’s got that nasty Harvey Dahl type ferocity
Round 4 Darren Hall, CB/S Grade B+
- Initially, i was like WTH? But after watching him play you see a long corner, who played some safety. Dude had 16 PD in 19! That’s nuts. I kind of see a Desmond King hybrid type player
-High energy player.
Round 4 Drew Dalmon C Grade A
-This is my steal. Dalman is smart and intuitive. He’s a bit smaller but i love watching the way he plays.
-Like Mayfield FIRES off the ball fast.
-He does remind me of McClure. He has his head on a swivel. i think that i like him better than Henny tbh
Round 5 Ta Quin Graham DT/DE Grade B
-May be a JAG, but i like JAGs with length and motor. Suddenly our DT/DE rotation looks bigger, meaner and physical.
—Great pick in fifth round because of upside.
-His grade might go up
Round 5 A. Ogundeji Grade A
-Another one of my favorite players. At 6’4” 270 he fits that big Dean Pees type of hybrid pass rusher.
-He reminds of Ze’darius Smith a guy who Dean Pees helped develop into a nice playmaker
-Watch this kid develop
Avery Williams Returner Grade B+
-Special teams Ace. I graded a bit low because i don’t know his position. He could end up being a slot/rb type. HES AWESOME on STs. That is an area we needed to upgrade.
Frank Darby WR Grade A
-Why an A? Dude averaged almost 20 ypr in his career. He’s a bundle of injury, and gets over the top quick. He adds a nice vertical dimension to our WR rotation. Gage has his work cut out for him beating out possibly Cordelle, Darby and even Williams if he’s slotted as WR
Huntley RB B+
-I try not to get too excited about UDFAs, but this kid is a lot like Gus Edwards. Just a tough North/South runner who will punch you in the mouth
Felipe Franks, QB grade A
-Great signing with upside. If he can play in Smith’s offense, with his athleticism he can develop at the least into a good backup. Maybe we’ll see some Taysum Hill type plays if he sticks
Eli Howard, DT/DE grade B+
-He’s just got a motor and he’s big and long.
-38 QB pressures in his junior year.
-Not impressive athletically, but he’s got an edge
OVERALL GRADE B+
-Not drafting a running back is the only “ahh WTH moment?”
-It may turn out to be higher. That said, i still think we needed to add a RB. I hope that I’m wrong.
-That said, i get the move to trade down and get a dynamic S in Richie Grant
-No real reaches in this draft.
-If the Mayfield and Dalman end up starting the grade goes up. If they are just depth, they are still good picks.
-I love the strategy in this draft. Homerism aside, we focused on adding two offensive playmakers, the secondary, The DL and STs and OL. How do you not like that type of draft?
-Even if Graham and A. Ogundeji are JAGs—they are big and physical and play mean.
-Lots of team captains in this draft, but no choir boys.
-All of these players are physical and play through the whistle.
-Lots of intelligence in this draft as well
How do you all grade this draft?
I'm not very familiar with the guys we picked in the later rounds, but every one I take a close look at is a good, solid football player. This looks to be a very good to excellent first effort for AS and TF. Schultz and the rest of Falcon haters will have to dig deep to find something to throw shade at.
Next year, the year after that, the year after that, the year after that and the year after that is our realistic window with Ryan as our starting QB.
We have one of the best QBs in the NFL still playing at a very high level. I’ve seen no discernible decline in his physical play. I’m not talking about stats or things out of his control, I’m talking about his physical play.
I will say though... having a HC/OC who was the architect of the most potent rushing attack in the NFL over the past few years can't hurt as a bargaining chip when trying to get free agent RBs to sign here.