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  1. For some reason my favorite part of the draft is the lower picks / UDFAs... I always love scouting unknowns and seeing the hidden gems. I think we actually picked up 2, maybe 3 UDFAs who could make the 53: - Feleipe Franks QB* - Could develop into a good QB2 or trade bait - Javian Hawkins RB* - Instant home run threat - Erroll Thompson ILB* - Hard hitting ILB to counter Deion Jones lightweight coverage style; good against run - Caleb Huntley RB - Big boi - JR Pace S - Hometown depth - Marcus Murphy CB - Could develop into depth --- How about y'all? Who do you think has a shot? Who do you like?
  2. I don't see a thread that is simply a discussion of the merits of these two options (at least in purpose) - so I wanted to make a poll to gauge people's feelings. I have been flip flopping over this decision, but I think I have decided that with 9 draft picks... *unless* we get a too good to be true trade back deal, we should take Pitts. We gave up the farm for Julio, and while that can be debated for a long time - one thing you can't debate is the popularity, highlight reels, and sheer firepower he's brought to the offense by being on the field. We have a chance at getting that same thing, but without giving up an entire draft for it. And we still have 8 picks left. So I say take Pitts, what about y'all?
  3. Grain of salt with all these videos as it's just practice reps but I figure the more info the better since there's no combine this year. Reps from a lot of guys who get mentioned on here as later round options.
  4. A lot of talent went off the board on day 2 but who are your targets for Day 3 and beyond? Here are a few of mine, in no particular order: Kenny Willekes, Edge Trevis Gipson, Edge Alton Robinson, Edge Curtis Weaver, Edge Bryce Huff, Edge Jonathan Garvin, Edge Jason Stowbridge, DL Leki Fotu, DT Rashard Lawrence, DT Khalil Davis, DT Chris Williamson, DB JR Reed, S Geno Stone, S K'von Wallace, S Cameron Brown, LB Kamal Martin, LB Akeem Davis-Gaither, LB Troy Dye, LB Harrison Bryant, TE Thaddeus Moss, TE Bryce Hopkins, TE Albert O, TE Colby Parkinson, TE Donavon Peoples-Jones, WR/KR Joe Reed, WR/KR Tyler Johnson, WR Eno Benjamin, RB Patrick Taylor, RB Joshua Kelly, RB Deejay Dallas, RB Netane Multi, OL Trey Adams, OT Jack Driscoll, OT Ben Bartch, OT Prince Tego-Wanogho, OT
  5. Hello and welcome Falcons fans! My name is Lt Dan and this ladies and gentlemen is the 2020 Falcons Prospect Tracker !!!! This Thread is a 4 year project started by myself in (2015/2016) and I would like to thank the members of TAFMB for allowing me to post this each year and provide quality content. So here's how it works. We take all the information we can get from Twitter, Draft sites, Media members, Scouts, and Guys and Gals on the ground at Pro-Days to uncover the Falcons interest in players and who they have worked out to get a better understanding of how they utilize the draft process / Who they might draft. With that being said here are the RULES and REGULATIONS of the Thread so you can join the fun and help us out. 1. As the OP I will add to the list of prospects as I get relevant information and list them by grouping on the main post. 2. Any information provided by other posters will be added as long as there is evidence either by LINK or SOURCE posted here 3. Any written post without a LINK or SOURCE will not be added to the LIST 4. Discussion in the Thread is fine when talking about players, but keep it about the players we are meeting / working out 5. No mock drafts in the Thread pls 6. Videos will be posted about the players as I can find the time to do it on my YT or Twitch 7. Updates will happen as I get time to do them IMPORTANT!!!! - If y'all want Full Prospect readings such as Height, Weight, Hand Size, Positional Data, Traits, next to the players understand I can only do what I can. With that out of the Way here is the current KEY and LIST Falcons Senior Bowl, EWSG, Combine, Pro-Day meetings / Players to watch Key - EWS - East vs West Shrine Game SRB -Senior Bowl COM - Combine PRO - Pro Day STOM - Some Type of meeting W/O - Work out, but no 30 until clarified 30 - Official 30 Visit LOC - Local Workout / Pro Day QB - Yale - Kurt Rawlings ( EWS ) Princeton - Kevin Davidson ( EWS ) Utah - State Jordan Love ( SRB ) RB - Florida State - Cam Akers ( COM ) TCU - Darius Anderson - ( COM ) Arizona State - Eno Benjamin ( COM ) Boston College - ( RB/FB ) A.J. Dillon ( COM ) Ohio State - J.K. Dobbins ( COM ) LSU - Clyde Edwards-Helaire ( COM ) UCLA - Joshua Kelley ( COM ) Maryland - Anthony McFarland Jr ( COM ) Utah - Zack Moss ( COM ) Wisconsin - Jonathan Taylor ( COM ) Memphis - Patrick Taylor Jr ( COM ) Vanderbilt - Ke'Shawn Vaughn ( COM ) Kennesaw State - Bronson Rechsteiner ( PRO ) WR - Virginia - Joe Reed ( EWS ) Oklahoma - State Jordan McCray ( EWS ) SMU - James Proche ( SRB ) Arkansas State - Omar Bayless ( COM ) TE - Georgia - Eli Wolf ( EWS ) Portland State - Charlie Taumoepeau ( SRB ) Dayton - Adam Trautman ( SRB ) Georgia Tech - Tyler Davis ( LOC ) OL - Michigan - ( OG ) Michael Onwenu ( EWS ) Oregon - ( OG ) Calvin Throckmorton ( EWS COM ) Ohio State - ( OG ) Jonah Jackson ( COM ) Georgia - ( OG ) Solomon Kindley ( COM ) Kentucky - ( OG ) Logan Stenberg ( COM ) Temple - ( OC / OG ) Matt Hennessy - ( COM ) Washington - ( OC ) Nick Harris - ( Face Time ) OT - Alberta - Carter O'Donnell ( EWS ) West Virginia - Colton McKivitz ( SRB ) Houston - Josh Jones ( SRB ) USC - Austin Jackson ( COM ) Michigan - Jon Runyan ( COM ) Alabama - Jedrick Wills ( COM ) Boise State - Ezra Cleveland ( W/O ) ( Face Time ) UGA - Andrew Thomas ( Face Time ) Rice ( RT ) - Justin Gooseberry ( STOM ) Louisiana Lafayette - Robert Hunt ( Face Time ) DT - Arkansas - McTelvin Agim ( EWS, SRB, ) Michigan State - Raequan Williams ( EWS ) Utah - John Penisini ( EWS ) South Carolina - Javon Kinlaw ( SRB COM ) Auburn - Derrick Brown ( COM ) Ole Miss - Benito Jones ( COM ) Nebraska - Darrion Daniels ( COM ) Missouri - Jordan Elliott ( COM ) Ole Miss - Josiah Coatney ( COM ) Texas A&M - Justin Madubuike ( COM ) ( Face Time ) North Carolina St. - Larrell Murchison ( COM ) Utah - Leki Fotu ( COM ) Michigan St. - Raequan Williams ( COM ) ( Face Time ) LSU - Rashard Lawrence ( COM ) Miami, Ohio - Doug Costin ( PRO ) Texas Tech - Broderick Washington ( Face Time ) DE - Michigan - Michael Danna ( EWS ) Ferris State - Austin Edwards ( EWS ) Iowa - A.J Epenesa ( COM ) Penn State - Yetur Gross-Matos ( COM ) Auburn - Marlon Davidson ( COM ) LSU - K’Lavon Chaisson ( COM ) Boise State - Curtis Weaver ( COM ) ( W/O ) Ohio State - Chase Young ( COM ) North Carolina - Jason Strowbridge ( COM ) Florida - Jonathan Greenard ( COM ) ( Face Time ) Notre Dame - Julian Okwara ( COM ) Syracuse - Kendall Coleman ( COM ) Michigan St - Kenny Willekes ( COM ) ( Face Time ) Notre Dame - Khalid Kareem ( COM ) North Texas - Ladarius Hamilton ( COM ) Michigan - Josh Uche ( COM ) Stanford - Casey Toohill ( COM ) OLB - Florida Atlantic - Rashad Smith ( EWS ) Miami - Michael Pinckney ( EWS ) Fresno State - Mykal Walker ( EWS ) Wisconsin - Zack Baun ( SRB COM ) Alabama - Anfernee Jennings ( SRB ) South Carolina - T.J. Brunson ( SRB ) Tennessee - Darrell Taylor ( SRB ) Alabama - Terrell Lewis - ( COM ) Clemson - Tanner Muse ( COM ) Alabama - Terrell Lewis ( Face Time ) MLB - Miami - Shaq Quarterman ( EWS ) Wyoming - Logan Wilson ( SRB ) ( Face Time ) LSU - Patrick Queen ( COM ) Ohio St - Malik Harrison ( COM ) Colorado - Davion Taylor ( Face Time ) Oklahoma - Kenneth Murray ( Face Time ) Utah - Francis Bernard ( SRB ) ( COM ) ( Face Time ) CB - West Virginia - Keith Washington ( EWS ) Georgia Southern - Kindle Vildor ( COM ) Temple - Harrison Hand ( COM ) Michigan - Lavert Hill ( COM ) Iowa - Michael Ojemudia ( COM ) Clemson - K'Von Wallace ( COM ) Oklahoma state - A.J. Green ( COM ) Penn State - John Reid ( W/O ) Auburn - Javaris Davis ( COM ) Louisiana Tech - Amik Robertson ( COM ) TCU - Jeff Gladney ( Face Time ) Tarleton State - Prince Robinson ( STOM ) S - Michigan - Josh Meteullus ( SRB ) LSU - Grant Delpit ( COM ) Minnesota - Antoine Winfield Jr. ( Face Time ) Eastern Michigan - Vince Calhoun ( PRO ) UGA - J.R. Reed ( W/O ) ST - Georgia Southern - (K) Tyler Bass ( SRB ) Georgia - Rodrigo Blankenship ( COM ) Falcons Pro Days Auburn Miami (OH) Oklahoma State Georgia State Illinois Villanova Oklahoma Georgia Tech Wisconsin
  6. When reading the comments and the reaction of the fans, one couldn’t help seeing tthe shortsightedness of the fans. The Falcons had a pool of players to go after and this based on their research and resources. This process starts weeks before the draft starts—this is not like an overnight and on the go process. The fans are always dramatic and want the big names that get hyped up by the media and within NFL circles. Some of this hype is well-deserved based on the talent, but many times it is like steroids for hype and national attention. When you peel the process, the best teams go for pragmatic solutions. You invest in players that fit your style and believes. The Falcons KPI (Kep Performance Index/marketing world will know what I mean) or benchmarks are based on this: Character Athletism Data/Analytics Agility Smartness Expert Take-Scouting Coaches After using your benchmarks, you come up with a pool of players that fits those KPI’s or benchmarks. The Falcons selected those players based on data, analytics, and scouting take. This has nothing to do with TD making the decision over DQ or DQ taking the lead. The decisions are based on a cumulative basis. The Falcons knew that rhe OL was a major obstacle for the team. What is your biggest investment and your most important asset? It is Matt Ryan and protecting him was the main priority. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to know that if you protect Matty Ice, you will get an offense that is going to be deadly and scoring points. The Falcons running game was affected by the shortfalls within the OL trenches. Finally, I bet Arthur Blank advised TD and DQ to make the OL a priority based on his take. The Falcons decided that protecting Matt Ryan and the running game needed a major facelift. The Falcons added two smart big guys to help that cause. Strategically, this makes sense in the long run. If you have a great offense, you can win many games with an average defense. The Falcons don’t need to be a Top 10 defense to win the Super Bowl, but a Top 15 will suffice. The fans need to realize that the Falcons added two major pieces to the offense that will be cost-effective and with the option of a 5-year contract. Tom Brady always excelled because it was hard to get to him and he had a great pocket protection. Matt Ryan needs pocket protection to be a great QB. The Falcons don’t have that many holes and some of the fans exaggerate the situation. The Defense will improve dramatically with DQ on the helm. He is going to push players like VIC and Tak. We will add couple of more pieces to the defense via the draft to solidify the team. In summary, The Falcons got bigger and beefy in the trenches which is something we haven’t seen in a longtime. The OL should become one of the Falcons most improved unit and it will help the Offense to be a Top 5 offense with weapons like MR, Julio, Freeman, Sani, Hooper and Calvin. We need to believe in the process by logic and not emotions. The Falcons are primed to be one of the best team in the NFC next year and a team that is one of the most talented. Keep the faith and #RiseUp...
  7. I like the 1st guard, especially after you missed out Christian Wilkins, but giving up 2nd and 3rd round picks for an extra O-lineman late in the 1st round who we don't know is going to be like? I'm gonna be honest, but.... WHY THE **** WASN'T THIS LAST YEAR'S DRAFT AND FREE AGENCY!? Had we done all of that last year we would have focused on a lot of defense this year, and Deandre Baker going to the Giants late in the 1st round. Not surprised there.
  8. Before you lose your cookies... We just took the best guard in the draft. People are complaining we're "stacked" at guard/OL. You know who won a Super Bowl because of great guards/OL? Brees. Brady. You name it. We FINALLY take a pick to protect Matt, and one that is as close to a guaranteed pick as you'll get at 14. Plus the side note of him being from BC. Perspective. It helps. Edit: seeing people saying we could have gotten him later.. how? We playing what ifs? What about trading back? What if we couldn't find a good trade partner? What if we had good intel that Taylor & Ford weren't fits for a few teams and they were eyeing Lindstrom? What if he was just by far the best OG, or even OL, they saw after interviews, etc.? You can play what ifs all day. People called Neal a reach at 17 too. Edit #2: Aaaaand Taylor has knee concerns, Howard got taken over him. Ford still on board (even though he's not as refined or able to play T like Lindstrom). Troffed?
  9. Basically, what the title says, if we had who we thought could be/become top tier in this defense (those last 3 words are important) at nearly every position on defense sitting there at 14, who would you pick and why? Which position, if picked, would most put this defense over the top? A DL "Gap Penetrator"? A Tough big body NT type? A "Michael Bennett type" Edge rusher who can move inside? A "speedy" bend around the edge type rusher? A top tier WLB? A top coverage CB? A "rangy" top tier Free Safety? Note: I left out MLB and SS because I made these choices based off of who I generally see this board saying we need the most, the players that I most see people saying we need to get our defense over the hump. (Deion and Neal seem to be accepted as being satisfactory at their positions) If you have another type that you really think that I should add to the poll, say so, and I will try to accommodate depending.
  10. So overall I think this past year was a success despite the 29-53 record in year 1 for Pierce. The young guys played well for the most part and we were able to get guys like Len to play well in our system. Excited to see where next year takes us. We competed in a lot of games we lost too. As the year went along, we played better which is a very good sign. Trae Young averaged 19.1 PPG and 8.1 APG. His 3 ball was only around 33%, but he was up to around 35% after the all star break. That number is only going to get better IMO. Post ASG, he averaged 24.7 and 9.2 APG. He was 2nd in the NBA in assists and 5th in APG. John Collins averaged 19.5 PPG and 9.8 RPG. For a sophomore year player? Yeah, we've got us a star on our hands. Kevin Huerter averaged 10.5 PPG post ASG which is good too. He is only going to get better and get more comfortable. There were also positives to take away from a lot of over guys: Alex Len, Taurean Prince, Omari Spellman, and even Bembry showed progress (still mad about tonight though lol). We have a nice young core that is only going to get better. Some key offseason dates: April 21st: Final day for underclassmen to declare for the NBA draft May 14th: NBA draft lottery May 14th-9th: NBA Draft Combine May 29th: Final day for underclassmen to withdraw from the NBA draft June 10th: Final day for non-NCAA players to withdraw from the NBA draft June 20th: NBA draft July 1st: Free agency begins, but players can't sign yet Draft picks: 1(5)- ATL pick; 5th slot in lottery 1(7)- DAL pick; T-7th slot in lottery, top 5 protected 2(35)- ATL pick 2(41)- ATL pick 2(42)- ATL pick
  11. https://www.atlantafalcons.com/news/peter-king-talks-falcons-who-needs-to-step-top-draft-priority-and-the-x-factor-i Kelsey Conway AtlantaFalcons.com reporter FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. – If you were to ask longtime NFL writer Peter King which team he’d be most inclined to buy stock in at this point in the offseason, his answer might surprise you. Let’s just say the Atlanta Falcons would definitely be in the conversation. “I’d be buying Falcons stock right now because I think they’ve got a chance to rebound and play very well this year in what again is going to be a very tough NFC South,” King said. King detailed several reasons why he’s “bullish” on the Falcons in a 17-minute Q&A from the annual league meetings last week in Phoenix. Here are some of King’s takes: Quinn taking over defense will give Falcons ‘more aggressive’ play, including the secondary With Dan Quinn taking back the reigns of the Falcons’ defense, there’s a newfound excitement surrounding Atlanta’s defense. Based off Quinn’s time as a defensive coordinator in Seattle and when he took over the play-calling in the final quarter of the 2016 season, King laid out his expectations of what he thinks the Falcons’ defense will look like with Quinn calling the shots. “I think by the more active role he has in a week-to-week basis with the defense, you’re probably going to get to see more of an aggressive defense,” King said. “I think he will find more opportunities for Grady Jarrett, I think he’s going to find more opportunities for edge players. I think you’re going to see more diverse secondary play. More guys rushing from the secondary.” Takk McKinley is the player the Falcons need to step up most in 2019 All eyes will be on Takk McKinley this year and there’s no doubt about it. Since being drafted in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft, the expectations for McKinley have certainly heightened. Not only has Quinn said he’s expecting a strong offseason from McKinley to prepare for the upcoming season, King explained why it’s vital for the defensive end to have a big year. “He was drafted to be [the] really strong edge presence,” King said. If I’m them, I need 50-to-60 legitimate quarterback disruptions from McKinley this year. I think that is vital because I think they’re secondary [could] get exposed. This is a crucial year for this secondary and for the pass rush.” Falcons draft priorities should be improving the secondary, landing another franchise tackle The Falcons have the No. 14 overall pick in the NFL Draft and King believes they should use it on a player who can improve their secondary. Atlanta’s secondary will look a bit different this season with Isaiah Oliver and Damontae Kazee taking on starting roles full-time. “If I were the Falcons, [my priority] would be the secondary,” King said. “I would want to improve my cornerback depth and I would also draft if I can what I consider to be a long-term offensive tackle. King also believes the Falcons could also benefit from using that pick on one of the top tackles in this year’s draft class, similar to what they did with Jake Matthews in the 2014 NFL Draft when Atlanta selected him with the No. 6 overall pick. Matthews signed a five-year extension with the Falcons prior to the 2018 season. Alex Mack is the ultimate X-factor for Falcons King knows exactly which center he would pick if he had the luxury of choosing one in a must-win game. “I’d take Alex Mack every time,” King said. “I love Mack.” Based on Ryan’s consistent production over the years, King’s not worried about what the Falcons will get from QB1 in 2019. “I always look at Ryan as a guy in my opinion, I just think every year he’s going to be a top-5 quarterback,” King said. “He’s going to be productive enough.” What will help Ryan have another quality year is the play of the guy directly in front of him snapping him the ball and blocking for him. “Any quarterback is going to play better when he’s protected better,” King said. “They just have to do a better job of doing that this year whether that’s scheme or talent. I think it’s vitally important that Alex Mack be healthy and give them one more strong year. You can just see the symbiotic relationship between Mack and Ryan.” Falcons can’t let Deion Jones out of Atlanta The Falcons have reportedly begun contract negotiations with Deion Jones who has quickly become one of the best players in Atlanta’s defense. King believes Jones is a player who could be the heart of Atlanta’s defense for years to come. “I love Deion Jones as a football player and I would want him to be the centerpiece of my defense,” King said. “They can’t let him go. “ The ultimate compliment to Grady Jarrett After defeating the Falcons 34-28 in Super Bowl LI, King sat with Patriots’ star quarterback Tom Brady and to discuss the game in which Brady couldn’t have been more complementary of Grady Jarrett. “Tom Brady had more respect for Grady Jarrett than anybody on the Falcons that day,” King said. “I think the world of Grady Jarrett.” Emphasis added. I like how he thinks, and has at least studied a little..
  12. The more I think about it, the more I think Cody Ford is our guy at 14. Brings toughness to the trenches and immediately upgrades our OL. In an offense loaded with skill players, this pick totally makes sense. I do not want us to trade up for Oliver. McClure reported we are heavily interested in ford and have had a formal meeting as well.
  13. I posted a full mock on the NFL Draft & FA forum here, but thought I would share my bold idea for the 1st round here... "If you're going to think, think big. If you're going to think big, think bigger". Going into the draft most at this point are agreed that our 2 biggest needs are OL and DT. Sure, we could do with better depth at CB, LB, RB and you can never have enough pass rushers but 95% of the posters on here are leaning towards DT or OL with #14. Looking at who the FO have shown an interest in so far it does indeed look like we will go that direction. Assuming the board falls the right way, with nine 2019 draft picks to play with and a GM/HC combo who are in win-now mode, I think we can and should be aggressive. 1st Round 1. Arizona - Kyler Murray, QB 2. San Francisco - Nick Bosa, DE 3. NY Jets - Quinnen Williams, DT 4. Oakland - Josh Allen, Edge 5. Tampa Bay - Devin White, LB 6. NY Giants - Dwayne Haskins, QB 7. Jacksonville - Rashan Gary, DT/DE 8. Detroit - Montez Sweat, Edge 9. Buffalo - DK Metcalf, WR 10. Denver - Drew Lock, QB 11. Cincinnati - Cody Ford, OL 12. Green Bay - Brian Burns, Edge -------- WE HAVE A TRADE -------- The Atlanta Falcons have traded #45 (450 points), #79 (195 points) and a 2020 1st round pick (~500 points) to the Miami Dolphins for #13 (1150 points). This makes sense for Miami who after failing to draft their franchise QB, they acquire an additional 2020 1st round pick in what should be a far stronger class for QB's. For a team in full rebuild mode an additional 2nd and 3rd round pick helps do that. For the Falcons, this makes sense as 2019 is a top heavy draft, particularly in the two major positions of need and with nine picks to play with in 2019, expect for TD to be his normal aggressive self in trading up to get the guys we want. 13. Atlanta - Jawaan Taylor, OL, Florida 14. Atlanta - Ed Oliver, DT, Houston
  14. I know a number of people here are all in on the DL train in the draft and cringe at the thought of drafting a RT in the first round because you don't draft non-left tackle offensive linemen in the first round. I'm here, with the help of FiveThirtyEight, to provide some insight as to why that's a foolish way of think in today's NFL. As the bolded points out, there is no true "blindside" any more. Some of the best RTs in the league played LT coming out of college. Ramcyzk and Schwartz were LTs in college. Lane Johnson was also a LT in college. On the other hand, Ryan Schraeder, who we saw fall plain off a cliff this year, is a RT only from what I gathered about his time in college. I think this is part of why he tanked the last two years, being a classic RT versus a former LT who is used to facing top tier pass rushers on an island. As some have alluded to Toilolo helping Schraeder, I think there is some truth to that potentially. Regardless, I think the team has to move on from Schraeder and treat the RT spot like they did when we were looking at Matthews at #6. The NFL has changed drastically since 2016 and we need to revamp the OL to match that. Especially with the various OCs we have building this offense. I also think that's why Sambrailo looked fairly decent all things considered. One, he's had time to settle in, get healthy, and actually develop. But secondly, he's a former LT. All things considered though, don't be opposed to taking a stud OT at #14 or a large contract in FA. This draft is very deep with DL, but not so with guys who can play 1000+ snaps at RT.
  15. So it looks like come end of next football Sunday when the season ends for the Falcons the Best pick they can have is 5th the worse they can have is 16(unless denver wins tomorrow then the number becomes 15). All in All the team if they draft the right players should still be in position to get a potential Allstar player
  16. Well, it’s time we finally admit the truth about this franchise. By Cory Woodroof @CoryWoodroof47 Dec 12, 2018, 8:00am EST Leodis McKelvin was right. The Atlanta Falcons are, have been, and for the immediate future, will be front-runners. Go back to 2016 with me, if you will. The Falcons had just lost to the Philadelphia Eagles, one of the team’s few 2016 regular season flops. The game showed what happened when the historic offense met a fierce defensive front. The team was held to 15 points on offense and lost control of the game’s tempo, which sunk the explosive mentality the team thrived on way back when. Post-game, McKelvin uttered the awful truth no one wanted to believe at a time where things were about to break even for Atlanta in the biggest way possible. “I was telling the defense, this is the type of team, they are a front-runner. They are a front-running team,” he told reporters (via ESPN). “If you go out there and make some stops, they eventually are going to be dying down.” The quote, at the time, was great bulletin board material for a team that surely used that moment to jettison to a better place (well, almost). But its the most telling observation about this franchise ever relayed by an opponent, and the defining problem of this team in the post-Michael Vick era. The Falcons are front-runners. They do wilt at immediate adversity. Slow them down, knock them out of the fight. It’s how it’s always been, and 2018 is that in grand amplification. Let’s go back to any big moment in recent team history. Looking Back The 2010 season ended in the divisional round with Aaron Rodgers coming out, guns blazing, to stop the Falcons after they got out to an early 14-7 start to see 35 unanswered points derail a promising campaign. The 2012 season ended with a collapsed lead in the NFC Championship to the 49ers that kept the team from going to its second Super Bowl. The week prior, they did the exact same thing to the Seahawks, but the mighty foot of Matt Bryant saved pain for a week later. In February 2017, well, we won’t go there. Look at the 2013 season, when, after a rash of injuries, the entire half decade of goodwill seemingly evaporated and led to the end of an era with the firing of Mike Smith in 2014. Look at the 2015 season, when the team let a few close games gather moss down the rolling hill to lose six straight. Look at the 2011 season, when the team fell flat at the Meadowlands by only scoring two points. Look at January’s Eagles debacle. Want more examples? Google: “Falcons blow lead regular season.” Sometimes, in large part thanks to Matt Ryan, they can fight their way back for the comeback. But we haven’t seen that much as of late. And it still doesn’t discount the fact that they had to be in that situation to begin with. The team’s problems haven’t changed once since 2008. They can’t handle teams with stout trenches, and the teams with strong run games and even stronger defensive lines always win out against the Birds when the things get close. The Falcons never seem to find success in addressing their own trenches, which have both been decent at the best since the turn of the millennium. The team can’t handle compounding injuries, they can’t handle blown leads, they can’t handle what happens when things go wrong. They have to have everything in place to succeed. It’s never quite broken even in their favor. They’ve gotten close, but not quite. Why is that? Why is it this team can’t get into the tough moments and box out a win? Why can’t this team withstand injuries? Why can’t this team hold a lead? Why does this team spend so much time worrying about rising up? What about staying up when the punches come in bunches? Don’t throw around curses, or “that’s just the way it is,” or more jargon about this or that with the team’s history. This is football, not World of Warcraft. You’re not bound to some ancient hex or manifest destiny. It’s just a game, and anyone can fix anything at any time to win whatever they want to win. The Falcons are front-runners, and it’s time for Dan Quinn and Thomas Dimitroff to fix that. Looking Within Quinn has helped solve some of that problem of the team being accused of being a finesse outfit. He drafted guys like Deion Jones, Keanu Neal, Takkarist McKinley and Grady Jarrett to change the mentality. He wanted guys who were fast and physical; we all know that. For the most part, he’s gotten that exact result. But this team never seems to escape this belief that it’s, as Fox Sports’ Nick Wright said after the team lost in Philly in January, “a soft, finesse dome team.” Is it time we all start taking that moniker seriously? Is this just who the Falcons are, at least right now? Are they really just birds of comfort? These old legacy teams like the Patriots, Packers, Steelers, Bears, Giants, Broncos, Eagles, Dolphins ... the win-in-the-elements, smack-you-down, mean-machine outfits who can win with two teeth, a busted jaw, and a broken leg. We’ve seen the Falcons play tough in this Quinn era, so that total perception isn’t quite true. But we’ve seen them wilt down the stretch too many times in equal measure, often to these types of teams who keep swinging even when the Falcons seemingly have them pinned. The Falcons saw their greatest weakness send them home from Houston without a trophy. They faded down the stretch in the franchise’s most important moment in the exact way McKelvin said they would. The Patriots got some stops, got a few scores, and whammo, a 28-3 lead disappears like a thief in the night. The Patriots didn’t steal the Super Bowl; the Falcons gave it away. They couldn’t overcome their grandest problem, and it stole the greatest victory a football team can achieve. Looking ahead This team has been a front-runner for as long as I can remember, unable to handle the smallest dose of adversity. The team rebounding after 2017’s Super Bowl fracas to get to the divisional round was an incredible feat, but they had time to plan. Quinn has been wondrous about fixing problems in the offseason and letting the team grow. He’ll most likely do that this spring. But when new problems pop up in-season, the team just doesn’t seem to have the wherewithal to withstand them. It happens time after time. The Falcons have to have everything break their way in order to achieve ultimate success. If that doesn’t happen, neither do the Falcons. The rare example of this came in 2016, when the team lost Desmond Trufant to injury, and Jalen Collins stepped up. The team did get the benefit of having Quinn take the plays over in that stretch, which gave them the defensive boost they needed. Collins is gone now, and Quinn hasn’t called the plays since the Super Bowl. But what would’ve happened that year if the team had gotten more banged up? Well, you saw down the stretch. What will the Falcons have to do to fix this? Who knows. It’s not something you can just pinpoint to fix through the draft, or in free agency, or with a coaching change. The entire mentality of the organization has to change, the players you bring in have to have fight in them, the entire team has to have a strong left hook and a nasty counter-punch. No matter the eventual solution, McKelvin called it two years ago. He doesn’t have to stay right, though. If the Falcons want a Super Bowl, they’re going to have to figure out how to be tough and resilient ... no, not in general. When it counts. It’s time for the Falcons to break away from the front-running mentality. It’s time for them to shed the dome-friendly visage. It’s time for them to be 100% tough. It’s time for the Atlanta Falcons to get a backbone. Here’s desperately hoping they find one.
  17. We are currently in slot #5 in the draft with that giants win.
  18. Lots of trading down. Maybe my favorite overall draft. Have at it. Please don't whine that this isn't "realistic". No kidding. This is just what I would do given the opportunity. https://first-pick.com/NFL/Share.aspx?id=2b8060a5-c579-49be-8440-d942516e6787 Round 2 Pick 22 (K.C.): ONeill, Brian, OT, Pittsburgh (A-)Round 2 Pick 30 (MINN): Ragnow, Frank, C/OG, Arkansas (B+)Round 2 Pick 31 (N.E.): Miller, Kolton, OT, UCLA (B)Round 3 Pick 7 (DEN): Gesicki, Mike, TE, Penn State (A+)Round 3 Pick 14 (K.C.): Smith, Braden, OG, Auburn (A)Round 3 Pick 19 (BALT): Thomas, Ian, TE, Indiana (A-)Round 3 Pick 27 (N.O.): Hill, BJ, DT, North Carolina State (A+)Round 3 Pick 36 (CINN): Warner, Fred, OLB, Brigham Young (A)Round 4 Pick 4 (IND): Avery, Genard, ILB, Memphis (B)Round 4 Pick 6 (DEN): Aruna, Ade, DE, Tulane (A)Round 4 Pick 11 (LAR): Samuels, Jaylen, RB/WR, North Carolina State (A+)Round 4 Pick 16 (DAL): Igwebuike, Godwin, FS, Northwestern (B+)Round 4 Pick 18 (BALT): Sweat, Josh, OLB, Florida State (A)Round 4 Pick 26: Burks, Oren, OLB, Vanderbilt (B+)Round 4 Pick 27 (N.O.): Fatukasi, Folorunso, DT, Connecticut (A)Round 4 Pick 28 (S.F.): Maddox, Avonte, CB, Pittsburgh (A+)Round 4 Pick 29 (JAX): White, Mike, QB, Western Kentucky (A+)Round 4 Pick 35 (LAR): Fountain, Daurice, WR, Northern Iowa (A-)Round 4 Pick 37 (DAL): Nichols, Bilal, DT, Delaware (B+)Round 5 Pick 6 (S.F.): Cantrell, Dylan, WR, Texas Tech (B+)Round 5 Pick 12 (DEN): Apke, Troy, SS, Penn State (B+)Round 5 Pick 17 (BALT): Sieler, Zach, DE, Ferris State (B)Round 5 Pick 22 (OAK): Jacobs, Leon, OLB, Wisconsin (B)Round 5 Pick 23 (DEN): Conklin, Tyler, TE, Central Michigan (B)Round 5 Pick 34 (DAL): J Hall, P, DT, Sam Houston State (B+)Round 6 Pick 7 (CHI): Wims, Javon, WR, Georgia (A)Round 6 Pick 11 (OAK): Adams, Josh, RB, Notre Dame (A+)Round 6 Pick 26: Jamerson, Natrell, FS, Wisconsin (A-)Round 6 Pick 37 (HOU): ValdesScantling, Marquez, WR, South Florida (A)Round 6 Pick 40 (HOU): Nickerson, Parry, CB, Tulane (A+)Round 7 Pick 7 (MINN): Harrison, Desmond, OT, West Georgia (A)Round 7 Pick 15 (K.C.): Edmonds, Chase, RB, Fordham (A)Round 7 Pick 26: Thomas, Matthew, OLB, Florida State (A)Round 7 Pick 28 (PITT): Matthews, Tray, SS, Auburn (A)Round 7 Pick 31 (CINN): Flowers, Tre, SS, Oklahoma State (A+)Round 7 Pick 34 (CINN): Nall, Ryan, RB/FB, Oregon State (A)Round 7 Pick 35 (CINN): OConnell, Cody, OG, Washington State (A+)Round 7 Pick 38: Warren III, Chris, RB, Texas (A+)
  19. Calling all Falcons fans. Why do certain people/or yourself think we need a Tight End(TE). Because I'm under the belief we don't need a TE. Tight End is not a need for the Atlanta Falcons. The people trying to make this a need is mind boggling to me. So help me understand. Because Austin Hooper in a sophomore year was decent. And average around where the Veterans were averaging in the league. Considering the entire offense was lackluster. He was decent. And if the team gets back to the offense we know they can be(It doesn't have to be Shanahan offense) but back to the good offense we remember in the Matt Ryan years. Then Austin Hooper will be fine. But if you feel different, let me know. So I can see where people are coming from with this need at TE. That nobody see but fans.
  20. I did the draft game just now, traded down a few times to gain more picks to address the Falcons needs properly, and to draft more bodies in case guys bust. What do you think of my first few picks? Round 2, Pick 14 = Harrison Phillips, DT, Stanford Round 2, Pick 32 = Braden Smith, OT/OG, Auburn Round 3, Pick 11 = Jeff Holland, DE/OLB, Auburn Round 3, Pick 13 = Anthony Averett, CB, Alabama Round 3, Pick 20 = Frank Ragnow, C/OG, Arkansas Round 4, Pick 5 = Mike Gesicki, TE, Penn State Round 4, Pick 14 = Bradley Bozeman, C, Alabama Round 4, Pick 24 = Bo Scarbrough, RB, Alabama Round 4, Pick 25 = Jaylen Samuels, FB, North Carolina State I made 4 more picks but they were probably just draft fillers. These guys here are the guys that would matter! Link
  21. Did you ever think we would see the Falcons draft someone that drops the F bomb on National TV? LOL Dude has some passion.... hopefully he channels it in the right direction!
  22. http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/news/cowboys-starting-right-tackle-reportedly-decides-to-retire-after-10-seasons/ Cowboys starting right tackle reportedly decides to retire after 10 seasons Doug Free has decided to hang up his cleats The Cowboys might need to call an audible on their plans for free agency, because all of the sudden, they have a gaping hole on their offensive line that they’re going to need to fill. According to ESPN.com, starting right tackle Doug Free has decided to retire. The 10-year veteran had been a mainstay on the Cowboys’ offensive line since becoming a full-time starter in 2010. In the seven seasons since then, Free started in 107 of the 112 regular season games that the Cowboys played over that span. Although Free was widely viewed as the weak link on the Cowboys’ offensive line over the past few years -- Pro Football Focus gave him the lowest grade of any Cowboys linemen in 2016 -- that was more a product of how good the line was than how poorly Free was playing. Replacing a long-time starter is never easy, and it definitely won’t be in this situation, especially because the Cowboys weren’t even aware of Free’s possible retirement going into March. When asked about Free on March 1, Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said he was unaware of any retirement rumors. “I do not know of any talk of retirement in regard to Doug Free,” Garrett said, via the team’s official website. On the same day, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones even added that the team had already penned Free in as the starting right tackle in 2017. “Our projection is Doug is going to come back, and he’s our starting right tackle,” Jones said, via Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “Obviously if we don’t get [Ronald] Leary re-signed, which will be difficult, then we see La’el [Collins] as our starting guard.” The problem for the Cowboys is that not only did they lose Leary (to the Broncos), but they might not be able to use La’el Collins to guard. Due to Free’s retirement, the Cowboys might need to move Collins to right tackle, which would then leave a hole at left guard. Collins played tackle in college at LSU, so that move could make sense. The Cowboys also have 2015 third-round pick Chaz Green, but he’s only played in a total of four games over the past two seasons due to various injuries. To fill their open spot on the line, the Cowboys might have to use a draft pick or break out the checkbook for someone in free agency. The good news for the Cowboys is that Free’s retirement will save them $5 million against the salary cap. Free ended up being a bargain for the Cowboys. After being selected in the fourth round of the 2007 NFL Draft, the lineman went on to play in a total of 124 games (with 114 starts) over 10 seasons.
  23. My 1st post here after lurking for a while. I thought post draft was a good time to defend TD. I’ll start my case with GMs that are clearly worse than TD. 1) Bucs - A kicker in the 2nd? A kicker?! And they traded UP??? This is the biggest reach since the jags took that punter in the 3rd. This board would have a meltdown of epic proportions if TD did that. 2) Rams - Desperately needed a QB, but gave up WAY too much after basically stealing high picks for years. Goff has potential, but not a sure thing. Julio was a slam dunk no question sure thing. 3) Eagles - See: Rams 4) Giants - It’s pretty clear they panicked and took Apple. A good player, but no way he’s top 10. They didn’t appear to have a backup plan. 5) Cowboys - Took a RB 4th. He better be the next AP because that’s 6 spots higher than Gurley. We took Devonta in the 4th round. Even the best RB is a reach here. Also, Jaylon Smith was not worth the risk that high. 3rd round sure. Not the top of the 2nd. He may never play a down in the NFL. If you want to risk it there, you take Jack. 6) Jets - Took another developmental QB when they needed a real one. Hackenberg had a 56.1 completion % in college. Yikes. Waste of a 2nd round pick. Should’ve taken Lynch in the 1st. 7) Browns - I love the idea of analytics in football (this sport is waaay behind baseball and like it or not, analytics matter). They had the right idea accumulating picks, but then they forgot to get a QB. You MUST have a QB in this league or at least be developing one. I’ll be shocked if RGIII is the answer. Wentz would have been my pick since no trade was needed, but getting all those picks + Lynch would have been fine. And with tons of picks, they got a bunch of meh. Coleman reminds me of Tavon Austin. Speed is great, but with crappy QB play you gotta have a tall receiver to go up and get it. Should’ve taken Doctson. So there’s 7 teams right there that clearly have worse GMs than TD. I can argue TD is better than many more, but these shouldn’t be debatable. I think it’s pretty clear now why TD has kept his job all this time. He gets the players his coaches want and he’s **** good at it. Sure, he might give up too much sometimes, but can you think of players we really targeted that he didn’t get? Ryan - got him. Trufant - got him. Julio or AJ - got him. Matthews - got him. Beasley - got him. Neal - got him. It’s pretty ridiculous how good TD is at getting the guys his coaches want. The debate was always how much crappy drafting was TDs fault and how much was Mike Smith’s. Well Koetter and Smith just asked for a kicker….in the 2nd round. I think that pretty much ends the debate right there. The last two drafts have been very well received by the fan base (for the most part). So did TD turn on some magic switch? No. He finally had a coach that knew what the eff he was doing and drafted accordingly. Let’s just see how much influence TD had on this draft…. Neal - Quinn begged TD to get him Jones - Quinn written all over him Hooper - Shannahan loves his TEs Campbell - Quinn for sure 6) Wes Schweitzer - Keith Carter pick It appears TD just got what his coaches asked for. Great players bust all the time because they get drafted into the wrong scheme. That’s why BPA is dumb. Go get your guys even if you have to reach a little. The draft is a crapshoot so no one really knows which players are reaches anyway. So grade this draft however you want, but TD gets an A+. He got EXACTLY the players his coaches asked for.
  24. http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap3000000657564/article/2016-nfl-draft-9-remaining-gems-left-after-day-1 CHICAGO -- Day 1 of the 2016 NFL Draft is in the books, and now it's time to turn our attention to Day 2. There are still plenty of talented players remaining for teams in the second and third rounds on Friday, many who will become starters in the NFL. Below is a list of nine players I believe are the best remaining prospects on the board (with my original overall ranking in parenthesis): 1. Myles Jack (5), OLB, UCLA It wasn't physical ability with Jack but his surgically repaired right knee. And I'm not sure he helped himself much by saying on Wednesday that the knee would likely require microfracture surgery. I know of at least two teams prior to that statement that had passed him physically. At some point he becomes a risk worth taking. Teams just weren't willing to take it in the first round. It will probably take a team with multiple second-round picks -- like the Titans, Seahawks or Patriots -- to pull the trigger. 2. A'Shawn Robinson (13), DT, Alabam I was shocked when Robinson didn't go in the first round. He's a big man who moves very well. I'm not sure why he's still there. It could be the depth of the position he plays, with teams believing they can wait. Whatever the reason, some team is going to get a steal. 3. Kevin Dodd (16), DE, Clemson I have to admit, I probably graded him too high. I put too much stock in his three-sack performance against Alabama in the National Championship game. Still, he's a very good player, and one of the top remaining pass rushers. 4. Reggie Ragland (18), ILB, Alabama I think teams have serious concerns about whether Ragland can be a three-down player. I think he can, but obviously falling to the second round says otherwise. I was a little surprised when Green Bay passed on him to take DT Kenny Clark. There was a report Thursday that teams had flagged Ragland for an enlarged aorta, but I don't think that was much of a factor in his fall to Day 2. 5. Jarran Reed (21), DT, Alabama Reed is a very strong player who plays the run extremely well. He doesn't provide a lot of pass rush, which might have hurt him. He doesn't possess any special traits or have a wow factor, but he's pretty good at a lot of things. I think he'll play a long time in the NFL. 6. Kamalei Correa (30), DE, Boise State I would bet he's one of the first players off the board on Friday. He's one of the few pure pass rushers with speed that remain. He's a very good athlete who's probably best suited as an outside linebacker in a 3-4 defense. 7. Derrick Henry (32), RB, Alabama Only one running back was taken in the first round -- Ohio State's Ezekiel Elliott, who went to the Cowboys with the No. 4 pick. Elliott is an exceptional athlete with special skills. Henry's not in the same category, but he's a big back who can keep the chains moving. I think he'll be off the board by the middle of the second round. 8. Hunter Henry (33), TE, Arkansas It's no surprise Henry didn't go in the first round. He's a tight end with limitations. Teams are concerned about his blocking. But he's still the best of a weak tight end class and has what I believe is second-round value. 9. Jason Spriggs (34), OT, Indiana Seven offensive linemen went in Round 1, leaving Spriggs as the top option on Day 2. He has pretty good athletic ability for a man his size (6-6 5/8, 301) and started 47 games with the Hoosiers. Other players I don't think will be around very long on Friday: DT Chris Jones, DE Jihad Ward, WR Sterling Shepard, and CB Mackensie Alexander. I think the Chiefs are candidates to take Alexander after trading out of the first round. I would be happy with all but Ragland.
  25. FIRST ROUND (17TH OVERALL) Traded to the Bengals for their 1st round (24th overall), 3rd round (87th overall) and 5th round (161st overall) NEW FIRST ROUND PICK (24TH OVERALL) FALCONS SELECT: KARL JOSEPH, SAFETY, WEST VIRGINIA Ironically, Joseph's play style of a complete lack of respect for his own body was not the reason he missed more than half of his senior season. He injured his knee in a non-contact practice drill, putting a stop to his best year to date, where he led the FBS in interceptions (five) after four weeks. Joseph flies into the backfield and attacks receivers in space like few others in this draft class, as he showed during his first-team All-Big 12 junior campaign (92 stops, 4.5 for loss, one interception, three pass breakups, three forced fumbles.) Joseph started every game as a freshman (team defensive player of the year with 104 tackles, seven for loss, two interceptions, three forced fumbles) and sophomore (68 tackles, three for loss, one interception), as well, earning honorable mention all-conference recognition each season. SECOND ROUND (50TH OVERALL) FALCONS SELECT: SHELDON DAY, DEFENSIVE TACKLE/DEFENSIVE END, NOTRE DAME Day plays stronger than his measurements might indicate. Heady and hustling, he also holds his ground against double teams and may have the best hands of any lineman in the draft. Day played inside and outside for the Irish, regularly making plays in the backfield in 2015 (15.5 tackles for loss, four sacks, 13 quarterback hurries) on his way to USA Today first-team All-American honors. The three-year starter nearly matched his career tackle for loss total (16.5) and exceeded his sack total (3.5) despite being the focus of opposing offenses. THIRD ROUND (81ST OVERALL) FALCONS SELECT: JOSHUA PERRY, LINEBACKER, OHIO STATE Perry gained respect from Big Ten coaches for his play as a senior, garnering first team All-Big Ten notice with 105 tackles, 7.5 for loss and three sacks. He also received honors for his leadership and character, being named an all-state AFCA All-Good Works Team member, as well as a finalist for the Lott IMPACT, Senior CLASS Award, and the Wuerffel Trophy. The Buckeyes' leading tackler in 2014 (124, 8.5 for loss, three sacks) earned honorable mention All-Big Ten honors in his second year as a starter (he had 64 tackles, two for loss the previous year). Though not a highly recruited player like many on head coach Urban Meyer's squad, Perry's list of national honors speaks volumes about his willingness to do what it takes to get the job done. THIRD ROUND (87TH OVERALL) FALCONS SELECT: AUSTIN HOOPER, TIGHT END, STANFORD Stanford has become "Tight End U" over the past few years, with former Cardinal contributors Zach Ertz, Levine Tiololo, Coby Fleener and Jim Dray enjoying good NFL careers. Hooper's next in line, leaving for the pros after his redshirt sophomore season. His father actually played at San Diego State, but his uncle, Greg, suited up for Stanford as a fullback from 1979-1982. Those genes were obvious during his two years on the field, first as a redshirt freshman in 2014 where he earned Freshman All-American and second-team All-Pac-12 honors (40-499, two scores). He helped Stanford win a conference championship in his second season, garnering several honors (Mackey Award finalist, third-team AP All-American, first-team All-Pac-12) by catching 34 passes for 438 yards and six touchdowns. FOUTH ROUND (115TH OVERALL) FALCONS SELECT: JOSHUA GARNETT, GUARD, STANFORD Garnett, the son of an NFL nose tackle (Scott Garnett), played in the shadow of other NFL-ready Stanford linemen like 2015 first-round pick Andrus Peat before his senior year. He emerged from that shadow this fall, however, winning numerous All-American honors and the Outland Trophy as the nations top interior lineman. His combination of size (6-5, 325) and movement dropped jaws around college football -- especially when he takes an occasional turn as an H-back. Add intelligence and a nasty streak, and Garnetts got everything an offensive line coach would want to be part of his group. FIFTH ROUND (161ST OVERALL) FALCONS SELECT: ROBERTO AGUAYO, KICKER, FLORIDA STATE Aguayo is one of the top kickers in college football history and was a three-time First-Team All-American. He connected on 81 percent, 90 percent, and 96 percent of his field goal attempts over the past three seasons, respectively. Aguayo has a strong leg and never missed an extra point over three years. With the change of the NFL's extra point rules, Aguayo is even more valuable. SEVENTH ROUND (238TH OVERALL) FALCONS SELECT: CALEB BENENOCH, OFFENSIVE TACKLE, UCLA Benenoch is a tall, athletic player with positional versatility. He can play guard or tackle, but needs to hit the weights if he wants to excel at either in the NFL. He shoes good length and lateral agility when firing off the line or blocking on the move. He plays with good balance and natural knee bend. Benenoch also plays with an edge that will help him transition to the NFL game.
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