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1-3 Atlanta Falcons: QB - Brian Brohm - Lousiville

2-34 Atlanta Falcons: LT - Anthony Collins - Kansas

2-37 Atlanta Falcons: ILB - Dan Connor - Penn St.

2-48 Atlanta Falcons: NT43 - Pat Sims - Auburn

3-68 Atlanta Falcons: WR - Jordy Nelson - Kansas St.

4-99 Atlanta Falcons: UT - Andre Fluellen - FSU

5-129 Atlanta Falcons: CB - Dwight Lowery - San Jose St.

6-160 Atlanta Falcons: OLB43 - Jameel McClain - Syracuse

6-163 Atlanta Falcons: DE43 - Kendall Langford - Hampton

7-194 Atlanta Falcons: G - Robert Felton - Arkansas

7-214 Atlanta Falcons: QB - Colt Brennan - Hawaii

**** 1-3 Atlanta Falcons: QB - Brian Brohm - Lousiville

Arm strength: Makes all the throws with zip and accuracy, but lacks a true rocket arm. Footwork, delivery and release are so efficient, they make arm look stronger than it really is. Cannot make great downfield throws when unable to stride into them. Grade: 8.5

Accuracy/delivery: Has a compact and efficient release; combined with footwork, consistently gets rid of the ball quickly. Sometimes gets deliberate when throwing, leading to defenders closing in on and breaking up passes. Is accurate on throws all over the field. Grade: 8.5

Field vision: Shows great field vision, identifying coverages and making correct decisions. Doesn't get fooled by schemes and switches, and gets the ball to the right man. Grade: 8.5

Running ability: Shows great, quick footwork to slide and move well in the pocket to avoid pressure to buy more time. Lacks the ability to tuck the ball and run to make big plays. Grade: 6.5

Intangibles: Comes from family of coaches; clearly has the work ethic, smarts and feel for the position that is rare for a college QB. Leads more by example; isn't the vocal, take-command type. Grade: 8.0

Bottom line: Considering Brohm is the son of a coach and his brother coached him at Louisville, it is no surprise that he has great footwork and technique. He typically makes great decisions, although he had to force things trying to carry the offense as a senior. In addition to his strong, accurate arm, Brohm has both the mental and athletic acumen to become a terrific NFL quarterback who starts early in his pro career.

**** 2-34 Atlanta Falcons: LT - Anthony Collins - Kansas

Strengths: Is a good athlete. When focused, shows the quickness to reach the corner to cut off speed rushers. When getting hands on defensive ends quickly and extending long arms, pins them to the line. Shows the strength to drive defensive linemen down the line on side blocks, and sometimes torques them off their feet. When maintaining balance and playing under control, reaches the second level with ease to seal linebackers.

Weaknesses: Does not play up to his talent. Rarely shows passion for the game, and gets beaten too often by lesser players. Shows poor footwork in pass protection; tends to turn and semi-slide choppily to the corner. Does not use hand punch aggressively; usually keeps hands low, leaving chest open to bull rushers. Does not bend knees and block with leverage consistently, hindering ability to play strong and maintain blocks. Quits on pass blocks too soon.

Bottom line: Collins, a junior, really could have helped himself by staying in school and improving his technique and intensity. Collins has the talent to be an NFL starter and is sure to shine in pre-draft workouts, but GMs should be wary of falling in love with his athleticism. Offensive tackles who do not play with passion usually disappoint in the NFL.

**** 2-37 Atlanta Falcons: ILB - Dan Connor - Penn St.

Strengths: Is tall with adequate bulk and room on his frame to get bigger. Displays good natural instincts. Is physical, tough and aggressive, but also disciplined. Plays with a mean streak and his motor never stops running. At his best when he's protected and playing in space. Reads his keys quickly, takes solid angles in pursuit and shows good closing burst to the ball carrier. Does a fine job of using his hands to keep blockers off his body as he pursues and shows good upper-body strength. Extremely reliable tackler; he breaks down effectively in space and consistently wraps up with good power at the point of attack. Gets good depth on his drops and displays adequate range in zone coverage. Displays good ball skills for his position. Has a nose for the ball and always seems to be in on big plays. Is an instinctive blitzer with good closing burst to the QB when he gets through the line.

Weaknesses: Plays a bit high at times. Stronger upper body than lower body. Plays with somewhat of a narrow base and will struggle in some phone booth matchups versus bigger blockers. Shows some stiffness in his hips. Good quickness laterally and coming forward, but takes a bit too long in transition when turning and running. Will have some trouble sticking with quicker RB's one-on-one in coverage. Character issues could play a factor in his draft stock; he was suspended for three games in 2005 after being cited for harassing phone calls.

Overall: Conner has played in 33 games (24 starts) during his first three seasons (2004-'06), registering 274 total tackles, 19 tackles for loss, 7.5 sacks, and three interceptions. He has also seen time at inside linebacker. Connor spent most of his career on the weak-side before moving inside as a senior to replace Paul Posluszny (Bills, 2nd round in 2007). If he makes a smooth transition it will only add to his value as a potential first-round pick. Connor has some minor character issues that could come back to haunt him a bit and he also lacks elite athleticism. However, his speed, tackling skills and tenacious style are the reasons he ranks as one of the premier linebacker prospects in the 2008 draft class.

**** 2-48 Atlanta Falcons: NT43 - Pat Sims - Auburn

Against the run: Is a disruptive force when playing with good leverage, aggressiveness and hand usage. Is quick enough to split gaps and blow up plays before they get started. Has the bulk and strength to hold up at the point of attack against one-on-one blocks, clogging the hole or shedding blocks to make tackles. Gets inside "reach" blocks, keeping blocker on his back while chasing the ballcarrier. Is not always aggressive, and sometimes gets upright and loses leverage. Grade: 7.5

Pass rush: Shows the quickness and strength to shoot gaps, and does not hesitate to hit the quarterback right after the throw. When bull rushing with good leverage and hand usage, jolts offensive linemen and drives them backward. Is inconsistent. Grade: 6.9

Initial quickness: Shows the quick footwork, instincts and ability to anticipate the snap to move toward the ball in a blink. Is an explosive athlete who overpowers blockers when using good technique and aggressiveness. Explodes up into ballcarriers to deliver violent hits. Grade: 8.0

Run/pass recognition: Is smart, and does not get fooled or pulled in the wrong direction. Reads plays quickly. Grade: 7.5

Pursuit/tackling: Gets inside backside blockers on runs away, and shows the speed to chase down ballcarriers. When close, shows the explosive closing burst to finish the play. Shows the athletic ability, strength and competitiveness to consistently get ballcarriers to the ground. Grade: 8.0

Bottom line: Sims, a junior, likely will be drafted on Day 1 but would have been drafted much higher had he stayed in school and spent another season improving his game. No one questions whether Sims has first-round talent; he shows rare athletic ability and makes impact plays against the pass and run. What's missing is consistency in aggressiveness and technique. Some line coach will have to whip Sims into shape and make him hungry to play. He should become a productive starter after a season or two as a backup.

**** 3-68 Atlanta Falcons: WR - Jordy Nelson - Kansas St.

Strengths: Is a tough, every-down receiver who plays hard every snap. Makes clutch catches. Makes tough catches across the middle, and always seems to find a way to turn short passes into big plays. Shows good vision to find running creases. Shows good leadership skills.

Weaknesses: Lacks speed to stretch the field and force cornerbacks to play "off" coverage. Must improve hand usage and technique to defeat jams and get into routes quicker. Lacks top athleticism to consistently get separation deep. Must become more consistent blocking downfield.

Bottom line: Nelson is a fan favorite who improved each year and had a breakout senior season. He projects as an NFL possession receiver who makes catches in traffic and breaks tackles to turn short passes into big plays. If Nelson runs a great 40 in pre-draft workouts, he would shoot up draft boards. It should take him a year or two to produce on offense, but he is a good returner and should be a factor on special teams while he develops as a receiver.

**** 4-99 Atlanta Falcons: UT - Andre Fluellen - FSU

Strengths: Gets off the snap quickly to shoot gaps and pressure the QB. Blows up running plays in the backfield before they get started. Consistently gets inside "reach" blocks, keeps the blocker on his back and chases down ballcarriers in backside pursuit. Shows flexibility to bend knees and play with good leverage. Flashes good hand usage to take on run-blocking offensive linemen strong at the point of attack, hold his ground, clog the middle and shut down inside runs. Plays bigger and stronger than measured size.

Weaknesses: Lacks bulk; at current size, will struggle to be as effective in the NFL as he was in college. Will not get movement as a bull rusher in the NFL, and will struggle to shed blocks once offensive linemen lock him up. Lacks repertoire of pass-rush moves.

Bottom line: Fluellen's lack of bulk is cause for concern, but his production shows he has what it takes to play in the NFL. He definitely helped himself at the Senior Bowl, consistently beating blocks to disrupt plays. He only fits in a one-gap, attacking-style defense -- ideally a 4-3 scheme similar to that run by the Bucs and Colts. We are confident in Fluellen's ability to become a productive NFL starter, one who consistently makes plays by getting off the ball fast, shooting gaps and getting into the backfield.

**** 5-129 Atlanta Falcons: CB - Dwight Lowery - San Jose St.

Strengths: Possesses good height, adequate bulk and adequate-to-good top-end speed. He has long arms and does a good job of timing his jumps. Displays exceptional instincts and ball skills. Closes quickly on the ball in front of hit and aggressively attacks the ball in the air. Uses good leverage and shows burst out of his pedal. A smooth athlete that can stick one-on-one with most receivers on an island. Also shows good awareness in space and can hold up well when in zone or man-cushion coverage. Reads quarterbacks' eyes well and will get a consistently good jump on the ball.

Weaknesses: Lacks ideal experience; only one full season at DI-A level prior to senior year and he still doesn't match up against top wide receiver talent in the WAC. He lacks ideal strength. Bulk is adequate but he could stand to get a bit bigger and definitely needs to get stronger. Effort in run support is only decent. He struggles to get off of blocks too frequently and he's more of a drag-down tackler than anything.

Overall: Lowery originally attended Cabrillo Community College were he played for the 2004-'05 seasons before transferring to San Jose State for 2006. During that season he played in 13 games registering 48 total tackles, 0.5 tackles for loss, nine interceptions, and seven pass breakups. The former JUCO transfer wasted little time making his presence felt as a first-year player at SJSU in 2006. Lowery will struggle to put up the same interception totals as a senior when teams undoubtedly will throw away from him. However, he is a proven playmaker with the size, speed, instincts and ball skill to develop into a starting cornerback in the NFL. In order to lock down a spot in the first couple of rounds in next year's draft, Lowery must continue to improve his footwork and run-support skills.

**** 6-160 Atlanta Falcons: OLB43/ILB/DE43 - Jameel McClain - Syracuse 6-0, 249, 4.78/40

Strengths: Is productive at a variety of positions. Carries out assignments, and does not make mental errors. Maintains containment, keeping play inside of him. Uses hands and strength well to take on blockers and play strong at the point of attack. Clogs runs directed at him. Shows quick hands and feet to defeat pass blockers. Sifts through traffic and hurdles low blocks to chase down plays in pursuit. Is smooth and fluid dropping into zone coverage. Reads and reacts to the quarterback well, and closes quickly to make hard hits. Shows good awareness to pick up the running back out of the backfield and cover him in the flat.

Weaknesses: Is a defensive end/linebacker 'tweener. Is short for an end, and lacks explosiveness to be a consistent pass-rush threat. Lacks premier speed and experience at linebacker, especially in coverage. Will need time to learn the nuances of the position. Does not consistently shed blocks quick enough. Must learn to use hands better to defeat blocks and keep blockers from getting a good hold of him. Lacks pass-rush moves.

Bottom line: McClain hardly played before junior season when he shifted to defensive end and made a lot of plays. He'll have to play linebacker in the NFL, though. At the Senior Bowl, he looked surprisingly smooth and athletic in coverage, especially for somebody who hadn't played the position in two years. McClain will be highly valued by teams such as the Browns and Patriots, who move defenders around and regard versatility as a tremendous trait.

**** 6-163 Atlanta Falcons: DE43 - Kendall Langford - Hampton (6'5", 295, 4.95)

Strengths: Quick, aggressive and makes plays behind the line of scrimmage. Shows a violent punch, has a mean streak and flashes the ability to shed blocks quickly. Is a relentless pass rusher and flashes the ability to fight though double teams. Cuts angle to quarterback down with good inside lean and flashes an effective rip move. Use hands to protect legs, stays balanced and can get over cut blocks. Drives legs once engaged, shows adequate lower body strength and can push tackles back into the pocket. Wraps up upon contact and is a reliable open field tackler. Looks to knock the ball loose when gets to the quarterback and is a ball hawk. Has experience lining up at defensive tackle and is versatile enough to slide inside in situations with pass-heavy tendencies. Tall, jumps well and blocked a kick during 2006 season.

Weaknesses: Plays far too high and can get driven off the ball. Lacks elite explosiveness and there is some concern about ability to turn the corner working against NFL caliber tackles. Doesn't have elite closing speed and is going to have problems chasing mobile quarterbacks down. Lacks great awareness and doesn't always get hands up when isn't going to get to the quarterback.

Overall: During Langford's first three seasons (2004-'06) he appeared in 36 games (27 starts) and recorded 164 total tackles, 42.5 tackles for loss, and 18.5 sacks. Playing at a small school obviously raised concerns about Langford's production thus far and he has to become a more fundamentally sound run defender. However, he's already shown the versatility, athletic ability and power to develop into a contributor in the NFL. Strong showings during postseason all-star games and workouts could land Langford a spot on Day 1 of the 2008 draft.

**** 7-194 Atlanta Falcons: G - Robert Felton - Arkansas (6'3", 313, 5.4)

Strengths: Thickly built mauler with adequate-to-good height. Rarely loses a one-on-one matchup in the phone booth. Drives defenders off the line of scrimmage and typically finishes what he starts. Plays with a mean streak and can be overpowering at times. Adequate short-area quickness when fresh. He gets out of his stance quickly and does a good job with his first several steps on pulls and traps. Takes solid angles as a run blocker and displays good overall hand-placement. Technique in the running game is very good. Plays with a wide base and can anchor at the point of attack versus bull rushers. Though best fits at guard in the NFL has some versatility due to experience at right tackle. He also has been durable and will finish his career with excellent game experience having starting the last 42 game of his collegiate career.

Weaknesses: Displays below-average mobility. The more space he's in the less effective he becomes. Shows good initial quickness for his size and takes good angles so generally he will get in position as a run blocker, but he really struggles to hit the moving target in space. He gets too high and loses leverage in space. Not a natural knee bender. Does not have the feet or lateral quickness to hold up in pass pro on the perimeter; needs to be protected inside. Struggles to adjust to the double move and can get caught lunging at times. Stamina and overall conditioning must improve. It's obvious when he begins to wear down, as he comes out of his stance higher and slower, which limits his range even more as a run blocker and makes him that much more susceptible to inside quickness in pass pro. Lacks ideal discipline and commits too many penalties.

Overall: Felton redshirted his first year at Arkansas (2003). In his first three seasons, he appeared in 36 games (29 starts), playing at right tackle (2004-05) and right guard (2006). As a senior he started all 13 games, playing right guard in the first nine games before moving to left tackle for the rest of the season. Felton is a classic mauler. He is big, strong and powerful enough to dominate the point of attack once in position. However, his below-average footwork and mobility limit him both as a run blocker and in pass protection. With that in mind, he projects as a fifth round pick.

**** 7-214 Atlanta Falcons: QB - Colt Brennan - Hawaii

Strengths: Is super smart. Reads defenses in a flash. Consistently makes correct decisions. Stays poised in the pocket; doesn't get flustered if it collapses. Moves nicely in the pocket and steps up to avoid wide rushers. Shows a quick release. Is a consistently accurate on both short and deep touch passes. Is an outstanding leader. Is tough, having played through a painful ankle injury as a senior.

Weaknesses: Lacks ideal height, but thin frame is a greater concern. Lack of size/bulk raises major durability issues. Has a three-quarters arm, dart-like throwing motion; gets too many passes tipped at the line. Has played primarily in a run-and-shoot offense, throwing short passes out of the shotgun; must make major adjustments to fit in a traditional NFL passing game. Needs a lot of work on footwork during dropbacks. Must better protect the ball when under duress.

Bottom line: Brennan was a prolific performer -- yards, touchdowns, wins -- at Hawaii, but his NFL stock is hurt by both his small frame and poor performance at the Senior Bowl. He also must overcome the stigma attached to run-and-shoot quarterbacks, who tend to flame out quickly in the NFL. Still, Brennan has enough athleticism, poise and accuracy to develop into a productive NFL quarterback.

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Brookhaven (3/18/2008)
jdu00743 (3/18/2008)
I like Brohm...But he can be had MUCH later.

No he can't. He'll be gone at 8.

That isn't a sure thing, and there is nothing saying we can't drop back to 5 or 6. There is word that KC is really interested in Matt Ryan, so who knows what could happen. Brohm at 3 is just too soon.

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L.Rover (3/18/2008)
Aside from Brohm, who could be had several picks later, there are two picks I have a problem with:

I think a much, much better OT will be available instead of Anthony Collins. I also doubt that Dan Connor falls that far.

I was showing a run on offensive tackles in the first and early 2nd. This is probably a bit of a reach. I took it because it was such a need. It really is starting to look like even in a deep OT draft the top ones will be off the board before our pick. I'm wondering if it would make more sense to wait till later and take someone like Tony Hills (injury and all.)

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L.Rover (3/18/2008)

I think a much, much better OT will be available instead of Anthony Collins.

Like who?  The only one I can think of is Sam Baker.  We need a LT, first and foremost, and those are the only true LTs I see being around in the second round.  Unless there's someone I'm forgetting.....

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Scott24Falcs (3/18/2008)
L.Rover (3/18/2008)

I think a much, much better OT will be available instead of Anthony Collins.

Like who? The only one I can think of is Sam Baker. We need a LT, first and foremost, and those are the only true LTs I see being around in the second round. Unless there's someone I'm forgetting.....

Duane Brown from VT is a LT prospect people are sleeping on. Like a lot of good LTs, he started out in college playing TE. Has only played LT for two years. Has all the tools you look for, but is a little raw due to inexperience. He will probably go in the late 2nd round.

We need to get lucky and have someone slide down the boards to the 2nd round.

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Brookhaven (3/18/2008)
Scott24Falcs (3/18/2008)
L.Rover (3/18/2008)

I think a much, much better OT will be available instead of Anthony Collins.

Like who? The only one I can think of is Sam Baker. We need a LT, first and foremost, and those are the only true LTs I see being around in the second round. Unless there's someone I'm forgetting.....

Duane Brown from VT is a LT prospect people are sleeping on. Like a lot of good LTs, he started out in college playing TE. Has only played LT for two years. Has all the tools you look for, but is a little raw due to inexperience. He will probably go in the late 2nd round.

We need to get lucky and have someone slide down the boards to the 2nd round.

From what I've read, it seems like Brown is a better fit for a zone-blocking scheme.  I'm not sure that's what we're looking for.  And I also not sure if that is true.

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