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The Falcons have been trying to figure out how to fortify their secondary, but its makeup is somewhat jumbled with DeAngelo Hall traded to Oakland. Cornerback Chris Houston will be entering his second year as a starter. Free-agent acquisition Erik Coleman takes over at free safety. Lawyer Milloy likely is playing his last season and there is little depth behind him.

Who knows who will replace Hall. It is a very disjointed unit that could struggle if there isn't much pass rush. This further enhances the thought at Atlanta will take DT Glenn Dorsey with the third overall pick in the April 26-27 draft.

TEAM NEEDS/OFFSEASON STRATEGY

With the Falcons having a pre-draft mini-camp in mid-April, they will have to find at least one quarterback just to have an arm in camp. D.J. Shockley is still recovering from knee surgery and he might not be able to participate, leaving Chris Redman and Joey Harrington as the only signal callers in Mike Mularkey's new offense.

Though it could wait until the draft, the need for another tight end is a must. Ben Hartsock and Martrez Milner may be a nice two-deep tandem, but with Dwayne Blakley joining fellow starting tight end Alge Crumpler in Tennessee -- they were Atlanta's 1-2 tight end tandem in 2007 -- depth is an issue.

1. Cornerback: With DeAngelo Hall dealt to Oakland, Atlanta has to find a replacement. That could come from within the roster -- Von Hutchins, David Irons or Brent Grimes. The Falcons have also brought in Aqib Talib and other potential draft picks for private workouts.

2. Left tackle: The only player on the roster at this position is Quinn Ojinnaka, who does not have the size to play all 16 games as a starter. If Jake Long isn't selected with the first pick, Atlanta could trade up to get USC's Sam Baker.

3. Linebacker depth: With Keith Brooking now slated to play in the middle, Atlanta has its starting unit intact in the 4-3 scheme. There isn't much depth, though so an outside linebacker who can play both weak side and strong side needs to be obtained as does a possible successor to Brooking at MLB. One-year vet Tony Taylor was a strong special teams player and backup MLB but there are doubts about his ability to be an effective starter.

MEDICAL WATCH

A forgotten player who could be on the mend and could emerge as a contributor, if healthy, is WR Brian Finneran. Finneran has missed the past two seasons after tearing the ACL in his knee in preseason workouts. Finneran is said to be on track to be able to return, but nothing is certain until the coaching and medical staffs watch him during minicamps and OTAs. Before getting injured, Finneran, 6-feet-5, was the Falcons' top third-down option. He also was clutch in the red zone. He served as the No. 3 receivers but he could slide down the pecking order now. Roddy White, Laurent Robinson, Michael Jenkins and Joe Horn are tops in the rotation. If Finneran is healthy enough to make the team, Adam Jennings, who mainly returned punts, could be in jeopardy.

FRANCHISE PLAYER

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2. Offensive tackles

This class of blockers starts with Jake Long but doesn't end there. Ryan Clady (Montana), Jeff Otah (Pitt), Gosder Cherilus (Boston College) and Brandon Albert (Virginia) all jumped out at Indianapolis. Teams will be drafting wide-bodied tackles with the potential to become starters through seven rounds. "This is the best group of offensive tackles I've seen," said Steelers director of football operations Kevin Colbert, who has spent 24 years in the NFL.

Yea, trade up , OL

will these guys stop trying to give our picks away for nothing,

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buddrick (3/23/2008)
i crossed jimmy williams off my list the year he entered the draft, and i crossed talib off my list this year. i'll be p/o'ed if we draft him. a man without a position in the NFL.

There arent many corners taller than 6 foot.Chad Johson said bigger corners are the easiest to beat on the nfl channel last week.The big corner dream has wasted a lot of high picks.

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bigduke633 (3/23/2008)
buddrick (3/23/2008)
i crossed jimmy williams off my list the year he entered the draft, and i crossed talib off my list this year. i'll be p/o'ed if we draft him. a man without a position in the NFL.

There arent many corners taller than 6 foot.Chad Johson said bigger corners are the easiest to beat on the nfl channel last week.The big corner dream has wasted a lot of high picks.

Nnamdi guy from Oakland is 6'2 210.Chris McCallister is 6'1.Antonio Cromartie 6'2.If we did run cover 2 it wouldn't matter with Jimmy.He can play corner just not as quick as a D.Hall type but he won't get beat every play.Rashean Mathis is like 6'1 or 6'2.
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cwell1 (3/23/2008)
bigduke633 (3/23/2008)
buddrick (3/23/2008)
i crossed jimmy williams off my list the year he entered the draft, and i crossed talib off my list this year. i'll be p/o'ed if we draft him. a man without a position in the NFL.

There arent many corners taller than 6 foot.Chad Johson said bigger corners are the easiest to beat on the nfl channel last week.The big corner dream has wasted a lot of high picks.

Nnamdi guy from Oakland is 6'2 210.Chris McCallister is 6'1.Antonio Cromartie 6'2.If we did run cover 2 it wouldn't matter with Jimmy.He can play corner just not as quick as a D.Hall type but he won't get beat every play.Rashean Mathis is like 6'1 or 6'2.

 

Does jimmy belong in that group?Are corners typically under 6 foot?Yes they are.Doesnt mean you cant get a corner over 6 foot.Cromartie is probably my favorite but jimmy williams isnt in the same league.

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bigduke633 (3/23/2008)
cwell1 (3/23/2008)
bigduke633 (3/23/2008)
buddrick (3/23/2008)
i crossed jimmy williams off my list the year he entered the draft, and i crossed talib off my list this year. i'll be p/o'ed if we draft him. a man without a position in the NFL.

There arent many corners taller than 6 foot.Chad Johson said bigger corners are the easiest to beat on the nfl channel last week.The big corner dream has wasted a lot of high picks.

Nnamdi guy from Oakland is 6'2 210.Chris McCallister is 6'1.Antonio Cromartie 6'2.If we did run cover 2 it wouldn't matter with Jimmy.He can play corner just not as quick as a D.Hall type but he won't get beat every play.Rashean Mathis is like 6'1 or 6'2.

Does jimmy belong in that group?Are corners typically under 6 foot?Yes they are.Doesnt mean you cant get a corner over 6 foot.Cromartie is probably my favorite but jimmy williams isnt in the same league.

those guys got a chance to prove themselves.Nnamdi didn't become great till a couple seasons ago.Oakland was shuffling corners.This was Cromarties first season starting.It's not like our corners are gonna still be following WR's all over the field.Ronde Barber would suck in a scheme like that and he's not even big.Jimmy can be alright if we switch to a cover 2.I'm not assuring it,but it can happen.It doesn't matter how many times people get proven wrong about young players they'll still jump on the next one who isn't great immediately.Those previous ones didn't even have 3 coaches in 3 years and a new position every year.Give the guy a chance.Let him suck ON THE FIELD first,which he hasn't.His lack of playing time is the only reason people are doubting him and of course that is a reason to doubt him but don't act like he won't ever amount to anything because of his first 2 years.
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brvslugger10 (3/23/2008)
falcon_freddie (3/23/2008)
Finn is still on the roster?  I didn't think he was all that good when healthy.  Cut this gimp now and be done with it.
If he can prove to be healthy, then I see no way the Falcons cut Finn before Horn.

Dude hasnt played in 2 years.It would be some kind of disney movie if he makes the team.Finn will probably retire this year.

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brvslugger10 (3/23/2008)
falcon_freddie (3/23/2008)
Finn is still on the roster?  I didn't think he was all that good when healthy.  Cut this gimp now and be done with it.
If he can prove to be healthy, then I see no way the Falcons cut Finn before Horn.
if u don't then there's a serious issue.He hasn't played it 2 years and wasn't fast to begin with.He's 2 years older which is alot.Before then he couldn't hold Horn's jockstrap and he doesn't hold the same knowledge as Horn.Horn as played the position at a very high level.Finn was an average guy with a HORRIBLE group of receivers.They were lost with Finn and Roddy looks like a different guy when Horn gets here.Horn is more of a leader than Finneran also.It would be idiotic to cut Horn before Finneran.
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iDash (3/23/2008)
2. Offensive tackles

This class of blockers starts with Jake Long but doesn't end there. Ryan Clady (Montana), Jeff Otah (Pitt), Gosder Cherilus (Boston College) and Brandon Albert (Virginia) all jumped out at Indianapolis. Teams will be drafting wide-bodied tackles with the potential to become starters through seven rounds. "This is the best group of offensive tackles I've seen," said Steelers director of football operations Kevin Colbert, who has spent 24 years in the NFL.

Yea, trade up , OL

will these guys stop trying to give our picks away for nothing,

It's a very deep class for tackles (although Albert is an OG). But the primary problem is we need a tackle that can play LT. Once you specify which tackle, then you start running into issues. There are plenty of solid RT's in this draft. But Long and Clady will both be long gone if we pass them in the 1st (actually Long is the only one worth considering). Chris Williams will also be gone by our 2nd pick. After this, the LT prospects drop off considerably and may not be worth drafting until some of the project guys in rounds 4 or 5.

Baker will probably be there when we pick without us trading, but I have my doubts about him being an effective starter on our OL. He's more of a ZBS type lineman and with his short arms, he'll run into a lot of problems like Robert Gallery did in Oakland (which is one of the reasons he's fallen down the draft board).

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cwell1 (3/23/2008)
brvslugger10 (3/23/2008)
falcon_freddie (3/23/2008)
Finn is still on the roster? I didn't think he was all that good when healthy. Cut this gimp now and be done with it.
If he can prove to be healthy, then I see no way the Falcons cut Finn before Horn.
if u don't then there's a serious issue.He hasn't played it 2 years and wasn't fast to begin with.He's 2 years older which is alot.Before then he couldn't hold Horn's jockstrap and he doesn't hold the same knowledge as Horn.Horn as played the position at a very high level.Finn was an average guy with a HORRIBLE group of receivers.They were lost with Finn and Roddy looks like a different guy when Horn gets here.Horn is more of a leader than Finneran also.It would be idiotic to cut Horn before Finneran.
LOL. Finn is a lot more of a leader in that locker room than you're giving him credit for. But that's beside the point anyway. Yes Finn is going to be a little slower, but he wasn't a speed guy to begin with. He's a 3rd down possession and red zone receiver, and if the knee is healthy again, that's not going to be affected that much.

Horn, who is older, has lost more speed than Finn has lost. He's had trouble adjusting his game to his loss of speed as well. Horn does not have the make-up of a possession receiver. His game has definitely deteriorated and there looks to be little hope of recovery for him.

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Robb4242 (3/23/2008)
cwell1 (3/23/2008)
brvslugger10 (3/23/2008)
falcon_freddie (3/23/2008)
Finn is still on the roster? I didn't think he was all that good when healthy. Cut this gimp now and be done with it.
If he can prove to be healthy, then I see no way the Falcons cut Finn before Horn.
if u don't then there's a serious issue.He hasn't played it 2 years and wasn't fast to begin with.He's 2 years older which is alot.Before then he couldn't hold Horn's jockstrap and he doesn't hold the same knowledge as Horn.Horn as played the position at a very high level.Finn was an average guy with a HORRIBLE group of receivers.They were lost with Finn and Roddy looks like a different guy when Horn gets here.Horn is more of a leader than Finneran also.It would be idiotic to cut Horn before Finneran.
LOL. Finn is a lot more of a leader in that locker room than you're giving him credit for. But that's beside the point anyway. Yes Finn is going to be a little slower, but he wasn't a speed guy to begin with. He's a 3rd down possession and red zone receiver, and if the knee is healthy again, that's not going to be affected that much.

Horn, who is older, has lost more speed than Finn has lost. He's had trouble adjusting his game to his loss of speed as well. Horn does not have the make-up of a possession receiver. His game has definitely deteriorated and there looks to be little hope of recovery for him.

Wow,finn hasnt played in 2 years and you know hes faster than horn?Finn isnt young.I dont like saying it because hes a good guy but finn is done.

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falcon_freddie (3/23/2008)Finn is still on the roster?  I didn't think he was all that good when healthy.  Cut this gimp now and be done with it.

Finneran

Games 87  receptions 187  Yds 2647  Avg 14.2  yd/game 30.4 long 53

TDs 15  20+ 34 40+ 7 1st downs 131  fumbles 2

And ZERO STARTS  all done as a role player

note 131 Ist downs out of 187 receptions -- can you say clutch

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Finneran was Vick's most reliable target beside Crumpler, year in and year out. If he comes back and his healthy, he's the 3rd best receiver on this team after White and Robinson.

Did any of you WATCH Joe Horn play last season? Injuries aside, he looked old and slow and was not getting seperation from opposing corners that often. If he was so great, don't you think he would've caught a few more balls last season?

I appreciate what he did from a leadership standpoint, because it probably had something to do with Roddy White stepping up, but I'd rather have an older version of Finneran from two years ago on the field than an older version of Horn from last season.

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virginiafalcon (3/23/2008)
Finneran was Vick's most reliable target beside Crumpler, year in and year out. If he comes back and his healthy, he's the 3rd best receiver on this team after White and Robinson.

Did any of you WATCH Joe Horn play last season? Injuries aside, he looked old and slow and was not getting seperation from opposing corners that often. If he was so great, don't you think he would've caught a few more balls last season?

I appreciate what he did from a leadership standpoint, because it probably had something to do with Roddy White stepping up, but I'd rather have an older version of Finneran from two years ago on the field than an older version of Horn from last season.

 

Have you seen finn play lately?

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virginiafalcon (3/23/2008)
Finneran was Vick's most reliable target beside Crumpler, year in and year out. If he comes back and his healthy, he's the 3rd best receiver on this team after White and Robinson.

Did any of you WATCH Joe Horn play last season? Injuries aside, he looked old and slow and was not getting seperation from opposing corners that often. If he was so great, don't you think he would've caught a few more balls last season?

I appreciate what he did from a leadership standpoint, because it probably had something to do with Roddy White stepping up, but I'd rather have an older version of Finneran from two years agoon the field than an older version of Horn from last season.

but the thing is that finn is coming off of his second season with a torn ACL. it'll take a lot for him to come back and be effective. its very hard to sit out of the league for 2 years and come back and be able to produce. not saying that he cant, but its going to take a LOT of work.

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bigduke633 (3/23/2008)
Robb4242 (3/23/2008)
cwell1 (3/23/2008)
brvslugger10 (3/23/2008)
falcon_freddie (3/23/2008)
Finn is still on the roster? I didn't think he was all that good when healthy. Cut this gimp now and be done with it.
If he can prove to be healthy, then I see no way the Falcons cut Finn before Horn.
if u don't then there's a serious issue.He hasn't played it 2 years and wasn't fast to begin with.He's 2 years older which is alot.Before then he couldn't hold Horn's jockstrap and he doesn't hold the same knowledge as Horn.Horn as played the position at a very high level.Finn was an average guy with a HORRIBLE group of receivers.They were lost with Finn and Roddy looks like a different guy when Horn gets here.Horn is more of a leader than Finneran also.It would be idiotic to cut Horn before Finneran.
LOL. Finn is a lot more of a leader in that locker room than you're giving him credit for. But that's beside the point anyway. Yes Finn is going to be a little slower, but he wasn't a speed guy to begin with. He's a 3rd down possession and red zone receiver, and if the knee is healthy again, that's not going to be affected that much.

Horn, who is older, has lost more speed than Finn has lost. He's had trouble adjusting his game to his loss of speed as well. Horn does not have the make-up of a possession receiver. His game has definitely deteriorated and there looks to be little hope of recovery for him.

Wow,finn hasnt played in 2 years and you know hes faster than horn?Finn isnt young.I dont like saying it because hes a good guy but finn is done.

Never said Horn was faster or slower, just meant to say that Horn has lost more of the speed that he did have compared to how much speed Finn will most likely lose. And being a fast WR, Horn is having a lot harder time adjusting to his lost speed than Finn will since Finn has always just been a possession & red zone receiver.

When Finn's knee is healthy, my guess is it would be a very close race between the 2 of them though. Horn has slowed down a lot.

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bigduke633 (3/23/2008)
brvslugger10 (3/23/2008)
falcon_freddie (3/23/2008)
Finn is still on the roster?  I didn't think he was all that good when healthy.  Cut this gimp now and be done with it.
If he can prove to be healthy, then I see no way the Falcons cut Finn before Horn.

Dude hasnt played in 2 years.It would be some kind of disney movie if he makes the team.Finn will probably retire this year.

Using this logic Vick will be no good when he gets out because his already been off the field for 1 year and probally will be for two more. 

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