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Falcontaylor's Annual Mock


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Ouch! I just accidently hit the back button and lost everything I just typed. 

Well, here I go again.  I ve done one mock a year on these boards for quite some time now (I got lost in the board change) and it s that time again.  I ve had some hits (screaming that Andre Johnson was better than Charles Rodgers) and some misses (saying the Lions had a good draft). Here goes this year s, it does have two trades and when there s a trade I try and make it plausible.

Round 1 Pick #3

Chris Long DE- It appears that Miami will take Jake Long off the Board and St. Louis will take Dorsey. That leaves C. Long who most scouts believe is the best player in the draft.  He s strong, fast, relentless, and a leader in the locker room.  He is also the son of Howe so he will instantly become the face of our franchise. The Falcons will get extra media exposure= extra money.

Trade #1

With C. Long the Falcons have a huge portion of the salary cap invested in the DE position.  With rumors of the Raiders wanting Gholston that eliminate the two best pass rushers in the draft.  With our coaching connections we have an instant trade partner for John Abraham s services.  Face it folks we are in full rebuild mode here.  Abe is 30 and injury prone and needs to get to a better situation before his career is over.  We take the massive cap hit this year and trade Abe to Jacksonville for their 2nd rounder (that s about all we could get for him).  Jacksonville loves this trade as in gives them an impact pass rusher that can come in from day one (a need for years).

Trade #2

This is the one that hurts.  The Falcons then package the 35th and the 58th pick in the draft and trade up to #16 ahead of Minnesota. Arizona loses 100 points, but saves a chunk of change.

Round 1 Pick #16

Brian Brohm QB-  Don t believe the hype that this guy will fall to the second round. He would have gone higher in the draft last year and his knock was injuries.  Well, he just went through the season uninjured.  Other knock is arm strength, even though he through the second hardest ball at the combine (1st was soon to be bust Flacco).  We will need to move ahead of Minnesota to get the best QB in this and next year s draft.

Round 2 Pick #36

Gosder Cherilus RT- Weiner has years left on his contract and player LT before coming to Atlanta.  Cherilus is a high character road grader RT who opens massive holes.  He s the second best run blocker in the draft and should be an instant improvement.

Round 2 Pick # 48

Carl Nicks RG- With the talent in this draft I feel that it is necessary to draft another O-line product early.  Most people view Nicks as an OT, I see him more as a Shaun Andrews RG.  At 340 and incredibly strong putting him in the phone booth could make him an All-Pro.  Great Upside. He was only a starter for one year at tackle and there are honestly not that many left tackles in this draft.   

Round 3 Pick #68

Red Bryant DT- Some mocks have Red mid-2nd others lo- 3rd.  I would scoop him up in a heartbeat if he was still here. He s very similar in build to the DTs Smith worked with in Jacksonville.  At 6-5, 326, it s reported that he has the room to get even bigger and has been clocked at under 5.0.  He s quick, strong, has good hand placement and long term could be the best of the tackles in this class. 

Round 3 Pick #98

Tavares Gooden LB- Might be here, Might not.  GBDR ranked him at #99 so we will pretend he is.  It blows my mind that a prospect like this can fly so far under the radar.  He can play any LB position, has been timed from 4.45-4.65, has a non-stop motor, is good in the phone booth and coverage, and comes from Miami.  His knock is he s not a good Blitzer, is a tad undersized (but in scouting report pro s says he has room for significant growth), and has had injuries (had 100 tackles last year).

Round 4 Pick #103

Orlando Scandrick CB- One of those should have stayed for his senior year.  He ran the second fastest 40 for DBs at the combine and has loose hips to go with it. Can return kicks. Very good man corner, but wasn t tested much and loses focus.  Physical.  A potential steal and could end up being a late day riser.

Round 5 Pick #138

Tommy Blake DE- Risk-reward pick here.  Was considered a situational pass rusher and top 10 pick by others before the incident.   Being the fourth DE in the rotation should take some of the pressure off and allow Tommy to develop slowly.  If he can get his weight under control and regain focus could be the steal of the draft.  Read an article on his preparation for the draft and he seems to be doing much, much better.  Is incredibly explosive and relentless when in shape and motivated.  Chris Long would be an excellent peer role model.

Round 6 #172

Dominique Barber S- A leader for a struggling defense last year.  Led the team in tackles from the S position. Great size, bulk, athleticism and instincts. Has improved every year.  Known as a hard worker with top intanglibles.  Lacks elite speed (timed at 4.7 at the combine).  Brother of Marion Barber.  He has the ability to make it as a backup with potential to become more.  Can also block kicks.

Round 7 #212

Lamar Myles OLB- Fast, Athletic, upside.  Will do very good on special teams.  Lays the wood. Can bench almost 500 lbs and runs a 4.6.  He made 126 tackles on a bad defense last year and really stood out in games when I was watching Brohm.

Round 7 Pick #232

Robert Felton OG/C-  Crushing run blocker and has played all over the line.  Experience against top competition.  Not overly mobile.  Lacks focus (seven false starts).  Can deep snap.  Weight and endurance are an issue.

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falcontaylor (4/10/2008)
there are honestly not that many left tackles in this draft

Considering that a Pittsburgh executive called this class the best OT (particularly LT) class in the past 24 years, I am going to take his judgement over yours. Clearly way off.

I don't like the idea of taking Chris Long and trading Abe, because I don't think the value would be worth it. Then trading up for Brohm, I don't see Cherilus falling that far, it would be getting very little value for our picks.

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L. Rover, I appreciate your feedback.  I agree that it s a great year for OTs; I don t think the depth is at LT.  Jake Long looks to be a better Jordan Gross, but will be gone by #3.  Clandy scares the poop out of me.  Williams and Otah will be gone by the second.  The fact that there are up to five LTs to be selected in the first shows the depth.  The problem is they will probably all be gone by our second pick.  Collins, Hills, and Brown are the next best LTs and there is better value than reaching for a developmental LT.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />

Trading Abe, the value short term would not be worth it we lose sacks and D standings.  Long term going with a youth movement now and getting that second rounder is worth it.  Abe is 30 and injury prone.  His body has taken a beating and his salary would be too much with two top ten picks at the same position.  Trade him now before he starts to decline and we get nothing.

Brohm is the best QB in this years and next year s draft. Accurate, smart, quick release, arm strength (second highest in this draft).  He was a top 15 pick last year and the only reason he wasn t higher is injuries.  It hurts to give away that pick, but we need the QB of the future in place.

As for not seeing Cherilus falling that far, why do you have him in your mock at the exact same place?

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Well, let me start by saying that my dream Falcons' draft would involve both Chris Long and Brian Brohm.  However, I don't want to get rid of Abe.  I think that's what makes me like the Chris Long pick even more.  The thought of having Abe, Long, and Jamaal all rushing the passer, makes me smile.  But, if it came down to it, and we had to get rid of Abe, we now have our 2 future DEs for many years to come.

I love the Brohm pick too.  Getting arguably the best player in the draft (Chris Long), as well as the best QB IMO (Brian Brohm), would be nothing shy of amazing.

I have a complaint though.  We MUST get a LT.  I think it would make more sense to replace either Cherilus or Nicks with Sam Baker.  I think we will avoid Nicks anyway, due to his off-the-field incidents.

I admit I'm getting tired of seeing mocks, but I appreciate the creativity with this one.  Nice work.

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Scott, I agree that LT is a need, but do you think Sam Baker is the right answer.  Does he fit our scheme, does he have upside?  I've read reports of people looking at him as a guard.  He reminds me of Eric Winston when he came out.  Scary. 

I don't have any MLBs in my draft either.  The reason is draft for the future.  Next year we will be picking pretty high again.  James Laurinaitis, Michael Oher, Rey Maualuga, Brandon Spikes, Alex Boone, Andre Smith, Brian Cushing,Herman Johnson, Max Unger, Phil Loadholt,Darry Beckwith, Gerald McRath, Ciron Black will all be there.

There are some of the best ILB prospect next year and we should be in the position to draft our LT of the future also.  Weiner can hold down the fort till then.

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falcontaylor (4/10/2008)
Scott, I agree that LT is a need, but do you think Sam Baker is the right answer.  Does he fit our scheme, does he have upside?  I've read reports of people looking at him as a guard.  He reminds me of Eric Winston when he came out.  Scary. 

I don't have any MLBs in my draft either.  The reason is draft for the future.  Next year we will be picking pretty high again.  James Laurinaitis, Michael Oher, Rey Maualuga, Brandon Spikes, Alex Boone, Andre Smith, Brian Cushing,Herman Johnson, Max Unger, Phil Loadholt,Darry Beckwith, Gerald McRath, Ciron Black will all be there.

There are some of the best ILB prospect next year and we should be in the position to draft our LT of the future also.  Weiner can hold down the fort till then.

As far as Baker, I absolutely think he is the answer.  Coming into this season, he was projected as a top 5-10 pick.  I believe he is being overanalyzed by the analysts, like Mike Mayock and Mel Kiper.  And I do think he fits our scheme.  He isn't a mauler, but he's a terrific "technician."  The job of the LT is to pass protect, first-and-foremost, and I think Baker is excellent in that regard.  I've heard people mention that he could be moved to OG in the NFL, but that's crazy to me.  I don't think he has the strength to do such.  Coming in right away and starting each year at LT for USC is mighty impressive.

I disagree about Weiner.  We don't even know if he will be healthy enough to take the field next season. 

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To be honest I have never been fond of getting Chris Long, though I wouldn't be upset, if the Falcons were going to take a DE high I would rather take Lawrence Jackson in the second to develop behind Abe. 

The rest of the Draft I like maybe except get a LT instead of Nicks.  I do agree it will be better to wait till next year to draft a MLB though.

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Draft Crazy, the reasoning for Long is he's simply the BPA if Jake Long and Dorsey are gone.  We don't need McFadden, I'm one of those people who says never draft a DT in the top ten, so no Ellis, Ryan's arm is too weak for a playaction system, I like Gholston, I just like Long better.  The only other player is Brohm.

As for the LT instead of Nicks, I think Baker will be gone, so the next guy who is a natural LT is Anthony Collins who could develope into a good LT, but he's by no means an elite prospect.  The reasoning for the O-line picks I have is they are true maulers and would make our right side something to be feared.  And realistically we will probably pick in the top 10 again next year where we can get an elite LT prospect and maybe even Alex Mack in the second. 

Could you imagine Oher, Blaylock, Mack, Nicks, Cherilus. Nasty.

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falcontaylor (4/10/2008)
Draft Crazy, the reasoning for Long is he's simply the BPA if Jake Long and Dorsey are gone.  We don't need McFadden, I'm one of those people who says never draft a DT in the top ten, so no Ellis, Ryan's arm is too weak for a playaction system, I like Gholston, I just like Long better.  The only other player is Brohm.

As for the LT instead of Nicks, I think Baker will be gone, so the next guy who is a natural LT is Anthony Collins who could develope into a good LT, but he's by no means an elite prospect.  The reasoning for the O-line picks I have is they are true maulers and would make our right side something to be feared.  And realistically we will probably pick in the top 10 again next year where we can get an elite LT prospect and maybe even Alex Mack in the second. 

Could you imagine Oher, Blaylock, Mack, Nicks, Cherilus. Nasty.

I understand the Long pick it is just a personal opinion that I may rather reach to grab a Clady or Ellis to fill a need then take the overall best player.  I mean thats why I love Dimitroff as a GM because he has the same sorta thinking I do when it comes to the draft.

I agree that we will likely pick in the top 10 but I would rather spend that on Maualuga or Laurinaitis because I just think they will both be elite MLBs.  I love Oher but I just love Maualuga and Laurinaitis a little more.

I do like that you take into consideration next years draft because I think that is the flaw with a lot of Mocks.

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Matt, two things:

a. who would trade up.

b. what is the statisical success rate of DTs drafted in the top ten compaired to DEs?

Answers:

A. Probably no one, or at least a weak offer.

B. Not good- only 2 DTs drafted in the top 10 (Seymor-6th 2001, Henderson-9th 2002) in the past ten years has had good pro careers.

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DT  Busts 1997-2006= Dewayne Robertson, Johnathan Sullivan, Corey Simon, Gerard Warren, Ryan Sims, Darrell Russell.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />

6/8= 75% bust rate for DTs taken in the top 10.

DE Busts1997-2006 =Andre Wadsworth, Courtney Brown, Jamal Reynolds.

3/12=25%

I didn t even know it was that bad.

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falcontaylor (4/11/2008)
Matt, two things:

a. who would trade up.

b. what is the statisical success rate of DTs drafted in the top ten compaired to DEs?

Answers:

A. Probably no one, or at least a weak offer.

B. Not good- only 2 DTs drafted in the top 10 (Seymor-6th 2001, Henderson-9th 2002) in the past ten years has had good pro careers.

We just drafted a DE last year.

TO draft another one would essentially be calling him a bust after just one year. That's intellectually irresponsible. C.Long would be a wasted pick. No thanks. Let Ray Hamilton, the new D.Line coach, work w/Anderson and let's see where we're at in 2 years. B/c the D.Line coach we had last nyear was a college coach and did not know how to develop Anderson's talents to use on the next level. Hamilton does.

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Matt, I'm not calling Jamal Anderson a bust.  I for one think he has the potential to be a very, very good player.  What I am saying is if we are in full rebuild mode we should trade Abe for whatever we can get.  At his age with his injuries his skills should be starting to erode. We need to get the right player with the #3 pick or it could set us back for years.  The right player is Chris or Jake Long. 

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