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Expert Safety Will Spend Time with Falcons

By Doug Farrar


Posted Mar 27, 2009

With the draft just one month away, the Falcons are like every other NFL team -- lining up visits and workouts for college players. We've been reporting most of these names, and we have another one -- perhaps the best draft-eligible strong safety on the list.

Scout.com's Ed Thompson reports that the Falcons will welcome Oregon safety Patrick Chung for a workout in the near future, though we don't have a specific date. Atlanta has a need at the position after declining to re-sign veteran Lawyer Milloy, who started 15 games at strong safety in 2008.

Chung has been incredibly productive and versatile in his college career, moving from rover to free safety and inbetween depending on team needs. He has 51 starts under his belt, stands just below six feet tall and weighs 209 pounds. Most mock drafts have him going in the second round, and the Falcons will get a good look up close very soon.

Stay tuned for a detailed feature based on FalconInsider's exclusive interview with Chung early next week!


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AFI Combine Watch: Oregon S Patrick Chung

Oregon S Patrick Chung By Scott Eklund


Posted Feb 24, 2009

He's a player who was one of the youngest ever to don a collegiate uniform when he enrolled as a 16-year old at Oregon, but safety Patrick Chung is not a player to be trifled with. He's developed both his body and his game and he's ready to show the NFL scouts in attendance at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis that he can do it all in the secondary...

"(At Oregon) we did cover two, cover three, we did everything and we had the rover position," Chung said from the combine in Indianapolis. "I mean I played traditional safety positions and regular defensive coverages, and at rover, I can be anywhere.

"I can cover the tight end, covering the slot, blitzing, being in the box, being deep. Rover is pretty much an everything position."

Chung was everything to the Oregon secondary the past three years, using his speed and playmaking abilities to finish fourth on the Ducks' all-time tackles list with 384 while also posting nine sacks and averaged 11.2 yards on 12 punt returns and 23.6 yards on 26 kick returns.

"When I return kicks -- I'm on defense and I don't get the ball as much -- so I'm ready to go get a touchdown every time," Chung said. "So I mean that's my mentality. I would say I'm pretty dangerous (with the ball in my hands)."

As a freshman, Chung was only 16 when he enrolled at Oregon and he grew before the eyes of the Duck coaching staff as well as the fans.

"It was cool," Chung said with a chuckle. "It was a bunch of grown guys out there. They were always picking on me -- 'Little man, you're the little man,' but you've got to adjust real fast. You can't let anything intimidate you. It was more a motivation-factor.

"Being with the older guys, older guys showing me the ropes, having the mentality that I'm trying to be the best player out there. That's just how I am. I'm not cocky, but I'm trying to be the best one out there.

"When you work hard, like I said, everything happens for you. If you have your mind set on something and you keep going and going until you get that goal, everything will be fine."

Chung measured in at the Combine at 5-11, 212 pounds, but he's got the intangibles -- smarts, physicality -- to be a solid safety at the next level while also able to use his good speed (4.55) and playmaking abilities to be an asset in the return game as well.

Atlanta could take a look at Chung late in the second round or in the third should he last that long. If he does, he could be one of the steals of the 2009 NFL Draft.


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Patrick Chung

Height: 5-111/4 | Weight: 212 | 40-Time: 4.54

Official Bio


Good bulk...Very physical and aggressive...A reliable tackler who will deliver the big hit...Strong and tough...Has a burst to close...Does a fantastic job against the run...Fluid hips to turn and run...Good range...Decent hands and ball skills...Has a non-stop motor...Terrific instincts / awareness...Intense and competitive...Major special teams potential...Great work ethic...Durable...Has lots of experience against top competition...Team leader in every sense...Was super productive.


Is a bit shorter than you'd prefer...Does not have great speed...Can be too aggressive at times...May have some trouble matching up with receivers in man coverage...Not a true deep middle safety...Has a tendency to overpursue...Can still do a better job of shedding blocks.


Was born in Kingston, Jamaica...Played soccer as a youngster and didn't get into American football until right before high school...Was only 16 years old when he started college...A four-year starter for the Ducks...Was a 2nd Team All-American in 2007...Named 1st Team All-Pac-10 as a junior and senior...Initially entered the 2008 NFL Draft after his junior season before reversing course and returning to Eugene...Was also a special teams ace for the Ducks and could make Pro Bowls at the next level based on that ability alone...Might be a bit of a free safety / strong safety 'tweener in that he plays like an in-the-box type but is built more like a coverage guy...Playmaker who is always around the action...Physical tools aren't amazing but they are adequate across the board and intangibles are top-notch...Will at the very least enjoy a long career as a backup but should not have any trouble earning a starting job...The type of player all good teams need.


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Latest News

3/20/2009 - Chung is a strong safety prospect who has the ability to play with agility and aggression. He wisely stayed in school last season and enters this draft with 51 career starts. He led the team with 117 tackles in 2007 and made 92 stops in 2008 along with 6?? tackles for loss and six pass breakups. He displays natural instincts in coverage and in run support, and his tackling technique is textbook and devastating. At the combine, his best time in 40 yards was 4.49 seconds. He can be an enforcer despite being only average as a ballhawk and sometimes is a step slow helping out over the top. - Frank Cooney, The SportsXchange, NFLDraftScout.com


Consistent, versatile safeties like Chung are worth their weight in gold to NFL teams. Chung was again named first-team All-Pac 10 as a senior. A veteran with 51 career starts led the team with 117 tackles in 2007, and made 92 stops in 2008 along with 6.5 tackles for loss and six pass breakups. Possesses the agility of a defensive back and the hard-hitting and production of a linebacker; should challenge for consideration as a top-50 pick.


Positives: Well-built, versatile athlete who has seen time at cornerback and as a returner. … Flashes explosive hitting ability. … Reads the action quickly and is seemingly always around the ball. … Good lateral quickness, acceleration and smooth change-of-direction agility while in zone coverage. … Attacks underneath routes and rarely allows the receiver to cross with the ball unscathed. … Closes quickly on the ballcarrier. … Receivers are cognizant of him when going over the middle. … Quick enough to hang with receivers for a few seconds in the deep half. … Among the more reliable open-field tacklers in the country and should be an excellent last line of defense at the NFL level. … Accomplished blitzer. … Few have Chung's ability to explode into ballcarriers while wrapping their arms securely. … Whether deep in coverage or attacking the line of scrimmage, he limits the yards gained at the point he meets the ballcarrier. … Consistently swarms to the ball. … Durable, consistent performer. … Instinctive defender. … Should be a leader on defense and special teams.

Negatives: Questionable deep speed and is a bit shorter than scouts prefer because of their coverage duties against tight ends. … Physical player who can get a bit grabby while in coverage, leading to some holding calls. … Attacks the line or underneath routes too quickly, leaving room for the deep ball behind him. … At his best facing the quarterback and running downhill toward the ball.


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Negatives: Questionable deep speed and is a bit shorter than scouts prefer because of their coverage duties against tight ends. …

What if we moved Coleman over so Chung, supposing we got him, wouldn't have to worry about the TE. Given his skill set, it seems reasonable that moving him over to FS would speed up his NFL progression.

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