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Closer to my final MOCK,


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1st: Clay Matthews, Jr., OLB/DE USC 6'3" 240 lbs.

NFL Analysis: Showing burst off the snap as a hybrid defensive end and surprising fluidity and instincts in coverage, Matthews posted 56 tackles and finished third on the team in tackles for loss (9.5) and second in sacks (4.5). A strong performance at the Senior Bowl had scouts buzzing about his upside, especially considering his family's gridiron success. Ascending player who may be just scratching the surface of his potential. Well-built athlete whose dedication in the weight-room is obvious in his physique. Reliable open-field tackler. Versatile defender who flashes as a natural pass rusher off the edge. Good speed up-field and has the balance and burst to redirect his rush. Good initial hand punch to pop the blocker and disengage. Good effort and speed in pursuit. Instinctive defender who played well in space as a traditional linebacker. Excellent special teams player. Twice named co-special teams player of the year (2005, 2006). Excellent bloodlines. Father, Clay, played 19 seasons at linebacker and made the Pro Bowl four times. Uncle, Bruce, made the Pro Bowl 14 times and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2007. Grandfather, also named Clay, played for the 49ers in the 1950s. Pac-10 Academic All-American with a 3.06 GPA in international relations

My Take: I fully realize that he probably won't make it into the 20s in this draft class, but you never know. Just Think of the marketing campaign that could be based around a brilliant young defensive star like Matthews, coming from underdog to superstar in one college season, then graduating to play for the same team his father did when he was a kid. But "personal interest pre-game story" aside, Matthews would bring a dynamic, pass rushing compliment to Abe's presence, and shows great potential to develop into a three-down linebacker in coming seasons. Listen, Matthews is one of those prospects, there are usually more than a few in every draft, that you almost can't help but like what you see of him on film, you just don't have a lot of film to see on him. That speaks both to his lack of consistent productivity over the course of his career and also to the level to which Matthews has stepped up his skill in the last 16 months. To be sure, Matthews, if available, would be the ideal candidate for Atlanta from a character/ leadership standpoint, but it remains to be seen if his skill set is what our FO is looking for.

2nd: Jared Cook, TE, South Carolina 6'5" 246 lbs.

NFL Analysis: Blessed with the combination of size and speed that led Gamecocks coach Steve Spurrier to compare him to Detroit Lions star Calvin Johnson, Cook has the tools every scouting director is looking for in the new prototype NFL tight end. Despite less than eye-popping statistics (37 receptions for 573 yards and three touchdowns), Cook was nonetheless recognized by SEC coaches as a first-team all-conference selection in 2008 - perhaps due to his potential as a nightmare matchup for defenses..Had an arm span of 35 3/4 inches and a hand span of 10 1/4 inches at the combine. Rare athlete. Reportedly ran a 4.37-second 40-yard dash and posted a 39.5-inch vertical leap in 2007. Long, lanky build capable of handling additional mass without a significant loss of quickness. Good burst off the line of scrimmage to challenge the seam and can throttle down, sink his hips and create separation against even athletic defenders. Flashes natural hands for the reception. Can snatch passes outside of his frame due to his long arms and big hands. Good elusiveness after the catch and can accelerate past defenders for long gains. Good burst off the snap to get to the second level. Has the lateral agility to mirror and effectively block defenders in space.

My Take: I am not sold on Cook as a blocking TE that fits our system as well as Pettigrew and some of the later round TEs, but I think that his athleticism presents the potential to be a true playmaker.

3rd: Sammie Lee Hill, NT, Stillman 6'4" 329 lbs.

NFL Analysis: Tall with muscular overall build and long arms. ... Displays excellent agility and quickness for his size. ... Uses a punch and good hand play to discard offensive tackles at the line of scrimmage. ... Swats chipping running backs away like flies on the outside. ... Good closing speed and has the length to wrap up in the backfield. ... Flashes the initial quickness inside. ... Bull rushes his man into the pocket when one-on-one inside. ... Breaks down on the edge and changes direction well for his size. Hill played defensive end as a senior, despite his 6-foot-4, 328-pound frame, because coaches wanted to prevent double-team blocks from taking him out of the action. The result was his most productive season yet (59 tackles, 15.5 tackles for loss, 7.5 sacks, seven pass breakups and a second straight first-team All-SIAC selection). His agility and girth are coveted by scouts, making him a potential middle-round pick in 2009.

My Take: I think this could be a real suprise for most of you, and I myself have stayed away from the Sammie Lee Hill bandwagon thsu far this off-season. I know, you're thinking: "Third round, really!?!" As I've said before, with several teams converting to 3-4 base defenses this offseason, big-bodied, athletic D-linemen will be in prime demand, even ones like Hill with limited experience on a big stage. But like I've said before about Kroy Biermann, all you can do with a college player is coach him up and tell him to dominate the guy across from him- he doesn't have any control over the strength of the team's schedule. And Hill, as the film will show you, did alot of dominating.

4th: Courtney Greene, FS/SS, Rutgers 6'0" 212 lbs.

NFL Analysis: Versatile, has started at free and strong safety. Nice height and solid upper and lower body. ... Closes quickly on run plays from the deep secondary. ... Greets receivers rudely across the middle. ... Aware of down and distance and works hard to prevent long third-down conversions. ... Reads the quarterback's eyes and closes on the ball quickly. ... Can be effective on the blitz, timing his move well, but is not sent in very often. ... Durable leader, plays through injuries.

Greene was a first-team All-Big East pick in 2008 after twice earning second-team All-Big East notice and also Freshman All-American honors. He's been exceptionally durable, starting 51 straight games during his career. A tackling machine, Greene eclipsed 100 stops twice in his first three years as a starter at both the free and strong safety spots.

My Take: I think that Round 4 is going to be an interesting round for safety prospects. In addition to Greene, Derek Pegues from Miss St., Jamarca Stanford from Ole Miss, C.J. Spillman from Marshall, Chip Vaughn from Wake and Otis Wiley from Michigan State are all also very viable options, all of whom should not be selected any earlier than this range. I see Decoud emerging, and I think it might ultimately be at the SS position. The two seem somewhat interchangable in the Falcons' coverage packages, so I think the lack of a value SS prospect might influence TD to bring in a talented young FS prospect to groom, and allow Decoud and Coleman to possibly play a little of both positions, depeneding on situtations.

5. Dannell Ellerbe, WLB/MLB, UGA 5'11" 238lbs..

NFL Analysis: Exploded onto the scene in 2007, going from a backup weak-side linebacker who finished the 2006 season with seven total tackles to a second-team All-SEC pick in leading the team with 93 tackles and finishing second with 12 tackles for loss. He started at each of the three linebacker positions in 2007 and was credited by some for having a similar lightning-rod affect on the Georgia defense that running back Knowshon Moreno had on the offenseWell-built athlete with the frame to add additional mass. ... Versatile defender with experience at all three linebacker positions. ... Aggressive to attack the line of scrimmage in run support. ... Good speed to the outside to meet the back at the edge. ... Reads his keys quickly and puts himself in position to make the play. ... Good overall athleticism. ... Among the better linebackers in the country in pass coverage. ... Gets good depth on his drops and reads the quarterback's eyes. ... Good short-area quickness and balance in coverage. ... Can beat blockers to the action due to his lateral agility and aggression. ... Effective blitzer who combines his explosiveness with legitimate hand technique to disengage from blockers. ... Flashes explosiveness as a hitter.

My Take: Being familiar with Brian VanGorder's schemes from his time in college under VanGorder disciple Willie Martinez, Ellerbe presents the quintessential Cover 2 linebacker; he can read, react and burst explosively at the right moment to make the big play. Not the best timed speed, but plays plenty quick with the pads on. Love the coverage ability he possesses (no more freebies on 3rd and 16, Arizona).

5th: Jonathan Luigis, OC/OG, Arkansas 6'2" 308lbs.

NFL Analysis: In a very deep center class, Luigs is still considered by many to be the top prospect. Had an arm span of 31 1/4 inches and a hand span of 9 1/4 inches at the combine. Prototype size for the position. Rare athleticism. Good burst off the snap and can block on the move. Quickly moves his feet to get the appropriate angle on his man. Gets to the second level quickly as a run and pass blocker. Good initial quickness as a pass blocker. Settles well and plays with good balance. Equally effective snapping in the shotgun or traditional quarterback exchange. Cerebral player who makes the line calls and adjusts well to unexpected blitzes and defensive alignments.

My Take: In what has been described by most experts as a "best in a decade class of centers," wouldn't it be wise to try and cherry pick a potential steal like Luigis in the middle rounds. As he seems to be more of a smart player than a mauler, I think he will fall, especially after Mack, Unger, Wood and Caldwell all had extremely impressive combine performances. The most consistent criticism regarding Luigis surrounds his overall brute strength, which seems to make him a prime candidate to back up McClure for a season while working through a year of an NFL strength and nutrition program.

6. Lydon Murtha, RT/RG, Nebraska 6"7" 310 lbs.

NFL Analysis: Murtha is a prototypical smart, big and strong Nebraska lineman Prototypical height for right tackle spot. Short steps and quick set-up in pass protection. Uses his length and kick-slide to stone outside pass rush moves. Comes out of his stance adequately, and can get movement in short-yardage situations. Sustains blocks inside through the whistle. Latches onto defenders at second level. Can get the inside shoulder of tackles to keep them from run plays going away from him. Sells the bootleg.

My Take: I just can't see us investing a higher pick than this one on offensive lineman other than a potential McClure replacement Luigis). Murtha had the single most impressive combine of just about any prospect, in terms of pure measurables and improved skill set since the end of the season:

Combine 40 Time: 4.89.

Benchx225: 25. Arm: 33 7/8.

Potential UDFA:

· Spencer Adkins, MLB/WLB, The U: Amazing Pro Day numbers (4.48 40-yard dash, 30 reps of 225 on the bench and 36.5" vertical), could be the type of player that blossoms with better coaching in the NFL, and better luck in the injury department (see: Frank Gore, Willis Magahee, and Anquan Bolden.)

· Ryan Purvis, TE, Boston College: The lack of a dynamic pass catching TE with adequate blocking skills forces the team to skip out on a big play on drafting a TE, so now they are looking for depth behind the Peele/Hartsock platoon/combo. Why not bring in a big target that Matty Ice is familiar with, and you might just find lightning in a bottle. I believe we brought in a WR UDFA from BC last season that Ryan threw to alot in the preseason, so maybe that is a concept that our FO is obviously open to.

· Jahi Word-Daniels, CB, Ga. Tech: Limited playing time as a senior (due to injury) killed his draft stock, but this could benefit a team like Atlanta looking to take a flyer on a prototype Cover 2 corner. Good height, strong build and long arms for the position. ... Relatively smooth flipping his hips for his height. ... Opens his hips to run with quicker receivers down the sideline. ... Uses his length to knock away passes in his area. ... Supports the run and attacks screens on the outside, closing quickly to cut down the ball-carrier.

· Marlon Favorite, NT, LSU: Plays the three-technique for LSU but will be better covering the A-gaps in the NFL. Even still, NFL teams are still interested in Favorite's active play and run-stuffing ability inside. Active, stout defender with long arms. Uses that length to secure tackles on the line. Chases down the line and hustles downfield after plays. His low center of gravity helps him to get under his man's pads and maintain the line of scrimmage against double teams. Has the strength and hand play to shed blocks and tackle the ball-carrier. Effective spin move when coming after the quarterback. Keeps his eyes in the backfield during the pass rush; will fight until the ball is away. Shows quick, violent hand play at times.

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I'm not really feeling this mock. First of all, Clay Matthews tested positive for Steroids at the Combine. We absolutely won't pick him or Cushing, and probably not even Raji if he falls to us. We have TD in charge now, remember? Secondly, if we are gonna draft a TE in the first 3 rounds, it might as well be Pettigrew at 24. He is the only one who is a complete TE, and Ingram in the 4th or 5th has justas much potential as Cook in the 2nd, so a silly pick if you ask me. Thirdly, Sammie would be a nice pick-up, but he would be a project and is in no way worth a 3rd round pick. Try Dorell Scott or someone else of higher value in the 3rd. Finally, I love the Daniel Ellerbe pick, but we'd be lucky to pick him up at the bottom of the 4th, let alone the top of the 5th. I think he'll go late 3rd/early 4th.

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I think you are about two rounds too late to get Luigs and Murtha where you have them.

I'm coming around to wanting an OLB who is a really good pass rusher also. I have seen too many mocks that have us selecting 3/4 LB because they can be pass rushing specialists. I would rather have a 3 down OLB who can shift to DE on obvious passing plays and be used like we used Bierman, with another LB or safety coming in for these nickle/dime formations.

I am still uncomfortable not bolstering our Dline. I was last year, and will be this year if it happens.

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We won't pick Matthews after his positive test. A lot will change now that they have been tested positive.. Cook is IMO just a very big receiver and not a TE. Hill is a great pick but pick him up with our 4th or early 5th..

Not my favorite mock

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I really doubt we go LB in the first unless a few prospects are already gone that we want, like MJ, English, and BP. I really dont want us go LB in the first. I dont like Jared Cook either, he is one of the worst blockers out of this draft. Other than that the mock is straight.

P.S you dont have to put comments if they are the same picks as your other drafts. :P

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this mock looks great. you are addressing some key issues we had last year. dont know anything about Jahi Word-Daniels.

big fan of the ellerbe pick.

Are you a fan of the Falcons picking MJ. :D

Because i see that you the IMD mock for the Vikings you selected him at 22, you must see what i see.

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Are you a fan of the Falcons picking MJ. :D

Because i see that you the IMD mock for the Vikings you selected him at 22, you must see what i see.

from what i have seen i really think johnson is "it". i know in reality that taking a DE is always hit or miss, but he has the raw talent and makeup to be a dominating DE. most people hate the idea of picking up a DE especially one that has not played comfortable in that role in his collegiate career. sure they usually get a free pass for 1 season but people want to see an immediate impact and with the need for quality starters in other positions i can see why people overlook the DE position.

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from what i have seen i really think johnson is "it". i know in reality that taking a DE is always hit or miss, but he has the raw talent and makeup to be a dominating DE. most people hate the idea of picking up a DE especially one that has not played comfortable in that role in his collegiate career. sure they usually get a free pass for 1 season but people want to see an immediate impact and with the need for quality starters in other positions i can see why people overlook the DE position.

I agree, i can also understand why people would overlook the position, but i think it is a position that we need someone who can be an immediate impact generating a pass rush opposite of ABe.

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