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Recap of college players who Falcons have expressed an interest in


theProf
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A recap of players who Atlanta has expressed an interest in via private workouts/visits and talks/discussions only in red and projected draft round according to cbssport’s nfldraftscouts in parentheses as follows:

Defense:

LB - Rey Maualuga (1), Brian Cushing (1), Clay Matthews (1), James Lauranaitis (1-2), Clint Sintim (2), Darry Beckwith (2-3),

Gerald McRath (3-4), Kaluka Maiava (4-5), Russell Allen (7–FA)

Nic Harris LB/S (5), DeAndre Levy (6-7),

CB - Alphonso Smith (1-2), Darius Butler (1-2), Sherrod Martin CB/S (2-3), Asher Allen (3), Christopher Owens (3), Bradley Fletcher (4), Cary Harris (5-6), Brice McCain (6-7), Jahi Word-Daniels (FA) Vince Anderson (FA)

S – Louis Delmas (2), Patrick Chung (2), William Moore (2-3), Rashad Johnson (3), Chip Vaughn (3),

Chris Clemons (4-5), Justin Garrett (FA) De'Mon Glanton (FA)

DE - Robert Ayers (1-2), Larry English DE/LB (1-2), Connor Barwin DE/TE/LB (1-2), Michael Johnson (2),

Julius Williams DE/LB (FA), Ataefiok Etukeren, (FA)

DT - Evander Hood (1-2), Fili Moala (2-3), John Gill (FA), Elris Anyaibe (FA), Jarron Gilbert (2-3)

Offense:

TE - Brandon Pettigrew (1-2), Jared Cook (2), Chase Coffman (2-3), Cameron Morrah (5), Zack Miller (7-FA)

Ryan Purvis (FA),

C - Alex Mack (1-2), Eric Wood C/G(1-2), Antoine Caldwell C/G (3), Jon Cooper (FA), Cecil Newton (7-FA)

OT - Philip Loadholt (2-3), T.J. Lang OT/G (3-4), Andy Levitre OT/G (3), Andrew Gardner (5-6)

OG - Duke Robinson (2), Tyrone Green (4),

WR – Kenny McKinley (4-5), Aaron Kelly (5), Darius Passmore (5-6),

FB - Brock Bolen (FA),

QB - Tom Brandstater (5-6)

RB – None

For the underlying public announcements on the players that the Falcons have expressed interest in, please see my following topic thread linked as follows:

http://life.atlantafalcons.com/index.php?showtopic=3838130

For an interesting comprehensive numerical ranking of each draft eligible college player, including their projected draft round, see the following link:

http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/draft/prospectrankings

Last year most of Atlanta’s actual player selections in the draft came from those that had a private visit/workout with the Falcons, including Matt Ryan, Sam Baker, Curtis Lofton, Harry Douglas, Thomas DeCoud, and Thomas Brown. Atlanta’s other draft choices last season: Robert James, Kory Biermann, Fontenot, and Zinger might have also had a private workout/visit with the Falcons, but I could find no public confirmation on the internet that they did so. By the way, I did not find any public reference to Sam Baker’s private workout with the Falcons prior to the draft last year. I only found out in reading a Baker interview, after the draft, that he had a private workout with the Falcons also.

It appears from the above player list that the Falcons are really targeting the LB, CB, S, and TE positions in the draft. I am really surprised by the lack of mid-round projected linemen, especially defensive linemen after the second round. However, it is still possible to construct realistic Falcons mock drafts based solely upon the players that that have expressed a public interest in thus far. I constructed what I believe are four different realistic and feasible Falcons drafts based upon the above players.

In each of the following four Falcons mock drafts; I tried to include the four most targeted positions, LB, CB, S, and TE, as well as at least one defensive and one offensive lineman. I also tried to stay within the above projected draft rounds for the players, with one exception. If a player was indicated in two possible rounds, I tried to stay with the earliest indicated round, with one exception, because Atlanta will be drafting toward the end of rounds one through four. Additionally, I used completely different players in each of my four mock drafts. Finally, if a player I thought would most likely be drafted before Atlanta selected in a particular round, such as Louis Delmas in the second round, then I did not include them in my following mock drafts:

Mock Draft #1: My favorite

1. LB Clay Mathews

2. S Patrick Chung

3. OT J.T. Lang

4. CB Bradley Fletcher

5a. TE Cameron Morrah

5b WR Aaron Kelly

6. DE Julius Williams

Mock Draft #2: Mizzou–based

1. DT Ziggy Hood

2. S William Moore

3. TE Chase Coffman (I have seen many reputable mocks where Coffman goes at the end of round 3)

4. CB Christopher Owens (most all mocks and player rankings I’ve read have Owens going in round 4 or later)

5a OT Andrew Gardner

5b WR Darius Passmore

6 LB DeAndre Levy

Mock Draft #3: Dan Reeves favorite (TE at #1)

1. TE Brandon Pettigrew

2. LB Clint Sintim

3. DT Fili Moala

4. S Chris Clemons

5a QB Tom Brandstater

5b CB Brice McCain

6 C John Cooper

Mock Draft #4: Choose your own DE at #1

1. DE (choose from among Larry English, Robert Ayers, Michael Johnson, or Connor Barwin)

2. S Rashad Johnson

3. CB Asher Allen

4. G Tyrone Green

5a LB Nic Harris

5b CB Cary Harris

6 TE Ryan Purvis

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Mock Draft #1: My favorite

1. LB Clay Mathews

2. S Patrick Chung

3. OT J.T. Lang

4. CB Bradley Fletcher

5a. TE Cameron Morrah

5b WR Aaron Kelly

6. DE Julius Williams

Additional info on the Mock Draft #1 players and why it’s my favorite

1. LB Clay Mathews

I like everything about Mathews, from his bloodlines to his tremendous determination and work ethic. He could be a starting OLB from the very first of the season. Mathews should also improve the Falcons pass rush being that he had 4.5 sacks last season and has played some DE at USC. From a scouting report: “he tested as well as any linebacker at the combine. At the Southern Cal pro day, Matthews' ability to move in space and catch the ball wowed scouts. Some teams believe he could be the best USC linebacker in this draft” Chad Reuter, The Sports Xchange, NFL Draft Scout

2. S Patrick Chung:

From a scouting report: Chung is a strong safety prospect who has the ability to play with agility and aggression. 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. 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. … Consistently swarms to the ball. … Durable, consistent performer. … Instinctive defender. … Should be a leader on defense and special teams. NFLDraftScout.com

3. OT J.T. Lang

With the retirement of Weiner, Atlanta is very thin at the OT position. Lang is the type of physical, aggressive, and strong lineman that Atlanta seems to prefer for its power running game. Lang started out as a defensive lineman, but has started at both Right and Left Offensive Tackles the past three seasons at Eastern Michigan. He has a nasty streak and starter potential according to one scouting report. From a scouting report: "Positives: Good height with thick and strong upper and lower bodies. Absolute mauler who works hard on - and through - every play. Versatile enough to start at all three interior spots. Gets down quickly and is effective on cut blocks. Strong enough to stone and pancake his opponent. Fires out of his stance and uses his hands well on run plays; gets inside his man's jersey and doesn't let go. Punches and extends his arms to hold off defenders in pass protection. Good enough feet to get to linebackers, pull and trap. Aware enough to help the tackle and center on the same play. Hustles downfield on screens and reverses to throw the late block."

4. CB Bradley Fletcher

From a scouting report: “Positives: Prototypical size for the position. … Flashes a strong initial punch to disrupt the receiver's timing with the quarterback. … At least adequate straight-line speed to remain at cornerback. … Flexible hips to turn and run with receivers. … Has the lateral agility and quickness to break on the ball. … Long arms and active hands, which he uses well in coverage to bat away passes. … At least adequate hands for the interception. … Uses his size to his advantage and responds to the physical challenge of bigger receivers. … Can highpoint the ball. … Breaks down well in space to make the secure open-field tackle. … Flashes some pop. … Has the size and instincts to lead some teams to project him as a free safety prospect. … Good week of practice at cornerback at the East-West Shrine Game has his stock on the rise. “

5a. TE Cameron Morrah

Atlanta needs to give Ryan a good pass-catching TE. One who can stretch the field, and also be a factor in the red-zone. Morrah had 8 TD passes last season. From a scouting report: “Strengths: Very athletic...Good speed and quickness...Soft, reliable hands...Great body control and ball skills...Decent leaper...Runs good routes...Able to separate..Strong...Is not afraid to work the middle...Still has upside.”

5b WR Aaron Kelly

Extremely productive player. From a scouting report: “ACC career reception leader (226); leads the ACC in receptions per game in ACC play (5.8) … established a Clemson career record for receiving touchdowns (19)….has 2,659 career receiving yards, second-most in Clemson history; has played 50 consecutive games…Strengths: A smooth athlete...Excellent height...Long arms...Outstanding leaping ability...Fantastic ball skills and body control...Reliable hands...Some elusiveness...Knows how to use his frame...Experienced...Productive.

6. DE Julius Williams

Williams did 36 bench reps at his Pro Day and ran the forty in under 4.6. Played DE at a little over 260 pounds. and had 8.5 sacks in 2007 and 7 sacks with 14 TFLs in 2008. However some project him as a hybrid DE/LB, and he was doing extensive LB training before his Pro Day.

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So I'm guessing the personal visits have concluded.

Just wanted to give props to The Prof for keeping us posted on visits. I'm encouraging everyone to visit his profile and give the man FIVE STARS!!!!!

Well there have been no private workout/visit announcements since this past weekend. We might possibly get a couple of new names this weekend, but I don't really think so. I doubt that Atlanta will be trying to conduct private workouts and visits in the final week before the draft. They will probably be using the final week to evaluate and assess all the available information, and to finalize their draft board.

I certainly appreciate the props and stars. That was very nice of you.

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Nice work...but I think CB will be the 1st pick...just a hunch

I started a 5th mock draft with Atlanta selecting a CB at #1 as follows:

1. CB Alphonso Smith (I like him more than Darius Butler due to Smith's amazing ball skills)

2. S Chip Vaughn (I don't think he will be there when Atlanta selects in the third, so have to get him in the second)

3. LB Gerald McRath

4. WR Kenny McKinley

5a

5b

6

However, I abandoned this particular mock draft, because I had already used-up all the 5th round projected players. (I was attempting to get completely different players in each mock draft, and I would have had to reuse some of the earlier 5th round projected players in the previous mocks). Now if I could reuse some previous selected players from the preceding mocks, then I would include the following in the above abandoned mock draft #5:

5a TE Cameron Morrah

5b OT Andrew Gardner

6. DE Julius Williams

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Thanks very much for the effort you have put into this draft.

How I like your mocks in order:

1 - 1

4 - 2

3 - 3

3 - 4

I think you have a typo in the above reply, in that you have my mock draft #3 listed twice, as your third and fourth preference. Just to set the record straight, which one of my mocks is your number 3 preference and which one is your number 4 preference?

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Excellent summary!!! Just a question for those keeping track of changes in a players round projection. I though I remember seeing Fili Mola either this year or last projected as top 10 or top 20 overall. What caused his stock to drop to 2nd or 3rd round? After a while all this stuff starts to blend together.

Thanks.

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Excellent summary!!! Just a question for those keeping track of changes in a players round projection. I though I remember seeing Fili Mola either this year or last projected as top 10 or top 20 overall. What caused his stock to drop to 2nd or 3rd round? After a while all this stuff starts to blend together.

Thanks.

His senior season and his lack of production given the talent surrounding him.

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Excellent summary!!! Just a question for those keeping track of changes in a players round projection. I though I remember seeing Fili Mola either this year or last projected as top 10 or top 20 overall. What caused his stock to drop to 2nd or 3rd round? After a while all this stuff starts to blend together.

Thanks.

Thanks for the kudos. I don't follow college players draft status that much until a couple of months before the draft. Therefore, I don't know what Moala may have been rated at some earlier point in time. I think the main knock against Moala currently is his lack of ability to pressure the passer. From a scouting report: "Explosion/Pursuit: Moala is not a pass rusher, as he lacks explosion off the snap and appears too slow to give long chase throughout the backfield. He is light on his feet working down the line and quick to deliver a blow, but is best when tying up blockers and clogging the rush lanes".

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What about Malcolm Jenkins at FS? Has anyone heard anything on this guy from Ohio State. Suppose to be a great tackler.

Jenkins is reported to be falling somewhat, because of the uncertainity over whether he will be a CB in the pros or moved to Safety. Safeties are not valued as highly as CBs, and that might be why his draft stock might be falling. I have seen no indication of the Falcons expressing an interest in Jenkins, but it could be because they thought he would be long gone before they selected. If a talent like Jenkins were to fall all the way to Atlanta's pick, I'm sure that they would have to very strongly consider taking him.

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I think you have a typo in the above reply, in that you have my mock draft #3 listed twice, as your third and fourth preference. Just to set the record straight, which one of my mocks is your number 3 preference and which one is your number 4 preference?

sorry for the error

2 - 4

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Nice work on the mocks, I love the Reeves reference on the tight end mock... :D

I'm with a lot of you on mocks 1 or 4 working best for the Falcons.

:D Glad you caught the humor on that particular mock. Initially I was going to name one mock My Favorite and the mock with Pettigrew as the #1 selection as Dan Reeves Favorite. However, I thought some might miss or not understand the reference, so added on to that particular mock name a parenthetical notation (TE at #1).

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Mock Draft #2: Mizzou–based

1. DT Ziggy Hood

2. S William Moore

3. TE Chase Coffman (I have seen many reputable mocks where Coffman goes at the end of round 3)

4. CB Christopher Owens (most all mocks and player rankings I’ve read have Owens going in round 4 or later)

5a OT Andrew Gardner

5b WR Darius Passmore

6 LB DeAndre Levy

Additional info about the players in Mock Draft #2 Mizzou-based. Most all of these players have the production, work ethics, leadership and other intangibles that the Falcons seem to currently prefer in its draft choices. From scouting reports at draftcountdown on each player as follows:

1. DT Ziggy Hood

Strengths: Very good size and bulk...Naturally athletic...Active with a non-stop motor...Excellent speed and quickness...Uses his hands well...Strong with some power...Nice instincts and awareness...Stout at the point of attack...Gets upfield and can collapse the pocket...Does a good job in pursuit...Explosive with a burst to close...Sudden off the snap...Has a lot of experience...Extremely coachable...Hard worker...Team leader.

2. S William Moore

Strengths: Outstanding size with long arms...Muscular with great bulk...A great athlete...Tough and physical...A big hitter who strikes fear into the hearts of the opposition...Does a terrific job against the run...Has excellent range...Explosive with a burst to close...Decent hands and ball skills...Has shown the ability to make plays in coverage...Real versatile...Productive...Strong work ethic...A team leader and captain.

3. TE Chase Coffman

Strengths: Good natural athlete...Has a big frame with long arms and room to get bigger...Outstanding hands...Fantastic ball skills...Good body control and balance...Excellent route runner...Has nimble feet...Quick off the line...Tough and does a nice job over the middle...Runs hard after the catch...Great redzone threat...Real smart with superb instincts and first-rate awareness...Great work ethic...Has a lot of experience...Very competitive...Team player...Extremely productive...Good bloodlines.

4. CB Christopher Owens

Strengths: Pretty good speed and quickness with a burst...Excellent instincts and awareness...Real tough for his size...Very aggressive...Willing in run support...Decent hands and ball skills...Durable...A ton of experience.

5a OT Andrew Gardner

Strengths: Good size with a large frame...Long arms and big hands...Understands angles and positioning...Uses his hands well...Excellent motor and plays to the whistle...Is very smart with terrific awareness...Decent mobility and range...Mature...Hard worker...Has a ton of experience.

5b WR Darius Passmore

Strengths: Smooth athlete...Decent height with long arms...Plays faster than he times...Terrific body control, leaping ability and ball skills...Elusive with good vision and instincts...Stretches the field vertically...Upside.

6 LB DeAndre Levy

Strengths: Smooth and athletic...Excellent speed...Quick and agile...Has sideline-to-sideline range...Does a nice job in pursuit...Flips his hips well...Can hold his own in coverage...Active with a great motor...A team captain.

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Mock Draft #3: Dan Reeves favorite (TE at #1)

1. TE Brandon Pettigrew

2. LB Clint Sintim

3. DT Fili Moala

4. S Chris Clemons

5a QB Tom Brandstater

5b CB Brice McCain

6 C John Cooper

Some additional info from scouting reports about each player in the Mock Draft #3 as follows:

1. TE Brandon Pettigrew

Strengths: Outstanding size with a large frame...Very long arms...Smooth and a good natural athlete...Has big soft hands and can make the difficult catch...Great strength...Excellent blocker in-line and in space...Stout at the point of attack and can anchor...Gets a good push in the run game...Really knows how to use his body...Powerful runner who can do some damage after the catch...Tough with a killer instinct and plays with a nasty demeanor...Has lots of experience... Still has some upside.

2. LB Clint Sintim

Strengths: Excellent size...Long arms...Good athlete...Fantastic pass rusher and blitzer...Good strength...Tough...Physical...A powerful tackler...Looks comfortable in coverage...Does a nice job of taking on and shedding blockers...Decent range...Aggressive with a non-stop motor...Makes plays in pursuit...Solid instincts...Is intense and competitive...Offers some versatility...Productive...Has a lot of experience...A team leader....Sintim started 49 career games at outside linebacker for the Cavaliers and set a school record for his position with 29 sacks. He led all NCAA linebackers with 11 sacks last season and finished second in 2007 with nine.

3. DT Fili Moala

Strengths: Excellent athleticism...Very quick and agile...Good speed...Adequate size with long arms...Has a big frame with room to grow...Active and does a nice job in pursuit...Good range and mobility...Can penetrate and slice into the backfield...Productive pass rusher...Decent instincts and awareness...Versatile...Good bloodlines...Great program pedigree.

4. S Chris Clemons

Strengths: Excellent timed speed...Good height and bulk...Smooth athlete...Quick with a burst to close...Great range...Can match up in coverage...Good strength..Durable with lots of experience...Was extremely productive...Overshadowed throughout his career by teammate Michael Hamlin, Clemons' consistency in coverage might actually make him the safer NFL prospect. A three-year starter for the Tigers who leaves with 323 career tackles, 20 passes broken up and five interceptions, Clemons' production warrants a closer look.

5a QB Tom Brandstater

Strengths: Prototypical height and weight...Accurate on short and intermediate throws...Nice touch and timing...Very intelligent...Can throw on the run...Real tough...Hard worker...Leader...Played in a pro style system.....Last season, he completed a career-high 221 of 371 passes (59.6%) for 2,664 yards and 18 touchdowns with 12 interceptions. His stock has been on the rise since scouts were impressed with his workout at the combine and then again at his pro day.

5b CB Brice McCain

Three-year starter played in 49 games, starting 39 … won all-MWC recognition as a defensive back (2007-08) and kick returner (2006) … 103 career tackles … 21 career pass breakups is tied for sixth all-time at Utah … 37 kick returns ranks ninth at Utah while 846 kick return yards is 11th … fastest player on the team was clocked in a 4.28-second 40.

6 C John Cooper

Strengths: Excellent technician...Understands positioning and angles...Quick and agile with nimble feet...Great range and mobility...Real tough and competitive..Smart with great awareness..Lots of big-time experience....While teammates Duke Robinson and Phil Loadholt receive most of the media attention, the Big 12 coaches recognized Cooper as the conference's 2008 offensive lineman of the year. He went on to become a mainstay on arguably the best offensive line in college football, twice earning all-conference recognition.

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