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TDWII's FINAL 2009 Mock Draft

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This is my final mock draft prior to the actual draft. It is a combination of what I’d like to happen and what I think will actually happen. Thus I would say that the players are more in the mold of what I’d like to happen, but the positions drafted more along the lines of what I think will happen. However, I am also taking into account the players the Falcons have met with an expressed some degree of interest in.

As much as we’d like to see the entire draft focus on defense, I think the Falcons will take a balanced approach to filling their roster; either a 4/3 or ¾ defensive to offense ratio. For picks who have one created for them, I’ve included a draftguys.com TV link to their profile.

One thing to also address. Trades. Is there a chance that the Falcons could make a significant deal? Sure…the Tony Gonzalez rumors seem to be the one that have the most merit. I think Glenn Dorsey is a long shot simply because the size of his deal and bonus accelerations would make it awfully difficult from a cap perspective. But you never say never. That said, I think the % chance of a deal occurring is between 30-50%. So for the purposes of this exercise, we’ll draft at our original slots.


1:24 – Ziggy Hood (DT); Missouri

Ziggy Hood Draftguys TV Profile

At the end of the day, there is no one I absolutely love at this spot, but I like Ziggy Hood the best. Hood is an experienced college player, who played top level competition and progressed every year during his career at Missouri aside from his sophomore year when he suffered a broken foot. He’s very strong and he carries his 300 pounds well. The Falcons defensive philosophy is to rotate their defensive lineman and Hood should be able to give the Falcons 35 plays/game his rookie season alternating with Trey Lewis at the NT position. Hood is a high motor guy who has shown himself to be a strong run defender and as such can provide the most immediate impact for the Falcons in a rotational role with Jonathan Babineaux, Trey Lewis and Kindal Moorehead while at the same time, showing enough upside for growth potential.

2:55 – Shawn Nelson (TE); Southern Mississippi

I know most of us want the draft to be entirely defense focused, particularly in the early rounds. But a cursory look at recent draft history indicates that teams simply don’t use their first three picks on one side of the ball very often, no matter how much they might be weak in that area. I probably wouldn’t have thought about this scenario too much about two weeks ago, but as I worked through the Tony Gonzalez rumors as why such a move would make sense for the Falcons, I did come to the conclusion that investing in this position makes sense whether we secure Gonzalez or not.

Nelson is a toolsy player who right now is potential wrapped in a very intriguing package. He’s not an every down player at the moment, but he could emerge immediately as a 3rd down and red zone situational player his rookie year. Come 2010, depending on his progress, he could become TE1. At the end of the day though, Ryan is the type of QB who can make use of all the weapons you provide him and as such, the one thing he is lacking is a consistent threat at TE. Nelson won’t be that immediately, but Ryan should be around a while, so Nelson will have time to develop along with Ryan.

3:90 – Antoine Caldwell (OC); Alabama

Even though recent news suggests some discord between the Falcons and Todd McClure, I’ve liked Caldwell as a potential option for the Falcons since early in the draft season. McClure has been an underappreciated asset for the Falcons for many years, but he’s not indispensable and he’s getting long in the tooth anyhow (32 this season). If the Falcons do select Caldwell, I think they’ll feel comfortable in their position against McClure to move forward without him if that’s what it comes to. As such, you may see them trade up about 15-20 spots to secure him since the talent drop-off at the C position is pronounced after the first level of players. Like many college C’s, Caldwell can intern at OG if the Falcons and McClure mend fences while Brett Romberg serves as the primary C back-up.

4:125 – Chip Vaughn (S); Wake Forest

The Falcons are looking to develop an enforcer type S to replace the departed Lawyer Milloy. Vaughn fits that mold. While Erik Coleman and Thomas DeCoud will be given first looks at both starting positions, Vaughn will most likely be brought along similarly to the way DeCoud was handled his rookie year. Not much on field time other than Special Teams. But Vaughn has the frame to provide more than adequate run support and then the Falcons can make a determination as to which S combination they would like to employ come 2010.

5:138 – Christopher Owens (CB); San Jose State

Christopher Owens Draftguys TV Profile

There comes a point in the draft where guys start coming off the board that are under the radar (Kroy Biermann/Trey Lewis anyone). I think you’ll start to see that happen starting in Round 4-5. Owens projects as a nickel defender, but has something that both Thomas Dimitroff and Mike Smith value highly – ball skills, not to mention experience. As the’other’ corner opposite Dwight Lowry and Coye Francies, Owens got plenty of action and held up reasonably well compiling 13 INT’s during his career. The Falcons top 3 CB’s are Chris Houston, Chevis Jackson and Von Hutchins. But Owens might be able to carve himself out a dime role immediately.

5:143 – Russell Allen (OLB); San Diego State

Allen is a latecomer in terms of being recognized as a solid prospect. But he simply racked up tackles and was all over the field during his college career particularly his last two years where he averaged 9.5 tackles/game. He also played both strongside and weakside LB during his career so the Falcons will have options as to how to develop and deploy him. While LB projects at first glance as a key weakness or area in need of fortification, they do have Lofton, Peterson and Nicholas as projected starters and Coy Wire and Robert James (last years 5th rounder) to back them up. It’s not a team strength at all, but the Falcons are not as bad off as many people make them out to be here and will opt to find value in the drafts later rounds (at least in 2009) to rebuild this position.

6:176 – Aaron Kelly (WR); Clemson

Aaron Kelly Draftguys TV Profile

Clemson was perhaps the nations most disappointing program in 2008 and Aaron Kelly's professional profile suffered along side it. But let’s not forget that he was terrific as a junior (88/1081/11) and his skills are still very attractive. While the Falcons might deem themselves healthy at the WR position (Kelly would have difficulty cracking the Top 4 WR positions), he could develop into a significant red zone threat and might eventually serve as a nice compliment to Harry Douglas in the slot and a secondary #3 WR.

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i wouldnt be dissapointed with this however,

im not a big fan of ziggy hood- from what ive seen of him he plays with inconsistent leverage, and although has an array of pass rush moves and a good motor he is inconsistent against the run and wouldnt be able to occupy 2 blockers like you want a NT to.

nelson- he is definitely the best TE outside of pettigrew imo however im not a fan of vaughan so i would take a safety here, i know both of us are high on johnson and i would go for him here and then take a TE in the 4th aslong as we feel we can still get a system specific (block first) TE in the 4th.

the rest of the draft is very solid and i like the sounds of that allen guy. although we have just signed romberg so maybe that caldwell pick could be made into someone who plays RT aswell as 3 interior positions to add depth as when we draft OL i think depth is guna be the main aim so verstility is the key. possibly TJ lang.

like owens and kelly alot and both would be excellent pick ups. overall love the 4:3 ratio thing and if this is the draft you could do far worse and i think we have immediate and future starters in this draft.

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I like this mock based on addressing "Both" Sides of the Ball.

In one way you could look at your mock as being 4 players on Defense and 3 on the O.

The stark reality of this is that you have chosen 2 O Linemen, and 2 Receivers.

TE counts as Lineman and Receiver.

Very Clever Mock. ;)

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