Jump to content

I'm not jumping on one individual's bandwagon just yet


JDB2688
 Share

Recommended Posts

The four players that seem to be the best value for their position, especially in our needs based drafting system, in my opinion, are as follows:

1. Brandon Graham, DE/OLB, Michigan

6013, 268, 4.72 40 Yard Dash, 31 Reps

Brandon Graham jumped to the forefront of my draft board the day I saw him dominating Ohio State. He lived in the backfield in the game and I've been nothing but impressed ever since. He tore up the Senior Bowl and continued his dominance in Indy. Brandon Graham is one of those high motor guys that Dimitroff craves: faster, smarter, and more aggressive.

2. Sean Weatherspoon, OLB, Missouri

6012, 239, 4.68 40 Yard Dash, 34 Reps

This seems to be the flavor of the month around the board. That said, Weatherspoon is an animal. He's a sideline to sideline linebacker with fluid hips to drop into coverage and a drive to plow into the backfield. He not only has innate playmaking ability, but the leadership qualities our team seeks in draft picks. I don't know that anyone would be upset with this pick.

3. Earl Thomas, CB/FS, Texas

5102, 208, 4.49 40 Yard Dash, 21 Reps

Earl Thomas had a very impressive year this past season at Texas. Interceptions are hard to come by for some defenders, but with 8 picks of his own this past season, Earl Thomas cemented himself as one of the better ballhawks in the draft. Mike Mayock raised some eyebrows when he put him above Eric Berry in his recent rankings, mine included. I disagree with that and see Thomas as a mid-first round selection.

4. Kyle Wilson, CB, Boise State

5100, 194, 25 Reps

I have to be honest, I hardly knew who Kyle Wilson was before the Senior Bowl. That changed with a great week of practice and a solid showing in the game. Kyle Wilson has that athletic swagger needed in a cornerback, but not quite over the top like some corners we all know and love. (Here's looking at you, DeAngelo.) We need help on the back end of our defense and Wilson certainly fits the bill.

Now for the two players worth trading up for:

1. Derrick Morgan, DE, Georgia Tech

6030, 266, 4.72 40 Yard Dash

Morgan is one of the more complete defensive ends I've seen in the past couple of drafts. Although not freakish in size, he has a prototype build for an end. I had the luxury of watching Morgan in person a few times over his career and he is relentless. He plays hard on every down and is exactly what the Falcons need coming off the edge. Stout against the run and a nightmare for quarterbacks, Morgan is without question the number one guy I want in this draft.

2. Bryan Bulaga, OT, Iowa

6053, 314, 5.25 40 Yard Dash, 26 Reps

As the weeks went by this past season, I started noticing too many flaws in Clabo's game. I think he is replaceable and I believe Bulaga is the man that could do it. Although he might not be quite the mauler Clabo is, he's very good at blocking for the running backs and is much better at pass protection. If we're going to win anything in this league, it's going to be on the arm of Matt Ryan. It's just the nature of the NFL right now. We have to keep him protected and give him time. Bulaga is another piece to allow that.

There's my (small) big board for our first round pick at the moment. Anything any of you would change about it?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The four players that seem to be the best value for their position, especially in our needs based drafting system, in my opinion, are as follows:

1. Brandon Graham, DE/OLB, Michigan

6013, 268, 4.72 40 Yard Dash, 31 Reps

Brandon Graham jumped to the forefront of my draft board the day I saw him dominating Ohio State. He lived in the backfield in the game and I've been nothing but impressed ever since. He tore up the Senior Bowl and continued his dominance in Indy. Brandon Graham is one of those high motor guys that Dimitroff craves: faster, smarter, and more aggressive.

2. Sean Weatherspoon, OLB, Missouri

6012, 239, 4.68 40 Yard Dash, 34 Reps

This seems to be the flavor of the month around the board. That said, Weatherspoon is an animal. He's a sideline to sideline linebacker with fluid hips to drop into coverage and a drive to plow into the backfield. He not only has innate playmaking ability, but the leadership qualities our team seeks in draft picks. I don't know that anyone would be upset with this pick.

3. Earl Thomas, CB/FS, Texas

5102, 208, 4.49 40 Yard Dash, 21 Reps

Earl Thomas had a very impressive year this past season at Texas. Interceptions are hard to come by for some defenders, but with 8 picks of his own this past season, Earl Thomas cemented himself as one of the better ballhawks in the draft. Mike Mayock raised some eyebrows when he put him above Eric Berry in his recent rankings, mine included. I disagree with that and see Thomas as a mid-first round selection.

4. Kyle Wilson, CB, Boise State

5100, 194, 25 Reps

I have to be honest, I hardly knew who Kyle Wilson was before the Senior Bowl. That changed with a great week of practice and a solid showing in the game. Kyle Wilson has that athletic swagger needed in a cornerback, but not quite over the top like some corners we all know and love. (Here's looking at you, DeAngelo.) We need help on the back end of our defense and Wilson certainly fits the bill.

Now for the two players worth trading up for:

1. Derrick Morgan, DE, Georgia Tech

6030, 266, 4.72 40 Yard Dash

Morgan is one of the more complete defensive ends I've seen in the past couple of drafts. Although not freakish in size, he has a prototype build for an end. I had the luxury of watching Morgan in person a few times over his career and he is relentless. He plays hard on every down and is exactly what the Falcons need coming off the edge. Stout against the run and a nightmare for quarterbacks, Morgan is without question the number one guy I want in this draft.

2. Bryan Bulaga, OT, Iowa

6053, 314, 5.25 40 Yard Dash, 26 Reps

As the weeks went by this past season, I started noticing too many flaws in Clabo's game. I think he is replaceable and I believe Bulaga is the man that could do it. Although he might not be quite the mauler Clabo is, he's very good at blocking for the running backs and is much better at pass protection. If we're going to win anything in this league, it's going to be on the arm of Matt Ryan. It's just the nature of the NFL right now. We have to keep him protected and give him time. Bulaga is another piece to allow that.

There's my (small) big board for our first round pick at the moment. Anything any of you would change about it?

I wouldn't move up for Morgan, and I really lean against drafting a DE in the first unless our staff believes Abe is done. I think Chauncey is a good DE and Biermann is a good pass rusher, and Sid is gravy. Although unpopular, I also don't mind JA98 playing DE on run downs.

I want an impact starter in the first. Because of all that, I totally agree on Bulaga. He'd be a significant upgrade. But I don't see what we have to move up with, I doubt we'd trade more picks, already without a 2nd rounder. Maybe the rights to Harvey Dahl? That would be sweet and of course Clabo could be moved to G.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Bulaga is going top 5-10. I would love to have him, but it wont happen.

Trent Williams is another one I was hoping for, but he should be a top 10-15 guy now too.

I would be fine with giving a mid rounder to move up a couple spots for Morgan. We will have (possibly) and extra 3, 4 and 5 or 6 in comp picks, so it wont kill us to give up one of ours to land our guy. Getting the right guy in round one is a big deal.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dahl isn't going anywhere. He is THE GUY on our offensive line. Maybe not the best, most talented, or most experienced, but he is the soul of our line.

yep. his attitude groomed the play of our other 4 guys. McCLure was a nice guy on the old lines, and Baker wasnt a mean player @ USC. Dahl brought that out of them.

Blaylock is still soft tho.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

First of all, my compliments to the OP. This is a fine list of prospects.

1. Graham doesn't have the size nor the quick twitch acceleration that qualifies him to enter the realm of the Freeney's of the world. However, he has produced consistently and has no pock marks on his record. Despite his physical limitations, he remains a solid choice for us. He is an interesting prospect because he would allow us to move between 4-3 and 3-4 sets effortlessly.

2. Weatherspoon seemingly has everything we could want in a WLB. He is bright, energetic, has great hands, and is an early candidate for a spot in front of the camera when he retires. He has promoted himself in the slickest and smartest way. I commend him for his brilliance. The only problem I have with him is his lack of on the field production. He was basically absent his senior season. A guy with his physical talents should have been a dominant force in his senior season. I like his personality but I am very wary. To put it bluntly, I would not fear him if he ended up on another NFC South team.

3. Earl Thomas and Kyle Wilson are both talented prospects that fit a need. I am expecting TD to sign Bodden soon, so I am saying that we won't have to draft either of them. If we miss on Bodden, both of these guys are legitimate candidates for our pick at #19.

4. Morgan is a pipe dream for us. The entire league recognizes his value and we will not be able to move up far enough to draft him. If he falls to #19, he would be the definition of a "no brainer."

5. When the off season started, I immediately started to campaign for Bulaga. It is unfortunate that he recovered from his thyroid problem so quickly (unfortunate for us). TD has two objectives this off season: Improve the pass defense and improve the protection of Ryan. Bulaga would fulfill the second objective immediately. Like Morgan, he will be taken in the first half of the opening round.

As I mentioned above TD has two main goals for this off season. I think that he will go after Bodden to complete the secondary make over. He will probably go after a WLB in the third round. That leaves the DL. He could draft a DE in the first round, but don't discount another penetrating DT. D'Anthony Smith is moving under the radar but he is a legitimate first round talent. A rotation of Smith, Jerry and Babs would exhaust OL's across the league. I am officially saying that Smith is my dark horse candidate for our first round pick.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

First of all, my compliments to the OP. This is a fine list of prospects.

1. Graham doesn't have the size nor the quick twitch acceleration that qualifies him to enter the realm of the Freeney's of the world. However, he has produced consistently and has no pock marks on his record. Despite his physical limitations, he remains a solid choice for us. He is an interesting prospect because he would allow us to move between 4-3 and 3-4 sets effortlessly.

2. Weatherspoon seemingly has everything we could want in a WLB. He is bright, energetic, has great hands, and is an early candidate for a spot in front of the camera when he retires. He has promoted himself in the slickest and smartest way. I commend him for his brilliance. The only problem I have with him is his lack of on the field production. He was basically absent his senior season. A guy with his physical talents should have been a dominant force in his senior season. I like his personality but I am very wary. To put it bluntly, I would not fear him if he ended up on another NFC South team.

3. Earl Thomas and Kyle Wilson are both talented prospects that fit a need. I am expecting TD to sign Bodden soon, so I am saying that we won't have to draft either of them. If we miss on Bodden, both of these guys are legitimate candidates for our pick at #19.

4. Morgan is a pipe dream for us. The entire league recognizes his value and we will not be able to move up far enough to draft him. If he falls to #19, he would be the definition of a "no brainer."

5. When the off season started, I immediately started to campaign for Bulaga. It is unfortunate that he recovered from his thyroid problem so quickly (unfortunate for us). TD has two objectives this off season: Improve the pass defense and improve the protection of Ryan. Bulaga would fulfill the second objective immediately. Like Morgan, he will be taken in the first half of the opening round.

As I mentioned above TD has two main goals for this off season. I think that he will go after Bodden to complete the secondary make over. He will probably go after a WLB in the third round. That leaves the DL. He could draft a DE in the first round, but don't discount another penetrating DT. D'Anthony Smith is moving under the radar but he is a legitimate first round talent. A rotation of Smith, Jerry and Babs would exhaust OL's across the league. I am officially saying that Smith is my dark horse candidate for our first round pick.

great reply, +1

If we go DT, I really hope it is Jared Odrick. He lead PSU in sacks (7), and dominated all season. He then dominated Senior Bowl week as well. He has a long frame (6'5"), good size already (300), and has a Babinueax like motor. He also is very explosive off the snap, and is exactly the up the field penetrating type TD said he wants to add in the draft. Also, he consisntently improved every season @ PSU.

He would be a great TD/Smith type of guy. If we wanted to trade back a bit to get another pick, he would be a good one to do so for.

I am not as familiar with D'Anthony Smith, but have been a big fan of Odrick all season. I also like the PSU LBs (Bowman and Lee) if they are there in round 3.

As for Morgan, if he is there ya gotta grab him. I dont think he is there @ 19, but depending how people like JPP and with Grahams recent hype MAYBE he hits the teens. Thats were I said TD should make a call and see if we can move for him. With 3 midround comps likely, it would hurt to give a 3rd or 4th to move up a couple spots to land a blue-shipper for the lines.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

i would be happy with any of the guys you mentioned as well...maybe except Earl Thomas. Though I think he is a great player, I also think he will be a much better safety than corner in the league. Like Mike Mayock said, the kid has something special at safety, dont move him :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Blaylock is still soft tho.

You think so? I've seen Blaylock getting no love and even some hate around here but he seems like the only guy on our line that almost always gets a push in the run game. He has made McClure look a lot better than he is imho.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's funny that the two players you mentioned that you would move up for played against each other in the Orange Bowl. I was at that game, and Bulaga dominated Morgan - It pains me to say this being a Tech grad.

Regarding Iowa - I can't for the life of me, understand why that DE of theirs, Clayborn, didn't turn pro - he's a total animal!

Edited by caveman
Link to comment
Share on other sites

You think so? I've seen Blaylock getting no love and even some hate around here but he seems like the only guy on our line that almost always gets a push in the run game. He has made McClure look a lot better than he is imho.

i dont think he is a bad player. He just doesnt have the nasty streak in him that the other 4 do. He is very technically sound, just not a big nasty.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2. Weatherspoon seemingly has everything we could want in a WLB. He is bright, energetic, has great hands, and is an early candidate for a spot in front of the camera when he retires. He has promoted himself in the slickest and smartest way. I commend him for his brilliance. The only problem I have with him is his lack of on the field production. He was basically absent his senior season. A guy with his physical talents should have been a dominant force in his senior season. I like his personality but I am very wary. To put it bluntly, I would not fear him if he ended up on another NFC South team.

I wanted to explore your statement a bit more with regard to this "lack of on field production".

Curious to know what you meant by that. One of the things I've started thinking about when evaluating collegiate production is who they were playing with. What I mean by that is, was a player in his senior season playing with alot of other seniors so he's grown up with these guys? Or is he now playing with more underclassmen who are just starting to get a heavy dose of on field exposure.

We often talk about continuity as a component for success at the NFL, I would suspect it applies for the college game as well.

When you look at 'Spoon's stats, it's clear that his junior year was superior.

Junior

14 games

155 tackles

18.5 TFL's

5 sacks

3 INT's

7 PD's

6 QB Hurries

2 FF's

Senior

13 games

111 tackles

14.5 TFL's

4.5 sacks

1 INT

2 PD's

1 QB Hurry

1 FF

But of the Top 10 tacklers for the Tigers in 2008 (and Spoon led them), 6 graduated. Evander Hood was a 1st rounder, Will Moore was a 2nd rounder, Stryker Sulak was a 5th rounder. So just in terms of NFL draftability, we're not just talking about run of the mill graduations. Missouri lost significant talent on defense. Probably talent that allowed for the best to come out Spoon's game.

But as a senior, while I have to think that he was always a leader, now he is in a different role. One where he is really the lone senior stalwart and star on a defense not nearly as talented as it was in 2008. And he acquitted himself fairly well.

I pointed out 'Spoon because I am starting to be 'won over' by the prospect of the Falcons selecting him at #19. What I think he brings to the table is more than just talent. He brings an attitude. I can see a defense quickly adopting his personality evn as a young gun and giving the unit some presence. An identity. That's a characteristic that I don't think any of the players you mention, albeit talented in their own right certainly, have.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You think so? I've seen Blaylock getting no love and even some hate around here but he seems like the only guy on our line that almost always gets a push in the run game. He has made McClure look a lot better than he is imho.

I have to admit that I do not like our interior OL very much. I think that McClure has worked his way to the status of "good." Dahl is a very good run blocker and I hope that his Achilles tendon is ready for training camp.

I am not an expert, but I do not think that Blalock is good. I know that Pro Football Focus cites him as our worst OL. To my eyes, I think they are right.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's funny that the two players you mentioned that you would move up for played against each other in the Orange Bowl. I was at that game, and Bulaga dominated Morgan - It pains me to say this being a Tech grad.

Regarding Iowa - I can't for the life of me, understand why that DE of theirs, Clayborn, didn't turn pro - he's a total animal!

I was at that game and I focussed on that battle. Bulaga won convincingly. You are right Clayborn was an animal but he was going up against a LT that weighed 260 lbs.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I wanted to explore your statement a bit more with regard to this "lack of on field production".

Curious to know what you meant by that. One of the things I've started thinking about when evaluating collegiate production is who they were playing with. What I mean by that is, was a player in his senior season playing with alot of other seniors so he's grown up with these guys? Or is he now playing with more underclassmen who are just starting to get a heavy dose of on field exposure.

We often talk about continuity as a component for success at the NFL, I would suspect it applies for the college game as well.

When you look at 'Spoon's stats, it's clear that his junior year was superior.

Junior

14 games

155 tackles

18.5 TFL's

5 sacks

3 INT's

7 PD's

6 QB Hurries

2 FF's

Senior

13 games

111 tackles

14.5 TFL's

4.5 sacks

1 INT

2 PD's

1 QB Hurry

1 FF

But of the Top 10 tacklers for the Tigers in 2008 (and Spoon led them), 6 graduated. Evander Hood was a 1st rounder, Will Moore was a 2nd rounder, Stryker Sulak was a 5th rounder. So just in terms of NFL draftability, we're not just talking about run of the mill graduations. Missouri lost significant talent on defense. Probably talent that allowed for the best to come out Spoon's game.

But as a senior, while I have to think that he was always a leader, now he is in a different role. One where he is really the lone senior stalwart and star on a defense not nearly as talented as it was in 2008. And he acquitted himself fairly well.

I pointed out 'Spoon because I am starting to be 'won over' by the prospect of the Falcons selecting him at #19. What I think he brings to the table is more than just talent. He brings an attitude. I can see a defense quickly adopting his personality evn as a young gun and giving the unit some presence. An identity. That's a characteristic that I don't think any of the players you mention, albeit talented in their own right certainly, have.

You make a valid point. I liked Spoon a lot for last draft. I was hoping that he would declare. For that reason, I made it a point to watch him this season. I think I saw four Mizzou games. In those games (can't recall the opponents) he did not play sideline to sideline. He seemed tentative and sometimes confused. Perhaps his coaches were asking too much of him (to comensate for inexperienced team mates). I don't know.

I have been on the Spoon bandwagon and I feel like I need to jump off. I think that we can draft a similar prospect in the third round. Dekoda Watson, Daryl Washington, Butler and Chancellor (converted SS) would make reasonable alternatives.

Sure, a vocal leader is good, but is that factor worth spending a first round pick? Maybe, maybe not.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have to admit that I do not like our interior OL very much. I think that McClure has worked his way to the status of "good." Dahl is a very good run blocker and I hope that his Achilles tendon is ready for training camp.

I am not an expert, but I do not think that Blalock is good. I know that Pro Football Focus cites him as our worst OL. To my eyes, I think they are right.

I have to be honest, I wanted Blalock and Houston more than anyone else in their draft. I knew we needed a guard and a corner at the time and they seemed like the right fit. However, that was based more on measurables than film because that's all most of us internet guru's can get our hands on. Blalock was a beast on the bench and Houston was a beast at the bench and the 40. There are two examples of how a great combine don't equate to a great pro career.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You make a valid point. I liked Spoon a lot for last draft. I was hoping that he would declare. For that reason, I made it a point to watch him this season. I think I saw four Mizzou games. In those games (can't recall the opponents) he did not play sideline to sideline. He seemed tentative and sometimes confused. Perhaps his coaches were asking too much of him (to comensate for inexperienced team mates). I don't know.

I have been on the Spoon bandwagon and I feel like I need to jump off. I think that we can draft a similar prospect in the third round. Dekoda Watson, Daryl Washington, Butler and Chancellor (converted SS) would make reasonable alternatives.

Sure, a vocal leader is good, but is that factor worth spending a first round pick? Maybe, maybe not.

If a guy stinks, but is a vocal leader...no it doesn't matter. But I think 'Spoon doesn't fall in that category. Now if I had to guess, and not having watched alot of Missou football, his junior year was more impressive. But Missou was also a much better and experienced football team overall (Chase Daniel at QB).

Also consider this:

In 2009, Tigers opponents ran 463 running plays & 475 passing plays for a total of 938 total plays

In 2008 Tigers opponents ran 510 running plays & 583 passing plays for a total of 1093 total plays or 16.5% more plays where they were on field.

So if you consider that, the gap in Weatherspoon's production from junior to senior season lessens to a certain degree.

The one thing I've always felt about the Falcons even in good years is that their defense lacked any sort of identity. Alot of that is due to talent...we've rarely had a game changing player like a Revis or Ray Lewis or Jared Allen whose ability and/or personality rubbed off on the entire unit and they fed off it.

Is 'Spoon that player...? I won't say that, but he has the potential to that level by virtue of his outgoing and outsized nature. That IMO, makes him a unique prospect and one that actually fits within the scope of our positional needs.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If a guy stinks, but is a vocal leader...no it doesn't matter. But I think 'Spoon doesn't fall in that category. Now if I had to guess, and not having watched alot of Missou football, his junior year was more impressive. But Missou was also a much better and experienced football team overall (Chase Daniel at QB).

Also consider this:

In 2009, Tigers opponents ran 463 running plays & 475 passing plays for a total of 938 total plays

In 2008 Tigers opponents ran 510 running plays & 583 passing plays for a total of 1093 total plays or 16.5% more plays where they were on field.

So if you consider that, the gap in Weatherspoon's production from junior to senior season lessens to a certain degree.

The one thing I've always felt about the Falcons even in good years is that their defense lacked any sort of identity. Alot of that is due to talent...we've rarely had a game changing player like a Revis or Ray Lewis or Jared Allen whose ability and/or personality rubbed off on the entire unit and they fed off it.

Is 'Spoon that player...? I won't say that, but he has the potential to that level by virtue of his outgoing and outsized nature. That IMO, makes him a unique prospect and one that actually fits within the scope of our positional needs.

Spoon remains on my personal draft list, but I no longer feel that he is a "must have" type of prospect. To me, is a good player and will look good if surrounded by a good defense. I don't think that he is the kind of player that offenses have to constantly account for. Since there are several WLB draft prospects that should be available in the third round, I don't feel strongly about him.

If we draft him, fine, if we don't, no problem.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...