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Graham vs. Weatherspoon


Beef
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I see many of you really high on the Graham wagon, but I beg you to review the comparisons & focus on an overwhelmingly glaring detail.

Graham Career Stat Totals 2006-2009 = GP:47 TKL:138 TFL:56 SACK:29

Height:6'1", Weight:268, 40 Time:4.72

Strengths: strong, fast, game smart, great motor & technique, sack & TFL machine(in college), works hard.

Weaknesses: short by DE standards, short arms, lacks quick first step, may find trouble disengaging from blocks in NFL as a result, may have trouble dropping back into pass coverage.

http://www.draftcountdown.com/ScoutingReports/DE/Brandon-Graham.php

Weatherspoon Career Stat Totals 2006-2009 = GP:54 TKL:410 TFL:43.5 SACK:12.5 PBU:17 INT:4

Height:6'1", Weight:240, 40 Time:4.68

Strengths: strong, very fast, game smart, great motor & instincs, quick first step & closes even faster, can cover the field sideline-to-sideline, good hands, great rusher/blitzer, extremely physical, very durable, is involved in every play & a rediculously outstanding tackler.

Weaknesses: may find trouble disengaging from blocks in NFL, can be overly aggressive (as if this is a negative).

http://www.draftcountdown.com/ScoutingReports/OLB/Sean-Weatherspoon.php

*** Holy crap look at the difference in tackles!!! Spoon has nearly 400 in 3 years as starter, which is insane. ***

I completely understand that the Falcons #1 need this year is to improve pass rushing. Pressure on the QB = hurried up throws which results in bad passes which results in incompletions and/or interceptions. We were 28th in passing yards allowed last year. Injuries & lack of talent at any depth being the biggest reasons for this. With DeCoud, Moore, Robinson, Williams, Owens, Grimes, Jackson, & Coleman, we may very well have one of the deepest secondaries in the NFL. This rotation allows for all-bases-covered nickle & cover scenerios with significantly more quality depth/fresher legs on top of better talent over last year. And in the middle, Nicholas, Lofton, & (insert OLB) will get to concentrate significantly more on blitzing & being in position to tackle rather than worrying about zone coverage because the secondary can't be trusted, which was a huge deal last year. Add to this that Jerry will be back, Babineaux will be consistently good as usual, & we have above average depth at DT with Lewis & Johnson. Then with Sidbury platooning with Biermann, we can surely expect improvement over last year which would result in at least a few more sacks from that side. The big end result is Abraham being double-teamed much less often. And if we can pickup a decent 3rd round DE to platoon with him & keep his legs fresh, he could easily have a 15 sack season again.

Now this brings me back to Graham vs. Weatherspoon. A 1st round rookie DE simply isn't going to be more productive than Biermann & Sidbury. Those guys platooning the opposite side of Abraham, with this improved secondary, more penetration from DT's inside, & outragously good tackling & ability to cover the middle LB core, SHOULD come away with 8 sacks this year (3 more than last year is very reasonable in this scenerio) & potentially more. And there's just no way a rookie DE does better than this. As a result, we go with the pick that completes the absolute shutdown of the middle, Weatherspoon. As a rookie, he's going to get at least 60-70 tackes(with the real possibility of more), probably a dozen+ for loss, maybe a couple picks, probably a half dozen pass breakups, & maybe a couple sacks, in addition to at least twice as much blitzing/pressure on opposing QB's than Peterson, which would be nothing but gravy considering we should be already getting excellent pressure on QB's from our front 4 & improved healthy corners.

I'd even go as far as saying that Kindle would be a better fit than Graham. He's a hybrid like Graham, but with the size that matches up significantly better. Don't get me wrong though, I still do really like Graham, but more than anything, I just don't think we need a DE. JA98 is gone/done IMO & Biermann/Sidbury will produce way more than any rookie. The obvious choice is to find Peterson's replacement now. And likely Wootton, Sapp, or Cunningham will be available at 82 unless there's still a good OG or C still available.

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i disagree, i think spoon will have a larger impact as a rookie, but not in the long term. you here smith and TD talking about "the process" all the time. and part of that is drafting players who fill needs and show promise. atlanta's LB's are solid. spoon would be an improvement, just not a necessary one.

i am a die hard michigan state fan. and to draft a michigan player makes me sick. but graham is a monster with skills like swight freeney. so i say take the DE then focus on a LB, which are easier to find in later rounds

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okay now i read it. weatherspoon is the better NFL player. he has better size and the athletic tools to compliment, while graham uses his athleticism to compensate for lack of size and arm length. also look at the TFL, an OLB with only 10 less than a DE, he produces all over the field i just think he's the safer choice, and he has a far better chance to suceed in the NFL, and suceed early.

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I'm on the Spoonwagon because he looks like the safest pick at 19. We need a LB who is as good in coverage as against the run. Imagine if we had him when we played the Ain'ts, or on 3 and 16 against the Cards in the Playoffs. I immediately thought of that when I watched the Senior Bowl. Graham might be a good pick, but doesn't look anymore talented than Sid or the Beerman. I'm not sold on a DE in the first and not sure we can afford to groom one this season with an impending strike in '11.

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WLB's are designed to be the most productive position on the field. Comparing Graham's and Weatherspoons tackle numbers is not indicative of anything.

I agree that Graham isn't likely to be much better than Biermann, but he's a better player than Weatherspoon.

Believe me, I agree that comparing tackles between a DE & LB is normally irrelevant and/or arbitrary, but A. Graham is being touted as a hybrid DE/WLB due to his size & speed, and B. nearly 300 tackles is an obsurdly rediculous difference in overall benefit/productivity potential.

I think it's a poor assumption to consider Graham a better player than Weatherspoon. Graham isn't going to fill in the LB position as good as Weatherspoon & Weatherspoon isn't going to fill in the productivity of a DE. But as I stated, we don't need a DE considering what Biermann/Sidbury should do this year while we certainly do need to replace Peterson which gives us a chance to lockdown the middle, which IMO compounds improvement across the board. Something that adding a DE just isn't going to come close to doing.

Edited by Beef Jerky
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Believe me, I agree that comparing tackles between a DE & LB is normally irrelevant and/or arbitrary, but A. Graham is being touted as a hybrid DE/WLB due to his size & speed, and B. nearly 300 tackles is an obsurdly rediculous difference in overall benefit/productivity potential.

I think it's a poor assumption to consider Graham a better player than Weatherspoon. Graham isn't going to fill in the LB position as good as Weatherspoon & Weatherspoon isn't going to fill in the productivity of a DE. But as I stated, we don't need a DE considering what Biermann/Sidbury should do this year while we certainly do need to replace Peterson which gives us a chance to lockdown the middle, which IMO compounds improvement across the board. Something that adding a DE just isn't going to come close to doing.

Who are you, Beef Jerky?

lol

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Who are you, Beef Jerky?

lol

Long time Falcons fan. Been in Atl since 1980. Just felt like chiming in for a change. My 10 year old daughter goes nuts over the Falcons, Dawgs, & Hawks. She's got her own mock draft with research & stats & I thought she'd get a kick out of me giving my input on the official forums. She likes Kindle for our first pick too, so I'm getting debated from all sides! :)

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Long time Falcons fan. Been in Atl since 1980. Just felt like chiming in for a change. My 10 year old daughter goes nuts over the Falcons, Dawgs, & Hawks. She's got her own mock draft with research & stats & I thought she'd get a kick out of me giving my input on the official forums. She likes Kindle for our first pick too, so I'm getting debated from all sides! :)

Well I love your first two posts, great input. It's rare that someone with only two posts actually posts something of substance. :P

I am on the Weatherspoon wagon also after watching the video of him on af.com. He's a stud. Great personality, great body, hard worker. I think he'ed be a great fit.

Your daughter sounds like a special girl, you've done right so far! Kindle wouldn't be a bad choice, either. There may not be one.

Looking forward to seeing you post some more.

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Believe me, I agree that comparing tackles between a DE & LB is normally irrelevant and/or arbitrary, but A. Graham is being touted as a hybrid DE/WLB due to his size & speed, and B. nearly 300 tackles is an obsurdly rediculous difference in overall benefit/productivity potential.

I think it's a poor assumption to consider Graham a better player than Weatherspoon. Graham isn't going to fill in the LB position as good as Weatherspoon & Weatherspoon isn't going to fill in the productivity of a DE. But as I stated, we don't need a DE considering what Biermann/Sidbury should do this year while we certainly do need to replace Peterson which gives us a chance to lockdown the middle, which IMO compounds improvement across the board. Something that adding a DE just isn't going to come close to doing.

Comparing the two is a bad start IMO. Graham is projected to be a DE in a 4-3 and a OLB in a 3-4 which is a big difference than Weatherspoon. They played two different positions in college so comparing them head to head doesnt make much sense to me.

It all comes down to depth at the position and IMO this draft is deep with OLB talent, not soo much the case with DE. There are a few DE in the 1st that can fill the void we have at LDE. We have had this run/pass rotation for two years now at the LDE position and yet it is still an area of weakness and the more tape that teams have the more the good teams will exploit that weakness. WE need an upgrade at LDE period and hopefully TD finally brings home Grade A quality Talent to fill that void for us and with one of the best DE coaches in the league and TD eye for talent I feel very comfortable with a DE coming in and upgrade the DE position overall.

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