Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Polar Bear Jones

2011 players the Falcons have shown interest in

444 posts in this topic

I don't blindly follow other ratings. Outside of the WRs sure to be drafted in the first 3 rounds, Hazelton has more upside than anyone else in the draft at WR. He was the top WR prospect out of high school and has battled some injuries and a transfer. If he checks out medically, he can be a great addition to a team.

I firmly believe he has more potential than guys like Randall Cobb and Tandon Doss as well, but I'm not saying he'll definitely fulfill that potential. Like Mike Williams, he certainly has the ability. It's whether he checks out medically and lands in the right place. If Mike Williams was drafted by the Jets (Holmes, Edwards, Cotchery), Cowboys (Austin, Williams, Bryant), Vikings (Rice, Harvin, Berrian), Saints (Colson, Meachem, Moore), or a ton of teams with solid WR cores, Williams could have been a nothing and never made it out of training camp. He landed in the right situation where he came into a team in serious need of starting WRs -- he became the #1 guy because he was given the chance to be that guy. Hazelton could come in with the chance to be the #2 guy and he could grow into a very good WR -- potentially. Otherwise, its just another 5th rounder down the drain.

At this point, I'd rather take a risk on a guy with high upside than yet another decent player with mediocre upside and a 50/50 chance of sticking with the team.

I'm not saying Hazelton doesn't have upside; I'm just saying I don't think teams will be clamoring to pick him up. I've sat through several interactive mock drafts, and done a few 7 round mocks with my friends, and Hazelton has never come close to being selected. There are just so many "kind of good" receivers out there this offseason for teams to choose from in the draft that I think he'll be lost in the shuffle because of his recent injury history.

I'd love to give him a shot on the team, especially because he wants to play here, but I think drafting him in the 5th would be a "waste" of a pick... it would be like spending our 1st round pick on... say, Kendall Hunter. I'd love to have Hunter, but in the 3rd, not the 1st.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think of Mike Williams more like Greg Little...a guy people know has real talent, but has questionable character/maturity. If he drops to the 4th, we should take him (but he won't).

I do agree with the Dirty Bird that we should start using late round picks on high ceiling guys, because a hardworking decent 6th rounder isn't likely to make this team anymore. Time to take chances on high ceiling guys and hope you hit on 1 out of 5.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Justin Houston’s versatility is drawing the interest of both 3-4 and 4-3 defenses alike.

The former Georgia linebacker is scheduled to meet with Baltimore Ravens linebacker coach Dean Pees on March 21, just one day before his Pro Day, per a league source with knowledge of the situation.

The 22-year-old from Statesboro, Georgia recorded 56 tackles and 10 sacks in 12 games for the Bulldogs last season. He would likely fit as a rush outside linebacker in Baltimore’s 3-4 system.

In addition to his meeting with the Ravens, Houston has a light workout scheduled on March 25 with the Atlanta Falcons at the University of Georgia.

While Houston played linebacker in college, many scouts and personnel executives are projecting him as a defensive end in a 4-3 system at the next level. His versatility and athleticism are two reasons why many believe Houston is a first-round draft pick.

http://www.nationalfootballpost.com/Source-Ravens-Falcons-to-meet-with-Justin-Houston.html

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was just about to post this.... We was just talking about this last night.... He fits the speed theme we want but .... Coach Hamilton has to know that he can get to this guy (develop him)and that he can help him improve on the run game (enough that he can play some LDE)...

IDK.... It could work.... The guy has Mathis type ability...

He and Sidbury are 2 ultra talented DE's

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think of it like this:

If Houston had a few more pass rushing moves, he would be a top 15 pick. We say we need a LDE, but I think the importance of a premier pass rusher is much more important. John Abraham will not be here forever. We aren't going to get the perfect pass rusher at 27 and it doesn't look like we will have a top 10 pick for a very long time.

We have to look at guys who may have a few flaws like Houston, but still see the ridiculously high ceiling that they have.

If we are looking for strictly a LDE, then I would look to FA or later in the draft to address that spot. I would not use our 1st round pick.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think of it like this:

If Houston had a few more pass rushing moves, he would be a top 15 pick. We say we need a LDE, but I think the importance of a premier pass rusher is much more important. John Abraham will not be here forever. We aren't going to get the perfect pass rusher at 27 and it doesn't look like we will have a top 10 pick for a very long time.

We have to look at guys who may have a few flaws like Houston, but still see the ridiculously high ceiling that they have.

If we are looking for strictly a LDE, then I would look to FA or later in the draft to address that spot. I would not use our 1st round pick.

I fully agree thats why i wouldnt be mad at the houston pick.... You are not going to find a flawless pick at 27.... But to play LDE they must feel like he can be atleast average against the run.... We need a pass rusher but once we draft a DE... One of our run playing DE's will be cut (Davis or JA98) so this playing has to be able to play the run some atleast.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I fully agree thats why i wouldnt be mad at the houston pick.... You are not going to find a flawless pick at 27.... But to play LDE they must feel like he can be atleast average against the run.... We need a pass rusher but once we draft a DE... One of our run playing DE's will be cut (Davis or JA98) so this playing has to be able to play the run some atleast.

I don't think he is terrible against the run. I definitely feel like he could play LDE for a year or two if he is in a rotation. He will get experience without being fully thrown to the dogs.

He will never be an every down LDE, but I do think he can be one at RDE.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not saying Hazelton doesn't have upside; I'm just saying I don't think teams will be clamoring to pick him up. I've sat through several interactive mock drafts, and done a few 7 round mocks with my friends, and Hazelton has never come close to being selected. There are just so many "kind of good" receivers out there this offseason for teams to choose from in the draft that I think he'll be lost in the shuffle because of his recent injury history.

I'd love to give him a shot on the team, especially because he wants to play here, but I think drafting him in the 5th would be a "waste" of a pick... it would be like spending our 1st round pick on... say, Kendall Hunter. I'd love to have Hunter, but in the 3rd, not the 1st.

I think the Kendall Hunter 1st over 3rd draft comparison is way off base and I'll explain. Also, interactive mock drafts mean nothing in terms of what will really happen. How many people took Tyson Alualu in the Top 10? Especially when it gets past Round 3, interactive mock drafts do not correlate at all to the real deal. Everson Griffen was taken in the 1st in ever mock I'd seen....and then he lasted until the 4th.

In our IMD last year, Tebow went in the 3rd and Corey Peters went in the 5th. The Broncos took Tebow in the 1st and the Falcons took Peters in the 3rd. Bruce Campbell was drafted with a Top 20 pick in our IMD, and was drafted in the 4th in real life. Perhaps the best example is in our IMD Emmanuel Sanders was not taken until the 7th round. The Steelers drafted him in the 3rd round.

If a guy has talent, and a team believes that a certain player would make their team better, no pick outside of the first 3 rounds can be considered a reach. Everyone knows Hazelton has talent, there is a reason why he is garnering a lot of interest, and you aren't the top WR prospect out of high school by accident -- the kid can play. Health is a concern, so he has to check out medically, but go look through past year's 5th round draft history and tell me you wouldn't risk a 5th round pick to make sure you got a kid with legitimate NFL WR talent.

As for Kendall Hunter, you don't risk a 1st on a player you can get in the mid-rounds just because you like him for your squad. 1st round picks are ones that should be used on the cream of the crop and you should not roll the dice with your 1st round pick because there are so many great options. 5th round picks sometimes don't even make it out of training camp. If someone uses their 5th round pick on him and he has a Mike Williams-esque rookie season or turns into a very viable #2 WR, are you not going to say -- I wish we took a chance on him with our 5th instead of taking this special teams guy or a CB that doesn't make the team?

I'm not a Hazelton advocate although it may sound like it, but he has more natural ability as a WR than the vast majority of WRs in this draft, as he has the size (6'2, 215), speed, and hands to be a good #2 WR. Health is the concern, and lack of stats because he got hurt in the season opener is what has his stock so low.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Joe Fortenbraugh of the National Football Post reports that the Falcons will meet with Georgia defensive end Justin Houston on March 25 a few days after his March 22 pro day in Athens. Defensive end is widely considered the Falcons top need and Houston has been projected as a potential pick for the Falcons in the first round.

You can read a scouting report on Houston by clicking here.

In other pro day news, the Falcons were among all 32 teams that showed up at the University of PIttsburgh’s pro day today. They were likely there to take a look at wideout Jon Baldwin, who is considered a potential target for the team in the latter part of the first round. Baldwin is big and long at 6-4/228 and ran a 4.50 40 at the Combine. He chose not to run a 40 at today’s pro day.

Click here to read a scouting report on Baldwin.

The Falcons were among a handful of teams that showed up at McNeese State’s pro day today. According to NFLDraftScout.com, their top rated prospect is tight end Corday Clark according to CBS Sports. He led them this past year with 30 receptions for 241 yards and a touchdown.

According to Geoff Mosher of the News Journal, the Falcons were among teams on hand at Delaware’s pro day today. The top rated prospect for the Blue Hens is quarterback Pat Devlin. Early reports indicate that Devlin struggled throwing at his pro day after a late arrival. Click here to read a scouting report on Devlin.

The Falcons also got a chance to get a look at safety Anthony Walters, who measured 6-0/204 at the pro day and ran a pair of 40 times of 4.50 and 4.58 seconds. He also measured a 36.5-inch vertical jump, 10-6 broad jump, and did 19 bench reps of 225 pounds. Walters pulled his hamstring during his second 40 run and is expected to work out at Villanova’s pro day tomorrow.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

link

Allen Bailey is scheduled to visit the Denver Broncos and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and conduct a private workout for the Atlanta Falcons later this month,

Per one source, Bailey is going to be visited in Miami by an NFL head coach and general manager.

The powerful, sculpted 6-foot-3, 285-pounder ran the 40-yard dash in 4.71 seconds at the NFL scouting combine and registered a 36 1/2 inch vertical leap, a 9-9 broad jump and bench pressed 225 pounds 27 times.

Named second-team All-Atlantic Coast Conference, Bailey led the Hurricanes last season with seven sacks as he posted 45 tackles, 11 for losses.

A converted linebacker, Bailey has played defensive tackle and end. He has drawn varying grades with at least one NFL team projecting him as a late first-round selection and others expecting him to go in the second round.

Draft analysts have questioned whether Bailey fits best at tackle or end. He said he believes his best position is as a 4-3 defensive end.

"I feel like I probably could put on more weight, but we’ll see," Bailey said. "I’d played strictly outside the last three years, so it was an adjustment going inside. I got the swing of everything and adjusted pretty well."

As a junior, Bailey recorded seven sacks and 11 tackles for losses to earn first-team All-Atlantic Coast Conference honors.

For his career, he finished with 107 tackles, 33 for losses and 20 sacks.

Bailey grew up in an extremely small Georgia town called Hog Hammock 15 miles off the coast on Sapelo Island. Recruiters had to take a half-hour boat ride to get to Bailey, which has a population of about 50 people.

The legend goes that recruiters were renting speed boats to outhustle the competition for Bailey.

"They'll find you anywhere," said Bailey, who chose Miami over Alabama, Florida and Georgia. "I wanted to get out of the state of Georgia, so why not Miami? It was pretty close. I’d never traveled too much. I didn’t travel at all until my senior year of high school. So, I wanted to do that."

It was tough for Bailey to organize games since there were only about 20 kids on the island.

"We had football, basketball, outdoor stuff," Bailey said.

Bailey bench presses 420 pounds and power cleans 375 pounds and was twice named Strength Training Athlete of the Year.

He has several nicknames, including Billy Bicep.

That met with Tampa Bay coach Raheem Morris' approval.

"Billy Bicep, Popeye. Big Bailey, a whole list of them," Bailey said. "Favorites for me were Popeye and Billy Bicep."

Bailey said he talked to Tampa Bay, Atlanta, the Kansas City Chiefs, San Diego Chargers and the Cleveland Browns for combine interviews. He also interviewed with the Falcons at the Senior Bowl.

Bailey has an 18 1/2 inch wingspan, 10 1/2 inch hands.

Bailey said his best football remains ahead of him.

"I kind of know some of my weaknesses," Bailey said. "Hands need work sometimes, getting off blocks, attacking blockers."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Really don't understand why they're so heavy on Bailey. Really don't want him in the first. Seems like a big reach for need and a lack of explosion.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Really don't understand why they're so heavy on Bailey. Really don't want him in the first. Seems like a big reach for need and a lack of explosion.

I'm stuck in the middle of should we or shouldnt we....

I think the guy can develop into a good LDE... He is just one of the recent under developed the U players that once he get good coaching... He should blossom.

Some teams think he can play 3-4 OLB.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Really don't understand why they're so heavy on Bailey. Really don't want him in the first. Seems like a big reach for need and a lack of explosion.

I hope they don't mistake explosion for a fast 40 time in shorts from a D-lineman.

We may be in a tough spot at #27 after doing a mock draft today. All of the guys I really wanted were off the board and the players left were: Hankerson, Baldwin, Ayers, Wilson, and Bailey of note. So 2 WR, 2 LB, 1 LDE.

I think of that group, I'd go with a WR or Martez Wilson. I don't think explosive pertains to just offense, and with Grimes, Dunta, Moore, and Decoud, I think if there isn't a DE prospect worth taking at #27 and we can't move down, we should seriously consider Wilson. I just googled his name and scouting report in the same sentence and this was the first hit, a 3rd party scouting report. Martez Wilson scouting report Here are some excerpts:

6'4, 250 pounds | Linebacker | Illinois

"Coverage: The ability to hold up in zone and man to man coverage is apparent when watching Wilson. His athletic ability and fluid hips allow him to turn and run with tight ends and running backs. In zone coverage, he keeps his pad level low and eyes in the backfield while feeling the routes develop around him."

"Instincts: Wilson has a good nose for the football. He shows the ability to quickly decipher his keys react to the play."

"Timing and quick twitch athleticism are major factors in Wilson's ability to create pressure. He does a nice job timing his rush off the edge and shows an explosive 2nd gear that allows him to close on the quarterback."

"Overall, his explosiveness and savvy give Wilson a lot of potential as a rushing linebacker."

"Pursuit: Wilson is able to remain clean while he pursues the ball carrier. His suddenness and balance allow him to avoid potential blockers. He routinely takes proper angles and has speed to keep from being out paced to the edge."

"Quickness: Being able to get up to full speed in a hurry is one of Wilson's major assets. That quick twitch ability comes in handy in all aspects of the game. Wilson possesses a good 2nd gear which allows him to chase down the ball carrier. His explosion off the football gives him the ability to effectively rush the passer."

"Strength: Wilson plays with good balance which enhances his strength. His low pad level allows him to properly explode in to the offensive line and deliver a jolt."

"Tackling: Solid technique and explosiveness is what makes Wilson a thunderous tackler."

"good ball skills showing the ability to come up with tough interceptions."

"Final word: His play on the field is what speaks volumes about this playmaking ability. He shows good explosiveness and instincts that have him as a fringe 1st round prospect. Wilson has the versatility to play any linebacker position"

"With that extra gear, he might be Jerod Mayo(notes) … but there's certainly nothing wrong with the potential to match Dansby's importance and production." -- from a diff report (#2)

NFL Comparison: Karlos Dansby, Miami Dolphins -- from report #2

This is from Arthur Blank's letter: "In addition, the current status of the Collective Bargaining Agreement will not disrupt our preparation for the 2011 season. Falcons General Manager Thomas Dimitroff and his staff are in the midst of preparing for the upcoming NFL Draft, with the stated goals of enhancing our roster by drafting fast and explosive players who are good fits for our system and locker room."

In that scouting report, "explosion" or some version of it was used 6.5 times in different categories breaking down Wilson as a prospect (.5 for "suddenness"). As for fast, at 6'4, 250 lbs, Wilson ran the 40 in 4.49 at the Combine, which is notoriously slow. Illinois pro day is today, and if he opts to re-run the 40, I would not be surprised if he turned in a Patrick Willis-like high 4.3 number. Keep in mind that Patrick Willis is 6'1, 240 lbs. Martez Wilson is 6'4, 250 lbs. So he is most certainly explosive and fast. As for adding a "playmaker" which is something we all think we need even though Blank doesn't address it in his letter, he has shown the ability to make the tough interception, he can be a force blitzing the QB, and he is strong enough to blow up a hole head on or beat a RB to the edge. Stephen Nicholas is a decent player, and while SLB is not our biggest need, it may be hard to pass on a talent and difference-maker like Wilson if the DEs we want are off the board and Wilson is sitting there.

Wilson would help our defense in 3 ways -- improved run defense, improved pass coverage, and improved pass rush. He would certainly be our best blitzing LB, and he may actually be a better cover LB than Weatherspoon. Also, to pass the TD-test, he was selected as a co-Captain for 9 games last season despite being only a junior.

We can move up in the second and grab a DE or WR like Titus Young, Randall Cobb (two guys we've looked heavily at -- I believe indicating that we will try to upgrade WR with a 2nd or 3rd round pick), maybe even Hankerson or Baldwin depending on how the draft falls. Same can be said for a DE like Allen Bailey, Jabaal Sheard, or more likely Sam Acho who we've been heavily linked to.

I think if we took Wilson with our 1st to give us an explosive and fast playmaker on defense, the Falcon fans and team would be happy if we ended with Sam Acho with our 2nd round pick and a Jerrel Jernigan type in the 3rd or later, like Edmong Gates (I'm just going with names off of the list of people we've been linked to).

If a CBA is reached before the draft and we can bring in a guy like Ray Edwards, Charles Johnson, or Mathias Kiwanuka, then we could use our 2nd round draft pick on a WR like Titus Young, Randall Cobb, or Greg Little, or even move up from our 2nd for a WR like Hankerson, Baldwin, or Torrey Smith (whom I hate as a prospect) if one of them slides into the 2nd round.

Sorry for all of my posts being really long, I put a lot of thought into what I write on these boards and try to explain myself in depth instead of saying -- "Bailey sucks. GO MARTEZ WILSON!!!!" ------ no offense to posters who take this approach.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just don't see us taking a LB early in this draft.

Stephen Nicholas will get his chance to start. I think we'd reach for a WR, before we'd grab Wilson.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

^^^^^^^^

Good info on a guy I kinda never really thought about but theres alot of good info in there and he could be a good fit and with another thumper next to Lofton and Spoon at the WILL I like the look of that and then they would let Nicolas walk and sign Mo-Pete to a 1 year deal and keep Adkins Wire and James as depth I think we'd be solid at LBer.

DE man this CBA CR*P is killing me as most on here here want LDE soughted in FA to be honest the only guy that I am faintly interested in is Kerrigan but if he's gone they have shown interest in Acho so I guess 2nd its a 2nd rounder or could Acho be had in the 3rd I'm guessing not.

Now offense well the mid WRers we have shown interest in from what I've seen seem to be Gates Lockette Hazelton and maybe Hankerson if they choose to go that direction but I'm just not feeling it.

In the end I think they'll choose to get more explosive on the defensive side of the ball maybe add a 3rd down scat back and hope Ryan continues the maturation process and hope he can carry us with what we have.

Man i just hope this CBA stuff is soughted as we can sought our needs right there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just don't see us taking a LB early in this draft.

Stephen Nicholas will get his chance to start. I think we'd reach for a WR, before we'd grab Wilson.

yea.. dont see us going LB in the 1st round ... I dont see him as a 1st rounder because he is raw to me.. LB is a position where i want a smart guy with knowledge of the game as a 1st round pick.

I like Martez Wilson but dont see us going LB with that pick.

I will say this.. I think Wilson, Spoon and Lofton would give us a nasty LB core.... LB is not a big need tho

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

yea.. dont see us going LB in the 1st round ... I dont see him as a 1st rounder because he is raw to me.. LB is a position where i want a smart guy with knowledge of the game as a 1st round pick.

I like Martez Wilson but dont see us going LB with that pick.

I will say this.. I think Wilson, Spoon and Lofton would give us a nasty LB core.... LB is not a big need tho

JBO your playing both sides of the fence.

I would'nt rule it out though if they can't trade out and Kerrigan and a few other players we like are gone I think Wilson could be a really nice pick and while OLB is'nt the #1 need as you say look at that starting rotation Spoon Lofton and Wilson you get 2 thumpers and the speed to boot with Lofton and Wilson so I think this is'nt one to rule out completely.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

JBO your playing both sides of the fence.

I would'nt rule it out though if they can't trade out and Kerrigan and a few other players we like are gone I think Wilson could be a really nice pick and while OLB is'nt the #1 need as you say look at that starting rotation Spoon Lofton and Wilson you get 2 thumpers and the speed to boot with Lofton and Wilson so I think this is'nt one to rule out completely.

I can like a player but not think he is a 1st round pick.... That doesnt mean he is not good... I feel the same way about Torrey Smith.

Dealing with Wilson... I think he is a 2nd round guy plus i dont see us drafting a LB with that pick (27th pick) .

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't understand why Moten isn't more highly rated.

Its probably his height and its been said he does not shed well kind of like spoon last year but I think what he brings as a blitzer and in coverage out weighs those doubts. He also can provide depth at all three LB positions. Football smart high effort kind of guy we like.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Its probably his height and its been said he does not shed well kind of like spoon last year but I think what he brings as a blitzer and in coverage out weighs those doubts. He also can provide depth at all three LB positions. Football smart high effort kind of guy we like.

He is 6'2... came in at 235lbs today.... an a 4.49...

I think he would be a nice 4th round or 5th round LB prospect like Boley...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

He is 6'2... came in at 235lbs today.... an a 4.49...

I think he would be a nice 4th round or 5th round LB prospect like Boley...

Nothing wrong with Moten as a player, but 6'2, 235 lbs is the size of a WLB in a 4-3. We've got a better WLB in Weatherspoon at 6'1, 240 lbs.

The two best 4-3 SLBs in the NFL right now, Kamerion Wimbley (6'3, 255 lbs), Brian Cushing (6'3, 260 lbs), are able to take on blockers on the strong side and discard them because of their strength, size, and speed. That's why I like guys like Martez Wilson (6'4, 250 lbs) and Akeem Ayers (6'3, 255 lbs) as fits for our 4-3 SLB spot. Playmaking linebackers with size, strength, and speed, and especially Wilson who is often characterized with that beloved word: explosive.

I think our need for playmaking LBs who can cover is very much understated as a big problem in our defense. We had a terrible 3rd down defense, and that isn't because QBs were zipping passes 20 yards down field every time beating our safeties or throwing out routes beating our QBs. We use our CBs in a zone coverage or in man coverages, and they constantly get beat over the middle and other teams extend their drives. It is hard to get to the QB when all the QB needs to do is take a 3 step drop and hit a slant or a TE to get the 1st. Guys like Wilson and Ayers could make a big difference for our defense, and if Weatherspoon develops into a stud WLB like I hope he does, having two LBs like that could make our defense really great.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

He is 6'2... came in at 235lbs today.... an a 4.49...

I think he would be a nice 4th round or 5th round LB prospect like Boley...

I meant his weight. Being light and not being able to shed at the college level probably has them scared. Adding some weight could and strength could help with that. The Boley comparison is dead on because I think they both have good coverage skills.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites