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21 days from NFL Draft - "D-Day" - How I see things shaping up in 1st round for the Falcons


g-dawg
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Obviously there will be shake-ups on "conventional wisdom" of draft values of players as we move from now until draft time. Since the Atlanta Falcons pick so low, there are a lot variables.

Seems to me and most of you that our draft priority order would look something like this in ranking of needs - remember Thomas Dimitroff always stresses "needs-based":

FALCONS DRAFT NEEDS:

1)DE (pass-rusher)

2)WR (speed guy to create mismatches)

3)CB (anybody that can cover a wideout-preferably someone with size)

4)RB (change-of-pace, speed/pass-catcher 3rd down)

5)TE (heir apparent to Gonzo)

6)OT (someone who could upgrade Sam Baker)

Obviously, most of those needs could be tweaked based on how the draft-board falls and who is most talented when Falcons go on the clock.

1) DEFENSIVE END:

I really, really think the Atlanta Falcons would like their first pick to be a Defensive End. Again, as I see it, these are the prospects that would fit the Falcons in first round and are 4-3 pass rushing defensive ends:

1) Robert Quinn,DE-UNC

2) Aldon Smith,DE-Missouri

3) Da'Quan Bowers,DE-Clemson

4) Ryan Kerrigan,DE-Purdue

5) Justin Houston,DE/OLB-Georgia

I do not believe that Adrian Clayborn is a "scheme fit" for Falcons and not sure that I would be comfortable drafting that guy with his medical disorder - although he obviously has excelled with the weaker arm(Erb's Palsy). He punched a cabbie as well and that would have to be investigated.

More than likely, all five of those guys on my list above will be gone. I see Robert Quinn going in top 10, I think Aldon Smith will be gone by #14, Kerrigan won't get past Jacksonville at #16 and Justin Houston will probably get selected by one of our NFC South Rivals (Tampa or New Orleans).(FALCONS 1ST RD. WORTHY: Quinn,Smith,Bowers,Kerrigan,Houston)

2) WIDE RECEIVER & 3) CORNERBACK

So, moving to our 2nd and 3rd needs (WR and CB), these positions play out very similiarly. There are two elite guys as each position that most likely will go top 10(A.J. Green/Julio Jones at WR and Patrick Peterson/Prince Amukamara at CB) and then no other wide receivers or corners worthy of first round consideration.(FALCONS 1ST RD. WORTHY: None)

4) RUNNING BACK

At runningback, I believe the Atlanta Falcons should target someone similiar to Ray Rice. A guy that might be on the small side who has unique abilities that Michael Turner does not have - in other words, speed, ability to threaten the perimeter of a defense and super pass-catching ability since Michael Turner is arguably the worst pass-catching RB in the NFL. However, I don't believe Falcons should be satisifed with whomever they draft "JUST" being a change-of-pace guy. They should want him to be someone who could develop in 1-2 years into the #1 guys. I think 2 years is what we are looking at tops on Michael Turner's remaining production. Again, there is no "first round talent" at Running back so I don't see Falcons taking a running back either.(FALCONS 1ST RD. WORTHY: None)

5) TIGHT END

If the Defensive End is not available at #27 overall, you have to go all the way to the #5 need of the Atlanta Falcons to find a prospect worthy of first round consideration - and that is Kyle Rudolph. This is why it would not be a total shock to me if Falcons grabbed him here. Obviously Kyle's role would be limited in his first year with Tony Gonzalez still being on the roster. Rudolph fits the pedigree of what Mike Mularkey would want as well as a guy at 6'6" and 260lbs that has the frame and ability to block. Rudolph compares similiarly to Rob Gronkowski and could be an effective weapon in Falcons offense but with field-stretching ability that Tony Gonzalez does not really have anymore. If Falcons stand pat, this certainly could be the pick.(FALCONS 1ST RD WORTHY: Rudolph)

6)OFFENSIVE TACKLE

Most likely there will be a few well thought of offensive tackles still on the board at pick #27. I am not sure how many of them would be considered "special" though. If Gabe Carimi OR Anthony Castonzofell(doubtful) then I think the Falcons would consider him. Derek Sherrod is not said to possess a "killer instinct" in run blocking but is an accomplished pass protector who can play left tackle and probably would be a slight upgrade over Sam Baker. I just think this is not a strong enough need for the Atlanta Falcons to go this way.(FALCONS 1ST RD. WORTHY: Carimi,Castonzo,Sherrod)

TRADE DOWN OPTION STARING FALCONS STRAIGHT IN THE FACE:

As much as I would love for the Atlanta Falcons to be in position to "trade up" and go get Robert Quinn or Aldon Smith - I just think the cost is "too prohibitive" given the many needs this team has.

At #27overall, there is not a lot of value for the Atlanta Falcons based on their needs. However, the "second tier" Quarterbacks (Ryan Mallet, Jake Locker, Christian Ponder) - other NFL teams that need a QB but could not justify taking one high in the first - those teams are going to be itching to jump back into the late 1st round and grab their future signal-caller. For now, let's assume that Panthers take Cam Newton #1 overall and Cardinals take Blaine Gabbert at #5 overall and those teams are out of QB hunt. Here are the teams with urgent QB needs and draft picks that they could part with to move up. The Atlanta Falcons pick at #27 overall = 680pts. I am assuming that teams with QB needs would pay a premium in points to move up to take their QB. I also am assuming that future draft picks would be "middle of that round" draft picks and taking the future draft picks and "halfing" the point value as that is what I have been told that NFL teams think about future draft picks.

Here are the deals I came up with.

Cincinnati:#2-35,#3-66(=810pts)

Tennessee:#2-39,#3-77,4th rounder 2012(=750pts)

Jacksonville: #2-49,#3-80,#4-120,3rd rounder 2012(=749pts)

Minnesota:#2-43,#4-105,2nd rounder/2012(=764pts)

I really, really like this option for your Atlanta Falcons if the first round does not afford us the ability to fill our #1 need(Defensive End). I then would just focus free agency even moreso towards Defensive End and begin filling other needs - WR/TE/RB/CB - in the early rounds of this draft.

I also like the trade down where we secure high future draft picks as well. Every year Bill Belicheck is operating from position of strength and Thomas Dimitroff has built up the current base of talent to the point where he needs to start being "foward-looking" as well.

Anyway, these are my thoughts - let me know what you think....

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Re #6

If we go OT in the first its to replace Tyson Clabo. Spending #27 overall to possibly, slightly upgrade Sam Baker is not very good value.

agreed- that is why it is the #6 need and not the #1 or #2 need, musk.....not understanding your point here.

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Good job, I especially like the trade down scenarios.

I'm startign to move to the position that the Falcons will trade out of the first round.

(1) It's looking more and more like the value at #27 just won't be there for the Falcons.

(2) As far as I can tell (given the players the Falcons have scouted), the between the late 2nd round and end of the 4th round, the Falcons need 5 picks to accomplish their goals--they currently have 3 picks. Somehow they need to pick up 2-mid round picks (a 3rd and a 4th).

Trading back into the 2nd (even late 2nd) and picking up two mid-round picks would allow them to get every player-category they are targeting except one: a premier pass rushing DE. But if they are trading out of the 1st, then there isn't one available anyway.

Anyone got any trade scenarios that would allow the Falcons to pick up those two mid-round picks?

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I agree pretty much with everything.

I think that if Gabbert and Newton go top 5, which they most likely will, you will see Tennessee, Washington, Denver, Minnesota, and Arizona desperately trying to get in the late first round. the quality of DL players will prevent the mid-range teams from wanting to move back and grab up the top tier talent. Once the Seahawks possibly grab Locker or Dalton, you could have a run on QBs that make Baltimore, Atlanta, and New England's picks much more valuable.

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I agree pretty much with everything.

I think that if Gabbert and Newton go top 5, which they most likely will, you will see Tennessee, Washington, Denver, Minnesota, and Arizona desperately trying to get in the late first round. the quality of DL players will prevent the mid-range teams from wanting to move back and grab up the top tier talent. Once the Seahawks possibly grab Locker or Dalton, you could have a run on QBs that make Baltimore, Atlanta, and New England's picks much more valuable.

I absolutely think this could happen. As a matter of fact, I will go so far as saying I think this is the LIKELY outcome.

I just hope the Falcons are in the mood to deal...its time for Falcons to "deal down" the draft instead of "dealing up".....we need players at a lot of positions.

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The trade down is a mute since someone will need to move to #27. Every one knows falcons are'nt taking a QB in the first or second so why not move and trade with #28.

center is actually our biggest need since mcclure likely will retire this year and there is not a center on our roster with quality replace them. personally i feel this is where we should draft at 27 if we get a top 3 center.

the run game is a huge part of our offense and likely we will draft late next year i think this year is a real oppurtunity to grab mcclure's replacement.

DE is our next biggest need and there is plenty of DE in this draft for a quality guy to fall to us.

most likely this will be our pick.

if there is no options with the first two picks where there likely will be we need a POWER back or a fast back if we could grab ingram i would be for it. he is a quality RB to compliment turner. snelling is our 3rd down catching guy. change of pace is nice but ingram is better.

TE is a big need but 1-3 rounds we have options but a guy high here could be an option soon.

no CB unless a guy really falls in the late rounds but that is for every position.

no WR unless aj is there. this is not a big need but i do feel we could benefit from a top 50 guy but realistically who will be there.

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agreed- that is why it is the #6 need and not the #1 or #2 need, musk.....not understanding your point here.

No matter how bad the first round breaks at DE, taking a OT at #27, at a point where the thin class to begin with will be lightened by a couple of the best prospects, is getting almost no return on that investment. I'd rather hit OLB at #27, or even swap the pick for 2012 picks.

Sam Baker is not a great player, but nobody from this draft class is any great improvement, if at all.

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If Robert Quinn some how makes it to that 14 to 15 area I think TD will be seriously thinking of pulling the trigger to go get him.

Outside of that at 27 I think as mentioned OT and TE are the only real value guys falling to us at this point.I'm hoping we trade out and accumulate another 2nd and probably a 4th round puick for one of those teams mentioned looking for a QB.

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No matter how bad the first round breaks at DE, taking a OT at #27, at a point where the thin class to begin with will be lightened by a couple of the best prospects, is getting almost no return on that investment. I'd rather hit OLB at #27, or even swap the pick for 2012 picks.

Sam Baker is not a great player, but nobody from this draft class is any great improvement, if at all.

I don't want offensive line at #27, so there is no reason for me to argue with you here.

My position clearly stated in topic is draft one of the 5 DEs named or trade down. When trading down, look to fill the best position of need with that pick (probably Kyle Rudolph or WR).

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The trade down is a mute since someone will need to move to #27. Every one knows falcons are'nt taking a QB in the first or second so why not move and trade with #28.

I stopped reading after this......not a well-thought out argument.....

the reason, "metatron" is because there is not just "one team" looking to presumably trade up to draft a QB at end of 1st round - there could be as many as 5 teams willing to do so. Given that scenario, teams will want to move further and further up the back-end of the 1st round to be sure and get "their guy". Common sense.

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I absolutely think this could happen. As a matter of fact, I will go so far as saying I think this is the LIKELY outcome.

I just hope the Falcons are in the mood to deal...its time for Falcons to "deal down" the draft instead of "dealing up".....we need players at a lot of positions.

I am in the vast minority here, but i really do feel like DT will trade up more likely than trade down. There are three reasons for this: we need an impact player at DE and trading down torpedoes that. Second, he traded up to fill a need before when we picked up baker. Finally, we have two division rivals that puck ahead of us that are targeting the same position. Moving ahead of them not only gets us an impact player at a bug need, but ALSO keeps two division rivals from getting that player. Getting better at DE while hampering our rivals' ability to do the same i think might be something DT might be weighing.

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I am in the vast minority here, but i really do feel like DT will trade up more likely than trade down. There are three reasons for this: we need an impact player at DE and trading down torpedoes that. Second, he traded up to fill a need before when we picked up baker. Finally, we have two division rivals that puck ahead of us that are targeting the same position. Moving ahead of them not only gets us an impact player at a bug need, but ALSO keeps two division rivals from getting that player. Getting better at DE while hampering our rivals' ability to do the same i think might be something DT might be weighing.

who is "DT"? (dyslexic? j/k)

"puck"? (I hated that guy on MTV's The Real World-great chef though)

if you trade up, then you are gutting the rest of this year's draft. Ray Edwards only costs $$$$ and he probably fills the need of DE better than anybody drafted this year anyway.

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G-Dawg, I can't argue much with the needs, but I'd definitely argue with the priorities.

I'd put change-of-pace RB at #1, because when Smitty, TD, and even Arthur Blank talk about 'explosiveness', the RB position is what I think of. I personally favor a three-down back who can catch and run. It gives you a bigger playbook and keeps the defense honest on all three downs. But the Falcons seem to favor the situational back scenarios so a change-of-pace guy is in the cards. I don't think he'll be a draft target, though, unless there's no free agency period. If you want a proven COP back (and TD frequently meets his top need through free agency) you go after a certain former Charger. If a certain former Charger can't be signed, you draft your guy - and there are some good prospects in this draft. You'd pretty much have your choice in the second round. In fact, this could be a great trade-down opportunity.

I'd put DE at the #2 priority, but in the top draft spot based on my speculations above.

I'd put TE at the #3 priority, targeting the third round. Quality TEs will abound in the third the way DEs abound in the first.

I'd put CB, O-line or OLB at the #4 priority, targeting the second round (or else that COP back if I can't get one in free agency). I'd go BPA on my board with whoever filled one of those positions.

In round 4 I'd look for guys I graded at round 2 or 3 who have fallen. It happens every year.

In round 5, I'd go back to CB, OL and OLB and look for another BPA guy who meets whichever need remains from my round 2 target groups. In 6 and 7, I'd go with my sleeper guys, and here's the shocker - I don't see the Falcons targeting a WR until that point and only then if one of their sleepers is still around.

So why no game breaker WR? Because Mularkey would have to completely retool his offensive philosophy, because Ryan would have to become much more consistent with his deep stuff, and because the O-line would have to improve enough in pass protection to give him the necessary time. Long story short, those three things ain't gonna happen all at once, so a speed receiver is not a near-term solution. Ryan's best weapons to take this offense up a notch are a proven yards-after-catch-change-of-pace-running-back and a field stretching tight end.

Edited by JOEinPHX
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G-Dawg, I can't argue much with the needs, but I'd definitely argue with the priorities.

I'd put change-of-pace RB at #1, because when Smitty, TD, and even Arthur Blank talk about 'explosiveness', the RB position is what I think of. I'd put DE at the #2 priority, but in the top draft spot based on my speculations above.

I'd put TE at the #3 priority, targeting the third round. Quality TEs will abound in the third the way DEs abound in the first.

I'd put CB, O-line or OLB at the #4 priority, targeting the second round (or else that COP back if I can't get one in free agency). I'd go BPA on my board with whoever filled one of those positions.

In round 4 I'd look for guys I graded at round 2 or 3 who have fallen. It happens every year.

In round 5, I'd go back to CB, OL and OLB and look for another BPA guy who meets whichever need remains from my round 2 target groups. In 6 and 7, I'd go with my sleeper guys, and here's the shocker - I don't see the Falcons targeting a WR until that point and only then if one of their sleepers is still around.

So why no game breaker WR? Because Mularkey would have to completely retool his offensive philosophy, because Ryan would have to become much more consistent with his deep stuff, and because the O-line would have to improve enough in pass protection to give him the necessary time. Long story short, those three things ain't gonna happen all at once, so a speed receiver is not the solution. Ryan's best weapons to take this offense up a notch are a proven yards-after-catch-change-of-pace-running-back and a field stretching tight end.

You cannot draft a back-up RB as your #1 priority - you just can't Joe. There is NO WAY that you can say a change-of-pace RB can be ahead of Defensive End - IMHO - with all due respect to you.

As far as WRs go, Falcons are scouting Jernigan hard - not sure about the other guys but seems Falcons are fixated on Jernigan. He's a late 2nd/early 3rd type prospect by all accounts - think we are scouting a lot of WRs so it seems to be a priority...

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You cannot draft a back-up RB as your #1 priority - you just can't Joe. There is NO WAY that you can say a change-of-pace RB can be ahead of Defensive End - IMHO - with all due respect to you.

As far as WRs go, Falcons are scouting Jernigan hard - not sure about the other guys but seems Falcons are fixated on Jernigan. He's a late 2nd/early 3rd type prospect by all accounts - think we are scouting a lot of WRs so it seems to be a priority...

I'm not saying you draft a COP running back in the first. I'm saying that's the top priority to make the offense explosive, and you make that your free agent target. If you don't land that guy in FA, you're looking COP at #59, or else trying to trade down about five-to-eight spots because there will still be several of those prospects available in the early third.

I do say you make a DE your first round priority. That's my third paragraph.

As for Jernigan or any other similar WR, saying yes to him means you're saying no to Harry Douglas. It's also saying you don't see Weems expanding his role as a receiver. I personally don't want to see another small-target WR on the roster. Doesn't mean it can't happen, but it wouldn't make sense in my world.

Edited by JOEinPHX
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I'm not saying you draft a COP running back in the first. I'm saying that's the top priority to make the offense explosive, and you make that your free agent target. If you don't land that guy in FA, you're looking COP at #59, or else trying to trade down about five-to-eight spots because there will still be several of those prospects available in the early third.

I do say you make a DE your first round priority. That's my third paragraph.

As for Jernigan or any other similar WR, saying yes to him means you're saying no to Harry Douglas. It's also saying you don't see Weems expanding his role as a receiver. I personally don't want to see another small-target WR on the roster. Doesn't mean it can't happen, but it wouldn't make sense in my world.

Frankly, I would prefer a bigger WR myself - I like Greg Little - if Falcons can accept his character(or lack thereof) - I think Greg Little is the complete package of size and explosiveness that the offense needs.

As far as RB goes, I really would like a good one(obviously) but don't see Falcons grabbing one before 3rd round - i'm starting to believe it will be the 4th round. This is a very, very deep RB draft and there will be a decent RB or three when Falcons on clock in the 4th.

The dilemna at D-End is perplexing because I really believe that the five guys that fit the Falcons D-Line scheme (Quinn/Smith/Bowers/Kerrigan/Houston) will all be gone.

Anyway, I'm sure jr. will get a new toy to play with after draft day B)

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I stopped reading after this......not a well-thought out argument.....

the reason, "metatron" is because there is not just "one team" looking to presumably trade up to draft a QB at end of 1st round - there could be as many as 5 teams willing to do so. Given that scenario, teams will want to move further and further up the back-end of the 1st round to be sure and get "their guy". Common sense.

you and an most of other teams that pick in the 20's want to trade back so realistically it would be a long shot for this scenario. And as i said no one expects the falcons to pick a QB in the first, the trade up will only occur if a good team that picks after us needs a QB.

none of them do so teams that want to trade up and havent grabbed a QB already can easily move up in the second to a team that grabed there QB already.

i mean really no one around our pick needs a QB if teams run on QB's early then those teams may decide to trade down in the second in the second.

Edited by metatron360
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you and an most of other teams that pick in the 20's want to trade back so realistically it would be a long shot for this scenario. And as i said no one expects the falcons to pick a QB in the first, the trade up will only occur if a good team that picks after us needs a QB.

none of them do so teams that want to trade up and havent grabbed a QB already can easily move up in the second to a team that grabed there QB already.

i mean really no one around our pick needs a QB if teams run on QB's early then those teams may decide to trade down in the second in the second.

again, you don't seem to be able to put forth a coherent point.

You seem to be saying if other teams don't feel threatened that Falcons will take a QB then they won't want to trade with us. :blink: :blink:

Teams that want a QB will trade with Falcons because they want to secure their QB of the future and they know that other teams are looking at the guy that they want. Most of those teams have early 2nd round picks. These teams will jump back up into 1st round to secure their guy - these teams wanting to trade up are not necessarily going to be so precise as to trade up one slot in front of the other team that wants a QB - because all those other teams might trade up as well.

Falcons are at #27 overall which is basically the end of the 1st round. I can promise you that the Patriots at #28 overall will deal out of their spot - other NFL teams will know that which makes the Falcons at #27 the perfect spot to trade into to draft a Ryan Mallett, Jake Locker or Christian Ponder.

This is simple and coherent argument - yours is not.....sorry!

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who is "DT"? (dyslexic? j/k)

"puck"? (I hated that guy on MTV's The Real World-great chef though)

if you trade up, then you are gutting the rest of this year's draft. Ray Edwards only costs $$$$ and he probably fills the need of DE better than anybody drafted this year anyway.

Lol sorry my comp died so all i got is my phone, its a little rough posting sometimes hehe.

I wouldnt say wed be gutting the rest of the draft, and id rather move up and get a more sure prospect at DE then use a 1st rd pick on a riskier prospect. There is still some pretty good value at RB, WR,TE, and OLB in later rounds. I think we can get our scatback/speed rb type guy in the 5th, and use our 3rd and 4th on wr and te. I see what you're driving at but honestly, being that DE is far and away our biggest need, its worth the investment to move up. While i like edwards, i dont know that i wanna give a half season wonder a dump truck full of money.

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that is a question that I don't know the answer to just yet....we all need to do research on this guy - i just don't want to draft another guy out of position like it seems Bierrman is.

Ive seen him in a couple games, before the combine i would have put him in the 3rd round, but he turned a lot of heads at the combine. He put up similar results to kerrigan, who is seen by most as the 3rd best DE prospect. He would need to add 10 pounds or so, but thats not too difficult. He doesnt have ideal length, but he's smart - good at reading/reacting and if u look at his combine results, hes clearly among the quickest and strongest DE's in this draft. The thing i like about him most is that he has good technique, unlike guys like acho and bailey who for the most part, got by on raw athletic ability. Also a high motor guy. Id be happy with him if he was our pick, but if i had my way, id move up and take kerrigan. But id rather have reed than bailey and some of the other project type guys.

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