theProf Posted February 23, 2012 Share Posted February 23, 2012 Atlanta Falcons 7:18 p.m. Wednesday, February 22, 2012 Seven players on the Falcons' radar screenBy D. Orlando LedbetterThe Atlanta Journal-ConstitutionVanderbilt cornerback Casey Hayward, of Perry, has been working out in Boca Raton, Fla., to prepare for the NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis, which started Wednesday.<p class="leftFloat" id="cxLeftRail" jquery1330000062243="47">He went through rounds of interviews at the Senior Bowl, where he met with the Falcons, but now he wants to show the NFL that he’s fast enough to cover pro wide receivers.Hayward believes he has first-round talent, but could be available when the Falcons make their first selection, the 55th pick, in the second round of the draft, which will be held April 26-28.“People want to see how fast I’m going to run,” Hayward said by telephone Tuesday. “I’m trying to go up there and prove to everybody that I’m fast enough to run with guys at the next level.NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock has LSU’s Morris Claiborne as the top-rated cornerback in the draft. He’s followed in Mayock’s top five by Alabama’s Dre Kirkpatrick, North Alabama’s Janoris Jenkins, Montana’s Trumaine Johnson and Iowa State’s Leonard Johnson.Hayward, who started 37 games and had 15 interceptions for the Commodores, is in the next group of cornerbacks.Hayward believes he will impress teams with his knowledge of pass defense.“I feel like I can fit into [any scheme] since I’ve played it all throughout my career at Vanderbilt,” Hayward said.Here’s a list of seven players to watch closely during the combine. They all could be available when the Falcons pick:1. Coby Fleener, TE, Stanford. He will be in Indianapolis, but will not participate in the athletic drills because of a foot injury, according to Rob Rang of cbssports.com. He’s considered the top tight end in the draft by some analysts.2. Vinny Curry, DE, Marshall. “Emerged as a prolific pass rusher over his final two seasons,” according to Mel Kiper’s 2012 draft preview. “Curry is a proven and natural playmaker off the edge.”3. Leonard Johnson, DB, Iowa State. “When you get to the defensive backs and the combine, for them it is all about speed and quickness,” Mayock said. “Leonard ... plays better than he will time [in drills.] If he times poorly, he could be a fourth-round pick instead of a second-round pick.”4. Casey Hayward, DB, Vanderbilt. He is a ballhawk. Started 37 games for the Commodores and had 15 career interceptions. He was named second-team All-America by the Walter Camp Foundation and earned second-team All-SEC honors by coaches and writers.5. Kevin Zeitler, G, Wisconsin. He has been a fixture at guard for the Badgers since 2009. The Falcons would have to determine if he could win the pending all-comers competition at right guard. He would be the first Big Ten player selected by the Falcons under Dimitroff.6. Bruce Irvin, DE, West Virginia. Played at Stephenson High for coach Ron Gartrell and is considered a pass-rush specialist. Some teams view him as a 3-4 outside linebacker.7. Trumaine Johnson, DB, Montana. Mayock called Johnson “a long, physical corner.” Under Dimitroff, the Falcons have drafted two players from Montana, defensive end Kroy Biermann and safety Shann Schillinger.http://www.ajc.com/sports/atlanta-falcons/seven-players-on-the-1359101.html Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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