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Pre-Draft Offseason Analysis


autigerfan
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Having franchised our best corner, re-signed our top pass rusher and found a replacement our 4 year starter at middle linebacker, it looks like our work in free agency may be done.

Although none of these signings were the sexy moves that fans were looking for, (ie. Carl Nicks, Mario Williams) I believe TD did a masterful job of keeping most of the pieces together on defense while adding a couple of veterans who were low risk high reward type of signings (Tatupu & Manuwei.)

Tatupu should fight for a starting job with Akeem Dent to replace the yet un-signed Curtis Lofton. At the end of the day I believe Dent will win the job as a two down run stuffer with Tatupu coming in in nickel packages due to his veteran savvy and instincts. It is hard to believe a guy who is 4 years removed from his last Pro Bowl appearance due to a variety of injuries will hold up as a three down player at one of the most physical positions on the field.

Manuwei was another move that flew under the radar but that could pay big dividends. He was a very good blocker for several years and may have just fell victim to a numbers game in Jacksonville where they used a 2nd round pick on Rackley and spent free agent dollars to bring in Jason Spitz from Green Bay. He showed up out of shape last year and was then shown the door. After using the time off to get his body back in playing shape, he should at worst provide a camp body and at best compete for the starting job at right guard with Mike Johnson and Andrew Jackson.

Keeping former TD draft picks Thomas Decoud and Kroy Bierman in the fold was a smart move. Decoud has been solid if unspectacular and other players who have shown less consistency were signed to similar deals. The 5 year 17 million dollar deal was basically the same contract given to Nicholas last year and they are both solid contributors but not difference making players.

Re-signing Kroy allowed us the ability to exercise more patience with our negotiations with Abraham. The 3 year $21 million deal was fair although we may be carrying dead money for his contract going into the third year of the deal. I expect 1-2 more productive seasons from Abe and hope either Kroy or Sidbury or another draft pick shows that they can replace his production. Bierman should be more productive in Nolan's scheme where we may see him rush from a two point stance.

Let's not forget about how huge it was to keep Harry Douglas on offense. I expect him to be utilized much more as we start to transition from a run first offense to a more passing oriented scheme with Turner slowing down. We should easily have one of the better trios of wideouts between White, Jones and Douglas next year. We will have to see if Kerry Meier, or one of the other promising youngsters can step up behind them though with Weems heading to greener pastures in Chicago.

It seems possible that we could land a player like McNeil to upgrade our LT situation on a short-term prove it type of contract. Otherwise we are in pretty good shape heading into the draft. Re-signing Todd McClure would be a good move also but we may have to free up extra cap room to sign anyone else and our entire draft class. Don't rule out Ovie Mughelli as a possible last minute cap casualty to give us extra space.

This is how I see our 2012 draft shaping up.

2)We should see a pretty good player fall to us just like William Moore did in 2009. Look for us to target offensive line help with someone like Zebrie Sanders from FSU. I wouldn't rule out someone like the DE Curry here either if he is still on the board.

3)The Falcons should be looking for a young tight end to groom as this is likely Gonzalez last year. Ladarius Green will need to add some weight but has an intriguing frame and atheletic ability. A safety like Markelle Martin may also be in play as Sanders is still unsigned.

5)Adding another corner would be a smart move as Grimes has yet to sign his franchise tender and even if he does, he can walk next season. Casey Hayward is a smart player who makes up for his lack of ideal speed with smarts. David Molk from Michigan may be in play as well to provide additional depth inside as Hawley takes over for Todd McClure.

6)Mike Daniels was undersized but very productive at Iowa. Adding depth to the DT rotation would be good value at this point in the draft. The Falcons may also think about someone like Devon Wylie who profiles as a 4th receiver and someone who can add some explosiveness to the special teams units.

7)If the Falcons are forced to release Ovie, then Chad Deihl would be nice as a battering ram to lead the way for Turner in the backfield. Austin Davis may be worth taking a flier on late as a developmental signal caller as JPW hasn't done anything to inspire confidence that he is ready to step in behind #2.

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i'm OK with what was said. Agree signing a LT with a prove it contract. We may have to take a risk on an inuried player like McNeil...but that also could be high reward as well. i think we could get McClure back for 1 more year pretty cheap. Ovie may very well be a cap cut casualty. The positions you selected seemed on target. A blocking fullback could be picked up as an undrafted FA; I would perfer to add another Safety or LB with one of the spots.

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If we sign McNeil, I don't see us drafting OL at #55. Also, Martin won't be a 3rd rounder and Hayward won't be a 5th rounder. I see us taking a DT earlier than 6th as a 6th wouldn't improve our situation any better than it currently is.

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If we sign McNeil, I don't see us drafting OL at #55. Also, Martin won't be a 3rd rounder and Hayward won't be a 5th rounder. I see us taking a DT earlier than 6th as a 6th wouldn't improve our situation any better than it currently is.

Many on here seem to think we need that space eater at DT but Nolan has already said that he doesn't anticipate switching to a 3-4 defense so a true nose tackle is not needed. Daniels is really a Johnathan Babineux lite who would provide a good rotational player. With Babs and Peters we don't need frontline players at DT but we do need to add extra depth.

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i'm OK with what was said. Agree signing a LT with a prove it contract. We may have to take a risk on an inuried player like McNeil...but that also could be high reward as well. i think we could get McClure back for 1 more year pretty cheap. Ovie may very well be a cap cut casualty. The positions you selected seemed on target. A blocking fullback could be picked up as an undrafted FA; I would perfer to add another Safety or LB with one of the spots.

I definitely think McNeill is a possibility as there hasn't been a huge market for the OT's that have been available. I think we can probably sign him for a 1 or 2 year deal that is fair for both sides. This may leave Baker and Mughelli vulnerable to the ax though.

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If we sign McNeil, I don't see us drafting OL at #55. Also, Martin won't be a 3rd rounder and Hayward won't be a 5th rounder. I see us taking a DT earlier than 6th as a 6th wouldn't improve our situation any better than it currently is.

I would agree that OL is less of a priority if we re-sign McNeill. If it is a shorter-term contract then we should probably draft a replacement in the mid rounds to groom for when McNeill leaves. Someone like Nate Potter or Datko may make sense if that is the case.

I think Hayward may slip a bit due to concerns over his speed. If he is able to get his 40 up to 4.45 area then he shouldn't fall past the 3rd but at 4.57 to 4.6 he likely goes in the 4-5 round area.

We have seen corners in the past be successful with slower 40 times but premium draft picks are typically reserved for the more athletic guys.

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3)The Falcons should be looking for a young tight end to groom as this is likely Gonzalez last year. Ladarius Green will need to add some weight but has an intriguing frame and atheletic ability. A safety like Markelle Martin may also be in play as Sanders is still unsigned.

Good post.

I really hope Manuwai pans out. That would be HUGE.

If there aren't any high potential DEs left at 55, if Orson Charles is on the Board (assuming Fleener is gone) and we don't grab him, I will seriously question Dimitroff.

I'm a UGA fan, no homer, but I have watched this guy and I seriously thought he was a WR. This guy's upside is crazy high and with Tony's likely departure at the end of the year, it would be perfect to have him come in, get schooled by Tony and get some practice to eventually take over.

The value of TEs in today's game cannot be overlooked and we must find Tony's replacement or Matt will have a fit.

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I would agree that OL is less of a priority if we re-sign McNeill. If it is a shorter-term contract then we should probably draft a replacement in the mid rounds to groom for when McNeill leaves. Someone like Nate Potter or Datko may make sense if that is the case.

I think Hayward may slip a bit due to concerns over his speed. If he is able to get his 40 up to 4.45 area then he shouldn't fall past the 3rd but at 4.57 to 4.6 he likely goes in the 4-5 round area.

We have seen corners in the past be successful with slower 40 times but premium draft picks are typically reserved for the more athletic guys.

Draft Datko/Potter and where do you put them? We would have 5 OTS, 4 OGs, and 1 or 2 Centers.

Definitely didn't know he ran that slow. He doesn't play that slow. I saw him at the Liberty Bowl and the kid is just good. If he is there in the 5th, TD will be all over it.

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