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Inside The Nfl Draft: Falcons Team Needs - National Football Post


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Inside the NFL Draft: Falcons team needs

Atlanta has some needs on the defensive side of the ball. National Football Post

When looking at the Atlanta roster, the draft needs on the defensive side of the ball have to be addressed. The Falcons did resign DE John Abraham in free agency, but there is room to add some young talent along the D-Line and outside of the numbers at the CB position. Let’s take a look at the prospects that fit in Atlanta.

ATLANTA FALCONS

2011 RECORD: 10-6

FIRST SELECTION: 2ND ROUND (NO.23 - NO.55 overall)

Boykin-6818.jpg

Top Priority: CB

Brandon Boykin CB, Georgia: Plays much bigger/strong than his frame would indicate. Has the ability to press on the edge, but might be better suited to play as a slot guy in the NFL. Either way can play a role on a defense in either a man or zone scheme.

Chase Minnifield CB, Virginia: A talented corner who can bend, re-direct, maintain balance out of his breaks and make plays on the football. However, had a tough go as a senior giving up a lot of plays and having a tough time maintaining balance when trying to locate the ball vs. bigger receivers. A potential starter only.

Secondary Priority: DE

Cam Johnson DE, Virginia: A solid college defensive end who has never been much of a sack artist but there are some tools there. Showcases some fluidity in his drop and in coverage and has the ability to mature into a more sudden pass rusher. Will get looks in both a 34 and 43 front.

Andre Branch DE, Clemson: Has a lot of untapped talent. And is the kind of athlete you would expect to mature into a solid three down player in the NFL as a 43 DE.

Mid Range Priority: TE, C

Ladarius Green TE, UL Lafayette: He's a big slot guy who can make plays down the seam and can release off the line. However, he's not an in-line blocker and doesn't play well in tight areas vs. man. He has tools to be productive in the pass game, but there are limitations and you need to be creative to get the most out of him.

Kevin Koger TE, Michigan: Flashed on tape at times and does have some talent. However, is raw in all areas of the game and looks more like a low round pick/ free agent only who could blossom.

Quenton Saulsberry C, Mississippi State: A solid athlete who does some things well on the move and in pass protection. More of a zone lineman only, but needs to do a better job getting off the snap count on time in order to have a chance of getting drafted.

David Snow C, Texas: Isn't an overly powerful in-line guy or elite athlete. But he can bend, is coordinated in both the run and pass game and does a great job shooting his hands inside and sticking to blocks. Looks like a guy who can make a roster and with some improved strength fight for playing time down the line.

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I can see this esp with us looking at a 3-4 def which uses a dime def often

Dime Defense Explanation:

There are several running backs in the NFL who are just as accomplished catching the ball as they are running with the ball. In obvious passing situations, many teams will put their running back into motion or split him out as a fourth wide receiver, or in a few cases if the team has four quality wide receivers they might even remove their running back from the game and substitute a fourth wide receiver. In any case, you now have another case where a fast guy, a wide receiver or running back, is being covered by a linebacker. This is again an obvious mismatch, and the defense is in trouble. So the defense will respond by pulling another linebacker off the field and substituting a fourth cornerback. There are now six defensive backs on the field. Just as five defensive backs is called the nickle package, six defensive backs is called a dime package. If your team doesn't have a quality fourth cornerback, you're in trouble.

In the nickle and dime packages, there are few linebackers on the field, so the defense is more vulnerable to a running play. The idea is that if it's third down with eight or more yards to go, the safeties can get up and stop the running back before he gets eight yards. On first down this would be a terrible blow to the defense, to give up seven yards on a running play. But on third down with eight yards to go, giving up seven yards means the defense wins and gets to go sit down.

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I don't really agree that Corner is our top priority. I think Left Tackle, Defensive Tackle and Defensive End are still Falcons top priorities - would still like to upgrade Right Guard as well.

I also don't like the prospects he has other than maybe Cam Johnson. Would be interested in the TE Ladarius Green but only after the 4th round as he is a WR/TE 'tweener.

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I don't really agree that Corner is our top priority. I think Left Tackle, Defensive Tackle and Defensive End are still Falcons top priorities - would still like to upgrade Right Guard as well.

I also don't like the prospects he has other than maybe Cam Johnson. Would be interested in the TE Ladarius Green but only after the 4th round as he is a WR/TE 'tweener.

I think Guard, Center, LT, and a true NT sized DT are all priorities. With Nolan, I'm a little less worried about our DE situation, because if he can't get the production we've expected out of Edwards, Biermann, or Sid, we should start planning on replacing them in 2013.

While CB might not be as important this year, that said, Boykin would not only be solid CB depth, he's a more talented replacement for Weems in the return game, I'd like to see us get a TE like Green or Charles, since Fleener is likely gone, because we all would like to see Gonzo's heir apparent.

The thing is, we haven't singed any one outside of our own team since the FA started (Tatupu and Manuwai don't count). If we picked up Bell or McNeil, it would go along way in giving us more flexibility in the draft.

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If we get Boykin, I will be very satisfied. He easily replaces Weems, and will be valuable in the secondary.

I watched Boykin play a lot this year and I seriously believe he runs between a 4.35 and 4.45. I also remember that long run he made on offense. Utility player and not just a CB. Can play CB, NB, Slot, Scatback, KR and PR.

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I am thinking if we can get a LT in FA then we may see us start working on getting the players needed to switch to the 3-4 Def as well as a future TE and or RB. But with the need for extra DB in a 3-4 I think there is a good chance we see a CB taken. I know Boykin's stock has dropped some due to his injury so he could slip some in the draft.

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I think Guard, Center, LT, and a true NT sized DT are all priorities. With Nolan, I'm a little less worried about our DE situation, because if he can't get the production we've expected out of Edwards, Biermann, or Sid, we should start planning on replacing them in 2013.

While CB might not be as important this year, that said, Boykin would not only be solid CB depth, he's a more talented replacement for Weems in the return game, I'd like to see us get a TE like Green or Charles, since Fleener is likely gone, because we all would like to see Gonzo's heir apparent.

The thing is, we haven't singed any one outside of our own team since the FA started (Tatupu and Manuwai don't count). If we picked up Bell or McNeil, it would go along way in giving us more flexibility in the draft.

I'm really starting to think this is going to be a GAP year for the Falcons.While its all well and good we resigned our own I still have huge reservations about how we get it done this year and these off season gestures by TD saying we have to get Stouter either side will only come to fruition if they go heavy with line talent in the draft.

I have a really uneasy feeling about this coming season as I see alot of NFC teams around us have added alot of talent I just hope for our sakes our new coordinators are as advertised and are the difference.

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