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G-Dawg's Revised Mock Draft W/ Realization That Falcons Are Not Signing A Fa Left Tackle :( - 04/01/2012


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OK, in my earlier mock draft, I assumed the Atlanta Falcons would likely upgrade the Left Tackle position in free agency - it has since come to my attention that the Falcons apparently do not plan to do so. Because I believe that Thomas Dimitroff and Mike Smith in fact, are not blind, I can only assume that they plan to address the gaping hole that is Left Tackle in the 2012 NFL draft.

Given that Falcons are down two draft picks in this draft, I see them likely to trade down versus trading up. I doubt there is a “must-have” player at pick #54 overall so, if possible, maybe they will entertain trading down from their 2nd round pick.

From a points perspective and matching up to a team that would have the picks coming back – here is what that trade might look like:

Falcons Trade: #2-55 (350pts.)

Browns Trade: #3-68 (250pts.) and #4-100(100pts)

Now it is time to go shopping:

Atlanta Falcons 2012 NFL Draft:

#3-068) Brandon Thompson, DT-Clemson, 6’2”, 314lbs. (Falcons have worked him out already)

#3-085) Trumaine Johnson, CB/FS-Montana 6’2, 204lbs. (Falcons have worked him out already)

#4-100) Nate Potter, LT-Boise State 6’6”, 303lbs.

#5-157) Michael Brewster, C-Ohio State 6’4”, 314lbs.

#6-192) Nick Foles, QB-Arizona 6’5”, 243lbs.

#7-229) Chase Ford, TE-Miami 6’6”, 258lbs.

#7-249) Ryan Van Bergen,3-4 DE 6’6” 288lbs.

My thoughts in putting this draft together was to attack the weaknesses in the Falcons roster while not reaching for draft needs. I also kept one eye on defensive players that will fit Mike Nolan’s needs and provide scheme versatility. The overall theme of this draft is to make both sides of the line of scrimmage stronger and more physical. Obviously the Left Tackle position needs an infusion of talent. Nate Potter should be able to challenge for the starting position against to very mediocre players in Baker/Svitek. Falcons also need a developmental QB behind Matt Ryan as Redman is likely in his last year in Falcons uniform and John Parker Wilson is more qualified to be a popcorn salesman at the Georgia Dome than a back-up NFL Quarterback.

I will put up more in-depth analysis (provided my NFL Draft Scout-Rob Rang) on each player as separate entries to this thread so each can be discussed and analyzed individually.

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#2-54) Brandon Thompson, DT-Clemson:

Latest News<p class="featureComponent stdPad">03/13/2012 - NFL DRAFT SCOUT TOP DOWN DEFENSIVE LINEMEN: Brandon Thompson, DT, Clemson, 6-2, 314, 1-2...Thompson was a classroom and weight-room fanatic since high school, which earned him Academic Honor Roll recognition in 2010 and the weight-lifting statistics of a tractor -- 450-pound single bench press, 36 reps with 225 pounds (34 at the combine), 615-pound squat lift and 370-pound power clean. On the field that translates to somebody smart enough to know what to do and strong enough to get it done. He explodes off the line with tremendous force and uses his wicked strong hands to gain an advantage. This helps him as a dangerous bull rusher, but he is not really a pass-rush threat. Nicknamed "Yams" in recognition of the huge thighs that help him clog the middle of Clemson's defense, Thompson is an immovable object willing and able to crush anything that tries to get past him. His college statistics may not be relevant because offenses tried to stay out of his way, even if it took two men to do so. Thompson may be NFL ready right now, but he is already maximizing his physical ability and may have marginal upside. - Frank Cooney, The Sports Xchange

Thompson was a classroom and weight-room fanatic since high school, which earned him Academic Honor Roll recognition in 2010 and the weight-lifting statistics of a tractor -- 450-pound single bench press, 36 reps with 225 pounds (34 at the Combine), 615-pound squat lift and 370-pound power clean.

On the field that translates to somebody smart enough to know what to do and strong enough to get it done. He explodes off the line with tremendous force and uses his wicked strong hands to gain an advantage. This helps him as a dangerous bull rusher, but he is not really a pass rush threat.

Nicknamed "Yams" in recognition of the huge thighs that help him clog the middle of Clemson's defense, Thompson is an immovable object willing and able to crush anything that tries to get past him. His college statistics may not be relevant because offenses tried to stay out of his way, even if it took two men to do so.

Thompson may be NFL ready right now, but he is already maximizing his physical ability and may have marginal upside.

Analysis

Pass rush: Arguably his best skill due to an extraordinary burst off the snap. Explodes out of his stance, demonstrating a burst upfield to slip gaps and the lateral agility once past the line of scrimmage to chase down the quarterback. Inconsistent use of hands. Flashes quick hands to slap away blocks, but too often gets caught in the hand-fighting at the line of scrimmage rather than quickly disengaging. Uses a swim move occasionally, though is only marginally effective with it. May be limited with this technique due to short arms. Good upper-body strength and leg drive for the bull rush.

Run defense: Penetrates through gaps, often forcing running backs to elude him or the back end of the offensive lineman he's pushing before they even reach the line of scrimmage. Inconsistent in his ability to separate from blocks, however, making him more of a nuisance than a snap-to-snap terror. Good anchor to hold up at the point, though he does not possess the bulk or lower-body strength to hold up to double teams. Good effort pursuing laterally. Quick feet and good balance to slide down the line and possesses the burst to slip through gaps.

Explosion: Pops off tape due to his explosive first few steps. While powerful, doesn't rock the guard/center back with his upper-body strength or explode into tackles.

Strength: Good weight-room strength, which translates onto the field in terms of his anchor. Isn't able to consistently shed blocks and makes plays in the hole. Good strength for the drag-down tackle.

Tackling: Can make the impressive chest-to-chest bear hug tackle in the hole due to his ability to wreak havoc in the backfield. Good strength, though his marginal arm length limits his ability to grab hold of ballcarriers as they run by. Willing to lay out and shows good hand-eye coordination to trip up ballcarriers.

Intangibles: Nicknamed "Yams" because of his huge thighs, which aid in his role as a run-stuffer. Won the Strength Training Award among Clemson defensive tackles in the spring of 2010. Tied for third on the team with a 425-pound bench press. Lifted 225 pounds 30 times for Clemson coaches. A pre-Business major who earned a spot on the Honor Roll in the spring of 2010.

--Rob Rang

2011 Season

Thompson was a second-team All-ACC selection in 2011 after posting 77 total tackles, eight tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks and a team-tying-high 18 quarterback pressures. He had a season-high nine stops against Georgia Tech this year and finished fourth on the team in tackles. The Thomasville, GA, native notched 208 tackles, 22.5 tackles for loss, 4.5 sacks, 47 quarterback hurries, nine pass breakups, two caused fumbles and three recovered fumbles in 38 career starts.

G-Dawg Take:

This guy would be our strongest Defensive Tackle on Day#1 - he gets a push in the pass rush that you do not see from Babs, Peters, Jerry nor walker - he also holds the point of attack in the rushing game and demands a double-team. He would be immediately in the DT rotation and would replace Babineaux as starter in 2013.

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#3-85) Trumaine Johnson, FS/CB-Montana:

(G-Dawg Take: he is too slow to be a corner, but would be a free-safety and occasional blitzer in Mike Nolan Scheme - would eventually take over for DeCoud)

Latest News: 12/30/2011 - 2011 AFCA FCS ALL-AMERICA TEAM: DB Trumaine Johnson, Sr., Montana, has been selected to the 2011 AFCA Football Championship Subdivision Coaches' All-America Team announced by the American Football Coaches Association. The AFCA has selected an All-America team since 1945 and currently selects teams in all five of its divisions. What makes these teams so special is that they are the only ones chosen exclusively by the men who know the players the best - the coaches themselves. Johnson is a senior from Stockton, Calif., who is on the team for the second consecutive year. He has 44 tackles, one sack, one interception and 11 pass break-ups and a dozen pass deflections this season. He also forced a fumble. - Montana football

After an outstanding, multi-sport high school career, Johnson was recruited to play wide receiver at Montana, but was moved to cornerback the second day of practice.

He seems smooth and instinctive on defense, especially when going for the ball. His size and overall athleticism are impressive, but scouts question whether he has the quickness to compete with NFL receivers.

And that is still a question after had unofficial 40-yard times of between 4.50 and 4.61 seconds. But he confirmed his excellent leaping ability with a 35.5-inch vertical jump. Johnson had some off field concerns, including missing games for eligibility problems and an arrest last October when police were called to a late-night party and tased Johnson before taking him into custody.

In high school, Johnson played quarterback his senior year, throwing for more than 1,800 yards, running for more than 500 yards and scoring 22 touchdowns. But Johnson was selected to the school's Hall of Fame as a defensive back. He was also the team MVP and All-Conference pick in basketball as a senior.

Analysis

Man Coverage: NFL frame makes it difficult for FCS receivers to make one-on-one plays. Quarterbacks often eat the ball instead of throwing in his direction. Quicker receivers can accelerate past him when near the line, needs to maintain contact to prevent separation. Needs work on using his hands in press coverage, plays mostly off and press-bail to prevent big plays. Relatively fluid and has fair recovery speed for his size but quicker NFL receivers will cause him trouble in transition with double-moves.

Zone Coverage: When playing off, displays ability to quickly close on underneath routes to make the interception or wrap up receivers with his length. Inexperienced in zone, must prove field awareness and quickness to adjust to switch men when needed. Looks a step slow to react to late releases to his side when uncovered.

Ball Skills: Possesses strong hands of former receiver. Makes the easy interception on underthrows or when quarterbacks stare down his man, high-points passes with height and vertical. Strong runner on kick returns, has a bit of shiftiness in the open field. Had issues with dropped interceptions in the past. Does not always find the ball in the air.

Run Support: Takes outside position when uncovered, swipes or wraps ballcarriers coming into his area. Strong enough to rip off pulling lineman blocks, though inconsistent getting off the block or feeling them so he can be moved out of the way by players from the side. Flashes strength and attitude to throw smaller opponents to the ground.

Tackling: Possesses strength and length to be effective preventing yards after the catch or swallowing running backs in the flat. Good hustle across the field to get involved in the play when uncovered. Does not attack ballcarriers or seek out contact as much as scouts would like. Runs past targets in the open field too often instead of breaking down to corral them. Gives effort to knock out gunners on return team when not receiving kickoffs.

Intangibles: Played with a broken bone in his forearm during 2009 season, but missed nine games in 2008-2009 due to injuries and suspension due to alleged fight outside campus fraternity house. Chose Montana over Arizona State and California-Berkeley.

--Chad Reuter

2011 Season

Johnson was named to second team All-Conference after making 54 tackles, two interceptions and 12 pass deflections this season.

2010 Season

Selected to the 2010 Associated Press Football Championship Subdivision All-America Team, the 2010 Walter Camp Football Championship Subdivision All-America Team and the 2010 AFCA Football Championship Subdivision Coaches' All-America Team. Started all 11 games for 7-4 Montana. He was the team's ninth leading tackler with 44 stops, was second at UM with 4 interceptions for 88 yards and 2 touchdowns, and also had a team-high 7 pass deflections. He also averaged 22.2 yards on eight kickoff returns. He was a first team All-Big Sky Conference pick.

G-Dawg Take:

I was originally lukewarm on this guy because of his lack of speed. However I was thinking of him as a cornerback - the more I watch this guy and see what he is good at - he looks like a conversion player and a free safety to me - good ball skills and blitzing/pass-rush skills as well. He should be able to play nickel coverage right away and rotate in 10-15 plays a game. Mike Nolan will like the size and physical style of play - can be a designated zone blitzer on the QB as well.

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#4-100) Nate Potter, LT-Boise State:

Latest News: 12/10/2011 - 2011 ALL-MOUNTAIN WEST FOOTBALL FIRST TEAM (COACHES): OL Nate Potter, Sr., Boise State, has been selected All-Mountain West Conference First Team for the 2011 college football season as voted on by the eight head coaches and select media panel. Redshirt senior left tackle Nate Potter was one of only two unanimous first-team all-conference selections. Potter is the leader of an offensive line that ranks tied for first-nationally in sacks allowed (0.67 per game). - Boise State football

The ascension of Boise State's football program has not only resulted in the Broncos' getting on the radar for college football media and fans nationally, but also for NFL scouts. In 2008, left tackle Ryan Clady became the first Boise State player ever selected in the first round of the NFL draft, and Potter hopes his growing frame and athleticism allow him to follow in those footsteps.

Potter actually grayshirted in the spring of 2006, postponing his enrollment out of high school, before redshirting the 2007 season to get stronger. He got his wet feet right away in 2008, starting eight games at left tackle and even blocking a field goal in special teams work. Though stepping as a starter after the first month of his sophomore season, he still earned first-team All-WAC honors. He repeated that accolade in 2010, along with garnering third-team AP All-American recognition, starting every game at left tackle after coaches originally thought he would move to left guard in previous spring due to the team's depth outside.

Potter's height, svelte build and athletic upside may remind some scouts of New England's 2011 first-round pick, Nate Solder. Potter's occasional lapse in technique, allowing ends to bull rush him or get the edge, may also remind teams of things Solder needed to work on when transitioning to the NFL. Improvement in those areas, combined with increased strength and the excellent workouts Potter is expected to have next spring, could also help him crash Thursday night draft festivities.

Analysis

Positives: Tall, reliable blocker with long arms, good agility and a solid initial punch. Knocks rushers off their route. Has experience at guard. Shows the speed to recover and slide back into his set but gets too narrow-based. Has jackhammer hands and delivers constant hits until the play is over. Has light, quick feet sliding but only adequate overall burst. Strong enough to control and plant linebackers and safeties attacking gaps.

Negatives: Average upper-body strength. Lacks the sand in his pants to withstand bull rushers in the NFL. Adequate initial burst should be far better and isn't good enough to consistently hold out elite pass rushers. Doesn't always get his arms up and extended and can be hip-tossed off balance.

2011 Season

Potter has become Boise State's second consensus All-American since joining the Football Bowl Subdivision prior to the 1996 season. Offensive tackle Ryan Clady was Boise State's other consensus All-American, earning the recognition following the 2007 season. Potter is the leader of a Boise State offensive line that completed the regular season tied for first-nationally in sacks allowed at 0.67 per game. He has started all 12 games this year in helping the Broncos finish the regular season ranked seventh-nationally in scoring offense (43.25), ninth in total offense (438.08) and 10th in passing offense (310.33).

2010 Season

Started all 13 games for the Broncos at left tackle … named first-team All-Western Athletic Conference for the second-straight year … one of the leaders of an offensive line that paved the way for the Broncos to finish 2010 ranked second-nationally in total offense (521.31) … the Broncos also ranked sixth in passing offense (321.08), 21st in rushing offense (200.23) and second in scoring offense (45.08) … the Bronco offensive line gave up just 0.62 sacks per game, a mark that ranked third in the country … received the team's Outstanding Offensive Lineman Award at the season-ending banquet … named to the WAC All-Academic Team.

G-Dawg Take:

They know how to pass-block in Boise Idaho and Nate Potter is a pass-blocking technician. He needs to bulk up about 20lbs for the bullrushers of the NFL but he will set the edge and won't be beat with speed the way Sam Baker gets beat like a yard dog. Matt Ryan will sleep better at night with Nate Potter blocking for him.

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#5-157) Michael Brewster,C - Ohio State:

Latest News 01/02/2012 - BOWL HISTORY: Ohio State is 19-22-0 all-time in 42 bowl game appearances, after last season's 31-26 win over Arkansas in the Sugar Bowl was vacated. Ohio State has won two straight bowl games and six of its last nine bowls, before the vacated win is added to the picture. The Buckeyes (6-6) and Gators (6-6) will meet for the first time since the 2006 national championship game when Florida pounded Ohio State 41-14. PLAYERS TO WATCH: C Mike Brewster is a Florida native who has made 48 straight starts for the Buckeyes and is the leader on the line for Ohio State. The OSU running game starts with Brewster's work coordinating the blocking schemes. - The Sports Xchange

Instead of staying in his home state of Florida to play in the SEC as one of the top offensive line recruits in the country, Brewster took his game to Columbus. The Buckeyes' coaches moved him from guard to center, where he had no experience, as a true freshman and asked him to start in just the fourth game of his career when the line was shuffled around due to injury.

He started the final 10 games of that year, and every game since, in front of classmate quarterback Terrelle Pryor. A solid player in 2008 and 2009, Brewster took a step forward as a junior. He was a finalist for the Rimington Trophy as the nation's best center in 2010 and was named on multiple All-American teams, yet earned only second-team All-Big Ten honors from league coaches (but first-team by media members).

It is obvious Brewster has the size, strength, and athleticism to start for a long time in the pivot at the next level. His ability to form a wall in pass protection and move his quick feet to create lanes inside for his running backs give him a chance to be the top interior lineman selected in the 2012 draft.

Analysis

Pass blocking: Possesses quickness and strength to protect the passer at the next level. Takes two or three steps back immediately after snap if uncovered. Good anchor despite relatively svelte build. Twisting ends run into a wall when greeting him, also has a strong punch to shock oncoming defenders. Will take defenders to the ground if off-balance. Usually extends his arms quickly after the snap to maintain distance but allows defenders to get into his chest at times. Feet stay planted after initial contact, giving up penetration against better tackles on occasion.

Run blocking: Positional blocker with good feet to wall off outside shoulder of defensive tackle. Can move to either side of the defender while engaged. Gets low in short-yardage situations despite his height, gets good push. Still learning to get off initial down-block to reach linebackers on combo blocks.

Pulling/trapping: Best in tight quarters, but shows some mobility behind the line when pulling. Most adept at attacking players straight-up, lacks great flexibility and elite quickness enough to adjust to inside targets and negate them.

Initial Quickness: Rarely beaten off the snap in pass protection. Gets hands onto his man's jersey quickly after both traditional and shotgun snaps. Quicker one-on-one defenders can occasionally get a second step forward to bring interior pressure.

Downfield: Athletic enough to take out mike linebacker off the snap if asked to do so. Possesses the tenacity and strength to eliminate any type of defender in way of his ballcarrier. Hesitates instead of attacking targets on combo blocks, though, and lacks elite quickness to adjust to targets in space.

Intangibles: Graduated from high school early to enroll at Ohio State but did not partake in spring practices due to surgery on right shoulder. Decided to return to school despite the cloud hanging over the program to become a better center and a team leader. Played through ankle injury in 2009.

--Chad Reuter

2010 Season

Third-year starter at center … Rimington Trophy finalist … FWAA, Phil Steele first team All-America … first team all-Big Ten … Outland, Rimington awards preseason watch list … Jim Parker lineman of week: Marshall, Penn State.

2009 Season

Started every game at center for the Rose Bowl and Big Ten champs … Rimington Trophy watch list … Lombardi Award watch list … Top Ten Tenacious twice … second-year letterwinner.

G-Dawg Take:

I'm just not a believer in Joe Hawley from what I have seen. Brewster has very nice size at 6'4" and is a good pass blocker while effective at run-blocking. This will be Todd McClure's last year and Brewster may have to get stashed on practice squad for a year but he should be able to beat out Hawley. They will battle it out in 2013 and regardless Falcons will need a back-up center in 2013.

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#6-192) Nick Foles, QB - Arizona:

Latest News 03/20/2012 - Arizona Pro Day: If Foles needed an eye-popping workout, he didn't deliver it Monday, according to two separate sources on the scene. "He was average," one talent evaluator said. "Don't get me wrong, he wasn't bad and the weather didn't help but he didn't drive the ball like you'd expect a quarterback of his size to and he has only average accuracy once you get past 15 yards, so I can't imagine that anyone is raising his grade based on what they saw Monday."Another source wasn't quite as careful with his wording. "[Foles] was terrible. He couldn't throw a spiral. Obviously, the weather conditions played a part in that but in reality, it only accentuated that he couldn't throw a spiral." The truth of the matter is that regardless of how Foles threw Monday, he has good enough tape and showed enough at the Senior Bowl and workouts since to earn a draftable grade. He showed some improvement athletically between the Combine and the Pro Day, registering slightly faster on campus in the 40-yard dash (5.02-5.09) and jumping higher (33.5") than before (5.15; 30.5") and has the frame every team is looking for (6-5, 244). Those facts should result in his getting drafted, though it may not come until Saturday (rounds 4-7). - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com

Overview:

Foles was moderately recruited out of high school, committing to Michigan State after originally choosing Arizona State. He played in only one game in 2007 as a true freshman as a backup QB in East Lansing, but decided to transfer to Arizona after the season and sat out 2008 due to transfer rules.

Foles didn't begin the 2009 season as the starter, but seized the role in the third game as a sophomore (260-for-409, 63.6%, 2,486 yards, 19 TDs, 9 INTs). Despite missing two games due to a knee injury in 2010, Foles improved as a junior (286-for-426, 67.2%, 3,191 yards, 20 TDs, 10 INTs).

He returned in 2011 as a senior and had his best statistical season despite a losing campaign (387-for-560, 69.1%, 4,334 yards, 28 TDs, 14 INTs), earning All-Pac 12 Honorable Mention honors for the third consecutive season (stuck behind Andrew Luck and Matt Barkley for first- or second-team honors).

Foles isn't an elite athlete, but can move in the pocket and has good feet, doing a better job stepping into the pocket while working through his progressions. He had only a .455 winning percentage as a starting quarterback (15-18), but was a consistent producer despite an inconsistent supporting cast.

Foles played behind a young offensive line in 2011 (only one combined start entering the season). He doesn't have any glaring weaknesses, but doesn't exactly stand out in any one area and is still developing as a passer. Foles showed better decisions as a senior and has the physical traits to compete for a starting job in the NFL.

Analysis

Strengths: Foles is a big athlete with good height and stands tall in the pocket to survey the field. He has good (not elite) arm strength and can easily make all the NFL throws with effortless deep passes. Foles does a nice job evading pressure and stepping up in the pocket with improved pocket presence and awareness. He stays poised under pressure, keeping his eyes downfield. Foles throws well on the move and does a nice job shuffling his feet in the pocket to buy precious seconds. He is a very confident passer and shows very good accuracy and feel when in rhythm. Foles sees the entire field and understands coverage. He makes quick reads and spreads the wealth (eight Arizona players had at least 20 receptions in 2011), showing better ball placement from past years and throws very catchable passes. Foles uses good technique, squaring his shoulders to the target and stepping into his throws. He also uses deceptive and deliberate ball fakes to hold defenses. Foles works through his progressions and is content with underneath throws, but is not afraid of taking chances downfield, trusting his big-play targets. He is a very good competitor and is a crafty passer, doing whatever it takes to compete the pass. Foles is comfortable handling the ball (used the shuffle pass numerous times, including three times vs. USC in 2011). He has improved anticipation as a passer, making much more throws before his target is out of his break. Foles made better decisions as a senior and didn't suffer his first interception until the fifth game of the 2011 season (210 attempts without a pick). He has a short memory and bounces back quickly from mistakes. Foles is a vocal team leader and an ideal teammate, showing field general traits in the two-minute offense with no quit in him. He has very good practice habits and work ethic, watching a lot of film. Foles plays calm, confident and very even-keeled - never gets too high or too low regardless of the situation. He plays with his heart and is extremely tough, often playing hurt and grinding through injuries. Foles was highly productive in college, finishing as the school's all-time leading passer (10,011 yards) and led the Pac-12 in passing yards (4,334), completions (387), attempts (560) and second in completion percentage (69.1%) as a senior in 2011.

Weaknesses: Foles is only an average athlete and has happy feet with the bad habit of hopping in the pocket. He has a bit of a wind-up delivery and needs to quicken his throwing motion. Foles tends to rush throws and lose his mechanics at times, which leads to erratic passes. He has struggled with his decision-making and needs to improve his pre-snap recognition skills to read defenses and see blitzes. Foles doesn't decipher information as quickly as you would like. He is sometimes too patient as a passer, holding the ball too long, and needs to improve his internal clock. Foles puts too much air in some of his throws, sailing several of his passes and needs to show lower trajectory on deep throws. He needs to improve his touch at all levels and know when to gun it and when to take something off his throws. Foles' accuracy is solid, but far from great with streaky ball placement downfield as he tries to thread the needle too much. He needs to take better control of the ball (33 career INTs). Foles' record as a starter was only 15-18, including a disappointing 4-8 senior season with his head coach being fired. He doesn't come from a complicated college offense with mostly shotgun formations so expect a learning curve in the pros. Foles dealt with several injuries the past two seasons, most notably a left knee and hamstring injury so durability is a minor issue.

NFL Comparison: Chad Henne, Dolphins

-- Dane Brugler

Career Notes

Foles leaves Arizona as the Wildcat's all-time leading passer with 10,011 yards and is tied for the lead on the school's all-time list with 67 touchdown passes. He also holds the school record for career attempts (1,369), completions (933) and total offense (9,722).

2011 Season

Foles was an Honorable Mention All-Pac 12 selection in 2011 after throwing for a single-season school record 4,334 yards and 28 touchdowns for the Wildcats. The three-year starter also broke the Arizona record for attempts (560) and completions (387) this season and finished the year with a 69.1% completion percentage. He ranked in the top five in most major passing categories, including completions per game (32.3--2nd), passing yards per game (361.2--3rd), total offense per game (352.6--4th) and total passing yards (4,334--5th).

2010 Season

Team Offensive co-MVP … Honorable mention All-Pac-10 first two years … Threw for 3,191 yards despite missing two games in 2010 … Hooked up for 20 touchdown tosses, third-best in UA history … Pac-10 POW in Iowa victory, completing 28 of 39 throws for 303 yards and two scores … Three TD passes each in OSU, USC, Oregon and ASU games … Career-high 448 yards against OSU, No. 3 in UA history … Also had 440 against OSU, No. 6 … Career-long 85-yard TD throw to Juron Criner against Oregon … Missed UW, UCLA starts with sprained right knee … Pac-10 leader in yards and completions per game … Yards were third-most in UA history, completions No. 2.

G-Dawg Take:

This is the upgrade we have been needing for two years at back-up QB. Accurate QB with the same size and wind-up, etc. that Matt Ryan has. It would be an easier transition to the back-up should Matty Ice get hurt if this guy came in - would have a chance to help Falcons actually win a few games if Matt got hurt.

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#7-229) Chase Ford, TE-Miami:

Had a good showing at this year's East-West Shine game and for a guy at his size with his body control looks like a option you can draft late and try to mature into an every down type option. Has the frame to add weight and get much bigger.

G-Dawg Take:

This is the developmental Tight End that can be had in a reasonable round. Falcons get to look at him for a year and let him learn from Tony Gonzalez. If he looks good, then Falcons don't have to draft a Tight End in 2013. If he doesn't, then we draft one early next year. Ford has the prototypical mismatch size to be a weapon in the NFL and also has the size to be an in-line blocker at 260lbs.

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#7-249) Ryan Van Bergen, 3-4 DE - Michigan:

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Latest News: 03/16/2012 - Michigan Pro Day: Despite leading Michigan in both tackles for loss (12.5) and sacks last year (5.5), Ryan Van Bergen didn't receive an invitation to the NFL Combine last month. He bounced between defensive end and defensive tackle over his career as the Wolverines changed schemes and coaches. But regardless of where he lined up on the field, Van Bergen was always moving at full-go and that intensity was on display Thursday during Michigan's Pro Day in Ann Arbor. Van Bergen, who weighed in a 291 pounds, ran a 4.90 40-yard dash and put up 31 reps of 225 pounds on the bench press. He suffered a right foot injury in the Sugar Bowl in January and has been feverishly rehabbing to work out for NFL teams. - Dane Brugler, NFLDraftScout.com

Career Notes:

Four-year letterman … played in 50 contests and made 38 starts along defensive line … started 18 games at defensive tackle and 20 contests at defensive end … surpassed 100 career tackles against San Diego State (Sept. 24, 2011).

2011 Season

Sugar Bowl champion … earned fourth varsity letter … All-Big Ten honorable mention (coaches and media) … named to the Ted Hendricks Award preseason watch list … co-recipient of U-M's Robert P. Ufer Bequest (senior demonstrating most enthusiasm and love for Michigan) … played in all 13 games; started 12 games on defensive line (Western Michigan, Notre Dame, Eastern Michigan, San Diego State, Minnesota, Northwestern, Michigan State, Iowa, Illinois, Nebraska, Ohio State, Virginia Tech), contributing on special teams in 11 games … led the team with 12.5 TFLs and 5.5 sacks … had second-most fumble recoveries on the team with three … VIRGINIA TECH (Jan. 3) … recorded four tackles and half a sack … OHIO STATE (Nov. 26) … posted career-best-matching seven tackles, including two for a loss, an assisted sack and a pass breakup … finished with nine TFLs in his last five regular-season games … NEBRASKA (Nov. 19) … recorded two tackles -- both for a loss -- and a sack to go along with fourth career fumble recovery and a PBU … ILLINOIS (Nov. 12) … matched a career high with seven tackles and three TFLs … set new career best with 2.5 sacks … named the Big Ten Co-Defensive Player of the Week … named the CFPA National Defensive Performer of the Week and National Defensive Lineman of the Week … IOWA (Nov. 5) … tallied two solo tackles, including a tackle for a loss of three yards … NORTHWESTERN (Oct. 8). … made pass breakup and three tackles … MINNESOTA (Oct. 1) … recorded one sack for four yards … SAN DIEGO STATE (Sept. 24) … notched first forced fumble of career, also had a tackle-for-loss and a pass breakup … NOTRE DAME (Sept. 10) … made one tackle-for-loss and recovered a fumble … WESTERN MICHIGAN (Sept. 3) … recovered a fumble.

2010 Season

Started all 13 games at defensive end … recorded 37 tackles, 8.5 TFLs, four sacks and one pass breakup … contributed four tackles vs. Connecticut (Sept. 4) … assisted on two stops and batted down one pass at Notre Dame (Sept. 11) … helped make one tackle for loss vs. Massachusetts (Sept. 18) … earned his first sack of the season in start vs. Bowling Green (Sept. 25) … had one tackle for a loss of two yards in start at Indiana (Oct. 2) … recorded one sack for a loss of 12 yards in start vs. Michigan State (Oct. 9) … tallied two stops in start vs. Iowa (Oct. 16) … registered a season-high six tackles at Penn State (Oct. 30) … assisted on two tackles in start vs. Illinois (Nov. 6) … posted four solo tackles, including two tackles for loss and one sack in start against Purdue (Nov. 13) … assisted on a tackle in start vs. Wisconsin (Nov. 20) … notched five solo tackles, including a career-high three tackles for loss, and a sack in start at Ohio State (Nov. 27) … registered a career-high seven tackles in start at defensived end vs. Mississippi State (Jan. 1) in the Gator Bowl.

G-Dawg Take:

This is a "try hard" guy that has intangibles you look for. He also has that 3-4 DE Height/Weight that Falcons don't have on the roster right now - ran a 4.90/40 at his pro-day. Simply put, this is a hybrid guy that the Falcons need on the roster with intangibles - taken this late, he is a good gamble.

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As an appreciater of fine irony, I'd like to point out that the #100 pick is one we dealt to Cleveland last year. At least the lines of communication on a trade-back are already open.

EDIT -already noted by the OP. Note to self, improve reading skills.

EDIT - Another brain-dead Sunday in Phoenix, the 4th round pick Cleveland got from Atlanta is #118. Note to self, improve math skills.

Edited by JOEinPHX
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I don't see us trading down. The same was said when we were out of our second from the Tony G trade. I think TD is going to sit still at #55. He may trade up in the back in before he trades out of his highest position. He can get the very best he can at #55, almost regardless of position that he can't get if he trades down.

I like all of the players picked and think it would be a very strong draft if this scenario were to occur.

You get a good DT and DB early for Nolan to work with. You get a developmental LT and C depth, a QB to push JPW and take the #2 spot, a TE and DE that can develop. It strengthens the roster. The problem though with trading down in our situation, is you don't get a potential impact player like you can at #55.

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Not a fan of Brandon Thompson at all. He has poor balance and agility to be impactful. You need an abudance of balance to be a 3-4 NT and an abundance of agility to be a 4-3 DT otherwise he can easily be controlled at the LOS. Trumaine Johnson is a bit of a tweener. Not overly quick and fluid enough to be a corner and not aggressive enough to be a safety. Would need some developing. Potter is a good pick. I prefer Molk to Brewster, actually but both guys should turn out decent regardless. Foles could be a good backup. Chase Ford and Ryan Van Bergen are both good picks. Ryan Van Bergen could play DE in both the 4-3 and 3-4, offering good versatility. He plays with instincts better than most and has underrated athleticism.

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I don't see us trading down. The same was said when we were out of our second from the Tony G trade. I think TD is going to sit still at #55. He may trade up in the back in before he trades out of his highest position. He can get the very best he can at #55, almost regardless of position that he can't get if he trades down.

I like all of the players picked and think it would be a very strong draft if this scenario were to occur.

You get a good DT and DB early for Nolan to work with. You get a developmental LT and C depth, a QB to push JPW and take the #2 spot, a TE and DE that can develop. It strengthens the roster. The problem though with trading down in our situation, is you don't get a potential impact player like you can at #55.

agree w/ everything you said except the last statement...I think Brandon Thompson, DT - is every bit as good as anybody we would get at #2-55......we are only dropping down 13 spots....hardly a wholesale slide from #55 to #68.

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Good draft GDawg,but would challenge the assumption that it's based on.

If they're making a play for McNeil/Bell, they'd be saying the same things about Baker that they are saying now. No need to give agents any leverage.

If they sign McNeil, they'll cut Baker and say " we loved Baker, but had a chance to upgrade our roster."

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Good draft GDawg,but would challenge the assumption that it's based on.

If they're making a play for McNeil/Bell, they'd be saying the same things about Baker that they are saying now. No need to give agents any leverage.

If they sign McNeil, they'll cut Baker and say " we loved Baker, but had a chance to upgrade our roster."

yeah I agree with you......but I'm really starting to believe they are not doing anything - otherwise, the Falcons would have at least "kicked the tires" on McNeill / Bell - they are not even doing that.

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agree w/ everything you said except the last statement...I think Brandon Thompson, DT - is every bit as good as anybody we would get at #2-55......we are only dropping down 13 spots....hardly a wholesale slide from #55 to #68.

Yea, 55 and 68 aren't much different and I have liked Thompson for a long time. I just think if there is a really good player sitting there, TD will pull the trigger.

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I think I prefer Josh Chapman's tape over Thompson's to be honest.

I think Chapman has more value and can be had later.

The thing I don't like is Thompson's ability to get off a blocker to make a tackle in the hole.

He doesn't have Chapman's mobility either I think I'd prefer the Bama NT to be honest.

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yeah I agree with you......but I'm really starting to believe they are not doing anything - otherwise, the Falcons would have at least "kicked the tires" on McNeill / Bell - they are not even doing that.

I'm sure there have been phone calls, and their agents have said that they want starting LT money, Falcons may just be waiting them out.

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I think I prefer Josh Chapman's tape over Thompson's to be honest.

I think Chapman has more value and can be had later.

The thing I don't like is Thompson's ability to get off a blocker to make a tackle in the hole.

He doesn't have Chapman's mobility either I think I'd prefer the Bama NT to be honest.

Bama fan and I only endorse this because of homerism.

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But G-Dawg would it not be better for us to take Lt next year in the first round and use this year to build Def for a 3-4 plus a few other needs?

I know I was preaching us taking a LT in the draft and you disagreed, then I came around to your way of thinking. A LT in this drafty would be a project no? and we already have one of those.

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Thompson is one of the few DT's i actually like although I don't know THAT much about Chapman so maybe he would be ok. We are obviously interested in him so its realistic

You think Ford lasts till the 7th? I figured after his Shrine Game his stock went up some. He was projected 5-7 I am thinking he goes closer to 5, but if he is there at 7 we should DEFINITELY take him.

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youre reading my mind with the trade down.

i like Thompson as well, but can he last that long? i thought he was more of a 2nd rounder. interesting point about him not getting off blocks well. could it be that he was doubled frequently? (not sarcasm) idk. now i'm curious.

i also like the position target/rounds strategy you have. i put together something nearly identical, but with different players.

cheers

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But G-Dawg would it not be better for us to take Lt next year in the first round and use this year to build Def for a 3-4 plus a few other needs?

I know I was preaching us taking a LT in the draft and you disagreed, then I came around to your way of thinking. A LT in this drafty would be a project no? and we already have one of those.

I think Falcons need TWO good Left Tackles. I believe Sam Baker will hopefully not be renewed after his contract expires this year - Svitek is older. If Nate Potter looks good this year, then you can draft his back-up in middle rounds in 2013 - if Potter looks like he has a low ceiling, then you can always draft a Left Tackle in 1st round next year.

Matt Ryan may not even be a decent QB soon if we don't get him some help this year - Matt has developed "happy feet" because he has come to expect such poor pass protection.

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