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Prof's Mock Draft Based On Positional Needs And Player Interest


theProf
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The following mock draft is based upon my perceived Falcons priority needs and those players who the Falcons have expressed an interest in according to atljbo's topic thread in this forum. The exception to the players that the Falcons have a reported interest in are my Round 5 pick and alternative pick, but the Falcons have a reported interest in the DE/OLB position itself. The rounds that I am using for the various picks are based upon cbssports.com player projections, which is usually one of the better ones at projecting the specific round that various players will be drafted.

Round 2: Brandon Boykin CB/Returner (alternative: Trumain Johnson CB/S)

Falcons priority #1 or #2: Improve the pass coverage, specificly the NB position. The NFL is now a passing league and Nolan prefers to use more than 4 DBs in most of his defensive packages. Therefore, a fifth DB is more of a starter than a third LB. Atlanta needs to improve its Nickle Back position, as Franks and Owens appear much better as an outside corner than as an inside corner. Thus, I consider the NB to be the Falcons current weakest starting position, or at least on par with left OT.

I prefer Boykin over Johnson because he is much faster and quicker, with big play potential, and is an excellent return man to replace Weems. Boykin can even be incorporated into the offense as a change-of-pace #4 or #5 WR. Although Trumain Johnson is usually rated slightly higher than Boykin, his lack of top-line speed will probably cause him to be switched to Safety in the pros. Johnson also has some character concerns.

Round 3: Zebrie Sanders LT (alternatives: Mitch Schwartz LT or Donald Stephenson LT)

Falcons priority #1 or #2: Improve OL in both run blocking and pass protection, specificly at left OT. Not only does the existing OL not give Ryan enough time to pass, but they also do an inadequate job in opening-up running lanes and in short yardage situations. Zebrie Sanders is an excellent run blocker, probably much better at opening up running lanes than than either Svitec or Baker.

Sanders has the prototypical physique for an NFL offensive tackle at 6'5", 320 pounds, long arms (35"), big hands (10 7/8"), and he did 28 reps on the bench press. Sanders also has off-the-chart intangibles, which are highly desired by the Falcons. The Falcons have also expressed interest in OTs Mitch Schwartz and Donald Stephenson, who are also projected third round picks. Therefore, it appears to me that that the Falcons are targetting a third-round OT selection. I like the scouting reports for Sanders much better than those for Schwartz and Stephenson, even though they are sometimes rated a little bit higher than Sanders.

Round 5: Jake Bequette DE/OLB (alternative: Tim Fugger DE/OLB )

Falcons priority #3: Improve the pass rush. The Falcons did re-sign its best pass rusher Abe, and hopefully better defensive pass rush schemes from Nolan will help improve Atlanta's pass rush. However, it appears that Atlanta is taking a hard look at improving the pass rush via showing a lot of interest in drafting a DE/ OLB type player, which would help the Falcons to better implement 3-4-4 and 3-3-5 defensive formations. Both players played in the rugged SEC conference, but I like Bequette over Fugger, because he is bigger and was more productive in college.

Round 6: Kelsey McCray S (alternative: Tavon Wilson S)

Falcons priority #4: Back-up Safety. This position became more of a priority when the Falcons did not re-sign James Sanders, and when Madieu Williams signed with the Skins rather than the Falcons. I prefer McCray over Wilson, because he is a fast S who can play both SS and FS, although Wilson is rising up the draft boards nicely from undrafted to a projected 6th rounder.

Round 7: Myles Wade NT (alternative: Marcus Kuhn DT)

Falcons priority #5: true NT who can clog the middle and collapse the pocket. A big Nose Tackle is a necessity if Nolan wants to implement some 3-4-4 or 3-3-5 formations. Wade is beginning to generate a good bit of interest based upon his size and athleticism shown in his pro workouts. "He hopes to build off the momentum of his pro day, where he impressed scouts with his 35.5" vertical, 42 reps of 225 lbs, 9’1" broad jump and an impressive 4.99 40-yard dash for a guy who is 6’1 and 311 lbs." The Falcons have reportedly expressed interest in Wade, but not in Kuhn that I know about, but I really like Kuhn as an alternative DT in the 7th.

Round 7 Comp: Adrien Robinson TE (alternative: Brian Linthicum TE)

Falcons priority #6: Back-up TE, who can develop into possible starter when Gonzo retires. Like Myles Wade, Robinson is wooing scouts with his size and athleticism at pro workouts. Linthicum really came on strong his senior year, and had his best game against UGA in the Outback Bowl. I think Robinson athleticism gives him a little higher ceiling than Linthicum. The Falcons have reportedly expressed interest in Robinson, but not in Linthicum that I know about.

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What I like is it is very realistic, most have players that would no way be there at the picks. I really like this draft as well. DT Baptiste is almost a clone of Wade, another DT I would like. I do feel like Wade will go much higher thou. But I do understand how hard it is to guess where players will go especially in the latter rds.

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Boykin is suspect, and before anyone says anything stupid I am a UGA fan so I've watched every game he's ever played in college. He lacks ideal fluidity and can get lost in space at times.

Picking a LT in the 3rd round in nearly useless, as is a pass rusher in the 5th. We could get one of the top 3 or 4 Centers or Guards in the 2nd round and a very good linebacker in the 3rd or 5th. I really don't like your mock at all. It completely ignores the team's biggest weakness, innterior offensive line play, and tries to make starters out of low round picks that historically have almost no shot of being that good.

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Boykin is suspect, and before anyone says anything stupid I am a UGA fan so I've watched every game he's ever played in college. He lacks ideal fluidity and can get lost in space at times.

Picking a LT in the 3rd round in nearly useless, as is a pass rusher in the 5th. We could get one of the top 3 or 4 Centers or Guards in the 2nd round and a very good linebacker in the 3rd or 5th. I really don't like your mock at all. It completely ignores the team's biggest weakness, innterior offensive line play, and tries to make starters out of low round picks that historically have almost no shot of being that good.

Not negating what you said but wondering are you suggesting we move on from M Johnson at OG and Hawley at OC/OG? Likewise with A Dent and S Nicholas? or are you wnating competition and depth at positions you mentioned. I do believe one more Cb needs to be brought in for nickle/dime responsibility. However it may very well be a vet pre-season cut that we pick up.

I'm not opposed to drafting a RG in 2nd Rd, actually like the idea, but this FO & coaches appear to like versatile OL where I would like a pure road grader RG. I imagine it depends on their eval of M Johnson at RG. Most the other guys on the team were given a chance without a true standout imho.

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Boykin is suspect, and before anyone says anything stupid I am a UGA fan so I've watched every game he's ever played in college. He lacks ideal fluidity and can get lost in space at times.

I feel the same way but I still believe he is a great player and worthy of a 2nd rd pick.

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