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Mock Draft 1.0: Falcons To Select Cal’S Schwartz, By D. Orlando Ledbetter


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With the draft quickly approaching, I thought that I’d better unveil my 2012 NFL Mock Draft 1.0.

A couple of things to keep in mind, the draft is deep at wide receiver, the running backs will slide and you’ll have bunch of hybrid defensive end/linebackers. Alabama, the reigning national champs, will likely have five players selected in the first round.

Georgia offensive tackle Cordy Glenn and Georgia Tech wide receiver Stephen Hill have been invited to New York and won’t be in the green room long.

We have the Cleveland Browns selecting tight end Coby Fleener with the 22nd pick they received from the Falcons in the Julio Jones trade.

Also, we are projecting the Falcons to select California offensive tackle Mitchell Schwartz with the 55 pick overall in the second round.

Apparently, this is the year to find a wide receiver. There are plenty of receivers after Oklahoma State’s Justin Blackmon, Notre Dame’s Michael Floyd, Hill, Baylor’s Kendall Wright and LSU’s Rueben Randle.

Cal's Mitchell Schwartz (6-5 1/2, 320 pounds) could be headed to the ATL.

South Carolina’s Alshon Jeffery, Illinois A.J. Jenkins and Rutgers’ Mohamed Sanu are also highly regarded.

Once you get past the top tier, ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper likes Appalachian State’s Brian Quick and Wisconsin’s Nick Toon.

“If you want a slot guy in the third round or fourth round select (T.Y.) Hilton out of Florida International,” Kiper said. “If you want a second round big receiver, (a team) can take Marvin McNutt out of the University of Iowa. A mid-round guy is Danny Cole out of Virginia Tech.”

Kiper has Liberty’s Chris Summers and South Dakota State’s Dale Moss on his late-round sleeper list.

Kiper and Todd McShay, also an ESPN draft analyst, actually concur on a key point about the receivers.

“There is a lot of depth in this class,” McShay said.

Here’s a look at Mock 1.0:

1. Indianapolis: Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford: “I think Andrew Luck is the most dynamic quarterbacking talent to come out since John Elway, as a prospect,” said former NFL head coach Brian Billick.

2. Washington: Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor: The Heisman winner can run, but looks to pass first.

3. Minnesota: Matt Kalil, LT, Southern California: His older brother , Ryan, is the Pro Bowl center for the Carolina Panthers.

4. Cleveland: Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama: The Browns need to provide quarterback Colt McCoy with a major weapon.

5. Tampa Bay: Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU: The Bucs need help in the secondary.

6. St. Louis: Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State: He’s a play-maker that the Rams lack.

7. Jacksonville: Melvin Ingram, DE, South Carolina: Jags take the best player available. They can get receiver help later because the draft is deep at that position.

8. Miami: Ryan Tannehill, QB, Texas A&M:

He will be reunited with his college head coach Mike Sherman, Miami’s new offensive coordinator.

9. Carolina: Fletcher Cox, DT, Mississippi State: The Panthers have to fortify the middle of their defense.

10. Buffalo: Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame: After addressing defense in free agency, coach Chan Gailey gets some help for the offense.

11. Kansas City: Riley Reiff, LT, Iowa: He’s the second best tackle in the draft.

12. Seattle: Quinton Coples, DE, North Carolina: He could develop in a Pro Bowler.

13. Arizona: Cordy Glenn, LT, Georgia: Scouts have fallen in love with how he battle back from a rough start last season.

14. Dallas: Mark Barron, S, Alabama: The secondary must be addressed.

15. Philadelphia: Michael Brockers, DT, LSU: They have to put some beef in the middle of the wide-tackle-nine defense.

16. New York: Courtney Upshaw, OLB, Alabama: “I think his stock has dropped a little bit after the combine,” ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper said.

17. Cincinnati: Dont’a Hightower, ILB, Alabama: “The improvement since he’s a couple of years removed from the knee injury in terms of big plays was monumental,” Kiper said.

18. San Diego: David DeCastro, OG, Stanford: He’s the top rated guard in the draft ahead of Wisconsin’s Kevin Zeitler.

19. Chicago: Stephon Gilmore, CB, South Carolina: He is a scheme-fit for Coach Lovie Smith’s cover-two zone.

20. Tennessee: Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama: “Dre Kirkpatrick, I know some teams are concerned about it’s not character baggage as much as the personality and is he going to fit. Obviously, he has short arms and not great ball skills. I could see him dropping a little bit out of the top 20, maybe. But I still think he’s a first round pick,” ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay said.

21. Cincinnati: Janoris Jenkins, CB, North Alabama: The Bengals have not

been to take on players with character issues.

22. Cleveland: Coby Fleener, TE, Stanford: The Browns get a security blanket for Colt McCoy.

23. Detroit: Jonathan Martin, OT, Stanford: The Lions know they have to upgrade Matthew Stafford’s protection.

24. Pittsburgh: Mike Adams, OT, Ohio State: The Steelers have a strong locker room and can ignore some of the red flags.

25. Denver: Jerel Worthy, DT, Michigan State: The Broncos need to fortify their run defense.

26. Houston: Kendall Wright, WR, Baylor: He was highly productive in the Bears’ spread offense.

27. New England: Stephen Hill, WR, Georgia Tech: The former Miller Grove star lands in a good spot.

28. Green Bay: Chandler Jones, DE, Syracuse: The Packers ignore his lack of production and figure they can get something out of his talent.

29. Baltimore: Peter Konz, C, Wisconsin: He’s massive at 6-foot-5, 314-pounds.

30. San Francisco: Shea McClellin, DE, Boise State: He has started three years at DE for the Broncos. Could project to LB in the 3-4.

31. New England: Harrison Smith, S, Notre Dame: The Pats want to improve their defense.

32. New York Giants: Orson Charles, TE, Georgia: Charles goes to a team that needs help at the position.

Falcons Draft Selections

The Falcons traded away their first and fourth round picks of the 2012 draft as part of the Julio Jones trade with the Cleveland Browns.

2nd Round (No. 55 overall) — California OT Mitchell Schwartz

3rd Round (No. 84 overall)

5th Round (No. 157 overall)

6th Round (No. 192 overall)

7th Round (No. 229 overall)

7th Round (Compensatory Selection, No. 249 overall)

–D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta Falcons beat blog

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DLed didnt have Poe in the 1st round??? Come on...someone is gonna take him....

Upshaw and Hightower at 16 and 17??? I dont think both will be in the 1st....

Orson Charles at #32???? UGA homer....Charles will not go in the first 2 rounds....

I wouldnt think NE would take Stephen Hill......I think where NE sits is a perfect spot for a team to move up and take Tannehill (I dont think he goes in the Top 10)and as NE always does, slides back and nabs extra picks....

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Link please?

Negatives: Not physically imposing and has average overall strength. Upper body gets over his feet too often and he easily loses his balance. Whiffs on blocks after beaten initially and lacks range and lateral quickness. Plays too high and without proper leverage, pad level and can be passive. Back injury in 2011 spring must be investigated.

http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/draft/players/1273002

He hurt his back in practice. The training staff at Cal gave him 'the shot'. The coaching staff kept it under wraps to protect his career/draft stock. Dude seriously slumped in the 2nd half of the season. He also regressed from the season beforehand. He is really overrated as many of the O linemen in this years draft are.

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This is my whole thing about this off season what really can we get from the 55th pick really are we as fans expecting to much unless god forbid a real player falls to us at this position I gotta think that this whole draft process 2012 is depth picks at best and maybe just maybe we might find 1 starter.I think we went all in with regards to coaches.

What makes me laugh though its clear we have key holes at DT and DE Safety on Defense and RG and LT on offense,getting Stouter was the word used and yet I have seen very little to suggest that we have added or going to fix either to be honest.

Personally I don't care who we take at 55 pee wee herman I don't care if we truely wanted to add some real difference makers it had to be done in FA but i will say this the FO are steering this ship they no more than I but if we fall over this year I'm telling you now MS or TD one of them is history.

Edited by kiwifalcon
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This is my whole thing about this off season what really can we get from the 55th pick really are we as fans expecting to much unless god forbid a real player falls to us at this position I gotta think that this whole draft process 2012 is depth picks at best and maybe just maybe we might find 1 starter.I think we went all in with regards to coaches.

Thats why I think we are going DT. We need a new DT for our hybrid D, and this draft is deep at that position, so we just might find a pretty good DT available at #55. So I think we have to fill that need at #55 (providing not all of the good DTs are gone of course).

Some might argue that since this DT class is so deep, that we should wait 'till probably the 3rd or later to find a new DT. But I'd rather get one of the better DTs early who are only being pushed down the boards because its deep class, as it gives us an opportunity to find a real player at an important defensive position.. If we go DT later, we will probably get a draft full of depth players, as you mentioned.

Edited by niels petersen
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Putting on my "must've smoked something pretty strong, homer glasses" I will predict the following. We trade Roddy for a #1 and take one of the better OT's in the draft and we then use our second round pick on Alshon Jeffrey to come in and take over the #2 spot with Julio taking over the #1 spot.

OK, back to my cave now.

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Thats why I think we are going DT. We need a new DT for our hybrid D, and this draft is deep at that position, so we just might find a pretty good DT available at #55. So I think we have to fill that need at #55 (providing not all of the good DTs are gone of course).

Some might argue that since this DT class is so deep, that we should wait 'till probably the 3rd or later to find a new DT. But I'd rather get one of the better DTs early who are only being pushed down the boards because its deep class, as it gives us an opportunity to find a real player at an important defensive position.. If we go DT later, we will probably get a draft full of depth players, as you mentioned.

I have said all along that the D-line scares the sh*t out of me I completely agree we need a NT in the worse way.But everything I have predicted with regards to this off season has been abosolutely incorrect I mentioned in my previous post where our weaknesses are and to me it has to be NT to anchor that Hybrid system you mentioned.

But again LT was also a worry andd an aging pass rusher in Abe doesn't have me all that confident either.I really think now Johnson or Manuwai have to stand up on that o-line and either Sidbury Matthews Edwards or Biermann have to step into the breach as Abe can't seriously have to much left.For the Falcons to improve it has to come from within or I fear we are going to have another year of discontent.

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I have said all along that the D-line scares the sh*t out of me I completely agree we need a NT in the worse way.But everything I have predicted with regards to this off season has been abosolutely incorrect I mentioned in my previous post where our weaknesses are and to me it has to be NT to anchor that Hybrid system you mentioned.

But again LT was also a worry andd an aging pass rusher in Abe doesn't have me all that confident either.I really think now Johnson or Manuwai have to stand up on that o-line and either Sidbury Matthews Edwards or Biermann have to step into the breach as Abe can't seriously have to much left.For the Falcons to improve it has to come from within or I fear we are going to have another year of discontent.

I absolutely agree, and I actually think that it is the way TD believes this team is going to improve this year.

I feel like, TD has made it a goal of his to keep his own players, the players he drafted and know well. Instead we have changed both offensive and defensive coaches, ans TD had lost faith in the ability of these coaches to develop the talent he was bringing in. Look no further that the big trade to get Julio, an amazing talent and playmaker to make our offense explosive. And what happened? MM did not seem to know what to do with a talent like that, and our offense did not make any significant progress.

I think there have been a mismatch between the kind of team TD has drafted for, and the team our previous coaches were capable of putting together. And thus, from now on he is putting his faith in the new coaches to improve the team and the players, instead of doubting his own draft picks and abilities as a evaluator of talent. TD has already insinuated that the new coaches was our real upgrade this offseason.

The discussion thus becomes whether TD is doing the right thing, or taking too much of a gamble by not bringing in more players. Nolan has a reputation of being able to do "more with less" and get more production out of a defense without any major additions of new players. And Koetter should be able to build on top of what we already do well, and expand the offense with screens and some deep throws. So overall, I'm willing to believe we will improve next season, but as you mentioned, we need a DT and some pass protectors on the OL if we are going to really take off.

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