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Atlanta Falcons Offseason Wishlist


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Give me

Jake Long

Jared Cook

Reggie Bush

DJ Fluker

I'd love to pick up Jared Cook. Love to have Long, but I think the price tag will be way too high, and with that I'm assuming your looking at Fluker for RT....how much are we still on the hook for with Clabo?

Bush would be pretty awesome in our Offense, no idea how much he'll cost though, not to mention we already have JR, we need more of a bruiser back....Le'Veon Bell?

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Good realistic pick, he may well be there in the first and would \should be an immediate upgrade. I'd love the line to have an actual bruiser. An Australian from Alabama was born to be a monster. I like this one.

Why would we take him over Johnathan Jenkins, who has already proven effective as a 3-4 NT? If both are available I'd rather take Jenkins, especially considering how raw this other guy is.

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I'd love to pick up Jared Cook. Love to have Long, but I think the price tag will be way too high, and with that I'm assuming your looking at Fluker for RT....how much are we still on the hook for with Clabo?

Bush would be pretty awesome in our Offense, no idea how much he'll cost though, not to mention we already have JR, we need more of a bruiser back....Le'Veon Bell?

I was thinking RG and moving Konz back to center, and yes to the Le'Veon Bell we will need a bruiser type back TD and Smith already stated they wanted one. But because we are more pass oriented Bush and Quizz in the pass and running game would be sick and a guy like a Le'Veon Bell can be the closer/4th quarter back. Bush is the speed/home run hitter we are missing in the running game on this offense.

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Why would we take him over Johnathan Jenkins, who has already proven effective as a 3-4 NT? If both are available I'd rather take Jenkins, especially considering how raw this other guy is.

I agree, but by that logic let's just take Star Lotulelei, but he'll be gone as well. That's why I said it was a good realistic pick. I think Jenkins will be long gone by our pick (most likely a mid first) but if he is still there, I'd be ecstatic if they grabbed him....that guy is a load (with some athleticism) he's got to be 350.

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Why would we take him over Johnathan Jenkins, who has already proven effective as a 3-4 NT? If both are available I'd rather take Jenkins, especially considering how raw this other guy is.

I am a Dawg Fan, and to be honest. Jenkins has really done nothing. Jesse Williams is a pure monster. He is so athletic, and his strength is outstanding. Bench pressing 600lbs. I wouldn't be surprised if he ran a 40 under 5.
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NFL.com draft analysis

Rarely uses hands to fight with blockers despite an aggressive mentality. Overruns a lot of plays between the tackles, struggles to recover. Has a lot of issues dealing with second level blocks from the offensive line, rarely can work over top of them, there winds up walled off. Run and chase player at this point, loses gap integrity with false or wasted steps. Dives or lunges for a lot of tackles rather than running through them and wrapping up. Mentality changes when attacking an offensive lineman compared to a running back.

Just what we need, another guy who can't wrap up and tackle

So you just going to put his weaknesses up here and not the positives? The dude is still young and he plays young. He tries to go for the big pop instead of the wrap up tackle at times. Trust me though he can tackle. When he is really in the zone the dude plays like he is possessed. The dude was a former safety and is really just learning the position.

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I agree, but by that logic let's just take Star Lotulelei, but he'll be gone as well. That's why I said it was a good realistic pick. I think Jenkins will be long gone by our pick (most likely a mid first) but if he is still there, I'd be ecstatic if they grabbed him....that guy is a load (with some athleticism) he's got to be 350.

I figured he'd project in the early 20's, but might slide. We could always move up if he's there around 25th or so (maybe?).

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Hi, I'd like to start by introducing myself. I'm D.J., I just found this site. I live in the Bay Area but I've been a Falcons fan since age five in 1998 and hate the 49ers! All my friends were actually really nice after our loss this past Sunday...I figured they would want to rub it in lol but they recommended I search for online Falcons forums to meet others of "my kind" so here I am.

I was really happy with our team this season, it was great to see the new generation of Red Nation finally win a playoff game but here are a few concerns I had throughout the season and what I'd like to see done to address them:

I feel like firing Ray Hamilton, our Defensive Line coach, might be a necessary move. I really like this draft class and am more excited than I have been in recent years for April to get here but is anyone else noticing the trend? It doesn't matter who we draft on our line, they are burning out. I had such high hopes for Jamaal Anderson and Lawrence Sidbury. Anderson is in Cincinnati and now, I'm praying Sidbury gets cut this offseason to free up cap space! Kroy Biermann and Peria Jerry seem to be stuck in the mud as well. All four of these guys have talent, so what's the problem here? I really liked the Ray Edwards signing when it happened too. I knew from the start that we overpaid him but I was so fed up with the pass rush that I didn't care. Unfortunately that turned out to be a disaster.

Now, I do love the idea of drafting a pass rusher and am strongly open to even doing that with our 1st round pick, but why stop with just one? We could have two. I really like the idea of signing Cliff Avril from the Lions, I think he would be an excellent fit for our defense.

As for the draft, I see our 1st round pick as three options that all make sense and are positions that will need work this offseason whether in the draft or Free Agency: TE, RB, DE. With the 30th pick, assuming all these guys are still available, we could take a good pass-catching TE in Tyler Eifert from Notre Dame or Zach Ertz from Stanford. I live really close to Palo Alto and see Stanford play all the time and really like Ertz. Eifert is still my favorite though and I think he could definitely be Jimmy Graham 2.0. That is one option.

Another option would be to draft Eddie Lacy with the 30th pick. On top of my Falcons, Alabama is my college team and I love Lacy, I think he will be a great every down back in the NFL from day one and he is ready to step in and start immediately. If we cut Turner, which sadly, makes perfect sense to do so, Lacy could come in and be a 250 carry RB in his rookie season, no questions asked. I love JacQuizz Rodgers too but he obviously will never be an every down back in the NFL because of his size. Most experts seem to have Lacy going in either late 1st round or early-to-mid 2nd round. I think he could go in the teens so he might not even be on the board when our pick rolls around. If he is not, I think waiting on a RB would be better. On top of Alabama, I love South Carolina and am a huge Marcus Lattimore fan, he's my favorite college football player from 2012. Lots of people are understandably concerned about Lattimore's legs, to which I respond with: Exhibit A) Willis McGahee Exhibit cool.png Adrian Peterson and finally Exhibit C) Frank Gore. All three of those players have suffered from ACL tears and gone on to have successful NFL careers. Lattimore should hopefully be ready to start the season and could be one of the biggest steals of the draft. If we could draft him later than the 3rd round, that would be incredible value because when this kid is 100% healthy, he's a beast. Other guys I really like include Montee Ball from Wisconsin, and De'Leon Eskridge, who some of you may not be familiar with. He went to my local college, San Jose State University, and is a faster Marion Barber III comparable RB. There is a chance Eskridge may not be drafted so we could definitely get him late. Overall, I say Lacy if he's there. If not, wait until the 3rd round and take Ball or Lattimore.

Finally, there is the problem we are all concerned about, pass rush. The player in this year's draft who makes the most sense for us at any position is DE Alex Okafor from Texas. First off, he's a big guy. He's 6'5", about 270 pounds and will probably get bigger, considering he's only twenty one years old. He's really fast off the four-point stance, too. I don't have recent numbers but in high school, he ran a 4.65 40 yard dash. He's great against cut blocks and he played defensive tackle for one year so he already knows how to use his hands to his advantage. I really like this guy and due to my lack of faith in our defensive line and Coach Hamilton at the moment, I am looking for NFL ready players with high ceilings, not projects, considering we haven't developed many of them on our line in recent years. Okafor is my best suggestion for our first round pick.

Now, on to Free Agency:

Let's say we get Alex Okafor in the first round and Marcus Lattimore in the fourth. Other focuses of ours in the draft should include an offensive lineman, a strong side linebacker, and depth for the secondary, though that could come in Free Agency easier than the other two positions. That still leaves us without a tight end, pending Gonzo's retirement announcement. If we did not get Eifert or Ertz in the draft, a few notable Free Agents include Jared Cook from the Titans, Dustin Keller from the Jets, and James Casey from the Houston Texans. I am most intrigued by Jared Cook and feel like he could be the most realistic option. We already have multiple Gamecock players on our roster (and could add another in Marcus Lattimore in the draft) which would be good because Cook went to South Carolina. Another benefit is that he grew up in Atlanta and continues to reside there in the offseason. Cook is a really good offensive tight end, I have always enjoyed watching him play and am disappointed with the way Tennessee uses him. They don't really have a throw-friendly system so it's hard to say what Cook is capable of in the right system but he is only twenty five and as he continues to come into his prime, he's at the top of my offensive wish list this offseason.

Let's talk about the secondary now, starting with Robert McClain. One could definitely say that Brent Grimes tearing his ACL was a blessing in disguise because without that, chances are high that McClain would have been cut in training camp. Instead, he was a major contributor to our secondary all season long. However, let's consider the fact that he only has one other NFL season under his belt in 2010 with the Carolina Panthers. He sat out the entire 2011 season with the Jacksonville Jaguars, I'm assuming due to injury, and is also undersized at only 5'9" and 200 pounds. I would definitely not discount the fact that his contributions to the 2012 Atlanta Falcons are significant but I do question his big-play abilities going forward. I think if we rely on him to do what he did this season again next year, we are in trouble. Brent Grimes is coming off a very serious injury and is now twenty-nine years old so assuming he has a good agent, he should be advised to return to the team that gave him a shot in 2007 and molded him into an eventual Pro Bowler after he went un-drafted in 2006. If he is willing to negotiate a reasonable salary, I think it makes perfect sense to bring Grimey back for 2013. If he wants a max contract or something even close, let him walk. My point in mentioning Grimes, though, is that McClain's track record is unproven, Asante Samuel could get injured unexpectedly and it's something we need to prepare for, and let's be honest, who here is thrilled with Dunta Robinson? He has his moments but he has not been the guy we thought he would continue to be and is a place holder, not a franchise piece. Let's add a couple guys to the secondary just to play things safe.

Okay, let's talk linebackers. Sean Weatherspoon is the nucleus to build our center three around. I love Steven Nicholas and Akeem Dent, they are two of my favorite Falcons, but I question their ability to be every game starters in the NFL, at least right now, considering how badly we got burned by opposing tight ends in our two playoff games. I have not seen Zach Miller look that good since his time here in Oakland with the Raiders. We need a linebacker who knows how to disrupt tight ends, slot receivers, and basically anyone who's in the middle of the field. Spoon is a great start, but he can't do everything by himself. We need to help him out. One idea is Lofa Tatupu. The Free Agent market for LB's isn't great so if we can't draft a good one or two, why not try again? When we signed Tatupu originally last offseason, he was given a two year deal. Unfortunately, he missed the entire 2012 season because of pectoral surgery. He's only thirty and I think there might be a little life left in him, so if he doesn't get a better offer, why not try just once more with him on a one year contract? I really, really like Paul Kruger from the Ravens but I don't necessarily think they will just let him walk away first off, and second, his performance in the Super Bowl could really drive his price tag up. He's a name to remember but not a fallback plan. One name who could be interesting is Bengals middle linebacker Rey Maualuga. He's not the best at what he does but his tackling abilities are still an overall upgrade over Akeem Dent. The one Free Agent linebacker who really grabs my attention is Daryl Smith, a nine year veteran from the Jaguars. A groin injury kept him out of the first fourteen games of this season but even at thirty one, Smith is one of the best Free Agent linebackers for a 4-3 defense available. He is very athletic and good against the run, something that has been a problem for us in recent years. He is definitely the type of linebacker who could step in and disrupt a big play tight end, something that is undervalued, and greatly needed in our locker room. I would recommend him more than anyone else on the open market. Another plus is that he has played in at least fourteen games in eight of his nine seasons so injury risk is not too big of a concern for Smith.

Finally, offensive line. I do not expect Todd McClure back in 2013, I think he is going to join Tony G and also hang up the cleats. That means that we shift promising 2012 rookie Peter Konz to center. Even if we put Lamar Holmes on at right guard, our line still needs a bit of work. Dirk Koetter runs a system completely different than Mike Mularkey did and it really showed with Michael Turner's 2012 performance. Turner had four games in which he ran for under twenty yards. This is just not acceptable. He did still manage ten touchdowns but the majority of them came in the red zone. The point is, there were times when we needed to run the ball and couldn't. We need better run blockers up front. I am really excited to see what Holmes can do. He only made one appearance all season, briefly during our week fifteen slaughtering of the New York Giants. This kid is 6'6" and 335 pounds, he should be a monster. However, he will be considered a rookie again in 2013 so relying on him as our starting right guard could be problematic at times. I think that Sam Baker's performance in the playoffs justified a new contract but that still leaves us with Tyson Clabo, Justin Blalock, and wondering if we need to add a starter as opposed to just depth.

Another thing that is worth looking into is restructuring Matt Ryan's contract. He is the future of this franchise and is only signed through 2013 so we need to give him a good deal to keep him happy!!

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Would be nice to see us work on the D line. Scheme helped make our secondary look great this year, for the most part, despite a consistant pass ruch. I think Scheme will continue to do this for us as long as we have Nolan.

So I think maybe we look at some young Dbs late, and aim to strengthen our D line and LB core. Aside from that, i think we need to bring in a new lineman or 2, pick up a multi threat balanced Rb, and a TE if TG retires.

Not all of this can be done in the draft of course, but we can get it done.

But in short, we need to strengthen our Dline as best as we can in this draft. Even if that includes bringing in pass rushing LBs that we can use in the 3-4. We need to do the best we can to strengthen the pass rush.

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