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New Safety Checks Out For Falcons


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http://espn.go.com/blog/nflnation/post/_/id/127112/new-safety-checks-out-for-falcons

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- It seemed to be somewhat of a concern to see how new Atlanta Falcons safety Dez Southward missed working out at this year's NFL combine with spine and wrist injuries.

Southward told the Green Bay Press-Gazette back in March that doctors thought he might have a cracked vertebrae in his neck. Instead, he had a slight herniation. And Southward underwent surgery on his left wrist last December.

But Southward went on to perform well at his Pro Day, where he reportedly ran the 40-yard dash in 4.37 seconds and posted a 42-inch vertical.

General manager Thomas Dimitroff seemed unfazed about the third-round draft pick's health moving forward.

"His exclusion from the combine was healing up from his wrist fracture," Dimitroff said of Southward. "His cervical checked out positively and we're in a good spot with that as well."

Southward never missed a game in four seasons at the University of Wisconsin, which could speak volumes about his durability. He set a school record by playing in 54 games, starting 30 total and finishing his career with 28 consecutive starts.

The Falcons needed to find a safety with one-time Pro Bowl strong safety William Moore as the only proven player at the position. The team signed veteran Dwight Lowery in the offseason, but Lowery missed a big part of last season with a concussion.

Southward (6-0, 210) was on the Senior Bowl roster coached by the Falcons along with second-round pick Ra'Shede Hageman, the defensive lineman out of Minnesota.

"This is a guy who is big and fast," Dimitroff said of Southward. "Really good natural agility and movement for a bigger safety. He had actually one of the best three-cone times, which is usually an indicator of body control and movement. He has cover skills and very good range for us. We think that he's got some real upside to continue to bolster this secondary group."

Southward talked about having the versatility to cover in the slot and on the corner, if necessary.

"We're bringing him in as a free safety," Dimitroff said. "A big guy who's a free safety who ran in the 4.3s is a positive."

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He's spine was never injured it was a slight herniation. It was misread already been cleared and was said he should have got to compete at the combine.

He injured his wrist in the spring before college season started and never told anybody. He played all season with it, because he did not want to miss. It is fixed and fine as well.

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Never missed a game in college. That's what matters.

No, I read it all and knew about his consecutive starts last night when we made the pick. But his stats in college are lackluster. He is a raw athlete but achieved nothing. A grand total of two picks in four years. Reeeeeeaaaccchhhh.

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Never missed a game in college. That's what matters.

You know people are just searching for crap to make the pick or TD look bad. It's ignorance really.

No, he read, but Bawse just hates that we drafted Southward in the third so he's going to pick out the negatives and leave the rest alone.

Yeah people just love to hate. People being ignorant has led me to kind of being a jerk. I don't mean to, but ignorance can be fixed, stupid is forever.

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You are moving up the troll ranks each day. You may supplant Mrs. Wrong & Swiffy one day is that your goal?

So i'm a troll because I think this pick is garbage? Wow man, must have to keep a positive attitude and support everything in order not to be a troll huh.

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So i'm a troll because I think this pick is garbage? Wow man, must have to keep a positive attitude and support everything in order not to be a troll huh.

Well if you can't see that the guy is a sure tackler and was rated as the best remaining safety in the draft you may want to consider a hobby that does not require reading comprehension or objective analysis. We needed a big fast prospect at the position. It's not like Troy Niklas was still on the board.

Edited by Ben Day Hoe
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Scratch what I said.

How would you measure success at a safety position? Keep in mind he'll be plugging in at FS.

Not trying to bust your balls man, just really passionate about the Falcons. People are dogging picks without really knowing. That's why I'm no pumping anyone up, because I don't know yet.

Of course if love to have a ball hawk safety, but in the end I just want someone to cover the deep middle and tackle. He can do that. Plus Nolan will blitz him and have him cover the slot some.

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You are moving up the troll ranks each day. You may supplant Mrs. Wrong & Swiffy one day is that your goal?

Now I'll defend you hear Bawse. I don't think you are a troll. A troll says something outrageous for the SOLE purpose of going against the mainstream and getting a rise out of people.

I just think your hate of a player that hasn't stepped foot on the field is a little misguided but you are entitled to your opinion. Just please don't take a long article about his positives and negatives, highlight the negatives, and say "see I told ya." We all hate that. lol

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No, I read it all and knew about his consecutive starts last night when we made the pick. But his stats in college are lackluster. He is a raw athlete but achieved nothing. A grand total of two picks in four years. Reeeeeeaaaccchhhh.

He played a lot of SS in college. He wasn't a FS for his entire career. And they moved him around all over the place playing CB, FS, SS, Nickel, and ST's. I think it was a gamble because he is raw. But I think his ceiling is a lot higher than any of the Safeties left on the board. 6' FS that runs a 4.3 with a 6.5 3 cone do not grow on trees. It is very rare to find a FS with those measurables. That doesn't mean he will be successful. It does mean he has a very high ceiling, boom or bust pick IMHO.

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His stock would definitely have risen if he competed at the combine. If you looked at tru's raw numbers from college, like many on the board did, it didn't look great if you're judging by int's which is why some on the board didn't like him but like I've said over and over a corner/safety's job is not just about picks. Maybe his hands aren't that great at catching cause if he could catch with his intangibles he'd be a wr. He does get his hands on the ball to knock them down which is still a play made. I'm curious to see how he's used. I also liked that he played all the secondary positions. That has to say something about his ability. Let's see what Nolan can do. Caroll had a lot of projects that turned into pro bowlers and all pro's.

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He played a lot of SS in college. He wasn't a FS for his entire career. And they moved him around all over the place playing CB, FS, SS, Nickel, and ST's. I think it was a gamble because he is raw. But I think his ceiling is a lot higher than any of the Safeties left on the board. 6' FS that runs a 4.3 with a 6.5 3 cone do not grow on trees. It is very rare to find a FS with those measurables. That doesn't mean he will be successful. It does mean he has a very high ceiling, boom or bust pick IMHO.

Beat me to it. My post was d@mn near this.

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