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G-Dawg's Falcon's Mock Draft 11-29-2014


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ok, it is early and I said I would not do one of these until the juniors declare and the draft order was set. I lied.....sue me.

Current Draft Order:

Obviously with 5 games to go, the draft order is rather unpredictable. Here is how I see it right now - best guess:

  1. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-10)
  2. Oakland Raiders (1-10)
  3. Tampa Bay Bucanneers (2-9)
  4. Tennessee Titans (2-9)
  5. NY Jets (2-9)
  6. NY Giants (3-8)
  7. Washington Redskins (3-8)
  8. Carolina Panthers (3-7-1)
  9. Atlanta Falcons (4-7)* (assumes NO wins NFCS even though ATL leads)
  10. St. Louis Rams (4-7)
  11. New Orleans Saints (4-7)* *wins division and drafts 21st

Clearly the Falcons could pick no higher than 4th as Jags/Raiders are 3 games ahead of us and Bucs are 2 games ahead and we have beaten them twice and have about the same strenghth of schedule. I don't really see the Titans and Jets getting hot down the stretch either. So, realistically our high side on drafting would be at #6 (currently the Giants spot at #6). Obviously the low spot would be #21 if we backed into the playoffs but I am fairly certain with our remaining schedule, I really don't see more than about one more win - probably the last game of the season - home game vs. Panthers. If that happens we finish 5-11 - would guess that would net us a pick between #6-9. I believe the Saints will win division - they are pitiful as well but there schedule is easier down the stretch and Falcons have to go to NO to play Saints and we never win there.

I'm going to be optimistic and my guess is we finish 5-11 and pick at #7 overall and Carolina somehow wins two more games.

2015 NFL Mock Draft:

  1. ****TRADE**** NY Jets (f/ Jacksonville Jags) Marcus Mariota, QB-Oregon​ - The Jets have been in the wilderness for 40 years since Broadway Joe Namath was their QB - think about it, most of you were not even born the last time the Jets had a decent QB. Well, it is time to break out. Jacksonville drafted their future QB last year and they did not have the guts to trade down and draft their guy (Blake Bortles). Well this year they trade down and pick up an extra 2nd and 5th rounder this year and a 1st rounder in 2016. Jameis Winston might be the better prospect but his character is so suspect it will cost him a few million dollars here.
  2. Oakland Raiders - Amari Cooper, WR-Alabama - The Raiders got there marquee player on defense last year in Khalil Mack and are making a risky bet on Derek Carr to be their QB of the future. Unless the GM (Reggie McKenzie) is fired, it won't be a QB.
  3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Jameis Winston, QB-Florida State - Obviously the Bucs cannot continue with McKown/Glennon - every year they don't seriously address the QB position, is a blessing to the rest of the NFCS. It ends here as Bucs get the talented yet immature signal caller. They just better hope it does not blow up in their face like Josh Freeman or the Falcons' own Michael Vick.
  4. Tennessee Titans - Randy Gregory, DE/OLB - Nebraska - obviously the Titans would like a franchise signal caller but might still believe in the South GA rapist (aka Zach Mettenberger). Need a passrusher.
  5. Jacksonville Jaguars - Leonard Williams, DT/DE - USC - some think Williams may be the most talented defender in this draft.
  6. NY Giants - Andrus Peat, OT- Stanford - The Giants, like the Falcons, need help on both sides of the ball. If they lose Jason Pierre-Paul, I could see them going for a pass rusher here - however, I think they re-sign or franchise him while continuing to solidify the offensive line for Eli Manning.
  7. Atlanta Falcons - Shane Ray, OLB/DE - Missouri - obviously we don't know if Thomas Dimitroff will be the GM next year or not at this point - so, this makes this draft a little harder to predict. Whomever the GM is, obviously the passrush can no longer be ignored - it needs to be addressed in free agency and in the draft - early and often. Shane Ray is kind of a 'tweener at 6'2" and 245lbs but my guess is he can put on 10lbs without sacrificing speed. He is a demon coming off the edge and Falcons really need a player like him.

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2nd round - Atlanta Falcons - Todd Gurley, RB-Georgia - obviously Gurley is a huge talent - 100% healthy, he is a top 5 running back in the NFL - however, he has struggled to stay healthy and is coming off an ACL injury that does not appear to be too severe. With the diminishing emphasis on bell-cow RBs and the ACL, I believe it a fairly safe bet that the Falcons could grab Gurley with their top 10 pick in the 2nd round - to me "the juice would be worth the squeeze" at this point. I would probably redshirt Gurley so he is 100% for 2016 but it would be tempting to play him come next December, 2015. It is a risk but you get a potential all-pro and a game changer here - no guts, no glory!

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3rd round - Tre Jackson, OG - Florida State - Here is our road grader we need to pair with Asamoah in the run game and he mirrors well and holds up under pass protection. At 6'4" and 330lbs, he has the mass and the athleticism to earn a starting spot early on - he would take over for Justin Blalock - maybe as soon as this year as Blalock is a likely cap casualty.

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4th round - A.J. Johnson, ILB-Tennessee - here is our replacement for Curtis Lofton - thumper in the middle that will lay the wood. Not great in coverage but someone that is a sure tackler and enforcer in the middle.

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5th round - Tyler Kroft, TE-Rutgers - the verdict is in on Levine Toilolo - he sucks. At best he is a redzone target. Kroft at 6'5" and 240lbs needs to bulk up but has some actual skill at being a receiver and is versatile and has been used at fullback as well.

Tyler+Kroft+Arkansas+v+Rutgers+ivLAsFVI8

6th round - Brandon Ivory, DT - Alabama - at 6'3" and 308lbs he only has average size for the position but is powerful and can get upfield. Rotational defensive tackle.

7th round - David Andrews, C - Georgia - at 6'2" and 294lbs, Andrews is not what you draw up on the bulletin board as what you want for your center. What can I say? this guy has intangibles off the chart and is a fighter. At worst, he can be a good back-up journeyman center - at best, he could be a Todd McClure clone.

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Shane Ray

DE/OLB 6'3", 245lbs

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SCOUTING REPORT (source: CBS Sportsline)

STRENGTHS: Extraordinary athlete who reportedly has been clocked at 4.44 seconds in the 40-yard dash, has a 40-plus-inch vertical, 10-foot broad jump and bench presses over 400 pounds.

Launches himself off the line with an explosive first step to beat tackles off the snap and can fly by and around them, showing the flexibility and balance to scrape the corner and close. He complements the speed rush with a quick jab-step back to the inside and a swim over the top to counter when opponents start leaning outside.

Ray locates the football quickly and changes directions fluidly to pursue. Reaction quickness is awesome, decisively making plays and chasing down the action with an outstanding motor.

Good bloodlines. His father, Wendell Ray, was selected by the Minnesota Vikings in the fifth round of the 1981 draft after starring for Missouri, himself.

WEAKNESSES: Overly reliant on his athleticism to wreak havoc, and is still developing his array of pass rush moves. Could improve his functional strength and awareness of cut blocks.

His awareness in the run game is a work-in-progress. Struggles to disengage once blockers latch on, showing only average power in his hands.

IN OUR VIEW: Ray is still developing his pass rush sequence and arsenal of moves, but his first step quickness and sustained burst off the edge are special and should have him drafted very early when he decides to enter the NFL Draft.

--Dane Brugler & Rob Rang (11/3/14)

PLAYER OVERVIEW Ray isn't as big as his predecessors at Mizzou but, given his athleticism and the creative ways NFL teams are using pass rushers now, he could wind up earning a higher draft-day grade than many of them.

Like Demarcus Golden, Ray's production last season (39 tackles, 9 tackles for loss, 4.5 sacks) is staggering considering that he served as a backup to Michael Sam and Kony Ealy. Ray wasn't just productive, he was timely. His sack and forced fumble of Georgia's Aaron Murray led to a recovery for a touchdown from Sam to help beat the then-No. 7 Bulldogs. Sam returned the favor in the Cotton Bowl, forcing a fumble that Ray scooped and raced 73 yards for the game-clinching score.

Ray's 2013 season was a significant jump from a redshirt freshman campaign in which he recorded 16 tackles, including 2.5 tackles for loss and no sacks.

It took only nine games, but Ray has set a new Missouri record for sacks in a single season, passing Michael Sam and Aldon Smith who held the previous record with 11.5. Against Kentucky on Saturday, Ray registered sacks No. 11 and 12 of 2014 as the Wildcats' offense had no answer for Missouri's pass rush.

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Todd Gurley, RB - Georgia

6'1", 230lbs

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STRENGTHS: Built for the NFL with a muscle-bound, physical frame and naturally lowers his pads and squares his shoulders to attack the line of scrimmage and bounce off defenders. He runs with natural balance, power and momentum that makes him tough to slow down, rarely conceding with the first tackler.

Reads the first line of attack very well and senses daylight to hit holes with authority and quickness to stick-and-go, accelerating extremely well in his cuts. Knows how to shift his weight extremely well for a 232-pounder and strings together moves with devastating jump cuts and long strides to eat up yards.

Soft, natural hands out of the backfield and is a willing, cognizant blocker in pass protection.

WEAKNESSES: Bit taller than ideal. Torn ACL in November of 2014 a big red flag that will cause pause for NFL teams with a timetable for return around mid-August. Also missed three games in 2013 due to an ankle injury, so durability concerns are significant, especially considering the physical punishment he has absorbed in the SEC over the past three seasons.

COMPARES TO: Marshawn Lynch, Seahawks -- Like Lynch, Gurley is best known for simply bowling over defenders, but each back's success is also a testament to good vision, surprisingly light feet and balance to bounce off would-be tacklers.

--Rob Rang (11/17/14)

PLAYER OVERVIEW With the NFL increasingly favoring the running back-by-committee approach, some have theorized that the days of runners earning first-round selections has passed; certainly the fact that no backs have earned a top 32 pick the past two years provides evidence of this. It is worth noting, however, that there hasn't been a back with Gurley's talent available the past two years.

The fact he missed three games a year ago because of an ankle injury is even more disconcerting. Further, with youngster Nick Chubb putting up Gurley-like production in his absence, some wonder if both backs aren't benefiting from outstanding offensive-line play at Georgia.

Wisconsin's Melvin Gordon, Nebraska's Ameer Abdullah and Miami's Duke Johnson are among the other highly regarded backs likely to be available in 2015 -- a class looking as strong at the position as any since at least 2008. That year, teams spent first-round picks on five backs and that didn't include future stars Matt Forte, Ray Rice and Jamaal Charles being selected later.

The talent at running back could actually allow NFL teams to devalue the position a bit in this draft. In a case of supply and demand, teams could elect to draft other positions, believing a good back like Minnesota's David Cobb could be found in the middle rounds.

When healthy, Gurley proved he had the unique skill-set to warrant first-round consideration. The 6-foot-1, 232-pound Gurley boasts a combination of vision, power and acceleration which earned comparisons to Marshawn Lynch and former All-Pro Jamal Lewis from NFL scouts.

Gurley had missed the previous four games under an NCAA suspension for accepting money for autographs. Prior to the suspension he'd rushed for 773 yards and eight touchdowns this eason.

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Tre Jackson, OG - Florida State

6'4", 330lbs.

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STRENGTHS WEAKNESSES In addition to possesses road-grader size and power, Jackson will surprise with his athleticism and quickness when asked to mirror rushers or get to the second level as a run blocker, and plays with solid instincts and awareness in both facets of the offense.

--Derek Stephens (7/14/14)

PLAYER OVERVIEW A 28-game starter who earned All-ACC first-team accolades in 2013 while anchoring a line that helped produce the best offensive season in school history, Jackson opted to return for his senior year, and does so as perhaps the top preseason NFL guard prospect in the country.

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A.J. Johnson, ILB - Tennessee

6'2", 242lbs.

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STRENGTHS: Unlike most inside linebackers who possess a compact, muscled-up frame, Johnson is a bit lanky. Like his athletic build suggests, Johnson is quick and he can slither past would-be blockers to make tackles in the hole.

With greater upper body strength in 2014, Johnson could boost his stock. He has just enough speed to meet backs at the edge and is fluid enough to handle coverage responsibilities. Perhaps Johnson's greatest skill is his heavy-hitting as a tackler. He has a nice closing burst to gather momentum and consistently delivers the emphatic pop that has no doubt helped him build his all-conference reputation.

WEAKNESSES: He is reliant on beating blockers to the action because he struggles to disengage once they latch on, showing only average power and technique for the position. Worse, Johnson often drops his head on contact, losing sight of the ball.

Johnson's talent has been clear since his freshman season and his production speaks for itself. He isn't the clean NFL projection that his reputation might lead you to believe, however, and also comes with some off-field baggage. He was arrested February 8, 2014 for purchasing alcohol for a minor and resisting arrest.

--Rob Rang (8/24/14)

PLAYER OVERVIEW With an SEC-leading 324 career tackles, Johnson has served as one of the few bright spots for the Volunteers over the past three years. He earned the First Team All-SEC nod from conference coaches last season -- his second consecutive topping 100 tackles and considered leaving Rocky Top early for the NFL before he was reportedly given a mid-round grade from the NFL Advisory Committee.

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Tyler Kroft, TE - Rutgers

6'5", 240lbs

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STRENGTHS: On 2013 tape, Kroft lined up mostly in the slot or the backfield and has the look of a bulked-up receiver rather than a prototype tight end, but he is feisty as a blocker and stays focused once engaged. He accelerates well off the line with good quickness in his breaks and the hesitation in his routes to create separation.

Kroft extends well to pluck and catches well in stride, immediately turning downfield to make something happen as a hard-nosed ball carrier.

WEAKNESSES: Does need some fine-tuning in his route-running.

COMPARIES TO: His play is reminiscent of a bigger version of Riley Cooper and as he enters his junior season, Kroft's development will be interesting to watch, especially with Ralph Friedgen now leading the Rutgers offense. Friedgen has coached several NFL tight ends, including Vernon Davis.

--Dane Brugler (8/6/14)

PLAYER OVERVIEW

Brandon Coleman received most of the publicity entering last season, but Kroft led the team in just about every receiving category in 2013, his first as a starter. He finished his sophomore season with 43 catches for 573 yards and four scores, earning first-team all-conference honors.


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saw that typo......Its Jackson, dammit!

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Brandon Ivory, DT - Alabama

6'3", 308lbs

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STRENGTHS WEAKNESSES Possesses the typical squatty, powerful frame of an interior defensive lineman and can surprise opponents with his initial surge upfield. He possesses only average lateral agility, balance and speed to the flanks, making him a bit of a one-trick pony as a block-eater.

--Rob Rang (8/11/14)

PLAYER OVERVIEW

Ivory earned Honorable Mention All-SEC honors in 2013 with 24 tackles, including 1.5 tackles for loss while primarily playing nose guard, his first campaign as a full-time starter.

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David Andrews, C - Georgia

6'4", 294lbs

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STRENGTHS WEAKNESSES He has good initial quickness for the reach block, as well as the leg drive to push defenders off their mark. He lacks ideal balance and the agility to recover if beaten initially but could earn interest on Day Three.

--Rob Rang (8/14/14)

PLAYER OVERVIEW Entering his third season as the Bulldogs' starting center, Andrews has established himself as one of the better pivots in the country.
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All SEC except Kroft an Mason....

So this draft would only be realistic if TD were no longer the GM. TD hates the SEC. Not enough no-name, chronically injured, long-shot players coming out of the SEC to interest The Boy Genius.

Edit: Like this draft! Well played, g-dawg! Would love to have Ray and Gurley for dam sure.

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