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The King Has Mocked - Nfc South Champions


Guest King Jigsaw
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Guest King Jigsaw

Free Agency

Jerry Hughes, OLB, Buffalo

Height: 6’2” Weight: 255 lbs.

  • The Falcons obviously lack anyone with the kind of passrushing production that Hughes has displayed while with the Bills and they would love this guaranteed uptick in pressure heading into the draft. It’s very rare that teams allow their number 1 offseason priority to walk, but Hughes may opt to move to a team where he can be the star rather than returning to the shadow of Mario Williams. Buffalo’s defense has been stellar, but they have severe offensive underproduction that will prove to be addresses this offseason, allowing Hughes to escape into the market.

Jahri Evans, OG, New Orleans

Height: 6’4” Weight: 318 lbs.

  • Last year, if anyone remembers, one of the mainstays of my mocks was a New Orleans Saints offensive lineman by the name of Brian De La Puente. Many argued that he was either too vital to the Saints offense and therefore would not make it out of the swamp, or that he was only successful as a center because he played between two All-Pro guards. Grantland staff writer Bill Barnwell recently posted an article looking at the Saints tendency to give out big contracts and push the money further into the future, and why that plan is starting to catch up to them. Familiar names such as Evans and Colston could be on their way out of the sewers, and the Falcons could be wise to take advantage of the Saints poor cap management by bringing in another solid cog for our often depleted offensive line. While Matthews locks down the LT spot, Tice works his magic on guys like Hawley, Stone, Schraeder, and Holmes, Asamoah and Evans are both capable of playing either guard spot (I would imagine Asa would be the one to move to the left side, since he’s played their more recently in KC while Evans has been a RG for his entire stint with the Taints).

Jerrell Freeman, ILB, Indianapolis

Height: 6’0” Weight: 234 lbs.

  • While some people’s big money free agents this offseason will be names like Brian Orakpo and Justin Houston, the big name that has no chance of hitting the market that I would love to throw Arthur Blank’s money at is none other than Jerrell Freeman. Freeman has been amongst the league’s leaders in tackles over the last two and half seasons while also adding the kind of big play ability that we’ve been lacking with Worrilow, as Freeman also contributes with sacks and interceptions. A player similar to Demeco Ryans or David Harris, Freeman is a sideline-to-sideline playmaker who would immediately take over the key role in our 3-4 defense and improve our front seven tremendously.

Mark Ingram, RB, New Orleans

Height: 5’9” Weight: 215 lbs.

  • What is it about ex-Saints that I love gobbling up in my mocks? Last year both BDLP and Jimmy Graham were high on my wishlist, and this year I would love to invite Evans and Ingram to turn in their gold and add a little red to their Sunday attires. Ingram plays at a position that New Orleans doesn’t value, while Evans will cost a little too much money for a cap-strapped Saints team to be able to retain (then again, we seem to say that every year). Ingram is enjoying the best season of his career with Darren Sproles out of the picture, pacing towards 1,000 yards and scoring 6 of his 17 career rushing TDs in 2014. In 2015 he still will get some spotlight relief in the form of Devonta Freeman, but he will be the much younger (and at this stage of their careers, better) option to replace Steven Jackson. For extra incentive, we promise him two games against his former team and the stage for revenge will be set for him to prove why they should have prioritized him. Also, inb4 no more free agent running backs.

Draft

Round 1 - Vic Beasley, OLB, Clemson

Height: 6’2” Weight: 235 lbs.

  • Vic Beasley is the top choice for the Falcons if they make it to the playoffs. If any of the other NFCS teams had stepped up to leave the Falcons in the top 10 picks, then Shane Ray would have easily been my number one target. Beasley is not a bad consolation prize for a team that’s already in playoff contention, and would be the lightning fast edge rusher that teams have to account for. The quick first step and blazing speed will be tough for a tackle to deal with on any level, even the NFL. Some people will talk about Beasley being undersized, but that’s because in Clemson’s D he often has his hand in that dirt. That won’t be the case with Beasley becoming a Falcon, as he will purely be a stand up edgerusher whose lone goal is to punish opposing Quarterbacks and collect sacks.

Round 2 - Hau’oli Kikaha, OLB, Washington

Height: 6’3” Weight: 246 lbs.

  • Ever since the drafting of back-to-back corners in the 2012 draft, the ‘double dip’ has become a legendary cliche around these parts. There is no reason why double-dipping at passrusher should be mocked, however, even with the signing of one in free agency. Yes, the Falcons need that much help. Heading into the twilight of the season, Kikaha has broken school records for sacks (in a season and in a career) and has been one half of a very productive duo with DT Danny Shelton who will also be a top 64 name come next year’s draft. Kikaha has a good first step, excellent bend, very fluid movements to change direction quickly, and obviously has a want to wreck Quarterbacks. When asked about his abilities, he says his biggest asset is his mental strength to diagnose plays as they unfold and to put himself in position to make a play mentally before he makes them physically. The 2014 Walter Camp All-American would jump into an improved linebacking group in an automatic position to produce and succeed.

Round 3 - Marcus Peters, CB, Washington

Height: 6’0” Weight: 198 lbs.

  • Robert Alford might not be good enough to play on the outside full time. I’m not going to say that drafting him in the second round was a mistake, nor am I saying that he’s not a good player at all. However the Falcons have had a bit of a revolving door at the CB position and even in the secondary altogether, and that was something we thought would be coming to an end with the drafting of Trufant and Alford. While Trufant has been far and away the best CB from his draft class and an absolute beast for the Falcons, Alford has shown that he’s someone that can be tested on the outside by opposing QBs and won’t make them pay enough to force them into shying away. Marcus Peters may not make it to this juncture, as there are plenty of teams that are willing to take a chance on troublesome players that can add talent to the roster, however if he interviews poorly the end of the 3rd round might be a ceiling for him rather than a floor. Peters would have been a top 15 pick if his mind was right, and now he finds his stock in a state of freefall after being dismissed from the program earlier this year. Trufant is becoming a vocal leader on this team and will be entrusted to keep Peters in line much in the same way that Patrick Peterson was put over the Honey Badger on the Cardinals talented defense. Trufant, Peters, and Alford will back down from no receiving group and will make the Falcons very hard to pass on.

Round 4 - Jeff Heuerman, TE, Ohio State

Height: 6’5” Weight: 255 lbs.

  • Jeff Heuerman would be pushing to be a first round pick if only he were used more. A big-bodied athlete at the position (255 lbs, but only 6.9% body fat) who has been reportedly clocked at 4.68 in the 40, Heuerman is a willing and tough blocker both in the passing game and on run plays, both driving defenders off the ball and stonewalling passrushers. His hands are usually considered reliable, though he has had trouble bringing in some harder-thrown passes on occasion. Still, his body control and route running is impressive and he is also very good after the catch, always looking to maximize the gain on every play. If Ohio State showcased him more he’d likely be considered the undisputed number one tight end in the class (ahead of O’Leary, Walford, and hybrid Funchess) because of his well-rounded pro-ready skillset. For the Falcons he would be a Zack Ertz-type player who will provide Matt Ryan that reliable intermediate target that we’ve been missing, while also being able to skillfully perform every duty that a standard TE is asked to perform.

Round 5 - Terry Williams, NT, East Carolina

Height: 6’1” Weight: 353 lbs.

  • In my first mock I had us signing Kenrick Ellis, who has been a good-yet-underused Nose Tackle in the Jets loaded defensive rotation while playing behind Snacks Harrison. In this second effort, I have us using a late round pick on a true backup for Paul Soliai, similar to the way I had us using one on Justin Ellis in last year’s draft. If Soliai goes down or shows an inability to be impactful we are lacking anyone who can step in and play the same role, which makes using a pick on Williams a very smart choice. A huge run stuffing presence, Terry Williams is a very stout and disruptive player likened to a bowling ball rolling through the offensive line and causing a lot of havoc. If you really want to see what this guy is capable of, put on his tape against Virginia Tech from earlier this season and you’ll see exactly why he’s on my early draft radar.

Round 6 - Jalston Fowler, FB, Alabama

Height: 6’1” Weight: 248 lbs.

  • Not since the days of Ovie Mughelli have Falcons fans been able to fully support their Fullback and say “This guy will truly make a difference.” Enter Jalston Fowler who has pro-ready fullback written all over him. A guy with soft hands but evil intentions, Fowler is just as likely to catch a pass coming out of the backfield as he is plowing open a hole for our upgraded RB group. The additions of Fowler, Ingram, and Evans would vastly improve our ability to run the ball, making our offense more dangerous than ever. Koetter is the type of offensive mind that can really put this kid’s abilities to use in a way that a conservative Alabama offense never could.

Round 7 - Matt Miller, WR, Boise State

Height: 6’3” Weight: 220 lbs.

  • Julio Jones is one of the best receivers you can have on the football field. Roddy White is a Hall of Famer who at this stage in the game is a reliable set of hands and a true chainmover. Harry Douglas is a 8 or 9 of all trades, but nowhere near an Ace of any. Drew Davis is a special teamer, and Hester is a return specialist. Matt Miller would come in and fill a role that isn’t filled by anybody else on the roster as a true possession receiver. Tall, big handed, and willing to fight for contested balls, Miller is that go up and get it type of target that I think we all hoped and expected Toilolo to be. With Jones rightfully getting so much attention, especially in the redzone, Miller will be a guy that can quickly earn the trust of Matt Ryan by becoming a TD machine.

Round 7 - Keith Marshall, RB, Georgia

Height: 5’11” Weight: 215 lbs.

  • I know, I know.. not the RB from UGA you were hoping to see become a Falcon. Injuries have allowed other talented runners to steal the spotlight from Keith Marshall, who has struggled to earn carries in an offense that also features future first round picks Todd Gurley and Nick Chubbs. Coming out of high school, Marshall was more highly recruited than Gurley and like his teammate he also displays a very nice size and speed combination. The trick for Marshall will be staying healthy at the next level, as he’s shown to be constantly banged up in one way or another it seems. Marshall at one point was likely viewed as an early day-two pick and was fantastic in tandem with Gurley last year, but his inability to see the field this year has really pushed him down the long list of talented runners in this stacked 2015 class at the position. For a late 7th round pick, bringing a hometown boy in for a training camp tryout couldn’t hurt.

Offense

QB: Matt Ryan, Sean Renfree

RB: Mark Ingram, Devonta Freeman, Antone Smith, Keith Marshall

FB: Jalston Fowler

WR: Julio Jones, Harry Douglas, Matt Miller

WR: Roddy White, Devin Hester, Drew Davis

TE: Jeff Heuerman, Levine Toilolo

LT: Jake Matthews, Lamar Holmes

LG: Jon Asamoah, Harland Gunn

C: Joe Hawley, James Stone

RG: Jahri Evans, Gabe Carimi

RT: Ryan Schraeder, Reid Fragel

Defense

DE: Ra’Shede Hageman, Maliciah Goodman, Corey Peters

NT: Paul Soliai, Terry Williams

DE: Jonathan Babineux, Tyson Jackson

OLB: Hau’oli Kikaha, Jonathan Massoquoia

ILB: Jerrell Freeman, Paul Worrilow, Joplo Bartu

ILB: Sean Weatherspoon, Prince Shembo

OLB: Jerry Hughes, Vic Beasley

CB: Desmond Trufant, Robert Alford, Ricardo Allen

FS: Dwight Lowery, Dezmen Southward

SS: William Moore, Kemal Ishmael

CB: Marcus Peters, Josh Wilson

Special Teams

K: Matt Bryant

P: Matt Bosher

LS: Josh Harris

Edited by King Jigsaw
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Love your FA, except for the dirty Ain't.

Lost me a bit at the draft, i really don't want Beasley. He looks like 2'nd round talent to me, but will obviously go higher than that. Don't like reaching for him. I like Kika but i think there's better players there, and after your FA and Beasley he feels like a desperation pick.

I must say i love the Heuerman pick, big props for that one. I've been eyeing him in the 4'th all season long, and i would love if we picked him up. He screams 'Gem' to me, because like you said he has lots of potential but hasn't been put into a position to produce eye-catching numbers.

Like Fowler too, would like to see him come in and compete with DiMarco.

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Guest Negatorris

Like the draft but no to Evans and Ingram. I doubt Blalock is going to lose his starting spot and we might as well start Freeman if you want Ingram because I'm sure they could produce similar numbers as starters.

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+1 I don't want to touch rookie pass rushers there's always that learning curve so I'm over seeing it.

Get Jerry Hughes and Jason Worilds from the Steelers and we'll be set.

RB's in FA I think we've tried that I'd prefer to get our guy in the draft as it seems to deep with alot of really good guys that could be had.

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The only Husky I would consider is their NT. Peters is already has character flags - wasn't he kicked off the team!? And it's not like the Huskies have a good team, so to get '86d from that program is concerning.

I also think we need to take a WR higher in the draft, CB isn't a major worry so to address that in the 3rd, especially with Peters, is well, silly. You went after LB hard which is obviously important, but I think we need more DL work than just a 5th rd NT.

Also hard to say what to do with the offseason since we don't know what the new coaches will want to do in terms of scheme.

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Guest King Jigsaw

Just a bit of explanation here towards some of the issues you guys have brought up so far.

Two years ago we went hard on improving the secondary.

Last year we invested heavily on the defensive line.

This year we have to invest in the linebacking group to round out our defense. This will be a joint effort between the Draft and Free Agency.

Between Hageman, Soliai, Jackson, Babineaux, Goodman, and Peters - we will have plenty of options along the d-line to field a competitive line.

Alford might just be better suited to play in the slot, while Marcus Peters rivals Trufant in talent - but will need someone to take a chance on him because of the character issues. Chris Peterson kicked him off the team because he's a very moral-oriented coach (not unlike Mike Smith), not because he didn't need him. He just values high character over high skill, but Desmond is a former teammate that might be able to get the man to come around and step up for the Falcons in a big way just like Honey Badger has for Arizona.

We're facing a 2015 roster with only Devonta Freeman at the RB position. Resigning Antone Smith is a nice start, and using a draft pick on a young runner would also help, but Ingram is a nice option who can serve as a the goal line and short yardage plunge guy.

Jahri Evans is a supreme upgrade over Blalock, who really has not played well at all. He would be worth moving on from this year.

Also, a lot of people think that a playoff berth will save the jobs of those in power at Flowery Branch, but I'm still operating under the assumption that there will be some staff changes made in the offseason. That means that allegiances go out the window and no one's starting job is "guaranteed" and true competition will breed better results.

Edited by King Jigsaw
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Umm, why wasn't anyone bringing up the whole "learning curve" thing last year when everyone wanted Jake Matthews? There's still a big learning curve to to becoming a good tackle in the NFL. That argument just seems a little hypocritical IMO.

The thing about Vic Beasley is that he's as fundamentally sound as you can be coming out of college. Few around here understand how crucial that is to the pro game. Everyone is already big, strong, and fast in the trenches, so that makes technique all the more important. That's why I think he'll be an excellent pro.

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if we replace blalock, i'd rather it not be with an OG that's older than him (I understand that you're moving Asamoah etc to LG). Just don't like getting rid of the chemistry for a stop gap player. Eh on Ingram. He's benefited from the Saints change to a zone blocking scheme and struggled under the power scheme. Like Hughes and Freeman though.

Draft is good. I like the idea of bringing Peters and Marshall in.

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Guest King Jigsaw

I figured that a lot of people wouldn't like the Jahri Evans signing, but he's been an All-Pro more times than the rest of our line has been combined. I could have put Mike Iupati in there and everyone would have loved it, but he's about to become the highest paid Guard in the league and the Falcons would be better off getting someone like Evans who won't cost as much but will still be an upgrade over what we have.

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Jigsaw, great mock. Loved the FA additions. Don't know much about the 2nd round pick, but I can get behind the rest. My favorite FA addition is Freeman. Dude is a playmaking thumper. Reminds me of a quicker And more instinctive Lofton, or a poor mans Patrick Willis.

The Falcons need an LB like him. Good job on the mock.

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Guest Negatorris

I figured that a lot of people wouldn't like the Jahri Evans signing, but he's been an All-Pro more times than the rest of our line has been combined. I could have put Mike Iupati in there and everyone would have loved it, but he's about to become the highest paid Guard in the league and the Falcons would be better off getting someone like Evans who won't cost as much but will still be an upgrade over what we have.

Blalock has definitely regressed and he's overpaid, but what makes you think the team will drop him so easily? I would love a better LG but I don't even think the Falcons acknowledge LG as a position in need of an upgrade.

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Forget Ingram...you can pay any shrub off the street to perform at or better...he can barely stay on the field, and is honestly nothing to write home about. He is fine.

And you can pay fine 1/2 what he will command.

Marshall I doubt falls to the 7th, but who knows how these things works out. I figure he will put up some good combine numbers and go off the board in the 5th or so...but these things are unpredictable.

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I really like it. As with everybody else, my only complaints are Ingram and Evans. Ingram has been good this season, but we can't just ignore his age and the fact that he's been a disappointment every other year. He's also got a pretty poor injury history.

Evans is undoubtedly a top class guard, but he will be 32 by the time that the season starts and I still think he will demand top dollar.

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Guest King Jigsaw

Simply Outstanding, the only critique I would make is that I am very leery of Kikahas injury history. He would be good value in the 2nd though. Gdawg is right about Marshall, change out the 7th pick. I got no problem signing former Taints. This mock makes us a much better football team.

Thanks buddy. Back when I first started to watch Gurley play I said that UGA would run him into the ground, so he would bolt to the NFL as soon as he could before that could happen, and Marshall would stay an extra year to prove he could be a showcase guy. Now the injuries are piling up for Marshall and if that continues it will make him undraftable, plus he now has to contend with Nick Chubbs - a guy who could end up even more impressive than Gurley. The situation in Athens is just not great for Keith Marshall and until the prospects actually start stating their intention, Marshall is still draft-eligible and it's all just speculation.

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Very nice mock. Pass rush was definitely addressed which is good to see. Love Hughes and Beasley. I have not watched Kikaha in depth so I am not sure what he can bring to us. I believe this is the best place for Peters with Trufant here to keep him in check and I am hoping we can get him and Tru can keep him in check as we all know he is a clear cut 1st round talent. Heuerman really good pick. Also, love that you are not cutting Spoon (I assme a one year prove it contract). I would be pleased with this, but may want us to select Kendricks in the 2nd, but overall nice.

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