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The King Has Mocked - The Winds Of Change


Guest King Jigsaw
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Guest King Jigsaw

Front Office & Coaching Decisions

General Manager: Thomas Dimitroff

  • The Falcons haven’t had the most successful past two years, this much we know. However, to say that Thomas Dimitroff hasn’t fielded some successful teams in his tenure would be incorrect, and some of this team’s faults will get pinned on Mike Smith. There will be some changes made this offseason, and Pioli is still breathing down the neck of Dimitroff who will be granted one more year by Arthur Blank to prove that his trendy philosophies should stick around.

Head Coach: Rex Ryan

  • I know, I know - there have already been endless discussions about Rex joining the Falcons for the last couple of weeks. This thread isn’t about Rex Ryan, though, it’s about improving the Falcons and I view Ryan as a coach that can bring what the Falcons need in 2015 more than Mike Smith. Ryan will already have an offense mostly in place, with a young offensive line, a better QB than he’s ever had, and young talent at both RB and WR with room still to grow.

Offensive Coordinator: Dirk Koetter

  • Speaking of that offense, Dirk Koetter has fielded a top 10 offense despite crippling injuries and horrendous o-line play. To keep things running smoothly on the offensive side of the ball (which we can all hopefully agree is not the problem), Koetter and offensive line coach Mike Tice will reprise their respective roles and will effectively run the offense while Ryan overhauls our defense.

Defensive Coordinator: Dennis Thurman

  • Dennis Thurman and Rex Ryan are one of the well-respected coaching marriages in the league, as they’ve been, in Rex’s words, “side by side for 10 years. We know each other well, we’re one in the same, we think the exact same way.” Thurman will gladly come with his buddy Rex on their new project, and if they are successful in turning around this putrid Falcons stop unit it could really open up some larger opportunities for Thurman.

Free Agency

[i went a bit luxurious this go round just because I think we could be a team that really makes a splash this year.]

Justin Houston, OLB, Houston

Height: 6’3” Weight: 258 lbs.

  • I think there is a level of unrealism attached to every mock done before the end of season, and even before the chaos that is the open market begins. So many years there are odd decisions made that no one would predict, so to say in December that Houston can’t hit the open market is not valid and I won’t accept it. I will operate under the assumption that anything that hasn’t already been set in stone can still be put into mocks without relentless scrutiny. Justin Houston will be looking for J.J. Watt money this spring. Will he get that money? I don’t think so. However, he will be looking to get payed and there are plenty of teams with more spending money than the Kansas City Chiefs who will also need to address the offensive line, the wide receiver position (multiple times), and the secondary. Signing Justin Houston could hinder their chance at fielding a competitive team with so many other needs and they could choose to spend their money in other places rather than tagging Houston only to have him walk away a year later but in a disgruntled fashion.

Clint Boling, OG, Cincinnati

Height: 6’5” Weight: 310 lbs.

  • This former bulldog has a slightly better chance of hitting the market than Houston, but he should still be a priority resigning by the Bengals unless someone in their front office just completely screws up. Boling has been rock solid at Left Guard and has even moved over to Right Tackle when injuries forced Cincy’s hand and Boling was able to hold his own against JJ Watt. Boling would come in and immediately displace Blalock as the starting LG and would allow our offensive line to be considered a true strength rather than a constant liability.

Snacks Harrison, NT, NY Jets

Height: 6’0” Weight: 234 lbs.

  • There has to be some perks to signing Rex Ryan, and one of those perks is the attraction that defensive players have to him. With new faces in at HC and DC, there will be true camp battles at all spots as the Falcons try to field something above a 3A High School defense for the first time in a couple of years. Key to the success of our defensive scheme, the battle that would ensue between Damon Harrison and Paul Soliai would ensure that the anchor of our d-line would be a truly worthy cog that we can build from the inside out.

Byron Maxwell, CB, Seattle

Height: 6’1” Weight: 207 lbs.

  • The Jets have to get tired of being toasted week after week by the likes of Tom Brady. Enter Drew Brees. Rex Ryan will make sure that he doesn’t make the same mistake and will look to lock up a DB capable of playing across from Trufant while Alford slips into the slot. Rex will understand that the Falcons defense needs the majority of our attention this offseason, and Maxwell will be a security blanket for his new scheme with Alford being a capable backup to both of our outside corners.

Draft

Round 1, Pick 8 - Randy Gregory, OLB, Nebraska

Height: 6’6” Weight: 240 lbs.

  • With Jacksonville’s victory over the Tennessee Titans in week 16, there is now a new owner of the third overall pick in the 2015 Draft - the Oakland Raiders, who seem to be married already to stud defensive lineman Leonard Williams. I tell you this because it has opened up a scenario where Jacksonville will choose to address their offensive line by taking the top offensive tackle prospect, allowing one of Shane Ray or Randy Gregory to fall in the laps of the Atlanta Falcons. Gregory is extremely fast, like Ray, but is better against the run than the Mizzou product, which is why I gave him the nod in this mock (that, and I’ve already mocked Ray once). Gregory will step in across from Justin Houston in what now looks to be a formidable Falcons passrush - something we haven’t been able to boast for quite some time. [if Gregory isn't here, then just say that Shane Ray is treat this mock all the same.]

Round 2, Pick 42 - Bernardrick McKinney, ILB, Mississippi State

Height: 6’5” Weight: 249 lbs.

  • When you’re sandwiched between Justin Houston, Sean Weatherspoon, and Randy Gregory, there aren’t many people willing to call you the ‘leader’ of your defense. Bernardrick McKinney would be the final piece to the puzzle that would be the Falcons improved linebacking group and would slide into the spot held by the two-down tackler Paul Worrilow, who would still have plenty of opportunities at reps. McKinney is a sound tackler who can also drop back into coverage surprisingly well while also adding some interior passrushing ability. A do-it-all kind of player, McKinney would not be lost among the bigger names surrounding him and would actually help to elevate the play of his teammates with his ability to do whatever is needed for the unit to succeed.

Round 3, Pick 73 - Nate Orchard, OLB, Utah

Height: 6’4” Weight: 255 lbs.

  • After three sacks in both his sophomore and junior seasons, Nate Orchard has exploded this year with 17.5. The owner of a lightning first step and possessing the speed to burn tackles around the edge, Orchard has been extremely productive in defending both the run and the pass, also collecting over 80 tackles this year. You can never have too many passrushers, as they say, and this pick will be about taking a need that has already been addressed and making it a strength by also adding depth and a strong rotation. Also, for those of you that are into that sort of thing, Orchard is married and is the father to a little girl, which seems to mean he will be responsible and level-headed as opposed to other unnamed defenders who are searching for drugs online.

Round 4, Pick 104 - Jeff Heuerman, TE, Ohio State

Height: 6’5” Weight: 255 lbs.

  • Jeff Heuerman is a guy I featured in my last mock, but his value is too much to ignore at this point. Jeff 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. This won’t be a problem with noodle-armed Ryan throwing to him though, right? 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, Pick 138 - David Cobb, RB, Minnesota

Height: 5’11” Weight: 220 lbs.

  • The most underrated back in this loaded 2015 class, David Cobb deserves to be a second-day pick but most likely won’t be. Some scouts are saying that his lack of speed is holding him to lower round draft grade, which I believe is a big mistake. Cobb plays hard on every snap, fighting through tackles and making the most of every attempt. He fights for more yards and is a willing blocker and receiver when given the opportunity, though his role as a productive workhorse has limited Minnesota’s passing game from being needed. With 2014 rookie Devonta Freeman carving out his own role in the offense, Cobb provides a nice compliment similar to what has brewed in Cincinnati with Gio Bernard and Jeremy Hill, though on a slightly less-talented level.

Round 6, Pick 169 - Jalston Fowler, FB, Alabama

Height: 6’1” Weight: 248 lbs.

  • Another repeat pick, and you should probably get used to seeing this name. 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 1-2 punch of Cobb and Fowler 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 , Pick 200 - 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, Pick 223 - Dadi Nicholas, OLB, Virginia Tech

Height: 6’4” Weight: 233 lbs.

  • Purely a project passrusher, but that’s what seventh round picks are for, right? Nicholas doesn’t have the squeaky clean past that we’re used to seeing from our draftees, but with new regimes come new mindsets and Rex will likely have a lot of input in his first draft as we try to gauge just how much of an impact he will make in the A. Dadi has been a decently productive passrusher as a Hokie, but has been playing out of position at DE in the VT 4-3 defense. At just over 230 lbs. (with some room to grow in the NFL) Nicholas will have to move to an OLB role at the next level and learn to rush the passer from a 2-point stance. This learning will likely come from a season on the practice squad as someone like Tyler Starr takes a backup role on the 53.


Projected Roster

Offense

QB: Matt Ryan, Sean Renfree

RB: Devonta Freeman, David Cobb, Antone Smith

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: Clint Boling, Harland Gunn

C: Joe Hawley, James Stone

RG: Jon Asamoah, Gabe Carimi

RT: Ryan Schraeder, Reid Fragel

Defense

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

NT: Paul Soliai, Snacks Harrison

DE: Jonathan Babineaux, Tyson Jackson

OLB: Justin Houston, Jonathan Massaquoi, Tyler Starr

ILB: Bernardrick McKinney, Paul Worrilow, Joplo Bartu

ILB: Sean Weatherspoon, Prince Shembo

OLB: Randy Gregory, Nate Orchard

CB: Desmond Trufant, Robert Alford, Ricardo Allen

FS: Dwight Lowery, Dezmen Southward

SS: William Moore, Kemal Ishmael

CB: Byron Maxwell, Josh Wilson

Special Teams

K: Matt Bryant

P: Matt Bosher

LS: Josh Harris

Edited by King Jigsaw
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Guest King Jigsaw

This wont happen on the basis of nate orchard likely rising up draft boards, and shouldn't happen because Gregory is Dion Jordan 2.0.

Too early to really tell, but I'll look into it. I hadn't heard he was rising that fast considering the workouts hadn't started yet.

I dont think Cobb lasts that long and I will murder you if you put Koetter in another mock haha

So many good RBs this year, and they're all declaring. Gurley, Mike James, Duke Johnson, Melvin Gordon.. it's gonna push someone like Cobb down.

And come on, bro.. you know you love the WR Screen!

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Guest King Jigsaw

I like it, but the earliest Houston leaves KC is 2017. Everyone needs to quit puffing the Houston dope.....

Yeah, I don't honestly think he leaves either but I tried to approach the situation with some realistic reasons why he could go. KC does have a good bit of needs and Houston will cost them a pretty penny. I wouldn't be opposed to bringing in Hali if he gets kicked instead.

Great job man.

Thanks, any other thoughts?

Very well laid out waist of time

Waste*

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Guest King Jigsaw

Is Dumbitroff smart enough to draft those players?

Well, he wasn't smart enough to draft Travis Kelce when I mocked him.. so.. Pioli Influence?

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Guest King Jigsaw

Draft and free agents are ok.

But I want nothing to do with Koetter and the wide receiver screen pass every other play

Rex Ryan has no offensive scheme of his own. He will simply have to understand the successful offense he is inheriting and will leave well enough alone until he gets settled. Koetter could be here one more year if we hire a defensive coach like Ryan who shouldn't try to overhaul everything at once. There may be some pressure to get to a more balanced attack, which is what Cobb and Fowler are for.

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Too early to really tell, but I'll look into it. I hadn't heard he was rising that fast considering the workouts hadn't started yet.

So many good RBs this year, and they're all declaring. Gurley, Mike James, Duke Johnson, Melvin Gordon.. it's gonna push someone like Cobb down.

And come on, bro.. you know you love the WR Screen!

Our WRs haven't consistently created space since Koetter got here. I blame him for that.

Koetter is just bad.

And if Cobb falls I'll be ecstatic. He's one of my favorites.

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Guest King Jigsaw

What u think about Denzell Perryman?

I've looked into him and I can't decide if I like him or McKinney better. They're both close in my rankings, but I think Perryman could go at the end of round 1 to a team like Denver. I've seen him mocked there a lot.

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Guest King Jigsaw

Our WRs haven't consistently created space since Koetter got here. I blame him for that.

Koetter is just bad.

And if Cobb falls I'll be ecstatic. He's one of my favorites.

Still, we're consistently fielding a top 10 offense under Koetter. Ryan's job will be to take over the defense and raise it up to a top 10 level as quickly as he can.

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Still, we're consistently fielding a top 10 offense under Koetter. Ryan's job will be to take over the defense and raise it up to a top 10 level as quickly as he can.

The problem I have with that is how we get there.

We're a top 10 offense because half the time we play like a top 3 offense and half the time we play like a top 20 offense. Averaged out its just fine, but in reality it's bad.

Thats my issue. I hate how we HAVE to have a huge game from Ryan to win. Thats not fair.

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If we can shore up left guard in free agency, I'd be ecstatic. Not too sure about right tackle, but if our interior is in decent shape and we can actually run behind the left guard, that's worth its weight in gold.

No problem with keeping Koetter, though do think he needs to pick his moments for that screen play better. If we had a consistent running game, though, that would give him the options to do that better.

Not sure about your depth chart, though. If we're going with a true 3-4 and generating most of our pass rush from the linebacker position, why wouldn't Tyson Jackson start at DE? I don't think Babineaux is even on the team next year, honestly.

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Guest King Jigsaw

If we can shore up left guard in free agency, I'd be ecstatic. Not too sure about right tackle, but if our interior is in decent shape and we can actually run behind the left guard, that's worth its weight in gold.

No problem with keeping Koetter, though do think he needs to pick his moments for that screen play better. If we had a consistent running game, though, that would give him the options to do that better.

Not sure about your depth chart, though. If we're going with a true 3-4 and generating most of our pass rush from the linebacker position, why wouldn't Tyson Jackson start at DE? I don't think Babineaux is even on the team next year, honestly.

Thanks for the thoughts. I meant it more as just a roster broken down by position rather than an actual depth chart. We don't know how the new coach will look at the roster and we don't know how camp battles will go down, so this is just an estimated 53-man roster that I would be proud to field next season.

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