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10 Days Into Free Agency And Falcons Signings, This Is How I See The Draft Needs


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Signings:

Brooks Reed, SLB (starter)

Justin Durant, WLB (starter)

Adrian Clayborn, LDE (starter/rotational - possibly kicks into DT on 3rd downs)

O'Brien Schofield, LEO/rotational)

Phillip Adams, CB (back-up/ST)

Mike Person, OG (back-up, maybe competes for LB)

Jared Smith, OG (camp body)

Kroy Bierrman, DE/SLB (back-up/rotational)

Antone Smith, RB (10 touches/game, ST core)

Jacob Tamme, TE (stop-gap starter/rotational)

What we accomplished:

The Falcons defense was in shambles when Quinn took over. Really nothing to mention other than a #1 CB(Trufant), a talented/oft-injured SS(WillyMo) and a young DT with lots of potential(Hageman) - pathetic. The moves made in free agency were not about bring star power to the Falcons defense - they were more finding the solid plus type starters and rotational guys to just give the defense some form over which the hope would be to mix-in some stars in draft on which to build. This defense is a "2-year" rebuild - maybe it could have been done a little quicker - but that is not the road we are on now.

Biggest Holes:

  1. Passrusher
  2. Tight End
  3. Middle Linebacker
  4. Running Back
  5. Right Tackle
  6. Left Guard
  7. Free Safety
  8. Cornerback

How the Falcons Draft Sets Up:

  1. Passrusher (1st round) - clearly the Falcons address this with our 1st round pick in the top 10 at #8 overall. If there is more of a no-brainer than this in the draft - it is only that Tampa will take a QB with the first overall pick. My guess at this point is Falcons draft board is probably: 1) Vic Beasley, 2) Dante Fowler, 3) Shane Ray, 4) Alvin Dupree and 5) Randy Gregory. We probably won't trade down either because if you get too cute, you could be locked out of all 5 of these guys. My guess is they are all gone by pick#13 (Saints). Now, could the Falcons draft a 2nd passrusher? sure - Schofield and Clayborn are both on one year deals and if they both flop then neither will be back. However, I would not look for Falcons to take a 2nd passrusher until the 4th round or - more likely 5th or later.
  2. Tight End (2nd-4th round)- after the signing of Jacob Tamme, it is clear that the Falcons do not have a long-term solution at Tight End. I think the prospect most likely to fit Shanahan's system (which requires a TE that can block and catch) would be Clive Walford. I would not take him at stop of 2nd round but would jump on him in round#3 - however that is really risking not getting him at all. Maxx Williams would require a 2nd round pick - he is a little more explosive in pass catching but a poorer blocker and a "me-first" guy which will be a turnoff to Quinn. If we get shutout of both Mad Maxx and Clive, then I could see Ben Koyack(Notre Dame) as a versatile TE (big target-6'5" for Matt and a guy that can block).
  3. Middle Linebacker (2nd-5th round) - Ok, I could be waaaaay off on this on. If Quinn loves Worrilow or sees Brooks Reed as the starting MLB, then this is not going to be a position drafted high at all. In that scenario, maybe we take a Taiwan Jones in 6th round - two down thumper. However, I believe the Falcons will be active and interested in these middle backers. The Top MiddleBackers are Eric Kendricks(UCLA), Stephone Anthony(Clemson), Bendarick McKinney(Miss. State), Paul Dawson(TCU) and Denzel Perryman(The U). Kendricks might go in 1st round - Falcons LB coach was his DC so that could be a factor. I think Falcons stay away from the smallish ones though and that would knock out both Kendricks and Perryman. Dawson seems like a d-bag and is lazy so that would rule him out. I could see Falcons going for either Stephone Anthony or McKinney if either of those guys fell to 3rd round - however if they love either of these guys, our 2nd round pick would probably secure them and I could see that happening.
  4. Running Back (3rd-4th round) - I don't see the Falcons being a player for Todd Gurley or Melvin Gordon. These guys will go in 1st round and the Falcons just have too many other pressing needs - however, counting on Freeman and Smith seems foolish to me as both seem to be complimentary or part of a RB rotation and neither are thumpers. I see Falcons going for a bigger back here and the run on RBs will probably start in the 3rd round. The four RBs that come to mind for me that fit the mold are Jay Ajayi(2nd/3rd), Tevin Coleman(2nd/3rd), David Johnson(3rd/4th) and David Cobb(4th/5th).
  5. Right Tackle (3rd-5th round) - I believe the Falcons need to draft a Right Tackle that could play Left Tackle. Ryan Schraeder is adequate but he really should be a back-up as I believe his ceiling is limited. I like D.J. Humphries but some see him going as high at 1st round however, I believe he is likely falling to the mid-to-late 2nd. Another player that some of you hate - but I like - is Cedric Ogbuehi - the RT/LT from Texas A&M. He had a bad year and is coming off injury but a talented player - he likely won't go until 3rd/4th round but would be very good value there. After these guys, it gets fairly thin so I would be OK with not drafting one at all if the board did not fall right - we would punt this into 2016 since we have Schraeder, Holmes and Baker(for now).
  6. Left Guard (4th-5th round) - we brought in some journeymen (Mike Person/Jeremy Smith) to compete w/ Harland Gunn at Left Guard but we should not feel good about any of these guys. We are looking at ZBS so we could look at somebody like Ali Marpet(3rd), Josue Mathias(4th) or Shaq Mason(4th/5th). All of these guys have movement skills that would be suited for ZBS. All could be future starters but probably not their rookie years.
  7. Free Safety - mystery position. As of now, it does not look like Dwight Lowery will be back. We know Quinn values a good free safety in his system as Earl Thomas may have been the most important part of that Seahawk defense in the way he was able to erase most mistakes of the aggressive Seahawk corners. We have the 3rd round pick from last year (Dez Southward) and there have been whispers that he could be moved to corner in Quinn's system - or he could stay at free safety? There are not a lot of highly rated safety prospects in this draft. I like the Eric Rowe kid out of Utah as he is tall and fast and can play some corner.
  8. Cornerback - again, it will be interesting to see what Quinn does here. Trufant is a true #1 CB and he has decent size (5'11"/6'0") but not ideal size for Quinn's system. Again, could Southward be moved? Alford is smallish but aggressive. I won't be totally surprised if Quinn took a big corner or safety in rounds 2-4. Keep your eye on Jaelin Collins - the talented LSU corner that projects to go in the back of the 1st round or first dozen picks in round 2.
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So after your review....how about a Mock of how things will play out?

1. Beasley DE

2. Walford TE

3. Ogbuehi RT

4. Cobb RB

5. Rowe S

6. Mason LG

7. BPA at CB?

7. BPA at WR?

that is not bad.....

or...

1) Vic Beasley, OLB - Clemson

2) Stephone Anthony, ILB - Clemson

3) Jay Ajayi, RB - Boise State

4) Ali Marpet, OG - Hobart

5) Best TE Available (Nick O'Leary, MyCole Pruitt, Jeff Heuereman)

6) BPA

7) BPA

7) BPA

I just don't want to go thru 3 rounds and only draft 1 defensive player - would really like to draft Walford or Mad Maxx but cannot figure out a way to do it and still get what we need. Feel like Worrilow needs upgrading.

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I think LG needs to move up this list. MLB probably as well.

Tamme isnt a very good football player but he'll be fine for the type of TE stop gap we need. At least for this year.

yeah, you are probably right - but since we are ZBS, bet we can get one we like in 4th or 5th.

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I think LG needs to move up this list. MLB probably as well.

Tamme isnt a very good football player but he'll be fine for the type of TE stop gap we need. At least for this year.

yeah, maybe we just PUNT on TE for one year and address it early next year - we have so many needs - just cannot do it all in one year - especially with our strategy that has already played out in free agency.

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Signings:

Brooks Reed, SLB (starter)

Justin Durant, WLB (starter)

Adrian Clayborn, LDE (starter/rotational - possibly kicks into DT on 3rd downs)

O'Brien Schofield, LEO/rotational)

Phillip Adams, CB (back-up/ST)

Mike Person, OG (back-up, maybe competes for LB)

Jared Smith, OG (camp body)

Kroy Bierrman, DE/SLB (back-up/rotational)

Antone Smith, RB (10 touches/game, ST core)

Jacob Tamme, TE (stop-gap starter/rotational)

What we accomplished:

The Falcons defense was in shambles when Quinn took over. Really nothing to mention other than a #1 CB(Trufant), a talented/oft-injured SS(WillyMo) and a young DT with lots of potential(Hageman) - pathetic. The moves made in free agency were not about bring star power to the Falcons defense - they were more finding the solid plus type starters and rotational guys to just give the defense some form over which the hope would be to mix-in some stars in draft on which to build. This defense is a "2-year" rebuild - maybe it could have been done a little quicker - but that is not the road we are on now.

Biggest Holes:

  1. Passrusher
  2. Tight End
  3. Middle Linebacker
  4. Running Back
  5. Right Tackle
  6. Left Guard
  7. Free Safety
  8. Cornerback

How the Falcons Draft Sets Up:

  1. Passrusher (1st round) - clearly the Falcons address this with our 1st round pick in the top 10 at #8 overall. If there is more of a no-brainer than this in the draft - it is only that Tampa will take a QB with the first overall pick. My guess at this point is Falcons draft board is probably: 1) Vic Beasley, 2) Dante Fowler, 3) Shane Ray, 4) Alvin Dupree and 5) Randy Gregory. We probably won't trade down either because if you get too cute, you could be locked out of all 5 of these guys. My guess is they are all gone by pick#13 (Saints). Now, could the Falcons draft a 2nd passrusher? sure - Schofield and Clayborn are both on one year deals and if they both flop then neither will be back. However, I would not look for Falcons to take a 2nd passrusher until the 4th round or - more likely 5th or later.
  2. Tight End (2nd-4th round)- after the signing of Jacob Tamme, it is clear that the Falcons do not have a long-term solution at Tight End. I think the prospect most likely to fit Shanahan's system (which requires a TE that can block and catch) would be Clive Walford. I would not take him at stop of 2nd round but would jump on him in round#3 - however that is really risking not getting him at all. Maxx Williams would require a 2nd round pick - he is a little more explosive in pass catching but a poorer blocker and a "me-first" guy which will be a turnoff to Quinn. If we get shutout of both Mad Maxx and Clive, then I could see Ben Koyack(Notre Dame) as a versatile TE (big target-6'5" for Matt and a guy that can block).
  3. Middle Linebacker (2nd-5th round) - Ok, I could be waaaaay off on this on. If Quinn loves Worrilow or sees Brooks Reed as the starting MLB, then this is not going to be a position drafted high at all. In that scenario, maybe we take a Taiwan Jones in 6th round - two down thumper. However, I believe the Falcons will be active and interested in these middle backers. The Top MiddleBackers are Eric Kendricks(UCLA), Stephone Anthony(Clemson), Bendarick McKinney(Miss. State), Paul Dawson(TCU) and Denzel Perryman(The U). Kendricks might go in 1st round - Falcons LB coach was his DC so that could be a factor. I think Falcons stay away from the smallish ones though and that would knock out both Kendricks and Perryman. Dawson seems like a d-bag and is lazy so that would rule him out. I could see Falcons going for either Stephone Anthony or McKinney if either of those guys fell to 3rd round - however if they love either of these guys, our 2nd round pick would probably secure them and I could see that happening.
  4. Running Back (3rd-4th round) - I don't see the Falcons being a player for Todd Gurley or Melvin Gordon. These guys will go in 1st round and the Falcons just have too many other pressing needs - however, counting on Freeman and Smith seems foolish to me as both seem to be complimentary or part of a RB rotation and neither are thumpers. I see Falcons going for a bigger back here and the run on RBs will probably start in the 3rd round. The four RBs that come to mind for me that fit the mold are Jay Ajayi(2nd/3rd), Tevin Coleman(2nd/3rd), David Johnson(3rd/4th) and David Cobb(4th/5th).
  5. Right Tackle (3rd-5th round) - I believe the Falcons need to draft a Right Tackle that could play Left Tackle. Ryan Schraeder is adequate but he really should be a back-up as I believe his ceiling is limited. I like D.J. Humphries but some see him going as high at 1st round however, I believe he is likely falling to the mid-to-late 2nd. Another player that some of you hate - but I like - is Cedric Ogbuehi - the RT/LT from Texas A&M. He had a bad year and is coming off injury but a talented player - he likely won't go until 3rd/4th round but would be very good value there. After these guys, it gets fairly thin so I would be OK with not drafting one at all if the board did not fall right - we would punt this into 2016 since we have Schraeder, Holmes and Baker(for now).
  6. Left Guard (4th-5th round) - we brought in some journeymen (Mike Person/Jeremy Smith) to compete w/ Harland Gunn at Left Guard but we should not feel good about any of these guys. We are looking at ZBS so we could look at somebody like Ali Marpet(3rd), Josue Mathias(4th) or Shaq Mason(4th/5th). All of these guys have movement skills that would be suited for ZBS. All could be future starters but probably not their rookie years.
  7. Free Safety - mystery position. As of now, it does not look like Dwight Lowery will be back. We know Quinn values a good free safety in his system as Earl Thomas may have been the most important part of that Seahawk defense in the way he was able to erase most mistakes of the aggressive Seahawk corners. We have the 3rd round pick from last year (Dez Southward) and there have been whispers that he could be moved to corner in Quinn's system - or he could stay at free safety? There are not a lot of highly rated safety prospects in this draft. I like the Eric Rowe kid out of Utah as he is tall and fast and can play some corner.
  8. Cornerback - again, it will be interesting to see what Quinn does here. Trufant is a true #1 CB and he has decent size (5'11"/6'0") but not ideal size for Quinn's system. Again, could Southward be moved? Alford is smallish but aggressive. I won't be totally surprised if Quinn took a big corner or safety in rounds 2-4. Keep your eye on Jaelin Collins - the talented LSU corner that projects to go in the back of the 1st round or first dozen picks in round 2.

I'll say this gdawg. Although there are a plethora of folks who can't stand mocks & prognisticating, I love it. It helps sort out scenarios of what talent may or may not be available given known facts about FA & other teams needs.

I enjoy it and frankly, it beats the **** out of reading more vomit from the "hate TD, hate Kroy" gossip columns... Ugh!

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Apparently we are spending some time with J-Train - the most well rounded and productive back - tons of options here though but he def fits the mold and is compared to Lynch because of his loose hips, a little taller but loves contact I dont think Ajayi makes it past the 3rd though .

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this draft will be about choices....this is hypothetical but:

TE vs ILB

RB vs FS/CB

Falcons simply have too many needs and too few draft picks to meet all the needs with a highly rated prospect. This is where the scouting dept. should be looking at projected 2016 draft as well and see what positions that draft will be deep in.

Again, my "versus" above are hypothetical.

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Apparently we are spending some time with J-Train - the most well rounded and productive back - tons of options here though but he def fits the mold and is compared to Lynch because of his loose hips, a little taller but loves contact I dont think Ajayi makes it past the 3rd though .

yeah I like Jay Ajayi a lot myself - if he was their with our 3rd round pick - I would hand the card in.

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Apparently we are spending some time with J-Train - the most well rounded and productive back - tons of options here though but he def fits the mold and is compared to Lynch because of his loose hips, a little taller but loves contact I dont think Ajayi makes it past the 3rd though .

btw, where did you hear that we are kicking the tires on Ajayi? twitter? walterfootball? believe you, just would like to know and/or read.

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yeah, maybe we just PUNT on TE for one year and address it early next year - we have so many needs - just cannot do it all in one year - especially with our strategy that has already played out in free agency.

Don't get me wrong, I'd be all about giving Maxx serious consideration if he's there in Round 2. I think he's going to be a very productive pass catching TE. I just don't think I'd be willing to go chasing after other guys just to say I addressed TE.

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I'll say this gdawg. Although there are a plethora of folks who can't stand mocks & prognisticating, I love it. It helps sort out scenarios of what talent may or may not be available given known facts about FA & other teams needs.

I enjoy it and frankly, it beats the **** out of reading more vomit from the "hate TD, hate Kroy" gossip columns... Ugh!

agreed Hashbrown - that is one of the things I enjoy about the offseason/draft - regardless if your favorite team was 16-0 coming off SB win or 0-16 - the NFL offseason is where hope springs eternal and a chance - a lottery ticket if you will - for all 32 teams to get better and improve the future of the franchise.

it's all positive!

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Don't get me wrong, I'd be all about giving Maxx serious consideration if he's there in Round 2. I think he's going to be a very productive pass catching TE. I just don't think I'd be willing to go chasing after other guys just to say I addressed TE.

I'm OK w/ gambling on a TE in 5th-7th rounds that might have a special trait - but you are right - we don't need to "half-azz" it - don't waste a 3rd-4th round on somebody who is not much better than Toilolo. Eventually I would like a dynamic player at TE - but willing to wait a year.

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this draft will be about choices....this is hypothetical but:

TE vs ILB

RB vs FS/CB

Falcons simply have too many needs and too few draft picks to meet all the needs with a highly rated prospect. This is where the scouting dept. should be looking at projected 2016 draft as well and see what positions that draft will be deep in.

Again, my "versus" above are hypothetical.

When you say this will be about choices I cannot help but think we must refrain from our past 3rd round blunders of trying to be cute and ignoring bigtime talent available to us when we pick.

If it boils down to the 3rd round and you still have holes at MLBer, G, and RB, you simply take the baddest man in the land at your position of need. Or, if there is a major stud who dropped to us who isn't from one of these position groups, then you pull the trigger so he doesn't help someone else in the nfc...

it's time for more difference makers.

Edited by HASHBROWN3
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not sure how need of oline is outweighed by luxury te.

if you look at my little mock I put up in this thread, I actually took a LG before a TE. I do think TE is a huge need but we might just wait a year since we have Tamme and Toilolo to at least fill the position.

We cannot hit all the needs this year - simply too many.

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btw, where did you hear that we are kicking the tires on Ajayi? twitter? walterfootball? believe you, just would like to know and/or read.

Its on nfl.com and bleacher report feed for Falcons - but hes the only one Im seeing us spend time with so far, doesnt mean much cuz weve not spent time with guys and selected them.

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When you say this will be about choices I cannot help but think we must refrain from our past 3rd round blunders of trying to be cute and ignoring bigtime talent available to us when we pick.

If it boils down to the 3rd round and you still have holes at MLBer, G, and RB, you simply take the baddest man in the land at your position of need. Or, if there is a major stud who dropped to us who isn't from one of these position groups, then you pull the trigger so he doesn't help someone else in the nfc...

it's time for more difference makers.

agreed. Falcons have so many needs - unless it is a QB or a LT, we need to draft the baddest mofos in every round.

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