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Post Free Agency - G-Dawg Mock Draft (3/25/15) - 35 Days To Go!


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1st) PASSRUSHER: Beasley, Fowler, Gregory, Dupree or Ray

2nd) MLB: Stephone Anthony, Clemson

3rd) OG: Ali Marpet, Hobart

4th) CB/FS: Eric Rowe, Utah

5th) C: Shaq Mason, Georgia Tech

6th) WR: DeAndre Smelter, Georgia Tech

7th) RB: Matt Jones, Florida

7th) TE: CJ Uzomah, Auburn

OK, I know we have all experienced mock draft fatigue - must say even I am getting tired of reading them - and lord knows, I love me a good mock draft. I'm too lazy right now to go and on about why each player would be a good Falcon but I will give a quick blurb on each. The needs are apparent at this point:

1st round - Pick#8

OK, it is obvious we are going passrusher. For all those that want to go in another direction if their favorite guy (aka Vic Beasley) does not fall to #8 - I'm telling you it just won't happen. Both Quinn and Dimitroff would be tarred/feathered if we don't get a passrusher at #8 - we are not drafting Amari or the WVU receiver - so forget it - passrusher it will be - luckily for the Falcons, this draft is exceptionally deep at passrusher. Here is my order of preference:

1) Vic Beasley, OLB/DE - Clemson

2) Dante Fowler, OLB/DE - Florida

3) Randy Gregory, OLB/DE - Nebraska

4) Bud Dupree, OLB/DE - Kentucky

5) Shane Ray, OLB/DE - Mizzou

Now I have been on here long enough to know that - until a few days ago - everyone loved Shane Ray as the #2 guy - I dunno - I cannot give you a hard/fast reason I am not as excited about him but I just am not (how is that for persuasive? rolleyes.gif ). Fowler probably has the least pedigree for passrushing but seems to be the most complete player overall. I know 75% of TATF hates Randy Gregory but I like him. Bud Dupree is the rawest of all the prospects but might have the highest upside if Quinn and staff can clean up his technique - but Dupree needs to be more consistent as well. I would take any of the five players above though - all of them are better and have more upside than anybody on the current Falcons roster. My hope is Falcons get at least one of the top three - I would be disappointed if the only guys left were Dupree and Ray - but, if it fell that way, I would take Dupree and move on - maybe if I could bump down 2-3 spots and pick up some picks, I would consider.

#2-42) Stephone Anthony, MLB-Clemson 6'3", 243lbs, 4.56/40

I just like everything about this cat. He is aggressive, good tackler, good zone pass coverage and has ideal size/speed to play the position. He is exactly what we need in the middle.


from CBS Sports:

STRENGTHS: Carries an ideal frame for an inside 'backer, with thickness through the middle and broad shoulders, and he exhibits the explosive downhill first step and feisty demeanor to be a strong contributor in the box. He diagnoses early and does a good job of putting himself in position to make plays between the tackles against the run, and will hold his own when asked to drop back in short zone and cover the middle against the pass. As a tackler, he does a good job of extending and wrapping up below the waist to finish plays, and he prides himself on laying the occasional wallop without sacrificing technique.

WEAKNESSES: Highly aggressive and will attack gaps, leaving cutback lanes for savvy runners to exploit. Just average lateral agility and sideline-to-sideline range, and he seems to take shallow angles against the run when the play goes to the outside. Too often relies on his burst to the ball and must show better pop on contact to disengage from blockers. He's stiff in the hips when asked to flip and redirect, so he'll waste some motion and take some time to get up to speed after making an adjustment, and thus far he hasn't shown "plus" coverage when asked to man up, flip and run with a tight end. Suspended for the first half of the 2014 Russell Athletic Bowl due to a disputable targeting penalty against South Carolina.

--Derek Stephens, Rob Rang

PLAYER OVERVIEW A defensive line full of NFL prospects casts a long shadow, but NFL teams in the market for an intense, physical run-stuffing inside linebacker would be wise to keep an eye on Anthony, the Tigers' leading tackler the past two seasons.

It didn't take Anthony long to make an impression as Clemson, logging action in 13 games and starting three games as a true freshman. He recorded 32 tackles and impressed with his playmaking ability, recording six tackles for loss, two sacks and leading the team with two forced fumbles despite his limited playing time. Anthony finished fourth on the club with 77 tackles a year later but was benched midway through the season. He stepped up a year later, however, nearly doubling his production with 131 stops, including 13.5 tackles for loss and four sacks while starting all 13 games. Though his numbers slipped again in 2014 (team-leading 73 tackles through the regular season), Anthony was the clear leader for the nation's top-rated defense, which allowed an average of just 259.6 yards a game.

While Anthony's production, compact frame and aggression are impressive, he could be viewed as a bit of a 'tweener at the next level. Anthony does not possess ideal speed to beat backs to the sideline or the agility preferred in coverage, traits required of middle linebackers in a standard 4-3 alignment. Complicating his projection as a 3-4 inside linebacker is the fact that Anthony currently struggles to disengage from blockers, relying more on his burst to beat them initially or defensive linemen to keep him clean.

#3-73) Ali Marpet, OG-Hobart 6'4", 307lbs, 4.98/40, 30 reps

This won't be a sexy pick but if Hobart is selected, I believe he would be solid starter for many years - has the athleticism for a guard you look for in ZBS.


STRENGTHS: Compact build with a solid base to anchor and dig his cleats in the ground. Mechanically sound upper and lower halves, keeping his movements in clean unison. Nice job staying square with knee bend and coordination to latch-and-drive, keeping his feet moving to get push. Keeps his elbows in with active hands to control defenders. Understands leverage and blocking angles. Enough flexibility in his joints and plays with hip snap at the point of attack. Sets up quickly with adequate quickness in his kickslide with balanced lateral movements and body control to get away with lean. Quick thinker with reflex adjustors to counter rush moves, showing the reaction time to cut off inside moves. Nice job on combo blocks to engage at the point, but uses his eyes to seek out his next victim. Comfortable in his own skin with a high football IQ and smarts off the field. 110-percenter with NFL toughness and play speed. Two-time team captain with several accolades at the D-III level.

Durable. Finished his career with 37 straight starts at left tackle. Strong work ethic with self-motivating habits and an unassuming personality.

WEAKNESSES: Shorter-than-ideal arm length for the edges and lacks an engulfing wingspan. Has some bad weight in his midsection and has room to get stronger and add bulk. Narrow base and lacks a wide kickslide to routinely reach the corner vs. NFL speed rushers. Overaggressive and will get his shoulders extended past his feet. Got away with some bad habits at the Division-III level that won't work in the NFL, allowing rushers to initiate contact and lowering his eye level when finishing off blocks. Doesn't have much experience inside at center or guard, his likely positions at the next level. All of his college experience is against a lower level of competition.

--Dane Brugler

PLAYER OVERVIEW A three-year All-Conference and two-time Division-III All-American performer, Marpet dominated competition at that level and didn't waste anyone's time at the Senior Bowl, performing well against the nation's top senior prospects (first Hobart player invited to Mobile and will likely be the first Hobart football selected in the NFL Draft). He doesn't stand out physically, but he is always under control with core strength and coordination. The hungry man from Hobart, Marpet is a tenacious technician, who eats glass for breakfast and gets his money's worth on each snap. A competitive overachiever with zero passiveness to his game, Marpet has the next level intangibles and skill-set to start in the NFL for a long time, ideally suited inside at either guard or center as a bargain brand version of Cowboys' Zach Martin.

Lightly recruited as a prep player, Alexander "Ali" Marpet was 230 pounds as a senior in high school and received moderate interest from a few FCS programs, but ended up at Division-III Hobart. After seeing part-time duty as a true freshman, Marpet won the starting left tackle job as a sophomore and started every game, earning First Team All-Liberty honors. He started all 11 games in 2013 as a junior left tackle and was awarded First Team All-Conference and All-American honors. Marpet again started all 13 games as a senior in 2014 and didn't allow a sack, becoming the first lineman in Liberty League history to earn a share of the Offensive Player of the Year award, also earning First Team All-Conference and All-American honors.

#4-107) Eric Rowe, CB/FS-Utah, 6'1", 205lbs, 4.45/40

This would be a conversion player since he plays corner now but he would fit the prototype of a longer player who has coverage skills, can turn/run and is a willing tackler. Probably would not be a starter this year but a spot player - good long-range prospect.


STRENGTHS: Possesses a legitimate NFL frame with good height, broad shoulders and a tapered, well-defined musculature. Uses his length and physicality to harass receivers at the line of scrimmage and throughout the route. Extends an arm to jam opponents and disrupt timing.

Good balance and coordination to turn and run, showing steady acceleration and at least functional straight-line speed to remain at cornerback. Good hand-eye coordination to disrupt passes at the catch-point, showing no panic when the ball is in the air and the strength to rip it out of the hands of receivers as they attempt to secure the catch.

Aggressive in run support. Fights through would-be blockers, including offensive linemen. Physical tackler who lowers his shoulder and drives through ballcarriers. Good awareness and aggression on special teams. Blocked a kick in 2014 and is a cognizant, physical blocker on the return unit.

WEAKNESSES: May project better to the NFL back at safety than at cornerback. Like many taller corners, Rowe has a slight hitch in his transition, leaving him vulnerable to double-moves. He rides the receiver throughout the route and too often extends his arms to limit their movement. Does not possess ideal hands, dropping several potential interceptions on tape.

--Rob Rang

PLAYER OVERVIEW A three-year starter and all-conference pick at free safety, Rowe made the transition to cornerback in 2014 to help the Utes recover from the loss of Keith McGill (a fourth-round pick by the Oakland Raiders). Rowe demonstrated the awareness and physicality that could earn him an even higher selection in 2015.

Rowe's length, broad-shouldered frame and straight-line speed (Utah coaches reportedly clocked him at 4.39 seconds in the 40-yard dash) make him an intriguing prospect regardless of where he ultimately lines up. He's a heady, physical defender who is well-versed in pro-style schemes given Utah's heavy man coverage philosophy, and has proven a standout since first stepping onto campus.

Rowe recorded 69 tackles and nine pass breakups while starting all 13 games (10 at free safety, three at strong safety) as a true freshman in 2011, earning Freshman All-American honors by several publications. Rowe earned Second Team All-Pac-12 honors in 2014 at cornerback, registering 57 tackles and 13 passes broken up in just 11 regular-season games.

Rowe shows good balance, a functional turning motion and steady acceleration in coverage. He's alert to come up in run support and against underneath routes and breaks down well to make the efficient open-field tackle. Rowe is poised in coverage but he's not a ball-hawk. Of his 34 career passes broken up, he only intercepted three passes.

#5-146) Shaquille Mason, C-Georgia Tech, 6'2", 310lbs

Mason was an anchor in a run-based offense at Georgia Tech - he is strong on pulls and able to reach linebackers at the second level. His size probably dictates him more as a Center than guard but he would be an ideal fit in the ZBS.
STRENGTHS: Stalky, powerful build with a mean streak. Extremely aggressive and quick off the ball, generating plenty of movement in-line. Consistent hand placement center-mass and strong hands to stay locked on. Looks fluid on pulls, often reaching his target while rarely stopping his feet on contact. Uses a quick set and wide base combined with plenty of fight to stay in front of his man in pass pro. Lots of experience (40-game starter).

WEAKNESSES: Doesn't possess a lot of positional versatility due to his limitations physically in terms of height/length. Inconsistent technique in pass pro as he tends to lounge and get off balance versus smaller/quicker rushers. Can be overly aggressive in both the run and pass game, which results in the occasional ugly whiff. Doesn't consistently sell his set when attempting to cut block and needs to become overall more consistent in his technique, particularly in pass protection.

Compares to: A.Q. Shipley, Indianapolis Colts. Like Shipley, Mason will be one of the shorter interior OL in the NFL but one of the most physical as well. Shipley was a seventh-round selection in 2009 and Mason will likely go much higher, but their impact on the next level will likely be similar.

--Brandon Thorn

PLAYER OVERVIEW Mason came to Georgia Tech as a 3-star prospect at left tackle and defensive tackle. He appeared in 11 games as a true freshman in 2011 before getting his lone start in the Sun Bowl due to injury. As a sophomore in 2012, Mason became a key cog in one of the most prolific rushing teams in the nation, starting 12 of 14 games at left guard. The following season as a junior, he moved over to right guard, where he would finish out his last two seasons, never missing another game.

Mason has accumulated 40 starts in his collegiate career while helping lead the No. 1-ranked rushing team in the nation (342.1 ypg) last season. Mason earned All-ACC First Team honors in 2013 and 2014 while being a First Team All-American by USA Today in 2014.

Mason is a mauling interior lineman who has the leverage advantage on nearly everyone he lines up across due to his height. He fires off the snap in the run game consistently and with tremendous power and tenacity. His hand placement and strength is very good here and he routinely keeps his feet moving on contact, creating lots of movement.

Versus the pass Mason is a fighter who plays with a very wide base. He gets into his pass set quickly but doesn't have very long arms and struggles with agile/quick players due to a tendency to lean forward and reach for defenders. Mason excels at turning his hips on pulls and covering ground quickly while being devastating on contact versus smaller linebackers and secondary members.

He lined up as a center during Senior Bowl practices and looked very comfortable there. It will be his best position in the pros, especially due to his lack of height/length.

#6-184) DeAndre Smelter, WR-Georgia Tech 6'2", 226lbs
In the long line of big, physical Georgia Tech receivers, Smelter looks to be a gem - hidden by the freaky Paul Johnson offense and now, an injury - he could be an afterthought to some teams and Falcons would be wise to invest in Smelter and basically redshirt him while he recovers from injury.
#7-225) Matt Jones, RB-Florida 6'2", 231lbs, 4.61/40
This will surprise people that I waited this late to draft a RB - in reality this probably won't happen. However, I believe the Falcons are better at RB than most would think - we have Freeman that has a nice burst and can run between the tackles - maybe not a lot of raw power. We have Antone Smith "Mr. BigPlay" - Matt Jones is a thumper who also has good one-cut ability and would step in to be our designated short yardage back.
STRENGTHS: Looks the part with a well-built frame. Shows good power to run through tackles when he keeps his pad level low. Good leg drive and forward lean. Runs with surprising patience, balance and steady acceleration for a back of his size. He also showed a nice stutter-step to get defenders off-balance, a stiff-arm to keep them away and the burst to separate. Catches the ball cleanly, showing good hand-eye coordination to pluck and secure in one fluid motion.

WEAKNESSES: Bit of a one-trick pony as a powerful downhill runner. Lacks the preferred top-end speed and isn't particularly nimble to make defenders miss in tight quarters. A step slow recognizing blitzers and isn't as effective a pass blocker as his size would indicate. Too often lunges late rather than squaring up defenders. Typically asked to run only routes into the flat or simple screens in this offense. Struggled with fumbles in 2013.

Underwent surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee in October, 2013.

--Rob Rang

PLAYER OVERVIEW Will Muschamp was replaced at Florida in large part due to the Gators' inability to score points. Florida would have been even worse off if not for the productive running from Jones, who led the team with 817 rushing yards and six scores in 2014. Jones also caught 11 passes for 65 yards and another score.

Shortly after news of Muschamp's firing broke, Jones announced his plans to enter the 2015 draft.

Jones' decision to leave early may have been prompted by a tough 2013 campaign in which he missed much of the spring fighting a viral infection before winning back the starting job, only to have his season cut short with knee injury.

He signed with Florida as a highly recruited prospect, turning down the likes of Alabama, Auburn and Clemson, among others. Jones sports the powerful frame to potentially serve as the thunder in an NFL backfield. His lack of lateral agility and breakaway speed could even force him to improve as a blocker and potentially make the switch to fullback.

#7-249) C.J. Uzomoh, TE-Auburn 6'5", 262lbs
Simply a developmental TE with the physical ability to develop into something but will be a practice squad player at first that you hope can develop down the road.
STRENGTHS: Looks the part of an NFL tight end with broad shoulders, long arms and a tapered, athletic frame. Good initial quickness and accelerates fluidly, though top-end speed is questionable. Lined up in a variety of roles for the Tigers, including slot receiver, traditional inline tight end and H-back. Isn't a dominating blocker by any stretch but doesn't shirk from physicality, extending an aggressive punch to his opponent and working to sustain. Good patience as a blocker. Doesn't over-extend and leave himself vulnerable, instead waiting for rushers to attack him and showing good balance and core flexibility to compete against bigger opponents. Good quickness off the line of scrimmage to release into his routes. Tracks the ball well, showing reliable hands and the toughness to take a hit and hang on. Untapped potential that could result in Uzomah emerging as a more productive pass-catcher in the NFL than he was in college.

WEAKNESSES: Possesses undeniable potential but whether due to schematic limitations or not, Uzomah simply wasn't very productive at the collegiate level. Jack of all trades, master of none type. Doesn't explode off the line of scrimmage or out of his breaks and therefore isn't the size/speed mismatch that he appears on paper. Has to show better body control to adjust to passes thrown outside of his frame.

--Rob Rang

PLAYER OVERVIEW Gus Malzahn's up-tempo offense didn't put Uzomah in position to make many plays at Auburn. In fact, his career numbers -- 29 catches for 435 yards and seven touchdowns -- look more like some of his competitors' yearly averages. Given Uzomah's blend of size, athleticism and soft hands, however, don't be surprised if he winds up earning a draft selection, nonetheless as the former wideout and current tight end/H-back/slot receiver is precisely the type of matchup problem the NFL is looking for.

Uzomah needs to gain strength and nastiness as a blocker if he is to grow into a more traditional tight end but he sports an NFL-caliber frame, as well as an impressive body control and soft hands. A team willing to invest a Day selection could get a pleasant surprise with Uzomah, who Auburn coaches consistently praised for his selflessness and talent.

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I like it all, but no 6th rounder? No RB until the 7th?

fixed and yes. I believe about 1/4 of the RBs in the NFL were UDFAs - we have two good players now at RB - we need a complimentary piece and I would rather take Hobart and Mason and build the line. If you build the line, most RBs will look decent - just look at Justin Forsett last year for Ravens - nothing special.

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Who knows. Announced next week.

I don't doubt you - but I have seen no linkage or verbiage regarding that we are getting crushed - one of the radio stations was speculating that none of the teams would lose picks because NFL announced all the draft picks 1-7 rounds including the comp picks - don't think that necessarily means anything but it might.

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I think sometimes you can get a lot of bang for the buck if you look at skill players - WRs and RBs in the later rounds - I like that strategy and if we could get DeAndre Smelter and Matt Jones in 6th and 7th rounds - that would be excellent value.

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severe penalty, eh? please don't let it be a 2nd rounder - if it is a 3rd rounder - we are used to wasting those picks every year anyway w/ Dimitroff in charge.

If Falcons lose a 3rd, then maybe we need to trade down in 2nd and capture that 3rd rounder back - I could probably go for that. Man, we need draft picks galore and to lose a high pick would tragically suck.

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I don't think you realize just how much I love every player in the first several rounds. This almost makes me not want to create a mock, that's how close this is to my thoughts. Stephone Anthony is the best MLB prospect out there (yes, above Kendricks and Perryman), Rowe is going to be an elite FS or solid press CB, and I know you say Marpet isn't "sexy," but he's possibly the best or second best ZBS guard prospect in the draft. Love em so much.

That said...I think Anthony is gone at the back of the first, too many MLB needy teams. I personally think he's a top 15 talent, which is rare for a MLB. I also think Rowe and Marpet go in the second. But if our draft was even close to this, I would be thrilled. Happy to see you like similar prospects at the very least. Since I see you like similar players, I think you should check out Xavier Cooper. I personally think he's the 3rd best DT in the entire draft but he's being mocked around the 4th most places. Insanely disruptive, and with Peters gone/Babs likely gone soon, he'd be a steal.

EDIT: Full game of Cooper's for the lazy.

Edited by Falcan Moore
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Very nice compliment below - thanks Falcan Moore - I feel honored.

I don't think you realize just how much I love every player in the first several rounds. This almost makes me not want to create a mock, that's how close this is to my thoughts. Stephone Anthony is the best MLB prospect out there (yes, above Kendricks and Perryman), Rowe is going to be an elite FS or solid press CB, and I know you say Marpet isn't "sexy," but he's possibly the best or second best ZBS guard prospect in the draft. Love em so much.

That said...I think Anthony is gone at the back of the first, too many MLB needy teams. I personally think he's a top 15 talent, which is rare for a MLB. I also think Rowe and Marpet go in the second. But if our draft was even close to this, I would be thrilled. Happy to see you like similar prospects at the very least. Since I see you like similar players, I think you should check out Xavier Cooper. I personally think he's the 3rd best DT in the entire draft but he's being mocked around the 4th most places. Insanely disruptive, and with Peters gone/Babs likely gone soon, he'd be a steal.

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UGA grad here and I pick TWO Tech players and no Dawgs. Who says I'm a homer?

I'm also a UGA grad and I would be down with grabbing those two Tech players (not to mention that Gator RB). Shaq Mason is a **** of a center.

If this is how our draft turns out, I will be ecstatic.

Edited by SexualChocolate
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