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Metrics And Sparq Will Play In Falcon's Draft Choices


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Want some more perspective on how the new alliance between TD, Pioli and Quinn will shape our 2015 draft selection? This article goes into pretty good depth concerning said selection process.

Link: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2410972-what-recent-history-suggests-about-the-atlanta-falcons-2015-nfl-draft-plan?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=newsletter&utm_campaign=atlanta-falcons

The Atlanta Falcons will have a unique 2015 draft plan from what they had from 2008-2014 because of new head coach Dan Quinn. On top of that, Thomas Dimitroff has had some of his scouting duties delegated to Scott Pioli as part of the offseason restructuring.

That being said, the Falcons will still be using analytics to determine who to draft. Quinn will have an impact on who will be selected because of how the Falcons have a synergistic attitude from the top down. They'll still be focused on the explosiveness and scheme fits that Dimitroff has always looked for.

Atlanta will also be very likely to trade. Dimitroff has been an extremely predictable general manager when it comes to his draft picks in the first round, as he's focused on need and scheme fit. It would be unlikely for that to change regardless of how the "final say" structure has changed.

hi-res-ab675d291ece6a2bf9aba299a0ea2d3d_ Daniel Shirey/Getty Images

Drafting Explosive Athletes and Dan Quinn's Impact

The Falcons may have already tipped their hand a bit when they made their free-agent signings that they were looking for more explosive and athletic players. Coach Quinn coming from Seattle where they love using SPARQ ratings to sort athletes into their best possible spots will come into play.

The Adrian Clayborn, Brooks Reed and O'Brien Schofield signings added much better pass-rush talent to a team that needed it, while also bringing in more athletic players to help set and shut down the edges. Before they were signed, the Falcons didn't have anyone that was truly athletic coming off the edge.

Zach Whitman of Field Gulls and 3-Sigma Athlete is one of the leading experts who answered a couple of questions about how his pSPARQ variable worked and how the Falcons new head coach will be interested in using it to help find players for his new team. His thoughts were as follows:

On Dan Quinn, it's hard to have a feel. My guess is that you'd see a few more typical Seahawk picks, but not a wholesale adoption of SPARQ.
He changed the way the defense worked quite a bit when he was here, so he's not just going to parrot what Carroll does.

And that makes a ton of sense. The combination of general manager Thomas Dimitroff already using metrics since 2008 and Dan Quinn using SPARQ will likely create a bit of a hybrid thought process when it comes to metrics in Atlanta.

A few players who have jumped off the page, according to Whitman, speaking for his pSPARQ metric, which mimics SPARQ, who would fit Falcons needs include offensive lineman Ali Marpet, edge players Vic Beasley and Bud Dupree, running backs Ameer Abdullah and David Johnson, and tight ends MyCole Pruitt and Tyler Kroft.

hi-res-6bbf6ca0a3b30b0e0f3f0f2775a6c18d_ Elsa/Getty Images

Drafting Skill Sets That Fit the Scheme

One thing that won't change with Quinn coming on board is Dimitroff's tendency to draft players who fit a profile, scheme and skill set that his head coach wants. That's one of the best things he's done throughout his tenure as the general manager in Atlanta.

It's a big reason why he wasn't taking top edge players for the defenses due to Mike Smith and Mike Nolan's thoughts that they could scheme pressure if they had the proper interior defenders. It's also a big reason why his first two signings for Quinn were a pair of linebackers who fit the new defensive scheme.

The idea that the GM and coaches are on the same page is something that comes down from owner Arthur Blank. Synergy is the name of the game for Atlanta. Even if a pick doesn't make a ton of sense based on the national media value, the pick will make sense for the Falcons scheme, need and team fit.

hi-res-1c0824a3020338e6b189c9eb9bf76e35_ John Bazemore/Associated Press

A Trade Is Going to Happen

Atlanta will be making a trade at some point during the 2015 NFL draft. In seven years drafting for the Falcons, Dimitroff has made at least one trade during every single draft that he has been a part of. That includes trade ups and trade downs.

The Falcons aren't afraid to move up or down for players they like or to pick up an extra pick or two for a player whom they feel they can get later. The Falcons are wheelers and dealers and will likely continue their streak of trading a pick either up or down at some point in the draft.

Hopefully, it's down so that the Falcons can re-coup a pick in the 2016 draft to replace the fifth round pick that they lost as part of the Decibacle scandal where they pumped noise into the stadium. They could also use the extra picks to help with depth for the 2015 season and beyond.

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In my opinion, if this is a true rebuild, we should be hoarding pics. I'm a fan of the trade down scenario. We are a couple years from being superbowl contenders anyway so let's try to get as many playmakers on this team as possible. If you draft a lot of players, you can always cut the ones that are later rounds that suck. But for once I'd love to have 3 picks in the top 50. Of course if Beasley is sticking around the boards at 8, that's where you go period.

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On Dan Quinn, it's hard to have a feel. My guess is that you'd see a few more typical Seahawk picks, but not a wholesale adoption of SPARQ. He changed the way the defense worked quite a bit when he was here, so he's not just going to parrot what Carroll does.

This is seriously important. A lot of people think we'll just be the Atlantle Falhawks, but it's not all Carroll's scheme. The defenses Bradley and Quinn ran are pretty different. Another smallish thing, but the Seahawks were 18-14 when Bradley was there, finishing 2nd and 3rd in their Division and making the playoffs one year. They were 25-7 with Quinn there, winning the division both years and reaching b2b Super Bowls. Most Seahawks fans didn't mourn Bradley's loss at all, whereas a lot were quick to point out what Quinn brought to the defense when he left (though they are happy he's getting a shot elsewhere and they trust Carroll).

I'm excited, I can't help it. Also, a lot of the players I like (Beasley, Marpet, Johnson) were mentioned there. Funny. Granted, the Seahawks seem to take my favorite picks almost every year...I think with their 2013 draft I had three of their picks (Christine Michael, Jordan Hill, Chris Harper) in the first five rounds of my mock even. Bizarre.

No one's going to be calling the Falcons soft this year, that's for sure.

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No Beasley, we either trade back or bite the bullet with Dupree.

If we trade back I am actually in favor of Danielle Hunter. He has the athleticism and power that we are looking for, and the freaky long arms that Quinn covets. He is also the most raw pass rushing prospect on the radar.

If we pick him, Quinn should essentially become his 1A position coach. Quinn worked wonders on Bennett, and Fowler raves about what he learned in just a year with Quinn.

Hunter would be the Galatea to Quinn's Pygmalion.

*I realize that "No Beasley" makes it sound like "No to Beasley", what I'm saying is that if he isn't there at 8 we will likely get Dupree or trade back.

Edited by FalconAge
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This is seriously important. A lot of people think we'll just be the Atlantle Falhawks, but it's not all Carroll's scheme. The defenses Bradley and Quinn ran are pretty different. Another smallish thing, but the Seahawks were 18-14 when Bradley was there, finishing 2nd and 3rd in their Division and making the playoffs one year. They were 25-7 with Quinn there, winning the division both years and reaching b2b Super Bowls. Most Seahawks fans didn't mourn Bradley's loss at all, whereas a lot were quick to point out what Quinn brought to the defense when he left (though they are happy he's getting a shot elsewhere and they trust Carroll).

I'm excited, I can't help it. Also, a lot of the players I like (Beasley, Marpet, Johnson) were mentioned there. Funny. Granted, the Seahawks seem to take my favorite picks almost every year...I think with their 2013 draft I had three of their picks (Christine Michael, Jordan Hill, Chris Harper) in the first five rounds of my mock even. Bizarre.

No one's going to be calling the Falcons soft this year, that's for sure.

You stole my quote! Haha

But definitely agree. This is what may make Quinn different from Bradley. Quinn is definitely confident in his ability to make the most out of guys. He doesn't seem stressed at all about taking over the 32nd ranked defense. He sees some pieces were here and he has a foundation to build on. All of it won't work, but a good chunk most likely will.

It's to the point where it doesn't matter what player they draft, Quinn will make it work. Smitty needed pro ready guys to come in and fit a specifically role in the scheme. Quinn just wants talented guys.

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Justin Coleman NB Tennessee

Eric Rowe CB/S Utah

David Johnson RB Northern Iowa

Jay Ajayi RB Boise State

Henry Anderson DL Stanford

Grady Jarrett DL Clemson

Jordan Hicks LB Texas

Stephone Anthony LB Clemson

I expect us to take a couple of these guys

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Im almost certain we're trading back into the first for Phillip Dorsett.

Bank on it.

Should I feel bad for not minding that at all? Trade ups are iffy, but god, Dorsett is stupid dynamic. Like Percy Harvin without the issues. I'd love to have him in red and black.

And if we don't trade up, the Jets will take him. They apparently love him, so...yeah. i can see it.

I could kinda see us staying put until either Rowe or Dorsett is off the board, then moving up for the other one. To save picks.

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In my opinion, if this is a true rebuild, we should be hoarding pics. I'm a fan of the trade down scenario. We are a couple years from being superbowl contenders anyway so let's try to get as many playmakers on this team as possible. If you draft a lot of players, you can always cut the ones that are later rounds that suck. But for once I'd love to have 3 picks in the top 50. Of course if Beasley is sticking around the boards at 8, that's where you go period.

Agree. Even without factoring in the loss of the pick next year, trading down for an extra pick with all our holes just makes more sense than trading up. But if Beasley is still there by some miracle, you grab him.

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Should I feel bad for not minding that at all? Trade ups are iffy, but god, Dorsett is stupid dynamic. Like Percy Harvin without the issues. I'd love to have him in red and black.

And if we don't trade up, the Jets will take him. They apparently love him, so...yeah. i can see it.

I could kinda see us staying put until either Rowe or Dorsett is off the board, then moving up for the other one. To save picks.

I'd love to take a LEO at #8, Rowe at #42 and trade up for Dorsett. We all win!

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In my opinion, if this is a true rebuild, we should be hoarding pics. I'm a fan of the trade down scenario. We are a couple years from being superbowl contenders anyway so let's try to get as many playmakers on this team as possible. If you draft a lot of players, you can always cut the ones that are later rounds that suck. But for once I'd love to have 3 picks in the top 50. Of course if Beasley is sticking around the boards at 8, that's where you go period.

everybody is a fan of trading back and hoarding picks. Most don't realize that there is no such thing as trading back. An other team has to want your pick and at the same time offer you the appropriate compensation. If a GM instigates a trade back he is starting from a position of weakness unless it is a highly coveted pick for a highly coveted player which would also require a second team interested in your pick. Otherwise that GM won't get the appropriate value for that pick.
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everybody is a fan of trading back and hoarding picks. Most don't realize that there is no such thing as trading back. An other team has to want your pick and at the same time offer you the appropriate compensation. If a GM instigates a trade back he is starting from a position of weakness unless it is a highly coveted pick for a highly coveted player which would also require a second team interested in your pick. Otherwise that GM won't get the appropriate value for that pick.

No...I realize that. I'm a Realtor so I spend a lot of my time negotiating from the strongest position possible but all NFL GM's know that TD likes to trade around in the draft and if one of the WR or OL options are there but Beasley is gone it wouldn't surprise me if we got calls from teams since they know they could potentially have a trade partner with the Falcons.

And not everybody is a fan. Last year I didn't want to and if Beasley or Fowler is magically there at 8, I won't be a fan of trading back either. What I'm afraid we will see is TD move up for Beasley though.

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