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2015 Atlanta Falcons Mock Draft


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1) Randy Gregory LEO Nebraska - Gregory has the highest upside of any Edge Rusher in this class. A coach like Quinn could turn him into a prennial All-Pro. He is so fluid in his movement, and has a ridiculous burst. He has a freakishly long frame, with plent of room to add 15-20 lbs. Is active at the LOS, batting passes and setting the edge. Another 'pillar' pick for TD and Co.

2) Eric Rowe DB Utah - Exceptional length, coupled with great quickness. Could start at CB or FS, and would bring a lot of versatility to the secondary. Great at jamming receivers, and has great tackling technique. Would be able to keep our options open with Southward, due to both potentially being either long term CB's or the FS of the future. Gives receivers absolute fits.

3) Clive Walford TE Miami (FL) - Best blocking TE in this class, but also is a threat downfield. Polished routes for a TE. Big, soft hands that allow rarely dropped balls. Has underrated game speed. Very versatile TE. Reminds me of a young Alge Crumpler, with a higher ceiling.

4) David Johnson RB Northern Iowa - Big, powerful RB that can run ousted or in between the tackles. Great fit for the ZBS. Most impressive asset is his natural ability as a pass catcher. Big, stron hands, that could even lineup at the LOS as a WR. Polished route runner for a RB.

5) Max Valles DE Virginia - Not many have the potential that Valles does. Extremely you, but also very productive. Is very underrated at dropping into coverage. Big, long frame, that could add plenty of weight. Perfect compliment to Gregory, and could be seen as the long term LDE down the road. Showed flashes of utter dominance at UVA. Can line-up inside or outside.

6) Shaq Mason LG Georgia Tech - Is a force in the running game, and the Ony real knock is his height. Extremely athletic, and a perfect fit for the ZBS. Not taking a LG early, would allow us to see if we already have our starting LG on the team, due to the OL friendly ZBS.

7) Mario Alford WR West Virginia - Small, but plays a lot bigger. Great hands, and exceptional quickness. Polished route runner that brings a lot of speed to the WR group. Very competitive.

7) Devin Gardner QB/WR Michigan - Could be a WR or QB project, a project nonetheless. Has great size and sudden quickness. Could be a backup to Matt Ryan down the road, with read option capabilities.

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Love the write up on Max Valles

STRENGTHS Long frame with room for more weight. Plays with consistent bend and good pad level. Uses leverage and snap in his hips to withstand power against much larger blockers at point of attack. Played with a hand down and as a stand-up outside 'backer. Has all the tools to become a good edge-setter as a pro. Shows ability to see past a blocker and win quickly with his hands. Too strong for most tight ends to block. Has plus burst to the ball when it is in his sights. Plays with speed and single-minded focus once he cuts it loose. Has athleticism to dip shoulder and turn a tight corner as pass rusher. Rare timing to deflect passes at line of scrimmage, batting down 13 passes over last two seasons, including 9 in 2014.

WEAKNESSES

Extremely raw. In need of more experience and more coaching. Shows very little instinct as a defensive end or linebacker and takes longer than desired to process what he sees. Won't always pursue the ball carrier with revved motor. Florida State tight end Nick O'Leary kept him blocked all game long. Lack of instincts and feel prevents him from utilizing proper footwork and angles to attempt tackles at times. Sack total skewed. Vast majority of sacks did not come with a win against a tackle.

DRAFT PROJECTION Round 4 or 5

SOURCES TELL US

"He's an athlete and not a football player right now. If it starts to click for him and he starts to put the tape work together with the talent -- look out, buddy. If it doesn't click, you've got a backup defensive end." -- AFC defensive line coachlaugh.png

NFL COMPARISON Aaron Lynch

BOTTOM LINE Redshirt sophomore who relies solely on his outstanding athleticism and physical tools rather than an understanding of how to play the game. If Valles can improve his football intelligence while becoming a more skilled pass rusher, then he should be able to unlock his starter's traits and become a quality NFL edge player. In the short term, Valles will require patience and might not be much of a factor in Year 1.

-Lance Zierlein

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No to Gregory. The long term impact of his rumored anxiety issue make him far too big a risk.

If he needs the weed to control his anxiety, it will be extremely difficult for him to stop. This means almost certain suspensions. Please note that if he does have acute anxiety disorder, then he is NOT some punk pothead. Marijuana is a safer, supposedly more effective means of controlling its effects than prescribed anti-depressants.

If he DOES quit smoking, what then? Does he take the prescribed anti-depressants, and the side effects that come with them? Does he leave it untreated, and risk the effects of untreated anxiety disorder?

I genuinely feel sorry for the young man. I believe society and politics is failing him by not recognizing the positive impact of legalized medical marijuana. But that doesn't alter the fact that the NFL doesn't recognize or allow it. This makes Randy Gregory far too big a risk.

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