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4 Significant Players - Correct Falcons Draft Strategy To Get There Laid Out


g-dawg

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No, this is not another mock. However, I am speaking to the positions drafted in which rounds. While every REAL NFL draft has a life of its own and you never know how it will ultimately play out - just looking at Falcons needs while also looking at the depth of this draft, I think there is a general strategy that - if implemented - should yield the ability for the Falcons to generate 4 significant players to our roster that will have lasting impact.

Falcons needs:

  • passrusher
  • left guard
  • free safety/long cornerback
  • running back
  • wide receiver
  • inside linebacker
  • tight end

I think most would agree those are our needs and seems to be what we are scouting. You have not heard the Falcons scouting defensive tackles very much - although we could use another good young one.

2015 NFL Draft:

Where the draft is insanely deep:

  • wide receiver
  • running back

Where the draft has decent depth:

  • cornerback
  • offensive tackle
  • offensive guard

Where the draft is shallow:

  • DE/OLB passrusher (shallow every year here, maybe not as shallow as most years)
  • inside linebacker
  • tight end
  • safety

To me, unless the value is just ridiculous, we should draft as follows:

  • 1st round - passrusher (Fowler, Beasley, Ray, Dupree, Gregory)
  • 2nd round - Long CB/FS(Marcus Peters, Jalen Collins, Eric Rowe), ILB (Stephone Anthony), OL(Laken Tomlinson, Andrus Peat)
  • 3rd round - Long CB/FS (Eric Rowe), ILB(Bernadrick McKinney, Denzel Perryman), OL(Ali Marpet, AJ Cann, DJ Humphries, Cedric Ogbuehi), RB (Jay Ajayi, Tevin Coleman), WR(Phillip Dorsett)
  • 4th round - RB(David Johnson, David Cobb, TJ Yeldon), OL (Mitch Morse, Josue Mathias, Ty Sambrailo)
  • 5th-7th round - BPA - feature WR (DeAndre Smelter, Stefon Diggs, Chris Conley, Ty Montgomery) , possibly RB (Matt Jones, Cameron Artis-Payne, Javorius Allen)

Falcons need to get their passrusher early - and their 2nd playmaker on defense in 2nd round - and then draft into the teeth of this draft which is the depth on the offensive line and offensive skill positions.

Personally, I would not be surprised if some of the 2nd-4th round offensive linemen have as good of careers as the 1st round offensive linemen. Same w/ the later round RBs/WRs versus the ones that will go early.

While it is likely that one of the top four picks could bust, if we run the draft properly, we should be able to get a gem in the 5-7th rounds to offset.

Falcons need 4 good players out of this draft - that would be a tremendous succcess.

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I've mocked like a thousand times, which means nothing, but like you I see a pretty clear pattern that the Falcons should take:

1st - Edge rusher

2nd - Corner (ideally a corner/safety combo)

3rd - Guard

4th/5th - RB/WR (either order depending on who falls)

I'd rather see an ILB at 2nd

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While I agree with your set of needs, and philosophy exactly, I get a slightly different output.

This is exactly how I approach drafts, because if you can get starters at DT in the 4th, then it lets you spend higher picks on other things.

However, the other element to keep in mind, is you hardly ever get starters after the 4th round. So we really have 3 to 4 picks to get what we need, so I'd prioritize.

Also, at WR, 2nd rounders tend to perform very well, but the talent drops off after the 2nd (same at CB).

So, our perfect mix, given that would be

1) Pass rusher

2) WR, CB

3) OG

4) RB

Now, I don't know how to reconcile the WR, CB thing. We can't take both in the round, but I'd probably take a WR who can play, and take a project tall CB late.

We can take other guys in the 5th-7th, but you can't really count on them. We'd be well off to take really athletic players who we can mold, and who can be special teams standouts. I'd rather take a super athletic long guy in the 5th who may become a great corner, than a workman like player, who has a very limited ceiling.

But if we took pass rusher, then WR, then OG, then RB...we'd likely have 4 starters/heavy rotation players, and can grab a couple of vets to let us get by at the other positions until next year.

Nice post.

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Of all of the bona fide first round prospects that we have had reported workouts/visits with, they have been all defensive players(DE, OLB, CB) with the exception of Ereck Flowers(OT). So it looks like we are definitely going defense in round one.

The rest of the reported workouts/visits have been a mix bag of positions per projected drafted round.

To me it looks like we are going defense in round one and BPA according to team needs for the rest of the draft. If true, I like that approach.

Edited by FentayeJones
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Of all of the bona fide first round prospects that we have had reported workouts/visits wit, the have been all defensive players(DE, OLB, CB) with the exception of Ereck Flowers. So it looks like we are definitely going defense in round one.

The rests of the reported workouts/visits have been a mix bag of positions.

To me it looks like we are going defense in round one and BPA according to team needs for the rest of the draft. If true, I like that approach.

I think Falcons have identified the following positions of "need/upgrade" for rounds 2-4: OG / RB / DB (in no particular order). I think after that 1st round pick, the Falcons go with the highest rated position player on the OVERALL board for whatever position out of those 3 mentioned.

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I think Falcons have identified the following positions of "need/upgrade" for rounds 2-4: OG / RB / DB (in no particular order). I think after that 1st round pick, the Falcons go with the highest rated position player on the OVERALL board for whatever position out of those 3 mentioned.

Based on the interest we are showing, I can definitely see that.
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I'd rather see an ILB at 2nd

It would be nice to get an upgrade over Worrilow, but realistically, we have a lot of LB on the roster now. We have, what, 4 CBs? One includes Ricardo Allen. We need a 3rd starter to go with Alford and Tru. Unless Southward will take on a hybrid role, in which case we still need an addition in the secondary.

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I agree with a lot of what you say. I think that the 1st 2 picks have to be defense.

To me the CB or FS thing depends a lot on Southward. First, do Quinn and staff like him at all. Then if they do, where FS or CB. And on MLB what do Quinn and staff think of Worrilow. Do they think he is a starter or only a backup player.

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It would be nice to get an upgrade over Worrilow, but realistically, we have a lot of LB on the roster now. We have, what, 4 CBs? One includes Ricardo Allen. We need a 3rd starter to go with Alford and Tru. Unless Southward will take on a hybrid role, in which case we still need an addition in the secondary.

We need to draft a DB in rounds 2-4...either a CB (Dez stays at FS) or a FS (Dez moves to CB)....but we will probably still draft a CB in rounds 5-7 as well...

We do not NEED a MLB...we don't even have enough CBs on the roster right...we NEED a DB before a MLB

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My five deep, four round, big board for the Atlanta Football Falcons (in order):

Round 1 - Dante Fowler Jr., Vic Beasley, Todd Gurley, Brandon Scherff, Trae Waynes

Round 2 - Marcus Peters, Eric Rowe, Eric Kendricks, Stephone Anthony, Jay Ajayi

Round 3 - Denzel Perryman, Ali Marpet, Hau'oli Kikaha, Lorenzo Mauldin, Josh Shaw

Round 4 - David Johnson, David Cobb, Adrian Amos, Durrell Eskridge, Craig Mager

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In my opinion, the only thing we should do is get a pass rusher @ #8. After that, I could live with the roster as is. That means go BPA every pick after that. I could live with Worrilow and Durant, but if Kendricks is there, take him. I could live with Trufant and Alford, but if Peters falls to #42, take him. Etc...

Find upgrades and use those picks on the best possible players. I'd rather get the most talented players on the roster than draft because I need bodies at a position.

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One guy who covers a lot of needs for us but I'm afraid TD won't go this route or will wait too late is Auburn's Nic Marshall. Trust me the guy is a baller and can play Safety, CB and sometimes even fill in at QB and do some things like DQ's old Seattle QB, he can even help out as a WR and a RB. Sometimes Scouts don't truly do their homework. It is ludicrous to think Marshall can't play the position-are you kidding me??? The guy is a super athlete who knows how to win. If he would have stayed in the Def. Backfield at UGA he easily would have been a two time All American. The fact that he went and became a National Champion QB is only a testimony of the athlete he is. I would take him in the 4th round. Another guy is GT's Shaq Mason OG. He'll get talked about what he can't do and GT's offense. What was he supposed to do tell Paul Johnson what to do? But the fact remains the guy can play and he would be a late round steal for us. I hope TD doesn't blow this Draft. He and the FO is over due to have a great one!

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My five deep, four round, big board for the Atlanta Football Falcons (in order):

Round 1 - Dante Fowler Jr., Vic Beasley, Todd Gurley, Brandon Scherff, Trae Waynes

Round 2 - Marcus Peters, Eric Rowe, Eric Kendricks, Stephone Anthony, Jay Ajayi

Round 3 - Denzel Perryman, Ali Marpet, Hau'oli Kikaha, Lorenzo Mauldin, Josh Shaw

Round 4 - David Johnson, David Cobb, Adrian Amos, Durrell Eskridge, Craig Mager

I like this method. Here would be mine:

1. Williams, Beasley, Ray, Dupree, Waynes (Alford move to FS)

2. Erving, Randall, Kendricks, Gurley, Peters

3. Abdullah, Ogbuehi, Dorsett, Orchard, Davis

4. Lockett, Sambriallo, Geathers, Glenn, Johnson

In my opinion, the only thing we should do is get a pass rusher @ #8. After that, I could live with the roster as is. That means go BPA every pick after that. I could live with Worrilow and Durant, but if Kendricks is there, take him. I could live with Trufant and Alford, but if Peters falls to #42, take him. Etc...

Find upgrades and use those picks on the best possible players. I'd rather get the most talented players on the roster than draft because I need bodies at a position.

I like it, and if it fills both (BOA and "hole/need") than its even better...but a haul of Beasley / Kendricks would be better than Beasley / Marpet b/c of need ...IMO...

I still am a small believer that Konz along with Person will have a decent battle at LG and could even be average or better next year, so I'm not as high on taking OG as early in this draft, but I wouldn't be upset if we did take one...

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If LG is our second most pressing need, which many believe it is, why would we wait until the third round to address the position? The team has options at the CB/S position and absolutely no quality options at LG. DQ has even been quoted, saying he feels Southward has the potential to play CB which leaves one to believe DQ feels their is talent at CB already on the roster. An offensive linemen should be drafted in the second round. Correct me if I'm wrong, but has DQ, not Thomas Dimitroff or the media, said anything about any players on the roster that he believes can play the LG position? Why else would we go into the draft having not addressed a glaring need on the offensive line? Generally speaking, teams that enter the draft with glaring needs, fill those needs early in the draft. In this case, that would be a pass rusher and Left Guard.

One could even argue we have not one, but two glaring needs on the offensive line. One being LG and the other being C/RT, depending on your analysis of Ryan Shraeder, whom many are very high on because PFF said so. However, he may be the biggest question mark (outside of LG) of all the offensive linemen. He doesn't look good at blocking in space and his feet look a little slow. The aforementioned traits are two he'll need to excel in Shanahan's outside zone-blocking scheme. The team made a conscious effort to address the defensive side of the ball in FA and will prioritize pass rusher and offensive line needs slightly ahead of CB/S. They spent relatively high draft picks at the CB/S position the past few years and I think they'll work with what they have on the roster. The LG position was a major need last offseason and has clearly become an even greater need this offseason.

2011 NFL Draft

Richard Sherman- Wide Receiver, Stanford, Round 5

Byron Maxwell- Cornerback, Clemson, Round 6

2005 NFL Draft

Brandon Browner- Cornerback, Oregon St, Undrafted

Edited by #1ATLFALCONSFAN
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The problem with that rationale #1ATLFALCONSFAN is that they did that before big, long corners was en vogue. Redraft the 2011 and Sherman goes earlier based solely on measurables in this draft today. Maxwell and Tharold Simon as well.

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that second rounder is basically another first rounder in this draft. would be smart to just add an instant contributer rather than look for need imo.

we have no choice at 8. that second rounder is really going to set up the rest of our draft though.

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We all seem to have forgotten that one of the best CBs in the league, Richard Sherman, was a 4h or 5th round draft pick, if I remember correctly.

And the best QB to ever play was a 6th rounder. Doesn't mean they all turn out that way...

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The problem with that rationale #1ATLFALCONSFAN is that they did that before big, long corners was en vogue. Redraft the 2011 and Sherman goes earlier based solely on measurables in this draft today. Maxwell and Tharold Simon as well.

This is true but my main point is that this team has key needs on both the defensive and offensive lines and we should focus on those first and foremost. Great offensive/defensive lines are a trend with the Super Bowl Contenders.

Edited by #1ATLFALCONSFAN
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While I agree with your set of needs, and philosophy exactly, I get a slightly different output.

This is exactly how I approach drafts, because if you can get starters at DT in the 4th, then it lets you spend higher picks on other things.

However, the other element to keep in mind, is you hardly ever get starters after the 4th round. So we really have 3 to 4 picks to get what we need, so I'd prioritize.

Also, at WR, 2nd rounders tend to perform very well, but the talent drops off after the 2nd (same at CB).

So, our perfect mix, given that would be

1) Pass rusher

2) WR, CB

3) OG

4) RB

Now, I don't know how to reconcile the WR, CB thing. We can't take both in the round, but I'd probably take a WR who can play, and take a project tall CB late.

We can take other guys in the 5th-7th, but you can't really count on them. We'd be well off to take really athletic players who we can mold, and who can be special teams standouts. I'd rather take a super athletic long guy in the 5th who may become a great corner, than a workman like player, who has a very limited ceiling.

But if we took pass rusher, then WR, then OG, then RB...we'd likely have 4 starters/heavy rotation players, and can grab a couple of vets to let us get by at the other positions until next year.

Nice post.

Personally, I think we can wait on guard until the fifth round. Stone, Konz, and maybe even Baker will compete for left guard vacancy.

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Personally, I think we can wait on guard until the fifth round. Stone, Konz, and maybe even Baker will compete for left guard vacancy.

That terrifies me. I really wanted a guard in FA.

We have a center coming off injury, and we'll be having guys who've shown they can't hold up in interior pass pro (Konz, Baker) at the position we really need solid to have our O remain competitive.

I think to have any chance at being good this year, our O must remain top 10, and the most important aspect for that is a strong interior, followed by a RB.

One of those players could develop into an ok guard, but the problem you run into, is if no one does...then it is a disproportionate problem. If we have crappy interior OL play, our passing game and run game are hamstrung.

On the flipped, if we have a slightly slow FS, or 3rd corner, we can scheme around that. You can't scheme around a bad interior OL. It's way too expensive to find out late that your OL sucks.

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That terrifies me. I really wanted a guard in FA.

We have a center coming off injury, and we'll be having guys who've shown they can't hold up in interior pass pro (Konz, Baker) at the position we really need solid to have our O remain competitive.

I think to have any chance at being good this year, our O must remain top 10, and the most important aspect for that is a strong interior, followed by a RB.

One of those players could develop into an ok guard, but the problem you run into, is if no one does...then it is a disproportionate problem. If we have crappy interior OL play, our passing game and run game are hamstrung.

On the flipped, if we have a slightly slow FS, or 3rd corner, we can scheme around that. You can't scheme around a bad interior OL. It's way too expensive to find out late that your OL sucks.

After last seasons rash of injuries I can see how you would get a horrified feeling. That being said Hawley should be fine in a ZBS at center. Konz can hide his limited strength better in ZBS and Stone is probably athletic enough to play in that scheme at guard too. Morse could be picked up in 4th or 5th round as competition. I'm sure Baker will at least get a shot with his oversized contract.

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