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Theprof's First Mock Draft Of The Season


theProf
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The Falcons have expressed a direct interest in all of the following listed players in the first six rounds below:

1. Pass Rusher: Shane Ray (alternative: Bud Dupree, assuming Fowler and Beasley are already taken)

Falcons desperately need someone who can get after the QB, which has been missing since John Abraham in his prime. The tape doesn't lie: Shane Ray can definitely get after the QB and will significantly improve the pass rush.

2. Free Safety: Damarious Randall (alternative: Eric Rowe)

Quinn covets a Free Safety who can cover a lot of field and who is a sure tackler. Randall is moving up the draftboards rapidly, Mayock nows rates him as the #1 Safety in the draft. I think Southward then gets moved to CB.

3. Left Guard: Ali Marpet (alternative: Tre Jackson)

Now that the missing pieces for the defense has been shored-up, it's time to turn the attention to the Offense. Atlanta gets its starting left guard to replace Blalock for years to come.

4. Running Back: David Cobb (alternative: Mike Davis)

Atlanta gets a great complimentary power RB to help share the rushing load with Freeman. Hopefully, Atlanta can now kiss its short-yardage and goal-line rushing woes goodbye.

5. Wide Receiver: Mario Alford (alternatives: Ty Montgomery or Darren Waller)

Atlanta gets a very speedy wide-out who can really stretch the field, but can also catch contested balls. Atlanta might be able to go ahead and move Roddy into the slot, and use Alford at wideout. He's also a good kick-off returner to boot.

6. Cornerback: Nick Marshall (alternative: Tray Walker)

Need a little more developmental depth at CB. Converted QB, Nick Marshall has the necessary athletic traits to develop into a good pro CB with time.

7a. Nose Tackle: Ellis McCarthy (alternative: Deon Simon)

Need a back-up for Soliai at the nose. McCarthy has rare size at 338 pounds. From his scouting report: "has thick lower body and is rarely manhandled by a single block. Has natural strength to leverage his gap and take on double team blocks. Improved hand usage from 2013 to 2014. Flashes ability to collapse pocket as bull rusher."

7b. Fullback: Aaron Ripkowski (alternative: Mark Weisman)

I think DeMarco needs some competition at FB. I believe that Atlanta's rushing attack could significantly improve with a road-grinding, powerful blocking FB, in a similar vein to Ovie Mughelli in his prime. From his scouting report: "Outstanding size. Knows he is in to be a hammerhead for Sooners' rushing attack and takes great pride in that. Carries good speed and knee bend to his target. Drops low and explodes into linebackers with his outside shoulder, issuing a jarring, powerful pop. Looks for additional work after making first contact."

Additional notes: I didn't address ILB, TE, or Offensive Tackle in this mock. I think Worrilow needs another year to prove himself with the addition of better OLB help surrounding him. Schraeder may or may not be the answer at RT, but also deserves another year to prove himself. Atlanta addressed the TE position, at least for the 2015 season, with the addition of Tamme and Moeaki.

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Great stuff...The first two picks are spot on...Ray is a solid pick at #8...I would hope for Beasley, but not at all disappointed with Ray. Randall is a stud in the secondary...this move fills two gaps by adding a big CB (Dez moving to CB) and solidifying the FS position with a rangy FS.

I like all of your picks in rounds 3-5, but I would go at those positions in a different, only b/c I think Konz could potentially do okay at LG, so I do not view that position as much of a "need" as I do a slot WR/RET that has youth...

I would go:

3. David Johnson RB Northern Iowa....might be a reach

4. Tyler Lockett WR Kansas St.....Quinn preached about speed on ST...this would allow us to cut Hester (front load JJ contract)

5. BPA at OG (Morse, Glowinski, Mason would all be options)

The rest of the picks are solid...McCarthy has the UCLA connection and we need someone behind Soliai, so I could easily see that pick...people forget we are actually "thin" at the DT position.

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Dimi needs based drafting. That's how we got Jelly over Clay Matthews and Spoon over BayBay. Expect the same this year.

They would rather have jelly and could have jam.

I'd take Ray or Dupree over Fowler, and I'm iffy on Dupree.

No way... Fowler is a Quinn acolyte.

Beasley is better than the rest IMHO...Ray, Dupree,and Gregory.

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Dimi needs based drafting. That's how we got Jelly over Clay Matthews and Spoon over BayBay. Expect the same this year.

I tend to agree that we've been reluctant to take obvious studs in order to meet a need. I was encouraged by the Hagman pick however, so there is hope for some improveKent here.

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Dimi needs based drafting. That's how we got Jelly over Clay Matthews and Spoon over BayBay. Expect the same this year.

Spoon was a huge board favorite (including me). That year, there were only two people anyone wanted in the first and that was Brandon Graham and Spoon. BayBay was considered a huge project and potential bust, who owes a lot of his development to Peyton IMO.

The Jelly over Matthews has been discussed ad nauseam. Jelly was viewed by many to be a superior prosepect. Take a look at CBS Sports' Big Board for '09. http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/draft/prospectrankings/TSX/2009

The draft is a crap shoot, and this whole idea of just taking "the best player available" isn't exactly a science. Gurley could bust, Cooper could bust, Schreff could bust. Anyone can, and dodging a position of need to take a "sure thing" doesn't exist.

On Topic: I love the draft. It's similar to mine ( I think this is due to there being a pretty clear route to take as far as talent by round based on need goes). Would be stoked for Ray at 8 as would everyone on this board if it wasn't for an injured toe.

Edited by Artys Arryn
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I have no idea what everyone sees in Fowler. He's my least favorite of the "top" edge guys this year.

Fowler is that guy you can plug and play. He is not the best pass rusher nor the most athletic and maybe you could read tea leaves and say he has a lower ceiling because of it. That all being said, he is the guy I think most believe, can rush the QB effectively, set the edge effectively and short radius cover effectively. That makes him desirable because it is "believed" that you don't have to have a special scheme for him nor do you have to spend a lot of extra effort teaching him positional or technique basics like you would some of the others. Net is that Fowler seems like a guy who can play for any team while Beasley, Ray, Gregory and Dupree all will likely need to be in the right system to flourish. Fortunately the Falcons can afford to accommodate any of them.

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They would rather have jelly and could have jam.

No way... Fowler is a Quinn acolyte.

Beasley is better than the rest IMHO...Ray, Dupree,and Gregory.

I agree with Beasley. That Fowler is connected to Quinn has no meaning. It seems like every year people get focused on a player/coach connection only to watch the team pass up on that player.

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