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Vaughn Mcclure On Falcons Draft


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FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- A wrap-up of the Atlanta Falcons' draft

Best move: The best moves, plural, were the selections of pass-rusherVic Beasley in the first round and running back Tevin Coleman in the third. During pro day at Clemson, it stood out how Buffalo Bills coach Rex Ryan praised Beasley as just a flat out "baller" set to make an immediate impact in the NFL. Though some draft experts tried to kill the buzz surrounding Beasley, he obviously impressed the league with his college production and superhuman combine numbers. His speed off the edge is something the Falcons sorely need after pressuring opposing quarterbacks on 22 percent of dropbacks last season -- worst in the NFC, according to ESPN Statistics & Information. As for Coleman, you can't go wrong when you add a 2,000-yard rusher, particularly when more than 1,000 of those yards came with Coleman running on a broken right toe. His big-play ability makes you salivate about the potential the Falcons have out of the backfield along withDevonta Freeman and Antone Smith.

Riskiest move: Taking LSU cornerback Jalen Collins in the second round. Yes, Collins has first-round talent and he's a big, physical corner who immediately talked about coming in and putting a lick on somebody. However, Collins admitted failing three drug tests while in college, which makes you wonder if it's a lingering issues. Several teams had him red-flagged for his worth ethic. On the field, ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay offered this breakdown: "Collins lacks ideal starting experience and refined technique, but he's a tall, long cornerback with excellent movement skills and speed. That makes him a valuable commodity in the NFL right now. He is also very good in run support."

Most surprising move: Overlooking the inside linebacker position. The Falcons figured to pursue a linebacker on Day 2 but instead addressed cornerback and running back. General manager Thomas Dimitroff explained that some of the inside linebackers in the draft did not fit the scheme although the team showed interest in UCLA's Eric Kendricks, TCU's Paul Dawsonand Miami's Denzel Perryman.

File it away: Fourth-round pick Justin Hardy will make his mark at receiver. Of course, he won't be the primary target as long as Julio Jones is on the roster. However, Hardy can slide right in and contribute in the slot after the Falcons released Harry Douglas. ESPN analyst Bill Polian spoke highly of Hardy, specifically pointing to his ability to establish separation with precise route-running. Hardy himself, a former college walk-on who holds the NCAA FBS record for career receptions (387) said he always plays with a chip on his shoulder because folks have always called the 5-foot-10-inch, 192-pound target too small. He has the potential to play big.

My take: The Falcons were able to secure players with values higher than they were projected, including projected second-rounders in Coleman (third) and Clemson defensive tackle Grady Jarrett (fifth). Beasley will be an immediate-impact pass-rusher, and the defense should be faster and more physical with Beasley, Collins and Jarrett. Do the draft picks make the Falcons a playoff team in 2015? That's unknown. Yet no one can deny that this was a good start in the right direction for coach Dan Quinn, Dimitroff and the revamped Falcons.Thumbs up

Edited by NCCooley
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I get the worry over Collins, I do. I just don't share in it in the slightest. He smoked some weed and was an idiot kid about it. Quinn seems to be an impressive judge of character as presented by the draft haul he just gave us. So the only thing that leaves me with is that we landed a bonafied first round talent big, fast, tough, CB in the second. Or in different words. We won.

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"Do the draft picks make the Falcons a playoff team in 2015?" Wrong question. You need to ask if ALL the changes we made this offseason, including the HC, DC, OC, the FAs, the draft picks, and all the players we let go will make this a playoff team.

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I get the worry over Collins, I do. I just don't share in it in the slightest. He smoked some weed and was an idiot kid about it. Quinn seems to be an impressive judge of character as presented by the draft haul he just gave us. So the only thing that leaves me with is that we landed a bonafied first round talent big, fast, tough, CB in the second. Or in different words. We won.

I just got off the phone with Jimmy Williams. He says hi

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"Do the draft picks make the Falcons a playoff team in 2015?" Wrong question. You need to ask if ALL the changes we made this offseason, including the HC, DC, OC, the FAs, the draft picks, and all the players we let go will make this a playoff team.

I share your enthusiasm at this point. All the moves TOGETHER make a new team. They are looking too hard at MLB and we took an SLB and WLB in the offseason.

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I get the worry over Collins, I do. I just don't share in it in the slightest. He smoked some weed and was an idiot kid about it. Quinn seems to be an impressive judge of character as presented by the draft haul he just gave us. So the only thing that leaves me with is that we landed a bonafied first round talent big, fast, tough, CB in the second. Or in different words. We won.

Yeah, If we're talking "character concerns," why the heck is everyone so high on Tampa drafting freaking Winston first overall, but we "reached for a guy with character issues" in the second round!!? Didn't Winston steal soda and crab legs, lead a profanity laced tirade that got him suspended, and land himself in a rape lawsuit!!? But our kid smokes weed...

FWIW, I'm so glad Tampa took JW... I don't see that kid making the maturity leap it takes to be a successful NFL quarterback.

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I get the worry over Collins, I do. I just don't share in it in the slightest. He smoked some weed and was an idiot kid about it. Quinn seems to be an impressive judge of character as presented by the draft haul he just gave us. So the only thing that leaves me with is that we landed a bonafied first round talent big, fast, tough, CB in the second. Or in different words. We won.

I'd love it if Deion reached out to him & helped his transition. He could probably benefit from a vet's perspective & experience of NFL life both on & off the field. Very excited to see him compete & evolve.

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Yeah, If we're talking "character concerns," why the heck is everyone so high on Tampa drafting freaking Winston first overall, but we "reached for a guy with character issues" in the second round!!? Didn't Winston steal soda and crab legs, lead a profanity laced tirade that got him suspended, and land himself in a rape lawsuit!!? But our kid smokes weed...

FWIW, I'm so glad Tampa took JW... I don't see that kid making the maturity leap it takes to be a successful NFL quarterback.

I am a little FSU biased, but ... I can definitely see the South having two Scams now.

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My concern with Collins is simple. If you can't play friendly with John Chavis, you've got problems. The fact that Chavis found him unreliable is troubling, but since we got second round value three other times, I'm not the least bit worried about it in terms of the big picture.

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I get the worry over Collins, I do. I just don't share in it in the slightest. He smoked some weed and was an idiot kid about it. Quinn seems to be an impressive judge of character as presented by the draft haul he just gave us. So the only thing that leaves me with is that we landed a bonafied first round talent big, fast, tough, CB in the second. Or in different words. We won.

The off the field issues limited his ability to stay on the field. He lost his job and only regained it when Robinson was suspended. The youngster has a lot of growing up to do and lacks technique.

Very risky move, classic boom/bust scenario.

Edited by insight
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I get the worry over Collins, I do. I just don't share in it in the slightest. He smoked some weed and was an idiot kid about it. Quinn seems to be an impressive judge of character as presented by the draft haul he just gave us. So the only thing that leaves me with is that we landed a bonafied first round talent big, fast, tough, CB in the second. Or in different words. We won.

The fact that he had only ten starts, but also had four benchings bothers me WAAAYYYY more than the weed.

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I like the video, but the thing that hit me was Quinn's comment in one of the press conferences that he personally spoke with people close to Jalen, and they gave Quinn a comfort level that Jalen's character is a non-issue. Sounded like Quinn used his personal relationships with other coaches to fully vet this kid. I'm pulling for him.

Very excited for the new season.

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Another thing that stood out to was when I believe it was Coleman who was picked and the way Quinn talked to him. Literally every phone call from every team sounds the same and they get the same reaction. But Quinn connected with Coleman and said something along the lines of "let's get it" and it fired up Coleman over the ******* phone. Just another thing that impressed me from Quinn this weekend.

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I consider myself a glass half full type of guy. And I understand why there are those who look at Collins time on the field experience as an issue (10 starts), but how come I don't hear anybody looking at that and say maybe this kid's best football is ahead of him?

To me when I look at a talent like Collins, and I see a perceived lack of experience associated with him, I get excited because I'm thinking in my mind this kid has only scratched the surface in terms of his potential.

Remember, to this day, we haven't heard one person deny his talent, only his maturity and decision-making. If what I saw in that piece is true, then I'd say he's on his way to making amends. I think we got a steal.

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