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Falcons check out Jack Conklin, three other Michigan State Spartans


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Falcons check out Jack Conklin, three other Michigan State Spartans

12:29 PM ET

Vaughn McClure

ESPN Staff Writer

Atlanta Falcons coach Dan Quinn has made no secret about visiting various schools around the nation to conduct workouts.

Monday, Quinn tweeted a picture from Michigan State.

According to a school source, the players who met with the Falcons for workouts and meetings were offensive linemen Jack Conklin and Jack Allen, defensive end Lawrence Thomas, and defensive lineman Joel Heath.

Conklin (6-6, 308) is a projected first-round draft pick who was a three-year starter at left tackle for the Spartans. The tackle position doesn't appear to be a top priority for the Falcons, with starting left tackle Jake Matthews back and starting right tackle Ryan Schraeder recently signing his one-year restricted free-agent tender.

Allen (6-foot-1, 294) is projected to go in the middle rounds of the draft as a center/guard prospect. Of course, the Falcons are set at center with the addition of three-time Pro Bowler Alex Mack. However, they remain unsettled at right guard. Allen was a four-year starter for the Spartans who is capable of playing any spot on the line. He had 42 career starts at center and five at left guard.

Thomas (6-foot-3, 286) came to Michigan State as a linebacker but evolved into a defensive lineman. He played nose tackle in 2014 then played 13 games at defensive end last season. Thomas even started three games at fullback as a redshirt freshman, which speaks to his athleticism and versatility.

And Heath (6-5, 293) was a backup defensive end who transitioned to defensive tackle for his final two seasons with the Spartans.

We'll see if the Falcons target any of these players in the draft. You would think there is legitimate interest in at least one of them or else Quinn and crew wouldn't go through the process of flying around.

Getting a closer look at Conklin, Allen, Thomas and Heath is consistent with Quinn's plan to address the lines first and foremost.

http://espn.go.com/blog/atlanta-falcons/post/_/id/19871/falcons-work-out-jack-conklin-three-other-spartans

 

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Exactly S. Calhoun is the guy from their program I would think we have the most intrest in. Notice TD likes Big Ten players. I'M just saying.

 Seems like nothing has changed. We get rid of Vital and Smith bring in all that GM experience  but things FEEL the same. Maybe it is just from the outside looking in. We could really use a great draft.

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2 hours ago, Gold4425 said:

Exactly S. Calhoun is the guy from their program I would think we have the most intrest in. Notice TD likes Big Ten players. I'M just saying.

 Seems like nothing has changed. We get rid of Vital and Smith bring in all that GM experience  but things FEEL the same. Maybe it is just from the outside looking in. We could really use a great draft.

 

You're complaining for no reason. Have you not noticed they've been visiting colleges all over the country? 

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I'm thinking the front office may be planning for Schraeder's potential exit next season. Assuming he has another good year, he'll be a 29 year old free agent that will be getting big offers from other teams. Depending on how big those offers are, I seriously question whether we'll try to retain him.

However, I really don't think we can go OT that early unless we acquire several more picks.

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38 minutes ago, JRob215 said:

I'm thinking the front office may be planning for Schraeder's potential exit next season. Assuming he has another good year, he'll be a 29 year old free agent that will be getting big offers from other teams. Depending on how big those offers are, I seriously question whether we'll try to retain him.

However, I really don't think we can go OT that early unless we acquire several more picks.

This has been something I've been considering as a possibility for a while now. I think if they really thought they couldn't live without Schraeder, he would've gotten more than a 2nd round tender. 

We will have a lot of cap space freed up next offseason, but we have to pay Matthews, Tru, Alford, and have guys like Ryan, Julio, Mack, etc. getting paid well already, so if Schraeder isn't in the long-term plans, it makes a lot of sense to get a guy this year who can be the eventual RT solution & will be on a rookie deal for a while.

IMO Jason Spriggs would be absolutely perfect. He can play inside at RG this year & then move out to RT next year if we let Schrader walk. I would totally take him at 17 & get the best available SS or LB prospect on our board in rounds 2 & 3. I think we'd solidify the o-line for the next 5 years & still fill out some huge needs on the other side of the ball.

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