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The Zebra Has Mocked


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Here's my realistic draft (I wish TD would trade down and stockpile a few picks, but I don't think he is capable of doing so).

I think we will very likely have the chance to pick each one of these guys up at the position we're picking, and I think each one of them can be starter-material by as soon as midway through the season. The ceiling on all of these guys is sky-high. 

Let me know what you think! 

 

1. Leonard Floyd, OLB, UGA 

- His ceiling is sky high and he has all the right moves - he just needs to put it together at the pro level and he could be a top tier defensive chess piece for us (kind of like a hunch punch mix of Clay Matthews and Kam Chancellor). Not to mention its about time the Falcons got a hometown boy to bring some of those GA fans in the fold. 

2. Keanu Neal, SS, UF

- I can't stand the Gators but this guy is a heat seeking missile. He will be our enforcer in the backfield that makes people pay for going over the middle or making dumb moves in their routes. He *does* remind me a lot of Willy Mo, but if we can train him to rugby tackle and not attempt a Spinebuster on everyone he takes down, he will be golden.

3. Bronson Kaufusi, DE, BYU

- This guy put up 11 sacks and 20 TFLs while holding down the edge at BYU in 2016. He has size and is athletic enough to take on RTs all day. I think he could be an amazing bookend to Beasley in our rush package, or play DE in our base package as well. 

4. Jerell Adams, TE, SC

- Our TE of the future. This dude is big and has a huge catch radius. He is still a bit raw and needs to hit the jugs, but with a year or so behind Tamme, I think this could be our guy.

7. Darrell Greene, OG, San Diego St.

- Pencil this guy in at RG once Chester retires after the season. He is a mauler with decent athleticism, and he isn't afraid to get in people's faces. With him in between Mack and Schraeder, I think Ryan won't be worrying about pressure coming in from the right side for a long time. 

 

Note/edit: 

I want Lawson at #17 but most "experts" think he will be long gone by then. If he is available then we take him and pick up the best TE/OG available in the third, and the best ILB/OG/TE available in the 4th/7th. 

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2 minutes ago, g-dawg said:

interesting players - you are taking guys with high upside but also high bust factor too.....

Falcons will take an offensive guard before the 7th round.

Yep - go big or go home I say (plus I stick to my belief that "safe" picks in the draft are almost as likely to bust, and usually don't pay off anywhere near what the Tyrann Mathieu's of the league do... I want people with athleticism and bad intentions... the skills can be honed later). 

I also would be totally ok with picking up an OG in the 4th and a TE in the 7th. I think those two are the least of our needs on the board and can be interchanged. 

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1 minute ago, QuantumZebra said:

Yep - go big or go home I say (plus I stick to my belief that "safe" picks in the draft are almost as likely to bust, and usually don't pay off anywhere near what the Tyrann Mathieu's of the league do... I want people with athleticism and bad intentions... the skills can be honed later). 

I also would be totally ok with picking up an OG in the 4th and a TE in the 7th. I think those two are the least of our needs on the board and can be interchanged. 

if you look at the draft visits, it seems like the positions that the Falcons are turning over the most rocks is at: OLB, SS, OG, TE and DE - in that order.

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13 minutes ago, g-dawg said:

if you look at the draft visits, it seems like the positions that the Falcons are turning over the most rocks is at: OLB, SS, OG, TE and DE - in that order.

Yep - this is a deep draft for OL (especially interior) so I think we can find value in the 4th-7th (maybe find a trade down partner in the 3rd to pick up a 5th or 6th rounder?). 

I could see TE being picked higher than 4th, but I just don't know if there is value there beyond Hunter Henry - granted I'm not as well versed in this years TE class. 

I think if we don't go DE before the 4th then we should roll with what we have ... seems like a thin class for edge players... I may be wrong though.

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Just now, QuantumZebra said:

Yep - this is a deep draft for OL (especially interior) so I think we can find value in the 4th-7th (maybe find a trade down partner in the 3rd to pick up a 5th or 6th rounder?). 

I could see TE being picked higher than 4th, but I just don't know if there is value there beyond Hunter Henry - granted I'm not as well versed in this years TE class. 

I think if we don't go DE before the 4th then we should roll with what we have ... seems like a thin class for edge players... I may be wrong though.

If I knew who we were taking at #17, think it would be easy to mock-out the rest of the draft but since we are looking at DE/LB/OG in 1st, whoever we select drastically changes what we are looking for with remaining picks.

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4 minutes ago, xskyx said:

I really like it. I would rather see Lawson but I really wouldn't mind Floyd, Lee, or even Ragland

I made this mock on the notion that Lawson will be gone by our pick (after listening to 92.9 and ESPN/NFLN - most pundits think he will be gone before #12).

 

IF he is available, then definitely get him.

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25 minutes ago, g-dawg said:

If I knew who we were taking at #17, think it would be easy to mock-out the rest of the draft but since we are looking at DE/LB/OG in 1st, whoever we select drastically changes what we are looking for with remaining picks.

Well, you just created your next mock:

If we go DE first, If we go LB first, if we go OG first.

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1 hour ago, g-dawg said:

interesting players - you are taking guys with high upside but also high bust factor too.....

Falcons will take an offensive guard before the 7th round.

I'm not disagreeing, but with the Chester signing, I think the Falcons gave themselves some flexibility to wait until the 7th round on an OG, if a player rated high drops to the 4th round...

We currently have 8 players on the roster on the interior of the OL (OC: Mack, Stone, Person; OG: Levitre, Chester, Garland, Rahrig, Replogle). I'm not saying we are "set" or "good" at the position, and I understand camp bodies/competition, but I think the signing gives us more flexibility and not be needs strapped in the draft...

Long winded, but I think we can afford to wait until the 7th round (which we ahve been scouting OL guys in) if a good player falls in the 4th round (see Jarrett in the 5th round last year).

Edited by Matt_The Iceman_Ryan
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The number one need on the team is OG.  It is the position with the single biggest impact on our likely wins.  If our OG's flounder, we have a poor run game and passing attack.  If our OG's succeed even at moderate levels, we have a top 5 offense.

I'm not saying that means we take one in the first, but I think people are undervaluing OG, and not realizing how big of a deal it is that our interior can't pass protect.

 

On the draft:  Excepting OG, I think it's pretty good.  I'd take a DT instead of Kafusi myself, but as long as we get line help, I'm for that.

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44 minutes ago, takeitdown said:

The number one need on the team is OG.  It is the position with the single biggest impact on our likely wins.  If our OG's flounder, we have a poor run game and passing attack.  If our OG's succeed even at moderate levels, we have a top 5 offense.

I'm not saying that means we take one in the first, but I think people are undervaluing OG, and not realizing how big of a deal it is that our interior can't pass protect.

 

On the draft:  Excepting OG, I think it's pretty good.  I'd take a DT instead of Kafusi myself, but as long as we get line help, I'm for that.

Offense

Last year, we were 7th in yds,  6th in pass yds, 18th in rush yards, yet 21st in points....

Defense

Last year, we were #16 in yards allowed, #14 in pts allowed, #27 in 3rd down conversion, #18 in pass ypg, and #14 in rush ypg and LAST in sacks...

 

We added the BEST center in the game and upgraded our #2WR (controversial, but has Roddy been signed by anyone?)...We are NOT an OG away from being in the Top 5....I think an extra year in the system and the two upgrades are going to keep us around the Top 5 in yards, and hopefully we will improve on scoring (red zone)....

But to say OG is what our #1 priority is in the draft, is ludicrous...not to mentioned we have 5 OG on the roster right now, with 1 C 9Person) that is most likely going to transition to OG....

 

This draft's priority is defense in the first 2 rounds...

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18 minutes ago, Matt_The Iceman_Ryan said:

Offense

Last year, we were 7th in yds,  6th in pass yds, 18th in rush yards, yet 21st in points....

Defense

Last year, we were #16 in yards allowed, #14 in pts allowed, #27 in 3rd down conversion, #18 in pass ypg, and #14 in rush ypg and LAST in sacks...

 

We added the BEST center in the game and upgraded our #2WR (controversial, but has Roddy been signed by anyone?)...We are NOT an OG away from being in the Top 5....I think an extra year in the system and the two upgrades are going to keep us around the Top 5 in yards, and hopefully we will improve on scoring (red zone)....

But to say OG is what our #1 priority is in the draft, is ludicrous...not to mentioned we have 5 OG on the roster right now, with 1 C 9Person) that is most likely going to transition to OG....

 

This draft's priority is defense in the first 2 rounds...

You mistake which side of the ball is weakest, for which position can make the biggest change.

You're right.  We have a lot of talent on the offensive side of the ball.  And what can make all of that talent be useless?  Interior penetration.  And we're susceptible to it, because our guards are weak.

If we only had one draft pick...and you had to choose who would make the biggest difference to our wins and losses...what position would it be?

LB would be great, but we still need pass rush, still need another LB, still need safety...probably only affects a bit.

Whereas, OG is the primary thing keeping our line from being a strength, and keeping our offense at 15 instead of 5.

So yeah, OG is the one position, that being shored up with just a good player, would make the biggest difference to our team, scoring, point differential, wins.

 

 

I'd focus the draft mainly on defense, but  I wouldn't forget that one position can cripple our offense this year, and it's not that hard to fix.

 

LB

OG

S/DE

in the first 3 rounds is hardly forgetting the D.

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1 minute ago, takeitdown said:

You mistake which side of the ball is weakest, for which position can make the biggest change.

You're right.  We have a lot of talent on the offensive side of the ball.  And what can make all of that talent be useless?  Interior penetration.  And we're susceptible to it, because our guards are weak.

If we only had one draft pick...and you had to choose who would make the biggest difference to our wins and losses...what position would it be?

LB would be great, but we still need pass rush, still need another LB, still need safety...probably only affects a bit.

Whereas, OG is the primary thing keeping our line from being a strength, and keeping our offense at 15 instead of 5.

So yeah, OG is the one position, that being shored up with just a good player, would make the biggest difference to our team, scoring, point differential, wins.

 

 

I'd focus the draft mainly on defense, but  I wouldn't forget that one position can cripple our offense this year, and it's not that hard to fix.

 

LB

OG

S/DE

in the first 3 rounds is hardly forgetting the D.

Your kidding right? One pick, who would make the biggest difference on our team?

Best OG in the draft - Whitehair, or whoever

VS

Ramsey, Bosa, Ragland, Lawson????

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Just now, Matt_The Iceman_Ryan said:

Your kidding right? One pick, who would make the biggest difference on our team?

Best OG in the draft - Whitehair, or whoever

VS

Ramsey, Bosa, Ragland, Lawson????

One pick where we are.

What I'm saying is Mack, Julio, etc. are useless if DT's are ragdolling our OG.  It defeats an offense.  So that one player impedes 10 others from doing their job.

We don't have the same thing on defense.  We don't have one single position that can make the whole thing collapse or go (with what else we have).  The closest would probably be getting a dominant DT or LE.

So no, I'm not kidding. 
I'm not even saying take a guard first.  I'm saying make sure you have a good pass protecting guard before you leave this offseason so you don't cripple your offense.  The good thing is we don't need an elite guard, we just need a good one.

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5 minutes ago, takeitdown said:

One pick where we are.

What I'm saying is Mack, Julio, etc. are useless if DT's are ragdolling our OG.  It defeats an offense.  So that one player impedes 10 others from doing their job.

We don't have the same thing on defense.  We don't have one single position that can make the whole thing collapse or go (with what else we have).  The closest would probably be getting a dominant DT or LE.

So no, I'm not kidding. 
I'm not even saying take a guard first.  I'm saying make sure you have a good pass protecting guard before you leave this offseason so you don't cripple your offense.  The good thing is we don't need an elite guard, we just need a good one.

You just stated, one pick "where we are"

So I will let you take your OG at #17 and I am going to take the best Defensive player on the board (Ragland, Lee, Lawson, Floyd).

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4 minutes ago, Matt_The Iceman_Ryan said:

You just stated, one pick "where we are"

So I will let you take your OG at #17 and I am going to take the best Defensive player on the board (Ragland, Lee, Lawson, Floyd).

OK.  And our defense will be marginally better, while our offensive playbook is stifled because our QB doesn't have time to get to this 3rd progression.

Meanwhile, Floyd might make a difference of a point per game.  Maybe. 

One of the keys to constructing anything, is understanding what can break you.  A LB/not LB won't break us.  OG can.  So you prioritize it.

I'd take it in the 2nd round personally, and get your first round D player...because we don't need a great guard.  It is our greatest need, but we only need him to be good.

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1 minute ago, takeitdown said:

OK.  And our defense will be marginally better, while our offensive playbook is stifled because our QB doesn't have time to get to this 3rd progression.

Meanwhile, Floyd might make a difference of a point per game.  Maybe. 

One of the keys to constructing anything, is understanding what can break you.  A LB/not LB won't break us.  OG can.  So you prioritize it.

I'd take it in the 2nd round personally, and get your first round D player...because we don't need a great guard.  It is our greatest need, but we only need him to be good.

My last comment cause I cant keep banging my head agst a brick wall...

Cody Whitehair or whoever your best OG at #17 is not takign us to the promise land....

The fact we added Mack, should improve the two OG positions as they all three work more together than any other combo on the OL...

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1 hour ago, QuantumZebra said:

I made this mock on the notion that Lawson will be gone by our pick (after listening to 92.9 and ESPN/NFLN - most pundits think he will be gone before #12).

 

IF he is available, then definitely get him.

Most years it's been a lot easier to map out where players are expected to fall (or at least a general idea).. This year, especially with de/olb, pundits are throwing them all over the place. Messing with my expectations!

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6 minutes ago, Matt_The Iceman_Ryan said:

My last comment cause I cant keep banging my head agst a brick wall...

Cody Whitehair or whoever your best OG at #17 is not takign us to the promise land....

The fact we added Mack, should improve the two OG positions as they all three work more together than any other combo on the OL...

So you understand where I'm coming from, I'll lay it out simply:

It's been shown time and again that having one side of the ball be top 5 is the path to the playoffs and Super Bowl.  Having both sides be 16th is a recipe for staying home.

I'm arguing lets take one player to make sure we get there on offense, where we're close.  And no one player will get us there on defense.

That's the logic.  You may not like it, but it's not remotely wrong.  And what I keep saying is if we only had one pick, I'd make it an OG (and a guy like Conklin, not whitehair).  Luckily we have multiples, so we can Go LB 1st, OG 2nd, LB third...we just can't forget OG, or we're missing the simplest thing to insure we have a good team.

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