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Mel Kiper 2018 Mock 1.0 - With the 26th Pick, the Falcons Select...


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3 hours ago, TheDirtyWordII said:

26. Atlanta Falcons

*Christian Kirk, WR, Texas A&M

Kirk isn't a giant, go-to No. 1 wide receiver -- he's only 5-11 -- but Atlanta doesn't need that with Julio Jones already on the roster. Kirk would be a versatile offensive threat who could immediately help as both a punt and kick returner. He can play in the slot and burn defensive backs, and he could play outside too. Kirk had an up-and-down 2017 season, but he still finished with 12 total touchdowns, including two on returns. He's my No. 2-ranked receiver

TDWII Take:  I'm a BIG fan of this pick.  HUGE!  I think I'm swimming upstream in terms of my endorsement of a selection of WR high.  But I think the Falcons have not done a very good or thorough job of building a pass catching corps behind Julio/Sanu.  The synopsis by Kiper is spot-on.  Kirk would provide a versatile option in the offense and on ST in the return game which could open the Falcons offense back up.

I'll go you one better. I'm willing to sacrifice draft capital if Ridley is available in the mid-teens. Alabama's stagnant offense did him a disservice, which means he might slide some on Draft Day. I wouldn't make a Julio trade for him, but I'd give up our first and second round picks to get up to 16 or so. Our roster is more settled than people realize. Poe, Clayburn, and Matt Bryant are the big three. And Bryant should be easy. So, we're talking OG, WR, DT, and maybe a safety. And a couple of those are depth moves.

This is a year where we might have the luxury of adding Julio's long term replacement, just as we did with Roddy in 2011. Julio's seven seasons into his career and only two years younger than Calvin Johnson was when he retired. And #11's definitely taken a beating over the years. We take him for granted, but this offense would collapse without a viable replacement.

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3 minutes ago, youngbloodz said:

You have your opinion I have mines. The quickest way to disrupt a QB is pressure up the middle. Our guards are not that good. Games are won and lost at the line of scrimmage. The Super Bowl and the Philly game should show you that 

Is Grady Jarrett going anywhere?  Can we not re-sign Poe?

It's not my opinion, but fact, that those draft choices and FA investments were made to do just as you say, build up along the LOS (including the signing of Poe).  Do you not feel as though a team needs to be balanced in their team building approach?

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4 minutes ago, jidady said:

I'll go you one better. I'm willing to sacrifice draft capital if Ridley is available in the mid-teens. Alabama's stagnant offense did him a disservice, which means he might slide some on Draft Day. I wouldn't make a Julio trade for him, but I'd give up our first and second round picks to get up to 16 or so. Our roster is more settled than people realize. Poe, Clayburn, and Matt Bryant are the big three. And Bryant should be easy. So, we're talking OG, WR, DT, and maybe a safety. And a couple of those are depth moves.

This is a year where we might have the luxury of adding Julio's long term replacement, just as we did with Roddy in 2011. Julio's seven seasons into his career and only two years younger than Calvin Johnson was when he retired. And #11's definitely taken a beating over the years. We take him for granted, but this offense would collapse without a viable replacement.

What would you be willing to give up to get Ridley

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6 minutes ago, TheDirtyWordII said:

Is Grady Jarrett going anywhere?  Can we not re-sign Poe?

It's not my opinion, but fact, that those draft choices and FA investments were made to do just as you say, build up along the LOS (including the signing of Poe).  Do you not feel as though a team needs to be balanced in their team building approach?

Grady and Poe aren't guards. I specifically said guards. But even if Poe is resign we still need a DT. You are talking about opinions sir not fact. A fact would be steel is hard. Line of scrimmage comes before WRs imo

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59 minutes ago, Falcan Moore said:

We have not invested in OL in the draft outside of Matthews. Period. "Expensive free agents" are not a sustainable way to build the line, as I said. Levitre, Mack, and Schraeder all cost a lot, and so will Matthews soon. 

Know how many 1st, 2nd, and 3rd round picks we've invested on OL in the last five drafts?

One.

ONE. In five years. That is not sustainable.

And how many WR’s have we drafted in the first 3 rounds in the last 5 years?

0. Yet some people (not saying you) act like we’re the Lions and draft WR’s high every year. 

Edited by falconsfan4life3
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3 hours ago, ATLFalcon36 said:

 We have an absurd amount of money tied up in WR and an absurd LACK of money tied up in the O-line. We need DT/OG/TE. I'd take BPA at any of those 3 before another freaking 1st round WR.

This is a common, unthoughtful argument.

Mack isn’t underpaid. Levitre isnt either. Neither is Schraeder. We just happen to have two guys on rookie contracts. And Jake was a top 6 pick. We’ve invested plenty if resources in our o-line.

 If Schweitzer had a better year, no one cares about the “amount” invested in our o-line. Who is on the market that you’re willing to spend top dollar on that will come here? You can’t just throw money at guys (aka Panthers and Matt Kahlil) and expect the money to fix the problem

When you develop 3 top 10 players at their positions (Matt, Julio, Free), it cost money to keep them. 

Who are you cutting of those guys to pursue a lineman? 

Edited by Five_Fifs
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5 minutes ago, youngbloodz said:

What would you be willing to give up to get Ridley

Our first and second, #26 and #58, would be enough to get up to #16. I'm seeing some mocks that have him around that spot. Personally, I doubt he gets out of the top 10, and I wouldn't pay what it would cost to get that high. I'm not crazy about the 20-75 spot of this draft, which means a guy we take at #26 isn't going to be demonstrably better than who we'd have available in the third. Meanwhile, Ridley's clearly a phenomenal talent at WR. We could splurge there and still get a viable guard like Will Clapp or Ross Pierschbacher in the third and then a nose like Tim Settle, Justin Jones, or Derrick Nnadi in the fourth (these are just examples, as current round speculation for all of these guys is still in flux). The Falcons are a bit lucky this year in that our needs are at positions that historically get undervalued in the draft. Most guards, safeties, and nose tackles generally go in the middle rounds.Only rare prospects go higher. That gives us some flexibility.

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2 hours ago, Butudontseeme™ said:

Hate it. And it has nothing to do with the player. I fully support drafting a WR but not before the 3rd and not a guy that’s not even 6’ tall. He would have to be schemed open constantly in the NFL because he won’t be able to win very many 50/50 balls. 

Antonio Brown is 5'10" and OBJ is 5'11". It's the player, not the height, that matters.

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8 minutes ago, falconsfan4life3 said:

And how many WR’s have we drafted in the first 3 rounds in the last 5 years?

0. Yet some people (not saying you) act like we’re the Lions and draft WR’s high every year. 

I don't think that. I just think that decent receivers and an excellent OL trump excellent receivers and a decent OL. Yet, we have well above average receivers - arguably a top 5 group, even though they aren't especially deep. Definitely on par with other playoff teams.

Where we're lacking is the interior trenches.

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You can get very good receivers later in the draft. Michael Thomas was a 2nd round pick in 2016. Tyreek Hill was a 5th round pick the same year. 

Smith-Schuster was a late 2nd round pick last year. Cooper Kupp was a 3rd round pick for the Rams and perhaps their most reliable receiver this year. 

I would hope we wouldn't take a receiver in the first round unless we feel like he's an absolute steal and the guys we wanted at that spot at other positions are off the board. 

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31 minutes ago, youngbloodz said:

You have your opinion I have mines. The quickest way to disrupt a QB is pressure up the middle. Our guards are not that good. Games are won and lost at the line of scrimmage. The Super Bowl and the Philly game should show you that 

I still can't figure out how pointing out how the Falcons have ACTUALLY invested in building up the LOS is opinion.

Drafting Jake Matthews at #6 - FACT
Drafting Vic Beasley at #8 - FACT
Signing Alex Mack (5 years $45M) - FACT
Trading for Andy Levitre (a cash investment of 3 years $16.25M) - FACT
Signing Dontari Poe (1 year $8M) - FACT
Drafting Takk at #26 - FACT

Your original statement was this...Pass. You build the line of scrimmage first and foremost

You didn't specify guards...you didn't even specify offense or defense originally.  Only amended it later.  My counter point is that that philosophy you espoused is what the Falcons have been doing the last 4 seasons.

Now let's look at how the Falcons have built the WR's the last 4 years.

Sign Mohammed Sanu (5 years $32M) - FACT
Ummm....tendering Tayloir Gabriel at 2nd round level... - FACT

...anything else?

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Just now, Expert Poster said:

You can get very good receivers later in the draft. Michael Thomas was a 2nd round pick in 2016. Tyreek Hill was a 5th round pick the same year. 

Smith-Schuster was a late 2nd round pick last year. Cooper Kupp was a 3rd round pick for the Rams and perhaps their most reliable receiver this year. 

I would hope we wouldn't take a receiver in the first round unless we feel like he's an absolute steal and the guys we wanted at that spot at other positions are off the board. 

You can get any position later in the draft...no position has a monopoly on finding gems late.  If any position does it actually is OL.

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7 minutes ago, TheDirtyWordII said:

I still can't figure out how pointing out how the Falcons have ACTUALLY invested in building up the LOS is opinion.

Drafting Jake Matthews at #6 - FACT
Drafting Vic Beasley at #8 - FACT
Signing Alex Mack (5 years $45M) - FACT
Trading for Andy Levitre (a cash investment of 3 years $16.25M) - FACT
Signing Dontari Poe (1 year $8M) - FACT
Drafting Takk at #26 - FACT

Your original statement was this...Pass. You build the line of scrimmage first and foremost

You didn't specify guards...you didn't even specify offense or defense originally.  Only amended it later.  My counter point is that that philosophy you espoused is what the Falcons have been doing the last 4 seasons.

Now let's look at how the Falcons have built the WR's the last 4 years.

Sign Mohammed Sanu (5 years $32M) - FACT
Ummm....tendering Tayloir Gabriel at 2nd round level... - FACT

...anything else?

I was posting to someone on another thread about guards. My apologies. With TD basically admitting he will target a guard in FA we can axe off a guard in the first . I would STILL take Vita Vea at 26 over anyone that realistically will be left. Cause he is Haloti Ngata 2.0 imo

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20 minutes ago, jidady said:

Our first and second, #26 and #58, would be enough to get up to #16. I'm seeing some mocks that have him around that spot. Personally, I doubt he gets out of the top 10, and I wouldn't pay what it would cost to get that high. I'm not crazy about the 20-75 spot of this draft, which means a guy we take at #26 isn't going to be demonstrably better than who we'd have available in the third. Meanwhile, Ridley's clearly a phenomenal talent at WR. We could splurge there and still get a viable guard like Will Clapp or Ross Pierschbacher in the third and then a nose like Tim Settle, Justin Jones, or Derrick Nnadi in the fourth (these are just examples, as current round speculation for all of these guys is still in flux). The Falcons are a bit lucky this year in that our needs are at positions that historically get undervalued in the draft. Most guards, safeties, and nose tackles generally go in the middle rounds.Only rare prospects go higher. That gives us some flexibility.

Interesting take. I would hate if we gave up a 1st or 2nd. But Ridley is very very good. 

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20 minutes ago, youngbloodz said:

Grady and Poe aren't guards. I specifically said guards. But even if Poe is resign we still need a DT. You are talking about opinions sir not fact. A fact would be steel is hard. Line of scrimmage comes before WRs imo

I suspect the divide here is the belief that it's an either/or proposition. There are several arguments going around in this thread. Let's circle back to the facts for a moment. The Falcons have invested financially in both the OL and at WR. So, if that's the criteria, we've prioritized each one. Could we get better at either position? Sure. Are we better than most at both? Absolutely.

We also appear to have struck gold with both of our recent first round DEs, which gives us a lot of breathing room in the short term. We also seem to have enough at LBer right now, given the sheer volume of young guys in the mix. I suspect that we'll look at corner and safety in this draft, but our team needs are staggeringly few compared to most of the NFL.

So, everything we're debating here is along the lines of, "How do we make the incremental improvements needed to win a Super Bowl? Personally, I want us to re-sign Dontari Poe, as he had a fine season for us. Grady Jarrett, Poe, Takk, and Beasley is a fairly incredible front four. Then, we have Deion Jones on the second level plus Trufant at corner. Throw in Keanu Neal and Robert Alford, and we have eight truly special players on our starting 11 plus Campbell and Allen. That's 10 guys we feel good about. If Duke Riley improves, our core of young players is almost a full defense.

On offense, we do have a couple of issues at guard, part of which was caused by Levitre's injury. Like in the Super Bowl, we were thinner on the line in the playoffs this year than in the regular season. So, we need at least one quality prospect there if not two. I think everyone agrees on this point. The argument is whether picking a guy in the first two rounds will guarantee that we get a better one. And that's where everything gets muddy.

There's one great TE this year and one great OG. We probably don't want to take a TE in the first, and the guard, Nelson, is likely to be long gone by #15, much less #26. The other guys don't have the value of the #26 pick. I'm not even super-crazy about them as second rounders. There are a lot of SEC guys coming out this year who started a long time and will be available in the middle rounds. Those are Dimitroff's kind of players. And there's only one NT worthy of our spot. I'm dubious that Vita Vea gets to us, but I'm totally down with that pick if he does. Then, we're talking about Christian Wilkins and Da'Ron Payne, both of whom have grades ranging from #30 to #100 from what I'm seeing. So, the value is questionable for both players at #26 (or even if we trade down).

Finding the player that fits where the Falcons pick isn't easy this draft. That's why other options are interesting.

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27 minutes ago, jidady said:

Our first and second, #26 and #58, would be enough to get up to #16. I'm seeing some mocks that have him around that spot. Personally, I doubt he gets out of the top 10, and I wouldn't pay what it would cost to get that high. I'm not crazy about the 20-75 spot of this draft, which means a guy we take at #26 isn't going to be demonstrably better than who we'd have available in the third. Meanwhile, Ridley's clearly a phenomenal talent at WR. We could splurge there and still get a viable guard like Will Clapp or Ross Pierschbacher in the third and then a nose like Tim Settle, Justin Jones, or Derrick Nnadi in the fourth (these are just examples, as current round speculation for all of these guys is still in flux). The Falcons are a bit lucky this year in that our needs are at positions that historically get undervalued in the draft. Most guards, safeties, and nose tackles generally go in the middle rounds.Only rare prospects go higher. That gives us some flexibility.

Is Ridley that much more of a prospect/sure thing to trade away our #58 pick?  I like his talent, not his build...I've heard that he's closer to 180 than 190, at 6'1.  Kirk already seems to have an NFL WR build.

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27 minutes ago, jidady said:

Antonio Brown is 5'10" and OBJ is 5'11". It's the player, not the height, that matters.

You think this Kirk guy is on that level?

2 guys out of roughly 130-140 in NFL rosters is not exactly a great representation of guys with diminutive stature being impact players in the league. 

Back to the point, if Kirk is that good, sign me up. I just have my doubts. 

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22 minutes ago, Expert Poster said:

You can get very good receivers later in the draft. Michael Thomas was a 2nd round pick in 2016. Tyreek Hill was a 5th round pick the same year. 

Smith-Schuster was a late 2nd round pick last year. Cooper Kupp was a 3rd round pick for the Rams and perhaps their most reliable receiver this year. 

I would hope we wouldn't take a receiver in the first round unless we feel like he's an absolute steal and the guys we wanted at that spot at other positions are off the board. 

This is true of literally any position.Le'Veon Bell was a second round pick, Russell Wilson was a third round pick, Gronk was a second round pick, Kevin Byard and Darius Slay just led the NFL in interceptions. They were second and third round picks. Everson Griffen had 13 sacks. He's a fourth round pick. And so forth. You can find a star at any position on the field at any point in the draft. All it takes is luck. You need every other team plus your own to pass on the player at least once.

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31 minutes ago, Falcan Moore said:

Yet, we have well above average receivers - arguably a top 5 group, even though they aren't especially deep. Definitely on par with other playoff teams.

When Antonio Brown's hurt, Pittsburgh is fine. If Julio went out for the year, how would you expect the Falcons to do on offense with Sanu as the #1, Hardy as the #2, and Austin Hooper at TE? That's the concern here. The Giants lost their best WR, not their QB, and their season totally imploded. Julio's that kind of player. We're as all-in on him right now as we are with Matt. I suspect that if Julio got hurt, it would look a lot like 2013, when Harry Douglas was our functional #1...and everybody here haaaaaaaaated him.

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10 minutes ago, jidady said:

I suspect the divide here is the belief that it's an either/or proposition. There are several arguments going around in this thread. Let's circle back to the facts for a moment. The Falcons have invested financially in both the OL and at WR. So, if that's the criteria, we've prioritized each one. Could we get better at either position? Sure. Are we better than most at both? Absolutely.

We also appear to have struck gold with both of our recent first round DEs, which gives us a lot of breathing room in the short term. We also seem to have enough at LBer right now, given the sheer volume of young guys in the mix. I suspect that we'll look at corner and safety in this draft, but our team needs are staggeringly few compared to most of the NFL.

So, everything we're debating here is along the lines of, "How do we make the incremental improvements needed to win a Super Bowl? Personally, I want us to re-sign Dontari Poe, as he had a fine season for us. Grady Jarrett, Poe, Takk, and Beasley is a fairly incredible front four. Then, we have Deion Jones on the second level plus Trufant at corner. Throw in Keanu Neal and Robert Alford, and we have eight truly special players on our starting 11 plus Campbell and Allen. That's 10 guys we feel good about. If Duke Riley improves, our core of young players is almost a full defense.

On offense, we do have a couple of issues at guard, part of which was caused by Levitre's injury. Like in the Super Bowl, we were thinner on the line in the playoffs this year than in the regular season. So, we need at least one quality prospect there if not two. I think everyone agrees on this point. The argument is whether picking a guy in the first two rounds will guarantee that we get a better one. And that's where everything gets muddy.

There's one great TE this year and one great OG. We probably don't want to take a TE in the first, and the guard, Nelson, is likely to be long gone by #15, much less #26. The other guys don't have the value of the #26 pick. I'm not even super-crazy about them as second rounders. There are a lot of SEC guys coming out this year who started a long time and will be available in the middle rounds. Those are Dimitroff's kind of players. And there's only one NT worthy of our spot. I'm dubious that Vita Vea gets to us, but I'm totally down with that pick if he does. Then, we're talking about Christian Wilkins and Da'Ron Payne, both of whom have grades ranging from #30 to #100 from what I'm seeing. So, the value is questionable for both players at #26 (or even if we trade down).

Finding the player that fits where the Falcons pick isn't easy this draft. That's why other options are interesting.

That is all true. I don't want the falcons to only focus on the lines. Cause if all those players you like at 26 are gone you have to figure something else out. Trade down would be ok with me too. I'm just not thrilled about trading up

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34 minutes ago, TheDirtyWordII said:

Pass. You build the line of scrimmage first and foremost

I also want to remind everyone of something I feel is important here. The last time the Falcons strengthened the line in the draft, they spent second and third round picks on a guard and a tackle in 2012 draft. We got...Peter Konz and Lamar Holmes.

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