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A Look Back: NFL.com 2017 NFL Draft Grade - Atlanta Falcons


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http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap3000000916324/article/2017-rookie-grades-saints-earn-top-grade-raiders-class-lacking

Atlanta Falcons

Round 1: (No. 26 overall) Takkarist McKinley, DE, 16 games/0 starts. 
Round 3: (75) Duke Riley, LB, 12 games/6 starts. 
Round 4: (136) Sean Harlow, OG, 0 games/0 starts. 
Round 5: (149) Damontae Kazee, CB, 16 games/1 start; (156) Brian Hill, RB, 1 game/0 starts; (174) Eric Saubert, TE, 14 games/0 starts.

Bergman: The Falcons needed help in the front seven, and they got it when they traded up for McKinley. A hyperemotional fan favorite from Day 1, Takk further endeared himself to Atlantans with a six-sack rookie season, nearly matching top overall pick Myles Garrett. But outside of the rambunctious pass rusher, the Falcons saw little initial return on their draft investments. Riley, Kazee and Saubert played for a sizable part of their first seasons, but the #JuryIsOut on all of them. Riley suffered a midseason knee injury that kept him from improving and cementing a starting role, and both Riley and Kazee played in less than a quarter of Atlanta's defensive snaps. GRADE: C+

 

G-DAWG:

This grade may be generous if Duke Riley doesn't pan out.  If he does, then the grade could be low.  Brian Hill is already cut, Saubert and Harlow look like depth, maybe one of them develops.  Kazee might be at least a nickel player.  Clearly it looks like Takk could be special but he dropped in the draft due to the medical on his shoulder and now he has another shoulder off-season injury and surgery so this is cause for concern. 

We continually go into drafts down at least one draft pick and that will eventually catch-up to us.  With so many talented young players on our roster due new contracts and probably an inability to get as much in free agency as in the past,  draft picks and - more of them - seems to be a natural progression in our roster cycle.   I don't begrudge the trade-ups Dimitroff has made in the past - out of those we have landed Julio Jones, Desmond Trufant and Takkarist McKinley - all elite players - but I believe it is time to break the "trade-up" pattern.   Would be nice to figure out a way to get an extra 2nd or 3rd round pick in the coming years - generally the only way to get another high pick is to trade down w/ your 1st rounder.

One thing is for sure, I hope the Falcons do better than they did in 2017 -and let's all hope Takk comes back healthy and Duke has a break-out sophmore season.

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5 minutes ago, JD dirtybird21 said:

I think it’s unfair to grade the draft low when Harlow and Kazee didn’t really play. Both could turn into decent starters. We don’t know yet. Riley didn’t look good though 

it's a one year grade - everyone agrees that "3 years" is really the magic number to grade a draft.   Harlow was given an opportunity to compete though.   Falcons keep drafting these undersized offensive tackles and trying to make them guards.   We are Ofer so far w/ Schweitzer and Harlow.   Harlow was a reach.

Falcons need guys that can play power man and zone scheme.   You gotta be able to do more than just run in between the 20's.

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it should also be acknowledged that for the first time in a long time - the New Orelans Saints had an incredible draft.  Basically drafted two rookies worthy of Pro-Bowl in Marcus Lattimore and Alvin Kamara - the offensive tackle was pretty decent as well.

Marcus Williams was decent as well up until that final play against the Vikes :D

New Orleans Saints

Round 1: (11) Marshon Lattimore, CB, 13 games/13 starts; (32) Ryan Ramczyk, OT, 16 games/16 starts. 
Round 2: (42) Marcus Williams, S, 15 games/15 starts. 
Round 3: (67) Alvin Kamara, RB, 16 games/3 starts; (76) Alex Anzalone, LB, 4 games/4 starts; (103) Trey Hendrickson, DE, 12 games/0 starts. 
Round 6: (196) Al-Quadin Muhammad, DE, 4 games/0 starts. 
Notable rookie FA signings: Justin Hardee, ST, 14 games/0 starts; Taysom Hill, ST, 5 games/0 starts.

Bergman: When four players in your draft class make the Pro Football Writers of America All-Rookie Team and two of your first-years sweep the Rookie of the Year categories for the first time since the Johnson administration (Lyndon, not Andrew, to be clear), you get one perfect draft grade. New Orleans' haul in 2017, reeled in by Mickey Loomis and Jeff Ireland, is an historic achievement. Lattimore and Williams led the team with five and four interceptions, respectively, with the former securing the most first-place votes in any category at NFL Honors (45). Ramczyk was just one of three rookie offensive linemen to start all 16 games. Kamara was a revelation at running back, terrorizing defenses with slippery elusiveness and devastating acceleration en route to 1,901 all-purpose yards and 14 total touchdowns. GRADE: A+

 

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5 minutes ago, JD dirtybird21 said:

I think it’s unfair to grade the draft low when Harlow and Kazee didn’t really play. Both could turn into decent starters. We don’t know yet. Riley didn’t look good though 

I do, too. For one it’s not uncommon for a team to draft a 4th round G and “redshirt “ him, particularly with their intent to start wes and levitre. Also, if Harlow was drafted for depth—big deal. That’s a great round to draft depth.

Ditto for Kazee. Saubert is a supreme athlete. Notice how they kept him on the roster, and didn’t send him to PS. But again, low risk, possible high reward pick in the 5th is never bad.

riley is the only kinda head scratcher, for me, simply because I didn’t like his playing style at LSU. But he is fast and DQ knows more than me lol

hill was a dud. I don’t know why they bothered drafting a guy who got beat out by ward. 

I think the draft was a success overall. Not an A, but a bit higher than the article suggests

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7 minutes ago, g-dawg said:

it's a one year grade - everyone agrees that "3 years" is really the magic number to grade a draft.   Harlow was given an opportunity to compete though.   Falcons keep drafting these undersized offensive tackles and trying to make them guards.   We are Ofer so far w/ Schweitzer and Harlow.   Harlow was a reach.

Falcons need guys that can play power man and zone scheme.   You gotta be able to do more than just run in between the 20's.

For sure. And this definitely feels like the worst draft in the Quinn era. But I’ll take it if it’s a “C+” The first 2 drafts were just that good 

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I don't think anyone could objective say last year's crop was fruitful.   We had two years where we got way more out of our drafts than most teams.   My take on 2017 is as follows:

  • Takk McKinley B+:  Looked solid almost every time he got on the field but maybe not as impactful as I had hoped. 
  • Duke Riley  D:   Saw the athleticism but did not see the skills or instincts. 
  • Sean Harlow  n/a:   Not going to grade or count a guy who didn't play and was not scheduled to play.
  • Damonte Kazee  B:  Made a number of open field tackles and forced fumbles in limited action.
  • Brian Hill  n/a:   Hill did not show much before being poached by Bengals.  Not counting him.
  • Eric Saubert  C-:   Didn't contribute much beyond ST play.

Overall grade:  C

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36 minutes ago, MSalmon said:

I do, too. For one it’s not uncommon for a team to draft a 4th round G and “redshirt “ him, particularly with their intent to start wes and levitre. Also, if Harlow was drafted for depth—big deal. That’s a great round to draft depth.

Ditto for Kazee. Saubert is a supreme athlete. Notice how they kept him on the roster, and didn’t send him to PS. But again, low risk, possible high reward pick in the 5th is never bad.

riley is the only kinda head scratcher, for me, simply because I didn’t like his playing style at LSU. But he is fast and DQ knows more than me lol

hill was a dud. I don’t know why they bothered drafting a guy who got beat out by ward. 

I think the draft was a success overall. Not an A, but a bit higher than the article suggests

The grade should have been higher than C+?

based on what, exactly?  C+ is a fairly generous grade based on 2017 contributions.

Do you believe the author should have given a higher grade because of your perceived future value of Harlow, Kazee and Saubert?  Really?

Granted, it is a premature time to give out draft grades, I grant you, but the grade is more than fair.  We got decent production out of our first rounder who shows great promise, had some sack production in limited snaps but was not a starter.

At this point, there is no justification for a higher grade.

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12 minutes ago, kiwifalcon said:

We just need to back it up with a better one this time round.

A+ no but if we grab another couple or three good one she out of this draft we'll be more than well off.

We need to keep our top three picks this year.  Maybe even add one.

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5 minutes ago, g-dawg said:

We need to keep our top three picks this year.  Maybe even add one.

Yes and no,man I think if we just stay pat hold our water let the draft come to us and take the best talent available I think we'll be alright.

This year especially I'm really looking down the draft to find replacements for guys like Levitre Clayborn and Reed.

I think the last 2 mentioned can be replaced by 2 of those NC State d-linemen in Street and Hill we've talked to and scouted both guys I think DQ likes them alot and can be had on day 2 both of them.

At the top of the draft I'm not sure the direction they want to go as yet as it's very early.I guess I'm much the same as I mentioned in the above paragraph if we get the best talent position regardless I'd be pretty happy.

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Just now, kiwifalcon said:

Yes and no,man I think if we just stay pat hold our water let the draft come to us and take the best talent available I think we'll be alright.

This year especially I'm really looking down the draft to find replacements for guys like Levitre Clayborn and Reed.

I think the last 2 mentioned can be replaced by 2 of those NC State d-linemen in Street and Hill we've talked to and scouted both guys I think DQ likes them alot and can be had on day 2 both of them.

Yeah I really think this is a good year to get a steal at DT in the 3rd or 4th round.

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4 minutes ago, g-dawg said:

Yeah I really think this is a good year to get a steal at DT in the 3rd or 4th round.

Yeah man there's plenty to choose from.I can't believe NC State have 3 guys on there line that are that good and aren't talked about as much.Ive watched a bit including those Snr Bowl drills where they practised like like school yard bullies lol.

I'd take anyone of those 3 Jones Hill or Street.

User Unintentional Grounding just put up a nice highlight package film of Street in the draft section take a look I think he'd replace Clayborn and Reed quite nicely.

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50 minutes ago, g-dawg said:

The grade should have been higher than C+?

based on what, exactly?  C+ is a fairly generous grade based on 2017 contributions.

Do you believe the author should have given a higher grade because of your perceived future value of Harlow, Kazee and Saubert?  Really?

Granted, it is a premature time to give out draft grades, I grant you, but the grade is more than fair.  We got decent production out of our first rounder who shows great promise, had some sack production in limited snaps but was not a starter.

At this point, there is no justification for a higher grade.

It’s premature, as you say, and most draft pundits often forget about depth and future departures. Several of those picks were literally intended for that reason. All but one stayed on active roster the entire year. Obviously, there was something about all except for Hill that made the falcons protect these players

  I said slightly higher. B- range. I didn’t say give an A plus.

also, we had 3 fifth rounders. The fact we got a contributor in kazee majes that somewhat successful. Would you like a Grady Jarrett or Richard Sherman with every fifth? Sure, is it likely? Not usually.

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8 minutes ago, MSalmon said:

It’s premature, as you say, and most draft pundits often forget about depth and future departures. Several of those picks were literally intended for that reason. All but one stayed on active roster the entire year. Obviously, there was something about all except for Hill that made the falcons protect these players

  I said slightly higher. B- range. I didn’t say give an A plus.

also, we had 3 fifth rounders. The fact we got a contributor in kazee majes that somewhat successful. Would you like a Grady Jarrett or Richard Sherman with every fifth? Sure, is it likely? Not usually.

Yeah but you are basically making my point. It was an average draft and we got an average grade.   Totally fair.   

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1 hour ago, JD dirtybird21 said:

I think it’s unfair to grade the draft low when Harlow and Kazee didn’t really play. Both could turn into decent starters. We don’t know yet. Riley didn’t look good though 

No no. That's the point, no return shows so far the draft was weak. It could get better yes, but you have to earn grades. There is no fairness.

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57 minutes ago, Monolith2001 said:

I don't think anyone could objective say last year's crop was fruitful.   We had two years where we got way more out of our drafts than most teams.   My take on 2017 is as follows:

  • Takk McKinley B+:  Looked solid almost every time he got on the field but maybe not as impactful as I had hoped. 
  • Duke Riley  D:   Saw the athleticism but did not see the skills or instincts. 
  • Sean Harlow  n/a:   Not going to grade or count a guy who didn't play and was not scheduled to play.
  • Damonte Kazee  B:  Made a number of open field tackles and forced fumbles in limited action.
  • Brian Hill  n/a:   Hill did not show much before being poached by Bengals.  Not counting him.
  • Eric Saubert  C-:   Didn't contribute much beyond ST play.

Overall grade:  C

I think the rehab time from the first shoulder operation lessened Takk's 1st year impact. Hopefully the operation this year won't cut too much into his offseason work this year. Kazee was slowed by injury esrly also and I'm hoping for a big jump forward. Like somebody else has posted, the organization seems to think high of Saubert. Harlow can be expected to emerge like wes this season. The big question mark seems to be Duke Riley. He often looked over his headearly, but i'm hoping time and work will help him play up to his talent. Not everybody is an instant standout like Deion Jones.

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18 minutes ago, Knight of God said:

No no. That's the point, no return shows so far the draft was weak. It could get better yes, but you have to earn grades. There is no fairness.

Yea I get it. I should have put it in a different context and not used the word “fair.” Kazee and Harlow could still end up being contributors. They aren’t busts because we really don’t know. That’s all I was saying

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2 minutes ago, JD dirtybird21 said:

Yea I get it. I should have put it in a different context and not used the word “fair.” Kazee and Harlow could still end up being contributors. They aren’t busts because we really don’t know. That’s all I was saying

No, they aren't being called busts. This is a year one grade. The grades never end.

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25 minutes ago, Butudontseeme™ said:

When you draft a bunch of depth this is the grade you get. Takk is the only thing keeping this thing from being a “bad” grade for year 1 because he has shown the flashes of a STUD. 

@g-dawg isn’t Takks shoulder thing the opposite shoulder this time? 

Yes, its the other shoulder.

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32 minutes ago, Butudontseeme™ said:

When you draft a bunch of depth this is the grade you get. Takk is the only thing keeping this thing from being a “bad” grade for year 1 because he has shown the flashes of a STUD. 

@g-dawg isn’t Takks shoulder thing the opposite shoulder this time? 

Thing about drafting quality depth. We have done a great job signing that very depth in UDFA, but we let them go. People think its funny when we get upset over Odom, Grace, and Therezie  being let go but then are excited when we DRAFT that very same talent in the 3rd, 4th, and 5th. Defending them to no end. 

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3 hours ago, g-dawg said:

it's a one year grade - everyone agrees that "3 years" is really the magic number to grade a draft.   Harlow was given an opportunity to compete though.   Falcons keep drafting these undersized offensive tackles and trying to make them guards.   We are Ofer so far w/ Schweitzer and Harlow.   Harlow was a reach.

Falcons need guys that can play power man and zone scheme.   You gotta be able to do more than just run in between the 20's.

Not too early for me. I gave it a D at draft, and it’s still a D today. 

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