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Are you prepared for the Falcons to defy your draft expectations?

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Are you prepared for the Falcons to defy your draft expectations?

‘Cuz that’s probably what’s going to happen.

By Cory Woodroof@CoryWoodroof47 Apr 15, 2018, 12:00pm
 
 

Hello there, wonderful Falcoholic reader.

I hope you’re sitting down. I’ve got something to tell you.

The Atlanta Falcons are going to do things in the upcoming draft that you aren’t expecting, won’t like and won’t likely understand until later on down the road when you realize that they’ve been pretty good at this with Dan Quinn in tow.

For the purposes of this column, remember Luke Skywalker’s now-famous line in Star Wars: The Last Jedi: “This is not going to go the way you think.”

The Falcons’ draft is not going to go the way you think, because it never really does, does it?

We need to all get on the same page here with expectations, because, quite frankly, Atlanta never really tends to meet those confangled expectations we place on things we care about.

2016 is the banner year for that, because trust me, if it weren’t for Alex Mack, that team didn’t do one diddily thing any of us wanted them to do.

I’ll never forget the feeling I had when the Falcons took S Keanu Neal. I was...indifferent. It wasn’t exciting; it wasn’t attractive; it wasn’t...expected. I sat on my friend’s couch and just kind of shrugged. I mean, I’d heard he was a good player, and I was happy to have him into the fold. But...I just couldn’t help but be...a bit disappointed.

Part of the reason for that disappointment came with the vision I had in my head of how that Falcons draft was going to go. Shaq Lawson. It had to be Shaq Lawson. Lawson was my draft dream, my knight in shining armor, my goo-goo eyes of a first round pick. I had to see that happen. I’ll never forget the little butterfly that fluttered around in my stomach as he fell down the draft board to Atlanta’s spot. And, then, the Falcons were on the clock...

So, I waited, and waited, celebrating the idea of Lawson potentially in a Falcons uniform. And, hey, would you look at that! Myles Jack, the prolific UCLA linebacker, was falling, too! Atlanta needed a linebacker! That would have been perfect! Darron Lee’s there! He’s good, too! Maybe even Kevin Dodd! I could live with that!

All these players. And then...Keanu Neal.

Now, look, hindsight is 20/20, and today, Neal is the guy you’re jumping up and down to see come to Atlanta, and then you put up the streamers and blow up the balloons. In April 2016? He just wasn’t the guy any of Falcondom wanted. It didn’t mean it was a bad pick (lawlz, it was a great pick in a historic Falcons class), but again, nobody knew that *then.*

If you did, congratulations and salutations. You were the better man than I at that point. But, I guess I fell down the rabbit hole of fan expectations. I’d only been writing about the team for a couple of months at that point over at Rise Up Reader, so I was just beginning to learn how to look at something I love with a critical eye. Two years later, I like to think I’m a lot better at that (yeah, yeah), but if I’ve learned anything, it’s that, sometimes, the pros know better.

Now, in 2012, I do feel like some of our draft experts like Charles McDonald, Kevin Knight and Eric Robinson could’ve put their heads together and plotted out a much-better draft than what the Atlanta front office put together. That was a catastrophe.

But, more often than not, the guys in the front office get paid the big bucks for a reason. They just know more than any of us do. Say what you will about Thomas Dimitroff, but he did build the roster that got the team out of 2007. That took some serious brainpower.

So, when something doesn’t exactly go the way you hope here in about two weeks, please just give the team the benefit of the doubt. There will be great panic and hysteria if the team does not take a defensive tackle first, and the more I think about it, the more I begin to think how realistic a scenario that is.

The last time the Falcons spent a first rounder on the guy they wanted, and not the position they needed to fill, it was, yup, 2016. They got the guy they wanted (Neal) and filled the position they needed to fill (LB) with ... Deion Jones and De’Vondre Campbell, their second and fourth rounders. Now, that’s rare to find that much talent, and you’re not going to have that every year. But, remember, nobody was all that excited for that when it happened. It took the 2016 season to get us all on board.

Remember that when the Falcons potentially spend their first pick on a linebacker, cornerback or wide receiver. If they’re going to invest a pick into a guy they love, that probably means that guy is going to turn into a really great player, and that they’ve got eyes for someone later in the draft. If they do take a defensive tackle, and it’s like 2015 when fan expectations met front office interest for the Vic Beasley pick, then great.

But, please, please, please, please, please check your ego and your expectations at the door and let the Falcons do their job. They’ve done it well as of late. That’s not likely to change anytime soon.

Your expectations are probably going to be defied, and that’s probably for the best.

This is not going to go the way you think.

The real question is...are you ready for that this time around?

https://www.thefalcoholic.com/2018/4/15/17223138/are-you-prepared-for-the-atlanta-falcons-to-defy-your-draft-expectations

ore From The 
citsalp, PokerSteve, g-dawg and 4 others like this

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This year especially. There is less news about who has been worked out, and who has been in for a top30 visit, than in any year so far that I can remember in the Dan Quinn era. News is scarce, and I truly believe that come Thursday night, and possibly even moreso Friday and Saturday, a lot of us are going to be cursing, or going huh?, or ****, probably all of the above. 

I think that there's a good chance that this comes completely out of left field. 

Upstate NY Falcon and papachaz like this

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Just now, TNFalcon1 said:

Wouldn't hurt my feelings none if we drafted Alexander. For some reason I'm thinking Vander Esch though.

I think they will be the BPA on the board at 26. Maybe Wynn.

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I mentioned this moons ago it seemed like and was a Christian Kirk guy when everyone else was talking up G as our first rounder.

Outside of d-line Kirk and Edmunds have been my 2 favourite first round talents in this draft what seems like forever.

mar31985 likes this

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Just now, lju713 said:

I think they will be the BPA on the board at 26. Maybe Wynn.

I dont think Wynn will be there at 26, I believe he is too plug and play for somebody with a weak interior OL. I could be completely wrong though. :)

Kung-Pow likes this

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8 minutes ago, kiwifalcon said:

I mentioned this moons ago it seemed like and was a Christian Kirk guy when everyone else was talking up G as our first rounder.

Outside of d-line Kirk and Edmunds have been my 2 favourite first round talents in this draft what seems like forever.

I really like Kirk wouldn't mind having him just not in the first.

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I was just about as excited as Keanu Neal himself was when we picked him. I lol hard at folks like the writer of the article who were “indifferent” after the pick. He wouldn’t have made it past the Steelers if we wouldn’t have taken him when we did. 

PokerSteve likes this

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Alexander makes sense in sooooo many ways. Helps in the return game,and secondary. Alf will be 30, and we could utilize Poole as a blitzer/spy more. I don't trust Poole against pure slot WR, that's a job for Alf.

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1 hour ago, kiwifalcon said:

I mentioned this moons ago it seemed like and was a Christian Kirk guy when everyone else was talking up G as our first rounder.

Outside of d-line Kirk and Edmunds have been my 2 favourite first round talents in this draft what seems like forever.

Julio, Sanu, and Kirk would be a scary WR group

kiwifalcon likes this

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Kirk or Moore in the first round is a reach, but I will not be mad. The only two players that will piss me off are Maurice Hurst and LVE. 

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Gotta trust in DQ and SP....they get it right or have so far. I think this draft will or can put us over the top if it goes well. 

D.B.N. likes this

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I actually liked the Neal pick at the time and had a feeling he was gonna be the pick. "Neal to Atlanta" gained steam right up until the actual draft and even right up to our pick IIRC. However, this year I'm gonna go with the flow. At this point, Quinn and Co. have earned the benefit-of-the-doubt when it comes to the draft. So, whoever we pick so long as it isn't a Kicker in the first, I'll be good with until proven otherwise. 

tonatl07, PokerSteve, g-dawg and 1 other like this

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3 hours ago, TNFalcon1 said:

Wouldn't hurt my feelings none if we drafted Alexander. For some reason I'm thinking Vander Esch though.

Vander Esch is going in top 20.

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3 hours ago, lju713 said:

Jaire Alexander or a WR. You heard it hear 1st.

Bingo. I think everyone sees DT won't be the pick in the first due to depth in later rounds. DQ has earned the benefit of the doubt.

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22 minutes ago, D.B.N. said:

I actually liked the Neal pick at the time and had a feeling he was gonna be the pick. "Neal to Atlanta" gained steam right up until the actual draft and even right up to our pick IIRC. However, this year I'm gonna go with the flow. At this point, Quinn and Co. have earned the benefit-of-the-doubt when it comes to the draft. So, whoever we pick so long as it isn't a Kicker in the first, I'll be good with until proven otherwise. 

Those Keanu highlights crushing UGA receiver and BAMA heisman winner Derrick Henry got me all jacked up like I was on  Mountain Dew!

D.B.N. likes this

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10 minutes ago, E. T. said:

It'll be one of those famous "under the radar" TD specials.

He waits for the 4th round to use those. Better start checking out the roster at Montana Community College so I can get a heads up.

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8 minutes ago, stizz said:

He waits for the 4th round to use those. Better start checking out the roster at Montana Community College so I can get a heads up.

I'm sure one of his scouts is way ahead of everyone.

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3 hours ago, lju713 said:

Jaire Alexander or a WR. You heard it hear 1st.

we'd need a DT in the second, but moving Alford into the nickel would be incredible. You get away with a lot more calls inside, too. It'd also move Poole off - someone who fell off a bit after 2016.

I wouldn't mind Jaire Alexander at all.

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