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G-Dawg: Burnt out on Mocks, but tradition, y'know? (FINAL)


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First let me say that when your draft slot is #26,  the odds are stacked ridiculously against you getting the pick right - if Falcons had the #1 overall pick, it would be hard to predict, much less giving 25 other GMs the chance to take DQ/TD/Pioli's preferred player.   Having daid that, this is a game and it is supposed to be fun - a plug here for @Draftnut57 game - "Pick 20" - where you get 20 picks and we see who can get the most Falcons draft picks out of the 20 you designate....fun game, you should link up and do it.   Here is link to it:   

Onward w/ the mock draft.   As I have said in past, at the beginning of draft season I do mocks based on what I would want the Falcons to do.   Prior to Free Agency, I wanted the Falcons to draft Georgia OG - Isaiah Wynn.    I was also hoping we could figure out a way to keep Poe - although I knew it wasn't feasible as he would get more than he is worth - and his 3yr $27mm deal is more than he is worth in my estimation for a guy that cannot regularly effect the QB.   Looking at what the Falcons ARE DOING with signing RG Brandon Fusco and re-structuring Andy Levitre - with Schweitzer/Garland(2nd rd tender) and Harlow - I just don't believe Falcons are going OG - so I am throwing Wynn and Hernandez overboard as draft possibilities.

As others have pointed out like @Unintentional Grounding @theProf @FentayeJones and others that keep up w/ it (thank you BTW),  Falcons are gonna pick players who they either workout, have in for visit to FB and/or attend Pro Days, interviews at NFL combine or Senior Bowl, etc.    Another plug link for this info is here:  

While not all workouts/visits become public knowledge - my peeps above and others have done a good job keeping track with most of them.    Wouldn't be shocked if we drafted some players not on this list and we found out later they had workouts, but this is best gathering of info. out there.    Also, from looking at this list, the positions that jump out that the Falcons have had the most contact with seems to be DT, CB, OLB, WR, RB, OT - probably would put them in that order.   We have worked out some TEs but not that many.   We have had meetings w/ a few edge rushers but not that many.   Obviously if a real draft steal at a position other than DT, CB, OLB, WR, RB, OT falls to us, we could go off script, but for now, I am going to stick to the script.

Ok.....whew, here we go - cannot believe after all of this I am going to give you a boring/predictable draft but here goes...

Falcons showed a ton of interest in Michael Bennett before watching him go to the SuperBowl Champion Philadelphia Eagles.   Falcons love Bennett the player but I am sure Arthur Blank was not that impressed w/ Bennett the person and mix that up with his advancing age and large salary and Falcons likely bowed out towards the end.   However, I see Falcons #1 need is a player that can play on the edge on first downs and kick inside as a passrusher in the nickel - who better to draft to fit this scenario than.....

"With the 26th pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, the Atlanta Falcons select.....

Image result for roger goodell draft

#1-26)  TAVEN BRYAN, DT - University of Florida (6'4", 291lbs, 4.98/40, 30reps, 35" vert, 119" broad jump) - the big question many of you will have w/ this pick is just "will this guy fall all the way to #26?" and it is a fair question.   I believe he sneaks through as I think both Vea and Payne will fall down the draft board and neither will be selected before about pick#17.   I think he falls, he is a RAW prospect so that will give teams and GMs who are not as secure in their positions pause to take the risk.   Dan Quinn is so dialed in on what he wants from a defensive player that he will not hesitate.  Bryan will be looked at as a 5-tech and a 3-tech for the Falcons.

Taven Bryan checks off most of the boxes for what Dan Quinn wants in a defender - relentless player with a high motor-Check, quick for the position-Check, Warrior mentality-Check, throwing in that Taven Bryan was raised by a Navy Seal and was made to work hard at early age - well that just isn't even fair-Check, Check, Check!!!!!!!!!!!

NFL Comp:  Michael Bennett

Image result for taven bryan

 

Now onto round #2.   the list will stay the same and I am not taking DT off the list - remember in 2013 when Falcons took Trufant/Alford back-to-back on the double dip - if you recall that year, Falcons let Grimes walk - similiar to this year when we let Poe walk.   Looking at the list of DTs we have worked out, they all look like penetrating 3-Techs - not pure NTs - would not be surprised if Ahytubi Rubin already knows he will be re-signed as depth and short yardage.  I have a surprise pick here and I think he leaps ahead of the prospect we showed more interest in early in the process.  There was talk at the press conference that one player got moved up and I think it was this guy who had TD and DQ at his workout last week.

#2-58) P.J. Hall, DT - Sam Houston State (6'0", 300lbs - wasn't at NFL Combine but tested fast, jump high and quick at Pro Day) - it is no coincidence that the Falcons have shown late interest in this player and he is so often compared to Grady Jarrett.   Of course so far it has flopped, but Falcons increased their interest in Duke Riley because his natural comparison was Deion Jones who the Falcons loved in his rookie year.    I believe the Falcons would love to have a rotation of Jarrett, Bryan and Hall in the interior with Taven Bryan being able to kick out to 5-tech and rush from inside or outside.    This also frees up the Falcons to let Beasley walk should he have another unimpressive year - not saying that will happen or that I want it to - you are always better when your studs perform but I could see a scenario where the Falcons let Vic walk - even if Vic is re-signed, to have Takk/Vic/Jarrett/Bryan/Hall as passrushers would be a DQ fantasy.   Many pundits will deem this a "reach" pick just like they said Keanu Neal was a reach and Deion Jones was a reach - F-them!  We take him a round early because he won't make it to the back half of the 3rd round.

NFL Comp:  Grady Jarrett

Related image

 

#3-90) Nyheim Hines, RB/WR - NC State ( 5'8", 197lbs, 4.38/40, 35.5" vert,  119" broad jump) - this guy is the 2nd coming of Darren Sproles.   Just a big play machine and can be lined up in the slot.  He will apprentice under Teco for 1 year and will assume the 3rd down role and backup RB position after Teco moves on next year.   Should Teco be traded on draft day, he would step in as #2 RB on day#1.  Also has the versatility to be a slot WR with great hands.   NFL Comp:  Darren Sproles

Image result for nyheim hines

 

4th rd)  Genard Avery, LB - Memphis (6'1", 248lbs, 4.59/40, 36" vert, 124" broad jump) - state champion power lifter and tested off the charts at the NFL combine for ability to explode - look at those numbers.   Can be a Day#1 special teams ace and provide good depth at MLB position.

Image result for genard avery

 

6th rd) Brett Toth, OT/OG - Army (6'6", 291lbs) - Tough player but will need to be developed and likely headed for the Practice Squad.

Image result for brett toth

 

7th rd) Michael Joseph, CB - Dubuque (6'1", 181lbs) raw talent who played Division 3 and dominated competition.  Will be a big adjustment to NFL level.  Could take a few years to develop but could be a find.   NFL Comp: Eric Rowe

Image result for michael joseph dubuque

 

7th rd) Vyncint Smith, WR - Limestone (6'3", 195lbs) - blazing speed at 4.36/40 and 39.5" vert - he can fly and jump out of the gym.  Not ready for prime time and likely practice squad candidate but he has traits that could be developed into a starter down the line if he has the work ethic.

Image result for vincent smith limestone

 

The theme you continue to see above and in Dan Quinn drafts is "urgent athleticism" and all these guys above - on some level or another for their positions - show these traits.   Obviously as you make your way to the end of Day#3, you see more developmental players.   I look at Hines to be used as a #4 WR with 1-2 plays a game being run for him and an instant special teams return man.  Can work into the RB rotation as well with more prominent role in 2019.   We probably look to pick up a QB in UDFA early and more RB, CB and LB competition.

 

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Our saving grace with such a low pick us all the teams that will take QBs ahead of us.  The question is whether the Birds will gamble on the right horse.  As long as they focus on the front 7, and avoid players with heart and motor issues, they'll be fine, at least until Sark gets a hold of the rookies.

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Be really happy with this draft, be thrilled actually, those two DTs could take this defense to a new level, Falcons could have a top 5 defense,in a year or so, that was entirely homegrown and mainly on first deals. That would rock.

Agree that Bryan may not appeal to the other teams as much as he does to Quinn. 

Will disagree a little about the Oline picks- they've spent as much time and energy on early round Oline prospects as they have on early DLine prospects [7 prospects each with round 3 or higher grades], wouldn't be surprised if they took an Olineman in the second, got a second DT later.

Think it may depend on whether or not they think that the 2nd round DT has enough pass rush to make it worth their while.  Don't think they take someone they view only as a run stuffer in the 2nd. 

 

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13 minutes ago, MSalmon said:

I like and it’s realistic...but Hall in second? I haven’t kept up, but is he rising the boards? He’s a nice player and great fit

good job

I don't know if HALL is rising up boards or not.   I believe with the emergence mostly of Aaron Donald, and to a much lesser extent, Grady Jarrett and Jurrell Casey - along with the continued increase of the passing game in the NFL - GM's are starting to understand that undersized DTs that wreak havoc in the middle on run and pass downs are more valuable and the bias of "small DT" is becoming less and less.

Also, if Dan Quinn likes a player and targets him, he is not afraid to take him 1-2 rounds earlier than what the pundits and mocks think.

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Just now, g-dawg said:

I don't know if HALL is rising up boards or not.   I believe with the emergence mostly of Aaron Donald, and to a much lesser extent, Grady Jarrett and Jurrell Casey - along with the continued increase of the passing game in the NFL - GM's are starting to understand that undersized DTs that wreak havoc in the middle on run and pass downs are more valuable and the bias of "small DT" is becoming less and less.

Also, if Dan Quinn likes a player and targets him, he is not afraid to take him 1-2 rounds earlier than what the pundits and mocks think.

Could be right. Wouldn’t bother me. I like the kid. He’s like a juggernaut in the middle. Strong and slippery

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3 minutes ago, falconidae said:

Be really happy with this draft, be thrilled actually, those two DTs could take this defense to a new level, Falcons could have a top 5 defense,in a year or so, that was entirely homegrown and mainly on first deals. That would rock.

Agree that Bryan may not appeal to the other teams as much as he does to Quinn. 

Will disagree a little about the Oline picks- they've spent as much time and energy on early round Oline prospects as they have on early DLine prospects [7 prospects each with round 3 or higher grades], wouldn't be surprised if they took an Olineman in the second, got a second DT later.

Think it may depend on whether or not they think that the 2nd round DT has enough pass rush to make it worth their while.  Don't think they take someone they view only as a run stuffer in the 2nd. 

 

meh on the OT....the ones they have showed interest in will go early - Kolton Miller top 40 and Tyrell Crosby likely top 70.   After that, you are looking at 5th-7th rounders that Falcons have showed interest.    

As to the 2nd round DT - I chose Hall over maybe more than a more popular prospect that is bigger like BJ Hill - because of the added passrush that I believe Hall brings.

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6 minutes ago, falconfansince66 said:

Love that Toth pick in 6th round.  He's a run-game mauler.  Not sure about his pass-blocking chops as Army very rarely threw the ball. As for the rest, I'd be happy if they fall that way but would like to see a FB picked up in the 7th somewhere (Mr Irrelevant?). 

yeah, I could definitely enjoy a Fullback like "Nick Bawden" as our Mr. Irrevant.

We litterally have the last pick in the draft this year and hope we keep it - would be fun to have a Mr. Irrelevant parade.

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3 minutes ago, g-dawg said:

meh on the OT....the ones they have showed interest in will go early - Kolton Miller top 40 and Tyrell Crosby likely top 70.   After that, you are looking at 5th-7th rounders that Falcons have showed interest.    

As to the 2nd round DT - I chose Hall over maybe more than a more popular prospect that is bigger like BJ Hill - because of the added passrush that I believe Hall brings.

Look at the Oline list again, from beef's thread:

OT Mike McGlinchey, Notre Dame -1st
OT Kolton Miller, UCLA - 1st-2nd
OC Frank Ragnow, Arkansas - 2nd
OG Braden Smith, Auburn - 2nd-3rd
OT Tyrell Crosby, Oregon - 3rd
OT Brandon Parker, North Carolina A&T - 3rd
OC James Daniel, Iowa - 3rd

There's a lot of 2nd and 3rd round grades there-more than on the Dline prospect list, while the Dline group has more 1st rounders on it.

Yeah, yeah, I know, those grades may not reflect at all what the falcons think. But the falcons have certainly spent enough time with highly ranked Oline prospects to make it a reasonable assumption they're serious about taking one. Or, they may be thinking about an Oline pick if they trade down and have an extra pick, who knows? 

After you get past the 3rd round grades, rest of the OT prospects they've talked to are graded 7th round or FA, so, if they don't take one early won't take one until late 3rd day.

If the Falcons double dipped on DT in rounds 1 and 2, then picked up one of the 3rd round OLine prospects, I'd be fine with that. Would not be a sexy draft, but when the falcons are dominating both LOS, everybody will be happy.

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Very good work G DAWG. It is workable. Let me ask you a question I think Trenton Thompson and Davin Bellamy are gonna be better Pro's then college players and will be late -mid steals you don't think so? I also like Dimitri Flowers as a FB and a short yardage big RB and wish we could find a way to sneak him maybe give up a 5th next year for a 5th this year.

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1 minute ago, falconidae said:

Look at the Oline list again, from beef's thread:

OT Mike McGlinchey, Notre Dame -1st
OT Kolton Miller, UCLA - 1st-2nd
OC Frank Ragnow, Arkansas - 2nd
OG Braden Smith, Auburn - 2nd-3rd
OT Tyrell Crosby, Oregon - 3rd
OT Brandon Parker, North Carolina A&T - 3rd
OC James Daniel, Iowa - 3rd

There's a lot of 2nd and 3rd round grades there-more than on the Dline prospect list, while the Dline group has more 1st rounders on it.

Yeah, yeah, I know, those grades may not reflect at all what the falcons think. But the falcons have certainly spent enough time with highly ranked Oline prospects to make it a reasonable assumption they're serious about taking one. Or, they may be thinking about an Oline pick if they trade down and have an extra pick, who knows? 

After you get past the 3rd round grades, rest of the OT prospects they've talked to are graded 7th round or FA, so, if they don't take one early won't take one until late 3rd day.

If the Falcons double dipped on DT in rounds 1 and 2, then picked up one of the 3rd round OLine prospects, I'd be fine with that. Would not be a sexy draft, but when the falcons are dominating both LOS, everybody will be happy.

Preaching to the choir about upgrading the OL.

Question for you:   Do you believe the Atlanta Falcons are taking an Offensive Guard when their depth chart now is something like this:

Starters:  LG:  Andy Levitre  RG: Brandon Fusco

Backups: LG: Ben Garland(2nd round tender), RG: Wes Schweitzer (starter in 2017),  OG: Pat Harlow (4th round pick)

I am just not buying it - and I was the founding member of the Isaiah Wynn fan club.  The only one I really see with a remote chance of being drafted is Frank Ragnow because he can play center and we don't have another natural center on our roster.   Daniels should be gone by #58 and I don't think he is worthy of our 1st round pick.   Frankly I have looked at tape of Ragnow and Daniels and neither has impressed me.

 

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11 minutes ago, Gold4425 said:

Very good work G DAWG. It is workable. Let me ask you a question I think Trenton Thompson and Davin Bellamy are gonna be better Pro's then college players and will be late -mid steals you don't think so? I also like Dimitri Flowers as a FB and a short yardage big RB and wish we could find a way to sneak him maybe give up a 5th next year for a 5th this year.

I like all three of those players.   Trenton Thompson basically had some type of medical/mental issue and was worried he wasn't even going to be on the team for the Natty Championship run - obviously that has hurt him on his draft grade and rightfully so.  Had a so-so junior campaign after being dominant his sophmore season.

Bellamy?  He is not the physical specimen that Lo Carter is but he has some ability - just not a great athlete.   Flowers is good but not sure he is worth the 4th or 5th round pick it would take to secure him - Falcons have been linked to Nick Bawden and he should be available at the end of the draft.

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I don't like the double dipping at DT. Teams only run the ball around 400 times in a season. You just don't need that many high quality big bodies. You can get by with a rotating cast of Derrick Shelby and Courtney Upshaw veteran types for your nickel packages. The Falcons 2nd round pick needs to go toward a position that will play more snaps. 

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Just now, Summerhill said:

I don't like the double dipping at DT. Teams only run the ball around 400 times in a season. You just don't need that many high quality big bodies. You can get by with a rotating cast of Derrick Shelby and Courtney Upshaw veteran types for your nickel packages. The Falcons 2nd round pick needs to go toward a position that will play more snaps. 

Not drafting either one of them for run stuffing - both of these guys are "up-the-field"  TFL  on running downs and passrushers.  You totally missed why I put both these guys in my mock here.

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7 minutes ago, g-dawg said:

Not drafting either one of them for run stuffing - both of these guys are "up-the-field"  TFL  on running downs and passrushers.  You totally missed why I put both these guys in my mock here.

If things go well, how many snaps in the 2019 season do you see Jarrett, Bryan, and Hall playing? 

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21 minutes ago, Summerhill said:

If things go well, how many snaps in the 2019 season do you see Jarrett, Bryan, and Hall playing? 

enough......besides, you are not drafting for ONE SEASON.  Defensive Line is ALWAYS a rotation.  Grady played TOO MANY snaps last year.

in 2019,  probably looking at Brooks Reed gone (Taven will get a lot of those snaps as well) and probably looking at Derrick Shelby gone (he was almost gone this year) and maybe even Jack Crawford.

You don't invest picks for ONE YEAR.    Both BRYAN and HALL are developmental who can play now but will be at their best in 2-3 years.

In 2019, I could see a rotation something like this:

1st down: LDE-Beasley, NT-TBD-BigNT, 3Tech-Grady Jarrett, RDE-Taven Bryan

Nickel:  LDE-Beasley, NT-Taven Bryan, 3Tech-Grady Jarrett (sub-in PJ Hall), RDE-Takk McKinley

Defenses play Nickel about 65% of the time.

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1 minute ago, g-dawg said:

enough......besides, you are not drafting for ONE SEASON.  Defensive Line is ALWAYS a rotation.  Grady played TOO MANY snaps last year.

in 2019,  probably looking at Brooks Reed gone (Taven will get a lot of those snaps) and probably looking at Derrick Shelby gone (he was almost gone this year) and maybe even Jack Crawford.

You don't invest picks for ONE YEAR.    Both BRYAN and HALL are developmental who can play now but will be at their best in 2-3 years.

Teams play about 1,000 snaps in a season. A starting 4-3 DT plays between 600-700 snaps in a season. A backup plays 200-400. IMO the Falcons simply have too many needs at other positions that play more snaps than backup DT. Taylor Gabriel played 540 snaps last season and now he's gone. Justin Hardy played 382 and he sucks. Brian Poole played 631.Lord knows what is going to happen when Mack and Levitre are gone and we need another lineman to play 1,000 snaps. The 2nd round is a great place to groom one of those guys' replacements. 

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10 minutes ago, Summerhill said:

Teams play about 1,000 snaps in a season. A starting 4-3 DT plays between 600-700 snaps in a season. A backup plays 200-400. IMO the Falcons simply have too many needs at other positions that play more snaps than backup DT. Taylor Gabriel played 540 snaps last season and now he's gone. Justin Hardy played 382 and he sucks. Brian Poole played 631.Lord knows what is going to happen when Mack and Levitre are gone and we need another lineman to play 1,000 snaps. The 2nd round is a great place to groom one of those guys' replacements. 

don't really think you have a great concept for the difference between a base defense and a nickel defense.  The best passrushers are gonna be on the field in the nickel defense and rotated. Rotating DTs in the interior keeps them fresh and allows them to be more productive for the snaps they take.

As to the other positions you mention - WR and OG - I agree we need better players there - you don't get it all in one offseason.  Clearly the Falcons have mostly made their depth chart for interior OL already for 2018 in Mack, Levitre, Fusco, Schweitzer, Garland and Harlow - that is SIX, count'em SIX payers. 

As to WR, agree w/ you that we need a good #3 - but we didn't even use the #3 we had last year - Hines can almost be a "de-facto #3" as he is so versatile and threat in passing game.   Major WR pick can be delayed until 2019.

Where I will agree is CB, it is the most immediate need outside of the positions I selected.   We never really replaced Jalen Collins when he was cut.   I did select a CB in 7th round - not sure that would be adequate.

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1 minute ago, g-dawg said:

don't really think you have a great concept for the difference between a base defense and a nickel defense.  The best passrushers are gonna be on the field in the nickel defense and rotated.

I understand completely. In nickel, your NT goes to the bench, your SDE kicks inside to DT, and you bring in a pass rush specialist to play DE. That's why you don't need a bunch of true DTs. Hall and possibly even Jarrett won't even be on the field. 

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