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G-Dawgs Midyear grade on Atlanta Falcons Draft Class


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2018 Atlanta Falcons Draft Class

1st rd) Calvin Ridley, WR-Alabama - Fantastic new weapon, precision route runner and red zone threat.  Ridley is the magic elixir the team needed to make opposing defenses pay dearly for all the bracket coverage Julio gets in the red zone.  Should be a 8-10yr player for Falcons capable of 80+ receptions per year, 1,000+yds per year and 8+ TDs per year - and that as a #2 option.   Once Julio retires he could do more.  Grade: A

2nd rd) Isaiah Oliver, CB - Colorado - Right now, Oliver is taking his lumps and is struggling.  Not sure if Oliver is going to make it as a corner in the NFL - he looks more like a free safety to me on this level.   Now, the light may come on next year and that wouldn’t surprise me but for now, this pick looks suspect.  Grade: C-

3rd rd) Deadrin Senat, DT-USF - Senat seems to improve little by little as the season goes on and is already contributing piece in the rotation.  At worst, he will be what he already is - a contributing rotational player.  At best, he could develop into a starter with upside.  Grade: B

4th rd) Ito Smith, RB-Southern Miss - Smith has big play ability but not sure he will ever be more than a #2RB and 3rd down weapon.  Even if that is all he is, getting a contributor with a carve-out role and some special teams ability is not bad for end of 4th rd.  Grade: B

6th rd) Foye Olokun, OLB-Yale - I must admit I was skeptical of this pick when it happened- I was wrong.  Olokun has starter ability and fits the nickel LB role to a “T”.  I could see him develop very much the way DeVondre Campbell did, Grade: A

6th rd) Russell Gage, WR-LSU - He was drafted for his special teams ability but I actually believe he has a higher upside as a #3-type ability receiver.  Pressed into duty last week, I thought he looked decent and made a catch - very athletic.  Grade: B

 

Overall Draft Grade:  B+

I really like this class and it has exceeded my expectations.  The only real disappointment is Isaiah Oliver but it takes cornerbacks longer to develop.  I expect Ridley to develop into the best #2 WR in all the NFL and better than 1/3 of the teams #1 WRs

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Foye looks to.soon replace Duke his snaps increase dramaticly each week, while dukes are decreasing.  If he can become decent when Debo gets back , and the communication on the back end tightens up, **** who knows what can happen. 

Edited by DMT11
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G DAWG you are on point again. My biggest disappointment is our UDFA'S. How many years have we saw UDFA'S play well and we cut them? I thought FA's Garrison Smith and Fowler should have made the team. The UDFA'S -lb from Minnesota who was from ATLANTA and the other DE should have made it as well as the hard running RB who got hurt the last preseason game. 

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I'd give Ridley an A, Oliver a C- like you, Senat an A-, Ito a B, Foye C+, and Russel Gage a C. Foye hasn't done well when on the field from what I've seen. Oliver has clearly been a really good player, hopefully he's healthy. Oliver has started off slow, but I'm still hoping he can develop and eventually take Alford or Tru's spot some point down the line. Senat looks good like you stated, but I'm likely more impressed with him than you are. Ito has been fine, and might actually be the best RB we have right now. Gage has basically done nothing aside from one catch and one penalty so I may actually just give him a blank grade. 

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7 hours ago, Knight of God said:

I said the same thing a week ago. @g-dawg is on point as usual

@g-dawg ditto to what KOG says. But I really love your take. BTW I think Oliver would make a fantastic FS. He’s rangy, athletic and that’s not a bad thing at all. Many a FS has dropped down in slot or marched up on line with TE on occasion l besides Kazee or even a healthy Rico are very good nbs. Tru and Alford covered over top withOliver is never a bad thing

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Great analysis g

I've been high on Senat from the beginning watching him throw pro-bowl lineman to the ground in his first year is a pleasure. I think he still has upside especially in year 2 and will be a starter beside Grady for a long time.

Foye jumped off the tape for me not hard playing at Yale but the kid has talent excited for his future he can play

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Oliver has been the only disappointment from my perspective.

At the same time, while Senat/Olukun have logged a lot of snaps...they've done so out of necessity.  And the defense hasn't exactly 'not skipped a beat'.  So they are taking their lumps for sure. 

If there is one thing that's disappointing about Olukun, it's the relative ease with which he's supplanted Duke Riley.  While I'm not yet sold on Olukun, no one is buying Duke Riley as any type of contributor to this franchise.  For a Day 2 pick to be written off less than 18 months after he's been drafted is rough.

The guy that's been a revelation has been Ito.  Tremendously patient runner...reminds me of Le'Veon in that way although obviously doesn't have the same dimensions. 

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Ridley: A-, needs to clean up the drops.

Oliver: D, too raw too suspect in pass coverage. Doesn't turn his head.

Senat: B, he is very good but doesn't play enough.

Ouloukon: D-, takes horrid angles, misses tackles. Decent on sts.

Gage: B, good sts player, and decent gadget player.

Ito Smith: B, good devonta replacement but trips on himself like Coleman alot.

 

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2 hours ago, TheDirtyWordII said:

Oliver has been the only disappointment from my perspective.

At the same time, while Senat/Olukun have logged a lot of snaps...they've done so out of necessity.  And the defense hasn't exactly 'not skipped a beat'.  So they are taking their lumps for sure. 

If there is one thing that's disappointing about Olukun, it's the relative ease with which he's supplanted Duke Riley.  While I'm not yet sold on Olukun, no one is buying Duke Riley as any type of contributor to this franchise.  For a Day 2 pick to be written off less than 18 months after he's been drafted is rough.

The guy that's been a revelation has been Ito.  Tremendously patient runner...reminds me of Le'Veon in that way although obviously doesn't have the same dimensions. 

 Being all set with a 3rd rounder after 18 months isnt a great thing but its close to a standard occurrence around the league, whether for disappointing play or injuries or other causes. 

If he can't contribute in 2019, we cut him and move on. Not ideal but not fatal. 

It DOES increase the leverage on remaining players from the draft class though....which is why I really wish the FO was more open to trading down here and there. 

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20 minutes ago, DoYouSeeWhatHappensLarry said:

Oliver has played 85 snaps in 4 games.....63 of those were in 1 game. 

Yeah, I'm nowhere near willing to make any sort of determination about a player based on one game. 

Otherwise, thanks for the write-up GD. Well done. 

Agreed and thank you, kind sir.

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