Goober Pyle

Falcons’ search for improvement begins this week at Senior Bowl

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https://theathletic.com/779196/2019/01/21/falcons-search-for-improvement-begins-this-week-at-senior-bowl/

 

MOBILE, Ala. — NFL scouts were busy Monday, roaming around with the goal of speaking with numerous draft prospects on the second floor of the Renaissance Mobile Riverview Plaza. The floor was crowded, with Senior Bowl participants arriving and immediately speaking with members of various teams’ scouting departments. 

The Falcons were like every other team, with a group of scouts scouring the area asking prospects to chat. With Senior Bowl week underway, draft season has begun. While most of the players participating in the Senior Bowl won’t go in the first two rounds, there are still plenty of talented players participating who could go in the middle rounds. 

Everyone knows the Falcons will be looking to fill holes on both sides of the line of scrimmage. There are actually a lot of offensive linemen who seem to fit the prototype that Atlanta is looking for — less than 315 pounds with the ability to move well. It’s a deep group on the defensive line, too. 

But for the purpose of this story, let’s take a look at players at other positions the Falcons might want to take a closer look at this week.

Temple cornerback Rock Ya-Sin: Ya-Sin has the potential to rise up draft boards with a good week in Mobile. He’s a bigger cornerback at 6-foot-1 and 190 pounds, which is something Falcons head coach Dan Quinn has coveted in the past. Ya-Sin was known for possessing good press technique at the line of scrimmage during his lone season at Temple, which came after transferring from Presbyterian. Ya-Sin didn’t play much zone coverage in college. With the Falcons utilizing a lot of Cover 3 on defense, that would be a new skill for Ya-Sin to learn at the pro level. At the same time, that would be a learning curve for Ya-Sin with any team that selects him. The Athletic’s Dane Brugler has Ya-Sin pegged as his top senior cornerback in this year’s draft

Massachusetts receiver Andy Isabella: Those who follow both the Falcons and Georgia might recognize Isabella’s name. Isabella torched the Bulldogs for 15 catches, 219 yards and two touchdowns, albeit in Georgia’s 66-27 blowout win. But Isabella earned a lot of attention, and deservedly so, for his performance against the SEC runner-up. He finished the year with an FBS-leading 1,698 receiving yards and 13 touchdowns. While Isabella’s physical attributes may not wow scouts at the weigh-in Tuesday, his speed and agility will be on display throughout the week. If the Falcons lose Justin Hardy in free agency, Isabella should be worth a closer look, even with this particular position group showcasing great depth. 

Boston College tight end Tommy Sweeney: While Austin Hooper had a Pro Bowl season, the Falcons could have a tight end spot to fill with Logan Paulsen slated to hit free agency. With that in mind, Sweeney could be a potential name for the Falcons to keep an eye on this week. Sweeney fits the size profile at 6-5 and 255 pounds. He is balanced as an in-line blocker and receiver. Like all prospects, there is plenty for Sweeney to improve upon. At the same time, he has a lot of promise as a developmental tight end.

Washington State quarterback Gardner Minshew II: Quarterback isn’t exactly a position on the forefront of Atlanta’s wishlist, considering Matt Ryan has plenty of years of high-level football left. At the same time, the Falcons could be in the market for a backup quarterback if they decide not to re-sign Matt Schaub. This year’s Senior Bowl quarterback lineup is pretty strong, with Drew Lock, Daniel Jones and Will Grier headlining the group. A mid-round prospect of note is Minshew, who threw for 4,776 yards, 38 touchdowns and nine interceptions in Mike Leach’s air raid attack this past season. While there is a lot Minshew would need to learn at the NFL level, his arm strength and mobility could be intriguing for plenty of teams during the draft weekend. 

Kentucky cornerback Lonnie Johnson Jr.: Johnson has a great chance to boost his draft stock this week. While he only recorded one interception in two seasons at Kentucky, Johnson has the physical attributes that will have at least a few teams interested. With a good outing, perhaps Atlanta could become one of them. Johnson is 6-3 and 206 pounds, which would offer the Falcons the kind of size they don’t have at cornerback. There certainly will be some risk involved, considering Johnson didn’t post gaudy stats after transferring to Kentucky from Garden City Community College. Without a big-time week, Johnson could wind up being a mid-round developmental player. But as everyone knows, great cornerbacks can come from any round of the NFL draft.

 

 

Jumpin Jehosaphat likes this

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We always seem to find nice pieces in the Senior Bowl, I think this continues to be the case and we grab someone in the 3rd and 4th from this game that stands out. 

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I dont know if hes playing in the senior bowl but I'm ALL IN (pun intended) on christian wilkins.. he has that 12-15 year , 1 team, leader.  Reminds me a lot like Gereald McCoy.    I hope we draft him

Geneaut likes this

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Michael Dogbe is the Temple player I'm interested in. Not sure where he is slotted yet in the draft but he may be a nice mid to late rounder to watch for a DL pick. Can play inside and outside.

Edited by Geneaut

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48 minutes ago, FalconBlood23 said:

We always seem to find nice pieces in the Senior Bowl, I think this continues to be the case and we grab someone in the 3rd and 4th from this game that stands out. 

If only Smitty and TD had  grabbed Aaron Donald after having him at the Senior Bowl. Not hating on Jake, but.. :bang:

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40 minutes ago, falconfanEST1989 said:

I dont know if hes playing in the senior bowl but I'm ALL IN (pun intended) on christian wilkins.. he has that 12-15 year , 1 team, leader.  Reminds me a lot like Gereald McCoy.    I hope we draft him

Wouldn't hurt my feelings at all. 

falconfanEST1989 likes this

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This is the year we must have a 

great Draft. No more partiality shown to players from the Big West region,  discriminatory toward SIZE and being anti- UGA. I don't care where they come from. TD must throw all that silliness away. We need some ballers! I was hoping we were going hear some additions to scouting department. We have to get this one right.

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