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TDN article - 3 Defensive Linemen fits for Atlanta Falcons

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https://thedraftnetwork.com/articles/3-defensive-lineman-fits-for-the-atlanta-falcons

After an up and down 2018 season, the Atlanta Falcons seem poised for a return to the playoffs next year. Their roster is still talented and full of contributors from the team that made it to the Super Bowl, and they have enough draft capital to fill their remaining needs.

One of those needs is on the interior of the defensive line. Grady Jarrett’s franchise tag and contract situation is still being worked on by both sides, but even if his returns seems inevitable, Atlanta still needs to bolster their defensive tackle unit. While they have other needs, such as EDGE, right tackle, interior offensive lineman and cornerback, they’re expected to target a defensive tackle early in the NFL Draft.

I’ve detailed one interior defensive line prospect for each of Atlanta’s selections in the first three rounds, all of whom have starter upside.

ROUND 1, PICK 14: CHRISTIAN WILKINS, CLEMSON

This has been a popular pairing during the pre-draft process, and for good reason. Wilkins is an excellent athlete among defensive tackles, with flexibility in his lower half that allows him to penetrate gaps with ease. He’s energetic, with a motor and competitive streak that is truly admirable. With his size and leverage, he would fit beautifully next to Grady Jarrett, as the two would cause consistent inside pressure.

 

 
Embedded video
 

ROUND 2, PICK 45: JEFFERY SIMMONS, MISSISSIPPI STATE

While I have a first round grade on Christian Wilkins, I actually believe Jeffery Simmons is the superior player. Simmons is one of the 10 best on-field prospects in the class, but will ultimately slide due to medical and previous off the field red flags.

He’s an even better inside penetrator than Wilkins, and he racks up tackles for loss because of his power and explosiveness. That burst and get-off, coupled with his size, makes him an intriguing prospect against both the run and pass. Simmons could be in line for a “redshirt” rookie season as he rehabs from a torn ACL suffered during pre-Combine training, but his upside outside of the first round is tremendous.

 

 
Embedded video
 
ROUND 3, PICK 79: KHALEN SAUNDERS, WESTERN ILLINOIS

Speaking of upside, Khalen Saunders has some pretty ridiculous natural athletic gifts. The Western Illinois prospect has some untapped potential, but made splash plays at the Senior Bowl that suggest a future as a starter in the NFL. His level of competition will be questioned and could ultimately push him down to the third round, but few prospects available at that point have the promise that Saunders has. With size and scheme versatility, he would fits nicely into the expected rotation on Atlanta’s defensive line.

 

 
Embedded video
 
 

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The dline shelves are full...I am starting more and more to buy into the OL @ 14 narrative.  We will see.

We still need playmakers on the dline, don't get me wrong, it's a crowded room right now though.

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25 minutes ago, athell said:

The dline shelves are full...I am starting more and more to buy into the OL @ 14 narrative.  We will see.

We still need playmakers on the dline, don't get me wrong, it's a crowded room right now though.

crowded w/ quantity - don't know about quality outside of Grady....

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3 minutes ago, g-dawg said:

crowded w/ quantity - don't know about quality outside of Grady....

I may be in the minority but finding think Jack Crawford is as safe as people think

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3 minutes ago, g-dawg said:

crowded w/ quantity - don't know about quality outside of Grady....

Agreed.

We have quantity right now...quality is a different story...I'm still hoping we land a stud on the dline but man I'm really thinking they go OL.

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Posted (edited)

Still wish we could get one of those DE's like Sweatz or Burns.

Wouldn't be surprised if we went with Wilkins considering Quinn isn't afraid to go back to the same schools he got some of his playmakers from.

Debo-Riley-Gauge-Collins

Neal-Poole

Beasley-Garret

etc

EDIT:

Also Oliver-Laguda this season

Edited by BoomGoesTheDynamite
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4 minutes ago, g-dawg said:

crowded w/ quantity - don't know about quality outside of Grady....

You cant say that with a straight face. Crawford exceeded expectations, davidson was on a top 10 run stopping defense. Senat showed some promise in only his rookie year.  There is quality. 

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2 minutes ago, FalconofShadows said:

I may be in the minority but finding think Jack Crawford is as safe as people think

I like Jack Crawford - he has a hard time staying healthy though.  He's also in the last year of his deal and more a rotational player - Davison and Senat are rotational guys as well.   Crawford is more of a tweener/  outside/in depending on down/distance.

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1 minute ago, red falcon said:

You cant say that with a straight face. Crawford exceeded expectations, davidson was on a top 10 run stopping defense. Senat showed some promise in only his rookie year.  There is quality. 

Image result for straight face meme

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3 minutes ago, g-dawg said:

Image result for straight face meme

I think you undersale them due to rico, neal and debo out last year. We literally had no one covering the middle of the field. Our line backers were lost. Kazee did well pass coverage but he was not rico in the run. 

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8 minutes ago, red falcon said:

I think you undersale them due to rico, neal and debo out last year. We literally had no one covering the middle of the field. Our line backers were lost. Kazee did well pass coverage but he was not rico in the run. 

are you switching topics in mid-stream?  thought we were talking about defensive tackles.

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Posted (edited)

4 minutes ago, g-dawg said:

are you switching topics in mid-stream?  thought we were talking about defensive tackles.

What is the job of the defensive tackle? Isnt every one we discussed on defense?Dont get upset if i add to whats being.  You act like i said something about a punt returner. 

Edited by red falcon

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Just now, red falcon said:

What is the job of the defensive tackle? Isnt every one we discussed on defense. Dont get upset if i add to whats being.  You act like i said something about a punt returner. 

just trying to follow you but you keep moving the goalposts.   You called me out saying the Falcons had plenty of coverage on Defensive Tackle - and I just stated that we have a lot of quantity - both are true.

Jack Crawford - rotational DT/DE - injury risk - 1 year left on his deal

Tyler Davision - 2-down run stopper - signed to 1yr deal

Rashede Hageman - mostly run defender - hasn't played organized football in two years and serving a suspension.  Had a work ethic problem when originally a Falcon - prove-it camp body deal.

Deadrin Senat - drafted in 3rd round.   Hopefully will improve - didn't show much his rookie year.  not thought to be a passrusher.

 

Just calling it like it is - not a lot of certainty in any of those guys above.    

Then you switch to Linebacker - be glad to talk to you but need to stay on the topic at hand.

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Posted (edited)

6 minutes ago, g-dawg said:

just trying to follow you but you keep moving the goalposts.   You called me out saying the Falcons had plenty of coverage on Defensive Tackle - and I just stated that we have a lot of quantity - both are true.

Jack Crawford - rotational DT/DE - injury risk - 1 year left on his deal

Tyler Davision - 2-down run stopper - signed to 1yr deal

Rashede Hageman - mostly run defender - hasn't played organized football in two years and serving a suspension.  Had a work ethic problem when originally a Falcon - prove-it camp body deal.

Deadrin Senat - drafted in 3rd round.   Hopefully will improve - didn't show much his rookie year.  not thought to be a passrusher.

 

Just calling it like it is - not a lot of certainty in any of those guys above.    

Then you switch to Linebacker - be glad to talk to you but need to stay on the topic at hand.

I was implying that having the likes duke riley, and jordan richards run around hurt our run stopping ability which made our tackles look really bad.

Im thinking our takcles wont be as bad this year due to the support they will have behind them. To me it all goes hand and hand. We shall see thanks for posting the article.

Edited by red falcon
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1 minute ago, red falcon said:

I was implying that having the likes duke riley, and jordan richards run around hurt our run stopping ability which made our tackles look really bad.

Im thinking our takcles wont be as bad this year due to the support they will have behind them. We shall see thanks for posting the article.

no worries.   Truth is we need depth everywhere - about the only place you can make an argument that we have adequate depth right now is Offensive Guard.

The Depth at D-Tackle, I would say it's decent but I just think we really need to upgrade the starting spot next to Grady.

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We have decent depth  at DT, the problem is aside from Grady we only have depth level talent at the position. We need a bona fide starter to put on the D line, especially with Grady’s future uncertain 

davison and Senat have potential, but are wait and see and neither are big pass rush threats.

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1 minute ago, 1989Fan said:

We have decent depth  at DT, the problem is aside from Grady we only have depth level talent at the position. We need a bona fide starter to put on the D line, especially with Grady’s future uncertain 

that is exactly right.  When it's 3rd and 10,  we need passrushers from the middle to the end - if we could start getting more push up the middle, it helps the entire defense.

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3 minutes ago, gHost83 said:

Bruh...  Crawford had 35 tackles, 6 SACKS, 7 TFLs, 1 FF  and even an interception!  These would be great stats for any DT but he did this from a reserve role!  Y'all sleepin on this dude.  Put some "respeck" on his name...

he's good.

he's also 31yrs old

he also tends to get injured.

he has one year left on his contract

he has no eyebrows

 

all relevant.

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Wasn't hurt last year. Was one of our few bright spots on D.  Had more sacks than any of our DE's... IJS...

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1 hour ago, athell said:

Jack was one of our best dlinemen last year.  I think he is safe.

As a pass rusher. Straight trash against the run.  

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1 hour ago, FalconofShadows said:

I may be in the minority but finding think Jack Crawford is as safe as people think

Jack Crawford has surprised a lot but like Devondre Campbell players like this are the players the Falcons have to make decisions on going foward on.

Tough ones at that.

If they pay Jarrett I think Crawford’s gone for sure.

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We just need Dexter Lawrence at #14, anyone who wants us to draft another Edge Rushing DE in the 1st has lost their mind, no edge rusher will perform well here until we get the interior DL fixed and Lawrence is the last piece we need for that. He has a very unique skillset and size we do not have ont he roster currently, our supposed log jam at DL will be trimmed up after the cut down later in the Pre Season so their is no concern that we currently have toman DL guys right now.

We also don't need a pure pass rusher inthe middle we need a guy that will take on double teams, eat tackles, stop the run and open lanes for our current edge pass rusher

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2 hours ago, g-dawg said:

https://thedraftnetwork.com/articles/3-defensive-lineman-fits-for-the-atlanta-falcons

After an up and down 2018 season, the Atlanta Falcons seem poised for a return to the playoffs next year. Their roster is still talented and full of contributors from the team that made it to the Super Bowl, and they have enough draft capital to fill their remaining needs.

One of those needs is on the interior of the defensive line. Grady Jarrett’s franchise tag and contract situation is still being worked on by both sides, but even if his returns seems inevitable, Atlanta still needs to bolster their defensive tackle unit. While they have other needs, such as EDGE, right tackle, interior offensive lineman and cornerback, they’re expected to target a defensive tackle early in the NFL Draft.

I’ve detailed one interior defensive line prospect for each of Atlanta’s selections in the first three rounds, all of whom have starter upside.

ROUND 1, PICK 14: CHRISTIAN WILKINS, CLEMSON

This has been a popular pairing during the pre-draft process, and for good reason. Wilkins is an excellent athlete among defensive tackles, with flexibility in his lower half that allows him to penetrate gaps with ease. He’s energetic, with a motor and competitive streak that is truly admirable. With his size and leverage, he would fit beautifully next to Grady Jarrett, as the two would cause consistent inside pressure.

 

 
Embedded video
 

ROUND 2, PICK 45: JEFFERY SIMMONS, MISSISSIPPI STATE

While I have a first round grade on Christian Wilkins, I actually believe Jeffery Simmons is the superior player. Simmons is one of the 10 best on-field prospects in the class, but will ultimately slide due to medical and previous off the field red flags.

He’s an even better inside penetrator than Wilkins, and he racks up tackles for loss because of his power and explosiveness. That burst and get-off, coupled with his size, makes him an intriguing prospect against both the run and pass. Simmons could be in line for a “redshirt” rookie season as he rehabs from a torn ACL suffered during pre-Combine training, but his upside outside of the first round is tremendous.

 

 
Embedded video
 
ROUND 3, PICK 79: KHALEN SAUNDERS, WESTERN ILLINOIS

Speaking of upside, Khalen Saunders has some pretty ridiculous natural athletic gifts. The Western Illinois prospect has some untapped potential, but made splash plays at the Senior Bowl that suggest a future as a starter in the NFL. His level of competition will be questioned and could ultimately push him down to the third round, but few prospects available at that point have the promise that Saunders has. With size and scheme versatility, he would fits nicely into the expected rotation on Atlanta’s defensive line.

 

 
Embedded video
 
 

If we walked away with Simmons and Saunders this draft I wouldn’t complain at all.I think if you just allowed a guy like Saunders to rush the passer while guys like Senat and Daivison did the donkey work I think he could be really good.

 

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