Goober Pyle

Breaking down the Falcons’ class, including why they traded up for D-II prospect - other draft notes

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https://theathletic.com/950448/2019/04/27/breaking-down-the-falcons-class-including-why-they-traded-up-for-d-ii-prospect/

 

John Cominsky was hopeful he could catch the eye of an Ohio State coach. The Barberton, Ohio, native actually paid to attend a football camp when he was in high school, with the ultimate goal of playing for his home state’s biggest institution. But back then, the 215-pound skill position player — receiver and quarterback — couldn’t get the Buckeyes, or any major program, to give him a look.

“I went to a football camp and paid about $70 to get in front of those coaches, and they didn’t even blink an eye on me,” Cominsky said.

The FCS programs didn’t come calling either. Outside of some third-party walk-on requests, only the University of Charleston, a Division II program in West Virginia, thought enough of him to offer a scholarship.

Interestingly enough, the Charleston coaches moved him to defensive end, which was a brand new spot for him. During his redshirt year, he was pummeled on the scout team. To avoid this the following year, he hit the weight room and added 25 pounds. As he continued to get bigger, he started noticing improvement. He still had good speed but was adding bulk to his frame. This helped him tremendously as a defensive end, especially as he bulked up in the 280-pound range. This earned him invites to the Senior Bowl and NFL Scouting Combine, where he weighed in at 285 pounds.

Of course, as a college player at a small program, Cominsky had to figure out ways, in addition to muscle building, to gain weight. It wasn’t like he had the assistance of a world-class nutritional program some of the biggest FBS programs afford their players.

“Money was kind of tight during college, so it was Little Caesar’s,” Cominsky said. “A pepperoni pizza is about 2,000 calories for five bucks, so it was about the cheapest way to put on the weight.”

During the pre-draft process, the Falcons worked Cominsky out at Akron’s football facility with Dan Quinn, Thomas Dimitroff and Scott Pioli all in attendance. The player who couldn’t get an Ohio State coach to recruit him suddenly had an NFL team’s heavy hitters wanting to know more about his potential as a prospect.

The Falcons liked Cominsky enough in the fourth round that they traded up two spots — from 137th overall to 135 — to take him Saturday.

“It’s a valid move,” Dimitroff said. “You can look into it, but it’s a valid move, at least for us. We had to do that we felt.”

From the outside, a trade like that might seem strange. Why leapfrog one team to take a player?

The Athletic confirmed after the draft that the Falcons were concerned the Dallas Cowboys were planning to take Cominsky with the 136th selection. Therefore, the Falcons struck a deal with the Oakland Raiders to move ahead and take him.

It is worth pointing out that Dallas then traded out of the 136th pick to acquire two selections from the Cincinnati Bengals instead. It would, at a minimum, suggest the Falcons were on the right track with this line of thinking.

Cominsky was the second of five Atlanta draft picks Saturday. After taking two offensive linemen in the first round Thursday, the Falcons tried to get back into the third round Friday multiple times but were unsuccessful due to what was being asked in return.

In the end, they selected a total of seven players. Here is a closer look at each player:

First round, 14th overall: Boston College G Chris Lindstrom

How he fits: Lindstrom was described as an “aggressive” and “urgent” football player by Dimitroff. At 6-foot-4 and 308 pounds, Lindstrom is a big prospect who will look to add some tenacity inside. At Boston College, he ran inside and outside zone plays, so he has familiarity with the kind of offensive system the Falcons will run.

What his role will be in 2019: As a first-round pick this early, Lindstrom will be a plug-and-play interior lineman as a rookie. Lindstrom likely will step into his familiar position of right guard, with the hope of bolstering a unit that could not consistently run the ball a season ago. Lindstrom was regarded as the top overall guard in this draft class, with the Falcons deciding to go ahead and snag him with their first selection. While the Falcons made some offseason acquisitions to strengthen the interior offensive line, Lindstrom appears to be a cornerstone for a unit that needs drastic improvement.

The Athletic’s Dane Brugler’s take, from “The Beast”: “Lindstrom moves well with the smarts and toughness to stalemate NFL defenders, projecting as an immediate starting guard at the next level.”

Lindstrom quotable: “I’m thankful I came from a program like Boston College because I feel really prepared, going through this interview process and this whole process because we ran a lot of everything in our offense.”

First round, 31st overall: Washington T Kaleb McGary

How he fits: McGary offers the kind of attitude the Falcons were looking for when scouting offensive linemen. He was known as an excellent run blocker at Washington, which the Falcons hope bodes well as they try to regroup a running game that struggled in 2018. McGary said he has experience with the zone blocking system, so he isn’t worried about any scheme fit issues.

What his role will be in 2019: As a first-round pick, McGary will have an excellent chance to start. If he can’t, the Falcons will go with Ty Sambrailo early and hope McGary can get up to speed and eventually take over the role. The fact Atlanta traded back into the first round to take McGary suggests how serious it is about using him early in his professional career.

Brugler’s take: “McGary’s on-field reps aren’t always pretty, but they are mostly effective, using his mobility and play strength to tie up edge defenders, projecting as a right tackle (similar to Mitchell Schwartz) ready to compete for immediate starting reps.”

McGary quotable: “I love everything about being a lineman. I’m going to bust my tail to protect their quarterback and tailback as much as I can. I want (the defense) to be afraid. I want the quarterback and tailback to never worry about a thing. As far as starting goes, I’m just going to come in and do the best I can and compete and work and try to contribute in any way that I can.”

Fourth round, 111th overall: Ohio State CB Kendall Sheffield

How he fits: Sheffield is certainly a speedy cornerback. A track star at Ohio State, as well, Sheffield ran the 60-meter dash in 6.63 seconds, which is a program record. Quinn loves that kind of speed from cornerbacks, so Sheffield’s fit in Atlanta makes perfect sense. Sheffield was mostly a man-to-man defender in college and does have a good frame at 5-11 and 193 pounds.

What his role will be in 2019: With Desmond Trufant and Isaiah Oliver projected to be the starting outside cornerbacks, Sheffield will compete for a backup or rotational spot. Sheffield should see some immediate action on special teams, perhaps even as a returner. While he didn’t return kicks and punts at Ohio State, he did so at Blinn Community College before transferring.

Brugler’s take: “Sheffield can be a frustrating study because he has elite athletic traits for his size but an inconsistent feel for the position, projecting as a developmental bump-and-run NFL corner.”

Sheffield quotable: “I also bring a good, long, physical corner. I’ll bring to the team my presence, going in and getting to work every day and try to get better at my craft and try to achieve as much as we can for the organization.”

Fourth round, 135th overall: Cominsky 

How he fits: Cominsky’s story is certainly an interesting one, having gone from 215 to 285 pounds throughout his career. Cominsky projects as someone who can play defensive end and defensive tackle in Atlanta’s defense.

What his role will be in 2019: Cominsky should step in and find an early role on kickoff and punt coverage. Special teams will be how he gets on the field initially as he gets up to speed with the NFL game. He also could see some snaps as a rotational player in Atlanta’s base package

Brugler’s take: “Cominsky is a self-made player with the balanced athleticism and play strength to develop into a quality NFL run defender but will require time to adjust to the jump in competition, projecting best as a base end in a 4-3 front.”

Cominsky quotable: “(I’m) a hard-working, gritty guy. You know what you’re going to get with me. I’m consistent. I fly to the ball, I am a 110 percent kind of a guy. So that’s really my claim to fame because I’m a hard worker, I’m definitely physical. I’m really good at erasing the play before and just playing the next play. I’m a pretty good football program guy, and I’m a hard worker.”

Fifth round, 152nd overall: Pittsburgh RB Qadree Ollison

How he fits: Ollison is the power back Atlanta has been looking for, at least when it comes to the measurables. He checks in at 6-1 and 228 pounds and has good speed for his size, evidenced by a 4.58-second 40-yard dash time from the combine.

What his role will be in 2019: The Falcons found it tough to churn out short-yardage plays last season, so perhaps Ollison can carve out a role on offense. By the end of the year, the most effective third-and-short play was out of the wildcat formation with receiver Mohamed Sanu taking a direct snap. Getting a power back to go with Devonta Freeman and Ito Smith was something the Falcons wanted to do this offseason.

Brugler’s take: “Ollison is a classic north-south runner with streaky vision and straight-line traits, projecting as a better version of Kenny Hilliard.”

Ollison quotable: “I can bring something a little different to the table as a bigger back, being physical and an imposing runner downhill, just being a one-cut runner. Run a lot of outside zone and things like that. I think I can come in and help right away on special teams, contribute however I can.”

Fifth round, 172nd overall pick: Washington CB Jordan Miller

How he fits: Like Sheffield, Miller did a good job pressing receivers at the line of scrimmage throughout his college career, which is ideal for the Atlanta defense. He has 32 7/8-inch arms, which is a good measurement for cornerbacks at this level. Quinn and Dimitroff raved about Miller’s skill set in their post-draft news conference.

What his role will be in 2019: Miller probably will find a role on special teams while providing depth at cornerback. Time will tell whether Miller sees some practice time at nickel as the Falcons do need to figure out who will be slotted behind Damontae Kazee.

Brugler’s take: “Miller is a quick-footed, long press-man corner with the ability to mirror off the line, but his marginal play strength, which also affects his durability, will be a deal-breaker for some teams.”

Miller quotable: “I’m a long, press corner and as a play-maker, getting the ball back.”

Sixth round, 203rd overall pick: Louisiana-Monroe RB/RS Marcus Green

How he fits: Quinn and Dimitroff described Green as a bigger running back, since he’s heavier than 190 pounds — even if he’s only 5-9. Although he was a receiver in college, the Falcons envision him as a third-down back who can catch the ball out of the backfield. He has great speed, reporting a 40-yard time of 4.39 seconds. He also has special teams ability as a returner, which the Falcons sorely have needed for some time.

What his role will be in 2019: On a brief conference call with the local media, Green said that Dimitroff envisions him competing for a spot as a returner. As for whether it will be on punts or kickoffs, or both, remains to be seen. At Louisiana-Monroe, Green returned kicks and punts, which included scoring four touchdowns on kickoff returns in 2017.

Brugler’s take: “Considered in the best of the rest group at receiver (even though the Falcons will play him at running back).”

Green quotable: “They pretty much want me to be the returner.”

 

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Cominsky reminds me of Jarret ALLEN if he becomes 70% of what ALLEN was it’s a win.  I don’t think Rico will be ready for game one so I imagine they will put KAzee at FS and use Miller at nickle. We need a vet edge guy not sold on Means.  Hageaman is a question mark so maybe a vet DT after June 1st cuts. 

Stryka likes this

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A few things to love:

The Falcons are basically declaring that they will be playing a lot of press man, which is fantastic news. 

They picked a big back to go with run good run blocking OL men. This means they will be playing a more clock control game, which helps the D. 

They finally picked a legit return man. 

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3 hours ago, Diggable Birds said:

Cominsky reminds me of Jarret ALLEN if he becomes 70% of what ALLEN was it’s a win.  I don’t think Rico will be ready for game one so I imagine they will put KAzee at FS and use Miller at nickle. We need a vet edge guy not sold on Means.  Hageaman is a question mark so maybe a vet DT after June 1st cuts. 

Reminds me more of Koy Bierman

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15 minutes ago, MAD597 said:

Reminds me more of Koy Bierman

I read some other draft profiles that he reminds ppl of allan

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Sheffield is a player I tried very hard to like knowing our need at CB, He just is not cut out for the position or his heart was not at all in it at OSU. I would be interested in knowing what he would do with a look at safety. I tend to think he would play much better football with things in front of him and reacting to it.

Drew4719, vel and Diggable Birds like this

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59 minutes ago, MAD597 said:

Reminds me more of Koy Bierman

Man I hope not  that would be a big-time disappointment    His numbers say he’s more athletic  6’5 285 He’s about 35 pounds heavier as well  Kroy Was a try hard guy he just didn’t have the physical tools. From what I see Cominsky has the speed and strength to be a solid Rotational peice this year.  

Stryka, vitaman and duckhoa like this

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4 hours ago, Diggable Birds said:

Cominsky reminds me of Jarret ALLEN if he becomes 70% of what ALLEN was it’s a win.  I don’t think Rico will be ready for game one so I imagine they will put KAzee at FS and use Miller at nickle. We need a vet edge guy not sold on Means.  Hageaman is a question mark so maybe a vet DT after June 1st cuts. 

No he doesnt.or youd know his name lol

Since1990 likes this

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2 hours ago, metatron360 said:

I read some other draft profiles that he reminds ppl of allan

If he ends up being like him, that would be great.

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4 hours ago, MAD597 said:

Reminds me more of Koy Bierman

Yea, I felt the same too.. except beirmann was atleast 50 lb lighter and a few inches shorter. That woulda turned beirmann into Jared Allen too

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Falcons were concerned the Dallas Cowboys were planning to take Cominsky with the 136th selection. Therefore, the Falcons struck a deal with the Oakland Raiders to move ahead and take him

It'd be awesome if Cominsky and Tak both have monster games against Dallas in the near future. 

Stryka likes this

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A guy I see with similar traits that I hope Cominsky become a player similar is Matt Ioannidis... 

 

I'm a big fan of Ioannidis... He plays for Washington... He is a big strong as temple kid .. He can play some end on run downs but he gives good penetration up the middle.

 

Im hoping when Cominsky bulk up some he can be that type of player (maybe more athletic tho)

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