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Our 2021 Draft, FA's & UDFA's = Exceptional Value & Potential


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We hit home runs with Pitts & Grant.  But the deeper you look, the more impressive our haul seems to be.  TF & team challenged themselves to find players whose value proposition offered the highest potential future upside!

When examining the ENTIRE HAUL, you can't help but see value exuding from our selections right down to the UDFAs.  Let's look at it more closely...

  • 4th Overall Selection (R1-P4): Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida
  • 40th Overall Selection (R2-P8, from Denver): Richie Grant, S, UCF
  • 68th Overall Selection (R3-P4): Jalen Mayfield, OT/G, Michigan
  • 108th Overall Selection (R4-P3): Darren Hall, CB, San Diego State
  • 114th Overall Selection (R4-P9, from Denver): Drew Dalman, C, Stanford
  • 148th Overall Selection (R5-P4): Ta’Quon Graham, DT, Texas
  • 182nd Overall Selection (R5-P38): Adetokunbo Ogundeji, EDGE, Notre Dame
  • 183rd Overall Selection (R5-P39): Avery Williams, CB, Boise State
  • 187th Overall Selection (R6-P3): Frank Darby, WR, Arizona State

KYLE PITTS = Not only the 2nd best player in the entire draft, BUT that VALUE thingy is there in spades... He's an Inline TE, a move TE, an Hback & a WR!!  Holy %&*#!!

RICHIE GRANT = The fastest Dback riser in the draft.  Stunned people at the SR Bowl because he was outperforming most corners in 1-O-1 coverage as a SAFETY prospect.  Hello! Value in the form of a nasty hitter in the box, great FS range, ball skills & takeaway skills (picks & ff's) and CB skills to cover most anyone.  Value increases when considering we gained another 4th rounder in the trade w/ Denver.

JALEN MAYFIELD = An interesting pick.  Some had him rated higher & some in the range we took him.  HIs value is in his versatility & toughness.  He's even been practicing snapping the ball just in case.  This is fire under McGary's butt & may even signify a battle for the RT spot.  Then one of them could move inside to G. The pick will pay off in several ways... push current starters to solidify positions, become a starter at G or T, or at worse, become a solid backup or swing player.  

"Mayfield has all the traits to be a capable offensive tackle at the NFL level, which will likely get him drafted relatively highly. However, he would be best served to land in a situation where he is allowed a year to develop. Mayfield flashes the ability to play with smooth, balanced footwork and to use his hands to control defenders, but he hasn’t yet reached the level of unconscious competence as a technician. As a result, his technique can falter, and while he was big enough and athletic enough to hold up in college, NFL caliber pass rushers will capitalize on those issues.  Some teams could view Mayfield as a guard, and his size, play strength, and natural leverage would likely play well on the inside, but he should be given the chance to earn a role as a tackle before that move is made. If a team is able to have the patience to develop Mayfield, there’s a good chance their investment will pay off handsomely"

DARREN HALL = Value lies in his... yes again... his VERSATILITY.  He has played S & CB & performed best as an outside CB in zone.  He is a PBU machine who got better every year. Can be a mid/late round steal as we're in dire need of depth in our secondary.

DREW DALMAN = Needed to address the interior Oline.  It's smart to add insurance & build a talented front.  Drew will battle Henny & battle over the C role while filling out the depth of the Oline.  Building out the secondary & trenches is a great start for TF.  

D-LINE TA'QUON GRAHAM & ADETOKUNBO OGUNDEJI = Great idea building the trenches on the other side now.  Ta'Quon is a power guy inside who flashed nicely in the Senior Bowl.  Upside guy who can develop while we see what's up w/ both Marlon Davidson & Cominsky.  Our edge group has been in rough shape so Ogundeji was an excellent value this late in the draft.  Raw player but his physical upside & athleticism is apparent.  I am excited to see this guy work in live action.

AVERY WILLIAMS = Epitome of a exceptional value late in the draft.  Can add depth at CB/S but is already an elite special teamer with high character.  Not sure how much field time he will see right away, but he's a valuable player for our team. 

FRANK DARBY = Julio & Gage may not be around past 2021 so this was a pretty smart choice late in the draft.  

When you add in some really clever FA pickups in Davis & even more secondary help, it's easy to be excited.  But when you then see Atlanta have arguably the best UDFA class in the league with both Franks & Hawkins... pffft, well done TF!  You sir, just might have slayed the dragon that was holding this club back!  GREAT JOB man.  

 

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2 minutes ago, Herr Doktor said:

My ability to assess talent is borderline criminally pathetic.  But, I am oddly very upbeat about what has been accomplished.  I love what we did with the lines.  Brought in a slew of competitors to have a battle royale for slots.  I dig it.

Everything looks good on paper bro.  But they don't play on paper.  I am cautiously optimistic obviously.  

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I’ll be the first to admit that draft night I was a little miffed that we had missed opportunities to pick up better players - Wyatt Davis and Bobby Brown are 2 that jump out to me now - but the more I’ve read and heard about the dudes in this class the more I’m impressed with these guys and TF and the entire staff. 
 

Mayfield and Dalman were about as perfect fits as we could have hoped for. Mayfield could start inside or out, could push others, gives us depth, may allow us to move McGary inside and give him a 2nd chance - who knows. Dalman could do the same inside and push Henny. 
 

All the defensive selections, may not be sexy or even get that many snaps, but think all of them can be developed and have great upside. 

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5 minutes ago, WestGAFalcon said:

I’ll be the first to admit that draft night I was a little miffed that we had missed opportunities to pick up better players - Wyatt Davis and Bobby Brown are 2 that jump out to me now - but the more I’ve read and heard about the dudes in this class the more I’m impressed with these guys and TF and the entire staff. 

Mayfield and Dalman were about as perfect fits as we could have hoped for. Mayfield could start inside or out, could push others, gives us depth, may allow us to move McGary inside and give him a 2nd chance - who knows. Dalman could do the same inside and push Henny. 

All the defensive selections, may not be sexy or even get that many snaps, but think all of them can be developed and have great upside. 

No one knows who is better until they're on the field. They took who they felt was the best players at those spots. Only time will tell if they were right or wrong.

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13 minutes ago, PriMeTiiMe said:

No one knows who is better until they're on the field. They took who they felt was the best players at those spots. Only time will tell if they were right or wrong.

Correct and that’s what I’ve come to realize with this draft class. I remember thinking - we need an LG, Davis was available and arguably top 3 pure OG in the class - but he wouldn’t have been able to push McGary or provide depth at that position. That added versatility is what made the pick of Mayfield better in my eye. 

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12 minutes ago, WestGAFalcon said:

Correct and that’s what I’ve come to realize with this draft class. I remember thinking - we need an LG, Davis was available and arguably top 3 pure OG in the class - but he wouldn’t have been able to push McGary or provide depth at that position. That added versatility is what made the pick of Mayfield better in my eye. 

Absolutely.  I do tend to like players who play to their natural position.  But, in the NFL, having flexibility really helps your cause for game time.

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15 hours ago, Power I said:

I like that we have depth on both lines now, even if the additions don't scream all stars. If that helps us lock down reliable starters without having to deal out these massive contracts that have crippled our cap, I'm all for it. 

Best five guys! Surely with all that depth we can find five solid ones to run this offense.

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1 hour ago, PriMeTiiMe said:

No one knows who is better until they're on the field. They took who they felt was the best players at those spots. Only time will tell if they were right or wrong.

It's funny  how perceptions change when new comes along, and Henny is a perfect example. This place was clamoring to get him, and we all felt like we got a steal on draft day. Now he barely played because he had the man in front of him. When he did play center, he was rusty, but functional for a rook seeing his first time.

But, just a year later, the love affair is over for many, and for no good reason. As you said, let's give these guys time in this new system and see who rises to the top.

I suspect McGary, who is a regular punching bag around here, might surprise some people. He had a terrible job trying to run Dirk's scheme, as did the entire offense.

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55 minutes ago, thanat0s said:

It's funny  how perceptions change when new comes along, and Henny is a perfect example. This place was clamoring to get him, and we all felt like we got a steal on draft day. Now he barely played because he had the man in front of him. When he did play center, he was rusty, but functional for a rook seeing his first time.

But, just a year later, the love affair is over for many, and for no good reason. As you said, let's give these guys time in this new system and see who rises to the top.

I suspect McGary, who is a regular punching bag around here, might surprise some people. He had a terrible job trying to run Dirk's scheme, as did the entire offense.

McGary will be far better in this scheme.  I honestly think our oline will be a real strength by seasons end.  And dare I say, deep?

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2 hours ago, WestGAFalcon said:

I’ll be the first to admit that draft night I was a little miffed that we had missed opportunities to pick up better players - Wyatt Davis and Bobby Brown are 2 that jump out to me now - but the more I’ve read and heard about the dudes in this class the more I’m impressed with these guys and TF and the entire staff. 
 

Mayfield and Dalman were about as perfect fits as we could have hoped for. Mayfield could start inside or out, could push others, gives us depth, may allow us to move McGary inside and give him a 2nd chance - who knows. Dalman could do the same inside and push Henny. 
 

All the defensive selections, may not be sexy or even get that many snaps, but think all of them can be developed and have great upside. 

TF was deliberate in his moves to solidify the Oline.  He's not waiting around hoping McGary & Hennessy will take that next needed step at T & C.  So he set out not to spend early draft capital at those positions, but rather select two guys who fit our scheme nicely & who can both become quality starters.  It's an all new approach we haven't seen before.  We're now in a AS/TF accountability philosophy where we don't just draft a couple of guys then HOPE the light bulb comes on.  They were purposeful & drafted to solidify those positions with starting caliber talent.  It'll be a war where iron sharpens iron & everyone gets better & whomever fights the hardest, wins.  

There's no more DQ rights of passage for anyone anymore.  It's fight & work at your craft,  or lose your position on Sunday time at Falcons camp.  Those two, new Dlinemen will arrive at camp hungry.  They'll observe the lay of the land with rookie eyes, take in the hierarchy & probably come away thinking, hmmm, outside of Grady Jarrett, we feel like we have just as good of a shot to impress the coaches as anyone we see in camp!  

Our team got better in many ways in this draft.  This coupled with new coaching & game planning/scheming/adjusting, & I'm optimistic.  

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11 minutes ago, HASHBROWN3 said:

TF was deliberate in his moves to solidify the Oline.  He's not waiting around hoping McGary & Hennessy will take that next needed step at T & C.  So he set out not to spend early draft capital at those positions, but rather select two guys who fit our scheme nicely & who can both become quality starters.  It's an all new approach we haven't seen before.  We're now in a AS/TF accountability philosophy where we don't just draft a couple of guys then HOPE the light bulb comes on.  They were purposeful & drafted to solidify those positions with starting caliber talent.  It'll be a war where iron sharpens iron & everyone gets better & whomever fights the hardest, wins.  

There's no more DQ rights of passage for anyone anymore.  It's fight & work at your craft,  or lose your position on Sunday time at Falcons camp.  Those two, new Dlinemen will arrive at camp hungry.  They'll observe the lay of the land with rookie eyes, take in the hierarchy & probably come away thinking, hmmm, outside of Grady Jarrett, we feel like we have just as good of a shot to impress the coaches as anyone we see in camp!  

Our team got better in many ways in this draft.  This coupled with new coaching & game planning/scheming/adjusting, & I'm optimistic.  

Well said!!!

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4 hours ago, Herr Doktor said:

McGary will be far better in this scheme.  I honestly think our oline will be a real strength by seasons end.  And dare I say, deep?

I agree. Kaleb is actually a very explosive athlete. He moves well. The DK scheme put a ton of stress on the OL with the constant long-developing routes and lack of running game. Speed rushers were pretty much able to pin their ears back

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The two Dline guys we picked up have their work cut out for them.  Def not prolific prospects in college.

They have to be coached & taught & used in a way that will give them a chance.  

One thing I noticed on both is their length... both have 35+ inch arms! 

The Notre Dame kid may be asked to add even more weight & strength to develop his inside rushing skills & especially his bull rush.  The TX kid needs more refining too.  They're both developmental projects with amazing length so 

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20 hours ago, MSalmon said:

I agree. Kaleb is actually a very explosive athlete. He moves well. The DK scheme put a ton of stress on the OL with the constant long-developing routes and lack of running game. Speed rushers were pretty much able to pin their ears back

This.  Most definitely our oline benefits from a new scheme.  Dare I say COHESIVE scheme?

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On 5/14/2021 at 9:07 AM, thanat0s said:

Best five guys! Surely with all that depth we can find five solid ones to run this offense.

 

On 5/14/2021 at 9:13 AM, thanat0s said:

It's funny  how perceptions change when new comes along, and Henny is a perfect example. This place was clamoring to get him, and we all felt like we got a steal on draft day. Now he barely played because he had the man in front of him. When he did play center, he was rusty, but functional for a rook seeing his first time.

But, just a year later, the love affair is over for many, and for no good reason. As you said, let's give these guys time in this new system and see who rises to the top.

I suspect McGary, who is a regular punching bag around here, might surprise some people. He had a terrible job trying to run Dirk's scheme, as did the entire offense.

Best Oline Ryan had he took to the Super bowl, then two of them went down in the game and a third was playing with a broken leg.

Be nice to see a solid Oline with quality depth. Wouldn't be surprised at all to see a vet OLineman brought in after Jun 1 cuts.

Also think the new offense and 2-3 TE sets will make a huge difference for the Oline.

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3 hours ago, falconidae said:

 

Best Oline Ryan had he took to the Super bowl, then two of them went down in the game and a third was playing with a broken leg.

Be nice to see a solid Oline with quality depth. Wouldn't be surprised at all to see a vet OLineman brought in after Jun 1 cuts.

Also think the new offense and 2-3 TE sets will make a huge difference for the Oline.

Yep! We have a QB that can be counted on to always find an open guy given time. Hopefully Artie will use whatever protection numbers  we need to make that possible.

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