Kiper has Johnson slipping to third round

Mel Kiper was in mid-flow, still going strong after two hours and two minutes. He’d taken more than 80 questions on a national conference call.

ESPN’s draft analyst asked if there were still any people left on the line. There were still 12 more callers.

ESPN's Mel Kiper is not high on a couple of local products.

ESPN draft analyst is not high on some local products.

He took all of the calls, one of the last ones being about Sam Houston State quarterback Rhett Bomar for a small newspaper guy in Texas. That was very gracious of Kiper and one of the reasons why most traditional print media guys love him.

Folks would ask Kiper about some obscure DB from the WAC and he’d start rattling off their vital stats. Some of the reporters would thank Kiper for dropping some knowledge on them.

This is Kiper’s 31st year in the business of analyzing draft prospects and he’ll be a major part of ESPN’s coverage on Saturday and Sunday.

So to help us get ready for the overall draft, here’s Kiper on a variety of players, topics and all-around general drafnikness (I think I just created a new word!):

ON LIONS DRAFTING STAFFORD: “I would expect (Georgia quarterback Matthew) Stafford to go No. 1. I don’t have any inside information on what Detroit’s thinking in terms of obviously they want to have this guy signed before the draft if they can. To me it would be the obvious pick. That’s what they need.”

He’s wondering why the Lions are dragging their feet with signing Stafford.

“The decision on Stafford should have been made a long time ago, whether they were going to make him the No. 1 pick overall,” Kiper said.

ON TEXAS TECH WIDEOUT MICHAEL CRABTREE: “I don’t think the injury affected him that much because he was projected to go fourth to Seattle prior to that, long before anybody signed any free agents. Now he’s projected to go fifth to Cleveland. So it’s not a huge drop for him.”

ON MARYLAND WIDEOUT DARRIUS HEYWARD-BEY: He noted that the speedy Heyward-Bey – who ran under 4.3 seconds in the 40-yard dash on a few stop watches at the combine — had some games at Maryland where he didn’t catch a pass.

“That shouldn’t happen,” Kiper said. “When you have a kid this skilled, you force the ball to him. If you’re shut out in some college games, what’s going to happen in the NFL? There are definitely some questions

Kiper has Clemson's James Davis going in the fourth round of the draft. Davis is from Atlanta Douglass High.

Kiper has Clemson running back James Davis going in the fourth round. Davis is from Atlanta Douglass High.

there.”

Kiper has Heyward-Bey as the third receiver behind Crabtree and Missouri’s Jeremy Maclin. He could go to the New York Jets (17) or Minnesota (22). If he gets past Minnesota then Miami (25) would be a possibility.

“They definitely need a receiver,” Kiper said.

ON FLORIDA RECEIVER PERCY HARVIN: Harvin has slipped in the draft after reports of a failed drug test. Kiper had him going at No. 17, but now it looks like he’ll be a late first rounder.

“He’s not a wide receiver per say, but a jack of all trades,” Kiper said. “He’s a Reggie Bush with the Saints — not Reggie at USC, but Reggie with the Saints. And that’s the kind of player he can be — running back, receiver, return man.”

Durability is an issue for teams drafting Harvin.

“He’s only 195 pounds and he’s going to have to prove that he can stay healthy,” Kiper said. “If you can keep him on the field, he’s going to put up a lot of all-purpose yards for you.”

Kiper has Clemson's Aaron Kelly going in the fifth round. He is a Walton High grad.

Kiper has Clemson wide receiver Aaron Kelly going in the fifth round.

ON WEST VIRGINIA QB PAT WHITE: Kiper sees him going in the second or third round.

TOP QB’S NEXT SEASON: Oklahoma’s Sam Bradford, Central Michigan’s Dan LeFevour and Texas’ Colt McCoy. He projects Florida’s Tim Tebow as a H-back or Wildcat (10 to 15 plays) quarterback.

ON CLEMSON RB JAMES DAVIS: He has the former Douglass High standout going in the fourth round.

ON GEORGIA TECH DE MICHAEL JOHNSON: Once considered a top 10 pick, Kiper said that Johnson could slide all the way in to the third round.

ON CLEMSON WR AARON KELLY: He has the former Walton High standout going in the fifth round.

ON ALABAMA TACKLE ANDRE SMITH: “Nick Saban has helped him maintain a top 10 draft status despite what has gone on during the draft process,” Kiper said.

ON MISSISSIPPI DT PERIA JERRY:
“I thought he was the most underrated defensive player in the country all last year,” Kiper said.

ON THE GLUT OF HYBRID DE/OLBs: Kiper noted that Florida State’s Everette Brown, Northern Illinois’ Larry English, Virginia’s Clint Sintim, Southern Cal’s Clay Matthews Jr., Penn State’s Aaron Maybin and Cincinnati’s Connor Barwin could all play either defensive end of outside linebacker.

“There is an incredible number of those combo type of players this year,” Kiper said.

MORENO IS HIS TOP RB: Kiper likes Georgia running back Knowshon Moreno, but believes that the New

Kiper said Georgia Tech's Michael Johnson may slip into the third round.

Kiper said Georgia Tech's Michael Johnson could slip into the third round.

Orleans Saints will take Ohio State’s Chris Wells first. Connecticut’s Donald Brown is the third best running back in the draft.

Kiper doesn’t believe Wells is soft.

“He ran hard when he was healthy,” Kiper said.

Kiper has Moreno going to Philadelphia at 21 or Arizona at 31.

35th ANNIVERSARY OF BEST DRAFT OF ALL TIME: In 1974, the Pittsburgh Steelers drafted wide receiver Lynn Swann (1st round), linebacker Jack Lambert (second round), wide receiver John Stallworth (fourth round) and center Mike Webster (fifth round). All have been inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

ON RHETT BOMAR: Sounds familiar? He was the kid who had to leave Oklahoma and getting paid too much for “working” at his summer job. He should go in the fourth or fifth round.

“Rhett has a chance,” Kiper said. “But he has some mechanical issues.”

Are you a big Kiper fan? Don’t like the hair? Think his has Moreno going too low? He’s been picking Brandon Pettigrew to go to Atlanta for awhile, but seemed to shy away from that pick a little bit on the call.

346 comments Add your comment

RedandBlack

April 21st, 2009
3:03 pm

Could Detroit take both Bulldogs in the first by drafting Stafford and Moreno? I agree with the former Slam Dunk Champion. Knowshon Moreno is a breakout superstar. Go Dogs!!

djtruk

April 21st, 2009
3:26 pm

I wish everyone had his attitude, work ethics and his off the field issues SPUD. He has “no baggage” just one NFL analyst that compared him to a workout warrior from last season. Get to know the player not the game.

WR

April 21st, 2009
3:27 pm

Hey fellas check out this DT sleeper, Vaugh Martin, from Western University, he played his college ball in Canada so he has been off most teams radars but over the last couple of weeks his name is popping up on different web site searches. If this guy is there in the fourth or fifth round he could be a steal.

D3

April 21st, 2009
4:02 pm

Poor McKay – Agreed. I’ve always looked forward to the Draft, but this year has been the best AND the longest because of all the good scenarios, thought patterns, and discussions. Hopefully, they’ll be some good picks we all are happy with.

Sarah – yeah, I’m so used to the draft starting @ noon, so I just left it at that time because I’ll be in frenzy mode with ESPN and NFL Network on. My Draft festivities will start @ noon, in other words.

Jim – great comparison on Heyward-Bay being Troy Williamson redux. A speedster doesn not a good receiver make. Disagree with you on Pettigrew. He is the only exception to take first. Raji and Jerry would be worth it, but Hood is not. We already have a down tackle in Babineaux and need more of an up tackle in the mold of Ron Brace, Roy Miller, or Sammie Hill, IMVHO.

Tyger – you got it on MJ. He WILL be a good-to-great player some day, but whoever drafts him will have to have patience with him and not expect immediate domination, especially since most DE’s don’t flourish until their 3rd year anyway.

RedandBlack – we’re boys already in that we share to two favorite teams: Dogs & Falcons. Agree on going DEF first, but Pettigrew is the lone exception. At that point in the draft in the first round, its kind of a crapshoot on whether they will make an outstanding, immediate impact. The same can’t be said about Pettigrew. There is tons of middle round talent on DEF through this draft, and allowing TD and his innate ability to mine these gems out will serve us well. MJ definitely could drop occasionally, but as far being an every-down LB, I don’t know about it.

Reminder about Bird-Cage Mock Draft Competition
1)Final mock draft of first round due by Sat. @ noon
2)Each direct hit receives a 1 point
3)I save them to a hard copy and will re-post on sat.
3)Winner receives ULTIMATE BRAGGING RIGHTS!!!!
Got following mocks: Falcon Devil, dacha, Nookah, Seminole, Marko, D3, WR. Where you at Ken Strick, Tyger, JJ, JB, Stirg, Poor McKay? Get in on the action.

H— YEAH! 3 MORE WORKDAYS AND ITS DRAFT TIME!

Ken Strickland

April 21st, 2009
4:13 pm

I’m not concerned in the least about who we draft at #24. This draft is just too deep at LB, TE and DT to be concerned. Our DEF is going to be much improved over last yrs based on the talent already on the roster. DT TLewis is an improvement over GJackson. SS TDeCloud is a vast improvement over LMalloy. SLB MPeterson and WLB SNicholas are overall improvements over Boley and Brooking. DE CDavis will is an improvement over JAnderson, unless he steps up and has a breakout training camp. Either way, there will be an improvement.

DT, CB and OLB are the DEF positions that might be open to a talented rookie.

Sarah B

April 21st, 2009
4:29 pm

D3 – I just didn’t want you to have a heart attack when it wasn’t on at noon. Looking out for a fellow Bird fan.

Nookah

April 21st, 2009
4:32 pm

Calling all Falcons fans, go to the Atlanta Falcons website and listen to J Mike Moore’s interview with TD. After listening to it TE is very much a possibility at 24. He stressed “needs based” draft, as he always does. He is also stressing getting impact players in the earlier part of the draft. He seems to be implying that he is fairly comfortable with the depth on our squad for the most part.

Take a listen if you have the time.

Go Falcons!!!

Nuff respect!!!

Stirg d'Nahsif

April 21st, 2009
4:44 pm

Good work, D.O.’better. I like Kiper and I value his opinions. You don’t serve 31 years with ESPN and not know what you’re talking about. Yes, drafnikness is a word; but only you can get away with it (with a bow tie on your profile and a segment on NFL.com, you look like a professor that can create words).

Wow! Just a couple of months ago, when I introduced the “Pettigrew for ‘24′” idea, I couldn’t buy a second opinion to my nomination. Now, all my co-fans are hoping that he falls to us (I need to forget about this Ph.D and focus on a JD).

I think the Falcons are going to play the draft by ear. I think that they already have “their man” in mind; however, if “that man” is taken before “24″, I’m certain that they have a plan “B”, which may include trading. For instance, if Pettigrew is taken before “24″, like most of us is now suspecting, the Falcons may consider a trade for Gonzo and draft defense, instead.

Why is their no longer any hoopla for Ron Brace?

mars

April 21st, 2009
4:53 pm

Keep in mind, we still have option of trading a very flawed, and yet very talented Michael Vick. Also, in QB hungry league, Shockley is a waste as a bench-rider, and J Anderson might actually fit into someones defensive scheme somewhere (I type with straight face, no less). Look for one or all of these options to be exercised. Drafting Pettigrew would signal a return to the brain dead decisions that represent the history of the Falcons. If not interested in bringing Justin Peele along (quite talented and servicable, affordable without dropping ones pants), then wait for Jared Cook (as good as Pettigrew in all aspects). Considering our needs, squandering the first pick on a tight end would be moronic.

Tapate50

April 21st, 2009
5:01 pm

Maybin isnt what we need. To small for DE, and not enough LB prowess. Cmon…
Doesnt feel either need real well. So lets try again DOL.

mars

April 21st, 2009
5:04 pm

Why is my comment awaiting moderation?

Marko

April 21st, 2009
5:04 pm

As we look forward to the draft, and the upcoming season, I thought I’d compare Matty’s rookie stats to Peyton’s. Comparing quarterbacks isn’t an easy thing to do; you wind up getting into an apples and oranges kind of thing. Still, the numbers are kind of interesting. Matt threw for over three thousand yards. 3440 to be exact. Ten years earlier, Peyton threw for more, 3739. Together they are the only two rookie quarterbacks to throw for more than three thousand yards in their first year. Touchdowns, Matt threw sixteen. Again Peyton gets the edge he threw twenty six. Next comes interceptions, and here Matt has a clear edge. Matt threw eleven and Peyton threw twenty-eight. This is why Matt had a higher Quarterback rating than Peyton; 87.7 to 71.2. This is why the Falcons went to the playoffs and the 1998 colts finished three and thirteen.

What’s the point? The next year Peyton leads his team to a thirteen and three record. They went to the playoffs in 1999 and have, with the exception of 2001 been in the playoffs every year since. I’m not reading too much into this, but if Matt Ryan is anything like Peyton manning the next decade is going to be a little more exciting than what we’re accustomed to. Peyton forgot to have his traditional sophomore jinx. Let’s hope that Matty’s a touch on the absent minded side as well.

Kiper has Johnson slipping, I don’t see it. He had an amazing combine, and his stock climbed a little higher than it should have. He’s on the down side of the bounce now , but he’s still helped himself. I see him as a early second round pick. I do think the Falcons would take a long hard look if he was still there at Fifty-five. The thing we have to remember about Mel is that he’s the world’s most famous football fan. He’s not a scout let alone a GM. At the end of the day he’s a very lucky guy that stumbled onto a pretty cool way to make a living.

Adam Teicher, of the Kansas City Star and annoying video fame, has all but conceded that Gonzalez won’t be back next year, I’ve stopped speculating which tight end we should draft. I’ll let the poor slobs that don’t have Tony Gonzalez worry about that one.I might be wrong , but I think this deal’s done, The main that scares me is that it might not be with us. I remember that Buffalo was interested in Tony. I still believe that we’d have the inside track. A little because Thomas and Scott are buds, and a little because we’re outside their conference, Hope for the best it does’t cost anything.

Nookah, I almost forgot you thanks for the compliment. I do sometimes try to lighten things up a bit lest we wind up like the troglodytes on the political blogs.

darrell starks

April 21st, 2009
5:18 pm

This organization cant not afford to continue to not address the defense side of the ball the last time we really draft a true superstar on defense was DEION, AND JESSIE TUGGLE THATS bad we have to do a better job drafting on defense. GO FALCONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

darrell starks

April 21st, 2009
5:31 pm

I dont no why all the hoop la for a tight end we better get better on defense or the falcons will continue to be the same old falcons look at all the superbowl teams that won they all had a solid defense including the RAMS when they won the superbowl. GO FALCONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

tbhawksfan

April 21st, 2009
5:59 pm

I have to disagree witht he Pettigrew crew. TE is a need and Pettigrew is a good one, but the Falcons need to build a D; now. I don’t think TD and Smith are in the win later mode. They proved that last year by taking two offensive players in the first, depite popular choice Dorsey and more D.

I see the benefit of Pettigrew. I think Ryan would love him. The O would just get better. But, for everyone that says that a DT or OLB will be available later, well so will a TE.

Build a defence and Ice will win a Superbowl.

#24: One or more of Maybin, Jerry, Cushing, Davis, Mathews Jr, Pettigrew, Hood, Maybin will be available. I build my Falcons draft on two criteria; BPA at a position of need.

#24: Here’s the order based on availability: Jerry/Maybin/Hood/Davis/Cushing/Mathews/Pettigrew

#24: Jerry DT
#44: Sintim OLB
#90: Nelson TE
#125: Allen CB
#138: Miava OLB
#143: Shaughnessy DE
#176: Boone OT

WR

April 21st, 2009
7:05 pm

Darrell and tbhawksfan, everyone understands the need to upgrade the defense, when considering taking Pettigrew the Falcons are looking at the big picture. Pettigrew is the only first round graded tight-end in the draft, that being said if he’s available you take him, he completes your young offense. Its the Falcons have said its a process. Going into last year the experts and fans believed the whole team was in total chao. What did the birds do, they got a RB,T, and a QB, and all of a sudden the offense was top ten which means that the so-called young inexperienced, no name, other eight players on the offense developed into a cohesive good unit which the people on the inside knew about but we didn’t. I believe the same process will show its self on the defense this year. As fans we saw a team without much of a pass rush, adequate run defense, and only one decent corner with an aging but mostly reliable safety. Internally the Falcons obviously see a very defense that is getting better, as I recall the Cardinals torched the vaulted defenses of the panthers, and eagles, they held their own against the best D in the league in the Superbowl, but against the falcons of their 30 points 9 came from turnovers and a safety, and 7 came from a play involving busted coverage which by my math leaves 14. Anyone who watched the falcons all year saw young players growing and older players showing longivity in the teeth. Yes the falcons appear to need help on defense, but I have a good feeling that a team with a defensive minded head coach would not let practically five starters go if they felt the defense was in such bad shape. As I said before its called player development, you don’t keep 52 men on your active roster to just watch the other 22 play, those players are there not only as reserves but for development which it would appear the falcons feel the development process is over and these players are ready. Harrison from pittsburgh came from no where and he was defensive player of the year, where do you think he was, he was on someones bench developing.

WR

April 21st, 2009
7:14 pm

Before someone points it out there were some serious gramatical errors in my last post, no I didn’t proofread the thing, my bad, but I think you get the point.

braveshater

April 21st, 2009
7:40 pm

McShabby is a joke, anyone of us could do his job better than he does.

Nookah

April 21st, 2009
8:51 pm

Darrell Starks and tbhawksfan, I direct you to the Falcons website.as I mentioned in an earlier post. Listen to TD’s interview. I’ll paraphrase….we never use the :best player on the board philosophy. We know we have weaknesses in defense but that does not mean we will not choose offensive talent. He also went on to state that he wants to use the early rounds to get “impact players” (his words). Please see my earlier post for other stuff, or better still listen to the interview.

Basically he is implying that if he sees a player that can make the offense better then he will choose the player. He also said he was pretty comfortable with the depth for the most part. I think he is certainly leaving the door open for a TE.

Go Falcons!!!

Nuff respect everytime!!!

darrell starks

April 21st, 2009
9:02 pm

Look defense wins championship ,
if CUSHING is gone this is what i would do .

1st pick SEAN SMITH OF UTAH SAFETY WILL BE A BEAST.
2nd pick RON BRACE OF BOSTON COLLEGE DT but i still like DORRELL SCOTT of CLEMSON 6′4 320 POUNDS DT who might be there in the fourth round.
3rd pick ASHER ALLEN of GEORGIA 5′11 run a 4.3 fourty will be a solid corner back in the nfl.
GO FALCONS!!!!!!!!!!!!

Shamus Thacker

April 21st, 2009
9:45 pm

Whenever I think of DE/LB hybrids, I think of Tim Green. He was SO much a hybrid that he was no good at either position. It wasn’t his motor, preparation, or physical strength. He was as hard working as a player could be. Too slow, stiff, and terrible in “space,” to play LB. Too short, light, and easily moved, to play DE. He was better eventually, when bulked-up and devoted full-time to DL, but not by much.

To make a long and extremely boring story short; DON’T DRAFT NO DAMN HYBRID!

Shamus Thacker

April 21st, 2009
9:52 pm

I also think Pettigrew will be the pick.

D3

April 21st, 2009
9:58 pm

Good Tuesday Evening Gents! Gotta love looking on my computer and seeing “2009 NFL Draft – 3 Days Away!” Man, is it getting close or what? This is gonna be the most exciting draft for me after all this excitment and blogging for months now.

Cameron – what’s up bro’? Gotta disagree with you on trading up. Definitely don’t see us trading up to get anybody. As much as I’d love to have Jenkins, he’s not worth giving up draft picks for. Like to snag Ron Brace, but we’ll have to try in the second, b/c he’s not worth a 1st round pick, IMO.

Stirg – where you been my brotha’? You gotta get in on the Mock Draft competition man. Been waiting to get your mock saved and ready to go. You get full credit on the Pettigrew train. You hitched your horse to him a long time ago and I give you mad props for that. I’ve wavered back and forth until about a week ago and settled in the Pettigrew concrete after researching Cushing, Matthews, Hood, etc. myself. Nice work. Me-thinks there’s no hoopla for Brace (at least on my end), b/c he’s not worth #24 and he’ll be long gone by #55. If not, that would be a great 1-2 punch: ‘Grew & Brace? H— Yeah!

Tapate50 – welcome my friend. If Maybin slips to us, definitely pull the trigger, IMHO. He’s got the possibility to be another Terrell Suggs(Draftcountdown.com comparison), especially if he learns the ropes of an OLB. If he somehow fell, I think I’d still go with my boy Pettigrew.

Marko – good evenin’ G! Great points on Manning/Ryan analysis. Same as I said earlier. Even though DE’s not a huge need, MJ is too much of a talent to pass up. Move JA inside and let MJ groom for Abraham’s replacement, while competing with C.Davis. TG or ‘Grew will be fine with me. The TG trade definitely would give us a chance to draft a Sintim/Barwin/Maybin. Nice.

darrellstark – understood on defense, but we have addressed the D last year with Curtis Lofton, Chevis Jackson, Thomas DeCoud, and Kroy Bierrman. Brought in Von Hutchins(immediately got hurt) & Mike Peterson. Also have Petrino leftovers Stephen Nicholas & Trey Lewis ready to step in this year. We do need to address D, and we will, but Pettigrew is the only OFF exception.

tbhawks – definitely get your point of view. Pettigrew is the only exception to rule, but Sintim will be gone by #55 and Nelson/Cook/Ingram will be gone by round 3.

WR – you ‘da man! Great post about our OFF last year and the same possibility for our DEF this year. As you mentioned, with all due respect, three of the biggest plays on our defensive meltdown against the cards came against our long in the tooth vets (Milloy getting burnt on flea-flicker, Milloy getting torched by Boldin on a 3 yard pass, & Brooking’s 3 & 16).

dacha – all good my brother. I had to change a few myself. Got it saved.

Keep it coming boys! Days, and yes we can now say 3 DAYS AWAY!!!!! Anybody got some suggestions for a good tailgating item on the grill. My draft fesitivities are gettin’ cranked up @ noon with some good food, NFL Network/ESPN, and brew (undecided for the big event. Might have to go a little old-school college and break out the Newcastle).

Bill in Dallas

April 21st, 2009
10:18 pm

We do not need Pettigrew. We need defensive help. We lost four key members of last years defense, and did not lose a single tight end.

I really like Delmas, but would like to trade back and pick him up. My dream scenario has us trading our #1 to Cleveland for their 2 #2’s and pick up Delmas, Sintim, and Johnson.

In short, if we pick Pettigrew, I’m gonna throw something.

D3

April 21st, 2009
10:39 pm

dacha – nice Falcons mock. If we could somehow get Pettigrew and MJ that would the S—! Greg Toller is definitely shooting up the charts the week before the draft.

darrellstark – I was also really big on Sean Smith too, but he I think he’s more of a project as its undecided if he project to a S or CB. Most likely not a CB due to his height, and any move to S would definitely take patience. Like the Ron Brace pick for sure if he’s there.

Bill – now that is a serious dream scenario. I would give up on Pettigrwe if we could get those three in the second. Sintim may just go at the end of the 1st. If we don’t go Pettigrew, Sintim is my man. If we don’t take him watch for Baltimore, Buffalo, or even Pittsburgh possibly snagging him. The guy was a complete stud as a 4 year starter and got better each year. Perfect for the 3-4 ILB(which he played at UVA) or a 4-3 SAM. If we pass on Pettigrew, the next 3 TE’s that are heads above the rest are Shawn Nelson, Jared Cook, and Cornelius Ingram. Good chances are that we’ll have to spend our second round pick to get one. I too was really worried about our D losses, but let’s take a look at who we lost/let go:
1)Michael Boley – totally disappeared to the point he was replaced
2)Grady Jackson – a stop-gap that was a 2 down DT on downside
3)Lawyer Milloy – great leader; doesn’t currently even have a team
4)Keith Brooking – great Falcon; weak in coverage, downside of career
5)Dominique Foxworth – tough one to let go; Ravens over-paid, IMHO.

Guys ready to step in/step up: Thomas DeCoud for Milloy, Stephen Nicholas for Boley, Peterson for Brooking, Chevis Jackson for Foxworth, Trey Lewis for Grady. Doesn’t even include our DEF picks.

Stirg d'Nahsif

April 21st, 2009
11:20 pm

I’m here, D3. I, too, have some final papers to complete and its been a hectic end of semester for me. Also, I’ve been in my Hawks’ zone. Where I live, I don’t get the chance to see Georgia sports (Falcons, Hawks, Braves, Maroon Tigers, etc.) everyday. So when the opportunity, like the Hawks’ showing, presents itself, I get into my zone. I do the whole sha-bang; I have a ritual. I do the fish (beer battered in Red Scripe, of course) and grits; and I sit in my Fulton County Stadium seat (yes; I have an original). I’ll get hyped up before the draft, don’t worry. I’ll submit my mock draft closer to draft day. I want to better study the trades prior to Saturday. Detroit feels good about signing their number one draft pick by Friday. With that, I’ll be able to develop a mock with more precision. I’m still heavy on Pettigrew; but Philadelphia appears to be attracted to the blocking tight end. He may go higher than expected. I’ll figure it all out by Friday. Save me a spot.

Daddys357. What is that? Do you have change for fifteen cents?

Boxcarar

April 21st, 2009
11:35 pm

I just pop in on occasion, but those saying MJ is a steal in 2nd round, if he “takes off plays”, that doesn’t sound like a Smitty or a BVG kind of guy. Please skip the KC trades. TG is a two year at best solution. Let Matty gel with a fresh TE for a long future and we don’t need two DL busts on the roster for such a salary cap hit.

Ken Strickland

April 21st, 2009
11:53 pm

I just don’t understand this obsession with the idea we have to get everything we need in this yrs draft. We’ll have the equivelent of an entire draft returning to the active roster from Injury Reserve, and some of them have starting experience. OT RFoster(starting exp), CB’s VHutchins(starting exp), DIrons & BGrimes(starting exp), SS AHarris, LB RJames and DT TLewis(starting exp).

You can’t realistically ignore or dismiss the talent and impact these players can and will have on this yrs team. There’s no logical reason to believe the players in this yrs draft can or will have a greater impact than these returning players, especially as potential starters.

D3

April 21st, 2009
11:58 pm

Alright Bird-Cage Gents, just a few more days until the Big Day! I’m actually already starting to get a little no-football depression, because after The Draft and analysis buzz, its zero football until July. And evidently my Bravo’s are heading down the same path as last year. Losing two in a row to the worst team in baseball? D@–! May & June, no Football. Bummer. Got a couple of golf majors and the Bravo’s. Hope they pick it up. Anyway, I digress……..

Falcons Mock Draft Cinco.4 (’Grew-MJ Version; although unlikely)
1)Brandon Pettigrew – TE
2)Michael Johnson – DE
3)Chip Vaughn – S
4)Sammie Hill – DT
5a)Keenan Lewis – CB
5b)Nic Harris – OLB
6)Lydon Murtha – T

See you on the flip-side boys. And on that note……………

3 DAYS, 12 HOURS, 1 MIN, & COUNTING!!!!!!!!!

D3

April 22nd, 2009
12:01 am

Stirg – all good. Are you wavering on ‘Grew at the last minute? I’m not too worried about Philly taking our boy. Saw a thing on ESPN and their guy is Moreno. Even so much so that they’re debating moving up to get him. Go HAWKS!!!!!!!!

WR

April 22nd, 2009
12:06 am

Darrell, I don’t want to go against your logic of defense wins championships, but ultimately the team wins championships. Baltimore has had a consistent top 3 defense for the past ten years, how many championships can they claim, same goes for tampa, both teams can claim exactly one more championship then the falcons and neither has been back to the superbowl. I’m not taking anything away from either of those teams, I am using those teams as a perfect example of why the falcons could be considering a TE at number one. If the Falcons had the first pick of the draft and Ronnie Lott was available, it would be a young Ronnie Lott to go with the young defense that is in place,now what is the antedote for a young defense, a power rushing, pass efficient, ball controlling offense, point being, yes you continue to build the defense through the draft and if you can grab a player that is not only considered the best at his position, but one of the top 15 players in the draft period and he fills a position of need you take him. Trust me as a Falcons fan I have seen the very few highs and many lows of the falcons drafts and most of the lows have come from reaching for players in position of needs, Micheal Booker, Audray Bruce, Jimmy Williams, T.J Duckett, Tony Smith, and this is just a few of the many screw-ups this franchise has made. I know last year got us thirsty for more but true fans want a consistent contender not a one hit wonder, and from what I have seen from this new regime the falcons are building for now and the future which is truly the way to win a championship. The birds have been to the big dance, the next year crashed, a few years ago went to the NFC championship, the next year crashed, go back to the draft after any of the years of success with the Falcons and you will see them reach for a player they could have had later in the draft instead of taking the best player available that fills a need, not only was it a reach but those players became bust, and the jury is still out on Jamaal Andersen.

WR

April 22nd, 2009
12:11 am

KStrickland, thats my point, consistent teams build through the draft and continue to build through the draft, you add a piece or two this year you lose a piece and add another next year, thats the game of football.

WR

April 22nd, 2009
12:16 am

D3, nice mock I definitely would be excited if those players fell into the falcons hands, although I think we could probably use another tackle, say moala in the third. I just don’t get the feeling the birds are thinking about grabbing another safety considering the youngsters they already have.

Ken Strickland

April 22nd, 2009
12:22 am

D3-don’t overlook the possibility of Buffalo taking TE BPettigrew.

Ken Strickland

April 22nd, 2009
12:41 am

Teams that rely primarily on their DEF, like the Bucs, Ravens, Bears, Titans, Panthers etc, have demonstrated the ability to win A championship, but not multiple championships, at least not without the help of a strong OFF. The Bears DEF was far superior to the Colts DEF, but they lost because their OFF wasn’t nearly as good as the Colts OFF.

The teams that win multiple championships, like the Steelers and Patriots, have a balance between their OFF and DEF.

Big Ray

April 22nd, 2009
1:02 am

Is it Saturday yet?

JP

April 22nd, 2009
1:10 am

A ball control offense will ware down a very good defense. This is why I believe the falcons will draft TE Brandon Pettigrew at #24. This will give Ryan another weapon to keep the offense moving. This will also help the defense to stay fresh and rested.

NikkiFree

April 22nd, 2009
6:00 am

DOB,
I wish you’d have asked Kiper where another local product, OU’s George Robinson was going.

Dominick

April 22nd, 2009
6:35 am

I ‘,ve been following drafts since 1991 getting at first the ourlad’s draft guide then getting kippers form about’95 or so, been a falcons fan since ‘80. I recently been wathcing film on youtube of potential falcons picks and the BEST FILM I’VE SEEN HAS BEEN OF LARRY ENGLISH! Very impressed with this player, you guys should check him out. Looks like John Abraham! Another player I was really impressed with almost as much as English was CLAY JR. would be very hppy with either in the first! Did’nt like CUSHING that much.

Dominick

April 22nd, 2009
6:38 am

ORLANDO! Check out English and clay and tell us what you think!

SeminoleWarrior

April 22nd, 2009
8:13 am

Morning my brothers in the fold!! Dacha, you rolled over on me..LOL. You bought into D3 and the ‘Grew. It’s all good. Now I have to buy tissues for two of my brothers. Just kidding, man. I’m still thinking that either the Cheesesteak Outlet or the Icebox on Lake Erie will get ‘Grew before us. But hey, that’s why we are playing this game.

I’m a Nole as most would guess. I know that there are some question with MJ but I do not see him falling to third unless there is news we are not aware of. i agree with D.O. Leds, forget Vonte Davis ending up in ATL. TD and Smitty jettisoned MeAngelo for his mouth; Davis is not one that takes well to coaching supposedly so his ship is already down as far as the Birds are considered.

Will have to make a modification or two to my mocks over the next 48 hours as I attempt to wait out the trades that are sure to come. Denver is blowing smoke..they will take Sanchez. Orton is not the long-term answer there. Question is will the move up to pick at #4 or #8. Will see.

JJ

April 22nd, 2009
8:24 am

D3: Still fine tuning my sheet of integrity and drive for the KASH! or belt.

Marko

April 22nd, 2009
8:24 am

Morning all, well it seems that little Michael’s ticket back to the good life is genuine remorse I’ve always felt that sincerity was the key to success. If you can fake that you’ve pretty much got it made. I suspect that Michael might have a bigger problem. Matt Ryan exposed him as a running back playing out of position. There’s absolutely no question that he has the physical skills to be a quarterback. What Vick lacks is the mental skills required to be a successful NFL QB. By the same token, I possess all the physical skills required of a first rate rocket scientist. It’s the mental part that I can’t quite get the hang of. Perhaps I’m underestimating the kid. If he picks up a play book and makes a genuine effort to understand it, he might succeed yet. For his sake let’s hope so.

The boy’s on the NFL Network were speculating on the Gonzalez trade. They proposed a rather scary prospect for those of us that would enjoy seeing him in a different shade of red. Next year. The Eagles are said to be interested in Tony The whole thing seems to hinge on Pettigrew, If He’s still on the board when the Eagles pick, he’s Andy’s guy. If Brandon goes early, Buffalo’s rumored to be interested; A Tony Gonzalez bidding war could be the result. If so, I don’t like the outlook. Philadelphia has bordered on being a great team for many years and they’re getting pretty old at several key positions. Their window of opportunity seems to be closing if they don’t get the job done this year; they’re in for some major changes. Anyway I felt that Thomas might fancy Tony enough to over pay a bit for his services. I didn’t figure on Andy Reid being desperate enough to give the farm away for him. Guess we’ll know Sunday morning won’t we.

angry banker

April 22nd, 2009
10:13 am

D3 – you mention Nicolas stepping up to replace Boley. Didn’t Wire get 80% of the snaps from game 5 and on? People are making a big deal about boley leaving, but we never used him.

My concearn is with our D line – how do you replace a guy who’s as big as a house? I like trey, but I see him and moorehead as back ups and subs for Babs – I think we absolutly have to draft a big boy to help plug the gaps up front.

Sarah B

April 22nd, 2009
10:46 am

D3 – the draft is special! I’d go with Babyback Ribs with a nice southern vinegar bbq sauce!!!

SeminoleWarrior

April 22nd, 2009
10:49 am

Spent the morning listening to the interview that TD did on website and as D3 noted, it opens many a door. TD maintained one consistent theme in any and all interviews he has given to date. The Birds will address NEED over popular opinion. His intense focus is on the team in the long term and he does not seem to waiver in that belief.

I have been a Falcon fan all my life even when my friends and family members in south GA were in love with the likes of the Steelers and the Cowboys. History will reflect, I think, that things began to change for the Falcons the day that AB selected TD to be his GM. Our front office has never been more functional, more focused, and more driven to excel. Rich McKay was the man in Tampa, I will give him that, but the star lost some luster in ATL. But he, if he can give us a outdoor stadium on par with Raymond James, he will have succeeded here as well.

Check out TD’s remarks at the following link. They are very thought provoking. May result in a few changes in a couple of mocks too. Laters.

http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news?slug=ap-falcons-draft&prov=ap&type=lgns

D3

April 22nd, 2009
10:58 am

Good AM Gents! It’s hump-day of draft week and the excitement’s building for the grand finale. Getting those final mocks, looking at the last before the draft (which seems pretty quiet by comparison to other years), getting the menu together for the Draft Day festivities at mi casa, and having the ultimate of debates……….what brew should I go with on the big day? Thinking about harkening back to my college days and going a little Newcastle, or might opt some good summer brew since it looks to be beautiful this Sat, like Sweetwater Hummer maybe. Anyway, I digress………..

WR – couldn’t have stated it any better my man. By definition, especially in this year’s draft, there is no lock @ #24. You have to be fluid and find a happy medium between needs-based and best player available. The reason NE, Pittsburgh, Philly, Colts, & SD stay on top is there excellent ability to pick later in the rounds. Pettigrew will much more of an impact than say, Hood, Matthews, or Cushing. Definitely boom or bust year for JA. You and Ken may be right about drafting a S. Really depends how much DeCoud is ready to step in. Never hurts for insurance.

Ken Strick – yeah, I’ve thought about Buffalo there, but they desperately need to fill Jason Peters empty tackle spot, IMO. They can afford to wait ’till the second and take a guy like Nelson, Cook, or Ingram. JMO, I think they grab best T available at #11, and grab best OLB/DE hybrid @ #28, like English or Barwin, or vice versa.

Big Ray – on your point, seriously. This week’s going pretty fast so far IMO, though. Knock on wood.

JP – you got it. Pettigrew’s too good to pass up. Everybody complains that he’s not a burner. Well, what complete, all-around TE’s are? 3 best TE’s in the league, Witten-Gonzalez-Gates, are not.

Dominick – definitely like English. He’s 3rd on “my” preference chart behind Pettigrew & Clint Sintim.

Seminole – you may be right my bro’, but I can’t see Buffalo taking ‘Grew at #11. Best available Tackle or DE/OLB Hybrid. They can snag Nelson/Cook/Ingram in the second. D@– straight on Vontae Davis. I wouldn’t draft him in any round. If he’s Mini-Meangelo Hall as NFL.com’s Gil Brandt says, H-to-the-E-to-the-Double-L NO! We had the real thing and thank G we got him gone. Great question on Sanchez and the Broncs. They’ll have to move up to #8, b/c I don’t see him dropping past San Fran. Me thinks Seattle waits one more year for QB due to Seneca Wallaces somewhat steady (not good, mind you) play. I starting the get the feeling that the Seahawks might snag him after all. Hasselbeck is chandelier-man and hasn’t had a good year in ages.

JJ- all good my friend. Got ’till saturday.

Rollin’ towards the big event! T-Minus 3 DAYS AND COUNTING!!!!!!!!!!!!!

D3

April 22nd, 2009
11:21 am

Prepare the sirens! Hungry, blog-eating monster on the loose. He must have awoken from hibernation.

richbrave

April 22nd, 2009
11:24 am

And UNIVERSITY of RICHMOND’s LAWRENCE SIDBURY JR. now late second-early third per MR. KIPER. “He’s movin’ on up to the east side…gonna’ get a piece of the pie” Better look at him before he’s gone. GREG TOLER also.

webhead

April 22nd, 2009
11:26 am

Dallas plays Atl. this year and man, Brookong is going to knock the shit out of Ryan and That sorry excuse for a running back. You know which one I’m talking about, the one that falls down before contact. I feel sorry for Pettigrew when Brook takes his head off. If TD had any sense he would take Moreno so we can have a real running back. Peace out!