ESPN draft guru Mel Kiper was in draft day form for the national media today.
He did a two hour conference call, taking questions from writers from around the country. Kiper was pretty strong throughout.
I was caller No. 12 in the first half hour and asked him about the Georgia Tech kids and who might be available when the Falcons select in the first round.
“I think Kyle Wilson, the cornerback from Boise State would make a lot of sense at that point,” Kiper said. “Considering
the way that he played at Senior Bowl practices. He’s another kid with great character. He studies the game. He’s a very hard worker.
“Certainly, he would be in the mix. (Defensive end) Brandon Graham from Michigan would be another guy to consider there. Where they are picking at . . . they can solidify a need area from the players on the board.”
I mentioned Oklahoma State cornerback Perrish Cox and Missouri linebacker Sean Weatherspoon, but Kiper would not sign off on them at No. 19/20 for the Falcons.
HE’S CLEAR ABOUT TEBOW: Kiper is steadfast in his analysis that Florida’s Tim Tebow is not an NFL quarterback.
“I said that directly to his face,” Kiper said. “I think he’s an H-back. Is somebody going to draft him as a quarterback? Yeah, I think they will, but in the second or third round.”
It happened a little after 8:30 p.m. Tuesday evening.
Gil Brandt, who’s affectionately called “The Godfather” of the NFL by his listeners on Sirius radio, blessed the Falcons’
promotion of Bill Musgrave to assistant head coach.
Brandt, the former Cowboys executive, who helped make them America’s team, is now a member of the media. In addition to his Sirius gig, he writes for NFL.com. He’s a walking encyclopedia and a noted historian of the game.
Before taking a call from Dr. Falcon on the Late Hits show, Brandt, unsolicited, went into a blessing of the Musgrave move.
“He’s a young man that grew up in Colorado,” Brandt said. “He went to high school in Colorado. Then went on to the University of Oregon. I believe he was a fourth round draft pick of the Dallas Cowboys (correct) and I’ll tell you what, this guy is a good, good football coach. I think that he will add a lot to that offense of the Falcons.
“He’s a good coach, there is no question about it.”
Dr. Falcon wanted to know how the Falcons, in the NFC South with the pass-happy Super Bowl champion Saints (4th in the league, 272.2 yards per game) and run-happy Panthers (3rd in the league at 156.1 yards per game), plan to continue rebuilding the defense. He seemed to want a free agent signing of Julius Peppers and was intrigued by Alabama’s Shaun “Mount” Cody.
The Godfather didn’t bless either of those potential moves.
“Nick Saban told me that the (lowest) weight they could get him down to was 356 pounds,” Brandt said. “I think the guy tires. I’ll tell you what, you are going to have a hard time. . . these players that once they leave college and lead a more settled life when they get into the NFL, historically they gain weight.”
Cody tipped the scales at 370 pounds at the Senior Bowl.
“If you were assured you were going to be able to keep (his weight) down. . .he’d be alright,” Brandt said.
You have to stay with the Godfather, because like a great jazz musician he’ll go on a freestyle riff.
“But I’m going to tell you something, that guy Kroy Biermann from the University of Montana, the third year player, he’s a pretty good football player,” Brandt said. “He’s a very, very good football player. . . I think what they need is No. 1, a defensive linemen. No. 2, an outside linebacker, who can go sideline to sideline. That is what would probably help them the most right now.”
Brandt noted that the move to draft Jamaal Anderson hasn’t worked out for the Falcons, but he didn’t recommend throwing barrels of money after the problem.
“Here’s the problem if you bring in Peppers,” Brandt said. “How do you justify to players on your team that are pretty good football players when you bring in someone who makes $21 million or whatever the price is. You are going to have other players look at that and they’ll say ‘I might not be as good as him, but I’m 50 percent as good. Where’s my $10 million?’ That makes it tough.
“Peppers is an athlete. He played well this year. Against Minnesota he was unbelievable, but that’s a tough, tough number to digest.”
Musgrave checked in this morning. He left his cell phone at the office last night. We’ll share later some of the thoughts of the Falcons’ new assistant head coach.
Bill Musgrave, the Atlanta Falcons quarterback coach, was promoted to assistant head coach on Tuesday, the team announced.
Musgrave will remain in his role as the quarterback coach.
Musgrave, 42, has worked with some of the league’s top quarterbacks, including Indianapolis’ Peyton Manning. This offseason he was coveted by several teams, but elected to stay with the Falcons.
He is currently in charge of developing Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan, who won the league’s rookie of the year award in 2008. Musgrave has been with the Falcons since 2006.
“Bill has been an integral part of this coaching staff and this is a well deserved promotion,” said Falcons head coach Mike Smith in a statement released by the team. “We will look to utilize his tremendous amount of coaching experience for years to come.”
Before joining the Falcons staff, Musgrave was the quarterbacks coach for the Washington Redskins in 2005. He has also served as an offensive coordinator on four occasions with the Jacksonville Jaguars (2003-04), Virginia Cavaliers (2001-02), Carolina Panthers (2000) and Philadelphia Eagles (1998). Musgrave started his NFL coaching career as a Quarterbacks Coach with the Oakland Raiders in 1997.
Musgrave, a fourth round choice by the Dallas Cowboys in 1991, played in the NFL for six years. He played in two Super Bowls, winning a title with the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl XXIX.
(Musgrave is in a meeting right now. We’ll talk to him later today and update this post. —dol)