Mock Draft 1.0: Falcons select Brandon Graham

BIRDLAND – Let’s get at it.

Michigan defensive end Brandon Graham, wheres the same number as John Abraham.

Michigan defensive end Brandon Graham, wears the same number as John Abraham.

This is our first Mock draft for this season. Mock Draft 1.0!

We will update it each Friday leading up to the April 22, 23 and 24 draft.

For starters, we have the Falcons winning the coin flip with Houston and selecting 19th overall.

Commissioner Roger Goodell will step to the podium and announce, “With the 19th pick in the 2010 NFL draft, the Atlanta Falcons select Michigan defensive end Brandon Graham.”

Under this scenario, based mostly on post-season college games, conference calls with draft analysts Mel Kiper (ESPN) and Mike Mayock (NFL Network) and some reporter chatter, the Falcons will have a tough decision.

Boise State cornerback Kyle Wilson, Oklahoma State cornerback Perrish Cox and Missouri linebacker Sean Weatherspoon will all be available.

This is more of the Kiper scenario where a really good player is going to fall to the Falcons, and while they may need a cornerback, they are far enough along in the rebuilding program that they can take the “best player available” instead of “the need” player.

The “need” pick would be Wilson.

Here’s how the first round is going to shake out.

Staff writer D. Orlando Ledbetter projects the first round:

Ndamokung Suh.

Ndamokung Suh.

1. St. Louis Rams: Ndamokung Suh, DT, Nebraska. Wonder if the Rams, with so many needs, trade out of the first spot to accumulate picks and take one of the quarterbacks.

2. Detroit Lions: Gerald McCoy, DT, Oklahoma. He’s the defensive anchor that Lions coach Jim Schwartz has been looking to acquire.

Who should the Falcons pick in the 2010 draft?

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3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Eric Berry, DB, Tampa Bay. The Creekside High product is the consensus No. 3 pick and Falcons fans will get to see him twice a year.

4. Washington Redskins: Russell Okung, OT, Oklahoma State. “Russell Okung had a year that didn’t start out great,” Kiper said. “He has that nasty streak. Okung has the long arms. He has a lot of talent.”

5. Kansas City Chiefs: Anthony Davis, OT, Rutgers. “Anthony Davis is enormously gifted,” Kiper said. “Yeah, he’s a little inconsistent. . . But he had the great week in October against Greg Romeus, the great end from Pitt. . . He could be as good as Walter Jones. When Walter Jones came out of Florida State, you looked at him and had a similar evaluation.”

Wow!!! Walter Jones!!!

6. Seattle Seahawks: Jimmy Clausen, QB, Notre Dame. Pete Carroll recruited the California product when he was at USC and got to see him up close in games against the Fighting Irish.

Bradford headed for Cleveland.

Bradford is headed for Cleveland.

7. Cleveland Browns: Sam Bradford, QB, Oklahoma. New Cleveland president Mike Holmgren understands the importance of the quarterback position. Browns fans have seen enough the Brady Quinn and Derek Anderson show. “The issue I have with Sam Bradford is that we haven’t seen him in a NFL-type setting where he’s getting pressure and when he’s got to throw into tight windows,” Kiper said.

8. Oakland Raiders: Joe Haden, DB, Florida. The former Gator will look good in the silver and black.

9. Buffalo Bills: Jason Pierre-Paul, DE, South Florida. “Jason Pierre-Paul is probably the top rated defensive end out there,” Mayock said. “He’s a 4-3 guy.” Highlights!

# 10. Denver Broncos: Rolando McClain, LB, Alabama. “He’s got a lot of fire,” Kiper said. “He’s got a lot of intensity. He’s very passionate about football. He sets the tone. He was the leader. He was the guy that gave you that kind of Ray Lewis enthusiasm for the game.”

# 11. Jacksonville Jaguars: Derrick Morgan, DE, Georgia Tech. He will be the first of possibly three Yellow Jackets to be selected in the first round.

12. Miami Dolphins: Dez Bryant, WR, Oklahoma State. The Dolphins have to get some weapons to help with the continued development of Chad Henne.

13. San Francisco 49′ers: C.J. Spiller, RB, Clemson. “I think they need him (Spiller),” Kiper said. “They need a back of his ability to complement Frank Gore.”

14. Seattle Seahawks: Sergio Kindle, LB, Texas. The Seahawks need to add some pop to their defense.

15. New York Giants: Carlos  Dunlap, DE, Florida. General manager Jerry Reese sets out to rebuild the defensive line

Florida's Carlos Dunlap.

Florida's Carlos Dunlap.

that helped the G-men win Super Bowl XLII.

# 16. San Francisco 49ers: Trent Williams, OT, Oklahoma. “He’s a versatile kid,” Kiper said. “He played left tackle. Ultimately he will be a right tackle, which is where he was as a junior. He played along the interior as well.”

# 17. Tennessee Titans: Bryan Bulaga, OT, Iowa. Some have him rated higher.

18. Pittsburgh Steelers: Mike Iupati, OT, Idaho. He had a super showing at the Senior Bowl.

# 19. Atlanta Falcons: Brandon Graham, DE, Michigan. He’s a good character guy and explosive football player. “He’s got that great work ethic,” Kiper said. “He comes to play on every play.” Highlights.

# 20. Houston Texans: Sean Weatherspoon, LB, Missouri. The three-time all-Big 12 pick had a solid showing at the Senior Bowl.

21. Cincinnati Bengals: Jermaine Gresham, TE, Oklahoma. He’s the top tight end in the draft.

22. New England Patriots: Earl Thomas, S, Texas. Might be a reach here, but safety play was an issue last season for the Patriots.

Arrelious Benn is a playmaker.

Arrelious Benn is a playmaker.

23. Green Bay Packers: Dan Williams, DT, Tennessee. The Packers need an anchor for their 3-4 defense.

24. Philadelphia Eagles: Ricky Sapp, DE, Clemson. He had five sacks and 22 quarterback pressures last season.

25. Baltimore Ravens: Golden Tate, WR, Notre Dame. The Ravens get a weapon to help out Joe Flacco and their weak passing attack.

26. Arizona Cardinals: Bruce Campbell, OT, Maryland. Has great size at 6-foot-7, 310 pounds. Has a big upside.

27. Dallas Cowboys: Taylor Mays, S, USC. Cowboys need to sure up the back end of their defense.

28. San Diego Chargers: Jonathan Dwyer, RB, Georgia Tech. Dwyer is going to show the NFL scouts that he’s a Jamal Lewis clone. His strong and powerful style should translate well to the NFL. “The comment that I get from a lot of the NFL folks is that he’s a difficult kid to do because of the type of offense that he’s coming out of,” Mayock said. Highlights!

29. New York Jets: Arrelious Benn, WR, Illinois. Big target at 6-2, 220. Check out the Washington, D.C. Dunbar High product’s highlights.

30. Minnesota Vikings: Patrick Robinson, CB, FSU. “What he’s got is a natural gifted skill set,” Mayock said. “It doesn’t take real long, once you put the tape in to see his back pedal and change of direction.”

31. Indianapolis Colts: Terrence Cody, DT, Alabama. Everyone else will see that Mount Cody is too big at 370. Bill Polian will see the football player.

32. New Orleans Saints: Chad Jones, S, LSU. “He’s not as polished overall as some of the other top safeties, but his upside potential is outstanding,” Kiper said.

# – To be decided by coin flip

ON THE FRINGE: Demaryius Thomas, WR, Georgia Tech; Kyle Wilson, CB, Boise State; Ryan Matthews, RB, Fresno State; Jared Odrick, DT, Penn State; Perrish Cox, CB, Oklahoma State; Jahvid Best, RB, California; Everson Griffen, DE, USC and Colt McCoy, QB, Texas.

HEY, BAY BAY: Georgia Tech wide receiver Demariyius “Bay Bay” Thomas suffered a broken foot on Tuesday working out in Scottsdale, Arizona. Here’s the report.

You can follow the Falcons Beat and Falcons Fan blogs on Twitter at AJCFalcons and you can join the Facebook Fan page at AJC Falcons.

165 comments Add your comment


February 19th, 2010
10:17 am

Well, Graham does sound like a Dimitroff/Smith type of player. But shouldn’t the Raiders have picked a player with at least one felony indictment?


February 19th, 2010
10:17 am

Oh, I forgot to be a knucklehead and shout:



February 19th, 2010
10:35 am

The Raiders are going to be perfect for Joe Haden. He played with a bunch of thugs and criminals in college, and if he ends up a Raider, he will be right in his element. As for Bay Bay, hope that broken foot doesn’t hurt those ‘great hands’. Hahahahahaha!!! Personally, I would love to see Mount Cody as a Falcon, love his energy and he’s just a beast up front.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

February 19th, 2010
10:42 am

Raiders would get the felony/value picks later in the draft.


February 19th, 2010
10:45 am


Brandon Graham would be a real nice pick here. Whatever we can do to rush the passer, I’m for it. Given our ability to stop the run last year (see performance vs. Jets in their stadium), drafting a LB (Weatherspoon) may not serve our need. Also, given our investment in a new DB coach, and the improvement of Owens at CB, we might be able to draft a CB later in the draft. We need pressure on the QB and Graham was unstoppable during the Senior Bowl and its practices. This guy has a motor and would help the Beerman (#71) and Babs get to the passer. Hopefully Sidbury gets himself in the mix.

Any word on Williams the CB? Should we be planning to use him? I’m beginning to like the idea of young pass rushers coupled with veteran DBs. The former is about brute athleticism…while the latter is technique and knowledge of offensive schemes. We may need to sign a slightly seasoned veteran CB. Who is out there?


February 19th, 2010
10:49 am

Well, i think we need a DE but we also need secondary help.
@Devildawg Cody would be cool but with the way we think we feel like Peria Jerry’s gonna bounce back. Then we’ll stick JA Anderson at DT permanently. He couldnt sack a paper bag…

D. Orlando Ledbetter

February 19th, 2010
10:53 am

FDB: No news on Williams. Talked to his agent a while back. He wants to come back. But he might not be ready until right before training camp. So it might not happen right away when free agency opens.

Delbert D.

February 19th, 2010
11:36 am

Michigan and defense in the same sentence? Whoa….

J thom

February 19th, 2010
11:55 am

You have the Titans taking an offensive tackle…seriously an offensive tackle…they have two of the best in the game RIGHT now..if Brandon Graham is still there when they pick believe me they will take him!

Seminole Warrior

February 19th, 2010
12:05 pm

D Led…I’m going with the Falcons taking Sean Weatherspoon of Mizzou at 19. Excellent weakside linebacker; fills a key need at that vital position, especially his pass coverage skills and his ability to put pressure on the QB.

Graham is a good pick but I think we have a potential starter in Biermann this season and Sidbury is only going to get better.


February 19th, 2010
12:19 pm

Michigan? Really?

The Real Falcon

February 19th, 2010
12:46 pm

Yeah Michigan, Big Blue!

Johnny B

February 19th, 2010
12:51 pm

You might want to rethink Buffalo’s pick at #9. They are reportedly switching to a 3-4 so your pick makes no sense.


February 19th, 2010
1:10 pm

YES! Finally. Great Pick. Addresses 2 needs, getting pressure on the QB and improving at OLB. The best player for the Falcons at that draft position most likely.


February 19th, 2010
1:13 pm

THe only player that would fill the NEED at CB in this draft is probably Joe Haden and he’s LONG gone.

THey are better off addressing OLB or DE or OT with the 19th pick.

I’d love to se Bulaga fall too.

Remembering Drew Pearson

February 19th, 2010
1:15 pm

Our secondary isn’t as bad people think. If we could have gotten more pressure on Qb’s from our defensive front, I think the secondary would have looked better. Let’s go with a defensive lineman.


February 19th, 2010
1:15 pm

Jason Pierre Paul is the Jamaal Anderson of this draft. He’s got ONE year of playing at the highest level and that wasn’t against primarily elite competition. He’s an absolute question mark even if he looks like a home run at the combine.


February 19th, 2010
1:17 pm

Hopefully Brian Williams Knee is ok and he will come back to the Falcons.


February 19th, 2010
1:19 pm

I would go with Taylor Mayes, the safety from USC. They were talking about this guy as a top 5 – 10 pick last year. He has all of the physical attributes that you hear about for an indeal safety in the NFL…linebacker body with the speed of a corner. He sticks out to me as special. DE from Michigan is ok, but I don’t see it being a difference making pick.

Bulldawg Lar

February 19th, 2010
1:20 pm

Look at Packer pick. They drafted Raji last year. Do you really know what you are doing? They need OT’s and CB’s

SC Smith

February 19th, 2010
1:21 pm

I’ve been looking at the various mock drafts and one name is left out, even in the first two rounds.
All American Eric Norwood of South Carolina. maybe one of the top three outside linebackers in the draft. If he is around when the Falcons pick in round three, draft him he is a beast. And this is a need area for us.


February 19th, 2010
1:25 pm

At 6′1 Graham is a 3-4 linebacker. They pay Mel Kiper Jr. to make up these mocks but he’s lousy at it. D.O.L. just so we are clear you picked Brandon Graham or did Mel Kiper pick him for you? I guess alot of you have forgotten about Lawrence Sidbury (who was projected to go in the 2nd round last year) and Kroy Biermann. Peria Jerry will add a different dimension to this D-line also freeing up Abraham more. I don’t think they will go DE with the first pick. They are building a football team and the next piece of the puzzle is an OLB that can run with the TE and come off the edge.


February 19th, 2010
1:28 pm

For the record, I’m not projecting Graham as a 3-4 outside backer. I would play him at strong side linebacker not on the line.

Go Blue

February 19th, 2010
1:36 pm

Having watched B. Graham for 4 years (albeit on some awful Michigan teams), I can tell you the man is a beast. Whether there is a need/hole or not, the guy is going to be a top DE in the NFL – like former Michigan man and current Steeler Lamarr Woodley. I say we take him if he’s still available.


February 19th, 2010
1:37 pm

Is Brandon Graham even a 4-3 defensive end?


February 19th, 2010
1:37 pm

hey idiot, you forgot brandon spikes…


February 19th, 2010
1:40 pm

Michigan DE Brandon Graham predicts that he will run a forty-yard dash in the 4.5s at next week’s Combine.

Graham also believes a transition from college end to NFL outside linebacker would be smooth. “Oh yeah, I feel real good,” he said about dropping into coverage. “I’ve been working on my hips, working on my drops every day in practice for Michigan…With a little coaching from the NFL guys, I believe I can get it done.” If Graham runs in the 4.5s, he could be a top-15 pick.
Source: Miami Herald


February 19th, 2010
1:46 pm

3-4 linebacker is where Graham will make his living whether it be inside or outside, he will be in a 3-4 defense at the linebacker position.


February 19th, 2010
1:49 pm

Would love to see Dunlap fall to us..


February 19th, 2010
1:51 pm

Mel Kiper’s 2009 mock.

Mel Kiper’s first round 1-16
Pick Team Player Position College
1 Detroit Matthew Stafford QB Georgia
2 St. Louis Andre Smith OT Alabama
3 Kansas City Mark Sanchez QB USC
4 Seattle Michael Crabtree WR Texas Tech
5 Cleveland Aaron Curry LB Wake Forest
6 Cincinnati Jason Smith OT Baylor
7 Oakland Jeremy Maclin WR Missouri
8 Jacksonville Eugene Monroe OT Virginia
9 Green Bay Malcolm Jenkins CB Ohio St.
10 San Francisco Aaron Maybin DE/OLB Penn St.
11 Buffalo Brandon Pettigrew TE Oklahoma St.
12 Denver B.J. Raji DT Boston College
13 Washington Brian Orakpo DE Texas
14 New Orleans Vontae Davis CB Illinois
15 Houston Everette Brown DE Florida St.
16 San Diego Knowshon Moreno RB Georgia

See for yourself how many he got right.


February 19th, 2010
1:51 pm

Love the pick, elusive, agile, explosive, productive and great in coverage too, I hope his stock don’t rise too high after the combine. And I agree with SC Smith, to draft E. Norwood if he fall to the third round he’s a beast.


February 19th, 2010
1:52 pm

Grahm reminds me alot of Dwight Freeney, I would take him Witherspoon or Perrish Cox with out pick or trade down and pick up a second to go with our two 3rd round picks. If we sign a free agen DE then i would go
25th pick- Witherspoon
2nd- Perrish Cox,Robinson or K Wilson which ever is available
3rd- Decker wr from Minnesota
3rd- Tyson Aulua DT from Cal if he’s still available
4th-Best OL available
5th- Anthony Dixon RB Mississippi St or best available speedster
5th Pita TE, or best TE available


February 19th, 2010
1:52 pm

Seems like we already have a good amount of DE’s. In little playing time, Sidbury scored a touchdown and Biermann went from 2 sacks his rookie season to 5 the following year. Let’s not waste this pick on another DE, SPOON should be the pick here with Peterson wearing down.


February 19th, 2010
1:54 pm

Taylor Mays…….

Then Carlos Dunlap

Then Wilson from Boise State


February 19th, 2010
1:54 pm

uhh…where’s Myron Rolle???


February 19th, 2010
1:56 pm

Probably performing open heart surgery at Harvard….kids a stud


February 19th, 2010
1:57 pm

DDawg, we are right on the same page…my one request however is no sub 6 foot corners


February 19th, 2010
1:59 pm

4 those high on Dunlap = JA98 = BUST


February 19th, 2010
2:04 pm

Pierre Paul= JA98….Raw -one year of productivity


February 19th, 2010
2:08 pm

Yeah, Michigan, as in the Winningest Program in the HISTORY of college football – a couple bad seasons notwithstanding. Go Blue!


February 19th, 2010
2:10 pm

Taylor Mays is a safety correct? If so do we just use our second round pick from last year (William Moore) as a backup?? Or do we move Moore to Free Safety and use Decoud as a backup?? And what about Eric Coleman do we just cut him?


February 19th, 2010
2:12 pm

Help me to understand why we need a safety….please.


February 19th, 2010
2:15 pm

You obviously don’t follow the Packers… way to just throw something out there. They have Ryan Pickett, and drafted B.J. Raji in the first round at DT last year. Great journalism.


February 19th, 2010
2:25 pm

Can anybody here give me a clue as to who Earl Watson is????? The 22nd pick. I’ve heard of Earl Thomas from Texas who played safety in college but at 5′10 195 lbs projects as a corner in the pros with his 4.4 speed.


February 19th, 2010
2:33 pm

This would be GREAT pick up at the 19th spot! This kid is the total package! I like it!!!

Smyrna Jacket

February 19th, 2010
2:36 pm

Move Babs to DE and get Mount Cody. Problem solved.


February 19th, 2010
2:50 pm

No way does Bradford fall as low as 7th.


February 19th, 2010
2:53 pm

that was the worse “highlight” reel ive ever seen…grow up and post something better ajc….give my boy Brandon some real love.

and nice picture of dunlap from TWO years ago…where was this years sec championship picture of him??..oh that right…non existent..

Go Blue and Roll Tide.

Hamad Meander

February 19th, 2010
2:57 pm

No way do the Falcons take Brandon Graham @ # 19. He is too small to play DE in the NFL, and don’t we like what our younger DEs (Biermann and Sidbury) bring to the table? They are similar to Graham – a bit undersized, but with a lot of motor. Why get another one just like those guys?

I would prefer that the Falcon’s trade down unless someone like Rolando McClain drops to them. Linebacker is the least risk positions to draft early and the Falcons have a need there. I hate first round corners, so let’s grab one of those later or in free agency.


February 19th, 2010
3:01 pm

Delbert D (earlier): hey man, I am a Michigan fan and their defense has been abysmal for the last couple of years! They had ONE playmaker on the team last year…and this is him. Just because a TEAM can’t play defense doesn’t mean a player there can’t be great. And since YOU brought it up “Michigan and defense in the same sentence”? I won’t give you a sentence, I’ll say two words; “Charles Woodson”.