BIRDLAND — While the rest of the world’s attention is on Augusta, it’s linebacker week for the Falcons.
Alabama all-American Rolando McClain is set to visit today.
Missouri’s Sean Weatherspoon is set to visit on Wednesday and Thursday.
The Falcons have spent a great deal of time analyzing the linebackers eligible for this draft, which will be held April 22-24. The Falcons currently hold the 19th pick in the first round.
Few are projecting McClain to last until the 19th pick. The Falcons appear to be doing their due diligence. Perhaps, if they like McClain enough they will move up to get him.
Or if there is a draft run at a particular position, perhaps he slides to them. In 2008, there was a draft run on left tackles and the Falcons moved back into the first round to select Sam Baker.
Weatherspoon has been climbing throughout the offseason workouts after having a sluggish senior season. Most scouts contend his junior year was much better than his senior season.
The problem for the Falcons appears to be the New York Giants sitting quietly at the 15th spot. They visited with Weatherspoon at the combine and Senior Bowl and have slipped into the background.
After releasing Antonio Pierce, they are in the linebacker market, but have been operating stealthy. The Giants have been known to not bring a player in or hold a private workout, while still maintaining a high level of interest.
McClain is 6-foot-3 3/8, 254-pounds and is considered a middle linebacker prospect. He would not seem to be a good fit for the Falcons, who have been pleased with the play of Curtis Lofton.
Unless the Falcons think one of them could slide outside at some point.
Weatherspoon measured 6-1 ¼ and weighed 239 pounds at the combine. He was up over 250 during the season and appeared sluggish at times.
“I think I can come in a 4-3 system and play either in the middle or on the weak side,” Weatherspoon said. “I am pretty versatile in that aspect and I can help teams out in either way.”
The Falcons have also held private workouts with Texas Christian linebackers Daryl Washington and Jerry Hughes. There are also some internet reports that Penn State linebacker Sean Lee has a private workout scheduled with the Falcons.