Rolando McClain, Sean Weatherspoon to visit this week

Missouri linebacker Sean Weatherspoon celebrates after making a tackle against Bowling Green during the first quarter of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 12, 2009, in Columbia, Mo. Associated Press

Missouri linebacker Sean Weatherspoon celebrates after making a tackle against Bowling Green during the first quarter of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 12, 2009, in Columbia, Mo. Associated Press

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.

Will Alabama linebacker Rolando McClain (25) be clapping it up in the Falcons huddle next season?  (Associated Press)

Will Alabama linebacker Rolando McClain (25) be clapping it up in the Falcons huddle next season? (Associated Press)

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.

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117 comments Add your comment

Blue Fender

April 5th, 2010
7:28 am

Just get the best one!

Blue Fender

April 5th, 2010
7:29 am

If the birds can’t get one of the “best”, there are plenty of good ones to be had later (i.e. Rennie Curran).

Unca' Bob

April 5th, 2010
7:33 am

D-Led,

For a team scouting OLB’s so hard, are you sure we’re drafting a Center?

Big Poppa

April 5th, 2010
7:33 am

Sluggish? I doubt Weatherspoon could have played anymore sluggish than our two outside backers did down the stretch this past season.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

April 5th, 2010
7:46 am

Unca’ Bob — Only if the OLBs are not on the board, which is the scenario I’ve been forwarding in the Mocks. McNabb’s trade will affect the next Mock.

Unca' Bob

April 5th, 2010
7:48 am

D-Led,

Got cha’.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

April 5th, 2010
7:53 am

Big Poppa – Here’s what your two OLB’s. Mike Pete turns 34 this June

Stephen Nicholas – Was fifth on the team with 82 tackles (59 solos, 23 assists). He had three sacks, four tackles for loss, four quarterback hurries, two passes defensed, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery. He also led the team in special teams tackles with 13.

Mike Peterson – Was second on the team with 140 tackles (97 solos, 43 assists). He had one sack, seven tackles for loss, two quarterback hurries, one interception, six passes defensed and two forced fumbles.

Prof — It’s called “Citizen Journalism.” Thx!

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Sandy Desdine, Darryl Ledbetter. Darryl Ledbetter said: Rolando McClain, Sean Weatherspoon to visit this week http://bit.ly/9ow5Qv [...]

Big Ray

April 5th, 2010
8:09 am

McClain is certainly not expected to drop.

He’s a great leader and player though, so if he fell, how could they not take him unless they were convinced that neither he nor Lofton could move outside?

Bad news for D. Ledbetter…..I’m seeing more mocks with teams like the Steelers taking Pouncey or Iupati before we pick…..

:twisted:

D. Orlando Ledbetter

April 5th, 2010
8:10 am

Big Ray — Pouncey is moving up draft boards. Which could be bad news for TD if Spoon is gone, too.

The Real Falcon

April 5th, 2010
8:17 am

What I want to know is whay we are not looking at Alex Brown as a FA DE. I still have not heard the reasoning.

Walker, Texas Ranger

April 5th, 2010
8:18 am

D Led, these stats make Peterson look good when in fact he is the 100th+ rated OLB in the NFL. Over 100, that means he is worse than 40 backups.

Big Ray

April 5th, 2010
8:24 am

D. Ledbetter ,

Too true. Spoon is moving up boards as well, and McClain could be moving down because of things like Crohn’s disease and what not.

I figure teams will make runs at the OL positions and the LB positions because so many teams are going to 3-4 defenses, even if they’re not running that style full time.

We could very well end up going for another DT or DE if the O-line and Outside LB prospects are not there….

Big Ray

April 5th, 2010
8:27 am

In fact, I’m leaning towards us not getting either our targed OLB or offensive linemen in the first round.

Something tells me TD is planning his best on the same type of scenario. Hence the workouts for many of the 3rd round graded LBs and OLs.

FJR

April 5th, 2010
8:33 am

I kinda LOL’d when Clayton was talking about the trade hurting Tebow’s status with the bills IN THE SECOND ROUND. LOL, if only Clayton knew that Tebow was a top 10 pick, right DOL?

The Dogfighter Returns

April 5th, 2010
8:40 am

the raiders will draft mcclain. al davis loves him.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

April 5th, 2010
8:41 am

The Real Falcon — Haven’t heard a rationale. Conjecture– Falcons are going young and building for the long haul?

Walker, Texas Ranger — I don’t put much stock into those positional ratings. Too many variables, 3-4, vs. 4-3, who’s asked to drop and cover, blitz, contain et al. He played the run well and not so well at times in coverage while playing a spot he hadn’t played in over five years.

Big Ray — I’m looking into how much of a reach Daryl Washington would be at 19. A lot of folks have him rated over Jerry Hughes.

FJR — I will call my good buddy John Clayton this morning and get him pointed in the right direction on Tebow. Or he’ll get me re-directed, whatever the case may be.

SHO-NUFF

April 5th, 2010
9:13 am

Most people in the rest of the world, don’t care about Augusta, or golf either.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

April 5th, 2010
9:19 am

SHO-NUFF — Golf is a beautiful game.

DAwgforlife

April 5th, 2010
9:28 am

well, if Pouncey, Iupati, McClain, and Weatherspoon are all gone, and there is a run on OLs and lbs, that means a highly rated player from another position is bound to fall to 19. i.e. Morgan, or Spiller

D. Orlando Ledbetter

April 5th, 2010
9:35 am

DAwgforlife — Good point. Trading down — a la Ted Thompson in Green Bay — might be the move at that point.

Sick & Tired Of Being Sick & TIred

April 5th, 2010
9:45 am

I agree with DAwgforlife –
If all of the targeted players are already drafted when the 19th draft pick rolls around, then hopefully players like Spiller or Morgan will still be available. Either of them would be great additions to the Falcon’s roster.

The draft suspense is starting to take its toll. Hopefully TD can work his charm and draft a player that will be able to make an immediate impact.

Blue Fender

April 5th, 2010
10:01 am

What’s the point of all this speculation? All will become apparent in a couple of weeks. The mark of a good GM is that no one know’s what direction he’ll go with the draft, and he’s done that the last two years.

SHO-NUFF

April 5th, 2010
10:13 am

I like to watch golf when I run out of my sleeping meds. In fact, I no longer take the meds, about 3 to 5 minutes of golf, I’m out like a light.

PlanB

April 5th, 2010
10:15 am

I don’t understand why we aren’t looking into Alex Brown, or are we? Do we not have the money. Why is there no talk? FA are,as I’ve said before, like free draft picks with experience.

DOL – any thoughts on how McNabbs going to the skins will effect us? I would be ready to trade down if possible if Spoon isn’t available.

Blue Fender – The speculation is the fun of talking together. What’s the point of watching the games. The scores are on the news afterward.

mountain_jim

April 5th, 2010
10:15 am

The point of all this speculation is to pass the time during the long, long, NFL offseason.

ryan

April 5th, 2010
10:21 am

I would like to see the Falcons try and trade up to Detroit spot and take Sue or Eric Berry i think its worth it because those guys are game breakers.

SHO-NUFF

April 5th, 2010
10:22 am

PlanB – We won’t have to play against him in the regular season this year is one thing.

FalconTransplant

April 5th, 2010
10:23 am

19. Spoon ( the writting is on the wall)
If not, then we trade down to Eagles and get the 24th
plus picks (maybe our 19,83,117 for thier 24,55,123)
Then we’d probably still take Spoon with the 24th pick

24. Spoon OLB
55. McCluster WR/RB/KR
98. Carlton Mitchell WR
123. Tennant C
149. Selvish Capers OT
165. Earl Mitchell DT
171. BPA
189. BPA

PlanB

April 5th, 2010
10:33 am

@SHO-NUFF College basketball and golf (and more recently, Falcon blogs) are the only things that get me thru the last play of the SB until football season starts again. Unless you try it, it’s hard to explain how difficult golf is. Try this. Take a pitching wedge. Place a golf ball 10 yards behind a football goal post. Now hit it thru the uprights of both goal posts. The pros can do it just about everytime.

PlanB

April 5th, 2010
10:34 am

@SHO-NUFF – Good point on McNabb.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

April 5th, 2010
10:38 am

SHO-NUFF — At least you have a formula that’s working for you.

PlanB — Talking to TD on Wed. Will see what he says. Uncapped year. No monetary restrictions. Last season, the Falcons were real careful about which veterans they went after to drop into this young locker room. McNabb perhaps gives the Falcons another win. The Falcons play at Philly in 2010 and will be facing the Kolb or Vick at QB.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

April 5th, 2010
10:39 am

Plan B — Crazy golf drill. I’d probably get 2 of 20.

SHO-NUFF

April 5th, 2010
10:42 am

Man, I can’t afford to play any golf, I got a bad eating habit. But, I am going to lay down some coin for the 2011 Tiger W. calender. It will have one of his girl friends on each month. The last I heard the count was 14 girls, so there will be two bonus months for 2012.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

April 5th, 2010
10:43 am

I’d inquired about Braves phenom Jason Heyward and his football history. My man David O’Brien did a story. You know, he’s 6-5, 250. Should be playing tight end.

http://www.ajc.com/sports/atlanta-braves/heyward-s-dad-told-430406.html

SHO-NUFF

April 5th, 2010
10:51 am

About football, I think the Mighty Falcons need to beef up the Oline first, then improve the pass rush. If pouncey is as dominant as advertised and can move to guard also, he might be a good pick.
I do have a question. Why can’t a center like Pouncey be moved to tackle, is size or what?

SHO-NUFF

April 5th, 2010
10:53 am

I meant is it size or what?

KC in Smyrna

April 5th, 2010
10:57 am

There are only 3-4 players I like in the first round of the draft for the Falcons. Spiller, D. Morgan, and McClain, and D. Thomas (in no order). I think Bulaga will be gone and I’m not impressed with ‘Spoon. Seems like a 2nd round pick most years IMO. If neither of these players fall to us, I’d rather trade with one of the desperate teams looking for an QB (Jimmy Clausen slides) at #19 for a 2010 & 2011 2nd round pick.

D-Led, any idea how Douglas is doing? How about Moore or Jerry?

KC in Smyrna

April 5th, 2010
11:00 am

It’s likely feet/hips, arm length, and then size. Some guys are just born for certain positions. Most OL can be moved to OG. That is where slow tackles and fat Center move to on the OL. It’s like the OL catch-all position.

Falcon Fanatic

April 5th, 2010
11:04 am

It always seems like it takes forever for the draft to get here. I like the idea of trading out of the 19th spot and gaining a later first and a second round pick if possible. Is there any possible trade value at all for Jamal Anderson?

chris taylor

April 5th, 2010
11:22 am

As bad a DE that JA98 is, he’s great in the run game and doesn’t look bad at DT. He will stay in ATL and probably be resigned too if for nothing more than depth.

silky slimm

April 5th, 2010
11:23 am

falcons is going to take the best player with value if weatherspoon and mcclain is gone i think they going to get matt ryan a wr either thomas or bryant. But i like brandon graham or weatherspoon let hope one of them fall to us. If not i trust td and coach smith and support what ever they do

D. Orlando Ledbetter

April 5th, 2010
11:27 am

KC in Smyrna — Douglas and Jerry expected back by camp. Moore should be OK for OTAs.

Falcon Fanatic — ATL gave St. Louis a 7th for a former first round last year. Would suspect the market to be light.

KC in Smyrna

April 5th, 2010
11:29 am

No real trade value for Jamal. He will settle down and just become a DT eventually or a DE in running situations. He’s not a bad player, but a bad player for his draft position. If he can get up around 320, he could be much better at DT.

F4L

April 5th, 2010
11:31 am

DOL- If Dez Bryant takes a tumble on account of players like Graham, Mcclain, Pouncey, and Pierre-Paul being taken earlier by WR needy teams like Jacksonville and Miami, what are the chances the Falcons at 19 might take a shot at him? I know he has character issues and didn’t wow anyone with his forty, but if he is still there and spoon, Graham and pouncey aren’t (and considering how difficult it is to actually trade down), do you think TD would pull the trigger on Dez DOL?

Golden Bear

April 5th, 2010
11:34 am

Get Carlos Dunlap!!! He is going to be a freak like former gator Jevon Kearse. People don’t like his attitude, but didn’t people have the same opinion on Percy Harvin??? Percy only won rookie offensive player of the year. Carlos has the better size, talent, and upside over Graham. If he can adjust like Percy did the Falcons are set to have a multi-year pro bowler in Dunlap.

PlanB

April 5th, 2010
11:38 am

DOL – Thanks for the info on money and I hope they do get Brown if he fits in. It would be like, if we were going to draft CB, DE or OLB in the 1st round, we have already gotten two of them plus another 1st & 2nd with Jerry & Moore. I know you will keep us informed on the A Browm issue.

Try the golf shot sometime.

Fish2774

April 5th, 2010
11:52 am

At this point everybody’s stressing themselves out. I been going nutts since the 1st week after the Superbowl. We all are guessing and wishing for this and that, but I think it time for DOL to see if he can Pick TD’s brain just to see where The Falcons are leaning. DOL, can you make it happen? LOL

PaulieOldSchool

April 5th, 2010
11:52 am

Something tells me TD will be prepared for every contingency. No matter who gets drafted before us, he’ll be ready to go come 19. I’m psyched!

SaintsLSU

April 5th, 2010
12:00 pm

Either one of those guys would be a great pickup for the Falcons. Y’all will need some more pass rushers if you wanna try to get to Drew Brees. I look foward to two fun rivalry games with you this year. WHO DAT!!!