Atlanta Falcons to workout Everson Griffen, Brian Price

BIRDLAND – In their quest to improve the defense, the Falcons are set to workout a couple of West Coast prospects.

UCLA's Brian Price is one mean and nasty defensive tackle.  (Jeff Lewis / Associated Press)

UCLA's Brian Price is one mean and nasty defensive tackle. (Jeff Lewis / Associated Press)

Gil Brandt, the Cowboys former pro personnel man wrote in his blog on NFL.com, that the Falcons are set to workout UCLA defensive tackle Brian Price and USC defensive end Everson Griffen on Saturday.

Missouri linebacker Sean Weatherspoon is due in for a visit today and Thursday, but he was stuck in Memphis Tuesday night due to airplane issues.

The Falcons are showing some significant interest in a pair of standouts from Los Angeles. Atlanta GM Thomas Dimitroff, head coach Mike Smith, defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder and defensive line coach Ray Hamilton will work out UCLA DT Brian Price and USC DE Everson Griffen on Saturday morning.

Defensive line is a need area for the Falcons, and they are one of the most active teams in the pre-draft workout circuit. Price and Griffen are generally considerd late first-to-early second round picks.

Griffen, 6-foot-3 and 273 pounds, is the third rated defensive end in the draft by NFLDraftScout.Com behind Georgia

Everson Griffen could be flexing for the Falcons in 2010. (Associated Press)

Everson Griffen could be flexing for the Falcons in 2010. (Associated Press)

Tech’s Derrick Morgan and Florida’s Carlos Dunlap.

However, most have Michigan’s Brandon Graham and South Florida’s Jason Pierre-Paul rated ahead of Griffen.

The knock of Griffen is that he plays undisciplined at times and is prone to freelance.

Price is the fifth rated defensive tackle behind Nebraska’s Ndamukong Suh, Oklahoma’s Gerald McCoy, Tennessee’s Dan Williams and Penn State’s Jared Odrick by NFLDraftScout.com.

Price is 6-2, 300 and his godfather is former NBA veteran Brian Shaw, who played 15 years in the league. Price showed flashes for the Bruins, but also had to come out when he got winded.

He bench pressed 225 pounds, 34 times.

Aaron Wilson of the NationalFootballPost.com is reporting — via a source close to the program (Arizona’s?)  — that the Falcons worked out another Pac 10 player on Tuesday in Arizona linebacker Vuna Tuihalamaka.

Tuihalamaka, is 6-1/2, 230 pounds. He  played middle linebacker for the Wildcats and was voted all-Pac-10 by the league’s coaches. He wasn’t invited to the NFL scouting combine, but is climbing onto some draft boards. He ran a 4.72 on his pro day in March.

Last season, Tuihalamaka had 68 tackles, 5.5 for losses, one interception, three pass breakups and one forced fumble.

Under Dimitroff there is a perception that the Falcons like West Coast players from the Pac-10. But here’s a conference breakdown of his 19 picks: Pac-10 (four), ACC (four), SEC (four), Big 12 (two) Big East (1), WAC (one), Big Sky (one), Atlantic 10 (one) and Southern Conference (one).  The Falcons have not selected a player from the mighty Big 10 under Dimitroff.

Do you think Griffen or Price are worthy of the 19th pick in the draft? What about this Tuihalamaka kid? He looks like a late rounder?

95 comments Add your comment

Chop Buster

April 7th, 2010
7:55 am

Bam! Let’s get em and I’m the numero uno!

D. Orlando Ledbetter

April 7th, 2010
8:06 am

Chop Buster — Way to perform in the clutch!

JC

April 7th, 2010
8:12 am

Meh … Can’t say I’d be terribly excited about either of those guys … not at the 19th pick. I guess they’d be OK if we traded back later in the 1st round in order to get a 2nd round pick this year or 1st round pick next year.

j

April 7th, 2010
8:14 am

it appears that the falcons may use some of those late round picks to move up to the second round where they currently don’t have a pick

The Real Falcon

April 7th, 2010
8:19 am

I like the work ethic. Might we be looking at trading a veteran DE?

JP

April 7th, 2010
8:21 am

Yeah, how come there are no mock drafts where the Falcons trade up with NE in the second round? What should we give up? A fourth and sixth pick or one of our extra thirds?

Infamous

April 7th, 2010
8:28 am

With all of the scouting of potential 2nd round talent, do you think the falcons have a plan B to trade back and pick up 2nd round pick in the process if their top 2 or 3 choices are taken by their 19th pick?

Blue Fender

April 7th, 2010
8:33 am

JP, if the Falcons trade into the second round, they’ll have to give up a 1st next year or every pick this year (except comp picks). A fourth and sixth may get a high fourth or low third, but not a mid second.

mountain_jim

April 7th, 2010
8:33 am

Either that or they may trade down to later first and pick up a 2nd, if possible.

FalconsFan284

April 7th, 2010
8:34 am

I have mentioned Griffin as a possibiliy for the last month. I like the guy.

Blue Fender

April 7th, 2010
8:35 am

I think the best scenario for a second round pick is to trade players for it. Norwood (plus others) may get a 2nd, but there has to be a need from the other teams. If he was bundled with a 6th, NE may bite and take it.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

April 7th, 2010
8:44 am

Infamous, mountain_jim, Blue Fender — I think they are trying pretty hard to get into the second round somehow, while maintaining the 19th pick. The problem with New England is that they are trying to rebuild their defense. This is a defensive rich draft and Grandmaster Belichick will want to keep those picks he stock piled.

FalconsFan284 — Congrats for being out front on Griffen.

(Talking to TD at 10:40 a.m. this morning. Send along your questions. — dol)

Infamous

April 7th, 2010
9:00 am

With the picks that we currently have, the only way that we could get into the 2nd round AND keep our 19th pick is to trade a player and picks. Would anyone actually be interested in JA? Does scouting for these positions hint at a player who may be traded near or on draft day?

My question to TD: Did the coaching staff believe that giving up so many big plays (20+ yards) and being ranked near the bottom for pass defense was attributed more towards QBs passing quickly (not allowing coverage sacks) or QBs having all day to throw (no pass rush)?

Pass that one along DOL.Thanks.!!

McBubba

April 7th, 2010
9:03 am

D-Led What’s up with Alex Brown?
Can we assume Birds have no interest?

SimpleDawg

April 7th, 2010
9:07 am

Trade Abraham for a second round pick. He’s good early in the season, but disappears after mid-season. Get a young guy through the draft that can play every play and one who has that “fire” required to be a good pass rusher.

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Jackson Lynch. Jackson Lynch said: Atlanta Falcons to workout Everson Griffen, Brian Price: Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) BIRDLAND – In their q… http://bit.ly/94EuW8 [...]

Headmofo

April 7th, 2010
9:16 am

We will need to move down to the bottom of the first round to get an additonal third or second round pick.

RomeDawg

April 7th, 2010
9:17 am

I wouldn’t think DT would be as pressing as finding a LB. Peterson’s tank is about empty.

[...] Atlanta Falcons will work out UCLA defensive tackle Brian Price and USC defensive end Everson Griffen on [...]

D. Orlando Ledbetter

April 7th, 2010
9:32 am

McBubba — Appears no interest at this time. Will try to get that confirmed on the record.

Infamous — Nice question. I asked Smitty and TD this at the combine. Got the old, it all works together response. Will give it another shot.

DDawgDavis

April 7th, 2010
9:34 am

I am interested in the McClain visit. Middle Linebacker in college, but has a cliched word that comes to mind when you see him play “range.” Definite run stopping linebacker.

1st Round has to be LB or DE. I like Griffen seems to have a nasty streak and motor. I like Spoon or McClain, they could be as sexy as Clay Matthews was last season for Green Bay.

bigdave

April 7th, 2010
9:39 am

Vuna Tuihalamaka

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1nefeyOGmNQ

i see he ran a 4.65 at his pro day.. either way, pretty impressive… hell of a name too…

Hamp

April 7th, 2010
9:41 am

It is getting interesting. I still want weatherspoon. I believe he is the perfect fit for us. I have kinda taken to graham mostly because he is a hybrid he counld be Freey in waiting or give us solid OLB play for a long time.

DOL I also want to know why we have not persued Brown I think if we could get him it would be big. But I have noticed that it seems he is not generating much interest is there something we don’t know?

Report: Western Focus?

April 7th, 2010
9:46 am

[...] According to D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and other sources, the Falcons have turned some pre-draft attention to three players from the Pac-10. [...]

Slip1knot

April 7th, 2010
9:48 am

If we can’t get Weaterspoon with the 19th pick, I’d love to see us trade down
and get DOL’s guy Pouncey. I’ve got all the confidence in TD and I think he’ll
make it happen.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

April 7th, 2010
9:50 am

Hamp — Will try to get to the bottom of the Brown situation. I just know the Falcons are real particular about bringing in vets from other teams because of the youth of their locker room.

Slip1knot

April 7th, 2010
9:52 am

I’ve seen a couple of Mock’s that have us taking a DT over LB, DE and OL. That doesn’t make sense to me.

blord

April 7th, 2010
9:54 am

DOL,
What do you think Bab’s would bring as trade potential as far as draft picks are concerned?
Not that I am suggesting we trade him but it seems as if the Falcons are really interested in Price and Spoon. I understand that some of this may be a smokescreen but the Falcons are doing a lot of work with guys that are projected lower in the first and into the second round. I just wondered if they may be thinking of parting ways via trade with Babs as a result of his off the field issues.

The Real Falcon

April 7th, 2010
10:01 am

The Saints are bringing in Alex Brown for a visit. What do they know that we don’t?

http://www.nfl.com/news/story?id=09000d5d8175f655&template=with-video-with-comments&confirm=true

uga_b

April 7th, 2010
10:07 am

DOL, this isn’t draft related, but I am curious about how our team plans to use the 3 safeties: Coleman, DeCoud, and Moore. Right now, I would say DeCoud (due to age and play) has the one spot nailed down, but Coleman’s performance last year was shaky at times. I still think he holds the other spot but will they have Moore back up Strong and Free? I am pretty sure they planned on using his as an FS, but going forward that position appears locked up while Coleman is getting up there on years. So basically, if Moore cracks the starting line-up would they shift DeCoud to SS or shift Moore to SS.

All of this is contingent on William’s health and ability; I just think it is interesting given the surprising development with DeCoud. Hope this made sense.

Josh B

April 7th, 2010
10:11 am

Yeah I always wonder how they planned to use Moore next season with the safety positions locked up. Can he play any other positions?

Nookah

April 7th, 2010
10:13 am

Greetings Falcon Fans!!

D Led whatup? My question to TD would be, how assured are we that the existing players coming off injury will be healthy this season and should we be looking to sure up our DL even further?

Secondly shouldn’t we be looking at trying to get a gamebreaker in this draft?

Go Falcons!!!

hawesg

April 7th, 2010
10:13 am

Griffen would make sense, only if they think he fits their scheme and they feel they can coach him. It seems pretty clear they are looking at DE and OLB with the pick, and maybe the trip to look at Griffen was just to keep the focus on who they really DO like (Graham or ‘Spoon).

standing up every 2nd and 3rd down on defense in sec 340

April 7th, 2010
10:18 am

DOL ask TD if there is any interest in Haynesworth. The redskins have paid his bonus, leaving only 9 million over 2 years. He can be fat and lazy, but he can also be the best linemen in Football. the risk is worth the reward.

Bangkapi Ajarn

April 7th, 2010
10:24 am

DOL, I think I posted the link to the Vuna Tuihalamaka story on D3’s blog last night.

TD questions:

If possible, understanding that TD doesn’t issue lists of players they hold private workouts with, could you ask him to review the list posted in your earlier blog regarding people they talked with, and comment on the accuracy, or any inaccuracies? One never knows when puling off reports from various parts of the web. It appears he is targeting WR, DT, LB, and C for most of his interviews.

Also, if there is any info on players coming in on the 12th for “local workouts.

One more procedural question (greedy, but if you dont ask you can’t get :-) )- Understanding that teams are allowed 30 private workouts excluding local players and their day, “are private meetings with players during school’s pro day events counted against the 30? Or is the 30 quota for flying players to the team complex?”

ATL Fan

April 7th, 2010
10:25 am

With all the injuries to top picks, how much emphasis will there be on healthy players? There could be some good picks dropping due to the past injuries, are they worth taking a risk on or has the injury bug bitten too often?

Bangkapi Ajarn

April 7th, 2010
10:28 am

One more question, if time, would be

“First year offence, second year defense, What priority to the Falcons place on upgrading Special team playin the 3rd year? This would refer to an upgraded kicker and.or a returner stud like Arenas, McCluster, or AOA”.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

April 7th, 2010
11:54 am

BA — Yeah, that was a good post. I thought I’d share it over here, too. Hate those sources though.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

April 7th, 2010
11:54 am

The Falcons will not be involved in Alex Brown.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

April 7th, 2010
11:55 am

ON conference call with Mel Kiper —

“I think Tebow is a two,” Kiper said. “Buffalo will take him at 41.”

ATLJBO

April 7th, 2010
12:10 pm

Did TD say anything interesting during your talk D-Led ?

D. Orlando Ledbetter

April 7th, 2010
12:12 pm

Kiper doesn’t have the Falcons taking Weatherspoon at 19. He has them taking Michigan’s Brandon Graham.

chris taylor

April 7th, 2010
12:44 pm

Anybody know Kiper’s percentage on mocks? Isn’t it usually around 50-60% or so?

south ga boy in the ATL

April 7th, 2010
12:52 pm

HeY DOL, I see your Hard at it for all us Falcons fans today. I asked you a month or so ago about trading a vet player and picks to get back into the 2nd rd while keeping our 19th pick, and you said it was all quiet on the western front. I am ecstatic to hear you say we are trying to get back in the 2nd rd somehow someway. It does make you wonder why we are working out Price and GRiffin. It doesnt seem practical to take another DT with our No.1 and only pick, with having taken Jerry last yr and committed a lot of money to BaBBS (yes i know about the probable suspension) unless we are looking at a DE/OLB in rd 1 and using a NO 2 on a DT like Price. Then I am down with it. Just wondering DOL: what kind of insight did you get last yr before the Tony G trade came down timewise I mean ? I know it was rumored a day or 2 ahead of time but did you get any advance warning ?

Bangkapi Ajarn

April 7th, 2010
1:17 pm

DOL, it’s all good. Just surfing the web when I get bored, looking for comments on private workouts for the Falcons.

Did you get a chance to bounce the list off TD? comments besides “proprietary information, sorry”?

Graham as the 19th pick, while I am personally Ok as a fan, doesn’t seem to fit as TD has expressed satisfaction with the DE’s already on board, and he doesn’t seem to be interviewing many from what little unverified info I could dig up.

SeminoleWarrior

April 7th, 2010
1:30 pm

Bring on the Spoon Express!!

Bangkapi Ajarn

April 7th, 2010
1:35 pm

Mike Reiss of ESPNBoston.com reports that the Falcons will be among other teams that are expected to conduct a private workout with California defensive tackle Tyson Alualu before the April 22 draft.

He started 38 straight games at Cal, and finished his career with 60 tackles, 10 tackles for loss, and 7.5 sacks as a senior. At Cal, he totaled 17 sacks during his career. He is known for his high motor and toughness.

Bangkapi Ajarn

April 7th, 2010
1:38 pm

The Falcons are showing some significant interest in a pair of standouts from Los Angeles. Atlanta GM Thomas Dimitroff, head coach Mike Smith, defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder and defensive line coach Ray Hamilton will work out UCLA DT Brian Price and USC DE Everson Griffen on Saturday morning.

Defensive line is a need area for the Falcons, and they are one of the most active teams in the pre-draft workout circuit. Price and Griffen are generally considerd late first-to-early second round picks.

http://blogs.nfl.com/2010/04/06/falcons-to-visit-with-ucla-dt-price-usc-de-griffen/

JKA

April 7th, 2010
1:46 pm

Stay away from Griffen ! He was a classic “looks like Tarzan, plays like Jane” player at SC; most of his sacks came when he was unblocked, and he rarely beat a tackle straight up…..He also is the poster boy for “entitled”……Price would be a good fit, as he has the ability to shoot the gaps; however, we should be able to do better at 19……

SeminoleWarrior

April 7th, 2010
1:48 pm

Amen JKA….Stay away from him big time. Bust….BUST…I see bust all over him.