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