BIRDLAND – Missouri linebacker Sean Weatherspoon made it to town late Wednesday for his visit with the Atlanta Falcons.
The Falcons worked him out last month in Columbia, Mo. and this is more of a meet-and-greet.
He was in New Orleans before making it to Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. The New Orleans Saints will pick 32nd in the 2010 NFL Draft, which will be held April 22-24.
“Coach (Gregg) Williams and (coach Joe) Vitt said they see me playing the WLB (weakside linebacker) in (their) system,” Weatherspoon tweeted.
He was excited about coming to Atlanta in part because he’d get to see his former Missouri teammate William Moore.
“Heading to the ATL to see my boy Willy Mo25 and them dirty birds!!!,” Spoon tweeted about 6 p.m.
Hartsfield-Jackson caught Weatherspoon’s attention.
“The airport here is pretty busy,” Weatherspoon tweeted.
The busiest in the nation!
He started making his way up the highway.
“(Just) passed the Buckhead exit headed north on 85!!,” Weatherspoon tweeted.
The Falcons have been visiting with and working out some of the nation’s top linebackers.
Weatherspoon has a first-round grade and several mock drafts have him coming to the Falcons with the 19th pick. (In our last mock, Mock 6.0, we had Weatherspoon going to the New York Giants at the 15th pick and Florida center/guard LaShawn Maurkice Pouncey being selected by the Falcons.)
However, ESPN analyst Mel Kiper Jr. believes that Weatherspoon will land with the Arizona Cardinals. Kiper was so gracious with the national media during Wednesday’s teleconference. He went nonstop for about two hours straight. Midway through when he was told that there were still about 40 members with questions, he decided to try to shorten up his answers so that everyone could get their questions in. (Thanks Mel!)
“Weatherspoon is a good player,” Kiper said. ” But there is mixed opinions on him. Todd (McShay) and I disagree on Weatherspoon. I’m a little higher on him than Todd is. Weatherspoon I think he can be a 3-4 inside backer in a defense like Arizona is running, taking over for Karlos Dansby or he could be a 4-3 outside linebacker. He could be a strongside linebacker. He could be at the (weakside linebacker). He’s got a lot of versatility. A lot of people project him differently in the NFL.
“The bottom line is that he’s going to be a first round pick. He’s going to go somewhere in that 20 s. . .
You were talking about Atlanta at 19, I don’t think they’ll pick him there. I could see him going as high as 16 to Tennessee, but they’ve done some things in free agency to help their outside linebacker position. I don’t think the Giants will take an outside backer, they are looking more middle. He’s going in the 20s, somewhere in there. That’s why I have him going to Arizona at 26.”
Kiper and Don Banks of SI.com believe the Falcons will take Michigan defensive end Brandon Graham.
I think the Falcons have been locked in on Graham ever since they added cornerback Dunta Robinson in free agency, and he’ll fit somewhere in a front seven that needs to upgrade its pass rush. But the Falcons’ greatest concern may be No. 22 New England, which also covets Graham and has the firepower to go up and get him (to No. 17 San Francisco?) with those three second-round picks.
If the Falcons take Graham, that would be a “first” under general manager Thomas Dimitroff. In his two previous drafts, the Falcons have not selected a player from the mighty Big 10. Not even one Ohio State Buckeye!
Here’s a conference breakdown of Dimitroff’s 19 picks:
Should the Falcons just turn their card in now and write Weatherspoon’s name on it? Would you be happy if Kiper and Banks are correct and the Falcons select their first Big 10 player under Dimitroff? Or, are you with the smart folks who have them selecting LaShawn Maurkice Pouncey?