Falcons select Missouri linebacker Sean Weatherspoon

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)

FLOWERY BRANCH — Missouri linebacker Sean Weatherspoon slipped into the back room to take the call from the Falcons.

Enlarge photo

He had about 20 family members and friends at his viewing party, when Falcons director of player personnel Les Snead called.

“I was smiling from ear to ear, but I knew it was about to go down,” Weatherspoon said.

Falcons head coach Mike Smith and general manager Thomas Dimitroff meet with the media after selecting Sean Weatherspoon. (D. Orlando Ledbetter/AJC).

Falcons head coach Mike Smith and general manager Thomas Dimitroff meet with the media after selecting Sean Weatherspoon. (D. Orlando Ledbetter/AJC).

The Falcons decided not to make a trade down with Denver and chose to select Weatherspoon with the 19th pick in the 2010 NFL draft Thursday night.

“We really felt that a cover-type linebacker, who has speed and flies around the football, was in our best interest,” Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff said. “We got the guy we were targeting all along.”

The Falcons also considered taking Georgia Tech defensive end Derrick Morgan, Michigan defensive end Brandon Graham and Florida center Maurkice Pouncey. After discussing the draft with Pittsburgh’s Kevin Colbert, the Falcons knew the Steelers had zeroed in on Pouncey. Philadelphia made a trade up to get Graham at 13, and Morgan went to Tennessee at 16.

“We felt that we were zeroed in on Sean Weatherspoon,” Dimitroff said. “We didn’t want to try to be cute and creative. We decided to pull that tag off the board at 19.”

The Falcons didn’t use their allotted 10 mintues. They made the call to New York around the five-minute mark.

Spoon was thoroughly scouted by the Falcons and built up a huge Atlanta following on his Twitter.com page. Before the pick was announced, Weatherspoon, who goes by SeanWSpoon12 on twitter.com, shot out a tweet.

“I’m a falcon!!!” was sent by SeanWSpoon12 at 9:30.

“I wanted to let my fans know,” Weatherspoon said. “As far as Twitter, the Atlanta fans have been showing me nothing but love the whole time throughout this process. They have been tweeting me every day wishing that I became a Falcon.”

Weatherspoon, who led the Tigers in tackles over the past three seasons, is considered an outside linebacker.

The Falcons believe that Weatherspoon can help them in pass coverage. Weatherspoon played in the Big 12 and faced a lot of pass-happy spread offenses. His coverage skills are solid.

“He was able to play out in space,” Falcons coach Mike Smith said. “I’ve said many times that the game is becoming a spacing game. I think it’s definitely an advantage to have guys that can run and matchup with tight ends and running backs that we are going to face in our division.”

The Falcons are hoping that Weatherspoon will compete with Mike Peterson and Stephen Nicholas for one of the starting outside linebacker positions. Peterson turns 34 in June.

The linebacker unit was strong against the run last season, but had issues in pass coverage. The unit was 28th in the league (242.1 yards per game) against the pass.

The draft continues Friday with the second and third rounds. The Falcons do not have a second-round pick. They sent it to Kansas City as part of the Tony Gonzalez deal last season.

However, Dimitroff said they are exploring trade possibilities to get into the middle or lower third of the second round.

“We have gotten calls, we still have opportunities,” Dimitroff said. “We just need to determine if that’s worth it.”

The Falcons have two picks in the third round, the 83rd and 98th overall picks in the draft.

95 comments Add your comment

AP

April 22nd, 2010
9:56 pm

Gritz Blitz

April 22nd, 2010
9:57 pm

Congratulations Falcons! Looks like a solid pick.

AP

April 22nd, 2010
9:58 pm

Seriously nice pick by the Falcons, I thought we were targeting B. Graham, but wouldn’t you know the Eagles beat us to the punch. I thought there was a chance of trading down, but after Pouncey was gone, I had a feeling it would be Spoon!

Good for Bay Bay Thomas, and welcome to Atlanta Spoon!!!

jojatek

April 22nd, 2010
9:59 pm

Solid pick. No surprises…

Dawgs2010

April 22nd, 2010
10:03 pm

So, now what? We get to wait till late friday night to pick again?

Ron

April 22nd, 2010
10:04 pm

Should have took Dez Bryant!

Tosin

April 22nd, 2010
10:04 pm

I think the Falcons might going to trade up into the first round to get the TCU DE, but dosen’t seem likely.But, if any good DEs slip into the second round, I think thehe third round. Falcons will trade up and get a good DE and get the C from BC in t

OpenMinded

April 22nd, 2010
10:04 pm

We passed on trading down so it appears this guy is a strong choice for TD & Company.

mgdawg

April 22nd, 2010
10:12 pm

Great pick, it’s a need position and Van Gorder is a LB coach so I don’t see him failing.

BTW I’m excited for knowshon, the broncos just picked up a stud fullback.

Tosin

April 22nd, 2010
10:14 pm

the third round*

Old Man

April 22nd, 2010
10:15 pm

Weatherspoon seems solid to me. Would love to get into that second round. Too many good players in this draft to miss that.

Monkalicious

April 22nd, 2010
10:16 pm

Weatherspoon, Dunta Robinson, a healthy Peria Jerry and William Moore… Suddenly this defense looks much more solid than last year.

G’Lovin where are you?

jpage327

April 22nd, 2010
10:16 pm

Come on D-Led, let’s here you say it…

jpage327

April 22nd, 2010
10:17 pm

But really, if we didn’t trade down and what, what chances do we have to get back into 2nd?

waynester

April 22nd, 2010
10:19 pm

If we’re serious about adding another DE Daniel te’o Nesheim is severely underrated and should still be ther at our 3rd comp, maybe even in the 4th. Add an OC in the 3rd and we’re looking good thru day 2….

gman

April 22nd, 2010
10:21 pm

YEESSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!

Birddawg

April 22nd, 2010
10:26 pm

Good pick for the Falcons. Someone with the talent to upgrade the position while at the same time learning under Mike Peterson. With Jerry’s return, the addition of Dunta Robinson(and the possible emergence of Owens, Decoud, and Grimes) and now Spoon this should be a defense to be reckoned with. Pass rush should be much improved with Jerry and Babineaux getting a good push up the middle and opening the pass rush lanes for Bierrman, Sidbury and Abraham.

Jon Koncak

April 22nd, 2010
10:29 pm

Great Pick! Needed the help on “D” !!!!!

Tmac

April 22nd, 2010
10:30 pm

Am i the only one to notice the Chris Berman is stealing money? I’ve known that he is is his own world at ESPN, but my god is he horrible tonight. And it’s not like this is his first NFL draft.
He is stealing money… and i’m sure it’s BIG, BIG $$$$.

It’s time to go away Boom.

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Anastacia Maldonado and D. Orlando Ledbetter, ATLHOMER. ATLHOMER said: Atlanta Falcons – RT Falcons select Missouri linebacker Sean Weatherspoon: Missouri linebacker Sean Weatherspo… http://bit.ly/cnsAfn #AJC [...]

D. Orlando Ledbetter

April 22nd, 2010
10:32 pm

JPAGE — FOR YOU — SPPPPOOOOOOOOONNNNN!!!!!

BirdDawg

April 22nd, 2010
10:36 pm

At least three of the remaining picks need to be O-linemen. People want to claim Matty Ice took a step back, but watching the games, you notice the pass protection wasn’t nearly as good as it was in his first year. That combined with some predictable playcalling (hopefully due to the injury situation) was Matt Ryan’s undoing. Need some manhandlers up front to keep the pass rush off of Matty’s @$$.

florida falcon

April 22nd, 2010
10:39 pm

Welcome to Atlanta-Spoon

Vince Burchfield

April 22nd, 2010
10:41 pm

Spoone Man is the one I wanted all along. Great pick A Blank

Josh B

April 22nd, 2010
10:43 pm

For a while I was scared Spoon wouldn’t fall to us, but i’m excited he did…let’s go Falcons !

silky slimm

April 22nd, 2010
10:44 pm

I LOVE THE PICK AND YES HE BRING SPEED AND LEADERSHIP TO THE TEAM GOT ALOT OF RAY LEWIS LEADERSHIP IN HIM. GOOD JOB TD AND MIKE SMITH LET GET OUT SECOND ROUND PICK MAKE IT HAPPEN DIMTROFF GO FALCONS!!!!

mountain_jim

April 22nd, 2010
10:45 pm

I hope we can get our C in the 3rd.

The Sham

April 22nd, 2010
10:47 pm

FROM A PREVIOUS BLOG:

DOL says – THE SHAM – Great minds think alike

I now say – DOL – What are you talking about? Like I said for the last few weeks – GRESHAM is a bumb! Take Witherspoon! ;) That was the real SHAMeless plan!!!

I’ll have to admit that I had fallen a sleep on SW mainly bc he’d been discussed for a while and I was hoping out loud with Gresham. I’m not upset with the pick bc this kid will play. I can’t say that for Pouncey (aka – Ben’s new Bouncy) had he lasted one more pick. Thank you Steelers!

Walker, Texas Ranger

April 22nd, 2010
10:48 pm

Great pick, huge need for the Falcons. Now pick up a WR & Atkins in the third.

The Sham

April 22nd, 2010
10:53 pm

DOL – I will add this, the preface to the SHAMeless Plan stated – “This is all assuming Dez Byrant had already been taken by the Broncos or someone else bc no way is he available at 19… If so – SNATCH him up like Kirstie Alley would a slab of ribs at Golden Corral…”

I am VERY surprised we didn’t get him in lieu of SW. I’m a big need vs value guy and we do have need that would have met that value… IMO

Once again though, I like the pick as it was…

Antonio Gramsci

April 22nd, 2010
11:00 pm

AP: The “first” post = fruitbasket. You are one. How does that feel? Excited? Ooohh, I bet you are.

TebowhandsofftoKnowshonOHNO

April 22nd, 2010
11:02 pm

Great Pick. We needed the coverage skills in a division with Kellen Winslow and Shockey. Also this gives us more zone blitz options. Maybe we’ll get to see DeCoud cream Brees again hehehehe.

Mike is Back

April 22nd, 2010
11:03 pm

ODLed, I just want to say thank you Author Blanks from bring a guy like TD to the ATL. The stars align and we got the right guy…seldom does that happen in the ATL. For the first time I feel like the SKY IS THE LIMIT FOR THE FALCONS…because they got the right guy in charge. Thank Mr. TD for drafting one of the top guys in the draft….THAT WANTED TO BE A FALCON…in the past we never got that right. Man, right away the commissioner came out announce the Falcon pick with plenty of time left on the clock.

WOW, that is one thing I agree with Bradley and Shultz on…The Falcons got the right Man in charge….and that is Mr. TD!!!!!!!!

Anyway, Detroit took my sleeper pick…and that was Jahvid Best

THE FALCONS ARE GOING TO KICK SOME ASSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Toole

April 22nd, 2010
11:05 pm

D. Orlando you probably had the Falcons selecting Weatherspoon. You had 62 versions of a mock draft. The only one you didn’t have them selecting was ME! You need to loosen that Matlock bowtie. Who will they select next Michael Vick. Already made that mistake. Even Mell Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay missed the boat on the whole 1st round. Show the experts are experts for a reason.

Toole

April 22nd, 2010
11:08 pm

4get Dez Bryant. He is Deion Sanders on offense. He will be another Pac-Man jones.

Josh

April 22nd, 2010
11:10 pm

For the Falcons to trade down, like so many people wished they did, would mean that some other team would need to be interested in their pick. They can’t just trade back simply because the want to.

The Spoon pick is solid and safe. TD continues to build a solid team piece by piece.

falcon fan

April 22nd, 2010
11:19 pm

Knew that trade down possibility was gone when graham went off the board. I do believe the pats would have pulled the trigger on that one. Instead they trade down. Still got our guy, but sure would have been nice to have spoon and a 2nd round to boot…..

South ga boy in the atl

April 22nd, 2010
11:20 pm

What about me DOL. I said Spoon after the senior bowl and never waivered. I have tonsay I was sweating that Pitt would take Pouncey cuz I didn’t want to come on here and eat major crow from you. Spoon, Jerry, Moore, DeCloud, Dontay, Abe, and Babbs, I see a young, fast, smart, defense with an attitude. I’m loving our defense now. Let’s gt our center of the future and another OLB or WR for depth tomorrow night. Give it up DOL. The Spoon express has arrived

Sly Ty

April 22nd, 2010
11:25 pm

Josh and mike is back, I love the pick that TD made. Weatherspoon is a perfect fit. The falcons have an easier schedule than last season, and far more depth, and we will not be playing 4 teams coming off their bye week. New Orleans, the party is officially OVER!!!!!

Falcon Devil

April 22nd, 2010
11:28 pm

So awesome!!!!! It feels like christmas!

FalconsFan284

April 22nd, 2010
11:33 pm

DOL—Have I not been beating you up for a month saying that regardless of who was on the board at 19 the Falcons would take Sean Weatherspoon! Also, will you be moving to Blitburgh to stay close to Pouncey? Just a question and a joke.

silky_slimm

April 22nd, 2010
11:35 pm

is it true that the redskins is willing to get a third rd pick for hanesworth we got two of them let give the redskins the pick for hanyesworth and just focus on the offense imagine in one year for dunta robinson, sean weatherspoon and add hanyesworth to the mix we be a top 5 defense

idiot

April 22nd, 2010
11:49 pm

Too bad the Falcons couldn;t trade up and then down and get McCoy amd use him as bait. and is Hershell coming back ??? Prediction–This will be Boomer’s last hurray as he has lost whatever he thought he had. Boomer must have know some of the deepest secrets or he should have been thru…hope falcons have the opportunity to select Farve again,

Bigjam10

April 22nd, 2010
11:51 pm

They should of drafted Dez Bryant they said he could be the next Randy Moss because Michael Jenkins is garbage he can’t catch he is not fast at all they need a No.2 receiver bad.

idiot

April 22nd, 2010
11:53 pm

Matty Ice will make you all wish he were on your team as he picks up apart..He’d the real deal

mark wilson

April 22nd, 2010
11:58 pm

When you consider all things, spoon is the safest, and the smartest pick. Please dont trade up in the second round Falcons….stand pat. This draft is deep. How about drafting Matt Tennant, and Rennie Curran in the third. In the fourth round take Jordan Shipley. In the fith round take the best tight end available. There are many good tight ends in this draft. With the other fith round pick take the best offensive lineman available. with the first of the two sixth round picks take another offensive lineman, and finish by taking Alabamas kicker

Bob

April 23rd, 2010
12:14 am

BUILTED????????

Monger

April 23rd, 2010
12:28 am

SPOON IS A GREAT PICK!!! A true “freak” athelte-as strong as an Offensive Lineman, and has amazing game speed as well. Can really lay the lumber, has amazing football intangibles, and a great character guy and team leader. Match him with Lofton and Nicholas and we are STRONG at LB for the next 8-10 years guys!!! Now for tomorrow….

1st 3rd Rounder- Brandon LaFell, WR LSU
2nd 3rd Rounder- Either John Jerry OT Ole Miss, or Matt Tennant, C Boston College

Get a DE in the 4th, a TE in the 5th and this would make for an amazing draft!!!!

mo

April 23rd, 2010
12:48 am

let us give thanks to the Jaguars if they picked Pierre-Paul we would not gotten spoon so thank up Jaguars for that pick gooooooooo falcons

mo

April 23rd, 2010
12:52 am

can we say R.O.Y or could that go to the WR we pick in the 3rd ggoooooooooo falcons