NFL Draft: A look at 5 first round surprises

Falcons head coach Mike Smith and general manager Thomas Dimitroff on Thursday addressing the media after selecting Missouri linebacker Sean Weatherspoon. (D. Orlando Ledbetter/AJC).

Falcons head coach Mike Smith and general manager Thomas Dimitroff on Thursday addressing the media after selecting Missouri linebacker Sean Weatherspoon. (D. Orlando Ledbetter/AJC).

FLOWERY BRANCH – Here are the 5 surprises of the first round of the 2010 NFL draft:

  1. Jacksonville taking California defensive linemen Tyson Alualu with the 10th pick in the draft. He was considered a top 50 pick by Pro Football Weekly.
  2. Denver trading for Tim Tebow and making the Florida legend the second quarterback selected.
  3. San Diego was very serious about replacing running back LaDainian Tomlinson and flashed up the draft board to get Fresno State’s Ryan Mathews.
  4. Notre Dame quarterback Jimmy Clausen slipped out of the first round. Guess folks were worrying about his personality and so-called “character” issues.
  5. Iowa tackle Brian Bulaga was a projected top 10 pick. He lasted all the way to the 23rd pick and was selected by the Green Bay Packers.

90 comments Add your comment

Seattle Falcons Fan

April 23rd, 2010
7:53 am

I think Tebow might surprise people. Mcdaniels better hope so. Thank god we have Smith and TD.

florida falcon

April 23rd, 2010
7:59 am

i hope Tebow wins a superbowl someday. but not against our BIRDS! Don’t ya’ll miss the days of Rankin Smith and co.?

Big Ray

April 23rd, 2010
8:03 am

D. Ledbetter ,

1) Nobody seems to know what in the devil the Jaguars were thinking. I think they may have woke up and wondered the same thing. Then again, you never know…. As it stands, any Falcon fan not happy with the Weatherspoon selection can still look at that pick and walk away not feeling too bad.

2) It’s amazing what charisma can do with you. It’s also amazing that a Bill Belichick protege can be this controversial. Seriously, can anybody point to any one brilliant thing that Josh McDaniels has done yet? Does he even act like he’s ever been around Belichick?

3) Ryan Matthews might turn out quite good for the Chargers. But he won’t be Tomlinson. Ever.

4) See the first part of point #2

5) Bulaga was a victim of people actually realizing that he was overrated and not ready to be a plug-n-play starter yet. Packers didn’t need an OT, they wanted some depth and eventual replacement at a good value. They got it.

Big Ray

April 23rd, 2010
8:04 am

Got nothing against Tebow. But I care nothing for him, either.

RGO67

April 23rd, 2010
8:18 am

Maybe Jacksonville and Denver were thinking they were still creating a “Mock Draft”?

Seattle Falcons Fan

April 23rd, 2010
8:18 am

Hey DLED……what’s it going to take for us to trade up into round 2? A third and fourth? A fourth and fifth? Third and fifth?

Seattle Falcons Fan

April 23rd, 2010
8:19 am

I can’t stop laughing at How2Fishes comment on the last blog…..

How2fish

April 23rd, 2010
8:11 am
I can’t comment until FALCONS SORRY give us his wit and wisdom on this pick….I am however hopeful he will bring his elevated level of football knowledge and passion for the Falcons and give us all the insight on this pick we need to know…and he will do it with CAPS..

Bird Dog

April 23rd, 2010
8:22 am

I’m definitely shocked to see Tebow go in the first round. We all know he’s a great person. But, an NFL QB? I just don’t see it. But who cares about the Broncos anyway. Love the Falcons pick, they definitely needed help at the LB position.

blord

April 23rd, 2010
8:26 am

Here are my 5 surpises from the draft:
1) C J Spiller going to Buffalo. I love Spiller but a team with so many needs took a player who is dynamic but doesn’t really address any of there immediate needs. They don’t need a return guy and they don’t need a RB really. They will likely move Lynch but still surprising to me.

2) Oakland not taking a guy with off the chart measurables! They actually took a solid football player this year.

3) Kindle falling out of the first when at times he was projected to go top 15.

4) Pouncey kissing his brother on the mouth!!!!! I realize it was his brother but that even makes it more weird.:)

5) I didn’t wake up with heartburn after all the wings I ate last night. This is an extreme miracle.

Blue Heaven dude

April 23rd, 2010
8:29 am

Love the pick, Spoon is a proven leader and has speed and the ability to break necks. Tebow will get a chance to do some special teams and smack folks around for two years and realize the only way to get on the field more is at Hback, I think he can be a quarterback in 3 to 4 yrs. like Steve Young, but he doesn’t have Joe Cool to sit behind. He has Quinn and the other guy. Exactly!!

Blue Heaven dude

April 23rd, 2010
8:30 am

Dez Bryant to the Cowboys was a steal.

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Knox, Fresno News and ATLHOMER, D. Orlando Ledbetter. D. Orlando Ledbetter said: NFL Draft: A look at 5 first round surprises http://bit.ly/cXYDN7 [...]

D. Orlando Ledbetter

April 23rd, 2010
8:33 am

Seattle Falcons Fan — TD didn’t sound promising last night. He just said it would be “rich” to move into the middle to lower third of the second. I’m thinking that’s a player a 3rd and a 4th. That’s a 3 for 1 and I don’t think a second rounder is worth that much. Denver kind of messed things up when they gave the Ravens all of those picks to get Tebow yesterday.

Blord — Good list. I sort of know why Kindle slipped. Look at his arrest record. Think he likes to get his drink on a little too much. (July 07, DUI)

Richham

April 23rd, 2010
8:34 am

What are the giants asking in return for osi umenyiora? Would they take a 4th or 5th rounder for him?

Yeah the whole scene at the pouncey house was a little strange. The kiss on the lips was weird to say the least.

Hey I love that the Broncos used a first round pick on Tebow. That means another quality pick sliding down into the third round for us.

Seattle Falcons Fan

April 23rd, 2010
8:34 am

So now that the Cowgirls picked up Dez Bryant do you think that Roy Williams can be had? He might fit well in that #2 WR slot next to White.

Billy O

April 23rd, 2010
8:34 am

As a dawg fan, I should dislike Tebow, but I don’t. As a Christian, I really admire him. If there were more young athletes like Tebow, this country would be a lot better off. Most folks don’t like him because he is a Christian. He, IMO, is a great role model.

blord

April 23rd, 2010
8:37 am

DOL,
Didn’t know that about Kindle. Explains a lot. I doubt he will be on the board much longer. I guess that there is absolutely no chance that the Falcons get a second rounder now huh?

Seattle Falcons Fan

April 23rd, 2010
8:40 am

Falkor

April 23rd, 2010
8:42 am

Poor Spiller: Buffalo is where young talent goes to die.

I’m fine with not moving into the 2nd round. It’s a deep draft and I trust the men making our picks.

PMC

April 23rd, 2010
8:43 am

Kindle will probably go to the lambs… he’ll fit right in with Leonard Little.

Falkor

April 23rd, 2010
8:43 am

Weatherspoon will be a great player. He sounds very mature and intelligent in his interviews. I’m glad he is a Falcon.

Seattle Falcons Fan

April 23rd, 2010
8:49 am

Yeah, did Denver know something the rest of us didn’t? Not that I don’t think Tebow will be a good player, but couldn’t he have been had today at much less of a cost, or were the Vikings really going to pick him up, so that’s why Denver gave up so much? I’m just a little confused on what McDaniels is thinking right now. Why did he trade away Marshall and turn around and pick up a reciever with the first pick? A lesser reciever at that (nothing personal Tech fans). That just doesn’t seem too smart….

MikeInFL

April 23rd, 2010
8:51 am

I’m a transplant to Jacksonville, still a Falcon’s fan. I can tell you that this town is ready to storm the gates over the Jag’s pick at #10. Of course there was strong sentiment for Tebow, and also a lot for CJ Spiller (a local guy).

With ticket sales in the dumper, no tv last year and likely this year, this franchise (the Jags) didn’t need to reach for 2nd round guy with this pick. I think season tix will freeze where they are, about 30K, and they’ll not fill the stadium but once… when Tebow comes in with the Broncos on opening day.

SirReal

April 23rd, 2010
8:51 am

The draft always has funny trades like that. I was thinking Morgan would drop in our laps but then comes TEN to snag him.lol SO we had to go with Spoon. He was the best player available. Plus…after visiting the birds TWICE, I think they liked him.lol

Seattle Falcons Fan

April 23rd, 2010
8:55 am

ReddJonn68

April 23rd, 2010
8:56 am

Well I guess Jack Del Rio must have been vacationing in Oakland this off-season. Good luck holding on to that head coaching job Jack ! As for Josh McEgo out in Denver he makes a solid pick with BayBay them looks in the mirror, brushes his hair & picks Tebow. What the #@%* !!!!!!!! Oh, let’s not forget old Al Davis, need I say more.

Jim C

April 23rd, 2010
9:00 am

I agree with you about tebow Billy O and I am a christian also, he was a great college player , but I agree with I believe it was Steve young that said mcdaniels is getting rid of all the players that don’t follow him blindly , I think mcdaniels wants belichick type respect before he has earned it. I hope tebow does well but as a falcon and dawg fan he is once again an enemy on the football field.
I was kinda hoping the falcons would grab Bryant but I am happy with the OLB.

Sick & Tired Of Being Sick & Tired

April 23rd, 2010
9:00 am

DLED – Even though we did not get the select Pouncey, you should feel vindicated. So many of the bloggers had railed you saying that a center would not be selected in the 1st round.

You definitely get the last laugh!!!!! I’m just looking forward to seeing who else is added to the Falcon’s roster in the upcoming rounds of the draft. I feel that the Spoon pick will immediately help the defense. It was wishful thinking on my part to think that D Morgan just might still be there at #19….he almost was there….We still need a young fast DE so hopefully there will be someone available in the later rounds of the draft.

blord

April 23rd, 2010
9:07 am

I am on board with the pick of Spoon. It seems as thought he is really excited to play with Moore and I love how he talks when interviewed. Words are just words but this guy will bring a vocal leader to our defense which we need. I wouldn’t be surprised if we now package a couple of picks to move up in the third a little.

All I'm Saying Is...

April 23rd, 2010
9:15 am

Spoon is a solid pick but he had better be a starter on opening day or he will be pronounced a bust given the other talent available on both sides of the ball.

DLED IS VINDICATED and has his genius confirmed by the fact that the multiple Super Bowl winning Steelers organization took a Center and Pouncey at that one pick ahead of us. (I know the kid was thrilled but did not need to see him plant a kiss on the mouth to his twin in the celebratory moment that followed.)

Not Tebow hating but Denver gave up too much to get him because he was not going to get selected in the first round as no team, not even the Patriots, needed a Wildcat quarterback at best that much.

For years, the rumor has been that Clausen was a jerk in the personality department making him difficult to coach and I suspect that’s what’s caused him to fall.

Falcons need to keep all their picks as we need to improve our overall talent depth so quantity is more important for the remainder of this draft.

LET’S GO FALCONS!

BigTimeTECHFan

April 23rd, 2010
9:17 am

Broncos – Josh McDaniels made the right call last year trading Cutler, no this year Marshall, He does not want players that don’t want to play for Denver. Cutler was upset about McDaniels going for Casel. Now they have replaced both of them in 1 draft, both Tebow and Thomas will need will be good clubhouse guys but will need a little time before making impact.

Bill – Spiller to Bills? is this the same Chan Gailey who ran the Steelers offense and Cowboys, both power lines and power game. Very good pick but interesting that the Bill picked him.

Falcons – Spoon fine pick for 19th overall, so much balance in the 1st rounders this year he could have been anywhere 6 thru 32, Falcons could have picked about 15 players and it would have been good pick, now I’m seeing why they are calling this a deep draft.

Pouncey – 1st round pick, I recall a lot of people getting on the D O Led saying a C would never get picked in 1st, ya’ll better be making mends with D O Led

D. Orlando Ledbetter

April 23rd, 2010
9:18 am

Billy O — I was impressed with Tebow after grilling him at the Senior Bowl about his mechanics. He is truly at peace with his walk.

Blord — They’ll have to fall in love with somebody to pull the trigger to get into the second. That person could be Boston College center Matt Tennant who forces them to pull the trigger.

Falkor — He is a really nice kid. Met him at the combine and talked to him throughout over the phone and online thanks to his agent Justin Schulman.

Sick & Tired — Not going to pound my chest on the Pouncey intel. I was trying to pass the info on to the readers. But they wouldn’t digest it. No center had been taken higher than 21 over the last 10 drafts so it did take some study to figure out he’d go pretty high.

Big XII

April 23rd, 2010
9:20 am

HAHAHAHAHA!!!!! Big XII dominates the first round! Take that you SEC babies!

Hindu Elvis Pimp

April 23rd, 2010
9:22 am

I was hoping Pouncy would fall to 19.

SimpleDawg

April 23rd, 2010
9:27 am

Is it just me, or does anyone else hate listening to Saint Timothy…..he talks like a Gatling gun…..take a breath, Dude, and let the listener absorb some of what you’re saying.

I think Lil’ Josh has just bet his entire head coaching career on Saint Timothy……

I never understood the love for Jimmy Clawson……he has arrogant a-hole written all over him.

DavidS

April 23rd, 2010
9:29 am

Denver going for Tebow isn’t that much of a surprise when you consider they probably have a lot of #15 jerseys left over that they have to try and sell since they traded Brandon Marshall to the Dolphins. Or at least that’s the theory I’m going with :)

McBubba

April 23rd, 2010
9:32 am

D-Led, is there any possibility the birds trade up into round two to grab a tackle or DE?

Paddy

April 23rd, 2010
9:32 am

D LED….great coverage all this off season with the Falcons. Your fans have been rewarded with your good honest input The next 2 days will be interesting, keep ‘em coming! Love going for Defense in the first round. Now the Falcons need some “big uglies” for their lines..

blord

April 23rd, 2010
9:33 am

I hope that with one of the picks in the third we can get a spark on offense.

waynester

April 23rd, 2010
9:34 am

DLed
I concur–it would be too expensive to move up now. We’ll miss out on some talented guys, but should do just fine staying put. It’s not impossible that we’d find someone willing to take one of our current starters with a 2nd rd tender OR that we’d give up a 2011 2nd plus a late rounder this year, but at this point I’d say improbable. OCs Tennant Walton or Olsen should be there in the mid-3rd and DE te’o Nesheim or A Lane at our 3rd comp. All very solid high upside players….

truth

April 23rd, 2010
9:35 am

DLed…..still wish we got Pouncey but Spoon “The Weatherman” is about to brew up a big defensive storm in da dome!!

hawesg

April 23rd, 2010
9:36 am

No, DLed was not vindicated. Check Schultz’s column. The three players the Falcons were focused on with the 19 pick were Graham, Morgan and Spoon. They draft for need and those are positions of need.

In fact, when I criticized the pick on Pouncey, I even said he would go to Pittsburgh – because Pittsburgh NEEDS to improve their interior blocking. Atlanta NEEDS to improve its defensive front seven play.

Which is why everyone and his dog knew the Falcons would take either a DE or Weatherspoon if they were available.

Maybe if Pouncey was there and ‘Spoon was not, they might have traded down with Denver and picked him if he were still there (though I bet they would have taken Jerry Hughes).

waynester

April 23rd, 2010
9:38 am

SimpleDawg
I’m a natural-born Dawg but c’mon–don’t you imagine that (St.) Tebow might have been just a LITTLE excited last night? He’s just a kid–cut him some slack….Agree with you on Clausen, though–more headache than he’s worth…

welikebaseball2

April 23rd, 2010
9:45 am

D. Led: What’s your take on the Falcons not really giving Jerry Hughes a look? From what I’ve read (can’t lie, haven’t really seem him on film), he’s deemed a pure pass rush specialist. Seems that would’ve gone a long way for us. Any insight on why the Falcons never really gave him a look?

CONFEDERATE DAWG

April 23rd, 2010
9:46 am

WELL SAID BILLY O, BUT BETWEEN THOSE GAYTOR MATCHING TEAL SHIRTS AND THE GAYTOR KISS. SOMETHIN IS A LILL FUNNY DOWN IN GAYTOR LAND

blord

April 23rd, 2010
9:47 am

By the way I am glad that we don’t play in the same division as the Jets. Their offense doesn’t scare me but there defense will likely be better then it was last year and last year it was great. You can never have two many corners but adding Wilson gives them a chance to lock players up on an island and attack the QB.

**Frederick(Bailey)Douglass**

April 23rd, 2010
9:48 am

Good move last night for the Birds. I was a little disappointed that we missed Brandon Graham – he will be a Game 1 difference maker for the Eagles, and will sack Matt Ryan on October 17th – but Weatherspoon fills a need for the Birds for sure. I like his track record of leading the team in tackles for 3 straight years, and his weight room measurables are off the chart. We had to get younger at OLB…maybe we are looking to a Lofton, Nichols, Peterson crew on first down, with Weatherspoon coming in on obvious passing downs…at least to begin with.

While WE didn’t pick Pouncy, I do believe that DOL’s intel led to the prediction that he would get picked in the first round. However, I would NEVER pick a center that high. The variance between centers is just not enough to justify it.

Tebow has H-back written all over him. Spiller will stay hurt…kinda like our own flash in the pan Norwood. First round standouts will be:

Graham
Suh
Dez Bryant
Weatherspoon

P.S. Falcons would do well to grab the center from Boston College in the 3rd, or trade Norwood for a second round pick to get WR Arrelious Benn.

FEAR THE TALON

April 23rd, 2010
9:50 am

d-led,have you any inside info as to us getting a pick in the 2nd round?!!

PoolerSpirit

April 23rd, 2010
9:51 am

First, love the Spoon pick. Our defense will be a lot stronger with him, and the two picks from last year… Moore and Hip Hip. Wish we could’ve dropped back a little bit, grabbed an extra pick, and still got him.
About Denver’s reach for Tebow, on NFL Network, they said Denver heard Buffalo was putting a package together to move up to get him, so they improved their offer to the Ravens, who couldn’t refuse a 2, 3, and a 4.
No one’s said anything about ESPN vs. NFLN yet… I liked the NFLN coverage better, but the commercials on ESPN were far better!

Mike Jay

April 23rd, 2010
9:52 am

Am I the only one that though Steve Young was three sheets to the wind last night?

Good pick up for the Falcons. Should be able to plug him in right away. would not have minded picking Pouncy if spoon was gone. Not one bit.