Archive for April, 2010

NFL Draft: Meet Falcons picks Hawley, Franks, Meier and Schillinger

FOURTH ROUND

Falcons fourth round pick Joe Hawley plays with a mean streak.

Falcons fourth round pick Joe Hawley plays with a mean streak.

117. Joe Hawley, C, UNLV, 6-foot-3, 297-pounds: Bench pressed225 pounds 35 times at the NFL scouting combine. He’s considered a tough, smart blocker who excels in tight spaces. He breakdowns in space occassionally. Has played all three of the interior line positions. Has experience making the calls along the line and has done some long snapping. Is nine hours away from getting his degree.  He was born Oct, 22, 1988 in Bakersfield, Ca. Played high school football at Esperanza in Anaheim, Ca. Chose UNLV over Wisconsin and Arizona.

Check out Hawley flash his athletic ability!

Q: How did you feel about getting selected by the Falcons?

A: I’m really excited about it. They are one of the teams that I really wanted to go to. I’m glad they pulled the trigger on me. I’m excited about the organization. They are a really good team.

Q: What was your relationship with them during the pre-draft process?

A: They …

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NFL DRAFT: Meet the Falcons third round picks

THIRD ROUND PICKS

corey-peters83. Corey Peters, DT, Kentucky, 6-foot-3, 300 pounds: Was a three-year starter for the Wildcats at defensive tackle. He has 146 career tackles. Last season, he had 49 tackles (24 solo), 11 tackles for loss, five passes defensed and one forced fumble and one fumble recovery. Was voted Kentucky’s most improved defensive player as selected by the coaches in 2007 as a sophomore. … In high school, he wrestled, played baseball and competed in track and field as a discus and shot put thrower. … Attended Louisville (Ky.) Central High. … Born in Pittsburgh.

Mike Johnson (Associated Press)

Mike Johnson (Associated Press)

98. Mike Johnson, OG, Alabama 6-6, 312: Established a school record when he played against Texas in the 2010 BCS title game, as it was his 54th game for the Crimson Tide. … Has been practicing at center during the pre-draft process while working out with quarterbacks Sam Bradford (Oklahoma) and Dan LeFevour (Central Michigan). … Has already received his college degree. … As a …

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From Mom: 5 things fans need to know about Spoon

Elwanda Weatherspoon and her son, Sean. (Brant Sutherlin/AJC)

Elwanda Weatherspoon and her son, Sean. (Brant Sutherlin/AJC)

FLOWERY BRANCHElwanda Weatherspoon, the mother of Falcons first round pick Sean Weatherspoon, is a veteran school teacher. She teaches the third and fourth grades in Jasper, Texas.

She let us know that Weatherspoon, the Falcons first round draft pick, is quite the singer.

Mrs. Weatherspoon and her husband Develous raised the family in the church. The hard-hitting Sean grew up singing in the choir at Mount Olive Missionary Baptist Church where Rev. John D. Hardin is the pastor.

She tells Falcons fans 5 things they need to know about her youngest son:

  1. He’s a people person. He loves all people.
  2. He’s very energetic.
  3. He talks a lot. He got that from his mother.
  4. He loves his family.
  5. And, he will become the type of player that the Atlanta fans what him to be. He will work hard.

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NFL Draft: Here’s the Falcons’ plan for Day Two

If the Falcons don't move into the second round, look for them to take an offensive linemen with one of their third round picks. (D. Orlando Ledbetter/AJC)

If the Falcons don't move into the second round, look for them to take an offensive linemen with one of their third round picks. (D. Orlando Ledbetter/AJC)

FLOWERY BRANCH — It’s “Day Two” of the first-ever three-day draft.

The Falcons have sent  Arthur Blank’s jet — that I like to call “Falcons One” –  for first round pick Sean Weatherspoon and his family. He’ll be meeting with the media at 4 p.m. today.

I’m not going to pound my chest over being the first to tell you all about the greatness of Florida center Maurkice Pouncey. No center had been taken higher than 21 over the last 10 years, so it was a pretty bold – but correct – forecast. I have to thank some of our longtime NFL sources for pointing that out to us early on in the process.

Here’s a quick look at what should be another stunning day in the draft:

SECOND ROUND: Will the Falcons pull the trigger to get into the second round? Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff didn’t sound too promising when I asked him about it late …

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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.

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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 …

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NFL Draft Buzz: Mr. Blank stops by the media room

Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank celebrates on the sidelines after a field goal late in the fourth quarter against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during a NFL football game Sunday, Jan. 3, 2010, in Tampa, Fla. The Falcons defeated the Buccaneers 20-10. (AP Photo/Steve Nesius)

Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank celebrates on the sidelines after a field goal late in the fourth quarter against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during a NFL football game Sunday, Jan. 3, 2010, in Tampa, Fla. The Falcons defeated the Buccaneers 20-10. (AP Photo/Steve Nesius)

FLOWERY BRANCH — Falcons owner Arthur Blank just dropped by the media room.

He wanted to know how everything was going for the media.

He informed us that the phones are ringing off the hook in the draft room.

He expects tomorrow to be really interesting after the teams get to reset their boards after the first round.

You can follow the Falcons Beat and Falcons Fan blogs on Twitter at AJCFalcons and you can join the Facebook Fan page at AJC Falcons.

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NFL Draft Buzz: Falcons could trade down in the first

The Media War Room. That's Jason Butt and Jeff Schultz reviewing their final documents. (D. Orlando Ledbetter/AJC)

The Media War Room. That's Jason Butt and Jeff Schultz reviewing their final documents. (D. Orlando Ledbetter/AJC)

FLOWERY BRANCH – We are inching closer to the start of the 2010 NFL draft.

Things are all quiet in the media room as everyone is reviewing all of their research materials. I brought along the latest issue of Smyrna Spartans Illustrated, just in case the Falcons reach into the fertile youth football ranks of Cobb

Look at our resource materials in the media room. (D. Orlando Ledbetter/AJC)

Look at our resource materials in the media room. (D. Orlando Ledbetter/AJC)

County.

Actually, that might happen on Friday if they land North Cobb’s Eric Norwood, the All-American from South Carolina.

There is a lot of pre-draft talk about Philadelphia trying to move up to get either Texas safety Earl Thomas or Georgia Tech defensive end Derrick Morgan.

The first draft held in prime time figures to present a lot of trading activity.

The Falcons could be players in the trading action. They clearly want to get into the second round. If their guy is gone by …

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Sean Weatherspoon is chillaxing in Texas

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 is back home in Jasper, Texas, getting ready for his draft party.

“We’re going to have a good time, but I just want to chill with family,” Weatherspoon told the Atlanta Journal Constitution. “It’ll just be a watch party.”

Weatherspoon appears to be the favorite amongst the fans here on the blog for the Falcons to select with the 19th pick. He’s been heavily scouted by the Falcons and hopes they are giving him a call sometime around 10:32 p.m. tonight.

He hopes that he’s headed to Atlanta against soon to hold up that Falcons “1″ Jersey.

“Just because I saw them so many times,” Weatherspoon said. “I sat down with them at the combine and had a talk with them. I had a chance to talk to the owner, the GM, the head …

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Falcons’ draft room to hit Prime Time on NFL Network


090426 FLOWERY BRANCH Atlanta Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff  and head coach Mike Smith introduce their NFL draft pick, Peria Jerry, Ole Miss defensive tackle, during a press conference at their facility in Flowery Branch Sunday morning. KENT D. JOHNSON / kdjohnson@AJC.COM

090426 FLOWERY BRANCH Atlanta Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff and head coach Mike Smith introduce their NFL draft pick, Peria Jerry, Ole Miss defensive tackle, during a press conference at their facility in Flowery Branch Sunday morning. KENT D. JOHNSON / kdjohnson@AJC.COM

FLOWERY BRANCH – Barring in pre-draft trades, the Falcons will step in the NFL draft spotlight around 10:12 p.m. when the NFL Network shows the team’s draft room..

When the draft reaches the 17th pick, the league’s broadcast station will have the Falcons on the air, with no audio.

“I know, it seems counter intuitive because I’m quite guarded about the draft room,” Dimitroff said recently. “But we decided as an organization to make that move.”

The Falcons could draft as late 10:42 p.m. as each team is allotted 10 minutes during the first round. The draft show will start at 7:30 and St. Louis going on the clock at 7:32 p.m.

FALCONS DRAFT ORDER

1st round 19th overall

2nd round No pick

3rd round 83rd overall

3. …

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