Falcons have met with Auburn RB Mario Fannin

UGA's Asher Allen can't stop Mario Fannin from scoring a touchdown that gave Auburn a 13-10 lead. Brant Sanderlin/bsanderlin@ajc.com

UGA's Asher Allen can't stop Mario Fannin from scoring a touchdown that gave Auburn a 13-10 lead. Brant Sanderlin/bsanderlin@ajc.com

AUBURN, Ala. – Auburn running back Mario Fannin, who played at Lovejoy High, was invited to the NFL scouting combine and performed well during the school’s pro day recently.

Fannin said that he’s met with Falcons informally and has interviewed with them.

“I’ve talked them a couple of times,” said Fannin, who’s 5-11, 228 pounds.

During Auburn’s national championship run, Fannin had 61 rushes for 395 yards and scored five touchdowns. He also had 17 catches for 173 yards and two touchdowns.

He was pleased with his showing during the pro day drills.

“I felt like it went good,” Fannin said. “I think I showed the scouts that I can catch and that I can run. I improved some of the times I had at the combine.”

Fanning, like most of the draft eligible players, are keeping a close watch on the NFL’s labor situation.

“You just have to hope that they get the situation solved,” Fannin said. “I have to keep training and working hard like nothing is going on. If it happens, it happens.”

Fannin is a projected seventh round pick/free agent by NFLDraftScout.com, which ranks him as the 23rd best back in the draft. He’s hoping to improve his draft status.

“You just train and hopefully meet with some teams,” Fannin said. “You want to show that you can get on the drawing board. You want to show them that you really know football and hope that your name gets called on draft day.

“There were a lot of teams that I talked to (at the combine). I’m just working hard to impress somebody. It only takes one.”

With quarterback Cam Newton and defensive tackle Nick Fairley working out, every team in the NFL was on hand for Auburn’s pro day. That could have helped Fannin get noticed.

“Cam and Nick did a great job for us this past season,” Fannin said. “You can only thank them for what they did. It was great to have scouts and general managers come out here and watch all of us.  It was great for us seniors and the juniors coming out.”

–D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta Falcons beat blog

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58 comments Add your comment

GT97

March 21st, 2011
2:31 pm

Dear DirectTV: If the lockout looms, then I guess I will have to go back to Time Warner Cable. I hope the golf courses are not too busy this Fall.

coachx

March 21st, 2011
2:34 pm

He would be great to bring into camp as an undrafted guy……………..if there even is a camp that is.

BTW, have any Falcons STH’s received any cinfirmation on seat relocations yet ? The Falcons said we should hear back in March.

Hollywould

March 21st, 2011
3:20 pm

Fannin just doesn’t have the instincts. I have seen every game he has played. best year was a freshman. Undrafted the only way.

Dawg Consultant

March 21st, 2011
3:22 pm

Bottom line is that the kid was riding the pine because of fumbling problems. Once the coaching staff lost confidence in him, it went down hill from there. He is a valuable free agent signing though. If he can hold on to the ball he will be a steal; as he performs well when given the chance over the past couple seasons.

We will have to wait and see.

waynester

March 21st, 2011
3:36 pm

If he can shine on STs, he might make the roster….

RomeDawg

March 21st, 2011
3:39 pm

He could have some value as a late second day pick or undrafted free agent. Good size.

tom

March 21st, 2011
4:11 pm

Don’t bother with this. Falcons have more serious needs than wasting a pick on a running back.

Auburn Fan

March 21st, 2011
4:32 pm

Mario is a decent player, but had MAJOR Problems holding onto the ball for the last several years

I would shutter any time he touched the ball the last couple of seasons.

The goal line Non-Fumble vs Arkansas last year speaks volumes.

Best for the Falcons to take a pass.

Halsey

March 21st, 2011
4:32 pm

The Falcons don’t need a Rb? Nonsense. Turner was worn down by the end of the season and Snelling was ineffective. The Falcons need to add another RB to their rotation.

Halsey

March 21st, 2011
4:36 pm

Fannin was effective when he got the ball. He just played at a school with other talented ball carriers. Newton, Dyer and McCalebb got most of the carrier last year and Ben Tate was there before. Fannin averaged 6.5 ypc last year. He also caught 42 balls and is a good pass catcher.

Samuel

March 21st, 2011
4:41 pm

If and when we decide to get a back, let’s hope he’s in the Chris Johnson mode. Not some back that looks like Turner and Snelling. Geeez!!

Ball Hawk

March 21st, 2011
4:49 pm

This guy isn’t that impressive. He has ALL the measurables but very little production to back it up.

Jude Law

March 21st, 2011
5:08 pm

Im an Auburn fan and Im telling you DONT DRAFT THIS GUY. He can’t hold onto the ball and he has little insticts as a RB. He had his spot stolen by an 18 year old freshman 2 weeks into the season. He had 4 years to win the starting job and never once did it. He is so ineffective at RB he was moved to slot reciever his junior year.

SeenThisB4

March 21st, 2011
6:16 pm

He sounds like the prototypical falcan’t running back….kinda of like Turner on the 1 yard line! LOL!

Uhno

March 21st, 2011
6:26 pm

Aub grad- Mario could go either way. Versatile, sort of a tweener. Not a speed guy, not a power guy. Dependable out of the backfield receiver. Decent downfield runner, ok blocker. Fumbles way to much. Probably didn’t fit AU’s system all that well-lost confidence in him late inthe year.

Could be another William Andrews -remember him?

gcs

March 21st, 2011
6:27 pm

The LAST thing the Falcons need to draft is a running back.

There is absolutely NO reason to draft a RB unless Mark Ingram drops to #27 by some miracle.

.

Halsey

March 21st, 2011
6:34 pm

There’s no reason to Draft a RB? Do you actually watch the NFL? Teams need more than one RB. Turner can’t handle another season of 350 carries and Snelling isn’t getting it done. The Falcons absolutely need to add a RB.

Atlanta RBs in Green Bay playoff loss:

Turner: 10 carries for 39 yards (can you say “worn down”?)
Snelling: 1 carry for 1 yard (can you say “ineffective”?)

Sid

March 21st, 2011
7:04 pm

Michael Turner —- 5′ 10″ 244 lbs Jason Snelling 5′ 11″ 223 lbs

Mario Fannin 5′ 11″ 228 lbs

Nathan

March 21st, 2011
7:45 pm

I think we could get a better back, but this guy for a 7th round pick aint bad.

Conway

March 21st, 2011
7:59 pm

Auburn players don’t cut the grade since William Andrews!

FanninCan

March 21st, 2011
9:34 pm

Ever hear of a late bloomer? With that size and 4.3 speed, I’d take a flyer…either late round or free agent.

Worm

March 21st, 2011
9:41 pm

Hope they’re interviewing him for a front ofice position..He passes the eye test, but can’t PLAY a lick..Son, if you don’t have a degree, GET ONE!

Falcons relax...

March 21st, 2011
10:20 pm

Falcons this would be a good late pick actually. Or undrafted free agent. This is the guy who ran a 4.3. This guy is 5′11″ 230 lbs and runs a 4.3. Im sorry but if you get this guy and let him sit behind and learn behind Turner for 3-4 years same way Turner sat behind LT this guy could be our next “one.” I want this guy. I know some might say we don’t need a RB but we actually do. Snelling reminds me so much of Kevin Faulk. Great Backup but not a actually starter in the league. But Snelling could start though.

Depends if teams want him and if he wants to stay with us. Either way I feel like this guy could be a nice fit to learn for a couple of years. Turner ran a 4.49 at his size. This guy is faster but a little smarter. Either way I want this guy on the team

Whopper Dawg

March 21st, 2011
11:12 pm

If he is projected as a 7th rounder, then that means TD will draft him in the 4th. He always, always, overreaches because he is smarter than every other GM. The problem is, he hasn’t drafted any players in the last two years.

QB/DB

March 22nd, 2011
2:21 am

Anthony Allen is a much better choice

Monday NFL Wrap

March 22nd, 2011
6:06 am

[...] have met with Auburn RB Mario Fannin (Atlanta Journal-Constitution) Auburn running back Mario Fannin, who played at Lovejoy High, was invited to the NFL scouting [...]

Paddy

March 22nd, 2011
6:59 am

tom….the falcons do need a running back. It can’t be put off any longer. If Turner goes lame for any length of time, we can not put a winning streak together. We are, you know, a run first team.

[...] D. Orlando Ledbetter of the AJC reports that the Falcons have met with Auburn running back Mario Fannin as well. Fannin clocked the second best 40 time at the Combine behind Scott at 4.38 seconds. Ledbetter reports that Fannin has met informally with the Falcons and conducted an interview with them, presumably at last month’s Combine. Fannin never earned the starting position while at Auburn, but served a valuable depth role behind Michael Dyer this past year in Auburn’s championship run as well as Ben Tate (now with Houston Texans) his first three years. He finished his career with 1,366 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns, as well as 97 receptions, including 42 as a junior in 2009. His combination of size (5-10/231) and speed, coupled with his production in the passing game and special teams make him an intriguing depth option for any NFL team despite having huge production in college. Categories: Draft Central Tags: draft, interest, workout Comments (0) Trackbacks (0) Leave a comment Trackback [...]

Joey

March 22nd, 2011
8:43 am

Can the Falcons afford an Auburn player?

He may have to take a cut in salary in the NFL . . .

Greg

March 22nd, 2011
11:25 am

Fannin can fly. Maybe their looking at him to replace Norwood.

Puppet Please

March 22nd, 2011
12:06 pm

I’m an Auburn fan and unless his shoulder is 110% healthy, I would only bring him in as a free agent. He has had problems with his left shoulder since an injury he got as a freshman. He has well documented problems holding onto the ball after a solid hit…which is due to the injury. He has been most effective as receiver coming out of the backfield or on screens, when matched up on linebackers. He has great speed but is not elusive…meaning he doesn’t shed tackles well. He could be a steal if used properly and his health issues are behind him but the fact that he never really overcame the fumblitis at Auburn is a HUGE warning flag.

1990_Champs_GT

March 22nd, 2011
1:01 pm

Maybe take a flyer in the seventh… maybe.

True Falcon Fan

March 22nd, 2011
1:13 pm

Anybody remember #31 William Andrews – Andrews was out of U of Auburn also. Could it be the second coming of William Andrews – it would be only fitting to assign #31 to Fannin if the Falcons take him in the second or third round – Falcons will probably pick-up an extra pick by draft day in these two rounds.

GO FALCONS

BAMA CHIK

March 22nd, 2011
1:25 pm

While I hope the Falcons don’t waste a draft pick on Fannin, im not going to sit here and just bash the kid…hopefully he can make a positive impact on whatever team takes him, whether through free agency or the draft. Good luck to him and all the guys going into the draft, its a big step for them and hopefully they all make the best out of it. As much as I hate AU, once a player goes pro, its positive for the sport in general if they all do well, so I support all rookies in being the best they can be…

Justin mincey

March 22nd, 2011
2:02 pm

Most of the people above have never played or coached football.we definatly need a running back ! We need the balance of speed and power to give us back that big play element tht has been missing . I say take one of the gator speedsters in the late rounds or get someone from free agency (darren sproles) to account for that hole . However we do have more pressing needs like a pass rusher and an explosive wide out to compliment roddy , so rb needs to be on the back burner for now … We still got burner and snelly.

FACTS

March 22nd, 2011
2:18 pm

Need a gamebreaker with speed!!!!

True Falcon Fan

March 22nd, 2011
2:55 pm

We don’t have “triplets” yet, like “Ole Cowboys” i.e., Troy, Emmet & M. Irvin?? Also we definitely need a pass rusher?? Forget-about AJ Green it ain’t happennn, that said outside of Green. UGA in my opinion has nothing worth drafting or picking FA wise! I think UA, Fannin if he is available when Falcons have their opportunity in later rounds, they should take him. Because the Falcons need more horsepower in the back field.

Bill Bagley

March 22nd, 2011
3:13 pm

What is Fannin’s Wonderlic Score? If I get that, I will work up an Index on how he rates against the average RBs at the Combine. My Index indicated that Tom Brady should have been a 1/1 Draft Pick, and not 6/199, in the 2000 draft. The Wonderlic is a great first look into a player’s X-Factor. I have 26 years of experience with the Lic, and know exactly how to leverage the most out of it.

True Falcon Fan

March 22nd, 2011
3:18 pm

My bet is Fannin’s wonderlic score is at least 8-10 points better than AJ Green. If you have that much heads-up experience re “Lic” then no need to talk about it you should have already disected Fannin’s score already?? So much for 26 years experience BLAH,BLAH, BLAH

True Falcon Fan

March 22nd, 2011
3:22 pm

By the way I stand to be corrected – i think Greens’ wonderlic was single digit, like 5

True Falcon Fan

March 22nd, 2011
3:28 pm

Ole great one of 26 years experience – i quote “and know exactly how to leverage the most out of it”
Boy you backed into that one, BLAH,BLAH,BLAH

Bill Bagley

March 22nd, 2011
4:16 pm

What is Fannin’s Wonderlic Score? If he has the average RB Lic Score, he will Index at 115. This means that he has 115% of the performance potential of the average RB at the Draft.

Bill Bagley

March 22nd, 2011
4:37 pm

I am a Statistical Scout. I take Cognitive, Behavioral, and Performance Metrics, run them through an algorithm, to pick winners, and rate Draft picks. I am also a big Falcons Fan. I truly believe that, Blank, Smith, Ryan, and the rest of the Falcons are headed for the Super Bowl. I would love to help them get there. With what the team already has, it would be easy. None of my comments need to be taken on faith. I just, “DID THE MATH.”

Sid

March 22nd, 2011
4:53 pm

Joey March 22nd, 2011 8:43 am
************************************

very good!

Sid

March 22nd, 2011
4:54 pm

Bill Bagley March 22nd, 2011 4:37 pm
*******************************************

very good!

Sid

March 22nd, 2011
4:56 pm

I think Darrell just needed a column, it wasn’t a real interview. This kid won’t be a Falcon, at least not in the draft.

Bill Bagley

March 22nd, 2011
5:08 pm

With a 10 Wonderlic, Green’s Index is a 61. He has the performance potential that rates 61% of the average WR, in the Draft. If the Falcons can get him cheap, he may help with special teams, but is too much of a gamble for a play after play performance.

Bill Bagley

March 22nd, 2011
5:49 pm

If Fannin has a 21 Wonderlic, like Cam Newton, he will index at 150. If that is the case. Grab Him! This guy has a physical tourque Index of 114. In football torque is valued more than speed. This high torque will get him moving fast, will make hard to catch, and even harder to stop.

True Falcon Fan

March 22nd, 2011
7:17 pm

Comon Man, Cam Newton his score was worse than AJ Green. You’re a smart guy, no one needs to tell you the “Lic” scores of these chumps, you already know them “RIGHT”?? Give us back, BLAH, BLAH, BLAH
If you are looking for J.O.B. in the scouting department call Falcons HR for interview. You talk like like you know something. However my guess is “NOPE”!

True Falcon Fan

March 22nd, 2011
7:18 pm

I meant “break not back” – respectfully