Mel Kiper doesn’t believe the Falcons will take Heyward

Atlanta native Cameron Heyward, son of the late former Falcon Craig "Ironhead" Heyward, could land with the Falcons.  (The Ohio State University)

Atlanta native Cameron Heyward, son of the late former Falcon Craig "Ironhead" Heyward, could land with the Falcons. (The Ohio State University)

BIRDLAND – Ohio State defensive end Cameron Heyward, who played at Whitefield Academy and Peachtree Ridge High, could be available when the Falcons pick in the first round of the NFL draft.

ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper believes that Heyward is a better fit as a defensive end in a 3-4 defense. (He obviously hasn’t read my last Mock draft 4.0, where I have the Falcons taking Heyward to play in their 4-3.)

Kiper doesn’t believe that the Falcons will take Heyward because he doesn’t have superior pass rushing ability.

“They need somebody that can be a sack artist and be a guy that can get in that backfield,” Kiper said. “Cameron Heyward is a real good 3-4 defensive end. He could go to the New York Jets or the Green Bay Packers, those type of teams. He would fit the Pittsburgh Steelers, if they decide to get younger on the defensive line.”

The draft will be held April 28-30.


First Round

27. Atlanta Falcons (13-3)

Second Round

59. Atlanta Falcons

Third Round

91. Atlanta Falcons

Fourth Round

124. Atlanta Falcons

Fifth Round

158. Atlanta Falcons

Sixth Round

192. Atlanta Falcons

Seventh Round

209.  Atlanta Falcons (from Detroit in the Chris Houston trade)

228. Atlanta Falcons

229. Atlanta Falcons (from New England in the Quinn Ojinnaka trade)

–D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta Falcons beat blog

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28 comments Add your comment


April 7th, 2011
12:49 pm

This tastes bad coming out of my mouth but Kiper is right. In our division Heyward would be a first down only DE.

The Sham

April 7th, 2011
1:04 pm

We need a pass rusher DE/LB in a BAD way! That makes Abraham better, that makes the DB’s better, you stop them on 3rd down and give the ball back to the offense and that makes the TEAM better. Our game is ball control and when that QB pressure domino falls, the rest just falls in to place…


April 7th, 2011
1:23 pm

So who does Kiper think we’ll pick?


April 7th, 2011
1:31 pm


April 7th, 2011
1:53 pm

Kiper (& DOL) have many many many many mock drafts on the table… Then when ‘anyone’ is drafted in said slot, they boldly/proudly proclaim, “I had him slotted there”… No matter that it was their 7th mock draft & that was the only player in the entire draft that was taken in that specific mock…

Boo Yaaa


April 7th, 2011
2:22 pm

Why dont we try to trade up and get Bowers? Or will it cost to much to trade up and get him?


April 7th, 2011
2:27 pm

Walter says:

Atlanta Falcons: Brooks Reed, DE, Arizona

The Falcons really need to upgrade their pass rush; they had just 31 sacks during the regular season, and John Abraham isn’t getting any younger.

Atlanta likes defensive ends who can drop into coverage. Brooks Reed, a multi-year starter and a team captain, fits that description, and he’s the type of player general manager Thomas Dimitroff looks for.

I really think Reed could be drafted in the 16-27 range. Reed had a great Combine; he ran the fastest 10-yard split of all the defensive linemen. In fact, his 10-yard split was only 0.05 seconds slower than Clay Matthews’ – and we’ve all seen how explosive Matthews has been in Green Bay’s defense.


April 7th, 2011
2:53 pm

Why does anyone care what Mel Kiper thinks?

Cornerback Smurf

April 7th, 2011
2:54 pm

We need Patrick Peterson


April 7th, 2011
3:42 pm

I see the DE, CB, and WR position as being equally important. You can get excellent value at CB and WR at the #27 pick. Not so much at DE. With that being said, I see Atlanta trading out of the #27 pick and picking up an additional second round pick. The CB out of Miami (Harris) will be the first pick and WR Greg Little will be the second pick. They can get a “day one” DE starter in free agency (if it happens). Charles Johnson ??????

Falcons relax...

April 7th, 2011
6:48 pm

@ birddiryt WHO CAN WE GET AT WR WITH THE 27TH PICK that will make a immediate impact?? Green and Jones will be long gone. This isn’t a good WR drafts.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

April 7th, 2011
6:59 pm

Falcons relax — There isn’t a receiver worthy of the 27th pick. A receiver would be a major reach at 27. Answer, NOBODY.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

April 7th, 2011
7:01 pm

Snoopy — Things change. I only grade the one that runs on draft day!

D. Orlando Ledbetter

April 7th, 2011
7:04 pm

Sid — Brooks Reed has a second round grade. 48th player in the draft.

Big Ray

April 7th, 2011
8:22 pm

Well then it probably won’t be Brooks Reed, then….

Kiper is a guy I believe over, say…Todd McShay.


April 8th, 2011
9:01 am

Torrey Smith and Leonard Hankerson are both worthy of the #27 pick. If you look at recent draft history, the best WR are selected late in the first round and in the second. And DOL, as pass rushing DE is more of a reach at #27 than WR. What DE left on the board at 27 would come in and provide an IMMEDIATE pass rush opposite Abraham. Answer, NO ONE!!!


April 8th, 2011
11:08 am

I agree Falcon57, we need a CB in the worst way. How soon some of us forget the Green Bay playoff game. After Grimes and Robinson, we are thin, experienced, and plain not good. I like Brandon Harris out of Miami. Also, keep an eye on Ras I Dowling in the second round. I kinda reminds me of Antonio Cromartie with his build and style of play. I could see him eventually playing outside with Grimes moved into the slot on obvious passing downs. Throw him into the mix with Owens and Franks and maybe a veteran FA. Also, I like Greg Little, WR out of North Carolina. After watching his highlights, he plays like Dez Bryant. This dude is good. If we trade out of #27, we can get both in the second I believe.


April 8th, 2011
11:09 am

I meant “inexperienced” at corner.


April 8th, 2011
11:14 am

Kiper’s right on this on. Cameron Heyward = Jamaal Anderson. Not an upgrade at all.


April 8th, 2011
6:31 pm

hiramsaint doesn’t believe heyward wants to be taken by the falcants. the dude is a winner with buckeye blood and saints dna !


April 9th, 2011
1:27 am

Over the years we have given the Falcons’ CBs a hard time. Truth be told, we really don’t know how good (or bad) these guys really are. We have yet to find a way to put pressure on the QB. No pressure on the opposing teams QB and your secondary gets torched. Almost ever team with somewhat of a hint of a passing game looked stellar against our defense last season. WHY? NO PASS RUSH.

This might be off the subject but the question I have is this: What makes the Falcons any different from the Steelers, Jets, or Packers? Those teams have exotic blitz packages and really get after the QB. Don’t we have athletes on the same level or better than the aforementioned teams? I believe we do.

It won’t matter what type players we draft if we continue to employ this antiquated Cover 2 defense. The teams that go deep into the playoff have one thing in common. EXOTIC BLITZ PACKAGES.

Just a thought.


April 9th, 2011
1:31 am

Cam Hey may be a small upgrade to JA. I like the kid from Miami, Allen Bailey at this spot. He’s a specimen. Big and fast. Not sure about his full body of work. Only seen highlights on


April 9th, 2011
11:15 am



April 9th, 2011
5:09 pm

Some of you clowns tickle me. Is Clayborn is there at 27, TD will jump at him. If no other DE is there at 27, he will most likely trade down for more picks. No way does he reach for a WR with that pick.

Falcons relax...

April 9th, 2011
11:26 pm

@ birddirty YOUR WRONG. History?? History doesn’t show that late WR makes impact when theres a guarantee that 2 FRANCHISE WRS ahead of him. Green and Jones are the only impact WR’s. Smith isn’t worth the pick. If we take him it would be reaching and TD doesn’t do that. Thats your opinion…IT ISN’T FACT. Your saying that DE is the position where there won’t be an impact? ARe you serious…theres like 6 or 7 1st grade DE’s in this draft. And only 2 gurantee WR’s who will be taken in the 1st round

Hankerson is a 2nd round grade. You sound like Al Davis or something. YOUR REACHING WITH PICKS and misunderstanding the value of those picks. DRafting Smith or Hankerson IS NOT EXCELLENT VALUE AS YOUR CLAIMING. D-Led agreed with me, but hey your opinion. In 3 weeks get ready to NOT watch that happen. lol! We’re not taken a WR in the 1st round. Theres no point. It would be DE if anything. I want pouncey though

Falcons relax...

April 9th, 2011
11:30 pm

@ D-Led I figured that was the answer. LMAO!!! Some falcons make me laugh when they scream WR when this isn’t a good WR draft. Its just DEEP thats all. Green and Jones are the only stand out guys. Others are just “pieces.” Guys who will just take a roster spot. Nothing special. Might have one Miles Austin or Marques Colston. But nothing special. Hence we shouldn’t take a WR til late rounds for Finnerans spot


April 10th, 2011
7:24 pm

How about Quinn if he falls to 27?

MR.true fan

April 10th, 2011
10:24 pm

the falcons need to trade the 1st round pick for a 2 and 3 round picks then we would have 2 extradraft picks we could draft a cb and wr in thw 2round then go after other needs blank open the check book up go get the best defensive of players money can buy