Despite coach Mike Smith’s support for left tackle Sam Baker, a few more signs are pointing toward the Falcons addressing the position in the upcoming draft.
On March 14, the Falcons had left tackle Demetress (formerly spelled Demetrius) Bell, guards Jake Scott and Adam Snyder in for visits.
The Philadelphia Eagles signed Bell last Wednesday after Jason Peters ruptured his right Achilles tendon.
Scott (6-5, 283) played right guard with the Colts (2004-07) and Titans (2008-11). He started 121 games and played in 124 NFL games.
Snyder (6-5, 316) played seven seasons for San Francisco (2005-2011). He started 69 of 107 games over his career.
The Falcons have also worked out Delaware guard/center Gino Gradkowski, Iowa State left tackle Kelechi Osemele, California left tackle Mitchell Schwartz and Oklahoma left tackle Donald Stephenson, according to the ProFootbalTalk.com’s visit tracker.
Gradkowski (6-2, 299) is the 8th best center in the draft according to Pro Football Weekly.
Osemele (6-5, 320) is the 12th rated tackle. (Second to third round projection).
Schwartz (6-5, 319) is the fifth rated tackle. (Second to third round projection).
Stephenson (6-5, 312) is the 14 rated tackle. (Fourth to fifth round projection) Stephenson dazzled scouts at the combine and has to the measurables to project as an NFL starter, but he was just a one-year starter for the Sooners.
“I think it’s more likely that they are looking at improving their offensive and defensive lines,” Pro Football Weekly draft analyst Nolan Nawrocki said when I asked him about the tight ends in the draft. “Those are the highest priority areas on that team. They really struggled on the offensive line a year ago.”
The Falcons, after struggling in short yardage situations last season, are clearly trying to get bigger up front.
“I think they’ve got to. . . figure out what they want to be on that line,” Nawrocki said. “They’ve kind of got a hodge-podge of guys that don’t truly fit a power blocking scheme. They are not necessarily a zone or movement type unit either. It’s kind of a mixture.
“I think they really have to solidify what they really want to become. They’d like to get bigger and establish the ground game. I think that’s where Mike Smith would like to go.”
Another name to add to the list of prospects is Miami of Ohio guard Brandon Brooks.
“I could see them really concentrating on the offensive line,” Nawrocki said. “The guard from Miami of Ohio, Brandon Brooks, who was not invited to the combine, is a player to watch. After his pro day, I think he’ll get into the second round. I think he’d be a nice fit for a team like the Falcons.”
Here are some of the other DRAFT SPOTLIGHTS:
Players that the Atlanta Falcons reportedly held a workout with, visited the team facility or both.
Oklahoma receiver Ryan Broyles.
Alabama defensive tackle Josh Chapman.
Vanderbilt defensive end Tim Fugger.
Delaware guard/center Gino Gradkowski.
Louisiana-Lafayette tight end Ladarius Green.
Vanderbilt cornerback Casey Hayward. Click here for STORY.
South Carolina defensive end Melvin Ingram.
Montana defensive back Trumaine Johnson. Click here for STORY.
Cincinnati tight end Adrien Robinson.
California offensive tackle Mitchell Schwartz.
Virginia Tech running back David Wilson.
Iowa State offensive tackle Kelechi Osemele.
Oklahoma offensive tackle Donald Stephenson.
Illinois safety Tavon Wilson.
The Falcons traded away their first and fourth round picks of the 2012 draft as part of the Julio Jones trade with the Cleveland Browns.
2nd Round (No. 55 overall)
3rd Round (No. 84 overall)
5th Round (No. 157 overall)
6th Round (No. 192 overall)
7th Round (No. 229 overall)
7th Round (Compensatory Selection, No. 249 overall)
–D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta Falcons beat blog