Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff, head coach Mike Smith and defensive line coach Ray Hamilton were apart of the group that went to Clemson to work out defensive tackle Brandon Thompson and defensive ends Andre Branch and Kourtnei Brown on Tuesday.
Thompson and Branch are projected to go in the top 50 picks of the NFL draft on April 26-28 in New York, but could slide a little if there’s a run at another position.
Brown (6-4, 242) is projected to be a priority free agent by Pro Football Weekly.
Thompson, of Thomasville, felt good about his showing.
“The work out went real good,” Thompson said via phone on Wednesday. “It went on for a little over an hour. I did everything I needed to do to impress them. Overall, it was a good performance.”
One of the Falcons strength coaches, likely Jeff Fish, led the work out.
“We mainly did agility drills to see what type of lateral movement I had and how light I was on my feet,” Thompson said.
He believes he can play any position along the line in the NFL, but most draft analysts have him projected at nose tackle.
“I will do whatever it takes to win,” Thompson said. “I feel comfortable playing zero out to five [technique]. Where ever they want me at, I’ll be happy to play it and I’ll dominate playing it.”
Thompson had 22.5 tackles for losses and 4.5 sacks over his career. He started 38 of 53 games he played for the Tigers.
He knows that the draft process is in its final stage.
“It’s just been a lot of training and meeting with different people,” Thompson said. “I’m just trying to network and get my name out there.”
Last season, Clemson defensive end DaQuan Bowers went to Tampa Bay in the second round after concerns about his knee.
“I’m proud of the production that we’ve had these last three or four years in the draft,” Thompson said. “We have just been working hard. We knew what kind of goals we wanted to set for ourselves. We knew we wanted to put ourselves in good situations when it comes to draft time. I feel like everyone that has left our [defensive] line, so far, has done that.”
At the end of the work out, Thompson received some good feedback from the Falcons.
“I feel like they were really happy with me and the way that I moved for my size,” Thompson said. “I’m weighing 320 now and I was moving good. So, I feel like I put on a good performance for them and they went away impressed.”
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