FLOWERY BRANCH – You all can stop by and grade the Falcons’ draft today.
Here are my four thoughts before I head off to do my civic duty and serve as a judge for the Falcons cheerleader tryouts.
Also, there are a bunch of unreliable and unconfirmed free agent signings out there on Twitter. I’m going to wait for the team’s official list on Monday.
Here’s a look at the draft pick and remember to leave your draft grade for the Falcons:
Peter Konz, C/G
Second round (55th overall)
6-foot-5, 313 pounds
Hometown: Neenah, Wis.
Notes: Konz was considered the top center in the draft. He was very effective blocking in Wisconsin’s inside zone-blocking scheme and was skilled at getting outside on toss sweeps. They also ran a lot of inside-power and play-action. “Konz has Pro Bowl potential written all over him if he can prove durable and play an entire year,” ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. said. “He is a huge anchor with outstanding athleticism. … He could be a factor at guard as well with the way he pulled and trapped at the center position with the Badgers.” Konz says he models his game after Nick Mangold. “He went to Ohio State and is a great player. He was a tough and physical guy. … Joe Thomas, a great Wisconsin offensive lineman. Every offensive lineman at Wisconsin tries to be like Joe in one aspect or another. We just try to be solid people and great football players.”
Lamar Holmes, offensive tackle
Third round (91st overall)
6-foot-6, 334 pounds
Hometown: Gastonia, N.C.
Notes: Started his career at Itawamba Community College before transferring to Southern Mississippi. He played right and left tackle in junior college. In 2011, he played in all 13 games at Southern Miss, making six starts at left tackle. He was a first-team all-Conference USA pick last season after starting 14 games at left tackle. He was a team captain. He was projected as late pick by the Pro Football Weekly and rated as the 29th- best tackle in the draft by ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper. “It was great being a captain, because my teammates voted for me,” Holmes said. “Coming from junior college, they really didn’t have to do that because they didn’t know me. I guess they voted me as captain because they seen me work hard every day.”
Bradie Ewing, fullback
Fifth round (157th overall)
5-foot-11, 243 pounds
Hometown: Richland Center, Wis.
Notes: Started his career as a walk-on for the Badgers. After his second season he was awarded a scholarship. He is noted for his blocking. He registered 30 touchdown-resulting blocks as he cleared the way for running back Montee Ball. He caught all 28 passes targeted to him last season and 19 of those catches went for first downs and 16 were of 10 yards or more. He was a team captain. “I’m just a versatile guy,” Ewing said. “I can do all the things as a fullback. I can block. I can catch. I can split out as a receiver. I think it’s my versatility [that the Falcons liked].”
Jonathan Massaquoi, defensive end
Fifth round (164th overall)
6-foot-2, 264 pounds
Notes: Massaquoi, who moved to the United States from Liberia when he was six months old, played for Bradley Warren at Central Gwinnett. He committed to Troy coming out of high school, but started his career at Butler Community College in Kansas. He played there for a year before honoring his commitment to Troy. “He’s another guy coming out of a Troy program that has been quietly supplying the NFL with good players over the past several years,” ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper said. “Massaquoi was a good, solid player at Troy for two years.” Massaquoi ran the 40-yard dash in 4.78 seconds at the scouting combine, had a 33 1/2 inch vertical jump and lifted 225 pounds 20 times.
Charles Mitchell, strong safety
Sixth round (192nd overall)
5-foot-11, 203 pounds
Hometown: Clarksdale, Miss.
Notes: Played in 50 games and made 38 starts for the Bulldogs. He was a hard hitter with 188 tackles and four career interceptions. He played as a freshmen after being named Mississippi’s Gatorade player of the year. “Mitchell is an athletic kid with good range in the secondary,” ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper said. “He has just average speed, but very impressive leaping ability, and he can play either free or strong safety. … He will be a borderline starter in the NFL. … He’ll also be an asset on special teams.” He ran the 40-yard dash in 4.52 seconds at Mississippi State’s Pro Day. He lifted 225 pounds, 19 times and had a 37-inch vertical jump at the scouting combine. He was a team captain.
Travian Robertson, Defensive tackle
Seventh round (249th overall)
6-foot-4, 300 pounds
Hometown: Laurinburg, N.C.
Notes: He started all 14 games in 2010 after his 2009 season was cut short by injury. He finished with 42 tackles, 10 tackles for losses and four sacks. He started all 13 games for the Gamecocks last season and had 49 tackles and a blocked a kick. He was a team captain. He was a preseason all-SEC second-team pick by Phil Steele. He was considered a key player in the interior of the Gamecocks’ defense and was known for getting great penetration and having a high motor. Robertson has earned his degree in criminal justice. Overall, he started 32 of 56 games he played in at South Carolina. He was rated as the 25th-best defensive tackle in the draft by ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper.
–D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta Falcons beat blog