ESPN draft guru Mel Kiper gives the Falcons a ‘C’

ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper gave the Falcons' 2012 draft a 'C' when we chatted on Monday. (Associated Press/Gail Burton)

ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper gave the Falcons' 2012 draft a 'C' when we chatted on Monday. (Associated Press/Gail Burton)

ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper completed his 29th draft on television on Saturday.

After the dust has settled, he was ready to dish out some grades on Monday. 

He gave the Falcons a “C” for their 2012 draft. He felt the Falcons reached for Southern Mississippi tackle Lamar Holmes in the third round and questioned whether defensive end Jonathan Massaquoi fits their 4-3 defensive schem.

“In terms of Atlanta, Peter Konz he can play center,” Kiper said. “He can play guard. He gives you a lot of versatility inside. He’s getting stronger. He went from 18, 19 reps [lifting 225 pounds] to 23 [times.] He’s very athletic. Moves well and can trap as well. I like him. He was projected to be a late [first round pick.] Nobody would have argued if a team like Baltimore or Green Bay would have taken him in the late first [round].”

The Falcons traded down in the third round before selecting Holmes with the 91st overall pick.

“I was surprised Lamar Holmes went where he did,” Kiper said. “I just didn’t see it. He was another guy that we talked about. I didn’t see it. They did obviously. They liked what he was able to bring to the table for them in the third round. I thought he was a late-round pick.”

The Falcons, who have a Pro Bowl fullback on the roster in Ovie Mughelli, went for fullback in the fifth round.

“I liked Bradie Ewing,” Kiper said. “I thought he was the best fullback in the draft.”

With the fifth round pick they received from Baltimore for sliding back six spots in the third round, they selected Massaquoi, a Central Gwinnett High product.

 “Massaquoi, I thought would be a 3-4 outside linebacker,” Kiper said. “They are taking him as a pass rusher, which he showed that at Troy. They were even dropping him in coverage some. He could have been pinning his ears back a little more and his sack total would have been higher.”

Kiper approved of the selection of Mississippi State safety Charles Mitchell in the sixth round.

“Mitchell went a couple of rounds later than what some thought,” Kiper said. “He was a nice sixth-round pick.”

The Falcons, who didn’t have a pick in the first and fourth rounds because of the Julio Jones trade, picked South Carolina defensive tackle Travian Robertson in the seventh round.

“I gave them a C grade,” Kiper said. “I just thought Holmes was a major reach in the third round. Does Massaquoi really fit their system? He’ll probably be a situational pass rusher. It’s kind of a mixed opinion on them. Overall, it’s a C grade. They got some guys that will make that football team and a couple of guys that will probably help them this year.”

–D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta Falcons beat blog

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89 comments Add your comment

Jordan

April 30th, 2012
4:35 pm

I understand Kiper’s grade, Falcons really threw everything they had at fixing the offensive and defensive line

FalconDawg

April 30th, 2012
4:39 pm

I can live with the selections. I believe most of their of choices will make the team better.

GT Alum

April 30th, 2012
4:46 pm

Idk, with these draft gurus, my question is always if they’re so good at evaluating talent, why aren’t they in some team’s FO?

bigcalidawg

April 30th, 2012
4:46 pm

No need to apologize for a guy who rushes the passer better than he drops back into coverage. We took an absolute stiff DE in free agency and Abe ain’t gettin’ any younger………

bigcalidawg

April 30th, 2012
4:47 pm

Oh yeah………good afternoon Led.

Forgot my home trainin’

jimb

April 30th, 2012
4:51 pm

Kiper doesn’t know anything more about the new co-ordinators’ schemes than the rest of us do so he really has no idea what the Falcons were lookiing for. A C grade might be all right given in a vacuum, but these selections were made for very specific purposes and with heavy input from the new co-ordinators, the new line coach, and others. Time to wait and see.

CaliDirtyBird

April 30th, 2012
4:51 pm

Year in year out the “experts” grade the bad teams with more and/or higher picks better. So in reality getting an average grade is generally a good thing! LOL at the “experts”. The “experts” mostly liked the Peria Jerry and Sam Baker picks, which were our worst picks since TD took over!

The Grinch

April 30th, 2012
4:53 pm

He must not be aware that our 4-3 scheme is being modified by a 3-4 coordinator to “incorporate 3-4 principles.” But how would he be expected to know who Mike Nolan is or what he does? Kiper covers too much to know a lot about everything, which is why I always take him with a grain of salt.

L.A. Mont

April 30th, 2012
4:57 pm

Those grades are soley based on where the experts think a guy should have been drafted in their draft boards. Some players don’t fit the scheme, so a team will have a player graded higher than another. You draft the best fit for your team and roll with it. Really though DOL, once you get past the first two rounds, is there really that much difference between a 3rd Round pick and a 6th Round pick?

johnm

April 30th, 2012
5:02 pm

ill say it again, i think mock drafts and draft grades are completely rediculous and without an ounce of merit. I know its how things have been done for awhile but its alot like asking miss cleo who your team should pick or asking the team cheerleaders to scout talent. It just doesnt make sense. If you ask me, in all honesty, mel kiper should be out of a job.

dom

April 30th, 2012
5:03 pm

I didn’t think much of Kiper’s analysis at all. He listed cornerback as one of the Falcons’ key needs – meaning he either forgot about Asante Samuel’s acquisition or didn’t update his list of team needs after that trade – then graded the Falcons down for not meeting some of those ‘needs’. I mean, come on…this is your one job Kiper. Have to get that stuff right.

ernisTbass

April 30th, 2012
5:06 pm

The clown’s favorite singer is Barry Manilow and he puts mayo on his fries from Big Kahuna Burger, That’s enough for me not to care about his opinion on anything else in the world. Didn’t he really like Glen Dorsey??

Hamp

April 30th, 2012
5:08 pm

Mel kiper is wrong a lot more than he is right he is not even the best anaylist at ESPN he has been lapped by the other guy. I bought a so called draft magazine and most of the players were taken way later. especially the Linemen O and D they were all over the page. It is easy to hit on the givens. Now if you look at Mayock at NFL network he was more or just as much right as wrong and had way more insight on the not thought to be super stars. Mel hasn’t been right in years. I don’t mind the C grade but he is in no position to give any grades anymore scouting has passed him by!

Buford78

April 30th, 2012
5:08 pm

The average Joe sitting at most any sports bar knows as much as Mel Kiper Big Hair. The Falcons did great with where they drafted.

skyrock714

April 30th, 2012
5:10 pm

the Grinch…. True that. The grading is all for the drama and TV entertainment. Grades shouldn’t truly be passed out until about three years after draft. I’d like to know the percentages on all these analyst that give grades. I could care less about a low or high grade from these guys. In the end, it really mean nothing. Go Falcons!!

PMC

April 30th, 2012
5:14 pm

A day after the draft, whatever.

If theres anything everyone should know about Dimitroff it’s that thier draft board does not go from top to bottom based solely on talent. He makes out of left field picks every single year because he really values team captain/4 year starter/team leader types.

This draft fit his philosophy pretty consistently. I feel like they filled the biggest immediate needs.

Mel does a great job of giving us an idea of what kinds of players are in the draft at all levels. His show is pretty good too. I could care less about grades.

ATL fan 2012

April 30th, 2012
5:15 pm

Won’t really know about these players for about 4 years. Trust those upstairs know something the fans don’t. Can’t get why the team passed on Vin Curry, DE; and Big Bob Massie, OT. Both were available as the Cards & Rams are raving about getting each. Charles Mitchell seems to be another Grimes but who needs another short DB covering 6′6″ receivers. Massaqui instead of Curry (no way). Konz who has a weak upper body and other health challenges over Massie? I really don’t get it but I trust

bigcalidawg

April 30th, 2012
5:15 pm

How long has Kipe been tryin’ to grow out his natural?

Time for some braids……..

oldmike

April 30th, 2012
5:15 pm

Enough of Kiper. It’s easy to have opinions on draft choices and who is picked when and where when you have NO SKIN IN THE GAME! Until he is a GM somewhere his opinions though well researched have absolutely no credence!

PMC

April 30th, 2012
5:16 pm

If you’ve been injured and you’re a team captain somewhere, work the Falcons FO. There’s a job for you here.

JoBoo

April 30th, 2012
5:19 pm

Mel’s been wrong before….

ATL fan 2012

April 30th, 2012
5:22 pm

I trust the right choices were made as I support my team. They know something I don’t but I agree with the C grade by Kiper.

Brylcreem

April 30th, 2012
5:24 pm

ernis Tbass is right,
Mel Kiper thought the Falcons should have drafted LSU defensive tackle Glen Dorsey instead of Matt Ryan.
Dorsey was a bust.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

April 30th, 2012
5:28 pm

My editor just sent me an e-mail and basically said Kiper is the Devil himself! I think he’s a football Draft God!

D. Orlando Ledbetter

April 30th, 2012
5:29 pm

bigcalidawg – I don’t think Mel would look nice with braids.

fansince74

April 30th, 2012
5:29 pm

Mel Kiper compared JaMarcus Russell to John Elway too…

http://www.milehighreport.com/2012/4/26/2976967/2012-nfl-draft-how-credible-is-kiper.

Folks, Kiper and the so called experts miss on a lot of players.

Kiper is fun to listen to, entertaining, and makes you aware of a lot of players that maybe you haven’t heard of but he doesn’t know football like the Falcons GM and coaches.

Brad

April 30th, 2012
5:31 pm

Who cares what that bozo thinks. he never even played football. Idiot talking head.

Falcon Fanatic

April 30th, 2012
5:31 pm

I would grade it a C-. The Konz, Mitchell, & Robertson picks were great. The Massaquoi pick was mediocre since their was better talent out there at DE. The Ewing and especially the Holmes pick was terrible. Now if we used a fifth round pick on Holmes that would be one thing but a third rounder???? That was stupidity in the highest order right there.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

April 30th, 2012
5:31 pm

L.A. Mont — There isn’t much difference if they can play. But if you are taking guys in the third that you could have gotten in the 7th, then you are passing on a lot of good football players.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

April 30th, 2012
5:32 pm

bigcalidawg — Good evening to you my friend!!!

Chub Rock

April 30th, 2012
5:41 pm

For me this draft revolves around the Lamar Holmes pick at 91. Interested to see how this pick turns out. The FB pick is interesting. Mike Cox is on the roster at FB also. I can’t imagine carrying 2 FB’s. Ovie at 3 or 4 mill is ridiculous, 1.5 tops.

Chub Rock

April 30th, 2012
5:42 pm

Enter your comments here

Chub Rock

April 30th, 2012
5:43 pm

Wow type up a post and I guess it got blocked or something…dueces!!!

huh?

April 30th, 2012
5:45 pm

Bill Walsh never graded a player by round, only by need. He said grading players by round was for scouts to limit their liability in evaluating a players talent.

Glenn

April 30th, 2012
5:45 pm

Once again the Falcons early selection begins with a player with a history of injuries, just like Jerry and Moore, who both missed several games before they saw the field, and several games since. Neither lived up to their “hype,” which is precisely why other teams passed on these players for so long; they weren’t willing to risk spending such high draft choices on players who had medical issues in the past and there was even a possibility they would miss needed games.

Pat

April 30th, 2012
5:51 pm

About Kiper. Those who can do, those who cannot do teach, those who cannot teach analyze. ‘nough said.

Ackshun

April 30th, 2012
5:52 pm

Hmmm could the Falcons be gearing up for a move toward a balanced Defense with more 3-4 and Nickel schemes???

Dan

April 30th, 2012
5:57 pm

And with the 2013 first round pick The Atlanta Falcons select Tyler Eifert, Notre Dame, 6-6/251

Paul in NH

April 30th, 2012
6:01 pm

Pat

April 30th, 2012
5:51 pm
About Kiper. Those who can do, those who cannot do teach, those who cannot teach analyze. ‘nough said.
—–
Those whose analysis makes no sense talk at a rate of 100 words a minute, make 4 contradictory statements in the analysis – and in writing hide behind an ESPN paywall so that people can’t throw his opinions back at him 4 years later.

Big Crimson 75

April 30th, 2012
6:06 pm

Negative Dan — with the first selection in 2013, the Atlanta Falcons select Barrett Jones – OL – University of Alabama!!!

If Kiper, Mayock & lil McShay really knew what they were doing, chances are they’d be employed somewhere in the NFL!!!!!!

Sausage King of Chicago

April 30th, 2012
6:17 pm

Someone on 680 called Holmes a coke machine with arms. Sounds like help on 4th down and 1 against Osi Ominyura

Falcon Jim (the real one)

April 30th, 2012
6:26 pm

Sausage: Sweet and yet tough, that’s what I call a man….can’t wait to meet you Holmes. Sausage, you seem to have good insight on the Falcons draftees…do you mind if we meet up sometime?

Jackson

April 30th, 2012
6:32 pm

Ha, I take Mayock and McShay any day over Kiper.

Bottom line is ATL did alright. They addressed the needs. If Holmes pans out, and I think he will. This will turn out to be a good draft.

bama52

April 30th, 2012
6:39 pm

Konz and Holmes seem to have quickness with their size,so we expect them to start. Come on O-Line we need you now. GO FALCONS!!!!!

torgo

April 30th, 2012
6:44 pm

This grade is coming from the dude who blasted the Colts for taking Marshall Faulk rather than Trent Dilfer or Heath Shuler.

Darth Helmet Hair also said it didn’t make sense for the Falcons to draft fullback Justin Griffith after Bob Christian retired because “they don’t need another running back”.

“C” is probably fair for our draft. Kiper’s haircut gets a D-.

snips11

April 30th, 2012
6:47 pm

I think we made the most out of this draft, Konz was a steal and will start immediately either at guard or center. Unfortunately I think Ovie is gone, I like our chances next year!

Bell Bottoms

April 30th, 2012
6:49 pm

The grade was accurate. We will go 9-7 for the season.

Grady

April 30th, 2012
6:59 pm

Man…if anything Kiper’s grade is a tad high. That draft was awful aside from Konz and maybe Massaquoi’s potential. Ewing could’ve been picked up as a FA. Great going TD the wiz kid….D+ at best.

Grady

April 30th, 2012
7:03 pm

Falcon Jim, I see u at it again! Quit embarassing yo’self man. This is a football site. Once and for all, you lookin’ to hook up?? LOL, you like a woman with PMS.

OPEN YOUR EYES

April 30th, 2012
7:08 pm

@GRADY…………………I TOLD U MAN HE IS A SICK HUMAN BEING!!!!!!