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