Falcons sign Lamar Holmes to a 4-year contract

Southern Mississippi offensive lineman Lamar Holmes, left, blocks Auburn offensive lineman A J Greene during a drill at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis, Saturday, Feb. 25, 2012. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

Southern Mississippi offensive lineman Lamar Holmes, left, blocks Auburn offensive lineman A J Greene during a drill at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis, Saturday, Feb. 25, 2012. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

Offensive tackle Lamar Holmes, the Falcons’ third-round draft pick, signed a four-year contract with the team on Tuesday.

The Falcons have signed five of their six draft picks.  Defensive end Jonathan Massaquoi remains unsigned.

Holmes was the 91st player selected overall. Last season, the Falcons selected linebacker Akeem Dent in the same spot. He received a four-year contract worth $2.67 million, which included a signing-bonus of $542,500.

The Falcons signed four of their draft picks, including top pick Peter Konz, who was selected in the second round, on Sunday. Konz signed a four-year deal worth $3.58 million with a $1.05 million signing bonus. Terms of the other deals were not disclosed.

In addition to Konz, the team signed fullback Bradie Ewing (fifth round pick), safety Charles Mitchell (sixth) and defensive tackle Travian Robertson (seventh).

The team is close to signing Massaquoi, the fifth round pick from Central Gwinnett High and Troy.

Here’s is Chrs Vivlamore’s story on Holmes:

FLOWERY BRANCH — Lamar Holmes is not short on self-confidence.

The trait has served him well throughout his football career — first high school, then college and now, he hopes, in the NFL.

The Falcons drafted Holmes in the third round last month, higher than the offensive tackle was projected to be taken. He was one of two selections made in an effort to improve an offensive line that struggled, especially in short-yardage situations, at times last season. The 6-foot-6, 333-pound Holmes, who played at Southern Mississippi, is ready to take the next step.

“I do,” Holmes said when asked following his selection if he could compete for a starting job with the Falcons. “I feel like I can come in there and be a contributor from Day 1, because I’m going to work and whoever is across from me, I’m going to make them work hard every day, all day.”

Holmes, who wears No. 76, was a spectator at the Falcons’ three-day rookie camp because of a toe injury that has him in a walking boot. Because he is injured, the Falcons would not allow Holmes to speak to the media.

His coach at Hunter Huss High in Gastonia, N.C., remembers the “big kid, a little overweight” who showed up in ninth grade and thought he was a basketball player. He played varsity right away, and according to coach Steve Gardner, it didn’t take long for Holmes to re-think his career options. By the time he was a sophomore he was no longer playing basketball.

“We’ve always known Lamar was going to go as far as he wanted to,” Gardner said. “He was always confident. He kept saying ‘I’m going to get the job done. I’m going to play in the NFL.’ You’ve got to admire that much confidence.”

While Hunter Huss produced NBA player Eric ‘Sleepy’ Floyd, Holmes is the first player from the school drafted into the NFL.

Holmes had FBS scholarship offers out of high school but not the sufficient test scores. That didn’t stop him. He played two years at Itawamba Community College in Mississippi before he transferred.

His coach at Southern Mississippi remembers the commitment Holmes made between his junior and senior seasons. According to Larry Fedora, now the coach at North Carolina, leadership was added to Holmes’ resume.

“He played his junior year and did a decent job, but he wasn’t a leader,” Fedora said. “The summer before his senior year he just took off. … He had potential because of his body size. He made a commitment to be a great player. He did everything we asked. He made himself into what he is.”

Holmes was voted a team captain before his senior season. He believes the selection was made, in part, because his teammates saw how hard he worked in the offseason.

Fedora believes the best is yet to come for Holmes in the NFL. He said the combination of the players’ length, athletic ability and footwork made him a good pass blocker. All were attributes that drew the Falcons’ attention. Fedora does not doubt Holmes will improve his run blocking to become a complete lineman.

“His best football is ahead of him,” Fedora said.

Holmes was predicted to be drafted between the fourth and sixth rounds. Fedora said he expected him to go higher when he received several phone calls from NFL teams inquiring about Holmes.

Holmes held private workouts for several teams, including the Falcons. A session for the Panthers at Huss High lasted two hours.

The Falcons traded down in the third round with the Ravens, moving from No. 84 to No. 91 overall to take Holmes.

When Holmes is able to practice, at the end of the month for minicamp and organized team activities, he will be cross-trained at both left and right tackle. He was strictly a left tackle at Southern Mississippi, but played on the right side in junior college. Falcons coach Mike Smith said Holmes could even move inside and play some guard.

“We really like his skill-set,” Smith said.

Holmes must unseat a veteran to earn a starting position in his first season. Tyson Clabo, who made the Pro Bowl in 2010, occupies the right tackle position. The Falcons started last season with Sam Baker at left tackle before Will Svitek took over the spot.

“I went to junior college when I was a freshman with my head down, just basically saying ‘I’ve got to go in there and take somebody’s spot. I’ve got to earn a job. I’ve got to be on the field. I’m not here to make friends,’” Holmes said. “I think that type of mentality, it carried me to where I am now. I went to Southern Miss with just the same mentality. And I’ve just got to keep doing it.”

–D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta Falcons beat blog

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56 comments Add your comment

JSS

May 15th, 2012
6:34 pm

Ledbetter, what’s the average (money) slotted for a third rounder against the cap?

Falcon James

May 15th, 2012
6:38 pm

DOL,
Do you know if the Falcon have any free agents are their radar right now? Should still have some room under the cap, right?

D. Orlando Ledbetter

May 15th, 2012
6:48 pm

JSS — a little under 5 percent from last year’s numbers

D. Orlando Ledbetter

May 15th, 2012
6:50 pm

Falcons James — This signing puts them at 89. Roster limit is 90. No free agents on the radar. The cap is irrelevant at this time of the year. Everyone is over to cover their 90 players. Top 51 players count.

Billy

May 15th, 2012
6:57 pm

D-Led any chances a Quality free agent tackle will be release from another team and were the falcons concerned about McNeil injuries?

1eyedJack

May 15th, 2012
7:09 pm

I’d feel a lot better about this pick if his name was Larry Holmes.

[...] Atlanta Falcons This entry was posted in Atlanta Falcons and tagged 4year, contract, Falcons, Holmes, Lamar, sign. Bookmark the permalink. ← Jones-Drew skips OTAs, wants contract extension (The Associated Press) [...]

D. Orlando Ledbetter

May 15th, 2012
7:17 pm

Billy — Nobody is cutting good tackles. Yes on McNeil’s injuries.

[...] Falcons have signed offensive tackle Lamar Holmes. He was the Falcons’ third-round pick from Southern Mississippi in the 2012 NFL [...]

jonkwithfalcons

May 15th, 2012
7:59 pm

It doesn’t matter what round they got picked..what matter is who is gonna be a great one 3 or 4 yrs from now, they either re-sign or go somewhere else for small or big contracts.

Him downstairs

May 15th, 2012
8:03 pm

Hey DOL, what’s the word on how Cody Pearcy looked as well as Michael Calvin in rookie camp and do you believe they will convert Calvin into a “hybrid” TE being the WR corps are a bit crowded and him being known as a blocking receiver with size and speed. I know he isnt 254 running a 4.38 (ala Vernon Davis) but when I heard of his signing that’s the only position I could seeing him with extensive time in the weight room competing for.

Hobbler

May 15th, 2012
8:05 pm

Leave it to the Falcons to draft 6 round talent in the 3rd round. At least they didn’t draft a weak leg kick off punter again.

hiramsaint

May 15th, 2012
8:06 pm

now the hobbler is 1 funny dude !

SeenThisB4

May 15th, 2012
8:09 pm

Dan

May 15th, 2012
8:18 pm

Lamar Holmes I wonder if he can play DT also?

Firsttimer

May 15th, 2012
8:59 pm

Some of you get to caught up in where a player was projected to go. Let’s see what Holmes brings to the table before you start your skepticism and doubt. He certainly has the size and a great attitude. Give the guy a chance to prove himself. Some of the great HOF OL were late round draft picks and draft picks who were little known. Let’s slow down and see what he can do. I have a feeling he will do just fine.

Quiz22

May 15th, 2012
9:29 pm

D-Led, did the Falcons ever get around to bringing in McNeill for a look-see? How do Falcons know extent or lack thereof on Marcus McNeill’s injuries if they never brought him in?

D. Orlando Ledbetter

May 15th, 2012
9:37 pm

Him downstairs — To tell the truth, the rookie camp was a bit ragged. They were crisp by the third day. Pearcy looked good running his routes. He caught a short route coming out the slot and showed his speed when he turned it up the field. Calvin stayed with the WRs all weekend.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

May 15th, 2012
9:41 pm

Quiz22 — No that have not. That are fine with their tackle group at the present time. They’ve re-stated that since the NFL scouting combine.

SirReal

May 15th, 2012
9:56 pm

D Led why do people keep talking about McNeill so much? I hate that he is hurt because thats what this game will do to ya but from just a football standpoint, he’s been hurt and no team except the Eagles brought him in to look at him. They didnt sign him and I haven’t heard anything else about any team looking at him. I think the man should just take a year off and heal up. I’m sure the brass at the branch feel similarly. Do you really think Baker will keep that job all season, even win it back for that matter? I’m very nervous about him coming back at LT…..as I’ve ALWAYS said…he is the weakest link of our line by far…

D. Orlando Ledbetter

May 16th, 2012
12:04 am

SirReal — McNeil had injury concerns coming out of Auburn and had a couple of scares in the NFL. The Falcons have repeatedly made the point that Baker played well when healthy in 2009 and 2010. We’ve (the media) given them several opportunites to go in another direction.

Joe Tess Fish House

May 16th, 2012
12:25 am

mi ben eriducated

FalconJim

May 16th, 2012
1:14 am

I like his size!!! And I hope the toe problem isn’t something that will give him trouble down the road.

The guy has the potential to be a monster, though!!!

Peachtree John

May 16th, 2012
2:51 am

I’m surprised at how low the dictated contracts are. It’s a great way to rid a team of overpaid athletes and replace them with underpaid athletes.

Watt of NC

May 16th, 2012
5:55 am

I really appreciate all the talk concerning my nephew Lamar Holmes(the good and the skeptical).. He’s humbled by the chance alone to play in the NFL. No doubt that he’s gonna give it his all. Even though the entire fam are STEELER fans, of course we have made room for The Falcons in our hearts…DOL, thanks so much for keeping us in the know…And the foot is doing just fine. He’s ready,

SimpleDawg

May 16th, 2012
7:54 am

I hope the big boy becomes all he thinks he can become.

No confidence in Baker……except as a throw pillow.

SeenThisB4

May 16th, 2012
8:10 am

DLed: If the rookie salaries are growing a little under 5 percent from last year, as you indicated earlier, then they are growing at an unsustainable rate. It may appear as an insignificant amount now, but wait till the end of the current CBA, those salaries will have taken a dramatic jump in size. The rookie salary rates should have stayed nearly to what they were last year, or a marginal increase measured in fractions of 1 percent, not “a little under 5 percent from last year’s numbers.” In two years, those players that got these rookie salaries since the new CBA, are going to be in position to want to get paid the big bucks, and that will repeat itself year after year, plus the future rookie salaries will start to inflate geometrically, and both sides will be back to arguing, which will ultimately lead to another labor standoff. Why can’t these general managers be given a sustainable salary plan to work with by the NFL?

Mike is Back

May 16th, 2012
8:16 am

DLed, good stuff…I like Holmes’s attitude…I think he could be last year Corey Peters…not spectacular…but steady. I’m glad to see TD bring in some big behemoths to compete on the OL.

Hopefully, the injury bug want cause Holmes to have a setback…he got some swag about him…I like that.

Statick

May 16th, 2012
9:01 am

Holmes to guard? Who the heck is Smitty fooling with that statement? What, is he trying to stick every player we drafted at friggin’ guard?

Paddy

May 16th, 2012
9:14 am

statick…..why would Smith want to fool anybody with trying Holmes at guard? It seemed like a very simple ans to the question asked. There are not boogy men behind each bush. Stop looking!

LexLuth

May 16th, 2012
9:28 am

You could say they are signing so quickly because they are such low round picks, but Mr Positve here….I like knowing all my boys are going to be in camp. Love me some big fat linemen. I like it!!

D man

May 16th, 2012
9:31 am

We needed bigger players on the O-line to compete with other teams up front. Last years game against NY in the playoffs proved that. I like our team and believe we will be in the playoffs again this year. I also believe the changes TD has made will make a positive difference. Can’t wait till training camp opens up this summer.

[...] Falcons rookie OT Lamar Holmes, “I feel like I can come in there and be a contributor from Day 1, because I’m going to work and whoever is across from me, I’m going to make them work hard [...]

Hugo

May 16th, 2012
9:33 am

Is there any chance the Falcons will look to add Safety James Butler? He is experienced and available. Has played on a Super Bowl Champion team too.

[...] Falcons signed offensive tackle Lamar Holmes Tuesday and have now inked five of the six picks from the 2012 draft class. The only remaining unsigned player is defensive end Jonathan [...]

PMC

May 16th, 2012
10:37 am

Well I sure hope they get more out of Holmes than they got out of Baker. I don’t know much about Holmes other than that he was probably a team captain and has good character.

I sure hope he can pass and run block.

PMC

May 16th, 2012
10:40 am

The team can lie to us all they want about Baker. The fact of the matter is that he was replaced with Svitek under live bullets and they tried a healthy Baker at Guard and he was worse than Garrett Reynolds.

They are not being completely honest about Baker hoping he can play better next year because they don’t have better options, but I seriously doubt he can beat out Svitek after last year.

St Simons - we're on Island time

May 16th, 2012
10:48 am

This guy is the real deal. And he’s growing. he’s not reached his potential.
If Noodle can strengthen up to at least linguini, they can go somewhere

SirReal

May 16th, 2012
11:24 am

Yeah, I hear ya D. Led. He was coming out of Auburn too. I’d rather him take care of himself long term. As far as Baker playing well in 2009-2010, I gracefully disagree with you on that. I actually think he was a product of better play by other linemen, especially when Dahl was there. Think about it, most of our sacks to Ryan came/come from which side? Left.lol Turner gets the LEAST yards when running to which side? Left.lol Cant Blame Blalock if his LT isnt getting the job done even though I will say Baker is a better run blocker by far. His skills as a pass protector are sub par to garbage in my opinion.

[...] Falcons rookie OT Lamar Holmes, “I feel like I can come in there and be a contributor from Day 1, because I’m going to work and whoever is across from me, I’m going to make them work hard [...]

Great News!

May 16th, 2012
12:24 pm

Another rookie for Lofton to destroy….who dat, we dat, Failcants ain’t dat….

South ga boy in the atl

May 16th, 2012
12:27 pm

Screamed this B4, your an idiot. The league is raking in 8 billion a yr in tv revenue alone, with a couple of tv contracts coming up for renewal, which will mean another increase for nfl. The rookie contracts for the first 2 rounds were cut by more than half, which I totally agree with, therefore the league can afford a 5 percent increase to the rookie wage scale with ease. Go back to your hallucinations about what a great off season the aint’s have had

Matty Ryanunyabizness

May 16th, 2012
12:31 pm

“Plays well when healthy…..” Man, if TD sees that, he’s all over him, especially if he has a first round pick.

That’s like me saying I play well when I have a different body and bigger muscles, DERP>

SeenThis B4

May 16th, 2012
1:11 pm

Hey South ga boy, the correct disparaging remark is: “YOU’RE” an idiot. If you’re going to call someone an idiot, how about not looking like a complete illiterate while you’re doing it?
And my question wasn’t based on what the rookie contract salaries are right now. The question was on the percentage increase from last year being projected over future years.

Jimmy Crack

May 16th, 2012
1:30 pm

The team can lie to us all they want about Baker. – PMC

That and the rest of what you said is spot on. What is Smitty going to say? “Sam has been a disappointment but we drafted him in the 1st Round and you know how that goes. We apologize in retrospect for not doing our homework before the draft but we were rushed by the run on O Tackles and he was the next available OT on the list. We can’t cut him now or everyone would say TD and I failed in our draft judgement, so we will use him in a diminished rotational role until someone steps up for more than one game in a row, and then we will release him quicker than a hot match.”

Jimmy Crack

May 16th, 2012
1:34 pm

It’s bad enough they are going to have to cut their 2009 #1 pick this summer, Two number ones cut in the same camp would be downright embarrassing.

Hudd

May 16th, 2012
1:47 pm

“The Falcons traded down in the third round with the Ravens, moving from No. 84 to No. 91 overall to take Holmes.”

That’s impossible. You can’t trade down to get a player, you trade up to have a better chance at him. If you stand by your statement, please explain.

big don

May 16th, 2012
2:25 pm

Love the size of this guy. don’t like the toe injury for first camp. Seems like a bad harbinger. (Bad omen for you Tech grads). Hope I’m wrong.

mudcat47

May 16th, 2012
3:31 pm

3rd round money for a 5th round talent. This guy will be gone in 3 years.

Phillip Castleberry

May 16th, 2012
5:42 pm

if he has heart he will be the man