6 NFL Drafts in the Books
As the Falcons and Football “dead zone” rolls on, thought it would be a good idea to take a look at all of Thomas Dimitroff’s NFL Draft classes and see which ones were the best and which ones weren’t as good. Every franchise say they want to “build through the draft,” but Dimitroff and the Falcons actually put their money where their mouth is concerning drafting and keeping their own. In fact, they are only second to the Green Bay Packers in the NFL of drafting and keeping their own players.
Not only is the drafting part impressive, but what sets the Falcons GM and overall organization a part from the rest is the fact that they keep the players they want. It’s hard to think of any player they haven’t held onto if they’ve really wanted to keep them. Obviously, some have been a little better than others and some of the more recent ones have yet to be rendered a final verdict. But before we take a look at
Ridiculously too Soon Predictions
The thought of trying to predict what the Atlanta Falcons final 53 man roster and practice squad would be in May is preposterous when the final decisions won’t be made until September. But the official “Dead Zone” of Falcons and Football has approached full steam upon us and it can be a fun little exercise to think about what the final squad might look like. Sure, like predicting the draft, it’s an effort in futility, but at least it’s something to think about as the Falcons enter the 2013 season. With the new draft picks and signings, there will be plenty of battles going on for roster spots and the infusion of some talented undrafted free agents the fight for practice squad places will be fierce as well.
Matt Ryan – does anything really need to be said? No.
Dominique Davis - the decision to let Luke McCown walk (to the hated Saints nonetheless) was hopefully a decision that the
Longshots to Make the Roster
The odds are very low for any NFL team for a player that went undrafted in their mission to make an NFL 53 man roster. It of course does happen, and some of them even turn into Pro Bowlers. Arian Foster went undrafted, as did many other fantastic professional football players. But that is the definitely the exception to the rule. For the sheer amount of undrafted free agents that try out on NFL teams, it’s a miniscule percent that actually make it on the practice squad, much less make the jump all the way up to the active 53 man roster.
Although it’s highly unlikely, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. The Falcons have shown to be a team more than willing to take a chance on players that weren’t heralded, but came in and put their nose to grindstone, worked, and willed themselves on the team. The Falcons have had several examples of undrafted free agents making the squad. Quarterbacks John Parker
Mixed Reviews from Most Fans
Another Falcons draft has come and gone, and yet again the reviews are mixed with most Atlanta fans. Even with all the research in the world, GM Thomas Dimitroff proved to be his normal and completely unpredictable self, trading picks at will to get the players he wanted. Many fans predicted the Falcons would go cornerback and some even predicted they would take CB Desmond Trufant in the first round. That’s where the correct predictions ended.
In all, they took in 2 cornerbacks, 2 defensive ends, 1 tight end, 2 safeties, and 1 quarterback. Most are happy with the players selected, or can tolerate them, but the idea that the Falcons brought home exactly 0 linebackers, defensive tackles, or offensive linemen is perplexing to say the least. Even though many were initially upset at taking two cornerbacks with the first two picks, what was once one of the biggest weaknesses had immediately been transformed into
Let the Mocks Roll………
It’s that time again ladies and gentlemen, one of The Cage’s most enjoyable posts throughout the entire year: Atlanta Falcons Full Mock Madness Competition. It’s truly hard to believe that is the 5th annual one and it’s a great way to get the draft juices flowing and ready for the big day. The spreadsheet should make it much easier this time around instead of just shooting arrows in the dark. If you haven’t received it yet, please email me at email@example.com and I’ll be happy to send it to you ASAP. Will try to get some Falcons SWAG for the champion of our little friendly competition.
Rules and Regulations
All mocks are due by Thursday (Draft Day) by 6 pm. You can either send them to my email, post them on the blog or both. If you have done them in the past, it makes it easier if you can repost them on the new thread.
You can submit up to 10 mocks if you want to, but only the
A Very Strong Draft Class
After months and months of research, analysis, debate, and discussion, the big day is finally almost upon us. With a little less than a week away, it’s like the build-up to Christmas morning to some, but for others it’s just a way to pass the time until real games actually start. Of all the drafts in the Dimitroff Era, this one appears to be one of the hardest to predict. And that’s saying something for the extremely stealth and sly Mr. Dimitroff. There’s a general consensus that this draft seems similar to the draft of 2009 that spent every pick on defense except one. There are many unproven players and a ton of holes on defense, so the belief is that it’s not a matter of if the Falcons go defense, but when and how often.
Linebacker is an area that is less certain than cornerback. Even though most all fans believe that linebacker is a major concern, there’s not necessarily any indication that the
A Look at Some D-Line Prospects
The Atlanta Falcons have long suffered on defense and many believe the main culprit to be a weak defensive line. That’s a pretty tough argument to undercut since the pass rush has consisted of John Abraham, John Abraham, and the occasional Jonathan Babineaux. They have rotated, brought in, semi-developed, and drafted players to no avail. The lone high draft pick in the Smith / Dimitroff Era was Peria Jerry and that’s a microcosm for the past five years: supposedly loaded with potential, but actual production is nil.
It’s a pretty damning statement when the only two successful defensive linemen (at least consistently) were holdovers from the previous regime. Sure, there’s been spurts and flashes here and there, but surely nothing to write home about. Meanwhile, teams in the Falcons own backyard are finding ways to develop pass rushers. Former Bucs DE Michael Bennett was an
A Projected OL Under 30
In a fairly surprising move, the Atlanta Falcons released long time right tackle and 2010 Pro Bowler Tyson Clabo. The former Wake Forest product may not have always been lights out as he was in 2010, but he’s surely been solid and one of the biggest stalwarts on the Falcons otherwise unsettled and inconsistent offensive line.
In terms of pure numbers, it’s not hard to see why the Falcons made the move, at least in the long term. Clabo had $11.5 million guaranteed in his contract and had been paid $6.85 mill to date. Very rough estimates only had the Falcons saving $1.4 million this year and creating well over $4 million in dead money (which seems to piling up) this season, but takes him completely off the books after this season.
It’s hard to believe this is a move that signals the Falcons will use the money on the open market but more about clearing the space for the future while also going ahead and doing the inevitable.
Many Holes, Tons of Possibilities
As The Cage heads full steam into talking, researching, and analyzing the 2013 NFL draft, the biggest question always leads off with who the Falcons will take first. The draft will contain anywhere from 5 to 11 new players, span 3 days, and cover 7 rounds, but the first pick is what everyone talks about the most. Also, it determines what direction the rest of the draft can and will take, along with what impact may be felt the most in the upcoming season.
Good Batting Percentage
Thomas Dimitroff has a pretty good slugging percentage on 1st round picks. Matt Ryan won rookie of the year, been to two Pro Bowls, set franchise records, and is one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL. Julio Jones was elected to his first Pro Bowl in year 2, and nearly broke 1,000 yds receiving as a rookie. Sean Weatherspoon may not have earned a Pro Bowl trip just yet, but he’s already
Working on new draft heavy post, but wanted to go ahead and get up a new thread letting you discuss all things new Atlanta Falcon Osi Umenyiora. Here’s some questions to help you out…….
1) What’s your overall thoughts on the signing: good, bad, or ugly?
2) Does this mean the Falcons are staying permanently in the 4-3 defense?
3) What’s your thoughts on the contract: 2 years, $5 mill guaranteed, $8.5 million overall, that could rise to $12 million with incentives.
4) Is this much better than just keep John Abraham?
5) Who will be lining up opposite Umenyiora? Biermann, Matthews, Massaquoi, or draft pick?
6) Speaking of, is there any way the Falcons can convince Abe to comeback for one more year on the cheap?
7) How does this affect the Falcons draft plans?
8.) Are the Falcons putting too many eggs in one basket with all these older vets?
9) Will Umenyiora being a two-time Super Bowl winner help in the locker