Senior Bowl Review – Risers and Fallers

On or Off the Falcons Radar?

The Senior Bowl was fun to watch and provided a good glimpse at a number of players that may can make an impact for teams when the draft rolls around in April. Teams and fans alike will be looking for the obvious picks in the first round, but as the past has shown, drafting a player in the first round is anything but a lock, and many of the best players come later than the first round. The Falcons have a number of needs to address when the 2010 NFL Draft arrives. Some of the positions need immediate attention (OLB and CB) and some will need addressing very soon (TE and OL).

One of the most enjoyable things for fans to do as the off-season hits is to discuss what their biggest needs are to improve for the new season. Some of the needs are obvious, but its extremely interesting to see how often fans disagree on what the most pressing needs are, and for the Falcons, there’s even more scrutiny due to not having a second round draft pick. Several players showed flashes at the Senior Bowl and are likely on the Falcons radar:

Cornerbacks

The Falcons likely will add a cornerback in this year’s draft, but it’s a matter of when. Joe Haden, Florida, is widely accepted as the consensus number one cornerback and will likely be long gone by the time the Falcons select at #19. There seems to be a decent drop-off with the cornerbacks in the next group:

Patrick Robinson (Florida St) – Overall had a pretty good game. Definitely has skills on the perimeter. Showed good closing speed and athleticism. Made several sure tackles in space. A knock on him from draft experts was him taking plays off, one of which he was burnt down the sidelines by WR Mardy Gilyard. He also showed an ability to turn on the ball (already have a CB that has that issue; thanks JJ). Also had a crucial illegal hands penalty in the red zone.

Perrish Cox (Oklahoma St.) – Had a pretty decent day, but nothing outstanding. Showed some nice toughness and good ability in supporting the run. Players couldn’t play press coverage, which might be his strength due to his size. Had a few nice kick returns as well. Dismissed from the Cotton Bowl, so character might be an issue.

Kyle Wilson (Boise St.) – Was the big riser and the hot prospect during the Senior Bowl practices. Had a few nice plays on the ball, but nothing outstanding. Could be the victim of seriously raised expectations. Noticably dropped an easy interception. Not sure he’s a first round talent.  

Senior Bowl Conclusion: It’s impossible to take too much away from one game, particularly an all-star game, but based on Saturday’s performance, no cornerback seemed worthy of a first round pick, at least not at #19.

Outside Linebacker

Stephen Nicholas had a pretty good first year as a full-time starter, and Mike Peterson played good in coverage and was stout against the run, but he’s turning 34 this year. Peterson was always believed to be just a stop-gap and the Falcons have to get younger and more athletic at OLB:

Sean Weatherspoon (Missouri) – Had a pretty outstanding game. Showed why so many fans think the ‘Spoon might be the Falcons pick come April. Weatherspoon had excellent agility, nice speed and range, great coverage skills, and delivered some very big hits. Played mostly outside linebacker, but was lined up inside linebacker as well. In addition to his playing, he had energy and passion on and off the field. Is thought of as an excellent character and potential leader. Some draft experts think a 1st round pick would be a reach.

Roddrick Muckleroy (Texas) – Didn’t do anything fantastic or stick out very much in the game. Sergio Kindle is getting the most hype out of Texas, but many thought Muckleroy could rise up to the second round with a good combine and Senior Bowl, but didn’t stand out. Could be an option for the Falcons if they pass on OLB in the first.

Eric Norwood (South Carolina) – One of the best players to ever come through the University of South Carolina. Like Muckleroy, didn’t have a great day. One of the knocks on him is his lack of foot speed, and he did look slow at times, but whoever nabs this guys will get a steal, whenever he goes. Definitely an option if the Falcons pass on OLB first.

Taylor Mays (USC) – Yes, he is a safety, but he could easily slip down into a linebacker slot with his weight, aggressiveness, and coverage skills. Most teams will likely keep him at safety, but its definitely a possibility if the Falcons so desired. (Thanks WR)

Conclusion: Weatherspoon proved that he will bring energy and athleticism to whatever team drafts him. Question is whether he will be rated as a first or second round talent. Based on the game, likely that either Norwood or Muckleroy will slip to the third round.

Defensive Tackle

The Falcons spent their first round pick on Peria Jerry last year, have Jonathan Babineaux inked for a big contract, and developed 7th round pick Vance Walker into a legit NFL defensive tackle. Throw in Jamaal Anderson and you get the feeling if the Falcons spend any pick on D-Tackle, than it will be late.

Terrance Cody (Alabama) – Thought of as a first round talent in the middle of the college year, but his stock has seemingly dropped. His weight is obviously an issue, but he showed up looking out of shape at the weigh in. Will have to lose weight to improve his draft standing and be a legit 4 down player.

 Jeff Owens (Georgia) – Came out of the Senior Bowl as a big riser that helped himself a lot. After a fairly mediocre season at UGA, Owens was thought to be slipping to the second or even third round. Was hoping for an invite to NFL Scouting Combine and likely earned one. Could have possibly been around for the Falcons to select later in the draft for depth, but likely moved out of that range with his performance.

Cam Thomas (North Carolina) – Showed good agility for a big man (330+ lbs). Drew double teams throughout the game and still made plays. Very good feet for large defensive tackle. Good strength and power. Possibly a perfect fit for the 3-4 defense, rather than the Falcons 4-3.

Conclusion: The Falcons might be looking for a big body to challenge Thomas Johnson and Trey Lewis for roster spot and Cam Thomas might fit that bill very well, if he’s available.

 

 

Wide Receivers

The Falcons will likely be picking up a receiver at some point to add to their depth. Michael Jenkins inconsistent play combined with injuries to Brian Finneran and Harry Douglas would seemingly prompt the Birds to take a WR

Riley Cooper (Florida) – One of the hot prospects of the week with his route running, speed, and size, but had a less than stellar game. Most of which probably had to do with the inconsistent play from the South’s quarterbacks. Had a big drop on the very first series that hit him right in the hands.

Mardy Gilyard (Cincinnati) – Already thought to be one of the top wide receiver prospects, Gilyard had a big day and was good enough to gain MVP honors, if not for Brandon Graham. Had over 100 yards receiving and showed good speed on the perimeter and soft hands. Proved to have good leaping ability in being able to locate the ball. Likely way out of when the Falcons would select a wideout.

Jacoby Ford (Clemson) – Speed demon that may not have had a huge day, but showed his versatility in taking reverses, wide receiver screens, and had some nice returns as well. Will likely make a very good slot receiver and special teams threat for whatever team selects him.

Andre Roberts (The Citadel) – The all-time leading receiver for The Citadel showed that his size is not an issue by going up for the ball over the middle and snagging a pass very nicely in traffic. Was the South’s second leading receiver and probably raised his stock some.

Under Armour Senior Bowl at Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Ala.

Williams had a Big Day (Bill Starling)

Jeremy Williams (Tulane) – A candidate for Breakout Player of the Senior Bowl, according to The Bleacher Report. A receiver who was relatively unknown coming out of Tulane that has nice size (6’1, 205) and had a good game making several nice catch and runs. Led the South with 83 yards receiving and even had a very nice run of 27 yards on a reverse. Two knee injuries in his career will scare away many, but he has talent.

Conclusion: At least from the Senior Bowl, the Falcons appear to be in a very good position to add a wide receiver. Depending on what the Falcons will be looking for, a speedy slot receiver or big possession receiver, there appears to be a plethora of talent at wideout.

X-Factor

Javier Arenas (Alabama) – Many fans may want to throw their computer across the room on this one, because the last thing the Falcons need is another vertically challenged cornerback (Arenas is 5’9). But Arenas has proven that he can play with the best, is extremely talented and tough, great in run support and is an absolute sensation on special teams, as he proved in the Senior Bowl.

Brandon Graham (Michigan) – Came in under the radar, had an excellent week of practice, and an even better Senior Bowl. Was absolutely dominant in the game, totaling 2 sacks, 5 tackles for loss, and a forced fumble. Beat the best Tackles on display and probably raised himself into the first round, but many teams are eyeing him for a possible 3-4 OLB. Do the Falcons use a pick on a DE?

Based on the Senior Bowl, who should be on or off the Falcons radar?

176 comments Add your comment

Reid Adair

January 31st, 2010
11:38 pm

I hope that the Falcons don’t consider WR or Javier Arenas with the first-round pick.

Box

February 1st, 2010
12:34 am

Great work D3. I say BPA at LB or OT.

Resign or Resign?

February 1st, 2010
4:04 am

Kyle Wilson-the RV belongs to his brother, who graduated from Princeton and drives it to all of Kyle’s games. Noted earlier this week in an article in the ajc.
Hope we know a little more about Jerry and Moore’s status before the draft. Also, the idea of Peppers as a Falcon is intriguing, even if his attitude may be questionable at times.

Resign or Resign?

February 1st, 2010
4:05 am

BTW, D3; thanks for another great, informative post; as always.

SeminoleWarrior

February 1st, 2010
6:59 am

D3, excellent piece once more my friend.

My response is short and sweet. If I could talk with TD and Smitty, the pick would be quick and simple. Sean Weatherspoon is the answer!! The evidence is in and the case has been made. SPOON or bust baby!!

robertussen

February 1st, 2010
7:44 am

i agree about kyle wilson not being a first round pick but that rv belongs to his brother who supports him in a larger than life way apparently.

The Real Falcon

February 1st, 2010
8:10 am

WE NEED A SHUTDOWN CORNER!

D3

February 1st, 2010
8:20 am

Correction – Thanks to Resign and several others, the RV belongs to his brother, not to Kyle Wilson himself. Apologies and I will remove that portion when I get a second.

Anderson

February 1st, 2010
8:37 am

I saw just about all of the Senior Bowl. I love the linebacker Sean Weatherspoon. That kid is a leader. He has the tangibles (talent and skill) and the intangibles (energy and passion)to be a NFL star. Did anyone see how he rallied his team (ala Keith Brooking and Drew Brees) before the game started. This kid is a playmaker.

Michign DE Brandon Graham looked like (Indy Colts DE) Dwight Freeney in the game with his play and physical size. He played with a non-stop motor.

Alabama TE Collin Peek….Falcons get this guy someway somehow. He would make a nice heir apparent to Tony Gonzalez.

CBs Patrick Robinson and Perrish Cox….are decent players. I really did not see 1st round talent. I would rather see the Falcons trade down from their #19/20 pick if they decide to get any of these two.

Alabama CB Javier Arenas….I would not mind the Falcons using a 4th or 5th round pick on this guy. He would be no better than a nickel back in the NFL. But would be a valuable special teams player…if not a star.

QBs…Dan Lefebre and Sean Canfield showed me some potential. I think the Falcons need to draft a QB somewhere in the 4th-6th rounds.

Wild Cards….Ole Miss RB Dexter McCluster. Maybe. If he is available in the 3rd round (one of the compensatory picks) or 4th round. Small but make plays ala SD Chargers Darrin Sproles. Georgia DL Geoff Owens….yes if he is available in the 3rd/4th round.

Anderson

February 1st, 2010
8:53 am

I forgot to add WR….I’m torn between whether the Falcons need a physical possesion WR like Tulane’s Jeremy Williams or a speedy slot receiver like Clemson’s Jacoby Ford. I’m leaning towards Jeremy Williams because I think Falcons WR Harry Douglas can make a complete recovery from his ACL injury.

Florida’s WR Riley Cooper is a possibility. I would get him if he is available in the 4th round.

WR

February 1st, 2010
9:12 am

D3, are you getting your check from AJC yet, keep it coming. BT made the point in the last post, that I have been trying to make since the season ended. The defense not only preformed as we expected but it actually exceeded expectations, the O on the other hand checked out and took quite a few steps back. I like Spoon in the first round, if the Falcons sign Julius Peppers, if not go offense in the first round either an offensive lineman, or a playmaker in the mode of a Spiller or Bryant. We can say all we want that Ryan didn’t have time to throw, but when he did there was nothing there, and there won’t be anything there this year if you only have two options in the passing attack (Gonzo, White).

Someone made the point about playmakers versus the OL, basically without an adequate OL playmakers can’t make plays. To counter that argument, take the best OLs in the NFL versus the best defenses and that OL gets beat repeatedly if the team doesn’t have playmakers, here’s why:

Using the Falcons as an example, lets say you have the corner that can play in single coverage against White, now you double team Gonzo, that leaves eight players to use in a variety of ways when attacking the offense, doing the math, I’ll take 8 versus 5 anyday. But if you get a HD back that can perform at a high level, add a burner on the outside that makes a D commit a safety to deep coverage the numbers then equal out and what is supposedly an overacheiving OL gets to continue to overacheive. Before we continue to scream for improvements on the OL consider how teams played the Falcons, they blitzed at will, they sent everything but the kitchen sink and played man on the outside while either doubling White or Gonzo and at times both, what were Ryan’s options after that, and we wonder why Ryan was getting sacked. The running game of ‘08 hide the lack of weapons the Falcons had on offense, the lack of a running game exposed the problem in 09, and that was with an adequate running game. To continue

WR

February 1st, 2010
9:24 am

The Jets had one of the best OLs in the league, yes they had a rookie QB but they also had limited weapons in the passing game, does their approach sound familiar, solid running game, good defense, at home watching the superbowl. To go further I’ll give you this from a great team with a great OL, the 90’s Cowboys. Early on great OL, got deep into the playoffs, but couldn’t quite get over the hump, why, because teams were doubling Irvin and Novacek in the passing game and focusing on stopping the run. What changed, the Cowboys added a speedster in Alvin Harper, teams had to commit a safety to help, which freed up both Irvin and Novacek, plus opened up the running game.

As a last point to show how bad things are offensively for the Falcons as far as playmakers I suggest this, what if White got hurt, where are the options, we saw how they responded with multiple injuries on the overachieving OL, but honestly what if White got injured, we even saw how they responded if and when Turner got injured, but once again, what if White got injured, then what.

The Colts could lose a Reggie Wayne, it would hurt but they could sustain, the Saints could lose Colston, it would hurt but they could sustain, but how sustainable is the Falcons offense if White got hurt, a defense could have the golden girls playing on the DL and blitz the LBs and DBs and the Falcons wouldn’t have a chance, so if a Spiller or Bryant is sitting there at the 19/20, they should be a serious consideration.

Tailback U

February 1st, 2010
9:36 am

I am glad the current group of decision makers are going to make this
choice and not the guys from our lousy past because :
1. It is not going to be an easy choice because of no absolute
can’t miss propects here to choose from.
2. This 1st pick will likely be a major factor in whether or not
they contend with NO in the conference next year.
3. I trust Dimitroff to bring aboard the right free agents to
make this choice more about immediate impact than merely
a need pick.

My gut feeling is if there is someone we could end up passing on
in this draft and end up regretting it it would Arenas.
But that being said I don’t think if it were me pulling the trigger
I could not justify him earlier than a late first round pick.
Kind of think that the Weatherspoon pick is the safest for sure.

Unca' Bob

February 1st, 2010
9:40 am

M Ryan ranked #3 in the league last year for being sacked with 19. P Manning was #1 with 10 and T Brady #2 with 16. Looks pretty good until you consider M Ryan was #1 in throw aways with 30. #2 was at 22. It looks to me, he could use some help.

E Norwood,OLB, is not first round worthy because of his lack of straight forward foot speed. That is the only knock on him. He has a great upside and will play at the next level.

WR

February 1st, 2010
9:41 am

Now if the Falcons can get a Peppers in FA to bolster the DL, add a Spoon in the draft, then the team would have the defense to sustain while developing more weapons on offense, taking a Spoon without the addition of a Peppers or maybe even Wilfork, would improve the D, but leave the offense overly exposed while the defense is still a piece or two away. Its a process but at some point one side of the ball needs to be completed so as to focus on the shortcomings of the other side. Not getting a playmaker on offense could be dangerous, Gonzo is nearing the end of his career and this year could be his last, god forbid, White could have a major knee injury and this year could be his last, all of a sudden the offense is being rebuilt from stratch, that cannot be said about the defense, the pieces are in place for a sustainable defense, there also there for an improving defense, that cannot be said of the O and thats not because of the OL.

Willy

February 1st, 2010
9:59 am

I’m sensing a free agent D.E. (not Peppers) and a slight trade down (should we have the chance) to land two defensive second rounders. Then Dimitrioff sniffs the pits for the next three rounds and we come out strong while getting last years draft class healthy again. 13-3 in oh-10.

Ken Strickland

February 1st, 2010
10:04 am

The Falcons should draft a LB like Witherspoon with the 1st pick and use a future pick(s) to trade into the 2nd rd and get their CB. I seriously doubt if there will be an available OT at #19/20 that can come in and do as well as current backup OT’s GReynolds or WStivek. The same holds true for CB as well. I don’t think we can get a CB in this draft that can come in and immediately do as well or better than current starters COwens or BGrimes.

Most of the upgrades we need are already on our roster, but we’ll have to provide replacements for those players that are moved into starting positions. That means we need to draft for depth and potential/future starters, not immediate starters.

DE JPeppers might sound intriging to some of you, but the cost to bring him here will make it highly unlikely. You don’t get stupid and overreact by spending the millions it will take to bring him here without determining what you get for your money. His 10.5 sacks are only 5 more than the 5.5 sacks of DE KBiermann, a 2yr player and 1st yr starter. He also had only 4 more than DT JBabineaux’s 6, and both had more total tackles. That’s just waaay to much money to commit to a FA DE that isn’t that strong against the run and produced only 4 to 5 more sacks than our current starting DE and DT respectively. Some of you are just too quick to value the sizzle over the steak.

CBrass

February 1st, 2010
10:11 am

D3,

Once again great job. As I stated yesterday none of the three corners you mentioned really wowed me. Now I see why many here do not think besides Joe Haden that there’s a corner worthy of being taken in the first round. As someone stated yesterday TD is a corner snob so he may work his magic again in a later round. I pray that we land Spoon. The guy is the real deal. He has the talent and a good head on his shoulder which makes him a TD/Smitty type of player.

LRD

February 1st, 2010
10:16 am

OLB, then O Line, DT, Receiver to me (now) is the order I would pick with.

Julius Peppers … I understand the non salary cap, but will the guy show up every game? Could we spend money wiser elsewhere CB or WR free agent?

Vince Burchfield

February 1st, 2010
12:03 pm

I saw that the ESPN mock draft had the Falcons picking the huge freak from Texas, Sergio Kindle. His numbers are outstanding and a hybrid LB/DE with quick feet is just what we need without paying 15 million + for Peppers.

Unca' Bob

February 1st, 2010
1:48 pm

D3

February 1st, 2010
4:09 pm

Great Mon(dane) Afternoon Cagers! – Hope your week is off to an excellent start. Won’t be able to pop in as much tonight, because I’ve made a vow to go no computer at least a couple nights a week.

Reid Adair – Yeah, I certainly did mean that we’d be looking at Arenas in the first, but maybe we can take a chance on him around the 4th round or so. Many will hate that due to his height, but the guy is a player.

Resign – Thanks for noting that on Wilson’s RV. I’ve taken that part off of the post. He didn’t impress me that much. Maybe my bias of not wanting a CB first is influencing that, but Robinson had a better game than Wilson, IMO.

robertussen – Not sure any CB’s are first round talent, IMHO.

Anderson – Excellent points. I will be putting up the TE’s and RB’s from the Senior Bowl on the Wednesday post. Completely agree on Peek. He would be a steal if we could snag him with one of round 4 picks. Not sure he’ll last that long.

WR – Perfectly put my brother. You won’t get ANY argument for me on our lack of playmakers in the passing attack. As I’ve said all along, when Marty Booker is hired off the street and is your SLOT receiver, than your passing attack is anemic. Hell, I wouldn’t mind seeing us add a WR in the draft AND free agency, considering Jenkins underachievement. The guy was ranked 90th out of 107 receivers and we got White and Gonzo and that’s it, HD is questionable on whether he can come back injury free. Time to upgrade the WR Corps.

Try to pop in later, until then be safe and enjoy the evening!

old dirty

February 1st, 2010
4:13 pm

FRIST OFF WE NEED A SLOT RECEIVER.. OLINE,TE, 2 OLB, DE AND A RUNNING BACK.THAT

In Dimitroff We Trust

February 1st, 2010
5:01 pm

Whatever pick TD makes, I will trust his wisdom and judgement. He broke the curse in his first 2 years. Nuff said.

ATLJBO

February 1st, 2010
5:27 pm

D3

This is kinda off the subject but do you think we will go after Peppers ?

SeminoleWarrior

February 1st, 2010
6:37 pm

Good evening Cage Fam. Another fine effort D3. Absolutely great work.

Spoon…Spoon…Spoon. At 19/20, TD please, my brother, take Spoon!!

K Strick, excellent post!! I especially like your comments on the CB situation. As far as the OL is concerned, I still say that given the youth we have and the continuing development of that line, we are in better shape than most believe. The Falcons are not the Saints; we are not an aggressive passing team. We are built to run the rock. And the linemen we have can do that. Depth, not new starters, is the key!!

As far as the Peppers discussion, I can assure you that we could get Wilfork for LESS money than Peppers. And Wilfork would be a better addition. DE is set; I’m telling you Biermann is READY to be a starter. And Sidbury needs only more time and one more year until he can replace JA55. Again, young talent is all ready on the roster as K Strick points out. We just have to take the needed time to develop it accordingly.

Process, my friends. It’s all about the Process. WLB is a position of key need and it will not get any better than Weatherspoon for the Birds this draft.

SeminoleWarrior

February 1st, 2010
6:43 pm

If we are going to spend big money in FA, the check needs to be written to VInce Wilfork….period. With the big man lined up in the middle, we could (assuming there is no jail time) move Babs outside, put Jerry at the small undertackle, and start Biermann at the other end. JA55 could be used as a situational rusher, along with Sidbury, thus keeping him healthy for the season stretch run.

My proposal would also significant enhance the speed up front on the DL and enhance pass rush ability. Babs, Jerry, and Biermann all possess a very quick first step and are darn good disruptive players. Wilfork could easily handle two in the middle, thus giving BVG the option to engage a few more blitzes. That is where my man Weatherspoon could have an even greater impact; Lofton and Nicholas could also be opened up to be more aggressive in the blitz.

Better money spent…Wilfork over Peppers. Trust me.

SeminoleWarrior

February 1st, 2010
6:48 pm

Additionally, with Wilfork holding it down, the periodic transition to a 3-4 scheme could be facilitated. Biermann or Sidbury could drop back to the 4th LB slot OR Atkins could come in for the scheme with ‘Spoon moving inside next to Lofton.

BT

February 1st, 2010
6:53 pm

Here is the bottom line on Senior Bowl players, overall.
It gives the scouts the opportunity to evaluate the guys in a setting of one weeks practice and an exhibition game.
It represents only about 10 % in the total evaluation of a prospect.
Helps to keep that in mind when looking at pro`s and con`s, when judging rising and falling stocks.

BT

February 1st, 2010
6:56 pm

SW, are you off on a tangent again?…LOL

SeminoleWarrior

February 1st, 2010
7:01 pm

BT, you know me. When I feel it, I feel. What’s up bro?

BT

February 1st, 2010
7:14 pm

SW, just hanging out at the house while my lady is out doing the grocery shopping.
Honestly, we have a better chance of signing Peppers than Wilfork.
The Panthers told him he could just walk.
Question is, do we want him?
I can see both sides of the argument.
Bring him in for a couple of years front loaded and there is nothing to lose..it`s not my money.
On the other hand he is a malcontent, albeit a very talented one if he tries.
He is not likely to fit well in the Falcons locker room, coming in highly paid and one that keeps to himself, taking plays and games off and all.
I am still pissed that Abe took most of the season off.

SeminoleWarrior

February 1st, 2010
7:31 pm

BT, you just made my point. Bringing in Peppers is not in the interest of the PROCESS, long term. I have said once and I will say it again. Biermann is worthy of being given the chance; there is not a DE in the draft that could step in and be more effective. He has the respect of his coaches and teammates. No other DE has come close to showing me the type of effort and determination that Biermann has.

Wilfork is closer to walking than most think. The Patriots took DT Ron Brace last year in the second round so they have a “biggie” in waiting.

I will be on record right now and say that if the Falcons sign Peppers, it will be a setback to the Process.

BT

February 1st, 2010
7:36 pm

Just to reset what WR said.
The Falcons are in dire need of play makers and the need to upgrade pieces on the O-line is underestimated by many, IMO.
Even if they resign Norwood there is a need for an additional RB.
Haynes and Steckler are not coming back, we have no use for them.
Plus, as D3 pointed out, Marty Booker in the slot?
That is not gonna do with HD`s full healthy return in question.
Jenkins has proven he is not a viable threat as the #2 WR.
Just damn, the Falcons spent 7 of 8 picks last season on defense.
It`s time to draft mostly offense and maybe roll out some cash for 1 or 2 FA players on defense?
Might I suggest, a veteran CB to round out our young secondary and possibly take a OLB in the 3rd round of the draft?

No rosey glasses for me, thank you.

Unca' Bob

February 1st, 2010
7:43 pm

SW,

I enjoy your zeal, but, Wilfolk will not be there for any one. NE is going to hang a frachise tag off his toe. They will have two this uncapped year, and one will belong to Wilfork.

BT

February 1st, 2010
7:46 pm

SW, The thing is..
The Falcons are not likely at all to go 3/4 defense.
Wilfork in a 3/4 NT.
That is not the scheme they run.
It`s pie in the sky to consider moving L sid and Biermann into 3/4 rushing OLB slots.
Listen, Adkins and Sidbury are projects, nothing to bet the future on at this point.
Biermann is what he is, a high motor guy that gets negated against quality opponents.
The interior D-line is in good shape with Babs, Jerry, Lewis, Johnson and Walker.
If we are gonna bring someone in, be realistic and bring in a guy that will help and be a sure fire upgrade over what we have.
No doubt in my mind, Peppers would do that.

SeminoleWarrior

February 1st, 2010
7:48 pm

Best available player at a position of critical need!! Weakside LB is a position of critical need and Sean Weatherspoon is the best WLB in this class…bar none. His selection would solidify the LB corps for years to come.

With the exception of McClure, the Falcons have a very young OL and they have shown the potential to be great at times. But the PROCESS takes time. Clabo can be moved inside to RG and Reynolds at the RT. Blalock is set at LG and Baker continues to grow. I repeat…the PROCESS takes time.

A return to running the rock, mix in the intermediate passing game, and improve the pass rush and we could easily contend for a playoff spot. RB and WR depth could be addressed later in the draft but not at the expense of the PROCESS.

RomeDawg

February 1st, 2010
7:50 pm

D3, Man do you do your homework! Some of the other writers at the AJC could learn by reading your articles. I always look forward to reading your post more than the others because you take your time and put something worth reading up. Keep up the good work. As for the Falcons, I am enamored with Weatherspoon. He looks legit.

Unca' Bob

February 1st, 2010
7:51 pm

This was my responce to J Schultz this morning on not only J Peppers, but Abe as well.

On the surface it would seem to be a very good idea. Looking below the surface, not so much. Peppers played 806 snaps and had 10 sacks, 10 QB hits and 33 QB pressures. His base salary for ‘09 was $16,6883,000.00 dollars. Abe played 703 snaps and had 6 sacks, 12 QB hits and 39 QB pressures. his base salary for ‘09 was $5,000,000.00. I don’t see an $11,683,000.00 difference. Do you?

SeminoleWarrior

February 1st, 2010
7:55 pm

The tag will cost an estimated 7-8 million UnCa Bob. Are they willing to do that with Ron Brace waiting in the wings. I will be the first to admit that the chances of Wilfork wearing ATL colors are long but it would be a great move. I know I’m reaching…will admit it but I just love what the big man could bring to our defense and what his presence would allow others to do.

BT, I am not suggesting that the Falcons would move to a full-time 3-4 scheme. They have played with it in a limited fashion. Having Wilfork would still allow that. Given the speed of both Biermann and Sidbury, as well as the fact they both have played a little at the OLB in the past, it is not a stretch to think they could intermittently play it at this level, especially in a designated speed rush scenario.

Love the discussion though bro….Peppers is a band aid. More importantly, why break the bank on a player that is only a year younger than the current DE, JA55?

SeminoleWarrior

February 1st, 2010
7:56 pm

Thanks UnCa Bob…reference your 7:51pm post. Point made on the Peppers deal.

I say it again…To sign Peppers would be a setback to the Process.

Unca' Bob

February 1st, 2010
8:01 pm

SW,

I agree. Spoon. Draft BYU TE Dennis Pitta in the third round, should he last, and we will have taken care of our future.

SeminoleWarrior

February 1st, 2010
8:03 pm

Just humor me for a moment.

Move Babs outside to LDE…he can do it.
Wilfork at LDT (big tackle)
Jerry at the RDT (small tackle)
JA55 outside at RDE (being spelled by Biermann).

Speed, aggression, run-stopping ability, enhanced pass rush.

It is not that much of a miss….and man, what a line. IMHO.

SeminoleWarrior

February 1st, 2010
8:04 pm

UnCa Bob, was just doing some research on Pitta. Where can I find some film on him?

SeminoleWarrior

February 1st, 2010
8:08 pm

Heck, I would rather pay Steve “Mighty Mouse” Smith the money that Peppers would command. Imagine him lineup opposite Roddy White.

Cosmos

February 1st, 2010
8:09 pm

Brandon Graham is the player that impressed me the most. He was a beast.

Unca' Bob

February 1st, 2010
8:09 pm

SW,

I don’t know of any, but please reference the Shrine Bowl last week.

BT

February 1st, 2010
8:13 pm

SW, OLB is not a critical need and Spoon is projected as a 2nd rounder.
The Falcons big short coming on defense this past season was 3rd down efficiency.
They were rated 30th, the last I checked.
To reach for a 2nd round rookie OLB, to be taken in the middle of the 1st round will do nothing (or little) to reverse that critical stat.
It`s a no brainier for the need to find secondary and pass rushing help in straighting out the defense.

Still, the critical need exist in scoring more points on offense.
The PROCESS is nearly complete, one way or the other.
Time to win now (in 2010) and the way to big time winning is not running the rock but having the ability to both pass and run effectively.
The clock is ticking on Smitty and his staff!

Unca' Bob

February 1st, 2010
8:16 pm

I brought Pitta in the same post I made about Spoon months ago. Here’s a little background on Pitta. Did I mention he’s an Eagle Scout?

http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/draft/players/1273811

Unca' Bob

February 1st, 2010
8:22 pm

BT,

If the clock runs out, do we fire all of them? PS. Who’s clock?