Ready Your Needs-Based Draft Boards

Get Those Boards Together…………….

Although the NFL Draft is still a good little piece in the future (63 Days-19 Hours, but no one’s counting), General Manager Thomas Dimitroff and Company are hard at work organizing their draft boards getting ready for the NFL Scouting Combine next week. Before TD & Co. started worrying about free agents and college players, they surely spent a long while assessing what the biggest needs are for the team as a whole with Coach Mike Smith and the rest of the assistants. As we move into the Scouting Combine, Free Agency, and the Draft, sculpting your draft boards based on which positions are the biggest needs will help to get your free agency targets and your multiple mock drafts rolling towards April. Some great debates and discussions have already taken place in the Cage, and they only look to heat up as we move closer to the big day in April. Use your arguments, stats, available free agents, and upcoming draft class to assist in your ventures.

Position-By-Position Draft Rankings from DraftCountdown.com

Potential Free Agents from FootballsFuture.com

Falcons Defensive Rankings

Falcons Offensive Rankings

The Falcons look to have at least 8 draft picks come April, 5 of their own and 3 likely compensatory picks.

Compensatory formula from Wikipedia.com (not the most reliable, but free and close enough)…..

Teams that gain and lose the same number of players but lose higher-valued players than they gain also can be awarded a pick, but only in the seventh round, after the other compensatory picks. Compensatory picks cannot be traded, and the placement of the picks is determined by a proprietary formula based on the player’s salary, playing time, and postseason honors with his new team, with salary being the primary factor. So, for example, a team that lost a linebacker who signed for $2.5 million per year in free agency might get a sixth-round compensatory pick, while a team that lost a wide receiver who signed for $5 million per year might receive a fourth-round pick.

Also check out a good rundown by FalconFan13 from Life.AtlantaFalcons.com (second post)

Dominique Foxworth will likely net a 4th round pick

Michael Boley will probably bring a 5th round pick

Grady Jackson will likely replace the 7th round pick we traded to St. Louis

Mike Peterson and Keith Brooking will probably cancel each other out

Atlanta Falcons Potential Draft

1st Rd

3rd Rd

4th Rd

4th Rd (Compensatory Pick)

5th Rd

5th Rd (Compensatory Pick)

6th Rd

7th Rd (Compensatory Pick)

Let the Heated Discussions Begin………….

My weak attempt

1) Outside Linebacker – Going to dig the heels in on this one for the long haul. The Falcons do have other issues abound, but this is the highest need on the roster with the outside backers being overlooked in both Dimitroff’s drafts (Robert James, 5th rd, has been on and off the practice squad and Spencer Adkins, 6th rd, does have potential, but is still too raw to start on day one). Stephen Nicholas showed good promise in his first year as a full-time starter, but needs some help. Mike Peterson started strong, but faded down the stretch, added no QB pressure (1 sack), and struggled in the run game. He is in the last year of his contract, but is a great locker room guy and leader. Could mentor his replacement. Sean Weatherspoon or Sergio Kindle would add immediate playmaking ability to the LB corps and pair with Lofton and Nicholas for many, many years.

2) Cornerback – Many of our O-Line first members will likely throw their computers through the TV after not listing the offensive line first or second, and its completely understandable, but this will be a great place for TD to find a potential cornerback of the future. He mined Chris Owens in this round and not many had ever heard of him. He looks to possibly be a long-term answer at one of the cornerback spots. Owens and Brent Grimes performed well down the stretch after cementing their starting roles. Chris Houston, Chevis Jackson, and Tye Hill should all benefit from new CB coach Tim Lewis, and Brian Williams was excellent before getting injured. He drafted Owens, but also Asante Samuel in the 4th round as well. Keep an eye on Donavan Warren (Michigan), Myron Lewis (Vanderbilt), Jerome Murphy (South Florida), or Chris Cook (Virginia) around here.

3) Offensive Line – This is where many will vehemently disagree and there’s legitimacy to that fact. Basically, this position is getting a deference for another year since Dahl and Clabo will likely be back for another year. The O-Line unit has a split in the Coach Smith era, excellent in 2008 and decrease in 2009. Quinn Ojinnaka played well in backup role under Coach Paul Boudreau’s mentoring. Brett Romberg played well in relief of Todd McClure, who is one of the most underrated Centers in the NFL. Will Svitek showed he’s capable of following the Dahl and Clabo path under Boudreau. Garrett Reynolds could possibly even challenge Tyson Clabo as the future right tackle. Top flight offensive tackles will definitely be gone, but some value will be there. Certainly, the argument is stacked with a lot of contingencies, but TD will have one more of evaluations. Could be a Tackle or Guard/Center combo. TD could add more depth via Free Agency the way he did with Svitek and Romberg last year. Keep an eye on Chris Scott (Tennessee), Ciron Black (LSU), or Thomas Welch (Vanderbilt).

4) Wide Receiver – This position has gone from a big strength to one of the weakest in a short time. Roddy White is a two-time Pro Bowler and that’s where it stops. Harry Douglas was a sensation as a rookie, but went down in training camp and is coming back from a tough knee injury. Michael Jenkins good but too inconsistent as a #2 receiver. Brian Finneran is a fan favorite, but is 33 and has had knee injuries in 3 out of the last 4 years. Eric Weems started strong and had high hopes, but faded quickly. Seriously doubt Marty Booker is re-signed. Troy Bergeron has never made it onto the field in a game. Time to upgrade wideout and this is the year to do it. Tons of talent abound in this year’s group: Eric Decker (Minnesota), Jordan Shipley (Texas), Riley Cooper (Florida), Jacoby Ford (Clemson), Demaryius Thomas (GT – rumored to break his foot), Jeremy Williams (Tulane), and Danario Alexander (Missouri) are all extremely talented and at least some will drop down to the Birds.

5) Defensive End – Obviously, the Falcons need some more production at the defensive end position, but several factors come into play this year. John Abraham surely had a big drop-off in sacks from 2008 (16.5) to 2009 (6.5), but he played well in terms of other parts of his game (QB Hits, QB Pressures, Run Stoppage). He’s signed through 2011, not 2010, as many believe, so he deserves more chances to shine again. Kroy Biermann went from 2 sacks as a rookie to 5 sacks in his second year, and should be given a chance to win the job. Lawrence Sidbury Jr. showed major flashes of his enormous upside. Chauncey Davis is an extremely versatile and solid backup. Much like the offensive line, this one gets a deference for another year to see what the Falcons have in their younger DE’s. Tucker High product Brandon Lang (Troy) may slip and keep an eye on CJ Wilson (East Carolina), Austen Lane (Murray State), and George Selvie (South Florida).

6) Tight End – Tony Gonzalez is likely either in the last year of his contract or next to last year. He’s coming back for one more year for sure, but after that is borrowed time. Justin Peele has shown upside, but he’s also over the age of 30 and would be a stop-gap if nothing else. Keith Zinger is nothing more than a backup at this point, but does add depth. Won’t find immediate impact here, but don’t have to and let a project learn from the best TE to ever play the game. Could Colin Peek (Alabama) slip? Or check out Andrew Quarless (Penn State), or Dedrick Epps (Miami).

7) Defensive Tackle – Seemingly could go much earlier with this pick for major depth and competition, but this actually might be one of the deepest positions on the team. Babineaux will serve a suspension, but was one of the best DT’s in the NFL last year. Peria Jerry should return to full health after an early injury. Jamaal Anderson may have finally found his calling at D-Tackle and could turn into a Richard Seymour type of DT. Vance Walker had an excellent rookie year in limited time. Thomas Johnson came on strong and filled in nicely, even starting many times. Trey Lewis could get back to form after slowly rehabbing two injury riddled years. Could add a big bodied DT late like Kade Weston (UGA), Linval Joseph (East Carolina), or Demarcus Granger (Oklahoma) to compete with Lewis and Johnson for the final spot. TD found great pick with Vance Walker in the 7th round last draft.

8] Wide Receiver/Running Back – Call it crazy, but this could a good chance to take a flier on a speed running back or another wide receiver to add to the mix. Running back may not be as bad off as some thought. Turner obviously is the franchise back, Snelling is a great number 2, and signs point to TD wanting to possibly bring back Norwood. Due restricted free agent status to Norwood, if any team wanted him, they would have to part with a draft pick and the Birds could use that to snag a speed back. Many believe Antone Smith may be a huge steal after being signed to the practice squad. Keep an eye on Michael Smith (Arkansas), Andre Dixon (UConn), and Lonyae Miller (Fresno State). At WR, maybe Freddie Barnes (Bowling Green), Kelton Tindal (Newberry), Pat Simonds (Colgate), or Chris Bell (Norfolk State). As the Saints and Colts showed, you can never have too many playmakers.

Not Addressed

Quarterback – Re-sign Redman and ready to go same as last year.

Kicker – Too many solid kickers out there to take and develop. Re-up Matt Bryant for short term.

Safety – Thomas DeCoud, William Moore, and Erik Coleman can form one of the best Safety trios around.

Alright Cagers…..YOUR TURN! Fire away at my Needs-Based Draft Board and develop your own in getting ready for the sprint from the NFL Scouting Combine, Free Agency, to the NFL Draft.

Enjoy and GO FALCONS!!!!!!…………….

 

 

Who's It Gonna Be?

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186 comments Add your comment

ATLJBO

February 17th, 2010
11:42 pm

D3… Take a look at this article

Committed Falcons

Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff and coach Mike Smith have to like the commitment of two rising stars, safety Thomas DeCoud and cornerback Chris Owens, a rookie they have big plans for.

During a visit to watch draft prospects this week in Westlake Village outside of Los Angeles, Owens and DeCoud arrived to take part in some speed work, having done their strength training the day before. Head trainer Travelle Gaines said they’ve been regulars for weeks and are among the more diligent veterans in the stable.

DeCoud, who just finished his second season, had 68 tackles, three interceptions and two forced fumbles in his first season as a starter. He has inserted himself as a fixture as long as he keeps getting better, something he clearly has taken to heart by hitting the track instead of the beach.

Owens, meanwhile, is someone who has a huge opportunity to become, what the Falcons hope, the Tracy Porter of 2010. The Saints’ cornerback, who picked off Brett Favre and Peyton Manning in the NFC Championship Game and the Super Bowl, respectively, made huge strides despite battling injuries in his second season. If Owens can make similar gains, and if the Falcons can find a corner who is anywhere near as effective as Jabari Greer was for the Saints to play opposite Owens, they could be vastly improved on defense.

http://www.nfl.com/news/story?id=09000d5d81671359&template=with-video-with-comments&confirm=true

Chevis Jackson has also been working out with them

chris o bomb

February 17th, 2010
11:46 pm

our safeties are not up to par more or less the whole secondary. There’s been flashes, but we are CLEARLY not a game breaking, turn over wrecking team.
1a. safety- Morgan Burnett or any SEC player like Scott from LSU(tackling machines and game breakers)
1b. o line- yes we were injured all year.. blah blah, but we have to protect Matty Ice.
2. olb- someone who can cover a nfl tight end or rb please…
3. slot receiver- j shipley or even bay bay if he falls from injury
4. kicker- could have won two games if we kicked it between the uprights.
5. cb- also be number 1, but td can find a gem for us late.

now a wr/rb- no! we got norwood! just remember he was injured, and we could pick up thomas brown(strongest guy pound for pound)

chris o bomb

February 17th, 2010
11:53 pm

its been a while since the season ended, but i know im not the only one week in and out when we would get beat on deep route catches of mistackles downfield.
I have a good feeling a lot more pressure will come to opposing qb’s and the backfield this upcoming season, but i do not see McCoud or and any of our cb’s as a clear gamebreaker, changer, or difference maker. All superbowl champions has at least one.
thwg

Ed

February 18th, 2010
3:49 am

As always great work, even if we don’t agree on our OL. I bet if it was 20 years down the road and D3 jr was quarterbacking the Falcons you’d be screaming get my son some help before he gets killed.
If we are going OLB then we need to trade down to later in the first round. The value just isn’t there @ 19/20. I still say that outside of QB & TE we take the best player available. Out of the first 18 picks, two will be QB’s, Two more will be Suh & McCoy DT’s…Eric Berry…Joe Haden…these are all guaranteed picks leaving 12 players before the Falcons choose. There are so many really good players left in that pool if one of them slips to us we have to take him. Any of the top OL, Spiller, Bryant, Mays, Dunlap, I just can’t see taking Weatherspoon, Kindle, or Graham ahead of them.

Sarah B

February 18th, 2010
4:17 am

robertussen

February 18th, 2010
6:44 am

de in free agent, draft a cb in round one

The Real Falcon

February 18th, 2010
6:51 am

You really have to understand how a strong defense works. It starts with the DL not the LB’s. Pressure and placing an offense in long yardage situations is what wins battles. OLB is pretty but not what wins championships. If the DL exerts pressure the DB’s don’t have to cover as long. OLB is certainly a need but on defense it all flows from the DL.

JJ

February 18th, 2010
8:38 am

D3, great job. These are my picks with TD bringing in a FA DE who may be stuck in a 3-4 but prefers 4-3 (Kapp, GB?). Just say no peppers!

FA-DE
1. OLB
3. CB
4. TE
4. WR
5. OL (1ST NEXT YR)
5. DT
6. RB (2ND NEXT YR)
7. PK OR WR

Matt Jones

February 18th, 2010
8:46 am

Draft Bulaga 1st–the guy’s a beast and will keep Ryan upright–then go Def.

Seminole Warrior

February 18th, 2010
9:58 am

Ohhhhhhhh yes…this is going to be good. Will definately have to address this tonight from the TeePee.

SPOON…SPOON…SPOON.

travis

February 18th, 2010
10:29 am

td and mike smith are doing very good job i trust whatever they do but my opinion i would get the best player availbe in the first rd if so get a lb, i beileve they gonna trade back up in the second rd and fill the other position with a cb i think sidbury or bierman can started the other end with john a plus you get peria jerry back after that please got get matt ryan so fast reciever to help roddy white and tony g because jenkins, booker, or weems can’t pass no cornerback they to slow

Blindog

February 18th, 2010
10:29 am

LB,DE,CB,OL we need all of the above,but I say given a chance,Troy Bergeron can be a #2 WR just give him the opportunity and he will produce.

Coop

February 18th, 2010
10:48 am

D3, you keep rolling out the gems! Great work again. Not changing my tune though. Build the lines. Transform this franchise from a once in a while good story to a year in and year out competitor. You do that with 9 solid guys that you can always count on (5 OLine and 4 DLine).

I’ve said too long long I think we need a big DT. I like Dan Williams for that, but D3 is right we probably won’t sink 1st round money into 2 DTs. So I like Buluga next. Again, these lines (if strong) can make OLBs, CBs, RBs, and WRs look a lot better.

1.a. OL (Buluga)
1.b. DT (williams)
1.c. Trade down
3. OLB
4. OC (BC center that played with Ryan)
4. WR
5. TE
5. CB
6. RB
7. K

I like our DEs. I think Sid and Beerman are the future bookends. If you want a FA DE, then Kapman not Peppers. Resign Redman, resign Norwood for one last shot. Move JA98 to DT permanently.

D3

February 18th, 2010
11:01 am

Great Start of the Weekend Day Cagers! – Hope everyone is doing well as we roll towards Friday!

ATLJBO – Thanks for that pull. Great to hear. Think DeCoud and Owens should be studs for a long while, particularly with that work ethic.

Ed – Good points as usual and thanks for the props. I won’t be upset if we draft an OT, but I think we can go one more year just to make sure we need one of Clabo can get back to form, or if Garrett Reynolds could take over. I could be totally wrong, but I think we should give this OL one more chance.

robertussen – Nice point. Would like to see Richard Seymour back in Red and Black, even if for 1 or 2 years. He could add an immediate upgrade, while allowing Biermann and Sidbury Jr. to develop.

The Real Falcon – Nice analysis as usual. I agree with you that defenses start up front, but I guess my point is what player that will be available can be guaranteed to come in and do any better than Abraham, Babineaux, P-Jerry, Biermann, or Jamaal Anderson @ DT for that matter? Dan Williams or Brandon Graham? Our DLine did vastly improve in the run game and so all we need now is to improve in the pass rush. Some of the best defenses, Steelers-Ravens-Jets, are know more for their LB’s than their DLine. Bart Scott, David Harris, James Harrison, James Farrior, Ray Lewis come to mind more than the DL. I could be dead wrong, but I think we’re a little better at DL than many think. JMHO.

Keep the Convo’s going. More later………………….

chris o bomb – Good points, but gotta disagree with you on Safety. DeCoud is one of the best rising stars in the NFL, IMHO, and William Moore may be that guy, but if not than I agree with you.

CBrass

February 18th, 2010
11:09 am

D3,

Outstanding job once again. My picks are as follows.

OLB–SPOON…SPOON…SPOON
WR–Drafting a WR in the 2nd or 3rd round would surely light a fire under Jenkins.
OL
TE–Have to find TG replacement
CB–I put this one a little further down because of TD ability to finding gold in the later round…Chris Owens for example
RB–We have Turner, Snelling, and Norwood.
DT
PK//WR

WR

February 18th, 2010
11:41 am

I figured I’d try something different using the theme of process plus building a solid contender for years to come and exciting the fan base. My man Coop makes great points about building the foundation first, I countered the line has been together only two years, outside of center the others have only been starting two years so they can be coached up and I believe they will improve. But Coop mentioned Bulaga, and I thought now if he’s available you would potentially get a solid rock to protect Ryan’s blindside now as well as into the future. So Bulaga would be a great pick if available.

Next I went on to my own opinion that the Falcons need to add playmakers on both sides of the ball. SW made a strong point about Weatherspoon at OLB, I thought yeah thats a great selection for the defense but what if Spiller fell into the Falcons lap. So I broke it down this way, Spiller breaks around the corner on a Sweep in open space who would you put your money on. Spoon is really good but no one takes down Spiller one on one in open space. So then I consider the same scenario using Turner, Turner is powerful, with decent speed but Spoon gets my vote in that situation. Next I considered Spiller split out or coming out of the backfield as a receiver, Spoon has to cover him, not even a close match up when even considering Spoon’s skills in coverage. Point being, both sides of the ball could use some infusion of playmakers, but given the choice between Spoon and Spiller, Spiller is the pick, chances are he won’t be available, but if he has a Percy Harvin type slide and is there for the Falcons you gotta take him. I like Spoon I think he has exceptional skills and would be a major upgrade at the WLB, but Spiller is one of those players with rare skill, you have to take him. As a good example look at the Vikings last year, they didn’t need Harvin, they had needs at other positions, but Harvin was one of those players that rarely come along, teams passed on him because they feared some character issues, how many of those teams would like to have a do over now. Other reasons Spiller is the pick to follow, warning, it may be ugly for some to read

WR

February 18th, 2010
11:42 am

Two of the worst comments on this blog in sometime were made yesterday, the first one was that the Falcons should resign Vick as a backup and the other one was they shouldn’t because it would cause a racial divide. First off the resigning Vick deal, horrible, Vick had his chance in Atlanta, he admitted what most already knew with his work ethic, he needs forgiveness like any young fool, we all have been there, but he needs to be allowed to move on, elsewhere, not at the scene, you don’t rob a bank and then go and work for that bank, if a bank will have you it definitely will not be at the one you robbed.

Now the issue of it causing a racial divide, anyone that believes that should turnoff the T.V., put down the local paper, and just stop listening to the radio. The Vick issue in Atlanta is not about race, you have people across racial lines that support Vick in his process of redemption and you have people who don’t think the man deserves to breath the air we all breath for free. That’s just like, but you add a little color and the media to it and now it causes a racial divide. If you think it causes a racial divide you probably have race issues, you might need to get in touch with your own personal feelings and stop letting what you hear or see on T.V. lead you to judgment. Its Atlanta, a melting pot for all kinds of diversity, it’s the south, we do it our way if you don’t understand or like it Delta can take you back up North, but we love our football, and we love excitement.

WR

February 18th, 2010
11:43 am

Winning only does so much for excitement in Atlanta, see the Braves of the 90’s. No matter the racial lines people want excitement, Vick brought that, we really did believe the phrase on “any given Sunday”, and now that’s gone. That’s gone but its been replaced by a more complete process, as Coop would say, a foundation has been built, but the excitement is gone. On this blog we were excited to see the back to back winning seasons streak end, but through the overall fan base it wasn’t all that exciting as a season. To get to my point, Spiller can change that if available. He gives fans that any given Sunday type of feeling each and every time he touches the ball, he has that wow factor that Vick brought to Atlanta, but took away with him leaving fans empty. For all the talk about the Saints and the process under Peyton, what really got those fans behind that team was the wow factor, even while losing, getting close, and eventually winning it all excitement was generated within that fan base because of the wow the offense brought to the table. Hell, the offense even brought the wow to the media and the Falcons while improving and building a stable franchise for the first time in history needs some wow, this is a hard sports city, but it’s a city that supports the wow whether your winning or losing. This city has never been big on winning or overly losing, but it has always been big on the wow support. Spiller is a wow type player, Spiller not only adds a seriously dangerous dimension to the Falcons, but he offers the chance to get fans to reunite, its gotten better since Vick, winning helps, but the game against the Eagles showed its not a cure, the cure is replacing that kind of spark plug with a better more efficient one, if Spiller is there he will be that spark plug, and nothing gets a team going like all around fan support, just ask the Saints.

Marcus

February 18th, 2010
12:22 pm

My 1st round pick: OLB – Weatherspoon or Jerry Huges (TCU)
not sure after that, but if we trade back into 2nd round or move up in 3rd, CB is next. Hope a gem is still around like C. Owens, or maybe throw a draft-day package together to get Cromartie from SD.

Coop

February 18th, 2010
1:07 pm

WR – Keep bringing it brother!You make some very good and intriguing points. For the most part, my only disagreements with you are over time. We could use a bit of excitement, but I think that comes in the way of championships. I like a Spiller if he makes us better and wins games.

I loved watching Vick and he was amazing. But I got tired of watching us lose because he couldn’t hang onto the ball.

Build me a solid contender with a lasting foundation this year, then we can add some flash next year.

Finally, I have to disagree slightly on the racial debate. I do think that some Vick supporters AND some Vick detractors form their opinions based on race. Personally, I can’t stand Vick. I’ll never forgive him for what he did to our city and team. I feel that way because loyalty and honor are important to me, not because I’m white. I supported DJ (probably because I’m a dawg). I wanted him to beat out Redman. But at the end of the day, he wasn’t very good. My loyalty is to the Falcons and what makes them better. Neither Vick nor DJ did or do.

Some, though, bash MR2 because he’s not a black QB. They blidly support Vick and DJ because they are black. Like it or not (and I don’t) if Vick came back it would cause racial tension in the city. I don’t want him for what he did to the team and I’m ocnvinced he’ll never live up to his potential, but as long as he plays, some folks will hate MR2.

Falcon Devil

February 18th, 2010
1:32 pm

Let’s trade Snelling for Cromartie out of SD!!!! Then pick up Sergio Kindle or Spoons with our first pick. Work on a WR, OL, DE, and a nicely valued RB in the later rounds.

Falcon Devil

February 18th, 2010
1:33 pm

Will you peeps ever stop with the Vick crap? It’s been like 4 years, build a damn bridge…

Coop

February 18th, 2010
1:36 pm

FD – I doubt SD will take Snelling for Cromartie. They’re looking to replace LT and Sproles. I like Snelling, but he aint that.

Singletary

February 18th, 2010
4:10 pm

Some good possibilities coming out of FSU, Seminole Warrior, and not only this year.

I agree our Oline looked impenetrable in 2008 and then useless against the NFC(B)Easts. But Ryan/Redman did not hit the turf like Roethlesbur… Big Ben in 2009. Assuming, we buy D3’s logic on Jamaal at DT (and recognize no trade value at that price,) why wouldn’t we get the next starting Center in training? It is such a critical position.

But other than that, I think it is D and only D.

I know we were lean at WR, but FA and training camp cuts will produce some possibilities if we need to re-think our WR depth. How persistent is HDTV at re-hab? Can Jenks channel a break through like Roddy did or do we give Weems a shot? (Personally, I’d rather see Speed Racer Brent Grimes returning some kicks, ducking under the big and beefies.) Re-signing Finn simply gives him a chance to compete. He may have analyzed the situation correctly: if he doesn’t train now knowing where he’s going to be, he can’t rebuild in a different system. Ya gotta respect that clear a look at reality. In re RBs, don’t go messing with Mr. Snelling or Turner. I can see an argument for trading Norwood, but I’m not advocating it.

Now, back to our regularly scheduled D discussion…

Ken Strickland

February 18th, 2010
4:22 pm

COOP-Solid comments. Just remember, some individuals are fans of certain players rather than certain teams. How many fans of the Chicago Bulls during the SPippin/MJordan era are fans of the team now? And the same holds true of the SHOWTIME LAKERS during the MJohnson era. I was a huge fan of MVick, but I don’t want him on our team. It’s not because of what he did in the past, but because his QB skills aren’t a good fit for our team.

He needs to be a starter to be effective, because for him to be effective the OFF has to be constructed around his skills. He’s not the type of QB that can just fit into an existing OFF, which is why he won’t be effective coming off the bench. Since we’ve already established ourselves a solid rushing OFF, what we need most to make our OFF flurish is an accomplished pocket passing QB, and MVick doesn’t fit that mold.

CB Cromartie’s last 2 seasons haven’t been worthy of us trading for him or signing him to a FA contract. We’d be better off resigning CB BWilliams and/or retaining CB BGrimes, who have played in our system and are known commodities. We have only 2 RB’s with proven ability to carry the load, MTurner and JSnelling, and MTurner is coming off season ending injury. Why suggest we further weaken our RB situation by suggesting we trade away one of them just to acquire CB Cromartie, a fulltime starting CB who couldn’t match the performance of parttime starter BGrimes?

Unless a trade is made, like the TE TGonzalez trade last yr, or we sign a key FA, like the RB MTurner signing, we’ll most likely draft a playmaking LB. It would be absolutely stupid for us, or any team with our DEF needs, to use the only pick we have in the 1st 2rds on a RB, TE or OLineman. THINK PEOPLE!!

Matthew Hudnall

February 18th, 2010
4:41 pm

I do agree that defense and offensive line is the top priority for the draft and free agent portion of the offseason but I agree with if we can pick up a CJ Spiller at 19 or 20 that would be great. If you can grab the best possible player for the spot that is what the draft is about. Not just filling holes with players you arent that sure can play with the big boys. We need to be able to compete on the level. We have the tools, so heck man more offensive options can free up Turner and Matty Ice just as much at more offensive line. Lets not also forget this is still a young team and it can take time to play with consistency.

ATLJBO

February 18th, 2010
4:51 pm

[b][size="5"]Jerry “On Schedule” in Rehab[/size][/b]
By J. Michael Moore | Published: February 18, 2010

Peria Jerry’s torn knee ligament in Week 2 did more than end his season. It rocked the team’s defensive tackle rotation and hurt the pass rush — something the Falcons lacked at points for the rest of the 2009 campaign.

But Jerry is making progress in his recovery and has been a regular in team’s Flowery Branch headquarters through this point of the offseason.

“It’s a process I’m going through; I’m doing everything they ask me to do and working to get better to come back and play next season,” he said Thursday after finishing some time in the weight room.

Jerry, the No. 24 pick in the 2009 NFL Draft, earned a starting job next to Jonathan Babineaux out of training camp and by all accounts had the skills to make an immediate impact on defense. The Falcons had just two games with two or more sacks after Jerry was placed on injured reserve and finished the year ranked 26th in that category (28 sacks).

As a junior at Ole Miss Jerry recorded 58 tackles (14 for loss). The team ranked fourth in the nation in rushing defense in 2008 after ranking 101st the previous year. He led the SEC with 18 tackles for loss as a senior and registered 10.5 sacks over his last two years in Oxford.

If there’s a bright side to the injury — for the team and Jerry — it’s the ability to get younger players more exposure to the game. In Jerry’s case, exposure came in the film room.

“I think it will help me understand the game more,” he said. “I’ve been watching film and really seeing how the game is played. Watching film kept me prepared on the mental side. I missed the game a lot but I’m working hard to get better.”

He says he’s working in the weight room to build strength for offseason workouts.

“Everything is on schedule,” Jerry said. “I’m happy with that and everything is going good. We’re just going to keep grinding it out and see what happens.”

ATLJBO

February 18th, 2010
4:54 pm

Good to see Peria Jerry is working hard…..

It feels good to hear our players workout hard during the offseason … Lawrence Sidbury, Thomas Decoud, William Moore, Peria Jerry, Chris Owens, and Chevis Jackson….. All of these young players has been working hard since the season ended (rehabbing, film studying, or training)

robertussen

February 18th, 2010
5:04 pm

d3 seymour will not be available for the falcons in free agency, the raiders used a first round pick to get him and have said they will use the franchise tag if a long term deal cant be reached. osi umenora (or how ever you spell it) or aaron kampman, or even peppers may work out though

JJ

February 18th, 2010
5:18 pm

WR, next time just call me out, I’d have more respect than that garbage and back handed slap you attempted at 11:42am. I’m not going to get into it because this particular blog is not about him. IMHO, you are completely wrong with your 11:42am post but keep your rose colored glasses on. I was responding to Darricks comment, not trying to stir things up as you may unintentionaly be doing. I know you piss alot of people off but I have thick skin and still enjoy ‘most’ of your post.
You have my e-mail and we can discuss that topic there if you wish, back to regular programming.

WR

February 18th, 2010
5:55 pm

Coop/JJ, first off JJ it wasn’t a back handed slap, it was meant to be an eye opener for a group of people I have enjoyed discussing the game with. Now to answer both you and Coop and others who might miss read things, a small group doesn’t properly represent the whole, and thats the point. Ken made an even better point, in that some people just fellow players not the team, my main point is to not look at race as a driving factor. Even when considering Shockley, of course black people want to see a black QB succeed, it means breaking down more barriers, not that your racist, check out the black history month acknowledgements on NFL network it explains it all. A real fan such as myself wants the QB that gives you the best chance to win, same as most fans no matter your color, at the same time when I see an example of a group representing the whole I’m discouraged by where we’re trying to get as a society. Tony Dungy was a perfect example, a African American coach wins the Superbowl, it shows steps and progress that has been made in our society that still has issues and one of the biggest yet again, is a group representing the whole. JJ, yes I do have your email, and if you took it as a jab at you personally you also have my email, its a jab at the media in general and there pursuit to stir up news. I gotta honestly say that I guess it was the wrong place for my comments, I expected it to be more of an eye-opener because this group has been so close and respectful, but apparently I was seriously wrong. This is the Falcons blog, no matter who I pissed off it was all in truth, and respect, and I was always open to debating my point of view, but I’m done with it, Go Falcons and all true fans of the Falcons

Falcon Devil

February 18th, 2010
5:55 pm

Ken, we don’t need two power backs, we need a power back and an elusive open field threat (Norwood or not). We need a talented legit NFL CB more than a strong but not quite as good as Turner, Turner type. You’d be hard pressed to find anyone with legit football knowledge who believe Brent Grimes is a better option at NFL CB than Cromartie. Cromartie seems to have a lack of focus (evidence by the 50 children spread throughout 38 states he has) but if you look at his rookie year there is no hiding the rare talent he possesses. If we can whip his butt into shape, which I believe our coaching staff could do so, he’ll be a perennial pro-bowler.

Falcon Devil

February 18th, 2010
5:57 pm

BTW Brian Williams may have played great during the very brief time he was healthy, but he was a stop-gap to begin with. He is pretty old and is coming off a blown ACL, not exactly worth putting alot of hope for next season and beyond into.

Falcon Devil

February 18th, 2010
6:03 pm

Don’t get me wrong though, I love Brent Grimes. Dude made the sickest plays last year of anyone, but I see him matching up better vs a speedy slot receiver than a large number 2 possession type. Thinking about a secondary consisting of Chris Owens, Cromartie, DeCoud, Moore/Coleman, and Grimes in nickel makes me giddy.

SeminoleWarrior

February 18th, 2010
7:47 pm

Good evening Cage Family…

If I were advising TD and Smitty, this is what my draft board would look like. Things may chance BUT the first round pick, WLB/OLB Sean Weatherspoon is a lock for me.

Here is the rest of my proposals:

Round One – OLB Sean Weatherspoon: 6’2” 245. An outstanding talent, Weatherspoon is simply the best WLB in this draft. He is a playmaker in the running game, a very solid defender in the passing game, and can be a force in a blitzing scheme. He does not excel in any one area BUT he puts it all together to make plays consistently. His leadership skills and intangibles are excellent. He is a game changer at the crucial WLB position.

Round Three, Pick One – WR Eric Decker: 6’3” 220. Decker is a big, physical receiver with fine speed and excellent hands. He blocks effectively in the running game and runs great routes. Smart and knows where he needs to be on the field in order to facilitate the play and change the character of the game. Decker has been compared to current Falcon Brian Finneran, a relentless warrior who gives his all for the team. Matt Ryan has a trust in Fin and if he can establish the same with Decker, opposing defenses will need to look out. Decker could emerge as the possession receiver the Falcons sorely need.

Round Two, Pick Three – CB Brandon Ghee: 6’0” 190. I have watched this guy cover ACC receivers for the last three years. He is VERY solid in coverage. He, like Patrick Robinson of my beloved Seminoles, could be more physical in the run game and do a better job of jamming at the line. This can be coached up. Ghee could be the big CB that Coach Lewis seems to want.

Round Four, Pick One – DE Brandon Lang: 6’4” 255. Lang provides quality depth at the defensive end position. With Abraham getting older and still an injury risk from year to year, the Falcons need to find a pass rush. Biermann and Sidbury have been taken in the last two years and both have good upside. Biermann should get a chance to start this season, Sidbury will gain more time. Lang can learn from the Sugar Bear and could be the next great end from Troy in time. In a worse case scenario, we get quality depth at the position and he can also play some OLB (SLB). In watching him on ESPNU a couple of times this past season, he did remind me of Dwight Freeney in terms of his moves.
Round Four, Pick Two – WR Freddie Barnes: 6’0” 210. Like Decker, Barnes is a big, quality receiver. His one area of concern is he is not the fastest dude out there BUT he understands the importance of YAC (yards after catch). He makes each possession count. He knows how to run routes and block down field. He has skill returning kicks as well. Barnes, simply, when he has the ball in his hands, makes plays. Don’t be fooled because he played in the MAC. This kid is gold and someone will tap this mine and be QUITE happy. Barnes could be a perfect slot receiver for the Falcons.

Round Five – TE Jeron Mastrud: 6’6” 255. Mastrud is a complete TE who is a fine blocker and is an excellent red zone target. Again, courtesy of ESPNU football this past season, I saw his skills on display while watching the Wildcats of Kansas State. He is a good study and a year observing and working with Tony Gonzalez could make Mastrud the steal of this draft class at this pick. He is that good.

Remaining picks would be used for offensive and defensive lines.

Body armor is on and I am ready for the body blows that are sure to come. So, let it all begin.

Watch the Game

February 18th, 2010
8:08 pm

You had me fired up until you said J. Anderson could become a R. Seymour. What are you smoking?

SeminoleWarrior

February 18th, 2010
8:22 pm

The Falcons should stay clear of Cromartie and Peppers. Why waste time trying to sell your system when there is up and coming talent on board that has already bought into the Process.

Box

February 18th, 2010
8:36 pm

SW,
I like your picks. Well thought out. This means that we go for a OL in FA, otherwise, we need to get a OL in round 4, pick two. Then get a diamond in the rough WR at round 6, and another OL in round 7.

SeminoleWarrior

February 18th, 2010
8:49 pm

Thanks Box…

SeminoleWarrior

February 18th, 2010
8:54 pm

The OL, IMHO, will be set with the following lineup:

RT – Reynolds
RG – Clabo
C- McClure
LG – Blalock
LT – Baker
TE – Gonzo

Another year working with Boudreau….and this year, it starts to show serious dividends.

CBrass

February 18th, 2010
9:08 pm

SW,

I was going to say the exact same thing about the draft but I knew that you were going to say it…LOL Great break down and analysis.

SeminoleWarrior

February 18th, 2010
9:25 pm

Box, I took a DE and a WR in the fourth round.

Thanks CBrass..I know the heat is on the way.

falcon21

February 18th, 2010
9:25 pm

The heart of a team is the O-Line. Bad O-Line = bad results. We can talk about the process over and over. Get another O-Lineman in FA, if that don’t happen then we need to draft Bulaga first if available. We also need a CB. Grimes will never be a great cover corner. Sorry Ken but height does make a difference. When a CB is looking eye to shoulder to a WR he is at a disadvantage. Try to get a CB third or fourth pick and try to grab a WR after that.

SeminoleWarrior

February 18th, 2010
9:27 pm

Falcon21, take a look at my third round proposal. You get a “big” CB and a big WR.

SeminoleWarrior

February 18th, 2010
9:29 pm

No offense but you guys need to stop sleeping on Grimes. Two years and tremendous strides have been made in his game. The kid is only going to get better. I promise you..if the Falcons let him get away, he will not be out of work long.

Box

February 18th, 2010
9:36 pm

SW,
I know, that is where I removed your 4th round WR and inserted an OL, but only without a OL in FA.

JJ

February 18th, 2010
9:37 pm

WR, were good buddy. We all have diff. opinions, who’s to say who’s right? It’s a blog but I agree most members are respectful. Respect, ’nuff said!!!

JJ

February 18th, 2010
9:38 pm

break right..out!

falcon21

February 18th, 2010
9:42 pm

SW, I love Grimes as a Falcon and hope we keep him, he is a great talent but I think we can get better at the corner. He is a good backup and very good in the nickel package. SW I saw your third round proposal and agreed totally.

SeminoleWarrior

February 18th, 2010
9:43 pm

Laters JJ…about to do the same here. A long day ahead tomorrow.

Breaking right…keep it real, keep it safe, and God willing, the Warrior will see you on the other side.

ONE NATION…FALCON NATION.