Archive for March, 2010

Falcons Interior OL Draft Targets

Mid and Late Round Guard and Center Prospects

The 2010 NFL Draft is barely over the horizon and will officially be three weeks away as of Thursday. Fans and draftniks alike have settled around defensive end and outside linebacker as the two biggest options for the Falcons at #19. Brandon Graham and Sean Weatherspoon are the two favorites among the media and Bird fans alike. The possibility of both players being gone has definitely entered the mock draft projections recently. Many believe that Thomas Dimitroff and Company may elect to go center or guard at #19. The idea makes many fans happy since the offensive line situation is very vulnerable heading into this season, with Tyson Clabo, Harvey Dahl, and Justin Blalock all entering their last year of their contract and Todd McClure may retire at any time.

It’s almost a certainty that the Falcons will draft at least one or more offensive lineman, but the big mystery remains on when and where the Birds will elect to pick their …

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Falcons Full Mock Madness 2.0

Time to Play Falcons GM Part 2 

The 2010 NFL Draft is finally within a distance that is manageable (under the 30 mark; 27 days to be exact) and the anticipation is really starting to build. Besides a couple of potential trades, all that’s left is private workouts and speculation. The Falcons can go in any number of directions as the Big Day draws closer. Some of the most obvious needs include outside linebacker and offensive line, but the defensive end spot is the position that draws the most interest. 

Taking Thomas Dimitroff and Coach Mike Smith purely on their word, it seems that defensive end is not a need and might not be a part of the equation as the draft rolls around. Coach Smith talked about Jamaal Anderson making “great strides” at the defensive end position. Yes, he was being serious. Anderson can and does add great value to the team and defensive line, but at the defensive tackle position, not at End. The stats are pretty well known on drafting first round …

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Could the Falcons Make a Surprise Pick in the 1st Round?

Although Highly Unlikely, Could a Shock Be in Order? 

As the 2010 NFL Draft closes in on being under a month away, many draft experts and fans alike have begun to coalesce on a small number of possibilities that could take place with their respective teams first round pick. The majority of big events are over including roster moves, cuts, free agency, and the scouting combine. Granted, free agency continues well into August and all the way through the year, but the big moves that would severely affect draft boards have already taken place. There are pro days for sure, but those usually will only confirm or deny the beliefs already held by the scouts. Mostly, its just a waiting game at this point (a very excruciating one for fans).

After ranging between anywhere from 5 to 8 different prospects, most mock draft experts and their according mocks have been whittled down to 3 to 4 possibilities. Mocks before free agency and the scouting combine any number of the following players: …

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Falcons Full Mock Madness 1.0

Time to Be the Falcons GM

The 2010 NFL Draft is drawing ever so closer (35 days, but who’s counting) and the predictions, conversations, and debates are heating up at a rapid pace. The anticipation of the Big Day is almost as much fun as the event itself. Everyone who loves Falcons and football are scanning prospect lists and trying to figure out who would look best in red and black come August. Thomas Dimitroff has proven to be one of the best in the business in scouting players to add to the Birds roster. Only  2 players that Dimitroff has drafted (Wilrey Fontenot, William Middleton) failed to make the roster in their first year, and only one other (Thomas Brown) is not on the current roster or practice squad. The majority of TD’s picks have either become starters (Matt Ryan, Sam Baker, Thomas DeCoud, Curtis Lofton, Chris Owens), heavy contributors (Harry Douglas, Kroy Biermann, Chevis Jackson, Vance Walker), promising rookies (Lawrence Sidbury Jr., Garrett Reynolds, Spencer …

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DT in the 1st Rd a Possibility for the Falcons?

Could the Birds Go D-Tackle @ #19?

Continuing our series on who the Falcons and their top brass might have their eye on come April 22nd, is there any possibility of the Birds selecting a defensive tackle for the second year in a row? Another way to look at it is, should the Falcons look hard at taking another defensive tackle @ #19? Not the most glamorous position in the world, but it has become a high commodity of late and two of the draft prospects, Ndamukong Suh and Gerald McCoy, look to be taken in the first three picks, and possibly even the first two. One of the goals in our analysis running up to the draft isn’t necessarily to insist the Falcons will take any of these prospects, but to take a closer look at many of the names called come April.

The possibility seems silly thinking that Thomas Dimitroff would draft defensive tackles two years in a row and want to put 1st round type money into 3 D-Tackles, when only 2 can be on the field at one time. However, the injury …

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Should the Falcons Go OL in the 1st Rd?

Would an Offensive Lineman Be a Good Pick @ #19?

Many Falcons fans believe that its time for the Birds and their top brass to draft a franchise, bookend offensive tackle. One of the biggest and best surprises of the 2008 season was an amazing effort by the seemingly makeshift offensive line. Thomas Dimitroff traded up to draft Sam Baker in the first round in 2008. Justin Blalock was one of the main holdovers from the Bobby Pric-trino era. Todd McClure is one of the most underrated centers in the NFL, and the right side of the line consisted of two players redeemed from practice squads in Harvey Dahl and Tyson Clabo. Baker has been pretty solid, but has been injured and has missed a lot of games in his two years in Atlanta. Blalock has been a road grader in the run game but has had some issues in pass protection. McClure is the captain of the offensive line, but is 33 years old. Dahl is one of the feistiest players on the roster but also has issues in pass protection. Finally, …

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Falcons 1st Round DE Targets

Will the Birds Take a DE @ #19?

After Thomas Dimitroff and the Falcons front office quickly locked down the best cornerback in free agency in Dunta Robinson, many believe the pick has boiled down to two positions: OLB and DE. Even before Birds signed Robinson, many draftniks and experts alike have pegged a defensive end as one of the surest bets in the entire draft. The Jamaal Anderson defensive end experiment finally appears to be over, and most think Kroy Biermann and Lawrence Sidbury Jr. are only situational pass rushers (even though the stats suggest otherwise).

As Falcon fans know all too well, taking a defensive end in the first round can be a very risky proposition. The learning curve for defensive ends appears to be one of the deepest in the NFL for players making the jump from College to Pros, at least in their rookie years. In fact, since 2002, 71% of 1st round defensive ends had less than 5 sacks and 58% of 1st round defensive ends had 2 sacks or less. The …

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The Dunta Robinson Signing – Perfect Fit or Reach?

A Surprising and Emphatic Deal

Most Atlanta Falcons fans expected a quiet and pretty uneventful venture into Free Agency as the deadline approached. Not many expected GM Thomas Dimitroff to be active at all, and if he was it would be for players to come in and compete for backup spots and competition. So it was certainly a pretty big shock when reports began to surface late Thursday night and Friday afternoon that the Atlanta Falcons were extremely interested in free agent cornerback Dunta Robinson of the Houston Texans. Steve Wyche reported on the NFL Network on Thursday evening that the Falcons top brass, in fact, had been interested in Robinson for quite some time.

Reports began to heat up very quickly that it would just be a matter of time as Robinson flew into Atlanta to meet with Dimitroff, Coach Smith, Blank, and Company. It was thought to be a matter of time and how much the Falcons were willing to fork over for the best cornerback free agent on the market. The Falcons …

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Free Agency Arrival and Mock Mania 2.0

Free Agency is Here!

 ((((Free Agent Updates)))) – Any and all free agent updates will be provided in The Cage as soon as they become known, Falcons and  NFL.

It’s Christmas Eve for football junkies and front offices alike as the Free Agency is ready to kick off in a matter of hours. This year was supposed to be comprised of little activity and only a few big name players donning new uniforms with the failure of the NFL to reach a new collective bargaining agreement. That doesn’t seem to be the case at all as the deadline nears. With so many teams electing to limit players tenders or outright release them, the market has gained momentum. Who knew the following players would all be available when the signing period begins: Julius Peppers, Terrell Owens, Ladanian Tomlinson, Antrel Rolle, Thomas Jones, Darren Sharper, and Brian Westbrook. Granted, some of the players are a little past their prime, but the shear number of high-profile names makes for good entertainment and …

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Scouting Combine – Outside Linebackers

Top Performers from the Scouting Combine

The 2010 NFL Off-Season is inching ever so closer as the NFL Scouting Combine concludes on Tuesday. The combine can be seen as the official kickoff to the NFL Off-Season. The combine comes first, which then leads into free agency (although looking to be a mild one), Pro Days, and finally the NFL Draft in April. The scouting combine can be a great area for many players to showcase their superb talents and measurables, and either rise or fall on teams draft boards. Quoted by many experts as one of the deepest drafts in history, the Falcons will be in a prime position to add immediate impact players and also stockpile talent for the future. The Birds are expected to have 8 draft picks (5 of their own and 3 compensatory picks) when the NFL Draft rolls around.

The NFL Scouting Combine is a place where some players can vault up the boards with teams and general managers in love with measurables, strength, speed, and power. But any superb GM …

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