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 Jacksonville Jaguars just paid pretty big money to DE Aaron Kampman a few days ago after drafting Derrick Harvey in the first round and Quentin Groves in the second round. If the Falcons guess right, they could snag the next Julius Peppers or Dwight Freeney, but they could just as easily take the next Michael Haynes, Jerome McDougal, or…….well you know. A look at some of the big names being mentioned for the Falcons at pick number 19 and their Scouting Combine performances:

Jason Pierre-Paul – 6’4 – 270 – South Florida

40 Time: 4.69 – Bench Reps: 19 – 16.5 Tackles for Loss – 6.5 Sacks

Pierre-Paul has been shooting up the draft boards since his senior season and is the prototypical defensive end that general managers are looking for with size and speed. He attended a junior college his first two years and really only had one year worth of work. Seems to be a major project and could struggle mightily adjusting to the pro level. 19 reps for bench is beyond low for a potential defensive end. Probably will be gone by #19 anyway.

Derrick Morgan – 6’3 – 266 – Georgia Tech

40 Time: 4.72 – Bench Reps: DNP – 18.5 Tackles for Loss – 12.5 Sacks

Morgan is a local fan favorite who helped Georgia Tech have one of their best seasons in recent memory. Possesses great skill and promise and had a eye-popping almost 20 tackles for loss and over 12 sacks as a junior in the tough ACC. Decided to leap to the pros after realizing he may be a top 10 or 15 pick. Had some issues in final two matchups against Georgia and Iowa. Many question why he didn’t participate in the bench press at the combine. If DE’s struggle jumping from college to the NFL, what about junior defensive ends? Likely also gone by #19.


Brandon Graham – 6’1 – 268 – Michigan

40 Time: 4.72 – Bench Reps: 31 – 26 Tackles for Loss – 10.5 Sacks

By far the most popular pick in the vast majority of mock drafts scripted in the last month. Graham has been the model of productivity and consistency at the University of Michigan, two traits Thomas Dimitroff craves. TD is keen on taking players that are leaders and have shown a high level of consistency in their entire college career instead of just a one year wonder. Many believe this is a perfect match. Graham was named MVP of the Senior Bowl after posting a multiple sack performance against some of the best college tackles. Many believe he would be better suited as an OLB in the 3-4 defense (one of draft experts favorite categories). The Falcons will be considering him solely as a defensive end. A little on the short side, but totaling almost 30 sacks in just 2.5 years as a starter at Michigan playing in the Big Ten can’t be questioned. Graham matches up with Dwight Freeney’s measurables almost exactly.

Everson Griffen – 6’3 – 273 – USC

40 Time: 4.66 – Bench Reps: 32 – 9.5 Tackles for Loss – 8 Sacks

Griffen is becoming the new favorite dark horse pick for the Falcons by some draft experts. The defensive end from Southern California had a fantastic combine with his super fast 40 time and bench reps to go along with his prototypical defensive end size. Has all the measurables and likely pushed himself into the first round with a very good combine. Griffen had good sack numbers as a junior, but nothing off the charts, particularly his tackles for loss (9.5) compared to Brandon Graham’s (26). Stats obviously aren’t everything, but decent numbers from the Pac 10 may not translate the way other conferences do. Another junior defensive end that may be a risk.

Carlos Dunlap – 6’6 – 277 – Florida

40 Time: 4.71 – Bench Reps: 21 – 10.5 Tackles for Loss – 9 Sacks

Dunlap has the size for a defensive end that general managers crave: big, tall, and fast. Dunlap hails from one of the most defensively talented teams in all of college football and was a core member of that team. Had good sack numbers, posting almost double digit sacks his sophomore and junior years in the SEC, which is no small feat. Dunlap surely has all the measurables to be great at the next level, but questions began to run rampant on character and work ethic after he had a very public DUI the week of the SEC Championship. A junior defensive end that will likely need time to grow and needs to be in the right environment to succeed. Of all the potential first round defensive ends, Dunlap appears to be the biggest risk. 21 bench reps is extremely low for a supposedly big and powerful defensive end.

Chris Houston to Detroit for 6th Round Pick

Most Falcons fans had a good idea which cornerback would be highest on the shipping block when #1 CB Dunta Robinson was inked. Chris Houston has been the ire or many fans since his rookie year with his inability to make plays on the ball. He certainly possesses all the skills needed to be a good cornerback in the NFL, but his trouble making plays on the ball is ultimately what punched his trade card. It was evident early on that Houston may have trouble in the season when both San Diego QBs picked on him all night in the main preseason game against the Chargers, particularly on 3rd and long.

Perhaps the expectations on Houston were too high since he was counted on to be the #1 cornerback pretty much from the beginning. He had his ups and downs, but he had a big chance to prove he was the guy this year and came up short. Some thought he may could compete for the 2nd CB spot or even the nickel, but Owens, Grimes and Williams will be fighting for that spot. Thomas Dimitroff gained yet another draft pick for April, which raises the likely total to 9. Imagine the possibilities. Best wishes to Chris Houston and thanks for his time as a good teammate and person in the community.

Potential Draft Picks in April

1st Round

3rd Round

4th Round

4th Round (Likely Compensatory Pick)

5th Round

5th Round (Likely Compensatory Pick)

6th Round (Lions)

6th Round

7th Round (Likely Compensatory Pick)


Would it Be That Crazy?

Most fans will smash their computers against the wall when this question is posed, but here it goes anyway: would signing Terrell Owens to a one year deal be insane? The addition of Dunta Robinson has many believing that a major title run is closer than some originally thought. Tony Gonzalez only has one year left, maybe two max, and any big run will likely involve him. The defense appears to be vastly improving, but the offense needs one more major playmaker. Michael Jenkins may not be a true #2, Harry Douglas is returning from a major injury, and any WR drafted wouldn’t have the impact of T.O. He is 36 and has been known to a locker room cancer, but may behave on a one year deal back home in the South. Just throwing it out there; no flying computer parts headed my way please.

Enjoy and Go Falcons!!!!!!!……………….


Who's It Gonna Be?

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443 comments Add your comment


March 9th, 2010
10:35 pm

No to T.O.

Griffen is a beast…will he be there?


March 9th, 2010
10:39 pm

Like Graham…we probably have a better chance at landing him. Morgan will be gone, ditto JPP. If all were available probably Morgan. Dunlap will be good for somebody…but can he stand up to the TD Character Test?

Sarah B

March 9th, 2010
10:41 pm

NO he won’t, Didn’t anyone watch the Seinor Bowl? Dude was awesom!


March 9th, 2010
10:45 pm

DePlane – I know on T.O. I feel the same way, but the pure prospect of his playmaking would be intriguing. Too bad the personality has to come with the player. We do need a significant playmaker opposite Roddy though. Ultimately, I trust in what TD does, but I’m really gunshy of a DE in the 1st, particularly a junior DE. If we go DE, I say we go with Graham, who has been extremely productive and consistent as a college player. Two things TD loves.

Which Combo? – Seemingly, if we were to go OLB 1st than DE 3rd or DE 1st than OLB 3rd, I suppose its a matter of which has the potential best value. Would you rather have Weatherspoon at OLB and Brandon Lang at DE or Brandon Graham at DE and Eric Norwood at OLB? As much as I would hate to admit it, the latter looks better on paper.

Bangkapi Ajarn

March 9th, 2010
11:01 pm

Nice post D3, lots of brain candy served up:

A) NO to TO, if not just my idea then incomprehensible based on what TD has said/done in his tenure. Totally against his MO, and he is the one making the choices after all. Overpaid, overhyped DON”T NEED OVERHERE!!

B) I voted Graham out of the choices listed, although I suspect unless someone unexpected falls to 19 the pick could well be traded down a bit at the last minute so another team can jump for Spiller of one of the top two CB’s, or even Mays – IF one of those marquis names is still on the board.

Why Graham if a DE is selected? Consistency, productivity, aggressiveness that translated into sacks and TFL’s. He is also versitile, which allows Bierman or Sidbury to come in for passing situations and mask where the rush is REALLY coming from (recall the packages last year where Abrham was dropping into coverage). Graham has the measurables AND the intangibles that TD looks for in any round, and he would compliment the existing talent.

Sarah B

March 9th, 2010
11:12 pm

We can cross our fingers but Graham will be gone by #19. Please let it go. If I’m wrong I will be happy, don’t get me wrong. He could be our new Kerney.


March 9th, 2010
11:28 pm

yesssss… We can talk about DE’s…. D3…You are coming to the DE side now…lol…. But yea.. I want to touch on a couple of your topics

If we go DE… Derrick Morgan as to be the#1 choice but he will be long gone…. The main 2 guys i really like is Brandon Graham and Everson Griffen…. I know allot of you are look at the senior bowl and”aww “over Graham but i throw that game completely out… Like a GM said in an article that i read…. basically… The talent at the senior bowl was lacking.. He said less then 25% of the guys at that game will actually get drafted… 2 of the guys Graham dominated (Selvish Capers and Chris Scott) are 4th and 5th round O-Line.. I put more stock into the DT’s because they faced the top Guards and Centers in the draft

Anyway… Brandon Graham don’t need the senior bowl on his resume… I seen this guy completely destroy Iowa LT Bryan Bulaga (#2 rated LT in the draft…potential top 10 guy)… I mean Graham just destroyed Bryan Bulaga and Kyle Calloway when Michigan faced Iowa…He also dominated Wisconsin whom will have a 1st round OT next year… The thing i like most about Graham is that he was consistent…. The guy consistently improved his stats each year… He may not have the highest ceiling but the guy does not have a bust floor…. He will give you everything he has

I wasnt that high on Everson when i purely looked at his stats but when i looked at a couple of his games…. Dude can be a monster with the right Coaching…. He has all the physical tools you look for in a DE.. The guy is fast, strong, and a quick first first step…. With that said he has to improve the way he use his hands and he must have a D-Line coach that will stay on his ass…lol.. I think he loves the game of football and want to be great but it seem like he has that already arrived type attitude… dudes like that can get a sack then get complacent in a game and just disappear…… Everson Griffen can potentially be a dominating LDE which is really really rare… I think Coach Hamilton can help him get there.

D3.. Dealing with the draft picks…. Take a look at this…
It can go either way tho… Dude is normally dead on tho.

Man i really had high hopes for Chris Houston… I felt like he showed signs his rookie year… Then in 2008 he showed even more signs of improving and getting better… But last year he just regressed… It seem like he lost his confidence after that Chargers preseason game.. He was not the physical aggressive type CB that Coach Smith wants… Best wished to CH tho… He has the talent

Its interesting that you brought up getting another WR (TO) … Anquan Boldin said we was one of the teams that showed interest in him.

TO is not the best idea but i definitely think we will draft a mid-round WR… I don’t think the FO or Coaching Staff is 100% satisfied with Michael Jenkins (Remember the Peter King quote) ….


March 9th, 2010
11:34 pm

Late night check in with the cagers,

Deplane, its hard getting anyone on the Spiller train, trust me I have tried for weeks, but I agree he will be long gone, also glad to see you figured out that overall this is just a good blog, we brawl here and there, we miss a post here and there but its all family in the cage.

Coop, classic come back, hate I wasn’t around to respond sooner, nothing wrong with a little maintenance here and there, we’re worker bees, we pollenate for a while to give the hedges time to grow, then we tear them down and sting a few dogs pissing up the wrong tree in the process,LOL, going to be a great season.

JJ, oh your commenting on my post again I thought the brotherly love was gone you hater (j/k), I like Spoon myself and would hate for him to land with the Saints, but none of it matters if the Falcons lose Ryan, if a Bulaga,Williams or Spiller slip to the Falcons it would be a great injustice not to take one of them over the D, its a process, during the Process you have to protect and help your franchise continue to build, lossing your franchise QB starts the process over, lossing or not obtaining a OLB, DE, or DT only continues the process.

Nookah, I am a Ford fan but don’t let the blazing speed fool you, Ford has absolutely no quickness, straight line speed, check, making someone miss, yeah right. But I still like him for the fact that he can stretch a defense much the same as Alvin Harper did for the Boys back in the day, Harper couldn’t make anybody miss but they had to catch him first, same goes for Willie Gault from the 85′ Bears.

Bangkapi Ajarn

March 9th, 2010
11:40 pm

Interesting link on the comp picks ATLJBO, thanks. He thinks that Atlanta only gets two comp picks because of the Brett Romberg signing (who I had assumed was below the level to cancel out a comp pick), a 3rd and 5th.


March 9th, 2010
11:57 pm

Bangkapi… He said Brett Romberg may not count… it depends on the threshold…. I personally dont think he will count against us…. I think we will get a 7th round comp for Grady Jackson

Ree Roe

March 10th, 2010
12:16 am

lol @ Morgan playing in the “tough ACC”…D3 you’re too smart to believe that. BTW, I think Graham would be great at DE, but I believe our biggest issue is LB, WR, DE & OL in that order. Sean Weatherspoon from Mizzou still seems like the best pick available based on our needs.

Any word on if we go after a veteran WR like Laverneaus Coles?

-REEad to Roe!

Big Ray

March 10th, 2010
12:39 am

If going for a DE, I’d take Graham. Griffen is tantalizing, Dunlap reeks of boom or bust, we don’t have time for all that.

Griffen doesn’t do what Graham has done. Does he exude urgency? Pierre Paul is unproven, but then again so was Clay Matthews, and he did GREAT when he hit the League. Does Pierre Paul have the same level of urgency and work ethic? Not sure.

Going with Graham if DE is the pick.

Don’t rule out a DT, especially in the third round. We’re way too shaky at that position. OLB has as much of a chance in the 1st round as anything else. Weatherspoon is the likely pick.


March 10th, 2010
12:58 am

For those of your that says LB is a need… Guys like 6′4 246lbs.AJ Edds (3rd or 4th round) , 6′0 232lbs .Simoni Lawrence (4th or 5th round), 6′2 243lbs Thaddeus Gibson (3rd round) , and 5′11 235lbs Rennie Curran (3rd or 4th round)… I saw reports saying that we interviewed all of these guys at the combine.

I like Sean Weatherspoon and would be cool with us drafting him (very happy) but there are other talented LB’s that fits our scheme in the 3rd or 4th rounds.

I cant think of a DE with Griffen or Graham type talent in the 3rd or 4th round.


March 10th, 2010
1:29 am

All together now, Hell NO to TO, Hell NO to TO, Hell NO to TO, Hell NO to TO


March 10th, 2010
2:25 am

I’m honestly starting to lean towards an upgrade for the DL in one of two ways. Where we need help on the D-Line is up for debate. Some feel we need a DE, others feel our immediate need may be to secure the DT spot. Regardless of which way you feel about this, both arguments are rooted into the same problem, the lack of pass rush. I think it’s important we address this in this draft.

There are several different ways we can snag the necessary peices. We can go OLB in the 1st and take a guy like Spoon. We could then take a DT in the 3rd. As many of you have already mentioned, this is a DT heavy draft. This would be one approach that might be worth considering to pick up some peices for the defense. We would add a solid OLB to pair with Lofton and we’d also pick up some insurance in the middle. The other option would be taking a DE in the 1st round, and then come back and take a OLB in the 3rd. I’m leaning more and more on this approach as we get towards draft day because we’d really be much improved if we took this route. Think about it.

1st round – Take a DE in the 1st. You name the player of choice based on the possibility they’re on the board when the Falcons pick.

3rd round – Take a OLB. OLB is clearly an area that needs to be addressed. But, with Mike Peterson still on the roster, there’s no need to have a starter-ready OLB at the start of the season. Taking an OLB in the 3rd that can come in and learn from Lofton and Peterson and then step in and get more snaps as the season goes (like our 3rd rounder from last year Chris Owens). Peterson basically buys us a little extra time which should be considered when draft day comes around.

If the Falcons can pick up a couple of solid impact peices in this years draft to add to the defensive side of the ball, then the defense will look a lot different than it did last season. Think about the upgrades. The signing of Dunta, the return of Peria Jerry and William Moore, and 2 impact picks from this years draft. I think we’d definately see an improved unit if T.D. went defense with our 1st two picks.


March 10th, 2010
2:46 am

We need to let our present group of young DE prove themselves. Drafting another DE just undermines their development, unlesss we can trade a present player for a draft pick. We also need to add impact players on both sides of the ball. Your observatons only address defensive needs. MR needs protection and weapons.


March 10th, 2010
3:21 am

Great work as always D3…and I can’t say no emphatically enough concerning TO. Next subject…definitely like the latter choice of Graham & Norwood. And this recent love for the unproductive and inconsistent Griffen is a result of great workout and combine numbers. Thankfully TD does value college production and leadership. I still feel if one of the top OL are available or one of the game changers (Spiller, Golden Tate, Dez Bryant) with have to take a hard look in order to help out Ryan. It all depends on which player brings more value (defensive or offensive in the final analysis so you have to keep an open mind.

The Real Falcon

March 10th, 2010
7:00 am

Unfortunately if they’re playing strong-side DE all are a bit too light. That the side defending against the run in base defense. Abe plays best from the weak-side.
No way TO.
Lastly the position with the largest learning curve is WR by the way.


March 10th, 2010
7:21 am

Why not get the best of both worlds….We could take the LB Witherspoon in the first, and take Eric Norwood in the 3rd. His natural position and most effective position is DE.

florida falcon

March 10th, 2010
7:52 am

Historically, TO is a pain on his 2nd season, not the first on any team he’s with. Having said that, he is a vast improvement than our 2nd and 3rd wideouts. Atleast the opposition HAS to take his presence on the field seriously. unlike our current 2 nd 3 receivers. Plus TO won’t break the bank. He knows the old paydays are over.


March 10th, 2010
8:17 am

No on TO. The last thing we need is a WR with unreliable hands. We have that in MJ and even in Roddy. I do think that we need to improve the WR position next to Roddy but TO is not the answer.

Big Dawg Daddy

March 10th, 2010
8:20 am

No TO No TO No TO…

Look for Graham or OLB Weatherspoon from Missouri in the draft. They are the kind TD targets, NOT TO.

Knew Money

March 10th, 2010
8:57 am

ATL needs to shake things up. TO to the Falcons would have this city buzzing. Why not bring TO in to talk to him. This guy was a on his best behavior in Buffalo. Maybe he’s reformed. TO would have the dome rockin.


March 10th, 2010
9:07 am


Great post. You already know my position on all the topics presented. As Box stated drafting a DE that high will only send the message of “We Do Not Believe In You” to both Beirmann and Sid. I think both of those players have a lot to offer and as you stated DE has a very steep learning curve. Unlike Anderson Beirmann is actually making strides.

D3, “tough ACC”…really?


March 10th, 2010
9:13 am

The latest mock draft from nfl.com. Most of you Golden Tate fans will like this one.


Knew Money

March 10th, 2010
9:14 am

I’d Say Yes to TO. The best organizations are the ones that don’t act “SCARED”. As a Lifelong Atlanta Fan, I’ve seen our Professional Franchises get rid of Dominique, Bret Farve, Deion Sanders, David Justice, and want to run Josh Smith out of town now. Not to mention countless others because they caused contraversy. Lets take a look at the facts. Dallas brought in Deion to win the SB after ATL ran him out for his flamboyance. New England brought in Randy Moss after he quit on the Raiders. Hey in Basketball Cleveland brought Shaq in to get a ring, even though many people thought he couldn’t play second fiddle to LeBron. True Atlanta Fans are tired of losing. We’re tired of just making the playoffs. Going into this season optimism is high, probably the highest since 2004 after we made it to the NFC Championship. With Tony Gonzalez and John Abraham probably one season away from retirement, the time is now. AB have some guts and go GET TO.

Just saying..

March 10th, 2010
9:19 am

Nice Post, thoughtful…


March 10th, 2010
9:26 am

d cubed,
I am leaning towards OLB. Get a hybrid like Jerry Hughes (TCU) who is projected as an OLB but played DE at college and is a converted RB from HS (meaning decent speed).

No to T.O.


March 10th, 2010
9:27 am

Good morning Cage Fam..

Let’s right to the point. The Falcons will NOT go defensive end with the 19th pick. Here’s the scope as I see if from TeePee Central:

Picking ahead of the Falcons are four teams are in dire straits when in comes to pass rush issues.

First, at twelve, the Dolphins have a big time need. Joey Porter was released and Jason Taylor is aging. You can be sure that Bill Parcells will NOT neglect the pass rush. So that take care of Brandon Graham or Derrick Morgan.

Second, there is the Seattle Seahawks. With two first round picks in the draft, they are the team to watch closely. One pick, #6, MUST be used on an OT given the injuries that Walter Jones has had over the past few years. Jone has even hinted at retiring. The second pick, #14, SHOULD go with whoever is left between Morgan and Graham. Patrick Kearney is talking retirement due to injury issues and he is the best pass rusher they have. Watch this closely!!

Third, here are the New York Giants. Their defense is in transition. Antonio Pierce was released and Umenyiora is unhappy with playing time and his contract. He is also coming back from injury. The Giants need to get a pass rusher and/or LB. McClain should be the pick to replace Pierce BUT I would not rule out Graham or Morgan if they are here. The Giants are also the first team to be a threat to take Spoon due to his versatility. They may consider moving him inside.

Fourth, I present the Tennessee Titans. Like the Giants, their defense is in transition. Pash rush is a MAJOR issue here. Vander Bosch is gone and “The Freak” is heading towards his rocking chair. If either Graham or Morgan is on the board here, I assure you that they will NOT get past the Titans and Jeff Fisher.

So where does that leave ATL? If Morgan and Graham are gone, the Birds SHOULD NOT CONSIDER any of the remaining defensive ends. There is not a single one of them worth the first round pick. The remaining DEs offer NO greater value than what we have on the roster.

Carlos Dunlap and Everson Griffen are physical specimens BUT both come with questions about work ethic, conduct off the field, and focus. Can you say RED FLAGS!! Pierre-Paul is the second coming of JA98, a one year wonder in his junior season, that is still very raw and will take time to accumulate to the pro game. Stay away!!

Biermann has two years in the system and from what I have seen, is more than ready to be given the chance to show his stuff. Babs could move outside where his skill set could be used at the defensive end. We also could continue to develop Sidbury and take a DE late, one like Brandon Lang or CJ Wilson.


March 10th, 2010
9:29 am

Knew Money, we are not the Dallas Cowboy. If I’m not mistaken the owners did not want to pay Prime Time which is the reason that he left. Brett Farve wouldn’t have been the QB that we know him as today because he was to busy partying and he wouldn’t have gotten the proper coaching here anyways. He has all but admitted that himself. If TD and Co decides to bring in a ME player like TO then I will seriously start questioning their decision making and will also start to lose faith in The Process. The only reason that TO was so good in Buffalo was he was excepting to get a new contract then he was cut and not no one wants him..well except for Ochocino and that alone should tell you something. Not trying to pick a fight but I just do not see this happening. Now if you were making a case for someone like Boldin(if he was still available) I would agree with you 1000%.


March 10th, 2010
9:31 am

SCBird, I presented that proposal to the Cage on Saturday in the previous topic if you recall. I think it would be a steal. Norwood could play the DE for us, taking a year to learn and grow behind JA55, his idol.

Draft both Spoon and Norwood. Biermann could start opposite Abe this season, Babs could move outside to play end. But given all we have heard about Norwood and his focus, he could take a year to be a special teams ace, develop his frame like Biermann did a year ago, and learn the art (which he has already learned a HELL of a lot). Thank SC Bird for bring back to the surface my point.


March 10th, 2010
9:36 am

Anyone thinking that TO is coming to ATL is absolutely wrong. TO would be a MAJOR setback to Matt Ryan and we can definately do better.

I would rather see them go after Derrick Mason. They (Mason and TO) are the same age BUT is there a more professional WR in free agency than Mason. And anyone we take in the third or fourth round at WR (Decker, Barnes, Easley) would be well suited to watch this pro do his thing.


March 10th, 2010
9:37 am

Simply put, Arthur Blank, if you read this blog, hear me. Stay away from TO!!

Bangkapi Ajarn

March 10th, 2010
9:43 am

Thanks, ATLJBO, I went back and read the entire column. I know anguishing over whether or not the Falcons get a very late 7th round pick (Mr. irrelevant candidate?) is picking the ultimate nit, however there is an opportunity to get the pick of the (almost) free agent litter at that point, and a substantive upgrade at kicker could add an extra W or two next year.That could well be the spot for the primo graduating kicker, if such exists.

KC in Smyrna

March 10th, 2010
9:48 am

I look at the draft and free agency together as ways to add talent to required areas.

Falcons needs: #1 CB, OLB (possibly 2), play making strong side DE, Tackle (move Baker to RT), young TE, WR, backup RB, and Center

1. CB: Dunta Robinson (done)
2. OLB (#1): sign a veteran LB after June 1st to compete with Nichols and hopefully win
3. OLB (#2): draft in 3rd – 4th round or comp pick. Productive LBs are available deep in the draft. Need to draft a big LB.
4. DE: Go sleeper route in 3rd – 4th round or comp pick. Looking for a guy with measureables and time to develop. 1st round DEs usually bust. Either have to ‘grow’ your DE or get lucky.
5. Tackle: 1st round if one of the top guys slide with the “Defensive run” expected in 1st round
6. TE: Need to get ready to replace Tony eventually. Also need to get #2 TE for someo of offensive packages.
7. WR: Sign TO to 2-yr deal.
8. RB:
9. Center

Free Agency:
CB (Dunta Robinson)
WR (T.O.)

1st: OT or CJ Spiller if all hell breaks loose
3rd: OLB
3rd (comp): DE
4th: Jeff Owens (big DT from UGA)
5th: Center
5th (comp): RB
6-7th: BPA flyers on hyper athletic players at WR, DE, RB, etc.


March 10th, 2010
9:51 am

not real excited about Kerwin’s Mock. 2.0. Jenkins just re-upped in late ‘08 to a big money extension, Roddy got paid, we just re-upped w/Finneran last week and I think Gonzalez is owed a big chunk of $$$ to finish out the last portion of his KC contract we took on after trading for him.
Short story, would we invest 1st round money into the WR/TE position given the high-dollar investments we already have, none of which will expire this summer?


March 10th, 2010
9:58 am

What in the Hades is Pat Kirwin smoking? That is the most silly draft board I have ever seen him put up!! That is the kind of BS I would expect from Todd McFake.

Bangkapi Ajarn

March 10th, 2010
10:00 am

SW, agree with your 9:27 comments, great job on a thoughtful analysis! When picking 19 or later it is dangerous to fall in love with a particular position, or sour on rising new talent if they didn’t make the pro bowl last year! I like Graham as one option for the pick if we don’t trade down a few slots at the last moment simply because of motor, productivity, and versatility. But, if he makes the team, who gets cut?

I still think there will be movement in the first round for the falcons on draft day, likely last minute.


March 10th, 2010
10:02 am

Take Graham, his production from his junior/senoir season proves he’s only going to get better.

“Hick NO” to T.O. that’s tainted meat that will make you sick to the stomach.


March 10th, 2010
10:04 am

Many of you will find this interesting. It explains the compensatory picks. Enjoy.



March 10th, 2010
10:14 am

BA, thanks. Just breaking it down as I see it. I continue to lead the Spoon Express on its path to New York. You are more than welcome to come along for the ride.


March 10th, 2010
10:16 am

BA, if we pick up Graham or Morgan, it is OVER for JA98. Davis is a quality reserve, Abe has one more year to go on his deal, Biermann shows promise and is ready to take it to the next level, and Sidbury will be given a more active role in his second year.

Acquiring the likes of a Jeff Owens or Lamarr Houston in the middle rounds would make JA98 expendable. MHO.


March 10th, 2010
10:18 am

LOVE this blog–more substance here than any of the pay-sites or “proffessional” sports sites!
1. Griffen others here have correctly noted his lack of “urgency” our other watchwords don’t match up with him either as he is neither “humble”(see photo above) nor “hungry”(see USC career).
2.I’ve been on the ‘Spoon wagon all along, but after running countless scenarios, I’m convinced that if we want another DE we’ll have to pass on “my guy” and go with your 2nd Combo.
3.NO T.O. Go with Decker or Riley Cooper to compete at WR in the 5th/6th.
SEMINOLE WARRIOR is exactly right about the 1st Rd. DE’s, if Graham is gone–PASS!
B Ajarn We could easily pick up the Kicker from Ala.or Michigan St in the 7th(and we SHOULD!)
Ya’ll keep up the good work–some excellent thinking on here!


March 10th, 2010
10:19 am

Greetings Cagers!!!

D3, nice post, but from the way you ended it by asking the question on TO, I knew from that moment “Knew Money” would come screaming…lol Whatup Knew Money? I know you enjoyed that post because TO is your guy. However, like I said yesterday, TO’s “Time is Over”. Anyway that’s my opinion and you are certainly entitled to yours. It’s all good.

CBrass, I may not agree with that draft but I would not be upset if we got Tate. Perhaps many may not agree with that but Golden is gonna be a great pro for some team.

My vote is with Graham because of the consistency and the high motor. That said however, I don’t think we’ll go DE in round 1. I still think we go LB with this pick and I have to be on SW’s ship and go for “QuickSilver Spoon” and Brandon Lang or Norwood in the later rounds.

DePlane, I know Griffin is your guy but I am not sure of the consistency. Question is, is either of these DE’s so much better than what we currently have on the roster that would warrant us picking one of them at 19? I think our current DE’s have shown enough for TD & Smitty to give them another year of development and I think they’ll have a coming out party this year.

ATLJBO, thanks for that link, it was informative.

Go Falcons!!!!


March 10th, 2010
10:37 am

I know one thing. TD places a lot of emphasis on production over measurables (see Curtis Lofton who was not a combine king but very productive at OU). That tells me that Brandon Graham is the man if TD goes DE at #19. But I don’t see Graham as OLB on the Falcons (4.72 40??). If the pick is OLB, it is probably trading down to get Withersoon from Mizzou. Although I think there is a 50% chance TD takes either Pouncey or Iupatii at #19 and then tries to trade up to get Witherspoon early in the 2nd. But why didn’t he hold onto Houston to throw into that package for trading up on draft day?


March 10th, 2010
10:42 am

FDB, you are on target my friend!! TD places a premium on poroduction but he also wants leadership AND ethic. My combo pick, Spoon and Norwood gives us both.


March 10th, 2010
10:44 am

According to our brother D O Led, the Falcons are done as far as big time FA moves. According to his inside sources, a few small moves may come here or there but for now, the focus is sqaurely on April.

Sly Ty

March 10th, 2010
10:44 am

SeminoleWarrior Pat Kirwin is filled with football knowledge, and sometimes it overloads him. There is a reason he was fired as a GM. Guys we can all speculate, but I see alot of guys that are basically JA98 or several players that are going to be far less effective than the “Beer Man” and Sidbury. JA98 is very good at DT position standing up against the run. None of the DE in this draft will be good against the run. However JA98 has value in that he has been getting added to the DT rotation. I don’t think we will pick a defensive player at 19, I am convinced at this point that the Center Maurkice Pouncey will be the pick. He is the best at his position, and Todd McClure is the smallest, slowest, oldest, but the smartest of the O-lineman. It is time for him to train his replacement, which hopefully won’t happen until the 2011 season.


March 10th, 2010
10:51 am

I’ve been hoping we’d trade down into the late 1st for ‘Spoon, but I no longer believe he’ll be there because of the AZ Dansby trade. “Spoon would be a great fit there, too. If he’s our guy we’d better pull the trigger at 19. Pouncey’s versatility gives him a leg up on Iupati in rd 1…..


March 10th, 2010
10:54 am

Sly Ty, great points on Pat Kirwin. He is a football guru for sure but this was so of of character for him. I would expect garbage like that from Todd McFake, the ESPN wanna-be. But Pat? I’m going to attest it to a bad latte this morning….LOL. Bring it, Pat!!

As far as Pouncey, I can see where you are going with that. A sleeper at center is Eric Olsen of Notre Dame. Solid skill set with a few minor issues but Coach Boudreau can take care of that with ease..could be a nice pick in the fourth or fifth round. Experienced center in a pro set.