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 history to Peria Jerry and the likely 4 game suspension of Jonathan Babineaux makes the argument not so crazy all of a sudden. The Falcons have many needs up and down the roster: outside linebacker, offensive line, wide receiver, and defensive end to name a few. The probable thinking is that Jerry will come back from injury and provide the pass rush needed, but that’s a fairly big risk at this point. Jamaal Anderson has seemingly moved to DT permanently and does provide good depth against the run, even though his pass rushing skills are low. Vance Walker proved to be a great surprise and likely cemented himself in the solid 4 man DT rotation. Thomas Johnson played well in relief, particularly against the run, but had issues rushing the passer. Trey Lewis did come back with out injury, but will be fighting for a spot. Drafting a defensive tackle will probably happen, but later in the draft. But should the Falcons at least keep their options open @ #19?

Ndamukong Suh – 6’4 – 307 – Nebraska

Not a chance in the blue sky that the Falcons will have a shot at either Suh or McCoy as they’re almost guaranteed to go in the top 5 picks. Suh looks to be a fantastic pro, and could very well be the first player taken in the draft, depending if the Rams go for a quarterback or not. Falcon fans should hope that he or McCoy don’t fall to the Bucs at #3. Suh has more versatility in he could play a DT in the 4-3 or DEnd in the 3-4 scheme.

Gerald McCoy – 6’4 – 295 – Oklahoma

The difference between McCoy and Suh is razor thin according to many draft experts and looks promising to get snatched up by the Rams, Lions, or hard to believe he would slip past the Bucs at #3. Excellent pass rusher and, like Suh, looks to be a franchise defensive tackle for many, many years. Slotted as a pure defensive tackle in the 4-3 scheme and likely not big enough to play nose tackle in the 3-4 scheme, but one of the best prospects overall in the draft. No chance in Hades the Falcons have a chance at either.

Dan Williams – 6’2 – 327 – Tennessee

Bench Reps: 27 – 40 Time: 5.16 – Tackles for Loss: 9 – Sacks: 2.5 – Tackles: 70

Has risen up the draft boards in a hurry in a year that doesn’t have a plethora of big DT’s that can play nose tackle in the extremely popular 3-4 defense, 14 teams expecting to run the 3-4 in 2010. Excellent run-stuffer with a great first step and has played in one of the best conferences in the SEC. Can often be inconsistent. Would finally add the big body that Falcons fans want on the DL. May prosper from lack of big nose tackles. Slotted by most draft experts in the 1st round. Miami is a favorite choice to many.

Jared Odrick – 6’5 – 304 – Penn State

Bench Reps: 26 – 40 Time: 5.06 – Tackles for Loss: 11 – Sacks: 7 – Tackles: 43

Offers great pass rushing skills and had fantastic numbers as a defensive tackle, collaring 7 sacks which equals many or more sacks than most defensive ends. Excellent point of attack and burst and offers a lot in terms of rushing the passer. Terrific athlete, but may need some work in the run game. Many draft experts disagree on where he will go. Most believe that the Colts will have a keen eye on Odrick, but some have him slotted for the second round. Too similar to Jamaal Anderson in terms of frame?

Terrence Cody – 6’3 – 354 – Alabama

Bench Reps: DNP – 40 Time: 5.72 – Tackles for Loss: 6 – Sacks: 0 – Tackles: 28

Mount Cody, as he’s nicknamed by some, was thought to be a possible top 10 pick when Alabama was in the middle of their SEC and National Championship run, but weight and work ethic concerns have caused Cody to drop completely out of the first round. He will be coveted by many 3-4 teams who crave a big-bodied DT to stuff the run and occupy multiple blockers in the blitz heavy scheme. Many Falcons fans would love the bulk and size that would allow Babineaux, Abraham, Sidbury Jr., and company to rush the QB. Will many teams spend a 1st round pick essentially on a 2-down player?

Brian Price – 6’1 – 303 – UCLA

Bench Reps: 34 – 40 Time: 5.15 – Tackles for Loss: 23.5 – Sacks: 7 – Tackles: 48

Majority of draftniks believe that Price will be a second round pick, but he could be a great steal for someone that will either take a first round risk on him or a team lucky enough to grab him in the second round. His numbers were off the chart in terms of sacks, but particularly in terms of 23.5 tackles for a loss, which is outstanding for a defensive tackle. Anyway he could slide to 3rd or the Falcons take him @ #19? Doubtful, but he’ll probably be a good player.

Tye Hill Gone

News that Tye Hill was released wasn’t so much a shock to many fans, as it was to what it made the current depth at cornerback look like. The Hill release surprised many in that most believed he would have at least one full off-season to come in and compete for a spot in the cornerback rotation, particularly after Chris Houston was traded to the Lions. Houston and Hill would have been owed over $1 million and its tough to justify that as a #4 cornerback (Robinson, Owens, and Grimes appear to be 1-3). The release does create a dangerously thin roster at CB. Dunta Robinson, Chris Owens, Brent Grimes, Chevis Jackson, and Brian Williams (who is still rehabbing from a major knee injury). Looks like cornerback made a quick return to the needs list come the draft in April.

-Should the Falcons go DT with their first pick?

-Would it make sense to draft defensive tackles two years in a row?

-If not the first round, when would be a good spot to take a defensive tackle?

Enjoy and Go Falcons!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!……..

 

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291 comments Add your comment

Sarah B

March 16th, 2010
10:59 pm

HA! No fool can say first!

2nd

March 16th, 2010
11:11 pm

2nd like people care, We need a freaking VETERAN D End, not a rook.

waynester

March 16th, 2010
11:16 pm

Odrick or Price, maybe, I honestly like some of these guys projected after the 3rd round better like Alualu, Atkins, Houston, Smith from La Tech–much higher value players with skillsets that match our needs better than the early-rounders. We need another gap penetrator to help Abraham avoid the easy double-teams through disruption up the gut. No more of these leisurely outings for sub-par QB’s., please…

Box

March 16th, 2010
11:20 pm

Maybe only a fool can be first.

Sarah B

March 16th, 2010
11:23 pm

Box

March 16th, 2010
11:26 pm

I hope that we address DT in round 4 or 5. I believe that we have to believe like TD that PJ will be healthy for this year and we are only adding depth for that position.

ATLJBO

March 16th, 2010
11:27 pm

We wont spend the 19th pick on a DT but i do think we will draft a penetrating DT in the mid-late rounds
… If Thomas Dimitroff thinks Peria Jerry injury made a huge difference on our D-Line… What would happen if Babs or Peria went down next year…..

We have interviewed a couple of DT’s … I can see us getting a a late round DT.

falcon21

March 16th, 2010
11:39 pm

Some fool said first! Just kidding Sarah.

Sarah B

March 16th, 2010
11:45 pm

No prob F21. No DT with the 1st pick. Spoon!

waynester

March 16th, 2010
11:47 pm

I know it’s kind of a cliche’ but this really is the deepest draft I can recall. The threat of a rookie salary cap and a strike have combined to flood the market with some incredibly talented young players that we can build our team of the future within the next few weeks. I just hope Dimitroff has a couple of shrewd plans for extra picks in this target-rich environment….

falcon21

March 16th, 2010
11:53 pm

I don’t see Spoon that early but I’ve been wrong many times. Have a good night Cagers.

Big Ray

March 16th, 2010
11:54 pm

Tye Hill’s release doesn’t upset me in the least. Great point by D3 where the contracts are concerned. Clearly Hill has not shown enough of anything to merit getting paid that money as a 5th cornerback. Clearly he’s not more than a 5th cornerback, or it would be somebody else who was getting released. We may not be able to see it, but I think Hill did absolutely nothing to impress the coaching staff. And we didn’t lose much on him, either. We gave up a 7th round pick (big whoopy) for him, which means the true value on him was lost some time ago, but St. Louis. That alone should have been an early indication as to what kind of guy we were getting.

I figure TD has plans to draft a CB, one with potential and greater size like A.O.A. You never know. Another free agent could get signed, but I’m betting on us getting thicker in the secondary via draft.

The pickup of Gordiano (is that how you spell it?) was a good one. Don’t see it just in terms of simply adding depth in the secondary. No, this guy is probably also here to upgrade special teams, if I had to guess. I’m not familiar with the guy, but something tells me he’s played special teams before and has good speed. He’s not here just to be a safety…

Though it may seem like drafting a defensive tackle in the first round two straight years might be foolish, we have to remember that you build the line from the inside out. Trey Lewis is a guy TD and the crew had high hopes for, but between staying healthy and producing, he’s not been able to justify those hopes yet. Peria Jerry has some ability, but he’s already a question mark as soon as health comes up. Can he not only come back healthier, but stronger as well? He’ll need to be stronger, so he can defend against the run, or he becomes a 2-down DT, and we need better out of a 1st rounder. Anderson is already a 2-down DT who is useful against the run, and little else. Walker and Johnson are decent players that fill in well. But, they are not 1st-teamers.

As D3 says, Babs being on suspension for 4 games complicates things. We can’t afford to lean on Lewis and Jerry being healthy and accelerating their learning curve, with rotational guys and one-dimensional guys as our fall-back plan. We need another DT who can get it done and maybe grab double teams.

The question is…do we get that guy in the first round, or the third? Or the fourth? Whoever it is, it needs to be a player capable of stepping in THIS year, if necessary. Next year is fine, but might be too late.

MEANWHILE…

Weatherspoon is first round material. Believe it.

Sarah B

March 17th, 2010
12:05 am

m = freak – stay away!!!

Big Ray

March 17th, 2010
12:14 am

Sarah B,

Somebody got this place mixed up with Craig’s list or something….lol

waynester

March 17th, 2010
12:15 am

Big Ray
The more I think about our special teams, the more I think we’ll try to get a couple of LBers that can earn their keep on ST’s to begin with. 2 DT’s wouldn’t be a surprise, either. Add a DE, OT, OG/C,WR/KR, DB/KR and try for a Kicker UDFA. maybe an UDFA TE prospect… Not that I regret the Gonzalez trade but the depth this year makes me miss that 2nd. It does, however let us find a TE to develop with less pressure to produce immediately.

Sarah B

March 17th, 2010
12:17 am

Why does nobody but me like Peele?

Big Ray

March 17th, 2010
12:17 am

Waynester,

True. I can see us adding LBers to the special teams unit. I am certain that is where Giordano is headed. We will have to address the O-line somewhere along the way, but later rounds is where that may happen. I don’t know though…I’d welcome another TE prospect as well. We may or may not see that this year. I’m sure we’ll see a WR prospect, though.

Big Ray

March 17th, 2010
12:18 am

Sarah B,

I like Peele as well. I don’t know what the plans are for him, though. Or if he will develop into anything that will help stretch the defense.

waynester

March 17th, 2010
12:22 am

Peele is fine for our #2, it’s just a great draft for TE’s even late. It’s Zinger I’m wondering about.

darrell starks

March 17th, 2010
12:22 am

Whats all this talk about spoon at 19# i dont like.
GO FALCONS!!!!!!

Big Ray

March 17th, 2010
12:23 am

DARRELL,

You rather go D-Led’s route? LOL….

Big Ray

March 17th, 2010
12:24 am

Peele is a good blocker. Catching is okay, but nothing threat-emminent.

Sarah B

March 17th, 2010
12:32 am

Funny Big Ray I thought the same thing.

Darrell you also want TO Nuff said.

Big Ray

March 17th, 2010
12:32 am

Draftcountdown.com has Weatherspoon as our pick at #19, but then mentioned that we could go for Brandon Graham at DE. They go on to say we shouldn’t rule out getting Kyle Wilson due to the trade of Chris Houston, and that Maurkice Pouncey is a sleeper pick.

Why’d they have to go and mention Pouncey? Ugghhhh….

waynester

March 17th, 2010
12:33 am

It’s a realistic possibility that a TE like Pitta or Sicko could be found late. I’d like a guy like McClusters on special teams, A O-Ansah would be a great fit for us at CB and KR. The kid from F.A.M.U. could be a real sparkplug in the return game. We just need a few more picks, dadgummit!

Big Ray

March 17th, 2010
12:42 am

“A O-Ansah would be a great fit for us at CB and KR.”

Yessir…

Creek Johnson

March 17th, 2010
12:43 am

AOA is the truth. But what round do we get him, if we do?

darrell starks

March 17th, 2010
12:43 am

MY DRAFT BOARD WISH LIST
1.BRANDON GRAHAM
2.DERRICK MORGAN
3.ROLANDO MCCLAIN
4.JOE HADEN and DUNTA you can run all types of defensive coverage.
5.DEZ BRYANT day 1 starte over sorry jenkins DEZ, AND WHITE wow!!!!!!!!
ice man field day all day long.
6.C.J SPILLER trade 2 chargers for there 28# 60# for falcons C.J SPILLER and 83#
7. 28# SPOON OR SERGIO OR MAYS 60# DAMIAN WILLIAM
GO FALCONS!!!!!!!!

waynester

March 17th, 2010
1:23 am

Sadly, I fear A O-Ansah will go in the mid2nd(there’s that 2nd rd pick again).
Since darrell starks has brought up the Spiller to SD trade I obviously love this idea(going on and on and on about it), but darrell let’s hold their feet to the fire and demand their #’s 28,60 and 126 for our #19 and a 2011 4th rounder. Based on the latest 7 rd mock @ westsportreport.com that gives us:
28 OLB/ST Spoon
#60 DT Alualu
# 83 WR/RB/ST McClusters
#98 3rd Rd COMP OLB/ST AJ Edds
#117 WR D Thomas (GTECH)
#126 OT Tepper
# 148 CB/ST AJ Jefferson
#164 5th rd COMP OG Zane Beadles
# 167 (from DET) OG Brandon Carter
#185 DE D Te’o Nesheim
#238 7th Rd COMP TE Pitta
UDFA Kicker, RB
All from one simple, beautiful trade!

Box

March 17th, 2010
1:27 am

If TD can pull this scenario off, he gets my vote for president in the next election.

waynester

March 17th, 2010
1:31 am

Box
Roger that….

Ed

March 17th, 2010
2:40 am

Way to bring it D3…lots of good stuff. My belief is you can never have too many quality DL. There are so many questions with our DL, but most want to take the rose-colored route and see Jerry coming back good as new while others step up. We have no real DT definites or stars and if we could get one (Brian Price or Dan Williams) I wouldn’t have a problem in the world if TD took one. Rushing and protecting the QB are your main priorities and we need more players like Abe was in ‘08. That’s the only dynamic performance turned in by a defensive player in the TD/Smitty era.

JJ

March 17th, 2010
7:09 am

Morning Cage, great job D3.

I yield my time to coop/f21, have at it guys…lol.

JJ

March 17th, 2010
7:41 am

ok, times up!

Great article about GT WR Demaryius Thomas by Peter King. Even Cbrass cant root against this guy, well maybe…she is a young whipersnapper.

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2010/writers/peter_king/03/16/mail/index.html

JJ

March 17th, 2010
7:55 am

WLB, DE, WR, TE, OL, CB…then DT.

Unca' Bob

March 17th, 2010
8:29 am

JJ,

Thanks for the read. I was aware of his broken foot but not about his broken home. He seems like a good kid that could use a good break for a change.

JJ

March 17th, 2010
8:47 am

UB, yea I had no idea.

From Don Banks (SI) latest mock 3/16:

19 DE-OLB Brandon Graham Michigan Sr. 6-1 263 The Falcons crossed cornerback off the top of their need list when they signed Dunta Robinson, so now they can target help at outside linebacker or defensive end. I’ve had Graham locked into the Patriots at No. 22, but you know anyone Bill Belichick likes, Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff is going to like as well

32 OLB Sean Weatherspoon Missouri Sr. 6-2 245 With outside linebacker Scott Fujita signing with the Browns in free agency, New Orleans’ top need is for some youth on either side of middle linebacker Jonathan Vilma. Weatherspoon could go much higher than this, and if so, either TCU’s Jerry Hughes or Florida defensive end Carlos Dunlap become players the Saints could target.

CBrass

March 17th, 2010
9:27 am

JJ,

Not sure that I take to kindly to your 7:41 post.

CBrass

March 17th, 2010
9:41 am

D3,

As always great article. You make some strong arguments on why and who will make a great fit. Jerry’s injury history is well documented and the fact that Babs couldn’t wait to get home and smoke his weed is a strong argument of talking a DT at 19. However I still think Spoon is the pick. Got OLB in first, WR in the 3rd, and then take a DT in the 4th. I mean we did take Walker in the 7th round in last year draft and well all saw the strides he made. I honestly think with more playing time and with a year under his belt he could be the first one to step in when Babs have to serve his 4 game suspension.

SeenThisB4

March 17th, 2010
9:51 am

The Saints wouldn’t take Witherspoon at #32, even if he were available then, which is doubtful. They already have plenty of young talent on the roster who can take on Fujita’s role on the team. What they need is a DE or DT, and that’s what they’ll use their first rounder on.

The falcants are making some nice moves this off season, but not enough to narrow the talent gap between them and the Super Bowl Champs. Looks like to me though, that the falcants have a shot at one of the wildcards next year, maybe.

SeminoleWarrior

March 17th, 2010
9:56 am

Good morning Cage Fam..

Another stellar topic, my brother from another mother. The Falcons will indeed address the depth at defensive tackle in this draft. Injuries revealed a significant issue with depth last season. And I can assure you that TD and Smitty took not of the situation. In addition, while it is not getting much press, there will have to be something done to offset the potential loss, at least for a short while, of Babs this coming season as he deal with his stupidity issues of last season. I certainly hope that he has matured and we do not have to worry about him becoming a problem. He has been an invaluable asset upfront…one of the bright spots from the Mora era. As one who has lived in a glass house, I am not throwing stones at the brother. But I hope he has learned his lessons. At least, at this time, I have learned. But Babs and I are human.

Ooops, back to football and away from the pulpit..

Great value is there in the middle of this draft at the DT tackle position. Arthur Jones, D’Anthony Smith, and Jeff Owens are are very capable of handling double teams inside and plugging the middle.

SeminoleWarrior

March 17th, 2010
9:57 am

Patriot Way, JJ. Patriot Way.

waynester

March 17th, 2010
9:58 am

D3
The notion that Babineux is only facing a 4 game suspension has me concerned . That somehow the commissioner is going to go soft on his punishment seems too optimistic. Lots of folks smoke but his lack of judgement mere days before the biggest game of the season was nearly unforgivable despite his terrific performance this season. It’s got to vex Blank writing huge contracts for guys only to have them squander the opportunies he’s giving them on dumb sh!#…. That’s a big reason I don’t think we’ll miss the chance to inject some new blood into the DL rotation. Morning All….

SeminoleWarrior

March 17th, 2010
9:58 am

On a side note, whoever gets the Thomas kid is going to get one hell of a player and most importantly, a young man with his head on right. He is determined to defy the odds. I wish him nothing but the best.

SeminoleWarrior

March 17th, 2010
10:02 am

Waynester, I am with you. I think that Judge Judy aka Roger Goddell is going to come down harder than 4 games. What Babs did was totally stupid. Felony possession with the intent to distribute is serious.
Smitty and the team sounded the “loyal” role but there has to be some degree of concern.

Four would be a slap; I’m thinking 8 or more.

waynester

March 17th, 2010
10:12 am

SEMINOLE
Couldn’t sleep last night so I posted a quick mock on here with a trade-down. D Thomas might be there when we pick at 117 even without the trade ( but I covet picks). Any connection to FSU? I lived in Tallahassee for years– just curious….

SeminoleWarrior

March 17th, 2010
10:19 am

Waynester, am a die-hard Noles fan for life. Born and raised in the Rose City located 35 miles NNE of Tally. Many a day chilling in TLH; chilling with the ladies on the hill at FAMU and at FSU.

Would have loved to have attended FSU but the Air Force got me first. But it all worked out for the best.

SeminoleWarrior

March 17th, 2010
10:20 am

Trying to finish my mock by week’s end. I am sure that I will have to overhaul it once comp picks are released. I’m going to assume that we will not get a third round comp; more likely a fourth and fifth round.

Coop

March 17th, 2010
10:21 am

D3 – GReat article as ALWAYS. All I have to day about DT is

HALLEFREAKINLLUJAH!!!!!!!!

We absolutely need a DT that can play THIS year. Without greatly improved DT play, you can count on seeing the SAME D as last year. I don’t care how many CBs, OLBs, or DEs you bring in. Until we anchor that middle and provide some push, we won’t improve this D. So HELL yes we need to draft a DT. If the right one is there, grab him at 19 with no worries.

JJ – I yield the floor back to you and the Spoon lovers. :)