Falcons Full Mock Madness 4.0

13 Days and Counting………….

The long wait is finally almost over. The 2010 NFL Draft is finally within striking distance and is under the 2 week mark. Even though many mocks have started to settle into only a few scenarios, others are scattered over a wide range of possibilities. Most draft experts and mock maestros have the Falcons selecting DE Brandon Graham out of Michigan or OLB Sean Weatherspoon out of Missouri. Both would be excellent picks that would fill a glaring need, but several experts have Graham and Weatherspoon going before the Falcons pick at #19.

There are several different camps that fans divide into assuming the Spoon-Graham absent theory actually happens. Many believe the Falcons should take the best interior lineman available such as Maurkice Pouncey at Center or Mike Iupati at Guard. Others believe that the Falcons should try their best to trade back either in the first or second round to acquire more picks to make up for them not having a second rounder this year. Others believe that the Falcons should take the best player available that’s sure to drop if Brandon Graham and Sean Weatherspoon are both gone. So many possibilities that’s its hard picking one route.

In an effort to spur discussions and debate, the final version of Falcons Full Mock Madness will include the self-imposed rule of not allowing for any repeats until the official mock is put forth in our 2nd Annual Bird Cage Mock Draft Competition, starting on Monday, April 19th.

Trade Back Scenario

As much as I fought against doing this, no other prospects seemed to be an ideal fit or good value at #19. Even though it may be unlikely for a team to want to trade up in such a deep draft, there are several teams that have the depth and picks to move up into the first round to take two top-tier athletes instead of accumulating several players that might take time to develop. Thomas Dimitroff has made it known that he wants to get back into the second round if at all possible. Several teams are in a position to trade up and take two picks in the first round. The Falcons own the #19 overall pick which equals 875 value points according to the Trade Value Chart per DraftCountdown.com. These teams own the following picks and may want to move up:

New England Patriots

44th pick (460), 47th pick (430), and 53rd pick (370)

44th + 47th (890) = 19th (875). The Falcons would have to offer something like their 6th round draft pick (15.8) to make it even.

Why? The New England Patriots are well known for their successful drafts and being able to acquire picks to add to their long-term depth and groom future starters. Even though they will continue to do well for years and years, there is a certain window that now exists with Tom Brady turning 33 before their first regular season game. They added 4 players in the second round alone last year in Darius Butler, Ron Brace, Patrick Chung, and Sebastian Vollmer. They created amazing depth and players to groom for the future, but they want to win now that the Tom-Brady-Window is closing. They could add two players like Jermaine Gresham (obvious need) and Sergio Kindle to immediately upgrade their team.

Kansas City Chiefs

36th pick (540) & 50th pick (400)

36th + 50th (940) = 19th + 117th (935). Falcons would have to offer their 4th round pick to make it close to even (and might have to add more).

Why? The Kansas City Chiefs are in year 2 of a complete rebuilding mode and need immediate playmakers. Sure they understand that development of younger players will help, but nothing aids the process of rebuilding more than immediate playmakers. Two first round picks would allow them to grab their future left tackle (Bryan Bulaga or Russell Okung), while also adding either a playmaker on offense (Ryan Matthews or Golden Tate) or defense (Kyle Wilson or Dan Williams). They still would have plenty of picks for development, while also getting another pick in return.

Philadelphia Eagles

37th (530) & 55th (350)

37th + 55th (880) = 19th (875) Almost a straight-up even trade. Falcons may have to give cash or a future late pick.

Why? The Eagles are loaded with 8 picks in this year’s draft and already have a pretty deep roster all-around. They have holes here and there, but they aren’t in a huge transformational phase even though they traded away their franchise QB Donovan McNabb and cut their long-time RB in Brian Westbrook. They desperately want Safety Earl Thomas and could add a defensive end such as Jason Pierre-Paul or Everson Griffen, or they could build their depth and add another playmaker like RB Jahvid Best or Ryan Matthews to pair with Lesean McCoy.

Special thanks to NFLDraftScout.com and DraftCountdown.com for their superb draft analysis

Using the New England Patriots Scenario……….

Second Round

Jerry Hughes – Defensive End – TCU (44th Overall)

The Falcons have worked out both Jerry Hughes and Daryl Washington, which are expected to be on the fringe of the first round and could last into the second round. The Birds have obvious needs at outside linebacker and defensive end and this could be the best of both worlds if Brandon Graham and Sean Weatherspoon are both gone. Hughes will definitely need some time to develop at end and add muscle to his frame (6’2, 255), but has a lot of potential and consistently produced on the college level at TCU, where he averaged 13.5 sacks (high of 15 his junior year) and 18 tackles for a loss over his final two years. Very fast (4.69 forty time), quick, and a natural pass-rusher who could play up as an OLB in a pinch. Will need time to work on run support, but adds much needed depth and pass rushing potential to the defensive end roster.

Daryl Washington – Outside Linebacker – TCU (47th Overall)

The last time the Falcons took two teammates in one draft it was Jamaal Anderson and Chris Houston from Arkansas. Anderson’s still here, but Houston is now in Detroit and most fans will cringe at the thought, but this is a new regime. Don’t make light of Thomas Dimitroff and Co. working out BOTH prospects in their limited private workouts. Washington has the natural size for a weakside linebacker, but will need to add some bulk. His speed (4.66 forty) and college production also would give an immediate impact at the weakside position where his pass cover skills (3 ints) could flourish. Like his teammate Hughes, he would need to add some bulk and improve his rush stuffing ability. His biggest attribute is the fact that he’s a tackling machine, wrapping 109 total tackle as a senior.

3rd Round

JD Walton – Center – Baylor

Many sites are torn on which center is next after the consensus number one prospect in Maurkice Pouncey. NFLDraftScout.com has Matt Tennant as the next best center draft pick, but DraftCountdown.com has JD Walton as the second best O-Line captain. Walton has a nice build at 6’3, 300 and has the all-important nasty streak with a killer instinct, something that Coach Smith and OL Coach Paul Boudreau highly covet. Has a non-stop motor and is an extremely hard worker. Possibly limited in being versatile to guard, but did have a private workout with the Falcons. Could be cross-trained to play guard with his physical demeanor.

3rd Round (Compensatory)

Jordan Shipley – Wide Receiver – Texas

Shipley’s may not have the eye-popping variables that some scouts look for (5’11, 193), but his college production was off the charts (1,485 yards, 13 TDs) and is a player that just finds ways to make plays in the passing attack. A superb route runner that catches everything thrown his way and makes excellent plays after the catch. Some teams may stay away from him due to his 40 time (4.60) but he is “football fast” and can play every wideout position on the field. One of the best route runners in the draft and the Falcons had a private workout with him as well. Could flourish as a #3 receiver, which is what the Falcons are looking for. Shipley has an uncanny way of getting open and moving the chains.

4th Round

Aaron Hernandez – Tight End – Florida

Once thought a potential first round talent, Hernandez has possibly slipped due to his failure to be a viable in-line blocker and could have slipped by not putting up good combine numbers. Hernandez may not have necessarily dropped, but is being bypassed by other tight ends. That would be good news for the Falcons. Hernandez has very nice size (6’3, 245) and couples that with excellent speed (4.56 forty) with great route-running ability and superb hands. Was a huge difference-maker for Tim Tebow and the Gators in their pursuit of back-to-back National Championships. Hernandez was a 3rd down conversion machine and was known for coming up with the big catch. Runs hard and tough after the catch. Will need some work in blocking, but can learn from the best in Tony Gonzalez.

5th Round

Linval Joseph – Defensive Tackle – East Carolina

Joseph would provide excellent depth and the big body that the Falcons really crave (6’5, 328). Is extremely quick for such a big defensive tackle and is a tackling machine. Has a surprising burst that would not only draw double teams, but would also allow him to control the line of scrimmage. Although possibly looked at as a big nose tackle, Joseph was able to nab 13 tackles for loss and even collared 3 sacks. Joseph would be an excellent complement in allowing the smaller and quicker DTs (Babineaux, Jerry, Walker) to penetrate and rush the backfield.

5th Round (Compensatory)

Shawn Lauvao – Guard/Tackle – Arizona State

The Falcons are looking to bolster their offensive line for immediate depth and even towards a potential starter. Lauvao possesses the wide versatility that the Falcons covet. The Arizona State guard has started games at left tackle, left guard, and right tackle. Is very good in pass-blocking and will need to improve in his run blocking. Played mostly tackle, but can offer very good flexibility and would flourish under the tutelage. Had one of the best reps on the bench of 225 with 33, while most guards had under 30. Would need development, but already has experience in moving up and down the O-Line.

6th Round (Lions)

AJ Jefferson – Cornerback – Fresno State

Jefferson would add the much needed size to the cornerback corps, sitting at 6’0, 193 lbs. He also possesses very good speed (4.42 forty) and quickness. Extremely good in zone coverage and has good recovery speed. Even though he needs some development in man-to-man, Jefferson can use his size and strength to give a solid press on opposing receivers. Can come and compete for a 5th CB position and develop rather slowly as opposed to having to come in and immediately produce. The Fresno State CB also adds a much needed boost to special teams as a kickoff and punt returner.

6th Round (Traded in Scenario)

So there you have it Bird Cage, the 4th Falcons Full Mock Madness is in the books. The original goal was to not entertain the trade-back theory, but after looking at many possibilities, there simply was no ideal fit for the Falcons to justify a #19 pick. Initial thoughts would have that teams aren’t willing to trade up in such a deep draft, but clubs like the Eagles and Patriots aren’t that far away, could sacrifice a few draft picks, get several immediate impact players, and still have plenty of draft picks left.

Your Turn

-Have at it Bird Cage Guys and Gals……Fire Away

-Give your own Falcons Full Mock 4.0

-Should the Falcons trade back or stay put?

-A mistake taking teammates?

Use this as your final “mock” mock, because the next one will be for real in our 2nd Annual Bird Cage Mock Draft Competition.

Enjoy and Go Falcons!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

159 comments Add your comment

Bangkapi Ajarn

April 8th, 2010
10:32 pm

Like the trade down a bit scenario quite a lot!


April 8th, 2010
10:34 pm

I like the trade back scenario …. We tried Jerry Hughes out as a LB when we worked him out (SLB most Likely) .. He would play a Orapko type role…. I dont think we will still draft another LB right behind him (Daryl Washington) .. We would most likely move Nicholas to WLB so Hughes can play SLB on 1st and 2nd downs…. We might draft one later on but i dont think we will with that next pick.

Sarah B

April 8th, 2010
10:35 pm

I don’t dare say it!

Sarah B

April 8th, 2010
10:36 pm

Oh good thing I didn’t!


April 8th, 2010
10:41 pm

I think Eagles are most likely to trade up out of those teams. If a good DB falls to 19 I would think they trade up.

Except for the point that atljbo brings up, I really like it. Except Joseph is too big for the scheme. We haven’t brought in any big guys. I think they are all about 6 foot 2 and 300 lbs. Joseph looks more like a 2 gap guy, which we haven’t gone after at all.

I would like to see a good pass rusher (like Hardy) and a CB. Well, I only say CB because I bet Dimitroff takes one in the mid rounds. But there will be some very talented CB’s that drop into rounds 3-5 and I feel very confident we will take one of them.

Big Ray

April 8th, 2010
10:42 pm


I was waiting for this blog, and I’m so glad it’s here!

D3 , you are the man! Now back to reading the blog, so I can comment and maybe sound like I know what I’m talking about…

Big Ray

April 8th, 2010
10:42 pm

CBrass ,

From the last blog, thanks for the info on Riley Cooper. I hadn’t heard that he finally dropped his baseball aspirations. Good news for Falcon hopeful fans like myself.

Bangkapi Ajarn

April 8th, 2010
10:46 pm

Thinking that keeping the points in line isn’t essential, if the trading up team is in love with an available selection. A premium of 5%, up to 10% is reasonable, especially if part or it is deferred (say, a 4th or 5th next year). How about NE’s first round and their last 2nd round this (within 2% or so of even) with a little sugar thrown in, like conditional NE’s 5th next year IF their pick on 19 makes the team and is still on the roster on Dec 31, 2010. They then probably still get Spoon, and a late 2nd round pick to pay with.

I would really hate to trade below NO for strategic purposes, as they would be likely to snag Spoon.

Also, Like Washington as OLB in a pinch but KIndle may still be around in the early 2nd.

Not sure about investing a 2nd on DE, we need to let the troops already on board get some snaps – but I DO agree with the concept of getting one DE and one DT for depth. Linval Joseph looks like a really excellent choice in the 5th, brillant even. We need an insurance policy there, bad.

Overall, a really skillful and clever mock within the restraints you placed on yourself. I sure couldn’t do it!

Bangkapi Ajarn

April 8th, 2010
10:48 pm

Sarah B., would you like my “first” trophy? It would be my honor to donate it to you.

Bangkapi Ajarn

April 8th, 2010
10:51 pm

Next best Mock from the rookie–

Summary of what is coming (no trade assumptions or repeat blocks, I ain’t that good):
OLB stud that can start early
CB that is special teams stud
Quality WR that can block and stretch the field
Two versatile OL with high upside and high intelligence
TE that is very tall(6’6”), can block, high intelligence and community involvement
Big DE and DT with explosion and good upside

FA’s – Moorehouse massive T, Wr from out west that the Falcons talked to (don’t recall the name offhand)

darrell starks

April 8th, 2010
10:51 pm

The only trade back scenario i came up with is that we draft spiller and trade him 2 the charger.
GO FALCONS!!!!!!!!


April 8th, 2010
10:52 pm

Saying that…. I would be very happy with those 2 picks…. I can see the Pats doing that trade to get a Dez Bryant or a Jared Odrick

We could do some damage with those draft picks

Bangkapi Ajarn

April 8th, 2010
10:53 pm

1) Sean Weatherspoon OLB So much already written, nuff said
3a) AOA or Arenas, which ever is available) CB/ST stud – mainly to add W’s in a special teams role.
3b) Riley Cooper: Florida, No. 11, WR, 6-3, 215 (4 – NFL Bible), 4 – CBS)
Since we know he has forsaken baseball (like Dieon and Brian Jordan did  ), and he is a really good blocker in the physical SEC–
His Senior Bowl practices were somewhat uninspired, but the big, savvy, physical route-runner still projects nicely as a possession receiver well worth a mid-round selection.

Release: Good use of hands and lateral agility to gain a free release against man coverage. Isn’t an explosive runner out of his stance, and relies more on his physicality, route-running and size advantage to get open against man coverage. Normal acceleration downfield, but is faster than he looks and can eat up the cushion.
Hands: Generally reliable receiver who typically looks the ball in and secures it before moving upfield. Allows too many passes into his chest, especially on comebacks. Typically extends and plucks the ball out of the air. Improved his concentration as a senior in catching passes in traffic. Doesn’t back down from the physical challenge of jump-ball situations. Times his leaps well and has an obvious size advantage. Good body control to contort to the poorly thrown pass. Can snatch the ball out of the air and keep his feet in bounds to make the spectacular reception. Has improved his vision in tracking balls over his shoulder, but has inconsistent in this area over his career.
Route running: Deceptive straight-line speed to get over the top. Moderate burst out of his breaks to create separation. Good use of hands and body lean to create space.
After the catch: Deceptive speed to run away from defenders when he’s hit in stride, but lacks the instant acceleration or agility to be a consistent threat to gain much yardage after the catch.
Blocking: Good size, strength and physicality to help his teammates as a downfield blocker. Improved as a blocker in 2009, but isn’t as consistent as you’d like for a player of his size. Provides a good initial pop, but has to sustain better.
Intangibles: Two-sport athlete at Florida and was drafted in the 25th round of the 2009 MLB draft by the Texas Rangers. Reportedly signed a contract for $250,000, though he elected to play his senior season and wants to pursue a football career. Charged in February of 2009 with the misdemeanor of resisting an officer and failure to comply with police for not getting out of the way of a moving car upon police orders. The case was dismissed.
4) Ed Wang (OT/OG/TE) Height: 6-5 | Weight: 314 | College: Virginia Tech –
(Round 3-4, CBS, NFL-B, 5)
A good project to learn for a year, can play 5 positions (TE, LT, OT, LG, RG)
A tight end until early in the 2006 season, Wang was only moved to offensive tackle after former starting left tackle Brandon Frye (now with the Seattle Seahawks) went down with an injury.
Wang suffered a broken fibula in the 2007 preseason that slowed his progress and limited him to start only the final seven games of the season at right tackle. His steady play earned Wang the move to left tackle in 2008.
He started the final 28 games of his career on the blind side and he earned second-team all-ACC honors as a senior. Despite his 35 career starts, Wang remains very much a work in progress. Scouts would like to see him add more strength and toughness. Furthermore, Wang struggled with penalties in 2009.
However, teams will have a hard time ignoring his intriguing combination of size and pure athletic ability in the middle rounds. Wang’s athletic ability comes naturally, as his parents were each members of the Chinese Olympic team in the 1970s. Wang should be able to provide a team with a legitimate developmental prospect at left tackle.
Pass blocking: Good initial quickness into his pass set. Typically plays with the patience to catch defenders as they try to get past him and has good enough strength and hand placement to latch on. Gains good depth on his kick-step to handle the speed rush, but will get caught leaning outside and is susceptible to a good spin move back inside. Will overreach and struggled with holding calls as a senior. Has the strength and balance to handle the bull-rush when he keeps his pad level low.
Run blocking: Gains an early edge on the defender due to his quickness and surprising body control. Quick, active hands to latch on and the agility to turn and seal the defender. Only adequate strength as a drive blocker. Improved his aggression as a senior, but lacks the nastiness to his game offensive line coaches want in a prospect. Has a tendency to play high, negating his already questionable strength. Good effort to get to and block at the second level. Rare timed speed, but isn’t as fast on the field. Good combo blocker.
Pulling/trapping: Good quickness and surprising body control for blocking on the move. Agile enough to pull and get to the second level, but takes longer to get there than his straight-line speed would indicate. Takes false steps and questionable blocking angles. Too often misses his target. Latches on and works hard to sustain his blocks downfield. Good body control the cut-block.
Initial Quickness: Moderate initial quickness into his pass set. Gains enough depth to handle speed rushers and has the long arms to compensate for his lack of elite agility. Good quickness off the line as a run blocker. Can get around and seal off the defensive end to control the edge. Good quickness for the cut-block.
Downfield: One of his better traits. Former tight end with good straight-line speed and body control for the position. Good effort to get to the second level and flashes the ability to adjust in space and hit the moving target. Keeps his feet moving once engaged to sustain the block.
Intangibles: Good bloodlines. Both parents were members of the Chinese Olympic team during the 1970s (father was high-jumper; mother was a 100 meter hurdler). Committed to Virginia Tech at only 16 years-old, the youngest in school history. Missed the first six games of the 2007 season due to a broke fibula. Recognized with the Don Williams TEAM UNITED award for his efforts during the spring and was voted a permanent team captain.

Bangkapi Ajarn

April 8th, 2010
10:54 pm

5a) E.J. Wilson, DE Height: 6-3 | Weight: 286 | College: North Carolina
(CBS-6-7, NFL-B-7)
Pass rush: Gets strong push in pass-rush situations and has better quickness to turn the corner than expected at his size. Easily disengages to come underneath if quarterback steps up into the pocket. Keeps working toward the quarterback even when held by blockers. Effective rushing inside on twists and has a good swim move when he has the space to use it. Not elite change-of-direction agility on the outside at his size, but manages to pressure quarterbacks on bootlegs.
Run defense: Strong enough to hold the edge, move laterally with the tackle to cover cutback lanes, or rip off inside to plug up the hole. Discards most tight end blocks with strong, violent hands. Could be more consistent getting off blocks when staunch opponents match his intensity and low stance.
Explosion: Good quickness off the snap for his size, but it may not be enough to beat tackles at the next level. Delivers blow to the numbers of his man to push him back in pass rush or to hold up against the run.
Strength: Uses his low center of gravity and excellent upper and lower body strength to push taller tackles into the pocket. If the tackle can reset after the initial blow, however, Wilson will get pushed back. May be seen as a tackle/end ‘tweener by some teams because he does not play with elite strength inside.
Tackling: Strong, explosive tackler who can burst to the ball. Stays low, changes directions inside to keep himself in the play. Gets his hand on the ball by wrapping the body or sticking his hand in if other players are making the stop. Willing to hustle to sideline on quick screens or even throws ten yards downfield.
Intangibles: Durable, trusted player with good hustle and work ethic. Leader of a defensive line full of talent.
Career Notes
Strong and powerful player who has improved throughout his career … Posted 29 tackles for losses and 12 sacks during his career … Set UNC record in the squat (670 lbs.) for a defensive end.

5b) Cory Peters, DT Height: 6-3 Weight: 300, kentucky
(CBS- 6)(7) Interviewed by Falcons –
he Cleveland Browns are proving that they’ll leave no stone unturned in their search of defensive tackle prospects in this year’s NFL draft. University of Kentucky defensive tackle Corey Peters is the latest prospect to be linked to the club. Peters worked out for Cleveland a week ago and impressed members of the coaching staff. He has generated some interest around the league working out for New England as well. He is scheduled to visit the New York Jets and Tennessee Titans
Pass rush: Relies on his initial burst off the snap and good closing speed to pressure the pocket. Too often resorts to a simple bull rush when his initial quickness is contained. Shows minimal pass-rush technique but he continues fighting inside. Has enough size and athleticism to warrant development in this area, but is raw.
Run defense: Good initial burst to create a disruption inside. Locates the ball and works to get to it. Comes off the snap too high, negating his own strength. Moves well laterally and keeps his feet when moving backward. Strong and active enough to slide off blocks and meet the ballcarrier in the hole. Good pursuit laterally and downfield for a player of his size.
Explosion: Flashes an explosive burst off the snap with an initial surge to knock the guard backward to disrupt the play before it even has a chance to begin. Needs to show greater strength and use of leverage when fighting blocks. Lack of explosive strength is evident in his tackling.
Strength: Stands too upright out of his stance, negating his own strength and too often being knocked back in short-yardage situations. Improving upper-body strength to stack and control his opponent. Can slide off the block to make the tackle at or near the line of scrimmage.
Tackling: Makes most of his tackles at or a few yards past the line of scrimmage by slipping of blocks and dragging down the ballcarrier. Lacks explosiveness as a hitter. Shows a good burst to close when he is given a free lane and hustles laterally and downfield in pursuit. Shows some agility and good balance when on the move and can trip up smaller, more elusive ball-carriers due to his long arms.
Intangibles: Took his academics seriously. Earned recognition as a National Scholar-Athlete in high school and made the SEC Academic Honor-Roll after the 2007 and 2008 seasons. Earned his secondary social-studies degree in December of 2009. Steadily improved on the field throughout his career. Earned Most-Improved Defender award, as voted by the UK coaching staff, after the 2007 season. Voted UK’s Most Outstanding Defensive Player after the 2009 regular seasons. Also recognized with the Jerry Claiborne Award, presented to an offensive and defensive senior based on academic success and a team attitude.

6A) Eric Cook, C/G/T 6’5”, 315, NM – already interviewed with falcons (6-FA) Brother plays for Minn (blocks for A. Peterson)
Pass blocking: Athletic and flexible for his size. Able to move his feet inside against quick tackles, and also to roll out with quarterback in moving pocket. Shows some nastiness and plays through the whistle when mauling inside. Good pop when trying to push his defender away from quick screen. Accurate shotgun snap, getting his head up to see and hit his man. When doubling a tackle, keeps head on a swivel to stay aware of twists and late blitzers. Gives good effort to chase down defenders making tracks toward his quarterback scrambling out of the pocket. Height can be a detriment inside, but his anchor is usually strong. Must get a bit higher on his man’s leg to ensure his cut block is effective.
Run blocking: Quick enough to snap and get his hands on his man’s jersey to turn him, take him down the line or just wall him off. Knows the angle he needs to take on the MIKE to keep him from the play. Will lunge when playing too tall out of his stance, allowing a nose-up defender to swim past him. Also gets his pads too high as a drive blocker, though he keeps his legs moving to push the pile.
Pulling/trapping: Doesn’t have the foot speed to pull consistently. Gets a hand on players coming from inside, but doesn’t move quickly enough to square up against them. Gets tripped up in trash so trapping may prove difficult.
Initial Quickness: Generally gets off the snap well whether quarterback is under center or in shotgun formation. Most starting NFL tackles, however, will out-quick him initially whether lined up at the zero or one techniques. Would be better off playing guard or tackle, where he’s not worried about the snap.
Downfield: A bit slow to get his weight moving forward, but does manage to reach and negate linebackers, even after blocking down. Sustains by latching on and keeping his feet active, but may have trouble adjusting to quicker NFL defenders. Hustles to get 20-25 yards downfield on screen passes or reverses. Linebackers can disengage with a strong punch to the chest, as Cook takes time to get his hands up when on the move.
Intangibles: Intelligent player who makes line calls. Coaches and teammates call him a leader by words and example on the field, in the weight room and in the locker room.
One of the premier offensive linemen in the Mountain West Conference and leader of the Lobos’ outstanding offensive line group, dubbed The Hitmen … 2009 All-America and Rimington Trophy (best center) candidate … also generating early buzz as one of the Lobos’ top prospects for the 2010 NFL Draft … CollegeFootballNews.com rates him as the Lobos’ best player on either side of the ball … developed into a real leader up front last year, especially after starting QB Donovan Porterie suffered a season-ending injury in week 4 … made all the line calls and blitz adjustments for the offense after Porterie was lost … an excellent athlete who can play any position on the line … manned the starting left tackle spot in 2007 and was extremely valuable as the top backup at every position up front … saw game action at tackle, guard, and center in `07 and played four of the five OL spots in a single game (vs. Sacramento State).
Considers his natural position to be center where he took over for `07 first team all-MWC honoree Vince Natali … 27 career games with 21 starts (11 at C, 9 at OT, 1 at OG) … broke his right wrist during the final week of training camp in 2007 and taught himself to snap with his left hand the rest of the season when he played center … split time with an injured Natali late in the 2006 season … has made tremendous progress on the field and in the weight room over the past two years … max of 348 in the power clean and 500 in the squat

6b) Jeron Mastrud TE- Kansas State (HT: 6-5⅜ – WT: 256) (FA) (7) (Broke foot so couldn’t do pro day – was mid to low round before injury)
Positives: Ideal size… Does a very nice job blocking, good anchor on the edge, keeps hands and feet moving… Savvy route runner, sneaky receiver, is able to find soft spots in the zone… Shows some surprising agility in the open field, fights for extra yardage after the catch… Fairly well-rounded prospect with a good motor, plays hard every snap… Intelligent (Academic All-American), good character (nominated for award for volunteer work)… Experience, could be used as a tight end, fullback or H-Back.
Release: Not a blazer off the line of scrimmage, but slips by linebackers and is sneaky-quick into his pattern. Will separate past linebackers once in the second level and get down the seam.
Hands: Catches ball away from his frame, even when he’s facing the quarterback. Good concentration and isn’t afraid of the big hit when catching between the linebackers. Gets most high throws, snatching them out of the air even when threatened by the safety. Inconsistent bringing in low throws, as he lacks great flexibility.
Route running: Best as a move-the-chains receiver but can occasionally make a longer play. Finds holes between linebackers on short patterns, presenting his numbers for the quarterback. Adequate foot quickness on out-routes, although he should sink his hips more going in. Will use a head and body fake to slip by second level and into the third. Boxes out linebackers using his tall frame.
After the catch: Secures the ball after the catch, with two hands if necessary. Leans forward and keeps his feet alive to run through tackles. Fights for the first down while keeping legs churning. Enough speed to make defenses pay for letting him loose through their zone. Some agility in the open field, but not much elusiveness.
Blocking: Looks tall and lean, but anchors well on the edge. Readjusts hands if losing his grip after initial contact. Drives into defensive ends on run plays, keeping his hands and feet moving to push him back. Used in motion to seal the edge and in the backfield as an extra pass protector. Fires off the snap to get angle to stop backside run support – although he lacks the strength to sustain against larger ends. Find a target on the second level and sustains in most cases. Struggles with great quickness one-on-one on the outside.
Intangibles: Plays a lot of snaps and gives good effort on every one. Second-team Academic All-American, KSU’s Big 12/Chik-fil-a Fall Community of Champions representative, and nominated for AFCA Good Works Team in 2008.

Sarah B

April 8th, 2010
10:55 pm

BA – NO I have made fun of people who say “First” and therefore only try to be first to block it.

darrell starks

April 8th, 2010
10:55 pm


FALCONS 28# 40# 83# 117# 149# 165# 171# 189#


Bangkapi Ajarn

April 8th, 2010
10:59 pm

Lots of changes there from my earlier mocks, based in part on who the falcons are talking to, and being convinced by the fine folks here that WR is a higher need than I was rojecting. The two OL guys I took are both smart, and play multiple positions, so the year in backup roles will do them a world of good. Not sure the DE will make the team because of the young talent already there, but what the heck.
Didn’t see drafting what will effectively be a 3d string TE early, so I got a really tall developmental guy that can block and is smart.


April 8th, 2010
11:01 pm

Spoon, spoon and spoon, if not there, graham!!!


April 8th, 2010
11:06 pm

Great Thursay Night Cagers! – In full disclosure, I went through an initial mock and didn’t like it at all (Dan Williams going 1st). Even though I personally like taking a DT first, just don’t see it happening with TD investing dough in Babs and Jerry, when there are so many other needs.

Just to Be Sure – Just so that everyone understands, Graham and Spoon are still the picks (and I think that one will actually be available), but just wanted to offer some various scenarios.


April 8th, 2010
11:12 pm

ATLJBO22 – True that Hughes size projects him as an OLB, but remember that Kroy Biermann was 6′3, 241 coming in as a rookie and they liked his pass-rushing skill so much that they kept him at DE and he’s now on the verge of a starting spot. Hughes reminds me of Biermann to an extent.

SporkDevil – Good point on Joseph not fitting a scheme, but we kind of have a combination of two players fitting that bill, JA#98 is 6′6 and Trey Lewis is 330+. Both have become pretty integral to the Falcons DEF (Lewis not as much coming back from injury). Scheme says we go with another 6′1, 300 lb guy, but it sure would be nice to get a big body in the middle. When Coach Mike Smith was a D-Coordinator in Jax, his two guys were Marcus Stroud and John Henderson.

Big Ray – I tried for the life of me to justify a Dan Williams, Jared Odrick, Maurkice Pouncey, or Mike Iupati in at #19, but just couldn’t bring myself to it. I actually had Dan Williams all typed out, but couldn’t pull the trigger on going 3 DTs.


April 8th, 2010
11:16 pm

Ok, I’m convinced. DOL doesnt know what he is talking about. If Falcons trade down they will stay in the first round! they do not want to get into the first round so bad that they give away having a first round pick! Come on DOL. I see Falcons trading their first pick (19) and the comp pick to a team for their later first round and a middle to late second round pick.


April 8th, 2010
11:18 pm

Bangkapi – Great points about trading first round picks. I didn’t really think of going into that, but that could definitely be a possibility as well. These were the only scenarios that netted the golden 2nd rounder that we value.

darrell starks – Don’t temp me brother. If we draft Spiller, we’re keeping him in my opinion. Trade Snelling or Norwood for anything at that point (don’t know if you can do that or not).

Bangkapi #2 – Like the mock a lot. I’ve basically come down to this: DE 1st/OLB 3rd or OLB 1st/DE 3rd. The reason I say that is that we upgrade both our most needed positions and have plenty of picks to upgrade WR, OL, etc. As much as I love Spoon, the DE Graham/OLB Watson combo is looking much better than a OLB Spoon/DE Lang combo. Never thought I would promoting a DE 1st route, but Graham breaks the mold.

Big Ray

April 8th, 2010
11:19 pm

I have to say I like the trade back scenarios.

To be honest, our most coveted 1st rounders (even ones like D.Ledbetter’s infatuation with Pouncey) stand a very solid chance of getting snatched before the 19th pick rolls around.

At that point, you end up reaching, and then there is a long gap as you watch all that wonderful 2nd round talent go right by you, including those who inexplicably (but inevitably) drop into the early and middle third round…. just out of reach .

Trade back to two second round picks, and the pressure lessens significantly, with good value mixing well with needs being filled.

As for the scenarios themselves, the higher the first pick the better. Or so you think at first. But you have to consider the fact that a pick by us early in the 2nd round may also spark a run on players that we covet at certain positions. Pick Hughes, and teams may jump on the LB group and you don’t get Washington. Then what do you do? You’ve got to have a plan B, C, D, E, and even F. In planning for Washington, you also scout Navarro Bowman, Sean Lee, Eric Norwood, and the like. Or, maybe you go for a DT. Suddenly, other options come into view. Good options like Tyson Alualu, Brian Price, maybe Jeff Owens or Geno Atkins. You never know.

However, I think a big part of this game is not giving up too much.

So, I like the trade with the Eagles scenario best, followed by the trade with New England, and the Kansas City scenario least.

The trade with the Eagles is all but straight evened up. Adding a late pick later is no biggie, and giving out a little cash is no biggie. Not only that, but the 37th pick is an early 2nd round pick. The 55th isn’t too much later, where we can pick up another player that fills an immediate need (or a need that is soon arising). And we’d then feel better about waiting a while for our 3rd round picks.

The New England scenario is a little more costly, as we might have to give up the 6th round pick. Not a totally satisfying feeling, but I doubt it would leave a bitter aftertaste. At least not for long. It gives us two picks almost back-to-back, and while they aren’t early second round, they are early/mid second round. We can live with that, as there should still be plenty of good options to fill needs at that level. Let’s not forget that other teams will be reaching or falling in love with workout warriors around then, as it is.

I like the Kansas City Chiefs scenario the least, initially. The reason for this is I’d rather not give up the 4th round pick for what essentially turns out to be nothing more than (respectively) one pick and 5 picks ahead of the Philadelphia trade scenario. Does it really help that much more? Maybe, but I prefer the use of 2 second rounders, 2 third rounders, 1 fourth rounder, and two fifth rounders.

Maybe I’m just being greedy, and it’s a good trade. Maybe I should rank that one as 1st or 2nd best trade scenario.

But to be honest, I’m very much warmed up to the idea of trading down into two second round picks.

Aw screw it. If it takes giving up a 4th rounder to get that high, then go for it. Especially if our most coveted 1st rounders aren’t available. That, and I hate the idea of sitting the entire 2nd round out and waiting for the majority of the third round to pass, all the while debating who is really worth a #19 pick, and who is an unreasonable reach.

Something tells me Thomas Dimitroff might feel the same way, just a bit.


April 8th, 2010
11:22 pm

You really got into TD’s head, IMO. I’ve never bought that Brandon Graham was a given. Jerry Hughes seems like a better fit for Mike Smith’s one gap scheme. Even though the Falcons may draft some/none of the players in this mock draft, I think you pretty much identify the positions the Falcons will draft and where they will draft them.


April 8th, 2010
11:27 pm

Gary – Meant to include the Trade Value Chart in the post, but forgot. Trading back with most any teams in the first round would only warrant another 3rd rounder (which may happen), but the following is an example: Falcons #19 (875) for Philly’s #24 (740) = 135 which would be near the late 3rd. That’s a pretty ideal scenario, but one I chose not to venture towards, next blog maybe. Question is, do the Falcons need another late 3rd round pick or a 2nd round pick?



April 8th, 2010
11:28 pm

D3…. I agree with you… I think he can play DE… I was just saying that the report said we worked him out as a LB… I agree he can play DE tho….. I love dudes first step…. He is not that good against the run but dude can rush the passer.


April 8th, 2010
11:28 pm

Gary – BTW…… DOL is the beat writer for the Atlanta Falcons for AJC and I am D3, fan blogger for the Falcons for AJC.

Big Ray

April 8th, 2010
11:29 pm

BA ,

Rock strong stuff as always!

D3 ,

I feel you. It’s getting harder and harder to justify ANYBODY outside of Spoon and Graham at #19 at this point. The reason I have so much trouble going for Iupati or Pouncey is that we’re just not at that level of need just yet. I don’t even think we’re on the cusp of it, to spend that high of a pick. Now a third round pick? Absolutely!

I’m with you: trading back is a great scenario if done properly (don’t spend too much, and get high and mid/high second rounders, not late 2nd rounders in return). If a trading partner wants the pick bad enough, we could get a late 1st rounder coupled with a 2nd rounder, without having to add something too expensive (I’d gladly let the 4th rounder out of the bag at that point, but would prefer giving up a 5th).

Trades like that may not come until draft day, though. After the first 5 picks is when we might see some trades, and one like ours would become visual probably after the first 12-15 picks were made. We’ll see. I’m all a-quiver…LOL.

Big Ray

April 8th, 2010
11:31 pm

Clearly I am not knowledgeable of the pick value chart. I don’t know which picks have which point values, so talking about trading picks is a no-no for me. I think I’ll just shut up and listen on this one. :)


April 8th, 2010
11:34 pm

Big Ray – Thanks man. Here’s the Trade Value Chart below. I actually like the Patriots scenario the best because it gives us back to back picks and with TDs ability to mine talent, its a no-brainer. Hate giving up a 6th rounder, but we’re getting to a point of having very good depth.


Big Ray

April 8th, 2010
11:36 pm

Gary’s post confused the crap out of me.

“If Falcons trade down they will stay in the first round! they do not want to get into the first round so bad that they give away having a first round pick!”


“I see Falcons trading their first pick (19) and the comp pick to a team for their later first round and a middle to late second round pick.”

I was under the impression that comp picks couldn’t be traded. In addition, I don’t know that lessening the value of our first round pick is worth trading up into the late second round. If you ask me, getting into the middle or early second round should be the target.

If our most highly coveted picks are gone by #19, as they well could be, who could we get at #24 that fills a need? Furthermore, wouldn’t we still be reaching with a pick like that?

Jimbo Slice

April 8th, 2010
11:37 pm

I like it Hernandez and Shipley awesome. It just fills so many more needs that way… I’d like to see that trade go down

Big Ray

April 8th, 2010
11:42 pm

D3 ,

Thanks for that link. Boy was I lost…

As for the New England Scenario, you could be right about it being the best. Not only that, but TD knows the New England front office crowd, and might be able to strike a deal with them more readily. Near back to back picks would be a big help. But how to bait the hook? Word is they really do want Graham, and we may produce the chance to get him. I don’t see him going higher, as he’s a DE that many teams will not want to pick higher than #19, due to his lack of height and length.

Besides, I’m probably being too greedy with the idea of getting very high into the 2nd round picks (but I’ll take it if we can get it!). I wonder just how feasible/likely this trade back scenario is?

I really have to think that Dimitroff loathes the idea of having to sit around from pick #20 all the way to pick # 83. Lots of talent floating right by us….

Love Spoon, love Graham. I think Spoon is in town again because the Falcons want to know if he’s a guy they just can’t see themselves living without. Of course, that won’t matter if he’s gone by the time we pick. Geez….two more weeks. Can’t hardly stand it.

darrell starks

April 8th, 2010
11:43 pm



Bangkapi Ajarn

April 8th, 2010
11:46 pm

Big Ray, D3, Thanks!!!

D3, regards LB/DE vs. DE/LB scenarios, I am still not sold on the need for an early DE based on

1) D-Led’s insights gleaned from his conversations with TD regarding his feelings on the matter,
2)and the untapped potential of Bierman/Sidbury who have earned an opportunity for more snaps
3) JA is still on the roster, and will remain, getting his snaps
4)combined with the experience of Abe that is not ready to be benched to give a rookie, any rookie, some snaps!

The D-Line does need some inexpensive rookie insurance in the DT slot with Babs likely impending suspension (no certainty), and Jerry’s potential fragility. Also, insurance if Babs gets in trouble again, pi**ing off the guy that writes the checks in all likelyhood (not all that unthinkable).

Too many areas in need of upgrading, too few high choices, in my opinion – but if I was all that smart I reakon I would be rich!

Who me?

April 8th, 2010
11:50 pm

darrell starks = stark raving mad

uberVU - social comments

April 8th, 2010
11:55 pm

Social comments and analytics for this post…

This post was mentioned on Twitter by D3_Falcons: http://blogs.ajc.com/atlanta-falcons-fans/2010/04/08/falcons-full-mock-madness-4-0/ – #Falcons Full Mock Madness 4.0 is up and running. AJC…


April 8th, 2010
11:55 pm

Darrell Starks, I really like the draft you have posted here. The only thing is, the Falcons can not trade the #98 pick because it is a compensation pick. If I am wrong, I apologize. Otherwise, I really like this mock draft.


April 8th, 2010
11:57 pm

Eric Norwood is a huge sleeper in my opinion!

Bangkapi Ajarn

April 8th, 2010
11:57 pm

I believe that teams are forbidden from trading comp picks, but if they draft a player and decide to trade them a few days later?? :-)


April 8th, 2010
11:59 pm

I also would like to think that Demaryius Thomas would be a good fit at #40 if he were to slip that far.


April 8th, 2010
11:59 pm

I am a TCU alum living in Dallas. I go to all of the TCU home games. I’m telling you guys….the TCU defense is completely ridiculous. They have some of the best athletes. Hughes is a FREAK. He was recruited by Gary Patterson as a RB out of high school and Patterson sold him on playing defense. He’s very fast. His 40 time is good, but he actually plays faster. With a little more bulk added, he’ll be a total stud in the NFL. A Demarcus Ware type player. Washington is a stud too. I would be ecstatic over this scenario.


April 9th, 2010
12:00 am

Not bad, but I’d rather keep our 1st this year and maybe trade 2011’s 1st for an early 2nd this year. Hopefully we’ll be picking #32 next season, and with the financial uncertainty because of the CBA, it might be financially advantageous for us to stock up on early round picks this year. So I say get Weatherspoon or Graham at 19, and respectively Hughes or Washington with our second. Just a thought.


April 9th, 2010
12:03 am

As a TCU alum who has been to all TCU home games, this would be huge. Jerry Hughes was a RB in high school but Gary Patterson recruited him as a DE/LB and convinced him to play defense for TCU. The guy is really fast and just needs to add a little more bulk. Think DeMarcus Ware. Washington is a stud too. Both of these guys anchored the number 1 defense in the country last year. They will both be great at the next level.

Sarah B

April 9th, 2010
12:03 am

BA that is correct – no trading Comp Picks.


April 9th, 2010
12:05 am

I hate to say it but I disagree with you Paulitik. I am not fond of trading away first round picks, because you never know what will happen. Look at what happened after the Falcons went to the Super Bowl. They traded their First rounder and then had a piss poor year the following year and could have really used that early pick. I am an optimist however and I have a hard time thinking that this Falcons team will fall so hard!

Sarah B

April 9th, 2010
12:13 am

D Horn you are correct – this Falcon’s team will not falter anytime soon.

Big Ray

April 9th, 2010
12:48 am

D. Horn ,

I hear you, but that was under a different owner, and a totally different front office.

Big Ray

April 9th, 2010
12:49 am

Not to mention, that early pick wouldn’t have done a front office like that much good at the time.

KimZ's Package

April 9th, 2010
1:51 am

Does it Matter? The Falcons will not make the playoffs.