Falcons Expert Panel (Updated)

The Falcons Experts Weigh In………..

 

((((Update)))) – Atlanta Falcons Examiner creator and author Daniel Cox’s picks have been updated to our Falcons Expert Panel.

 

It’s a matter of days now Ladies and Gentlemen….the NFL Draft is so very close. Graham? Weatherspoon? Pouncey? Trade Back? The 2nd Annual Bird Cage Mock Draft Competition is running strong and you still have plenty of time to get your mocks in before the deadline of 11:59 pm on Wednesday night.

Find all the rules, specifications, and scoring here………..2nd Annual Bird Cage Mock Draft Competition

 

Mocks Saved Thus Far

 NFL 1st Round Mocks: JohnWaynesWorld, Bangkapi Ajarn, Coop, Bill, Luladawg, Nookah, FalconsFan284, Ed, tyler.

Falcons Full Mocks: Marcus, Bill, Bangkapi Ajarn, darrell starks, Coop, JohnWaynesWorld, Unca’ Bob, marko, Nookah, FalconsFan284, tbhawksfan, tyler…If I’ve missed any, please let me know

After sharing my mocks, I decided to create a Falcons Expert Panel of sorts, including authors of some awesome Falcons websites. This can be a great forum and synergy for some excellent Falcons authors and fans alike. I asked some excellent Falcons and NFL writers to share their Falcons Full Mock as we approach the big day and also to help in putting together your own Mock Draft as the the draft approaches. And with that, the Falcons Experts weight in…..

Daniel Cox

Daniel is the creator and author of Atlanta Falcons Examiner. He is also an Atlanta-based freelance sports writer. A member of the Pro Football Writers of America, Daniel provides an independent look at the Atlanta Falcons. Daniel also writes for AtlantaFalcons.com

Round 1: No. 19 overall Jared Odrick DE/DT Penn State

Falcons fans need to prepare for a scenario where the suspected top-two targets, Brandon Graham and Sean Weatherspoon, are off the board.

First thing to know about Odrick is the Falcons’ brass like him a lot. The entire cadre of decision makers was present at Penn State’s Pro Day in March. The second thing to know about the 6’5”, 304-pound lineman is he fits the Dimitroff-Smith-Falcons profile. He’s a three-year starter, whose college production culminated as the Big Ten’s Defensive Player of the Year.

With the health of ’09 first-round DT Peria Jerry in limbo and the starter Jonathan Babineaux’ availability in question, Odrick could provide valuable snaps at a rotation-heavy position. His strength is stopping the run and he is versatile enough to bounce to end on running downs.

Round 3: No. 83 overall Navorro Bowman OLB Penn State

If you need a linebacker, getting one from “Linebacker U” isn’t such a bad idea. If the Falcons miss out on their weakside starter in Round One, Bowman could be the pick to step in in the third.

The 6’1”, 242-pound Bowman has put early career character concerns behind to become a very intelligent and well-liked player. Quick in pass coverage and a gifted, hard-hitting tackler (don’t forget how highly Mike Smith values sure tacklers), Bowman is a great fit to succeed Mike Peterson on Atlanta’s weak side.

Round 3: No. 98 overall J.D. Walton C Baylor

A starting-caliber center in the third round is a much better value than one in the first and Walton brings that value. The 6’3”, 300-pound AP All-American has started every game at center since he was a sophomore at Baylor and his tough, physical, all-out style is the perfect fit for Todd McClure’s understudy.

Round 4: No. 117 overall Marshall Newhouse G TCU

Back-to-back offensive linemen won’t have the casual fan clapping, but these would be two solid picks. Newhouse, 6’4”, 319 pounds, was a three-year starter at left tackle for one of the nation’s top offenses. His strength and lack of top-end quickness makes him a better fit at guard in the NFL and with the jury still out on how long current starter Harvey Dahl will remain in Atlanta, he’s a great fit. His versatility was on display at the East-West Shrine Game when he played and impressed at every position except center.

Round 5: No. 149 overall Patrick Stoudamire CB Western Illinois

The Falcons still need to continue to add depth to the cornerback ranks. In Stoudamire, a three-year starter, Atlanta gets a player with the potential to develop into a starter. Blessed with good size (5′11″, 206 pounds), good speed (40’s ranged from 4.43 to 4.52), and athleticism, he’s smooth and fluid in his backpedals and transitions down the sideline, but also plays with a physicality that Smith and Dimitroff will like.

Round 5: No. 165 overall Marcus Easley WR Connecticut

If the Falcons go for a receiver in this draft, they will want someone with speed. Don’t fool yourself, they’ve got their starters, but having a guy around like Easley with the tools to be a solid No. 2 in the NFL isn’t a bad thing. The 6’3”, 210-pound receiver was a walk-on who exploded in 2009 with 48 receptions for 893 yards and eight touchdowns. Special teams contributor, strong hands, and 4.39 speed is a steal in the fifth round where he’s currently projected.

Round 6: No. 171 overall Deji Karim RB Southern Illinois

Just consider Karim the sixth-round version of Dexter McCluster. The 5’9”, 209-pound back had a highly productive senior season for small-school Southern Illinois, after losing his junior year to a knee injury. Strong, good speed (4.4 40 at his Pro Day), good hands as a receiver, and a good return man. Karim could be the change-of-pace back and x-factor type that Jerious Norwood has struggled to become.

Round 6: No. 189 overall Jeromy Miles S Massachusetts

Miles is just the kind of player Atlanta will be looking for in the later rounds to provide depth and special teams help. The 6’2”, 210-pound safety had a highly productive FCS career, runs a 4.45 40, is aggressive, and doesn’t lack ball skills. He was a team captain as a senior and an academic all-conference player as a junior and senior. Think he’ll pass the Falcons Filter?

A Quick Reminder of D3’s Final Mock

 

1) Sean Weatherspoon – OLB

3) Riley Cooper – WR

3) Matt Tennant – C

4) Daniel Te’o-Neshiem – DE

5) Jeff Owens – DT

5) Marshall Newhouse – G/T

6) AJ Jefferson – CB

6) Colin Peek – TE

 

Troy Heinzman

Falcons fan and lead writer at BloggingDirty.com. Also works as the Falcons beat writer for Rotowire.com.

(1-19) DE Jason Pierre-Paul, South Florida

There are some knocks about him being knowing gap assignments and understanding the intricacies of a defense, but the Falcons need a pass rush and no one doubts Pierre-Paul can put his hand on the ground rush the passer. A lot of mocks have him off the board before 19 but I like him in this spot.

(3-83) CB Dominique Franks, Oklahoma

Dunta Robinson’s acquisition, and to a lesser extent Matt Giordano’s, improve the secondary substantially but the Falcons will look to add depth with Franks in the 3rd round. He has terrific cover ability though occasional mental errors are a concern. He can also play special teams returning punts and kickoffs with Eric Weems.

(3-98) WR Mardy Gilyard, Cincinnati

The Falcons need to add wide receiver depth and Gilyard would make a perfect slot receiver in this offense. A terrific blocker that fits in the Falcons run-first scheme.

(4-117) DT Geno Atkins, Georgia

The Falcons will stay focused on defense and Atkins adds strength to a defensive line rotation (with the return of Peria Jerry) that will see improvement in 2010.

(5-149) TE Andrew Quarless, Penn State

Tony Gonzalez is 34 years old and Justin Peelle doesn’t exactly keep defensive coordinators awake at night. A senior who excels at pass-catching, he could step in for #88 in 2011.

(5-165) OLB Arthur Moats, James Madison

He’s drawn comparisons to Colts OLB Clint Session and he could be the future replacement for 34-year old Mike Peterson.

(6-171) OG Ciron Black, Louisiana State

He can play Tackle or Guard and adds depth to a Falcons offensive line that could see major upheaval over the next few seasons.

(6-189) K Leigh Tiffin, Alabama

Tiffin will send Matt Bryant packing and take over place-kicking duties while Michael Koenen will continue to handle kickoffs and punts.

Scott Carasik

Scott Carasik is the founder and lead editor of ScarDraft.com. He has been scouting players and evaluating the NFL draft since 2003. Scott also writes for Drafttek and West Sports Report as an analyst for both.

1st round – #19 overall – OLB Sean Weatherspoon, University of Missouri

Atlanta has a huge need for Outside Linebacker and Defensive End. I really think Weatherspoon is the pick after all the interest the Falcons have shown in him. He is smart, fast, and strong. He has great size and is an excellent fit for the defense at the WLB and SLB spots. Weatherspoon is also a fiery leader type and will bring a positive effect to the lockerroom with his Ray Lewis-style personality. On and Off the field Weatherspoon just screams that he is a Falcon.

3rd round – #83 overall – WR Andre Roberts, The Citadel

Andre Roberts is a hell of a player in the college game. He fits the Falcons offense as both a slot and a #2 WR. He is quick, very slight in his cuts and will draw comparisons to Hines Ward once he earns the starting spot in a few years. He is a fast player and will start out as a #4 WR and a possible punt returner. Roberts will help the Falcons in multiple ways as both a receiver and a Special Teams Ace.

3rd round – #98 overall – DE Jermaine Cunningham, University of Florida

Jermaine Cunningham is one of the most underrated prospects in the college game. He really fits the LDE role in the Falcons defense well and with his size and speed will prove to the world that he was the underrated one of the pairing between Carlos Dunlap and him. Cunningham controls his end in the running game and gets pressure in the passing game. He will be a great compliment to Abraham and should fit in well with Kroy Biermann and Lawrence Sidbury in the DE rotation.

4th round – #117 overall – C J.D. Walton, Baylor University

Walton is a mauler and a brilliant mind and leader to be the center for the Atlanta Falcons for the next decade. He reminds me of Todd McClure coming out of college as a hungry, physical, nasty player who wants to make an impact at the next level. He has all the makings of a top NFL center and a great fit for the Falcons scheme.

5th round – #149 overall – TE Ed Dickson, University of Oregon

Ed Dickson fills the need at TE for the Falcons as the future of the TE spot. He has the size, and the blocking ability to make an instant impact. He also has the body control to really learn how to be the same level Tight End that Gonzalez was early in his career. Tony Gonzalez is one of the best teachers and should allow Dickson to be a better fit for the Falcons as a long term option after his mentoring.

5th round – #165 overall – DT Jeff Owens, University of Georgia

Jeff Owens is a penetrating 1-tech NT. People will love to see a UGA boy going to Atlanta, but I really think that Owens will be the best fit for Atlanta at this pick. They need someone who can really impact in the defensive line rotation without making too big of an investment. Owens is a leader at UGA and should be an excellent fit for the Falcons rotation.

6th round – #171 overall – OT Kyle Jolly, University of North Carolina

Atlanta loves to use late round picks on offensive lineman. Jolly is just another one of those. He has the power, explosion and technique to be a great fit for the RT role in the future. We did just draft Garrett Reynolds last year, but I think Reynolds is a better fit at RG. The Reynolds-Jolly pairing could be a long term solution for the Falcons and could really solidify the offensive line for years.

6th round – #189 overall – K Leigh Tiffin, University of Alabama

Atlanta needs a kicker in the worst way. Matt Bryant isn’t the long term solution for the Falcons and Tiffin is the best kicker in the draft. Tiffin will give the Falcons a reliable kicker to lean on for years and shouldn’t give them the scares that Jason Elam used to give. With a better kicker in 2009, Atlanta would have been an 11-5 team

Adam Schultz

Adam writes for The Falcoholic and is a “season tix holder, freelance writer, computer nerd, metal head, husband. That just about covers it.”

1st rd, pick #19 – Brandon Graham: I don’t care what Dimitroff said to the press, he wants Graham. Brandon’s got a versatility that could play well into keeping offenses guessing. He can rush, he can cover underneath, and seeing as VanGorder had a habit of putting Abraham into coverage last year, Graham may be a much better fit to such madness.

3rd rd, pick #83 – Jordan Shipley: The Falcons need a reliable number two receiver. Right now, Jenkins isn’t the solution. Shipley was very consistent in college and a comfort blanket for McCoy; just what Ryan needs with Gonzalez’ career in its twilight.

3rd rd, pick #98 – Javier Arenas: Why not? He showed decent coverage skills throughout his tenure with Alabama and was one of the most electrifying punt/kick returners in the SEC. The key here is versatility; say he doesn’t burst his way high on the CB depth chart. If he’s returning kicks for huge hunks of yards and/or touchdowns, where’s the downside?

4th rd, pick #117 – Eric Olsen: The Falcons want a center. It’s obvious, seeing as they worked out so dang many. Todd McClure isn’t getting any younger and when he goes down, we’ve only got one other man to cover the job. Depth may be the deciding factor here, but why shouldn’t they go for a guy who’s 6’4 and 306? He’s the largest of the top-rated centers up for grabs and may still be available at this point.

5th rd, pick #149 – Marshall Newhouse: Dimitroff and company want Mike Iupati. They won’t get him. Instead, they should go after Newhouse, who helped anchor a solid TCU OL. He’s also big, so that’s a plus.

5th rd, pick #165 – Mike Neal: By now, most of the great DTs will be gone, but if the Falcons want a little insurance, they can pick up Neal whose pass rush skills could come in handy. He’s speedy and very athletic. The Falcons need speed in the explosion off the line and Neal would likely answer that call given time to develop.

6th rd, pick #171 – Nate Byham: An unselfish blocking TE with consistency on third down projected in the 6th? Yeah, Mularkey wants this kid.

6th rd, pick #189 – Kevin Basped: With Basped’s pass pressure abilities and his speed, I’m surprised he’s projected this late. Anyway, he’d be a good boon to our lackluster rush and could perhaps light a fire under our current DL.

Dave Choate

Dave is better known as Dave the Falconer and writes for The Falcoholic. A self-admitted “Falcoholic”

#19: Sean Weatherspoon, OLB, Missouri

 


#83: Eric Decker, WR, Minnesota
#98: Matt Tennant, C, Boston College
#117: Brandon Lang, DE, Troy
#149: Ciron Black, T, LSU
#165: Harry Coleman, S, LSU

 

#171: Vuna Thihalamaka, ILB, Arizona

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

So there you have it. Much appreciation to my fellow Falcons writers for sharing their thoughts and picks on the upcoming draft and please check out their excellent websites, all of which have been added to the blog roll over on the right hand side.

Come give your 1st Round NFL Mock Draft as well as your Falcons Full Mock Draft as we approach the final descent towards The Big Day. Feel free to post your mock drafts in this new posting.

Check out AJC Falcons Staff Writer D.Orlando Ledbetter’s Real Deal Mock Draft

Remember….not just bragging rights, but there’s a prize in becoming Champion this time!

 

Please follow The Bird Cage on Twitter @D3_Falcons and on Facebook

GO FALCONS!!!!!!!!!

 

#189: David Pender, CB, Purdue

245 comments Add your comment

Bangkapi Ajarn

April 18th, 2010
11:31 pm

Have to say, I respectfully disagree with the Pierre-Paul pick by Troy Heinzman.

However, great job getting all these fine folks to contribute! I bow to their expertise and will keep an eye on their picks (How did they do last year accuracy wise)?

Also, do any of those have thoughts on potential trades? I keep bouncing back and forth on that (TD may as well for all I know)

I count 2 Spoon picks, one Graham, and one Pierre-paul.

Big Ray

April 18th, 2010
11:33 pm

I refuse to use the “F” word…if it applies.

I have to agree with Adam Schultz. Something in my gut tells me Dimitroff wants Graham.

As for Iupati, I really could not be surprised at that, if you think about it. All this time we’ve concentrated on Pouncey and how badly most of us don’t want him to be our first round pick (nothing against the guy, we just don’t want to wait until late in the 3rd to bolster our defense), but Iupati? A mammoth guard/tackle. That could lead to moving Sam Baker’s oft-injured self to RT and Iupati would be Ryan’s new protector. Hmmmm…

Big Ray

April 18th, 2010
11:35 pm

And so, I didn’t have to. :) BA beats me to something once again… :)

A word from the last blog, however…

BA ,

Great points. However, I keep getting hung up on a few things.

1) There is a good bit of talk here and there about him playing at linebacker. His own response to that was interesting and positive. The constant comparisons to Lamar Woodley are more than just fluff.

2) You can never ignore a guy who has the talent and skills to do what Graham has done. He lacks nothing in instinct, intangibles, skill, or technique. The only knock on him is his height. Oddly enough, players of exact or similar height have done very well for themselves (Dwight Freeney, Lamar Woodley, others).

3) We don’t know just how much guys like TD like him. The fact that Bill Belichick covets him is enough for me. Same goes for Jeff Fisher. A prospect like this will overshadow prospects like Biermann and Sidbury, though you will NEVER hear TD say anything like that. He absolutely IS going to let those guys develop and see what they can be. Right now, everything I’ve heard about Sidbury suggests he has a ways to go before he can contribute regularly. Biermann is another story, but is there anybody else? JA98 is not a pass-rushing option at this point and Abraham’s time is short. Can he ignore a guy who is a highly motivated, classy and clean cut football player who could very well be able to play with a hand in the dirt, or in space, depending on what the scheme called for? Ask another question along those lines. Can Biermann or Sidbury do the same?

4)Bierman is only one DE. I think he has a future at either LDE or RDE. Who’s the other guy?

On the other hand, your point about getting Graham vs. Weatherspoon and a 2nd round pick is about as good a case as I’ve heard. In fact, that would get me off of Graham in a hot second. So point “D” makes plenty of sense.

The rest? Well, a man can shoot straight and still not give away his intended direction. It’s a matter of how much truth he wants to tell, and I watched that interview with him and J. Michael Moore of Atlantafalcons.com.

Like you say, it will all be moot in less than a week, and we’ll get some laughs from our assertions. :)

Big Ray

April 18th, 2010
11:37 pm

Anyway, back on patrol, gonna check on my guys. I’ll check back later.

D3 ,

Thanks for this blog. It was a great idea! Nice to see what the other Falcon Nation Experts are thinking.

D3

April 18th, 2010
11:41 pm

BA – Yeah, I thought it would be kind of cool to create a Falcons Website Network and I appreciate those Gents giving up their time for it. All good stuff.

Big Ray – I would prefer Iupati over Pouncey, but still don’t like taking a C or G @ #19. But Iupati got abused at the Senior Bowl and that raised some serious question marks for me. Other needs are too high…..mainly OLB, DE, DT, and WR to above them, IMO. I prefer to wait until the 4th or 5th to nab a Center, but I’m pretty sure that won’t happen.

Have a good one Cage and we’ll see you on the flipside and on that note………..

3 DAYS, 19 HOURS, AND 20 MINUTES UNTIL THE BIG DAY FINALLY ARRIVES!!!!!

Bangkapi Ajarn

April 19th, 2010
12:08 am

Big Ray;

Sounds like you are working tonight, stay safe out there!

All excellent points regarding Graham, and I would be happy to have TD put the Graham Cracker (as in Cracking heads!) in a Falcons Uniform , but allow me to still go with the probability that TD will put Spoon’s name on the card Thursday if he is available when the Falcons pick comes up.

I certainly won’t be sad if they pick Graham and another LB in the 3rd, though (then likely don’t pick a TE this year (which is a real possibility in any case). If they DO get Graham I think there is no realistic chance for that 2nd round pick TD said he wants

NFL Stats

April 19th, 2010
6:02 am

In catching up with weekend posts of AJC sports blogs this early morning, I’m really appreciative of the Cagers. Our Cagers obviously know football, love our Falcons, but most importantly are respectful of others in their posts — unlike the childish banter and name calling that is most often the “norm” on other AJC blogs. Thanks Cagers!!!!

NFL Stats

April 19th, 2010
7:07 am

Its pretty well established that pass defense is a major reason stopping the Falcons from being an elite team. In stopping 3rd down conversions, we rank with the bottom feeders of the NFL (e.g., Lions, Rams, Browns).

There are some NFL stats which pin point where exactly some of the pass defense problems occur at http://www.footballoutsiders.com/stats/teamdef

In 09, the Falcons were ranked 31st in stopping a Team’s #1 receiver — which could be viewed as “our best defender” versus “their best receiver”. Hopefully, D. Robinson addresses this woeful stat.

But, another stat is also interesting — the Falcons ranked near the bottom in pass defense against backs coming out of the backfield. To me, this is clearly pointing to problems with our LBs in pass coverage.

Even if B. Graham became an All Pro in his 1st year, I don’t see how he could improve the short to intermediate pass coverage with quick release QBs like Brees and Manning — something that’s just killing us. This is why I think our 1st draft priority must be a pass coverage LB like the Spoon or maybe D. Washington from TCU.

A 3rd round pick to address our short/intermediate pass coverage problem could very well be a hybrid S/LB like Chad Jones of LSU for specific 3rd down coverage packages (in the Coy Wire type mold). Maybe the hybrid S/LB type player should be on everybody’s radar screen.

Big Ray

April 19th, 2010
8:20 am

NFL Stats,

Point taken. But even good coverage by the LBs will eventually get eaten up if the QB is not pressured enough. I think you make a good argument for the need to improve the pass coverage in the flats (backs coming out of the backfield). The only hangup for me is that when TD talks about “ramping up our pass rush”, can we do that in later rounds?

I believe we can reasonably improve our coverage at the LB position in the 2nd (if we can get in somehow) or third rounds. If we’re going to do anything to improve our pass rush in the draft, though, we’ll have to do it in 1st or 2nd round. I see no pass rushers that can make a difference in this next year, or maybe even next two years, that would be available in the third or later rounds.

Which means, we would have to rely on the same stuff we’ve been talking about: Peria Jerry returning to full health (and maintaining it) and having a big impact early on (he may as well still be a rookie), John Abraham bouncing back to double digit sack level despite mounting age and injuries (I’d love to believe that he won’t be injured this year for any significant amount of time, but I’d also love to believe I’ll win the lottery without playing it), and Kroy Biermann. Love Biermann, but he can’t do it alone.

Those are my worries. Can’t really argue too much with your take on things, though. You certainly have a very valid point.

CBrass

April 19th, 2010
9:09 am

D3,

Nice touch with the Falcons experts. I also have to disagree 1000% on the Jason Pierre-Paul pick. As many have stated he is just another JA98 bust clone waiting to happen. Out of the above mocks I would have to say that I like Scott Carasik’s mock the best. That’s a pretty darn good mock. Cunningham is going to be a good one. Again great job D3.

Bangkapi Ajarn

April 19th, 2010
9:56 am

Bangkapi Ajarn’s Final Falcons Foolishness projecting a draft day trade with Philly (hey, it’s like playing monopoly with Mr. Blank’s money ;-) ) As before, I restricted myself to players the Falcons have reportedly talked to.

1.24)Sean Weatherspoon LB – I think he WILL still be here, immediate upgrade of second level of defense (first level is upgraded by Jerry’s return, back level is upgraded by Moore and Richardson, all levels benefit with maturation of young players). The process inexorably thunders along to Lombardi trophyville.

2.23) Tyson Alualu DT/DE hybred – insurance for Babs and Jerry, could slide to DE rotation if Abe is hurt. Interviewed and worked out by the Falcons “One of the most disruptive defensive linemen in the country,- projecting nicely as a 4-3 defensive tackle, Alualu is scheme-versatile and a high-effort player. Displays a great motor, works hard in pursuit and plays until the whistle. Exhibits good range inside and has the athleticism to get after the ball– Team captain. Played in all 51 games of his career. Earned Joe Roth Award for best exemplifying courage, attitude and sportsmanship, as well as the Senior Lifter of the Year. Has played in all 51 games possible with 39 starts over the last four seasons, including a run of 38 consecutive starts, making 188 tackles to go along with 24.5 TFL (-130 yards), 17.0 sacks (-111 yards), seven passes defended, four fumble recoveries, four forced fumbles, a blocked kick and an interception.” Smitty and TD love versatility, durability, character. and motor which seems to describe this guy, and for some inexplicable reason (to me) have been paying a LOT of attention to DT’s. Alualu is a solid second round projection that should be available because of so many DT’s ahead of him in the rankings (he is a tad under 300 lbs., smallish for this class)

3.19) Javier Arenas – CB, return specialist – Will contribute this year as blitzing specialist and special teams returner

3.34) Matt Tennant – Center of the future, insurance policy for Matt Ryan, may start at G for a year. Could easily be J.D. Walton if Tennant goes too early. Don’t put too much stock in Tennant playing with Ryan, it was just for one year, Ryan was Sr and Tennant was Soph., Tennant simply seems to be the consensus 2nd best C in the draft, and appears to fit the Falcons intelligence/character profile BUT – coming off Tommy John surgery at the end of the 2009 season. Might go to Philly early, they have a LOT of picks and need a C.

4.19) Riley Cooper – WR for the future, with great hands, size, special teams play, and blocking – could swap draft slots with Tennant/Walton contingent on how the first three rounds play out. IF the Falcons managed a slide down from 19 (NE Scenario for example) they could pick Damian Williams in the 2nd, creating a ripple effect at this pick.

5.18) Renee Curran UGA – Linebacker depth – They always seem to get one local player, and the Falcons have looked at a LOT of LB’s. I also considered Jamar Chaney, but I think this pick solves a perceived need and is the best fit for more than pure on-the-field reasons. Situational player the first year.

5.34) Eric Cook, C/G/T 6’6”, 315, NM – Good developmental backup, excellent size, versatility, and intangibles – could be a late round steal in 2 years. The more I look at this guy, the more I think the Falcons found a late round Gem. Bears met with him twice, so he may be gone by this point, surely by time the Bears pick in the 6th.

6.2) Michael Hoomanawanui TE Illinois (6’3”, 270) strong, fluid blocker with good hands. Dropped down draft boards because of late season injury (I prefer the Kansas State kid but this is a TD draft). Not sure they go TE to be honest, but this kid has some intriguing long term upside, is a great blocker in 2TE formations (where he could provide a significant contribution in his rookie season), and could spell TD to help preserve his legs thru the long season and perhaps energise him enough to return for the final year of his contract for a superbowl run. Replace Peele, give him a chance to grow into TD’s shoes.

6.20) Jeromy Miles SS – Late interview by Falcons, seems to have come onto the radar late. 6-2 1/8, 210, 4.45-second 40, 6.81 three cone. Team captain, Academic all-conference in 2008, 2009. , Special teams contributor. Durable four-year starter. Needs to beat out Matt Giordano for a spot on the roster. Surprised me a bit, but the falcons did seem to be paying him attention as a late round pick. I would have gone K here, but the falcons didn’t talk to any from what I see.

Bangkapi Ajarn

April 19th, 2010
10:28 am

Two changes in that one, based on an anticipated trade, and the extreme interest the Falcons seem to be focusing on DT’s. Hate to see Babs go, but DT shouldn’t be worthy of such a high pick two years in a row in my mind, but—this is TD’s draft. Falcon Filter?????

I dropped Cory Peters (who I liked in the 6th, actually) and added a safety that the falcons seem to be showing a lot of interest in. Again, not the direction I would go (Personally, I like my earlier version), but I am trying to look at it thru TD’s eyes, and Miles DOES seem to be the type of player the Falcons like, and could be a favorite of the new DB coach now that he has had time to evaluate the talent on board.

[...] some terrific Falcons writers to participate in D3’s Mock Draft Expert Panel. Head over to The Bird Cage to check it out. Remember the words of Dale Carnegie, “Be hearty in your approbation and [...]

ATL Fan

April 19th, 2010
10:41 am

BA like what you project. Riley Cooper could be insurance for Finn. Curren could be another Tuggle.

waynester

April 19th, 2010
10:45 am

B Ajarn
Now THERE’S a mock that makes me want to stand up and salute! I’d take this one over ANY of the “expert” mocks in a heartbeat. Personally, I’d pass on Arenas due to his less-than-stellar coverage skills and pick up another DE to push our guys(Lane,te’o Nesheim,Moats). Otherwise–awesome….

Troy Heinzman

April 19th, 2010
10:58 am

Great feedback from The Bird Cage. You have a great group of commenters here D3.

It’s really interesting to see what other Falcons writers think the Falcons will do with their 6 picks. I agree Scott Carasick’s Mock is really well put together and if you visit his site you’ll see this is what he does. First-class.

Dave, Adam, and myself (and even BA) all have the Falcons taking another CB in the draft while Scott disagrees. All-in-all I think we can agree these last 4 days will take forever!!

Bangkapi Ajarn

April 19th, 2010
11:01 am

ATL fan, wanester, THANKS!!

Riley IS a Finn replacement, why I chose him over Shipley (who the falcons also talked to). Height is King in the redzone, a Finneran specialty.

I was listening to TD’s interview where he referred to his year 3 challenge of leaving developmental players on the roster alone, concentrating on other areas of current and future need.

Bangkapi Ajarn

April 19th, 2010
11:06 am

Troy;
I see them taking a CB simply because they lost Houston and Law, Williams is coming off injury, and they have a new position coach that will need to place his imprint on the group.

Arenas is my choice because the Special teams return unit needs help, TD had him in for a chat and workout, and they have been looking at several other potential returners.

I am still waffley (a word?) over choosing a K as TD signed two with NFL experience late in the year, and didn’t interview any that I saw.

CBrass

April 19th, 2010
11:17 am

BA,

At one point I was the only one campaigning for Arenas. It’s good to see someone with more football knowledge making a push for him. Like I said before Weems did a good job last season but no one feared him. Norwood has that fear factor when he was back there but injuries caused him to give up return duties. Also with HD coming back from ACL injuries I do not see him returning punts anymore. That’s where Arenas comes in. He may not get much playing time at corner or in the nickle but his return abilities will make many forget about that.

Birdseed: April 19, 2010

April 19th, 2010
11:18 am

[...] Falcons Expert Panel, Atlanta Journal-Constitution That’s a lot of names… Certainly one of those could prove accurate. Right? [...]

CBrass

April 19th, 2010
11:27 am

MSS

April 19th, 2010
11:56 am

Scott Carasik’s mock draft looks the best to me

CBrass

April 19th, 2010
12:31 pm

Hamad Meander

April 19th, 2010
12:52 pm

Bangkapi – I think you are referring to Duanta Robinson – you keep calling him “Richardson”. I like your draft, especially if we can STILL have Weatherspoon and pick up a 2nd rounder too. I’m not completely sold on Riley Cooper or Rennie Curran right now though. I prefer Blair White for a 4th round WR, and I prefer Marshall Newhouse in the 5th. I believe Eric Cook will be gone by then, but I could be wrong.

Anyone else ready for this three day (!) draft to begin? I think it will be hard to sleep Thursday night.

Hamad Meander

April 19th, 2010
1:00 pm

Seems a lot of mocks – both Bird Cage and outside – have us picking Leigh Tiffin and Jeff Owens. I like Owens in the 6th, but I’m not sold on Tiffin. I prefer signing experienced kickers vs. drafting one and expecting him to start. There are plenty of NFL kickers looking for work and this is a deep draft. Don’t use a pick on a kicker that could be used to develop an offensive lineman.

screg

April 19th, 2010
1:05 pm

1. Sean Weatherspoon
3. ???
3. J.D .Walton
4. Danario Alexander
5. ???
5. Leigh Tiffin
6. ???
6. ???

Coop

April 19th, 2010
1:23 pm

I, like most, like the idea of trading back in the first and still getting Spoon or Graham (though I’d still take Pouncey or Williams over either). But it seems that everyone that throws that scenario up gives us a 2nd. We’re not getting NE’s 2nd just for letting them move up 3 spots. The difference in positions is about 95 points. That equates to the 101st overall pick (4th round). It’s worth dropping 3 spots for the 4th, but getting a 2nd is gonna mean giving something more than 3 spots. We’d probably have to give NE our 3rd and 4th along with the 19th pick to get a 2nd rounder and the 22nd.

I agree that getting into the 2nd would be great, but without something VERY creative like trading a player or future picks, it’s just not gonna happen. Would TD go from 8 picks to 7 just to get a 2nd??? Not in this deep a draft. Keep the 3rd and 4th and take the extra pick to build much needed depth.

Now, take NEs 4th and move back 3 spots… that I can live with. 9 total picks with a 1st, two 3rds, two 4ths, two 5ths, and two 6ths is not a bad days work.

John Waynesworld

April 19th, 2010
1:35 pm

Great day cagers! Another great blog idea, D3. Keep up the good work.

I don’t know why, if the 2010 kicking class is less than spectacular (which it is), our scouts don’t go to the MLS for kickers. Those guys were balancing balls on their big toe since they were toddlers and I’m sure more than a handful can kick a 50 yarder through that big, fat goal post. With NFL kickers’ salaries finally catching up to MLS players’ money, there might finally be a legitimate bridge between the NFL and MLS.

In other words, why waste a good draft pick on a kicker? Do you think Belichick was debating on pick #199 in the 2000 draft about whether to get a decent kicker or get a backup QB named Tom?

Bangkapi Ajarn

April 19th, 2010
1:37 pm

Hamad Meander – Thanks for the correction- I was writing Richardson instead of Robinson due to being too lazy to check, I was just writing this stuff too quickly (multitasking-challenged I reckon).

VERY ready to get this thing in the rear view mirror, see what Santa left in the Falcons Stocking!

waynester

April 19th, 2010
1:40 pm

HEADS UP__ GREAT READ ON DE PROSPECTS:
ESPN .com in the AFC South blog has an extremely interesting article on evaluating DE’s future NFL production that is a real eye-opener regarding many of the guys we’re talking about adding to the roster and the news ain’t good. In a nutshell, they opine that vertical jump and short-shuttle are the best indicators of future success for edge-rushers. We’ve always known the importance of these measurements, but they quantify it in this article. If their model is correct, we’ve been looking at a lot of the wrong guys. The 3 best in these qualities turn out to be Eric Norwood, Daniel te’o Nesheim(my fave) and much later, Graham. I’m sure our management are aware of this but many of us (myself included) may not be looking at the right factors when evaluating guys to help our pass rush…..

waynester

April 19th, 2010
1:47 pm

COOP
You’re right ablout the point values but you seem to be assuming that the Pats are the only team we might make a deal with. There are other fish in the sea……

Coop

April 19th, 2010
1:54 pm

So after analyzing the draft tade value chart, I could see us swapping first rounders with NE and getting a 4th and 6th in return. Advantage NE by 4 points. What it would do is give us 10 picks (max). How ould this look:

1 22 Wetherspoon – OLB
3 83 Jerry – OT
3 98 Tennant – OC
4 117 Lang – DE
4 119 Roberts – WR
5 149 Graham – TE
5 165 Owens – DT
6 171 Black – OG
6 189 Jefferson – CB
6 190 Tiifin – K

3 potential day 1 starters with Spoon at OLB, Jerry at RT, and Tennant at OG. You get a 4th WR who should compete to be #2 within 3 years, good DE to add more depth to the rotation (makes Chauncey Davis expendable). A TE to take over ofr TG, DT and OG for better depth on the lines, a CB with speed and KR/PR abilities and a K.

Not a bad haul for a draft. Fills holes of need now (OLB, WR, K, ST), addresses holes we expect next year (OC, OT, OG, TE), and adds depth (DE, DT).

Coop

April 19th, 2010
1:58 pm

Waynester – Correct, but I can’t get another scenario to work. Maybe I’m putting too much into the TD/NE connection, but I don’t see another team needing what we might take at 19 and willing to trade up. The only other team was PHI, but the points don’t work. The advantage to PHI is about 14 points. That’s a 6th round pick. I hope TD doesn’t give up that much to drop 5 spaces.

Bangkapi Ajarn

April 19th, 2010
3:25 pm

waynester – great catch on the ESPN article, I keep going back to what TD said about our young DE’s, and that would provide some vindication that he was shooting straight.

waynester

April 19th, 2010
3:36 pm

coop
Here’s a few more–
ATL #19(875),117(60)=935 RAMS #33(580) 65(265),129(49) =894 +2011 5th
ATL#19(875),117(60)=935 LIONS #34(560),66(260),97(112)932 +2011 7th
ATL#19(875),117(60)=935 JETS #29(640),61(292)= 932

waynester

April 19th, 2010
3:43 pm

B Ajarn
It’s for that very reason that I don’t think we’ll take a 1st round DE, rather a mid-rd guy like te’o Nesheim. It gives us some high quality depth while allowing for Biermann & Sidbury to grow another season.

Coop

April 19th, 2010
3:52 pm

Wayne – I thought about trading completely out of the 1st, but I don’t see TD doing that. A 2nd is great, but this team didn’t make the playoffs last year. Can we really afford to pass on 1st round talent even if we add two 2nds? I’m not there yet.

Coop

April 19th, 2010
3:54 pm

I concur on the DE issue. I think they’ll give Beerman and Sid the chance. I see us grabbing another guy in the 3rd or 4th, but OLB is a bigger need now than DE. That’s why I mocked Spoon at 22. Still think we should take Pouncey, Iupati, or Dan Williams, but I think the Falcons will draft spoon if available… even over Graham. I don’t agree with it, but then, I’m not TD (nor qualified to be TD).

[...] Original post: The Bird Cage Falcons Expert Panel | Atlanta Falcons: Bird Cage [...]

waynester

April 19th, 2010
4:21 pm

Coop
I ran those scenarios because it would put us at the top of the 2nd & 3rd where I believe a lot more trades will present themselves due to the new 3-day draft experiment.

Falcon Devil

April 19th, 2010
4:54 pm

testing the blog monster…

Mr. Turnip-Green Jeans

April 19th, 2010
6:39 pm

I can’t see us drafting a kicker, even in round seven.

I’d be happy with Spoon or Graham in first round. Really no preference between the two, like them both.

Mr. Turnip-Green Jeans

April 19th, 2010
6:41 pm

Tennant will be our third-rounder, I hope.

Big Ray

April 19th, 2010
9:12 pm

I love BA’s latest mock. Just when you think you have your mind set… ;)

Coop ,

I’m with you on the Dan Williams idea, just not on the Pouncey idea.
As for trading back, others have already said it: there’s more than one scenario.

Also, you have to allow for the idea that teams are willing to lose points in the pick trading business if it gets them what they want. Besides, losing points is way better than losing money. Trading up costs a lot. Trading back doesn’t.

Getting into the second round is kinda important. Otherwise, we have to be very, very certain of two things: 1) Our first round pick is a day 1 starter that helps tremendously, and 2) We will be able to fill other positions of need in the late third round. In other words, we’ll need to get third rounders who can start at some point during the year. We’re trying to be better than 9-7, and get into the playoffs again.

Trading back and getting into the 2nd round could be the difference.

I really like BA’s mock because his version allows us to add a very good DT to our lineup that could play a lot of snaps early on in the rotation, AND we still get our highly rated OLB. I’d take that in a heartbeat, and deal with the WR and OL positions in the third, where I don’t see a huge difference between Walton/Tennant and Pouncey.

Big Ray

April 19th, 2010
9:13 pm

waynester ,

As usual, I like the way you’re thinking.

Sportaree

April 19th, 2010
9:14 pm

Can anyone tell me, Is Tampa Bays Def. a 4-3 or 3-4? Thanks.

Big Ray

April 19th, 2010
9:32 pm

4-3, I believe.

Coop

April 19th, 2010
9:33 pm

Big Ray – I agree we want to be better than 9-7. Frankly last years draft will be the difference more than this. Doubtful we get an impact player that will take us to the Superbowl this year. More likely that our young team continues to improve and gel as a team.

Depending on players, a 1st and 3rd is better than 2 2nds…

Bangkapi Ajarn

April 19th, 2010
10:43 pm

Not so sure I agree with them, but here is another proposed “expert” ranking by positions:

Offense:
http://www.draftinsider.net/blog/?p=1849

Defense:
http://www.draftinsider.net/blog/?p=1870

Box

April 19th, 2010
10:46 pm

Sportaree,
The Tampa 2 is run out of the usual 4-3 defense, but every player is responsible for his own gap up on the line and drops a middle linebacker into deeper coverage. The design behind the Tampa 2 was to stop the West Coast Offense that became popular and was spreading around the league. In a standard 43 defense, the middle LB stays underneath the safeties and covers short underneath routes and helps in run defense. In the Tampa 2, the middle LB is expected to drop into deep coverage in the middle essentially converting a Cover 2 into a Cover 3