The Big Day!

Finally…….It’s Here!

  

Yes, its at last come, the NFL Draft is only hours away at this point. It’s been a long time since the Falcons beat the Bucs in Tampa Bay to end the ridiculous curse of not having back-to-back winning seasons for the first time in franchise history. Considering there was no postseason, it was a great way to end the season and left fans wanting more about what the possibilities hold in the future. The conversations immediately turned an eye towards the 2010 NFL Draft and what the Falcons would need and who would be the best fit come April.

After tons of scenarios, possibilities, and analyzing hundreds of players, the Big Day has finally arrived. The NFL Draft will try its hand at primetime, surely gaining the much wanted high TV ratings, but also rubbing some draft enthusiasts the wrong way by holding it during the week. The 2010 NFL Draft is finally upon us Ladies and Gentleman, so get your grill fired up and ready to go or head on down to your preferred watering hole and get ready for some fun!

Who Will Be the Newest Atlanta Falcon?

With the First Round of 2010 NFL Draft only hours away, The Bird Cage will do perform closing arguments on the likeliest picks for the Atlanta Falcons at #19 (or later). Here goes………..

Sean Weatherspoon – Outside Linebacker – Missouri

Punch the Ticket – Weatherspoon has become a favorite among Falcons fans for a long time now. Spoon adds the perfect to probably the biggest and most immediate needs on the Falcons roster: OLB. The linebacker from Missouri is a prototypical weakside linebacker that has everything the Falcons look for in a player: toughness, speed, a ferocity, and plays with a non-stop motor. He was a tackling machine at Missouri, racking over 100+ tackles each season with a high of 157 as a junior. He can rush the passer, is superb in coverage, and adds the much needed playmaking ability to the Falcons LB corps.

Pass the Buck – Even though Weatherspoon is a fan favorite, do the Falcons need to spend a first round pick on an OLB when the class is so immensely deep with linebacker prospects? Many feel he may already be maxed out and has rubbed some people the wrong way with his intense attitude. Many question whether he represents true value at #19 in the draft.

Brandon Graham – Defensive End – Michigan

unch the Ticket – Although Weatherspoon has been the early favorite, Graham has been gaining momentum and favor the more people have noticed him and he really skyrocketed after his dominating MVP performance at the Senior Bowl. He hails as one of the most productive college players at any position (almost 50 tackles for loss, and almost 30 sacks in 3 years). He absolutely would upgrade the defensive line and immediately add a much needed pass rush to one of the Falcons biggest weaknesses. Graham would finally reset the mistake of drafting taking Jamaal Anderson at DE in 2007. Likely gone by #19. Tough, hard-nosed football player that would look great in a Falcons uniform.

Pass the Buck – Many believe that Graham has hit his ceiling and can’t improve anymore. Although Graham was extremely productive, what’s to say that he wouldn’t follow the path of so many other first round defensive ends and make little to no impact in his rookie year? Ranked as only the 3rd best DE prospect by many draft experts. Why would the Falcons draft Graham, which would block the development of Kroy Biermann and Lawrence Sidbury Jr., both who have shown great promise?

Maurkice Pouncey – Center/Guard – Florida

Punch the Ticket – Pouncey has created quite a stir among Falcons fans since AJC Falcons Beat Writer D.Orlando Ledbetter promoted the idea of the Falcons bolstering their OL with the proven and versatile center. Pouncey was the heart and soul of a Gators team that won a National Championship and came very close to winning another. Pouncey has an amazing skill set and prototypical size that looks to translate extremely well to either center or guard. Extremely smart, strong, and a very hard worker that looks to be a top offensive lineman and can add an immediate impact. The Falcons run game suffered tremendously in 2009 and some of the weakest spots came where the guards had issues on the line and Todd McClure is likely nearing retirement very soon. Would solidify the OL for years to come.

Pass the Buck – Even though Pouncey could add needed depth and upgrade the OL for the future, its very hard to argue that he could immediately replace Harvey Dahl or Justin Blalock at guard and he certainly wouldn’t start over Todd McClure at center, one of the consummate pro’s on the Falcons roster. For all his high ratings and praises, Pouncey worked exclusively out of the shotgun at Florida and led an offensive line that had very little effectiveness with the inside running game. Is a guard or center in the first really the Falcons biggest priority with all 5 starters coming back from two consecutive years?

Jared Odrick – Defensive Tackle – Penn State

Punch the Ticket – After taking Peria Jerry with the 24th overall pick last year in the first round, the idea of taking another defensive tackle with Jonathan Babineaux on the roster seems outlandish at first glance. But after examining the DT situation more closely, picking a stud defensive tackle like Jared Odrick makes complete sense. Odrick is big, tough, and has an amazing motor that led to 20 tackles for loss in and over 11 sacks in 2 years at the defensive tackle position. Jonathan Babineaux is facing imminent suspension (likely between 2 to 6 games) and Peria Jerry’s injury last year brings back old questions about being very injury prone. Who knows where Jamaal Anderson’s permanent home is and Vance Walker and Thomas Johnson are good, but can they be counted on to start? DT would quickly become the strength of the team.

Pass the Buck – Even though the situations with Babineaux and Jerry are tentative, if Odrick were to be the pick, than Dimitroff would invest top round money in 3 defensive tackles, when only two can be on the field at one time. Odrick has similar size to Jamaal Anderson and it wouldn’t seem to make sense to draft another D-Tackle until something is finally decided about Anderson. Vance Walker and Thomas Johnson may not be on a Pro-Bowl level, but they played really well at the end of the season and provided amazing depth at DT.

Trade Back

Punch the Ticket – The Falcons don’t own a second round pick and this draft has been described by many pundits as one of the deepest drafts in memory at pretty much all positions. The Falcons could add one quality player with immediate starting potential, or they could trade back, still pick up a great player, and add another possible starter somewhere in the second round. Its hard to imagine that many teams would want to trade up, but a few teams with multiple picks may want or need several impact players instead of adding tons of depth. It would be much better to pick up multiple picks, rather than reach for a player based purely on a need.

Pass the Buck – The idea of trading back is tempting, but finding teams that will want to give away picks in such a deep draft should prove to be pretty difficult. There are few teams like New England and Philadelphia, but most teams will covet their first and second round selections in a very concentrated draft. The likeliest scenario would be moving out of the 1st round completely and taking two second round picks, and even though it is a deep draft, the level of impact will diminish from the first round to the second at least somewhat.

So there you have it Cagers, the final arguments have been made for the likeliest picks around 9 or 9:30 pm tomorrow night. The Big Day has finally, finally arrived and the excitement is palpable.

Your Expert Opinions are Wanted

Simply put, who should the Falcons take @ #19 and give your closing arguments

Why should the Falcons NOT select the other candidates?

Nightmare Scenario: who would you take if all 5 options are gone?

What’s your Draft Party plans?

What’s your opinion of the new draft format: “nice change” or “it ruined my normal Saturday Draft Ritual”

Follow the Bird Cage rockin’ through the draft with updates and follow The Bird Cage on Twitter @

D3_Falcons and on Facebook.

 

 

Check out the AJC’s Best

AJC Falcons Staff Writer D.Orlando Ledbetter Gives Beat Writers Mock

Mark Bradley Lays Out Dimitroff’s Final Course

Jeff Schultz on the Braves New Attitude

Bill King Looks at  UGA’s QB Aaron Murray

Rawhide Talks About Kovy’s Non-Return

Big Ray’s Excellent Hawks Playoff Coverage

1,275 comments Add your comment

Sarah B

April 21st, 2010
11:30 pm

I will not go there…

Sarah B

April 21st, 2010
11:30 pm

Now carry on…

mmgtfan

April 21st, 2010
11:35 pm

SPOOOOOOOOOOON

Sarah B

April 21st, 2010
11:36 pm

Spoon, Spoon, Spoon… if not Graham, Graham, Graham…

D3

April 21st, 2010
11:40 pm

Totally agreed Sarah and mmgtfan, I will be happy with Spoon, Graham, or Odrick. Pouncey, maybe in a couple of weeks, but I can’t deny I’ll be a little disappointed if we take a guard or center in the first round. Really it comes down to Spoon or Graham and then trade back (within the first round only), b/c I don’t want to move completely out of the first.

Have a great night on this X-Mas eve, er, I mean, Draft Eve!

chris taylor

April 21st, 2010
11:55 pm

1 rams bradford 2 lions suh 3 bucs mccoy 4 redskins williams 5 chiefs okung 6 seahawks bullaga 7 browns berry #8 steelers clausen #9 bills davis #10 jags morgan #11 broncos d thomas #12 dolphins kindle #13 49ers haden #14 seahawks spiller #15 giants mcclain #16 titans jpp #17 49ers iupati #18 raiders bruce campbell #19 pats graham #20 texans wilson #21 bengals j gresham #22 falcons spoon #23 packers brown #24 eagles earl thomas #25 ravens dez bryant #26 cards sean lee #27 cowboys taylor mays #28 chargers mathews #29 jets jerry hughes #30 vikings kareem jackson #31 colts saffold #32 saints daryl washington FALCONS #57 everson griffen #83 cooper #98 arenas # 117 walton #149 jeff owens #165 tuihalamaka #171 colin peek #189 chris campbell

Sarah B

April 21st, 2010
11:55 pm

D3 now I just need to land a job. You know anybody?

waynester

April 21st, 2010
11:55 pm

Ho,Ho, Ho, MeeerrryyDraftmas!!!

Sarah B

April 21st, 2010
11:56 pm

Being laid off sucks!!!

Sarah B

April 21st, 2010
11:57 pm

I’m very talented. You already know I can type.

Sarah B

April 21st, 2010
11:58 pm

Oh well I can watch the whole draft while you suckers work (totally jealous, so bored…)

Hamad Meander

April 22nd, 2010
12:23 am

Don’t you people ever go to bed? Ok, so it’s draft day, and yes Sarah B – I miss the draft starting around noon on Saturday and watching all day and most of the day on Sunday too. It will be wierd not having anything to watch on Sunday, but it will be nice to have the Sunday paper print all the picks. I think that putting the draft in Prime time would have made more sense on Friday night (1st round), Saturday (2nd, 3rd, and 4th), then Sunday (5-7 rounds). But that’s just my opinion…..

Nookah

April 22nd, 2010
12:30 am

I would certainly not be upset if we drafted Jared Odrick.

Go Falcons!!!

It’s Thursday!!!!

3DawgKnight

April 22nd, 2010
12:32 am

Trade down:

Jerry Hughes & J.D. Walton [2nd round]

thunderbull56

April 22nd, 2010
12:33 am

Snakeeyes.DOL.Odds say one in four destined to bust.All of five gone go for Okie TE.Gotta like Colts surround sound.Apparently none of you watched the last championship game when O ruled.Yeah, an D play saved the day for NO,But an agressive offense was the difference.I’m talking to you Mularkey,go big or go home.

Willy

April 22nd, 2010
1:01 am

Willy

April 22nd, 2010
1:01 am

Or trade down.

Arthur Blank

April 22nd, 2010
1:05 am

You’re not ambitious or competitive enough, Sarah B. If you’d have proclaimed first, I’d have given you a job, right off.

Arthur Blank

April 22nd, 2010
1:07 am

Don’t you know that’s why everybody does that? You think they just like to say first? Silly girl.

Sarah B

April 22nd, 2010
1:56 am

Arthur – If that is how you judge ambition no wonder we haven’t won a Super Bowl yet… all show – no substance.

Big Ray

April 22nd, 2010
2:27 am

I’ll list the options from above, with my choice preferences and accompanying arguments. Here goes nothing, at o-dark-thirty…..

BRANDON GRAHAM – First Choice

An experienced pass rusher who works very hard and is willing and capable of playing two positions (DE, LB). A great football player with all the instincts and intangibles you want, and whose value is rooted in superb production against top competition, not projected potential and workout wonders. While the experts have him pegged as a 3-4 LB if he moves to the LB spot, does that mean he can’t play LB in a 4-3? Hard question to answer, and if a 4-3 team is considering him as an LB in any way, they would have to be very certain it would be productive. Better for the Falcons to consider him a DE, probably. Still gets the knock for not having a certain arm length or a certain height. Strange, that never stopped Dwight Freeney. Wouldn’t displace Abraham, but could replace him when (not if) he gets injured this year. Could be a better player at DE for the Falcons than Biermann or Sidbury right now , believe it or not. Future could feature him at one end, Biermann at the other. Improves the pass rush options immediately, no matter how you look at it. Will Sidbury pan out as more than just a situational runner? Can he hold up against the run? Last word on him from coach Mike Smith: “He needs to continue to progress.” Translation – He has a long way to go, and it’s in more than one area. That’s fine if you’re thinking about improving the pass rush 2 years from now. But not if you want it improved for Day One of the coming season. As it stands right now, Biermann, who flashed some promise last year with 6 sacks, is well ahead of Sidbury. But the same questions abound: is Biermann a three down player? How does he hold up against the run?

Graham is solid against the run, and is all but guaranteed to own one of the two DE positions within a year or so. Has “good damn player” written all over him. Never mind the cliches and the 6″4″ and taller prospects that “project” higher. Buy substance, not potential.

SEAN WEATHERSPOON – Second Choice…and by a mere sliver, very tough call…

Intensity, ferocity, and a big personality are not character flaws. Lofton could use a good….no, great running mate at the second level. Weatherspoon could things difficult for any opposing offense on the run, in coverage, and attacking the QB. He’s so good, the Giants will likely take him to quarterback their defense if they can’t get McClain. Why? Because he can play more than one LB spot effectively, even if weakside in a 4-3 might be his best fit. This also works for the Falcons, should they look to make some changes in their LB core, or if/when they run certain sub packages. Would replace Peterson, and sooner than you think. On the other hand, how much will Spoon help the pass rush defense? The Falcons play a 4-3, so at least two of the LBs have to be on the lookout for short passes, runs off tackle, or even delayed runs. That only leaves one for blitzing in a lot of cases, if that. Weatherspoon may struggle at times for the same reason that our LBs and DEs struggled last year: a patchwork DT unit. Weatherspoon can’t change that, but he can make this one dynamic LB unit, and a more dynamic defense.

TRADING BACK – Third Choice

The hardest thing to predict or judge. Everything hinges on how the first half of the first round goes, really. Trade back, and you all but guarantee yourself no chance at all the “premiere” talent. Getting out of the first round entirely is liable to mean getting no better than an early 2nd round pick, and then a mid 2nd round pick. This is not a bad scenario, especially with the two 3rd round picks sitting where they do. However, any true gems/steals that fall will likely be snapped up at the end of the first round, or within the first 4 or 5 picks of the second round. By gems/steals, I mean guys who could have legitimately been 1st rounders.

There is another risk. With the 2nd round of the draft coming up on day 2 of the draft, instead of on day 1, teams will be reloading and re-structuring their draft boards. This will affect the “runs” that happen in the draft. In other words, while it seemed likely on day 1 that round 2 would begin with a run of running backs or 2nd-tier Tackles and Guards, it could mean a run on LBs, DTs, or WRs, leaving teams who had certain players targeted at those positions, in the dark and having to re-tool for day 3 of the draft. This, of course, will result in a different run on certain positions on day 3. What looks like a wonderful opportunity at 2nd and 3rd chances, as well as the luxury of taking more time, could turn into a plethora of trade blitzes (many of which will be mistakes), reaches, and an overall front office nightmare.

Trading back is fine, if you get the right picks (there MUST be 2 second round picks or this is a mistake) and there are very good players who can contribute/possibly start in their first year available (examples: Jerry Hughes, Tyson Alualu, Golden Tate, Brian Price, Roger Saffold, Navorro Bowman, Darryl Washington, etc).

Here’s a few scenarios showing how trading back could work out better than staying in the first round with #19 -

Golden Tate (WR) and Brian Price (DT)

Arrelius Benn (WR) and Navorro Bowman (OLB)

Tyson Alualu (DT) and Darryl Washington (OLB)

Mix and match any way you want, and don’t forget about guys who fall out of the first round. Anything addressed in the 2nd round allows you to address other things in the 3rd. Drafting a DT and WR in the 2nd round nails two spots that need depth/help, and you can still make moves on the OLB position in the third. Or, you can grab a DT and OLB in the 2nd, and get a Center and WR in the 3rd. Or….you get the idea.

JARED ODRICK – Fourth Choice

Perhaps the true darkhorse in this bunch, and I’ll tell you why. Much noise has been made about Brandon Graham being a player that New England’s Bill Belichick likes. That’s all well and fine, but nobody believes Odrick will make it past New England at #24, if he lasts that long. And as the saying goes, “anybody Belichick likes, Dimitroff is liable to like.” Odrick is a big, big guy with a great deal of strength. Like everybody on the list above, Odrick is versatile. He can play DT and DE. I’m willing to bet he plays both better than Jamal Anderson. Right now . Odrick gives the Falcons more options and though he likely sticks at DT, as opposed to DE if he becomes a dirty bird, he won’t forget how to play end. Babineaux is a starter if he plays, Jerry should be a starter if he’s healthy. Odrick is bigger than both, and can handle double teams better than both, is my guess. That leaves the other DT to penetrate and work one-on-one. Odrick is a “push the pile, collapse the pocket” kind of guy. The other DT will be free to get the sack, and the glory. If Big Ben got the pen, so will Babineaux. What will we do without him for 2 to 6 games? What if he gets into trouble again? Jamal Anderson’s status has little bearing on this conversation. The man cannot play DE the way the Falcons need him to, and being solid against the run does not mean being good or great against the run. It also does not mean taking on double teams while the other DT is free to rush the QB or make plays in behind the line of scrimmage. If JA98 can’t do that, then he’s no better than Vance Walker or Thomas Johnson. Analysis/prediction: he can’t do it. Draft Odrick and be solid where it counts. This also opens things up for the DEs, who will make a killing off of having a big DT clogging things up. DT has to be solid, with two guys who can play all three downs (or at the very least, two downs), while having a solid rotation of decent-to-good backups. The Falcons cannot be assured of that this season, and cannot afford to have their defense falling apart at the core.

Aftermarket pistons, heads, and intake are great. But if the connecting rods and block are subpar or bad, your engine ain’t worth a crap. Sounds like I should have Odrick ranked as a higher choice, doesn’t it? Wrong, and I’ll tell you why: Odrick may not get picked in the first round, especially if New England moves some of its picks around. He could be a 2nd rounder, and if we end up trading back, we can add great depth to the DT unit with somebody like Brian Price, Tyson Alualu, Linval Joseph, or even guys like Lamarr Houston and Cam Thomas. A good DL coach like Ray Hamilton can do wonders with a number of guys, including those who fall into the 2nd and 3rd rounds.

MAURKICE POUNCEY – Last Choice

An a$$-kicker at center, who is still flying up draft boards. Little or no experience in a pro style offense, which would mean no starting at center for the Falcons for at least a year. Very versatile (can play Guard and Center). Solid as a rock, and will start for many teams. Would go in the top 15 for sure if anybody thought he could play Tackle. Not assured a starting spot on the Falcons roster in his first year unless he can show himself to be better than one of the guards, as McClure will be the starter at center, barring injury. In the end, taking Mike Iupati makes more sense. Why? Because Iupati can and likely will play tackle. Tackle and Guard is more versatile than Guard and Center, which can be addressed in the third round. Iupati has the greater value, and Pouncey is not liable to be all that much better than Tennant or Walton, both of whom could be plugged in for 10 years, after learning for a year or so.

Sarah B

April 22nd, 2010
2:33 am

Big Ray I didn’t know you could type that much… impressive!

Big Ray

April 22nd, 2010
2:34 am

Having said all that, like Nookah , I won’t be sad if we draft Odrick in the first round, there would have to be something TD and MS really liked about the kid, and DT is a crucial position.

Also, I cannot begin to describe how close it is for me between Graham and Weatherspoon. It’s really that close. Really. One would have to play terribly for me to be sad about not taking the other. I’m happy either way.

Also meant to say Graham would own one of the DE positions within the first year, probably within the first 5 games, unless Abraham stays healthy and bounces back as much as the Falcons brass say he will, or Biermann really took off into the stratosphere of DEs who can play 2 to 3 downs every series. One of those two isn’t liable to happen, maybe neither will.

Same can be said of Spoon, who I’d expect to own one of the LB positions before the season was halfway over, and possibly sooner than that.

Big Ray

April 22nd, 2010
2:36 am

Sarah B ,

Thanks, lol. If you like basketball at all, go to the Hawks section of the AJC and check out the Hawks Fan Nest. I do for the Hawks what D3 does for the Falcons….only not as good as D3 does. He’s got some kinda mojo, maaaaaaaan! :)

Seriously, I’ve been known to throw down 1200-2200 words from time to time….

Sarah B

April 22nd, 2010
2:40 am

I will check you out fo sho Big Ray! I don’t dislike B-Ball just think there are to many games…

Sarah B

April 22nd, 2010
2:43 am

Hey Big Ray – off topic but it is late at night, any openings for Admin. type jobs where you are?

Bluu

April 22nd, 2010
2:43 am

1!Big Ray, who the hell are you? That’s the best draft breakdown I’ve read!

Big Ray

April 22nd, 2010
2:48 am

One other thing.

Trading back could of course, include getting a lower 1st round pick, and a single 2nd round pick. However, we would need to be able to retain both of our 3rd round picks. Otherwise, the 2nd rounder would only mean that we traded up out of the third round to have a shot at somebody in the 2nd round. That better be one hell of a player. Trading down in the first round would mean grabbing somebody we didn’t want to slip into the early 2nd round (because our newly acquired 2nd round pick is liable to be in the middle or lower end of that round), but didn’t feel justified a mid first round pick.

Note: New England loves having a bunch of picks. They aren’t guaranteed to be willing trade partners with us, as whomever they might be targeting around our pick may not be on the board by the time we do pick. In which case, they’ll either trade higher than our pick, or they will stick with their late 1st and near back-to-back 2nd rounders.

Either way, they tend to have the edge, which is usually the case anyway. They have the best of both worlds: a late 1st rounder and two mid 2nd rounders. Damn. Wish that was us….

Big Ray

April 22nd, 2010
3:03 am

Sarah B ,

I can be reached at Boomstik45@hotmail.com

Bluu ,

I’m nobody, really, but thanks for the props. :) Glad you liked the breakdown, it was kinda off the top of my head, but it all flowed out at once. Sort of like a stream of consciousness…

I have to say though, I’m not better than many of the folks here. Lots of knowledge to be had here amongst the Falcon Faithful. Lots of knowledge. D3 is the man at the helm, and I don’t know if anybody can research things better than he can. Maybe Bangkapi Ajarn when he’s bored… ;) LOL….

Sarah B

April 22nd, 2010
3:09 am

BA is good – I’ll admit that!!

Sarah B

April 22nd, 2010
3:12 am

I have got to crash – been with my parents for three+ days – now I have to sleep…

Big Ray

April 22nd, 2010
3:20 am

Heard that….see ya ’round…

Sarah B

April 22nd, 2010
3:26 am

Night Big Ray – get the bad guys – please…

JJ

April 22nd, 2010
8:42 am

Morning Cagers, it’s finally here, D-Day! Keeping an open mind, but I loved the saturday all day draft. We’re all spit balling but in the back of my mind, I keep thinking about babs. After he was arrested, their was some article about AB/TD not tolerating this behavior. (Thinking of the Roonies/Big SOB Ben). I’m hoping for Spoon/Graham but Odrick is a sleeper if Babs has flunked the falcons character bar.

Found this from Pat Y. on ESPN this am:

I’m still thinking defensive end Brandon Graham for the Falcons, if he’s still available. But I keep hearing this voice in the back of my head that I heard from someone with the Falcons soon after their brass attended Penn State’s pro day –- “Keep an eye on that one.’’ Presumably, the reference was to defensive tackle Jared Odrick. It could have also meant linebacker Navarro Bowman, but I think he comes with more questions than the Falcons want.

Does anyone else hear that train whistle blowing???

CBrass

April 22nd, 2010
9:08 am

D3,

Love the set up of this blog. The pros and cons of each pick. Great idea!!! This draft is very deep so each selection (as you pointed out) will have a downside. My pick is Spoon just hope he’s there. The Giants really like him. It all starts with Denver. If they go offense with their first pick then I’m sure that the Giants would go after McClain which would leave Spoon to us.

D3

April 22nd, 2010
9:23 am

GREAT ONE OF THE BEST D@MN DAYS OF THE YEAR CAGE!!!!!! – Not a fan of all caps, but I hope you can tell that the excitement has finally overcome me. Absolutely one of my favorite days (and weekends) of the year. It’s the best respite we have for the “No-Football-Clouds” and will give us a chance to buy a new jersey of our favorite new Falcons if we choose. Even though the season is still about 4 months away, the draft will give us some great fodder to last until…….mini-camp……….than OTA’s………Fantasy Football Research……….and before you know it………..Pre-Season Begins Again! Happy Days are Here Again!

A Thank You – I just want to tell all of you wonderful fans how appreciative I am of you and what you have helped to make here in The Bird Cage. It truly is the best Falcons fan blog around, and the credit goes to you all for your tremenedous passion, respect, and kindness you show towards others in this blog. I appreciate all of you and what we’ve made this blog together………..A True Falcons Family in every sense of the word. Sorry for the sappiness, just a little pumped today, that’s all.

JoJo the Godfather

April 22nd, 2010
9:30 am

Regarding trading back….I think New England’s ideal draft has them trading two second rounders for our #19 that would allow them to land Gresham before Cincinnati picks and then have Graham fall to them at #22, and they’d still have a late second rounder. This gives them a quality over quantity draft, which is in contrast to last year when they added several second rounders. In their minds, they will have added the best TE and questionably the best DE (I said questionably GT fans) in this year’s draft.

The Falcons could then turn those 2 seconds and 2 thirds in to the best DL, OLB, WR & C available, with quality depth still available in the 4th-6th rounds (5 picks). I’d rather have the 2 second rounders than Graham, Weatherspoon, Odrick, or Pouncey, especially if there’s a run on QB’s and O-Tackles before we pick in the second round.

Unca' Bob

April 22nd, 2010
9:35 am

Great morning all! I would love to draft Spoon but, I have that same nagging feeling about Babs. Not only the suspension, but real prison time. Not jail, prison. DT would not be out of the realm.

CBrass

April 22nd, 2010
9:58 am

LRD

April 22nd, 2010
10:22 am

Woo Hoo… let the excitement mount. Draft day, soon it will be going up to the Branch, then pre-season… this train is getting ready to leave the station with several new passengers….. let alone a growing fan base. Seen more falcons hats/jerseys/stickers/jackets/ etc in the last month than I have in a looong time

Spoon…. welcome to ATL. Enjoy your stay.

Knew Money

April 22nd, 2010
10:26 am

I don’t like the Pouncey idea and I admit I really haven’t done my homework on Odrick out of Penn St. But I like the other options of either:

A. Picking Spoon or Graham (surely one of these guys will be there)

B. If both Spoon and Graham happen to be gone then that means that maybe C.J. Spiller has fallen. If that’s the case I’d be happy.

B. Piggying back on Jo Jo there – Trading back if we could get the Patriots to deal their 44th and 47th pick. CHECK OUT THESE PLAYERS THAT WILL BE THERE IN THE 2ND ROUND, IMAGINE IF THE FALCONS COULD GET TWO OF THE FOLLOWING!!!

1. Terrance Cody (probably can fill a need better than Odrick at DT by demanding double teams and freeing up the LBs)
2. D.Washington OLB
3. Demarious Thomas WR
4. Arrelious Benn WR/KR
5. Javid Best RB/KR
6. Akwasi Owusu-Ansah, CB/KR
7. Dexter McCluster RB/WR/KR

Coop

April 22nd, 2010
10:41 am

Morning Cage – I’m on pins and needles waiting to see what will happen tonight. Of the 5 options above, I’d prefer Pouncey. My first choice is Dan williams at DT, but I don’t think he’ll be there. I’ve said since I joined the Cage that the lines are the most important parts of the football team. Many point to OLB or the secondary as our biggest weaknesses on D last year. I have always disagreed and maintain that DT was and is our biggest weakness. Solid DT play anchors the line and the whole D flows from there.

With the center of the trench anchored, DEs can rush the outside and start to collapse the pocket quickly. If the center isn’t anchored, the DTs get flushed to one side or another and the QB steps up to avoid pressure. He delivers a strike on 3rd and long or takes a quick little run for the first. Sound familiar? That was our D over and over and over again last year.

So why do I want Pouncey? Value. Similarly the center of the O line is where it all starts. Our OC and OGs need to disrupt the push of the opposing DTs and give MR2 that lane to step into or an alley to run. While I really like Todd McClure, he isn’t long for this team. We can’t wait till he’s retired to bring in his replacement. We need some grooming to occur. At 19, the best DTs will be gone. Odrick will be the 4th or 5th best of the group. Conversely, Pouncey is unquestionably the best OC in this draft. If Dan Williams somehow slips, grab him. Otherwise don’t settle for the 5th best DT when you can have the best OC.

All that said, we probably draft Spoon. I’ll love him and support him, but I see it as an epic waste of an opportunity. OLB is just not that important to the overall play of the team. I thought an analyst said it best on NFL Network last night. He’s a good player, but I never saw him take over a game. I never saw opposing offenses have to game plan for him. That doesn’t sound like a difference maker to me. It sounds like a solid tackler and good guy, but it’s not what you hear about Graham, Pouncey, etc.

As for tonight, well I have to go to bed early to get up at 0300 for some hooah Army training… yeah, that’s not gonna happen. No way I miss this pick.

D3

April 22nd, 2010
11:01 am

What’s with all the excitement? Is there something going on tonight? :grin:

JJ – I’m with you on Odrick. He has really shot up on my board recently. I’m starting to say that I want Odrick above trading back as a 3rd option behind Spoon or Graham. He once and for all settles our DT situation, and makes JA#98 completely expendable (hard to believe that someone like the Chiefs wouldn’t give us a 4th or 5th rounder for a good DE in a 3-4 defense). It also would give us big insurance on a very precarious DT situation. If Babs is suspended and Jerry gets hurt…..we have Thomas Johnson and Vance Walker starting. And while I like them both as depth guys, that would spell trouble for us if they were our go-to DT’s. I agree with you on the new draft format, I like it being in primetime, but what the hell with it being during the d@mn week? The only other thing synonomous with the Draft is enjoying the weekend with grilling and bevs, not having to go to work the next day. It should be Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

Big Ray – Great breakdown my brother. You and I see eye to eye on our rankings. Honestly, I know its cliche but I absolutely will be 100% happy with Graham or Spoon. One is not higher than the other. If forced to give an edge, I would say Spoon simply because it addresses a need that is more immediate than DE, because we have Bier Truck and Sid the Kid at DE and NO ONE at OLB depth. I’ll take Odrick in a heartbeat (6′5, 307, great against the run, and an amazing pass rusher?), yeah. I’ll have that.

Hamad – Totally agree. I like a lot of what the NFL and Goodell do in trying to change it, but how much can hardcore football fans “really” enjoy it on a work night? Friday, Saturday, and Sunday is perfect. Allows for a nice long bender, :smile:

LRD – The Draft Hath Cometh!…..Finallly. I was going to hit TMac tonight, but I think I’m going to keep it a little more local in T-Town. We’ll meet up soon. This kind of officially starts the new NFL season in a way.

Bangkapi Ajarn

April 22nd, 2010
11:06 am

Morning Folks;
Out and about soon as life, in its infinite permutations, has decided to bite me in the buttocks today (again) so I will miss the start of the draft, not sure if I will get home in time for the Falcons pick.
I am confident, however, that I will be able to read a first class chronicle of the triumph and tragedies of the draft right here in the cage!!
Some thoughts/comments/props/ramblings before I go:
D-Led is now mocking that the Falcons take TE Grisham in the 1st (projected widely to go to Cincy at 21). Noting that the young gentleman was injured ALL last year, and the first two Falcons picks from last year were injured pretty much all the year, more or less, I am somewhat skeptical (all respect to D-Led and his sources).
All thru this process I have tried to figure out what TD would do, having only a fraction of his intel. IF I were TD, and if I wanted to get into the 2nd round, then I would do my level best to disseminate mis-information on my pick, targeting (in the rumor media and mocks) players coveted by teams lower than 19 – creating a sellers market for the 19th pick! Raising the trade value to, say, the cost of a 15th pick. No motivation for TD to trade down even up (based on the points chart), and a motivator must be there to motivate the seller in a sellers market.
I would not be shocked if he makes more than one move, and includes next year’s picks (as buyer and seller) in his movements. Might trade a 2011 4th to leverage his way into the second, or pick one up for his late 5th .
I now do not believe that Beichek will trade any of his 2nd round picks, unless he is able to leverage one to pick up lower picks at a premium (based on comments he allegedly made). He might even trade down from pick #22 and one of his second rounders, collecting value in next year’s draft (again!).
I DO think Philly will give up a 2 for the right players, they have enough picks that they can leverage those “points” into the players they want to put on the field, regardless of the imaginary value of those points. They have enough extra picks in lower rounds that losing a second for a stud that they really want is a probability. Might surprise with a Claussen or McCoy pick as well throwing the rest of the board from that point in chaos (and pissing off Cleveland). R member they traded their franchise QB, and Vick, a role player at best, only has one year left on his contract at $5,000,000.
So, with that lead-in, GREAT approach to the blog on draft day D3 (judicious use of caps). Your questions as follows:
1) who should the Falcons take @ #19 and give your closing arguments – Sean Weatherspoon, TD has retooled 2 of the three levels of defense, the LB corps needs work and depth (maybe 2?). His stated philosophy is to allow talent to grow into their pro potential, which would appear to discount DE and DT and a first pick (unless the Babs situation is worse than we know, as Unca’Bob wisely noted). Offensive talent and key positions can be had later. It is all contingent upon who goes the first 18 picks, and what trade down opportunities present themselves. If they take Pouncey then the draft board implodes, and our mocks rise from the screen and polk us in the eyes.
2) Why should the Falcons NOT select the other candidates? – Pouncey should be bypassed because C talent is available later, and you don’t but your 1st round pick at this point in the process on the bench.
Grisham No for the same reasons, and you don’t want your first round pick to be drafted from a hospital room instead of a University football team.
Graham and Odrick no because you need to let the young talent develop
3) Nightmare Scenario: who would you take if all 5 options are gone? – Price DT or Thomas /Tate, WR
4) What’s your Draft Party plans? – After I get home and situated, sit home alone and warp wildly out of character, imbibing a glass of Baileys Irish Cream and catch up on emails
5) What’s your opinion of the new draft format: “nice change” or “it ruined my normal Saturday Draft Ritual” – Hate the change, just an opportunity to sell more, higher priced prime time ad’s – which we must endure over three days!

Bangkapi Ajarn

April 22nd, 2010
11:08 am

Sarah B., Join the club!! Been out of work for awhile now myself, discouraging times here.

Best of luck finding something great! Falcons front office have any openings? YES!!!! Two admin openings!! Look—
http://atlantafalcons.teamworkonline.com/teamwork/jobs/jobs.cfm/Administration?supcat=297

Best of luck! With your passion for all things Falcons (and the opportunity to meet Kroy) this should be a match made in heaven! Go for it HARD!!
You get this, try to get me a seat in the war room next year so I can write a book on it!

John Waynesworld

April 22nd, 2010
11:09 am

Good morning draft lovers!

This draft is like someone giving me a steak n’ cheese sandwich (last year’s draft), then saying I have to wait to eat it (Jerry and Moore injured), and then putting more steak and cheese on the sandwich (2010 draft) and saying “Here you go!”

I feel like this is 2 drafts in one. We haven’t even experienced the fruits of last year’s draft yet, but we will this year! We have one of the best nose tackles and maybe the best safety from last year’s draft with a full year of game film in their heads PLUS we have whoever we get this year (Graham? Weatherspoon? Iupati? Kindle?) on top of those picks. DOUBLE DRAFT!!!

Take Pouncey…Great Pick. Take Dez Bryant…Great Pick. Take Odrick…Great Pick. Who ever TD wants is awesome!

The part of this draft where I will truly agonize is waiting on the 3rd round to show up. That 2nd round is gonna go by really slow, unless TD uses some trade bait…Maybe trade ole’ #98, a bag of footballs, a couple of 2011 late round picks and a big check from Arthur for a #2 pick.

On second thought, offering #98 might kill the deal.

Hurry, Hurry 7:30!!!

Bangkapi Ajarn

April 22nd, 2010
11:17 am

Big Ray – OUTSTANDING breakdown and analysis, Bro! Love your thoughts here.
I would change the order back just based on my prejudices on priorities, your logic and reasoning stands rock steady.
1) Trade back – BUT staying in the first round ahead of the Saints. Extra picks in 2nd-4th this draft could pay well in two years
2) Sean Weatherspoon – went ad nausium into this two posts back
3) Brandon Graham – for all that you said better than I could
4) Odrick – just in case, but IF we go this route I fear that Babs will be traded, maybe to Oakland, but I would hate this.
5) Pouncey – Firming up the O –line is never bad, just not the highest priority at 19, should be done later

Bangkapi Ajarn

April 22nd, 2010
11:26 am

Big Ray, Sarah B, Thank you!! I am blushing!!

Big Ray, I may need to start looking at the hawks stuff again if your insights are over there, I followed them years ago but lost interest when they traded Stave Smith. dissolved the team, got a coach that leaves draft choices on the bench to wither away uselessly, brought in the stooges as an ownership team, lost constantly, etc. I do watch occasionally now that I am in the states if they are on TV here, and I am watching the playoffs.

I did get a chance to see them on TV in Ulaan Batar once around 2002 or 2003, to my total surprise (just after some game show where the contestants lost an article of clothing at various points, when one got topless). It didn’t takelong to realize it was a replay – from the Dominique era!

D3

April 22nd, 2010
11:39 am

Knew Money – You and I are seeing eye-to-eye. Spoon has a slight edge over Graham for me, and its hard to believe that BOTH will be gone. Graham much more likely than Spoon, I think. Just don’t see Weatherspoon’s best fit as a MLB. Sure he could play the position, but is it his BEST position? I would say no, because his coverage skills and tackling in space can’t be maximized. Ultimately, trading out of the 1st round might do more good, but selfishly, I want to be about 6 deep when they call the Falcons pick and jump up and down and yell some about what a great pick it was. Otherwise, we’ll have to do it all over again tomorrow night.

JoJo – That’s a great call on trading back. The point you brought up about New England and what they would want to do is very spot on. They picked up Patrick Chung, Darius Butler, and Ron Brace last year in the second round, so they have players on the cusp of starting, but do they need another 3 secound rounders? With the Tom Brady (and Randy Moss, evidently) window rapidly closing, it would make a ton of sense for them to get two impact players on offense (Gresham) and defense (Kindle/Graham/Odrick) and still have a 2nd rounder as well. They have an incredible need at TE, because they will miss Big Ben Watson.

Bangkapi – The cruel Gods of Football have thrown a curse your way. Don’t know if you Twitter (this is where I make fun of myself), but it has been a really neat deal/hobby to do when you’re away from the TV or Computer, but I will be on Twitter tonight, enjoying a fav bev at the local watering hole, having a good bite to eat, updating the Mock Competition, and Tweeting (again, make fun of myself). Through Twitter, I’ve met some really cool Falcon Fans that I would have never met otherwise. A little Bailey’s, eh? Nice.

JWW – Dang, you’re whetting my appetite already for the draft with the Cheese Steak Sandwich…..give me a cold one NOW! Great point about our two draft picks from last year, and our defense still improved. Even though is sure as the hell is not a good DE, JA#98 could be a good stand-up DE in a 3-4 defense, b/c they are more concerned with stopping the run and occupying blockers.

darrell starks

April 22nd, 2010
12:13 pm

MY LIST IN ORDER AT PICK #19
1.BRANDON GRAHAM DE
2.DERRICK MORGAN DE
3.ROLANDO MCLAIN OLB
4.SERGIO KINDLE OLB
5.DEZ BRYAN WR
6.C.J SPILLER RB TRADE 2 CHARGERS #28 AND #40
7.SEAN WEATHERSPOON OLB
GO FALCONS!!!!!!!!