Could Shann Schillinger Be a Sleeper?

Vast Majority Hammered the Pick

 Lost in the fact that the Falcons were drafting in the 6th round with their last overall pick was head-scratching at best and outright slander at worst. Why in the world would Thomas Dimitroff add another safety? One of the few positions that looks to be fairly deep is safety, with Thomas DeCoud having a breakout year, Erik Coleman having a decent year after switching positions, super talented William Moore waiting, and the Falcons signing veteran journeyman Matt Giordano. We do have to remind ourselves that it was the 6th round, but wouldn’t it had been better served to take a chance on another defensive tackle like Jeff Owens, wide receiver Carlton Mitchell, tight end Nate Byham, or hometown favorite running back Jonathan Dwyer? We’ve come to know the importance of special teams here with this Falcons coaching staff, for good reason, and Schillinger might be an excellent pick for special teams. He may even become more than a developmental player, but this one is certainly the most questioned of Dimitroff’s picks, even for a 6th rounder. Coming off his success last year in grabbing Georgia Tech DT Vance Walkerin the 7th round, who has seemingly worked himself pretty solidly in the rotation, TD will probably get the benefit of the doubt on Schillinger for the time being.

Nice Production @ Montana

Hailing from current defensive end Kroy Biermann’s alma mater of The University of Montana, Schillinger had really good production during his tenure for the Grizzlies. Even though he didn’t start as a sophomore, he was 10th on the team with 45 tackles. Schillinger really came into his own his junior year after starting “in all 16 games and was Montana’s second leading tackler. He led the Grizzlies with 10 pass deflections. He had a team-leading (tie) four interceptions. He also tied for the team lead in forced fumbles (two) and fumble recoveries (two)” (NFLDraftScout.com). Schillinger also had a very good senior year with 90 tackles and 4 interceptions. The former Montana safety brings a very nice set of ball skills with nice size (6’0, 202) and surprising speed (4.5 forty). Schillinger may not be the flashiest of names, but he appears to be an all-around very good and tough football player capable of covering, good hands, crushing hits, and making plays on the field. The big question, like all small school athletes, is whether or not the player is something special or if he’s simply a product of very weak competition. The former definitely turned out to be true for Kroy Biermann who has surprised from day one and is primed for a starting defensive end spot this fall.

Similar to Spencer Adkins Pick

On the surface, the pick doesn’t make a ton of sense because they were so many other players available at positions of far greater need than safety. If you dig a little deeper though, this pick may begin to gain some traction. It reminds many of the Spencer Adkins pick last year at linebacker, who had way less production than Schillinger in college, but came in and beat out several vets including Jamie Winborn and higher draft pick Robert James.  Many fans were way less upset with Adkins in the 6th last year who had much less production and wasn’t even a starter at the end of the season. Schillinger fits the mold of high character, high motor players who Dimitroff has been targeting lately.

Is Schillinger a True Sleeper?

That’s the big question fans are waiting to see. It’s hard to believe that so much scrutiny is being paid to a 6th round pick, but after Dimitroff’s own successes he has set the bar pretty high on selecting good players throughout the draft. Adkins didn’t get a lot of time on defense, but became one of the better special teams players and may even develop into something more. The Falcons also put an emphasis on backup safeties, usually carrying at least 5 of them. Antoine Harris was a mainstay on the roster for the last two years and Jamaal Fudge rotated back and forth on the roster as well. Schillinger seems to a very talented player that provides superb depth and may even develop nto a larger role. He has a good work ethic and he will need it with undrafted signee safeties Rafael Bush and Gabe Derricks. Throw in the fact that he already will be closely watched by fans and his push to make the roster gets even tougher. Is Schillinger a good pick and possible sleeper? Like all draft picks, we’ll wait and see.

Stadium Preference

Not going to create a whole new post regarding the stadium situation because DOL has done a superb job covering it and laying it out. But we do want to know what The Cage thinks on a new stadium. What’s your preference? New open-air stadium staying in downtown, new stadium out to the suburbs, or keep the Dome for awhile due to the economy? Should the Falcons wait and pursue a retractable roof stadium at all costs, perhaps when the economy picks back up? Lay out your opinions on what you want as true and hardcore Falcons fans.

Your Turn

-Is Schillinger a sleeper or a bad pick?

-Upset that Dimitroff went safety when depth is already there?

-Will Schillinger be solely a special teams player?

-Is it a lock for him to make the roster?

New Stadium

What’s your preference?

New open-air stadium staying in downtown, new stadium out to the suburbs, or keep the Dome for awhile due to the economy?

Should the Falcons wait and pursue a retractable roof stadium at all costs, perhaps when the economy picks back up?

 

Come follow The Bird Cage on Twitter (D3_Falcons) and Facebook

129 comments Add your comment

Kurt

May 21st, 2010
2:53 pm

I like this pick. A player who gives his all and is smart. And another high character player. Besides, who am I to question TD or Coach Smith?

Bangkapi Ajarn

May 21st, 2010
2:53 pm

I think TD has said all along that Schillinger would be a god candidate for special teams, and late round picks NEED to be special teams studs to make the squad. Not sure we need another S but if he can make the squad as another Montana surprise, than good for him.

Let him compete and let the chips fall where they may, but I don’t see him making many snaps as a safety (unless Moore is unusable, and the other FA they picked up offseason, Giordano, can’t cut it).

Sporkdevil

May 21st, 2010
2:58 pm

I like the pick. I have at times wondered about TD’s late round picks, but it appears that most are picked up to play ST’s. Some other value picks like Vance Walker or Kroy Biermann are meant to play, but late round guys like Middleton, Thomas Brown, Fontenot, (this is starting out as a pretty bad list), Adkins, James, etc. are picked with the intention to play ST’s.

The majority is speed players and not so much lineman/QB’s. Schillinger, Meier, Franks, and even Owens show this. I guess it makes sense to grab guys who will get actual play time instead of purely depth.

I can’t say what Schillinger will be until the season, but he has the speed and size to play well on ST’s, and be some really nice depth. We know TD loves versatile players and this guy seems like a versatile player. Not sure if we would have grabbed Franks when we did if he couldn’t be a beast on returns.

Falcon Fan

May 21st, 2010
3:00 pm

I think Schillinger will be a good sleeper pick and contribute on special teams. TD obviously thought he needed more depth at the position and for now I will defer to this staff. They have done a good job. He makes roster and will be mainly special teams player.

My preference on stadiums is an outdoor one. If all the northern teams can play outdoors (see Pitt, NE, Buffalo, Philly, etc..) then we can play outdoors down here where the weather is far and away better. Football was meant to be played outdoors.

But I don’t want tax dollars financing a new stadium. We are taxed enough already and no need to help the wealthy get even wealthier!

Go Falcons! We will win division this year!!!!!

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Matt, D. Orlando Ledbetter. D. Orlando Ledbetter said: AJC's fan blog: Could Shann Schillinger Be a Sleeper? http://bit.ly/c8OI5E [...]

Bangkapi Ajarn

May 21st, 2010
3:05 pm

-Is Schillinger a sleeper or a bad pick?
I think other positions would have been more suitable at that position of the draft, but we really don’t know how TD had them graded. Understanding that late round picks need to be special teams studs, Schillinger has a shot. I say “wait and see”, can’t really say a 6th pick was a bad choice if they can make the team as special teams, and is insurance for an injured Moore and FA pickup.

-Upset that Dimitroff went safety when depth is already there?
Confused more than upset, but Schillinger could work his way in, and could contribute, wait and see, show me something, etc.

-Will Schillinger be solely a special teams player?
I think not, but a few snaps only. They will try to coach him up, turn a 6th round into the equivalent of a 3rd round in 2 years if I recall his thinking.

-Is it a lock for him to make the roster?
No

New Stadium

New open-air stadium staying in downtown, new stadium out to the suburbs, or keep the Dome for awhile due to the economy?
Keep the dome, economy sucks (and I haven’t been inside yet).

Should the Falcons wait and pursue a retractable roof stadium at all costs, perhaps when the economy picks back up?
Nope, cost/benefit isn’t there in my opinion.

Infamous

May 21st, 2010
3:15 pm

I say we wait until we can get a retractable roof stadium. It makes the most sense. I like the GA Dome, but I admit it lacks a lot of the amenities of newer stadiums around the league. I would vote to make renovations to the GA Dome and concentrate efforts on (1) better parking and (2) venues added outside and around the Dome. Build up the outside and, when the time is right for a new stadium, then IMO everything will already be in place.

Dawson Devitt (D3)

May 21st, 2010
3:21 pm

Great Friday Afternoon Cager! — Hope all of you are doing well as we roll into another weekend (can the d@mn rain please go away?)

Kurt, Sporkdevil, BA, Falcon Fan — All great comments Gentlemen! I have to admit that I was a little pissed and shocked to see us grab Schillinger in this spot with so many “big names” left on the board, but the more I research this pick, the more I like it. What definitely makes me more OK with this pick is the excellent strikes that TD made in UDFA territory. He addressed WR with Harvey, Wolfe, and Buckley, TE with Peek and Palmer, and some other areas as well. It does make a ton of sense because we finally have our “own” special teams safety instead of having to rely on Antoine Harris, Eric Brock, or Jamaal Fudge. I swear Fudge rotated on and off the squad at least 5 times over the last few years. He may even suplant Giordano as the team’s 4th safety. He is more of a FS rather than a SS. Who knows, we may could have the next Jim Leonard (Jets) or John Lynch on our hands.

Infamous

May 21st, 2010
3:28 pm

With the amount of players that were not resigned by the falcons (such as Harris, Peprah, Brock, Fudge, Glibert, etc), these drafted and undrafted rookies will have several roster spots to fill. That where the competition kicks in because we must select the best available, cut the remainder, and not look back. I think players like Schillinger and Adkins from last year will get great opportunities to compete for PT in the near future.

ATLJBO

May 21st, 2010
3:53 pm

Shann Schillinger is a a backup/special teamer… I do think Schillinger can grow into a Melvin Bullitt type player…. Good backup/special teamer that can step in and start at spots (in the future) …..

From looking at Shann Schillinger (when i was doing my video) … The guy is fast, a good tackler, good special team guy, and a ball hawk (10 career ints and 19 pass deflections)

Proday Numbers
40 Yrd Dash: 4.50
225 Lb. Bench Reps: 21
Vertical Jump: 37
Broad Jump: 09′11″
20 Yrd Shuttle: 4.29
3-Cone Drill: 7.04

uga_b

May 21st, 2010
3:53 pm

I to this day have not understood the stadium arms race. I attend mostly UGA home games but I usually make it to the dome a few times a year. For ease, I am going to compare these two stadiums. I love Sanford, but to be honest the concourses, bathrooms, and concessions are nothing to sneeze at. What I love is the setting, the visibility, the fans, and the hedges. My favorite thing about the dome, outside the temperature, is the visibility. It has always been great. All I care about is the product on the field. From what I can tell, I can see the action, buy a beer, and pee at the dome. Awesome.

Or you can take Philips with it’s ritzy market place, overpriced beer/food, and steep seats (worse than the dome’s upperdeck). No thanks, the CNN center is right next door.

ATLJBO

May 21st, 2010
3:56 pm

uga_b

May 21st, 2010
3:56 pm

As far as Schillinger, I have two observations. One, it is a 6th round pick so why not? Two, I am just going to trust TD and hope this isn’t a Jordan Beck headscratcher turned tease turned zip/zilch/zero.

blord

May 21st, 2010
3:58 pm

I don’t mind taking Safeties late even if that is a position of depth because they usually are a help on Special Teams. This guy has the tangibles on paper but that doesn’t necessarily make him a good player. I have no real expectations for the guy so I will reserve judgment on the pick. We have so many young guys on the team. I am really looking forward to watching them in the preseason. The Speed we will have on defense will be fun to watch.

P.S. His name does have a nice ring to it though when you say it out loud …”Shann Schillinger”. Just sounds like a big time player;)

blord

May 21st, 2010
3:59 pm

ATLJBO,
You are the man when it comes to video. Thanks for always giving us visuals.

Marcus

May 21st, 2010
4:12 pm

on draft day, my emotions ran the gamut:
confusion
bewilderment (confused emotion on sugar high)
anger (for 5 seconds, after thinking about players still undrafted)
resigned (TD is better at this than I could ever dream)
contentment (see rationale above)

I wish Schillinger well. Hope he brings the wood like Ronnie Lott/Scott Case re-incarnate.

Joe

May 21st, 2010
4:17 pm

I’m a Griz alum. Saw a lot of his games. You guys will like what you get with this kid.

A quick view of a playoff game last year (much better than a bow game!)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lz9qWFYJbDU

1:35 – Shann recovers a fumble on a punt return
2:25 – Shann forces a fumble
6:50 – Shann makes a great int…you need to see it slow mo to fully appreciate it

I remember reading similar comments you guys drafted Kroy. Some dolt even made a lame youtube video…How’s that crow taste?

CBrass

May 21st, 2010
4:21 pm

D3,

As always great work.

-Is Schillinger a sleeper or a bad pick? This could be a very good special teams pick. I have this feeling that Bush will be one of those UDFA steals just as Collin Peek will be.

-Upset that Dimitroff went safety when depth is already there? Not really. As I said before this may be a very good special team pick for this season. I think that journeyman safety Giordano will be let go.

-Will Schillinger be solely a special teams player? I think he will.

-Is it a lock for him to make the roster? It’s going to be hard with someone like Bush behind him but I think he makes it. It also depends on how fast he picks up things. From what I seen in mini camp he a very smart player and quick to sniff out running plays.

Bangkapi Ajarn

May 21st, 2010
6:20 pm

ATLJBO;

Great video, you are one talented dude!!

Bangkapi Ajarn

May 21st, 2010
6:27 pm

Joe;
Reading your comments makes me feel even better about the pick, although further research already had allayed some of my concerns. Always great to hear from someone familiar with the players. Thanks for the comments.

falcon21

May 21st, 2010
6:34 pm

I think passing on Jeff Owens for this guy was a mistake. Owens turned it on mid to late season with the Dawgs and would have been a steal with this pick. As for the stadium, open air outside of the city would be great. Football is an outside sport, get rid of the roof and carpet and let the weather in.

Bangkapi Ajarn

May 21st, 2010
6:46 pm

D3;
Forgot to mention, you hinted that this might be a shorter post, but you really brought it. Well written, well researched. Good job.

John Waynesworld

May 21st, 2010
7:03 pm

D3, you are the man. Much knowledge about our 6th rounder. I see this pick as a smart pick. Shillinger is a winner and he always wants to improve, like when he was talking about his undefeated team and their desire to improve:

http://www.montanagrizzlies.com/pages/news_item.aspx?n=8580&m=18

This guy reminds me of Chris Reis, an ex-Falcon and Super Bowl hero with the Saints.
.

billcanoe

May 21st, 2010
7:15 pm

Keep the Dome!!!! It is a good stadium and will be for a long time. An outdoor stadium in Atlanta in December is complete idiocy. I know. I have gone to Falcons games since 1967 and I used to go to Fulton County Stadium in December and either freeze to death or be drowned, or both. Let’s not get stupid here.

John Waynesworld

May 21st, 2010
7:16 pm

Concerning the Dome, it has to either be covered or have the ability to be covered. A dome would be invaluable to market events for revenue dollars as well. The retractable money might not be there, so it has to be a domed stadium. The only way I see we get a retractable roof is if we win it all this season. Otherwise we should be happy with a dome.

The MAIN THING that this new construction has to include is EASY AND IMMEDIATE ACCESS TO A HIGHWAY. None of this shoot you downtown into a series of one-way streets crap.

falcon21

May 21st, 2010
7:31 pm

I have seen many games at FCS but I also dressed for the weather. If a person is going to freeze to death or be drowned, well stupid is as stupid does!!!

JJ

May 21st, 2010
7:40 pm

Crabapplejoe

May 21st, 2010
7:42 pm

@D3—Why is Shann Schllinger’s speed “surprising”…..just wondering.

JJ

May 21st, 2010
7:48 pm

D3, great post buddy.
CB. u know I was joking, plz krrp UB from a kill, u dont mess with a marine! sempre fi!
Schilling. great ST if he makes the team, otherwise unknown…

JJ

May 21st, 2010
7:50 pm

Damn, CJ reared up….here we go with race again!

Ken Strickland

May 21st, 2010
10:26 pm

CRABAPPLEJOE-Why don’t you just continue wondering about that one? It’s amazing how you’ve failed to realize that not a single individual, other than your stupid A$$, saw fit to make that an issue. STUPID IS AS STUPID DOES!!

wayne

May 21st, 2010
10:33 pm

My preference is to keep the dome, is a great place to watch football games, especially in the winter months. Maybe at a later date they could invest in a retractable dome when the economy fully recovers. The open air stadium prior to the dome kinda sucked on cold-rainy days. I would not renew season tickets that I have had since 1991.I think I would take a survey of the existing season ticket holders for their preferences before doing something real stupid.

falcon21

May 21st, 2010
10:44 pm

Well said Ken.

Sportaree

May 21st, 2010
11:09 pm

Smile, and the world smiles with you, frown, and you frown alone….

Box

May 22nd, 2010
12:23 am

Another greqt job D3. Am glad you can create good questions for Cagers to debate during our off season doldrums. As for Shann, speed and quickness could make a converted CB with the size that so many fans desire. As for making the team, I am not going to pick many “locks” past the starters. I believe this will be one of the most competitive camps in years, as TD and MS have planned. Time to separate the players from the pretenders. I was one who would have liked Owens with the pick, but the big board had this kid higher for some reason.

jason

May 22nd, 2010
8:35 am

Good morning Cage. Been away for a while.Finally getting settled in at Ft.Campbell. I have missed out on alot. don’t know if i remember how to talk football, but I know some of the vets here in the Cage will get me back up to speed. I know this is off topic, but how big was it for the Falcons to get Witherspoon from Mizzou? I know alot of fans wanted this kid ever since the middle of last season. Also, what kind of shape is William Moore in, and what can we expect from him this season? As far as the topic of the blog’ this kid is coming from Bierman’s school, and T.D. has a knack for finding players in later rounds; seeing the diamond in the rough.

falcon

May 22nd, 2010
11:55 am

Terrance X

May 22nd, 2010
11:59 am

Lester Hayes was drafted in the first round my the 70’s Oakland Raiders. this kid from Montana was drafted in the 6th round. this makes no sense i know but back when my last name was Moore and i wrote for this paper – i talked about the 70’s Raiders a lot.

Crabapplejoe

May 22nd, 2010
12:15 pm

@JJ & Ken Strickland: Isn’t it funny how neither of you (nor D3) answered the question, but chose to do the lame ad hominem attack instead….LMAO at the ignorance. @JJ…you’re the only one that has brought up “race”…not me…I just asked a question that, apparently, nobody wants to answer.

Chris T

May 22nd, 2010
12:31 pm

I try to support the team in every way, I wish all the best for Shann. I too thought there were better players available when he was taken. Maybe i’m wrong but I just don’t think so, I believe we’ll come to regret not taking Owens but again, I hope i’m wrong.

Big Ray

May 22nd, 2010
2:13 pm

Crabapplejoe and his race issues will just never quit. I am so sick of race-baiters. Even more annoying are the ones who thinly veil their intentions and try to bait other people into “making it a race issue”, when the intention is obviously there all along.

No different than those losers who are always exalting Vick and bashing Ryan.

As for Shillinger, he’s only a real sleeper pick if he turns out to be good enough to unseat either Thomas Decoud or Erik Coleman/William Moore. If he’s that good, then this is another gem mined by Dimitroff. If he’s not, then he’s still not a failure if he can contribute well.

If he can be a special teams ace, then he effectively helps this team and that’s all we can ask for. I hope the guy sticks. A lot of late rounders don’t. But I’m also not worried about the safety position.

Wide receiver is where I’m more interested at the moment. I want to see what Kerry Meier can do for us. Same for Brandon Harvey and Ryan Wolfe. Looking forward to that very much.

Big Ray

May 22nd, 2010
2:21 pm

Ah yes, Crabapplejoe. His intentions and agenda are obvious at all times, and he’s quick to bait people into actually using the terms “race” and what not (when we know exactly what his problem is, in reality).

Guys, just ignore him. He only wants one thing. Kinda like those clowns that bash Matt Ryan and constantly bring up a former Falcon quarterback. Same tune, just different lyrics.

Schillinger actually does not have my interest. We have some good safties in Thomas Decoud and Erik Coleman, though I expect William Moore to unseat the latter. Schillinger could be good depth at the position, or he could turn out to be a special teams ace, which also helps us. Could Schillinger challenge for regular playing time at safety? I don’t know, and am not inclined to think so right now. But I could be wrong.

Now two guys I AM interested in right now? Ryan Wolfe and Kerry Meier. And Brandon Harvey. THOSE guys have my attention right now, and we need more help at WR than we do at safety, if you ask me.

Crabapplejoe

May 22nd, 2010
2:26 pm

@BigRay-I see you can’t/won’t answer the question either….LMAO. Did Schilllinger have polio as a youth…is he coming off double ACL surgery? I don’t know much about the guy and just wanted to know why the author called his speed “surprising”. You and JJ want to make everything into a racial issue.

Bangkapi Ajarn

May 22nd, 2010
2:47 pm

Big Ray;
Agree that Wolfe, Meier, and Harvey battling for a max of two roster spots should be intriguing.

The wildcard there is Weems, is he really a marginal receiver that earned his spot as a ST returner, or just didn’t get the reps/throws in game pressure situations he needed to be fairly judged? I dunno, totally lost on that one.

CBrass

May 22nd, 2010
3:12 pm

BA,

The only reason Weems made the team last season was solely based on his ST returner abilities. If the coaches saw something as far as his receiver abilities he would have been on field the last part of the season.

CBrass

May 22nd, 2010
3:29 pm

JJ

May 22nd, 2010
4:23 pm

Just listened to GM TDs’ gig on dave fm, they cut out the music :( and just aired all of his talk. Coach Beleicheck even called in for a few minutes. Not allot of football talk, but it shows a side of him and his personality. We are very lucky to land this guy plus I love his music set.

http://929dave.radio.com/2010/05/21/thomas-dimitroff-talks-music-with-us/

Bangkapi Ajarn

May 22nd, 2010
5:23 pm

Bangkapi Ajarn

May 22nd, 2010
5:25 pm

CB;
That’s what I was afraid of regards Weems. hoping someone had seen something that just didn’t get highlighted somehow. Franks selection is a real threat to Weems maintaining his roster spot.

JJ;
Thanks for the link, interesting to hear that side of TD.

Unca' Bob

May 22nd, 2010
5:28 pm

Crabapplejoe

May 21st, 2010
7:42 pm
@D3—Why is Shann Schllinger’s speed “surprising”…..just wondering.

You’re full grown, I assume. Do some research and answer your own question. Why you feel everyone should be at your beck and call eludes me.