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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
-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?
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?