What’s Falcons Future @ RB?

Much to Decide

How Much Gas in the Tank? (C.Compton/AJC)

A position that surely to generate some heated debate: what should the Falcons do for the future at running back? The Birds just had their feature back Michael Turner head to the Pro Bowl for the 2nd time in 2 years and both times the Falcons made the playoffs, even if it ended poorly. Their backup running back Jason Snelling boosted his stock not only as a runner between the tackles, but also was the 3rd leading receiver on the entire team in terms of receptions. Jerious Norwood was injured in the beginning of the season and will have a tough road back. 3rd string backs Gartrelle Johnson and Antone Smith couldn’t take advantage of their opportunity and made a negligible impact. Obviously, Turner is the undisputed starter, but what will the Falcons do with the rest of the position, or rather what SHOULD they do?

2010 Rushing Stats

Michael Turner – 334 Attempts – 1,371 yards – 12 TDs – 4.1 yards/attempt

Jason Snelling – 87 Attempts – 324 yards – 2 TDs – 3.7 yards/attempt

Gartrelle Johnson – 10 Attempts – 36 yards

Receiving Stats

Jason Snelling - 44 Receptions – 303 yards – 3 TDs – 6.9 yards/reception

Ovie Mughelli – 13 Receptions – 126 yards – 1 TD – 9.7 yards/reception

Michael Turner – 12 Receptions – 85 yards – 7.1 yards reception

Gartrelle Johnson – 3 Receptions – 6 yards 2 yards/reception

Re-sign All and Hope for the Best

Is Snelling a Feature Back? (C.Compton/AJC)

Turner is locked in as the undisputed starter and is under contract for several more years, so that much is a definite. Jason Snelling has been positioning himself to become some team’s lead back the last several years and he will be garnering some attention, or at least a much bigger payday from the Birds. Snelling proved to be a capable backup to Turner even if their styles were too similar, he more than made up for it with his receiving skills. Jerious Norwood’s speed is well-known and his presence could make the RB corps perfectly balanced, but simply hoping that Norwood will return to health will take a large leap of faith. Throw in the fact that Snelling will be looking to max his status and Dimitroff and Smith have talked about being faster and more explosive and this option may not be the best.

Consider a Trade?

This option almost seems unfathomable, but Dimitroff does hail from the New England Patriots where they are the masters of buying low and selling high. Michael Turner just turned 29 and has shown some signs of slowing down a little, although it’s hard to argue when he’s made the Pro Bowl 2 out of 3 years. But the point still remains that Turner is nearing the big 3-0 albatross that accompanies even the greatest running backs. He’s under contract for 3 more years, so either way the Falcons will be looking for a future back sooner rather than later. This would be contingent on too many things to be plausible including finding appropriate trade partners and re-signing Snelling believing that he in fact should be the feature back going forward. The Falcons could then draft a running back to groom for the future. All that being said, it’s almost impossible seeing Dimitroff shipping off one of the most popular players fresh off two Pro Bowls and one of the biggest reasons for the Falcons success.

Sign a Free Agent RB

Of all the possibilities, this seems the farthest from likely. The Falcons have two free agent running backs of their own coming up with Snelling and Norwood and just wouldn’t make sense to go out and sign a free agent when you can scout and develop your own, but you never know.

Notable Free Agent RB’s: Pierre Thomas, Deangelo Williams, Mike Tolbert, Darren Sproles, Michael Bush among many others.

Draft a Running Back Early

Are J-Rock's Days as a Bird Over? (C.Compton/AJC)

This one seems to be the most logical and gaining more steam as the draft nears. Considering several positions of great need, such as DE or OT, offer up very much in terms of immediate impact, this could very well match Dimitroff and Smith’s mantra of need for speed. The Falcons don’t need your standard running back, but rather a speed back to complement Turner and catch the ball out of the backfield. Even if the Falcons don’t draft an RB at #27, they could certainly take one in the first three rounds. Here’s a few that might look good in red and black:

Mikel Leshoure – 6’0 – 227 – 4.59 Forty – Illinois

A prototypical NFL running back who looks to do some serious damage at the next level. Even though not a true burner, this guy can run, catch, and break tackles. Coming out as a junior, Leshoure ran for almost 1,700 yards and an eye-popping 17 TDs. Also caught 196 yards receiving with 3 TDs. May not be a true complement to Turner, but the guy looks to be really good. Almost a lock to go in the first round.

Demarco Murray – 6’0 – 213 – 4.41 Forty – Oklahoma

The knocks on this guy are long and pointed, most referring to his long injury history. Many says he runs too upright, is too injury prone, and doesn’t carry the ball well. But take a simple look at this guys speed and insane college production and you get the feeling this could be a play-maker. Ran for 3,685 yards and 50 TDs. Caught 1,571 receiving yards and 11 TDs over his career, including almost 600 yards through the air as a senior. Seemingly the perfect complement to Turner and could grow into the role. One of the most productive college RB in the draft. Probably won’t make it to Falcons in 2nd rd, especially with his 4.41 forty at the combine.

Kendall Hunter – 5’7 – 199 – 4.53 Forty – Oklahoma State

Also extremely productive running back out of OSU. Low center of gravity help him amass over 1,500 yards rushing paired with 16 TDs. Not insanely productive through the air, but has shown nice hands and the capability of catching out of the backfield. Thought to be a complementary back, which could work out nicely for the Falcons. Speed was good, but not great at the combine. 2nd or 3rd round possibility.

Jordan Todman – 5’8 – 203 – 4.40 Forty – Connecticut

Similar to Kendall Hunter, was an extremely productive RB at UConn where he ran for almost 3,000 yards as a sophomore and junior and scored almost 30 touchdowns. Definitely helped himself at the combine by running a 4.40. Definitely not very productive in the passing game, taking in not even 300 yards receiving total in his career and not scoring any TDs through the air. If not successful through the air, would he be a good fit with Turner?

Other Notable RB Prospects: Ryan Williams, Taiwan Jones, Shane Vereen, Derrick Locke, Noel Devine

So there you have it, what to do at running back? You decide.

 

Plan the RB Position (Your Turn)

-Straight up: what should the Falcons do at RB?

-Should Turner be the undisputed starter for many years?

-How many years does the Burner have left in the tank?

-Has Turner shown signs of slowing?

-Should the Falcon re-sign Snelling?

-Is Snelling good enough to be a feature back?

-Anyway they stick with all 3 guys exactly the same?

-Can Norwood make a comeback?

-Should a Turner trade be on the table?

-Any free agents you’d like to pick up?

-Should the Birds go RB @ #27? 2nd round? 3rd round?

-Who would you like the Falcons to draft at RB?

389 comments Add your comment

Bangkapi Ajarn

March 1st, 2011
9:50 pm

Tough one, but I saw Norwood is gone, resign Snelling, and sign a scatback that can catch – Murray, Vereen, and possibly Hunter are in the mix, Locke as a late round backup.

TheManMike

March 1st, 2011
10:04 pm

I’d say a WR and/or DB would be more of a logical pick early on after reading this….

http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2011/03/01/brian-finneran-brian-williams-wont-be-back-with-falcons/

D3

March 1st, 2011
10:06 pm

BA — Sounds good. Just don’t see them re-signing Snelling if they go RB early. Really think that Snelling will be looking to bank and become someone’s feature back. Cowboys tried to snag him away several years ago. People are killing me for this, but I still can’t see why Murray is not in consideration at #27. Perfect complement to Turner and he can grow in the rolel and not have to be THE guy. Was Jahvid Best a bad pick for Detroit @ #30 last year? Just sayin’

Whaaaa? — Dimitroff and Smitty are using coaching speak, also known as talking out of both sides of their mouth, which is understood, but its still maddening. On one hand we get “we need to be more explosive on offense” i.e. draft speed at O skill positions and then we get this quote from DOL’s article………

He also said that he expects wide receivers Harry Douglas, Kerry Meier and Eric Weems to have increased roles in the offense.

If Roddy, Jenks, HD, Meier, and Weems are set in our WR rotation, where’s the explosiveness and a roster going to come from?

Really heading to bed now. Have a great night Cage Family!

Sports Review

March 1st, 2011
10:35 pm

[...] Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) [...]

Bangkapi Ajarn

March 1st, 2011
11:00 pm

Before I go to bed, I decided to run a simulation based on mostly the same parameters as before but selecting Leshore with the first selection at 27 (just before NE would have at 28). Seems to fit into the new topic well.

This is based on Snelling leaving, and a continuing priority need for a scatback:

1) Mikel LeShourre RB
2) Mason Foster, LB (I forced the OLB here, the comp still wanted me to get Hunter RB)
3) DeMarco Murray – he slid to here, the comp still wants Hunter, I go for Murray as we have LeShore
4) Dom Dicicco, SS
5) Derek Hall OT
6) Lazirus Levingston, 4-3 DE
6) Randall Cobb, WR (I didn’t force, comp likes him for the Falcons)
7) Devon Terrance, CB
7) Carl Johnson, OG

waynester

March 1st, 2011
11:13 pm

D3
I think we all expect HD, Meier and Weems to show increased production but that by no means precludes us drafting another speedy WR in the first 3 rounds along with a fast RB. If we could get good value for Snelling
I’d prefer that we go for LeShoure, if we keep Jason then Hunter or Murray. Gartrell J doesn’t fit the role we need some one to play so we either spend our 1st on LeShoure , trade back and take one of the other 2 RBs in the early 2nd or hope that one of the speedy backs is still around at the bottom of the 2nd while we spend #27 on a LT DE WR etc….

waynester

March 1st, 2011
11:18 pm

BA
just saw your sim and I could live with that. I love that we pick up Cobb so late but, honestly, I think he’ll go in the 2nd-3rd….

Scott Anderson

March 2nd, 2011
2:50 am

Trade Turner now and get draft picks.

Sooner than later. now while we may get something for him

knievel

March 2nd, 2011
7:09 am

Keep Turner and Ovie. Get a LB first round, then go for RB. I think the D needs 1st pick, focus on RB for 2nd pick. My opinion for RB is get someone who can break big like Turner, and can take the load if by some bad luck, he goes down. Maybe pick free agent who has proven ability. Defense most certainly needs speed and tackling help. Come on Van Gorder, get a guy like Pollack who can motivate and get the job done.

McNasty

March 2nd, 2011
9:13 am

Bangkapi Ajarn, What is the “comp” that you r talking about

DC DirtyBird

March 2nd, 2011
9:21 am

Jordan Todman in the second round. He’s got great burst and when thrown to can catch out of the backfield. We definitely need a change of pace back and he fits the bill. He also has a solid history of staying healthy and fits the mold of solid citizen that TD likes to follow.

SeminoleWarrior

March 2nd, 2011
9:22 am

Good morning Cage…

Fresh back from the extensive scouting of Indy, the Cocoa Mel and his team are beginning to put the initial framework of our first mock draft together for our beloved Falcons. As I said from the start, it is going to be tough. I told a very good friend that my early candidate for the 27th pick will truly shock some folks and draw fire. But here in the TeePee, it is about taking the team to the next level. So stay tuned for more on that later.

RB take. The Falcons are set at the RB position. What is needed is more imagination on how to utilize effectively the backs we have in place. Snelling is VASTLY underused BOTH as a runner and as a pass option. That must change if we are to go to the next level. Even a surprise screen to Ovie on occasion would keep teams honest.

We do need a nice option as a third down specialist and I would definately look in that direction.

I am somewhat concerned about the comments that we are set with the rotation at WR that we have. We DESPERATELY need an upgrade somewhere in that mix. HD83 and MJ12 are two places I would start but I will be detailing that in coming days. BA, I personally LOVE the Randall Cobb selection as he would be electric as a slot guy for the Falcons. He is one on the big board here and he could be had. Very VALUE asset as a receiver and a third down back.

Side note: Fin, I am proud to have had you as an Atlanta Falcons. He is not a NFL Hall of Famer but he is a personal HOF dude in my book. I was Fin that brought Eric Weems over to meet my niece and the rest was history….cost me a lot of cash but loved it…LOL. Best wishes in the next stage of your career. He would make a damned fine WR coach I think for someone.

Brian Williams. Thanks for your service as well. Will discuss the CB situation in a few. Looks like Coach Lewis decided to finally show up and do some damned work!! Dominque Franks, is it your time at the nickel? Or is Brent Grimes moving over to play nickel with the bigger Franks on the outside. Or is the invisible one, DRob moving inside to play nickel. I have opinions and will discuss later.

But back to running back…We are set with what we have. Re-sign Snelling, give him more carries, use him more effectively in the passing game, and take some of the heat off Turner. There is no reason for a single Falcons RB to have more than 300 carries in a season. Drop some of the trash we are hauling on special teams and used roster space more effectively.

Back in a few….

The Real Falcon

March 2nd, 2011
9:28 am

Third round. After the first round DL and the second round TE.

SeminoleWarrior

March 2nd, 2011
9:30 am

Real Falcon, who would you take with as the DL in the first? Not feeling it here.

DC DirtyBird

March 2nd, 2011
9:33 am

I’m going to have to disagree with you Seminole Warrior. While we definitely could stand to integrate our backs more in the passing game, Turner just doesn’t have the change of direction it takes to effectively run the screen or make a backer miss in space. We are looking for more explosive plays. As far as DRob moving to the nickel back, I don’t see it. He’s a lot better than some of the Bird Fans are giving him credit for. There’s a definitive reason BG had a lot of opportunities to show his athleticsm.

SeminoleWarrior

March 2nd, 2011
9:38 am

DC, I concur with Turner not having the change of direction that we need. But he is a pounder inside and a threat to break it. He still has value. He does not need 25 to 35 carries a game though. And you are right. He is a liability in space as a receiver. That is where the increased use of Snelling and the addition of a multi-role player like Randall Cobb is valuable.

DRob’s value? I’m still waiting on that return of the investment made in him.

SeminoleWarrior

March 2nd, 2011
9:45 am

One more quick point. BG value and stock have been on a steady rise. He has been for the last TWO years the best CB that Falcons have had. I think it has to do more with hard work and grit than the presence of DRob. Grimes did lead the team with six interceptions last season; eleven total in the past two years. DRob….One in the last two.

More than anything, it is the emergence of Grimes that made Williams expendable. Owens is next if he does not tighten up his game. I have a feeling that the stock that is Dominque Franks is rising fast.

DC DirtyBird

March 2nd, 2011
9:50 am

Randall Cobb would be nice. Problem is, does our scheme allow Cobb to be a weapon out of the backfield? What are your thoughts on drafting best availabe at 27 instead of need? Why can’t we get anything from Sidbury?

GT GRAD

March 2nd, 2011
9:52 am

TRADE TURNER ASAP (he is over-rated & simply too slow)……….sign Snelling to a 3-4 year deal………..cut Johnson & Smith (unless one is a stellar special teams player ===> I have not noticed them contributing on ST and they showed absolutely nothing in the preseason games)………draft two RB (Anthony Allen from GT is definitely a sleeper in the 2011 draft & we also need a speed guy who can run the rock as well as catch the ball coming out of the backfield)…………..sign a proven back-up free agent who is willing to play for a reasonable amount of $$$.

I am shocked and impressed that someone else (D3) also recognizes that Turner is not the player the Falcons need at the RB position going forward……….he has been adequate, but not great and he has definitely lost any little bit of speed he had when he first arrived in Atlanta from SD! How much better would Atlanta be if we had Adrian Peterson at RB rather than Turner????? Think about it…………

Get what you can from this player and re-stock sooner rather than later and please act now before we miss the opportunity to find a team willing to make a trade for him!!!!!!!

DC DirtyBird

March 2nd, 2011
9:54 am

I expect to see Franks out there next year as well. Makes me wonder how GB can get production from Sam Shields who only played one year of DB in college as a rookie and we can’t get production from Franks. Maybe its the multitude of zone packages we run on defense. If Franks steps up, we move BG to nickel, and we can get Ray Edwards out of Minny, the defense can attack.

SeminoleWarrior

March 2nd, 2011
10:07 am

GT Grad, I watched Allen during the combine and I concur. He is a sleeper pick for someone. He showed skills that were invisible to us while he was at Tech. (No offense..) I still would keep Turner as my ball control asset with Snelling and a third down specialist as my change of pace back. Turner would understand that he would sometimes be relegated to two downs…nothing new; we find ourselves in that situation now. We can employed a “RB by committee” scheme with ease if we choose.

Let me go back to a point here. Let us not think for one minute that there is TOTAL piece in the valley between Smitty and Mad Mike. I am one that believes firmly that Mad Mike’s play calling is overruled by Smitty more times than we think. Mike loves to run; we know that but he also loves the gadgets. I really think that Smitty needs to let MM TOTALLY handle the offense and provide his TRUE expertise to the defense where, IMHO, it appears his DC is still struggling to make the calls.

DC Dirty, I am all about the best available if that is the way to go. Need has a priority this year in a couple of positions. It is a tough decision.

SeminoleWarrior

March 2nd, 2011
10:08 am

GT Grad, reference my comments earlier on cutting dead wood from the special teams. We need those roster spots for ballers, reserves, and upcoming talent.

SeminoleWarrior

March 2nd, 2011
10:24 am

Personally…I would cut Gatrell Johnson. He lacks speed and is an inside runner. He offers little as a pass receiver as well. I love my boy Antone Smith too but he would be gone as well.

This would open space for Allen as a late round selection or my preferred back, Shane Vereen. I know..I know. I was on the DeMarco Murray wagon and I like him a lot. But Vereen is right there with him in my opinion without the injury concerns. We (the Falcons) have taken too many chances on injured players of late. Time to buck that trend.

SeminoleWarrior

March 2nd, 2011
10:32 am

DC Bird, I did not overlook your Sidbury reference. I’m hoping it is a simple matter of a slow learning curve. He is a physical specimen. And he seems to be working hard. I’m hoping for more out of him this season.

coachx

March 2nd, 2011
10:34 am

Falcons should draft a speed back some where in the middle rounds.
I like Rodgers, Devine, Locke to be similar to Sproles as a 3rd down backs to compliment a bruiser like Turner.

If Kerrigan is gone at #27 I’m hoping they trade #27 for a high 2nd and 4th rounder………..then get Cobb with the high 2nd round pick. Cobb will make an immediate impact at WR in the slot. He is a big play X-factor.
Heck if Kerrigan is gone at #27 and they can’t trade down then I’d be fine with taking Cobb at #27. SEC defense focused on stopping him for the last 2 years with no luck. He is excellent and getting YAC. That is the Falcons biggest weakness. All of our WR can catch the ball (excpet for Douglas and his butter fingers) but Jenkins and Finneran just can’t get yards after the catch. We need a WR with wiggle !

DC DirtyBird

March 2nd, 2011
10:35 am

Seminole Warrior, you’re right on it. Vereen has a lower center of gravity which would make him better at inside runs. But is there any difference between Vereen and Todman other than Todman carried the Huskies for the last two years.

waynester

March 2nd, 2011
10:45 am

I’m glad this worm can is open…not that I’m ready to shop Turner, but (here we go again) that IS the “Patriot Way”. At the 1st sign a player is slowing down(and 4.1YPC is still decent) that player is for sale on E-Bay. It’s ruthless judgement followed by unflinching action and it seems to work pretty well. Is that who we are? Is that who we aspire to be or is it too cold and calculating? Does Dimitroff have it in him to pull the trigger on fan favorites while they still have good trade value? Another thing–the Pats also have one of the leagues highest payrolls…and while Brady accounts for much of that, still, is A Blank truly willing to put his $$ where his dream is? Is winning the SB or increasing profitability by saving on salaries the highest priority in troubled economic times? The Pats are big spenders and they’re consistently near the top–Carolina is the league’s tight-fistedest and they’re currently at the bottom. Is there a correlation between the two outcomes? We all seem to agree that this is a crucial offseason for our team. What AB,TD,and MS do over the next few months may answer some of my questions but until then, I’m still curious about what type of Front Office we really have and whether all the talk about us being the “Patriots South” is just that–TALK….

joewhite

March 2nd, 2011
10:49 am

Try to resign snelling at all cost and if we cant draft a back and then try to get one in fa to groom, but I am hoping we can keep snelling he us just a good football player.

knievel

March 2nd, 2011
10:50 am

NO NO NO NO, they are not resigning my favorite sure handed guy, Finneran!!!

LRD

March 2nd, 2011
10:52 am

SW: You are on with many points.
Snelling: We need to keep snelling. Draft a scat back as we need that explosiveness.
And I harp on this a lot…. but with expected expanded season, we will need to keep turner, snelling, acquire the scat back, AND then add another back. There is no way a starting pounder like Turner will survive a long schedule and the playoffs. Here is hope they expand out the roster therefore allowing for more depth..
Wish we would know if longer season, so we can therefore trade down possibly for more picks and stack positions (RB, OL) that we will need for the long haul

DC DirtyBird

March 2nd, 2011
10:58 am

Coachx, Can’t argue with the Cobb pick, but I’d probably pass on drafting a 255 DE. We have that in Kroy already.

Paddy O

March 2nd, 2011
11:02 am

Personally, I would prefer Murray in the 1st round over LeShoure. BUT, if Murray can be counted to fall to 3rd round, I’d take Torrey Smith #1, #2 LB Mason & #3 Murray – that should give us some excellent explosiveness. Still recommend two FA signings: Nnamdi & Edwards/Johnson. Later rounds, like the Cobb pick for depth, another RB a CB & DL & OL depth.

Paddy O

March 2nd, 2011
11:04 am

I was interested in Murray long ways back, but the injury rep hurt him. His combine #ers, plus Senior year production (a lot of TD’s), makes him my scat back priority.

DC DirtyBird

March 2nd, 2011
11:07 am

Paddy O, did you see the drops by Torrey Smith at the combine? Why not just offer the kid from Gaffney, SC an opportunity to be close to home. Yeah, Sidney Rice.

uga_b

March 2nd, 2011
11:09 am

For the DRob detractors, Brent Grimes was targetted most in the NFL, which means they weren’t targetting…

Sam Shields comparison. There are always a few late round surprises, but some NFL people actually believe that some players are different. Otherwise, everyone would be starting UFA. By this logic, our starting TE should have been Michael Palmer, JPW at QB, Gartrell at RB, Weems at No. 1, Bryndyn Harvey at 2, Bear Woods at MLB, Emmanuel Stephens at DE, Franks at CB, etc.

I think with a CBA, we trade Turner for picks. Without a CBA, you have to stand pat and draft Jerious’ replacement. TD has mentioned how much they were counting on him to provide explosive plays and how much he was missed. Seems to me WR will be another 3rd-5th pick.

SeminoleWarrior

March 2nd, 2011
11:09 am

Coach X, you stole my thunder. I’m definately on the Cobb bandwagon and would take him in the second. He would be available and would be an immediate asset in the slot. He also could be used as a situational back (i.e., Kevin Faulk).

uga_b

March 2nd, 2011
11:11 am

I truly believe that we will fill all our needs in the draft with Free Agency being more of an after thought. Despite what TD keeps saying, you have to treat it that way.

SeminoleWarrior

March 2nd, 2011
11:14 am

UGA B, he was targeted and he responsed with one heck of a season for a first year starter. If he had been a first round selection last season, he would have rivaled Suh for DPOY honors.

Eleven interceptions in two years. What Falcons CB has come even close since MeAngelo left town.

LRD

March 2nd, 2011
11:22 am

Finn: THANK YOU for the service over the years. He has had many highlights for the Falcons, but that catch last year against the Cardinals, on his finger tips reaching up to snag it out of the air in the endzone was a thing of beauty!!

blord

March 2nd, 2011
11:25 am

I vote for resigning Snelling and drafting a guy in rounds 4-5 – that is unless someone drops.
The WR spot is the one that has me most curious. I said prior to the season last year that it would take HD a while to get his burst back. I certainly expect a lot more from him this year. I keep seeing where people post that we need to draft a slot guy. I don’t necessarily disagree with this but I see a lot of youth invested in the slot position already – see Meir, HD, and Weems. I don’t really know what the answer is honestly. I know we need playmakers. The ideal situation (IMO) would be to have someone like Reggie Bush who can split out wide and be a WR or stay in the backfield and be an option. We need someone that teams have to keep in mind while game planning. I would love to have Bush himself but he has injury concerns and will cost an amount that I don’t think we should pay. Who fills this bill? Cobb?

SW, I’m curious who your 1st round choice would be?

blord

March 2nd, 2011
11:38 am

Also, Thanks Finn for you dedication to the team. You were a great bird and I wish you well.

Now can the owners and the players please kiss and makeup so we can see some FA movements!

Sgt. Pepper

March 2nd, 2011
11:39 am

Needs:
DE, RB, TE, LB, WR, OT, SS, CB

Free Agents:
DE – Cullen Jenkins, Ray Edwards, Mathias Kiwanuka
WR – Sidney Rice, Malcolm Floyd, Braylon Edwards
RB – Darren Sproles

Scenario 1: In a perfect post CBA world, I’d like to sign a free agent DE, then draft a fast RB in round one who would have an immediate impact. Next round, grab a TE to learn behind Tony Gonzales and in the third get a LB to eventually replace Peterson. A WR can be found later in the draft.

Scenario 2: Sign a deep WR threat like Rice, or Floyd and draft a DE in round one. Beirmann and Sidbury are good rotational players but not starters. Still get a good RB, TE and LB.

Scenario 3: Join Darren Sproles with old teammate Turner to become the fast scat back that we need.

Notes: People who want OT in early rounds. To this I say that Dimitroff saw this coming last year and was prepared. He drafted Johnson and Hawley and kept Svitek and Valdez. Baker may move around to guard but we have the talent. I would argue that this is not THE most pressing need for the team. Clabo may be gone, but hopefully Dahl will stay.

I’d also like to see D. Franks return a few kickoffs and punts to let Weems be rested for more offensive plays. Also Meier was impressive in camp and is supposed to be the replacement for Finneran.

SeminoleWarrior

March 2nd, 2011
11:41 am

BLord, stay tuned. I promise you it will shock the masses.

uga_b

March 2nd, 2011
11:41 am

I am a huge fan of Grimes. As well as all the other Defensive players we have developed: Decoud, Moore, Lofton, Spoon, Nicholas, Babs, Peters, and Biermann. That’s kind of why I find it funny when people want to put unknown late round picks in front of quality starters (evidenced by ranking 5th in PPG).

I personally hope that we never have to play a second day pick and that they find the competition difficult to make the team just to play Special Teams. Then they have a chance to grow into an increased role. My 5th CB or 5th WR shouldn’t make or break offense or defense. They should contribute on special teams.

Someone name me somebody we cut who really blossomed. Peprah? D. Hall? Laurent Robinson (injuries)?

Remember Foxworth? Brooking? etc.

Sgt. Pepper

March 2nd, 2011
11:43 am

Also, everything depends on the CBA agreement. If it comes down to it, I could trade Snelling or Koenen for a good draft pick but keep them otherwise. Snelling is a great two punch with Turner and is a multi position player that adds value in the event of an injury.

SeminoleWarrior

March 2nd, 2011
11:45 am

Breaking right for a few. Got to watch some more tape/film. See ya on the other side.

Still missing my girl but I sense the warmth of her smile.

blord

March 2nd, 2011
11:51 am

In a perfect world we get Mathias Kiwanuka and Floyd in FA. (In a perfect world Kiwanaka stays healthy)Draft a DE in the first and a quality LB falls to us in the second.

Paddy O

March 2nd, 2011
12:01 pm

NO, I did NOT see the Torrey drops at the combine – i heard his stock dropped, I did wonder why. SW: Don’t know if you were ON the Torrey band wagon, but in your humble opinion, is he off the radar? (if he is, I am leaning toward the speedster Jernigan – but that would be later rounds). If Torrey Smith dropped off the top 2 rounds, and we can get Murray in 3rd, then what if Houston is available in the first, we select him? DC – how bad were the drops? Nerves or did it appear he had rock hands? An isolated situation?

Paddy O

March 2nd, 2011
12:11 pm

As a big stability & veteran player supporter, I am saddened to learn Fin is to be released – if we don’t draft a guy, maybe we can still bring him back with a lower salary. Looks like we’ll pick up a DB somewhere.

waynester

March 2nd, 2011
12:24 pm

I like the way Sgt Pep is thinking about this draft, especially Scenario 1. No DE that we draft will have the type of immediate production we require. Just like we brought in the veteran J Abraham, we have to go FA. If you still want another developmental DE you can get excellent value in the 3rd-4th round and give our coaches a year or two to prepare them for NFL-level OLines. I do, however, disagree on taking an LT at 27. If one of the elite OTs fall(and a couple probably will) that represents as much value as an elite QB falling to the lower 1st. Given our current situation–unsure which one (if any) of our young guys will win starting jobs, looking to the future demands that we get on with replacing Baker at LT asap. Could Valdez be ready? If he isn’t then what? Cross our fingers that Baker suddenly becomes the dominant player we need at OLT? IF and only if one of the NFL ready LTs fall, we should grab them and give Boudreau some higher quality tools to work with. Other wise, I agree with coachx’s 10:36 post. trade back into the upper 2nd, take Cobb and then try like hell to use the pick we obtain in that trade to package picks and move BACK into the mid 2nd to give us 3 picks in round 2. With the 2nd of those I’d take Mason Foster and the 3rd would be one of the speedy backs. We should have some comp picks coming our way, too and all all our remaining picks are (as uga_b posted earlier) special teams/depth anyway. Only rarely does a late rounder emerge immediately as an immediate contributor anywhere other than STs but it’s always possible we could find a Miles Austin out there somewhere–if so, great–but we can’t count on it. That’s why I agree with Sgt P as far as Free Agency…DE and WR, especially. A #3 back should be drafted to save $$ on fresher legs….