Should the Falcons Go Defensive Back Early?

Little Depth at Safety

Time to Get Depth Behind Moore? (AJC)

The Atlanta Falcons haven’t invested very highly in the defensive back from the draft since 2009 when they selected hard-hitting SS William Moore. The Birds top brass have poured in tons of money to their cornerbacks ($57 million contract to D-Rob, $10+ million franchise tag to Grimes) and even re-upped Thomas DeCoud to a decent deal this off-season, but have failed to invest through the draft recently. Will the Falcons go defensive back @ #55 this year?

Its hard to imagine that cornerback, specifically your prototypical fast and usually smaller nickel back, is one of the Falcons biggest needs. While Chris Owens maybe more suited for the outside, both Dominique Franks and Darrin Walls fit the mold of what Mike Nolan seeks in a big, physical safety type of nickel back.

It seems to many as though taking a defensive back, specifically a traditional cornerback, before seeing what Nolan can do with the current crop of cornerbacks may be jumping the gun a little early. Taking a cornerback early risks potentially under-cutting an already deep position or wasting a vitally important draft pick with not many in tow.

Safety is a different story, however. The Falcons have zero depth behind their projected starters of Thomas DeCoud, who has under-achieved the last two years, and oft-injured William Moore. Former versatile backup safety James Sanders recently signed with the Cardinals and backup Shann Schillinger may even be in a fight for a roster spot. Problem is, this isn’t the deepest safety class in memory. A look at a few candidates…

(*)Statistics represent entire collegiate career

(**) Round draft projections vary widely depending on scouting sites

Thanks to the following websites for great scouting information:

CBS Sports NFL Draft Scout



NFL Draft Scout

2nd Round

Harrison Smith – SS

Notre Dame – 6′2 – 213 – Forty: 4.56 – Bench: 19 – Vertical: 34

51 Games – 309 Tackles – 28 Passes Defensed – 7 INTs

Smith had a very productive career while at Notre Dame and seemed to really help his stock with good performances at the Senior Bowl and at the combine. Some sites have him listed as a free safety, while others have down as a strong safety. Smith is very good against the run, as evidenced by his 309 career tackles, and has excellent size. He was very fluid in drills at the combine and ran better than expected, even though he’ll never be confused as a blazer. His versatility to play both positions and coverage ability may be appealing to the Falcons, and Mike Nolan in particular.

Trumaine Johnson – CB/S

Montana – 6′2 – 204 – Forty: 4.5 – Bench: 19 – Vertical: 35.5

47 Games – 173 Tackles – 35 Passes Defensed – 15 INTs

Is Johnson the perfect "Big Nickel?" (AJC)

Johnson has become a favorite of many Bird Cage Faithful thus far with his excellent size and speed to go along with his superb production out of Montana. His measurables seem the perfect fit to go along with Mike Nolan’s “Big Nickel” idea, putting in a safety that can cover and come up strong in run support. Johnson is listed by many as a cornerback, but he also seems to be an exceptional fit for a hybrid player. Johnson is also a ballhawk who loves to get his hands on the ball, another bonus for Nolan looking to add speed, agility, and takeaway ability to his defense. Dimitroff has gone to the Montana well twice during his tenure with Kroy Biermann and Shann Schillinger. Of those looking at the “Big Nickel” candidates, Johnson appears to be the frontrunner and should be available @ #55.

Brandon Boykin – CB/KR/PR

Georgia – 5’9 – 182 – Forty: 4.42 – Injury @ Senior Bowl

53 Games – 159 Tackles – 18 Passes Defensed – 9 INT

2,663 Kickoff Return Yards (UGA Career Leader – 2nd All-Time SEC History)

Although Boykin doesn’t fit the idea of a big safety, he’s a fan favorite due to him being a Georgia Bulldog and having playmaker written all over him. He definitely fits more as a standard nickel and is a little undersized to be thought of as a shutdown cornerback, but it’s impossible not to at least consider the former Dawg and local product. Boykin ranks 2nd all-time in SEC history in return yards and one of the biggest playmakers in the entire draft. He is lightning fast and is a true homerun threat to score every time he gets his hands on the ball, whether on defense, offense, returning kickoffs, or punts. He would immediately fill the openings on special teams and either work his way in as nickel or be ready to take over for Grimes if contract negotiations go south. I’m sure Matt Ryan would love him as a weapon on offense as well.

3rd Round

Brandon Taylor – SS

LSU – 5’11 – 209 – Forty: 4.5

49 Games – 71 Tackles – 5 Passes Defensed – 2 INTs

Taylor is kind of rated all over the map depending on which site read. Some have him rated as high as going in the 2nd or 3rd round, while others have him being more of a 4th round type candidate. Taylor doesn’t necessarily have the height as your typical cover safety, but he is physical and attacks ball-carriers with violence very fast for someone with his size. His stats won’t blow you away, especially in terms of interceptions. While he may not be worthy of a 2nd round pick, if the Falcons pass on defensive back @ #55. Started 33 games over 3 years for one of the best programs in the country and certainly one of the best defenses in all of college football. The thought having both William Moore and Brandon Taylor in the same backfield would have to delight fans.

George Iloka – FS

Boise State – 6’4 – 225 – Forty 4.59 – Bench: 20 – Vertical: 34.5

53 Games – 232 Tackles – 14 Passes Defensed – 7 INTs

Like Taylor, Iloka is inconsistently ranked according to various scouting reports. Some believe Iloka to be the very best free safety prospect and worthy of a 2nd round pick, while others have him ranked as going as low as the 4th or 5th round. In terms of measureables, you won’t find a prospect with more potential. He has excellent height, weight, strength (20 bench reps), and a vertical leap. While not the fastest safety prospect, he has an excellent frame to cover the new trend of big and tall receivers. He earned Freshmen All-American honors at just 17 years old. His stiffness at the combine will likely make him a low priority for the Falcons looking for a player to take over the “big nickel” role, something he isn’t really suited to do.

Markelle Martin – FS

Oklahoma State – 6’1 – 207 – Forty: 4.58

48 Games – 178 Tackles – 36 Passes Defensed – 3 INTs

Boykin Playmaker Extraordinaire! (AJC)

Martin is considered a free safety, even not the tallest prospect in the draft. He raised his stock with a good performance at the Senior Bowl, but did not participate in the combine due to knee injury concerns which may hurt his stock some. Could be a good candidate for the Falcons if they decide to pass on taking a defensive back early on. Injury concerns will surely make Falcons fans nervous.

Antonio Allen – SS

South Carolina – 6’2 – 210 – Forty: 4.62

38 Games – 197 Tackles – 8 Passes Defensed – 4 INTs

Allen is ranked to go as high as the 3rd round by some, while slotted to go as low as the 5th by others. The lack of speed is definitely a concern, but he’s shown to be one of the better safeties in the SEC the last two years. Has very good size and weight and can possibly add more muscle to his frame. Could be a possibility in the 5th round, even though considered a reach for the Falcons in the 3rd round.

5th Round or Later

Strong Safeties

Duke Ihenacho

San Jose State – 6’0 – 213 – 4.68

CBS Sports Duke Ihenacho Scouting Report

Eddie Pleasant

Oregon – 5’10 – 4.63

CBS Sports Eddie Pleasant Scouting Report

Kelcie McCray

Arkansas State – 6’2 – 202 – 4.54

CBS Sports Kelcie McCray Scouting Report

Sean Richardson

Vanderbilt – 6’3 – 216 – 4.52

CBS Sports Sean Richardson Scouting Report

Free Safeties

Brandon Hardin

Oregon State – 6’2 – 216 – 4.5

CBS Sports Brandon Hardin Scouting Report

Aaron Henry

Wisconsin – 6’0 – 203 – 4.52

CBS Sports Aaron Henry Scouting Report

Christian Thompson

South Carolina State – 6’0 – 211 – 4.5

CBS Sports Christian Thompson  Scouting Report

Janzen Jackson

McNeese State – 6’0 – 188 – 4.64

CBS Sports Janzen Jackson Scouting Report

Justin Bethel

Presbyterian College – 6’0 – 200 4.58

CBS Sports Justin Bethel Scouting Report

Tavon Wilson

Illinois – 6’0 – 205 – 4.52

CBS Sports Tavon Wilson Scouting Report

Quinton Richardson

Washington – 5’11 – 204 – 4.40

CBS Sports Quinton Richardson Scouting Report

Your Turn

1) Your thoughts on the defensive back candidates?

2) Should the Falcons take a defensive back early?

3) Is the value there for taking a D-Back in the 2nd rd? 3rd rd?

4) Can any of these candidates come in and immediately start at nickel?

5) Should the Falcons wait to the later rounds for a D-Back?

297 comments Add your comment

Screen Pass

April 15th, 2012
12:56 pm

actually, I was talking about Mychal Kendricks. One of their writers named Jon Dove has him as our pick at #55–just thought you’d like to know–now, who’s the guy from NWtrn?”- Waynester

Brian Peters is the small penny costing big nickel guy from Northwestern ( ). Somewhere in that last thread I compared him to T. Johnson and some other small school guys…his stats are close to even and exceed a little Trumaine Johnsons…looking like a 6th – UDFA so cheap at this time.

Screen Pass

April 15th, 2012
12:58 pm

TY D3 for new post. I see you missed my small school diamond challenge too…no BP love yet? :)


April 15th, 2012
1:16 pm

We’ve had our disagreements in the past–but when you’re right, you’re right. I’m on the Brian Peters bus. Not the fastest guy(4.6 40) but the rest of the measurables are there including production and more importantly( with the loss of Lofton) was the QB of their Defense. Good eye, SP….

Ken Strickland

April 15th, 2012
1:34 pm

I wonder what happened to safety/NCB Bush, who we signed as an UFA from SC State. Even though he was a safety, he was fast enough to be given serious consideration for the NCB slot last yr before finally being cut. We seem to be overlooking the fact that Walls and Franks, who are 2 DBs already on our roster, have the size, height, speed and cover ability to become excellent NCBs or safeties. They would make using one of our top 3 picks on a NCB totally unnessary, since we’d only need to draft a DB as a backup.

Joshua Malavenda

April 15th, 2012
1:36 pm

Sp- I am buying what bp is selling good call.

D3- if your going to bring brandon boykin in the mix you should put josh robinson and josh norman and ryan steed in the mix also.

I was doing research on robinson and he shutdown aj green to 77 yrds in their bowl game and was a monster in the combine.

ryan steed and josh norman are physcial ball hawking cbs that would be great in the falcons big nickle scheme.

Joshua Malavenda

April 15th, 2012
1:39 pm

Ken- he likes to use five or six dbs thats what I gathered from his interview so the more dbs and safeites the better


April 15th, 2012
1:42 pm

D3, great topic and an excellent place to reveal that Taylor is the pick in the third for the TeePee.

See the following:

ROUND THREE: SS Brandon Taylor, Louisiana State University. Enter the BEST DB available at this point in the draft.

Note: I really wanted to take LB Nigel Bradham here but I was in Tallahassee a few weeks ago and the talk is that the Ravens REALLY love Bradham. My draft mentor Ozzie Newsome was in TLH for the FSU Pro Day so that speaks volumes for me. And when the word on the beat is that Ray Lewis wants to mentor this kid, I just say, Damned!!! But I am happy for him if that is the case.

Given that, Brandon Taylor becomes the CLASSIC Dimitroff pick. He is TENACIOUS!! This guy could be the ATL version of former Colt Bob Sanders. He would represent major value at this point in the draft; he is a proven leader and a very solid, OVERSHADOWED player (playing behind Clariborne and Mathieu) at LSU. Taylor served as a team captain on one of the PREMIER defenses in college football. He is physical against the run and effective in coverage. And given the inability of William Moore to stay healthy, Mike Nolan needs a quality insurance policy at the strong safety position. Taylor can SERIOUSLY challenge to be the starter at either safety position in VERY short order.

Big Ray

April 15th, 2012
1:48 pm

If we go early (2nd or 3rd round), I’d take Trumaine Johnson, Brandon Taylor, or Brandon Boykin. Maybe Harrison Smith as well (size/coverage ability).

Taylor and Boykin are the playmaker types, from what I see. Johnson and Smith are more the size guys.

If going later for value, I’ll go with the suggestion from Screen Pass , Brian Peters.


April 15th, 2012
1:52 pm

I’d be fine with DB if the right one is there. Could go DT in the second if Thompson is there and still possibly get Johnson or Boykin in the 3rd. Who knows maybe Jenoris Jenkins might fall that far if enough people are worried about the off field stuff. We’d probably pass on JJ though just like we did Dez Bryant. I would think our positive influence and solid veteran core could straighten out some of these young stars with authority issues.


April 15th, 2012
1:52 pm

Big Ray, if you like the value pick, then I have a second DB that is worth a look. From the small school arena, I found this young man..

TeePee Sports Draft Analysis.

ROUND SEVEN (1): CB/FS Justin Bethel – Presbyterian College. Nice size (6’, 200). A TD small school gem. Perfect special team addition and depth pick here. Could in two years be a beast at the safety, CB, or the hybrid “option” DB. Bethel is another player that reminds me of former Colt Bob Sanders. Outstanding play noted in D-1AA, brings it all in physical play, coverage skills, and special team excellence. He blocked NINE kicks during his collegiate career.


April 15th, 2012
1:54 pm

Two of the six picks on the TeePee Big Board have now been officially released.

Big Ray

April 15th, 2012
1:58 pm

Have to say, SW makes a salient point about insurance for the safety position. Much as I love me some William Moore, he just can’t stay on the field, and with the growing use of DBs in defenses, we need 4-5 healthy guys on the field at all times.

Give me a playmaker….

Big Ray

April 15th, 2012
1:59 pm

Chris ,

Man, can you imagine getting Thompson at DT and Taylor at S? I’d be in Falcon heaven (though I’d still be thinking about guys for the Offensive Line).

Big Ray

April 15th, 2012
2:05 pm

Ken ,

If Nolan is going to use 4-5 DBs in his defensive sets, then we need more depth than we previously did. So I’m all for infusing new talent, specificially of the play making type. Moore is a playmaker, but can’t stay healthy. Decoud is inconsistent in this area. Grimes is a playmaker, and the only consistent one. The rest are still unproven, yeah they need to get a chance, but I’d welcome one more for sure. Especially….I say again…one who is a playmaker by nature.

Can’t have too many of those kinds of guys…

Big Ray

April 15th, 2012
2:07 pm

Well folks, love to talk Falcon football, but it’s family time.

Today is my birthday, but more importantly the same day is the birthday of my 3 year old son, whom we adopted just months ago last year, and we’ve had him since he came out of the hospital at two weeks old.

He’s a good fella, he’ll learn to wear Falcon black and red….LOL….

Big Ray

April 15th, 2012
2:07 pm

SW ,

I smell what you’re cookin’….

Screen Pass

April 15th, 2012
2:08 pm

Woot!! Looking like a good football talk day. TY all, I got covered in coal dust to find BP and hope he is a nice little hidden gem. IF the big nickel is really that important that we would spend a second on Tru johnson then we must acknowledge that next year a guy is prolly coming out that matched his career INT in ONE YEAR…last year. I’ll have to go look him up as he came up when I was comparing career INTs. I get the distinct impression that next year is where we should be looking to make big moves instead of this year when there is little to no difference between the middle and backend of the draft. Just a thought.

Screen Pass

April 15th, 2012
2:13 pm

Ok, I found him again. David Amerson from NC State ( ) had 13 INT last year alone lol. I don’tusually go too far into the future but this kids certainly looks bright.


April 15th, 2012
2:14 pm

Happy Birthday, BR. And your gift, the Thompson/Taylor package, is closer to reality than most may think. Enjoy the day!!

Screen Pass

April 15th, 2012
2:16 pm

Bicarri Rambo should be coming out next year also which would give the UGA homers a bone and would make an excellent S or big nickel also.


April 15th, 2012
2:18 pm

SP, love the way that the little guys are found by us that love this stuff. BP is a solid player and I saw him as well. But this kid Bethel is something else….and he could be the second coming of Grimes.

Would not be heartbroken with either pick..

On a similiar thought, this draft is all about depth for the Falcons. At best, there will be two or possible three players that will make what we can call “significant” impacts this year. This draft should be all about adding depth at critical positions and possibly developing starters next season at key places like left tackle, right guard, and possibly, strong safety.


April 15th, 2012
2:19 pm

SP, I think that Rambo is a headache waiting to happen. Already has a record of issues that has resulted in more than one suspension.


April 15th, 2012
2:20 pm

I can imagine it Big Ray, it might come to pass that way. I’ve reluctantly given in to Smitty & Ken Stricklands endorsement of our current Ol and hope that scheme and play calling can provide Matt the time he needs to get it done. I haven’t researched too many guys like BP or Brandon Taylor so I’ll have to do some checking around. Also got to look at some more later round OL prospects. Hard to believe TD won’t go after any OL guys somewhere in this draft, maybe even a TE but if I’m not mistaken someone said we have 4 on the roster already.


April 15th, 2012
2:22 pm

Going to break right for a few. Feeling a desire for Kingsford and a T-Bone so I have to make a run.


April 15th, 2012
2:24 pm

Chris, we do have four TEs on the roster but there is nothing to get excited about. We need to add one to the mix. And the TeePee has done just that…

ROUND SIX: TE James Hanna – University of Oklahoma. In two tight end sets, Hanna could be magic for the Falcons. He has the size to be a threat in the red zone (6’ 4”). He runs good routes and secures the ball in traffic. Hanna has underrated speed and the smarts to do damage after the catch. He could use some work in his blocking BUT that is not what we would take him for. Acquiring AND using this talent is essential this year if for no other reason than depth at the position. Palmer is not the long term fix.


April 15th, 2012
2:25 pm

Damned….that’s three of my six picks released today. LOL.

Screen Pass

April 15th, 2012
2:26 pm

“SP, I think that Rambo is a headache waiting to happen. Already has a record of issues that has resulted in more than one suspension.” – SW

Well, as a GT and ACC guy myself, I have to bite my tongue when then UGA homers are howling. I do realize that AB needs stadium support and the UGA crowd is gonna be the best place to get it. My main point was why overspend on a situational position like big nickel when we can get a cheap alternative for a year in the like of BP and a couple others? IF it becomes a big need and the late round fliers don’t pan out..then we can target it with a high pick. Just sayin.

Screen Pass

April 15th, 2012
2:33 pm

Happy BDay BR!! Say that 3 times fast lol. Sshhhh! Mine is on 4/20 …ain’t that appropriate :) .


April 15th, 2012
2:37 pm

When I look at stats though Iloka seems more productive than Taylor. Maybe because Iloka wasn’t playing behind the honey badger and Claiborn. Stats can be misleading but Iloka just produces.


April 15th, 2012
2:43 pm

Happy B-day Big Ray & to your son too. My moms is the first of April, wifes is the 8th, and my son will be 8 on the 18th. Lots of cake this month.

Joshua Malavenda

April 15th, 2012
2:57 pm

habby birthday br and to your little whippersnapper also.

I was adopted aslo

their will be no such a sighting of rambo on the falcons wont make the filter cut
just saying

chris- that is alot of cake you might as well have cake the band play at the one of the parties and that would be icing on the cake lol I wil be here all day try the meatloaf and remeber to tip the waitress


April 15th, 2012
3:30 pm

SP…I see your point. Us ACC guys have to hold our own here. LOL

So that I do not get in trouble, the TeePee sends birthday wishes to all those that have had them in the last seven or the upcoming seven days. God bless and enjoy your day!!


April 15th, 2012
3:42 pm

We have some aries cagers!
Happy BD Big Ray!
Mine was on the 9th, and my family spent the week up by bryson city, prefer maggie

tic Falcon Fan (F3)

April 15th, 2012
4:18 pm

Interesting topic, thanks!

first, Happy Birthday to all those that are becoming arson suspects because of all those candles you will be lighting this month! No B’days here, but a wedding Anniversary coming in 9 days.

Now, for the questions:

1) Your thoughts on the defensive back candidates? – My thoughts are useless, but I’ll bet TD, Smitty, and the other coaches sure have a few. They let two DB’s go in FA, and as mentioned in the lead in we have NO depth at a position that your new DC likes to use heavily (Big Nickle).

I like one early, one late (roster holes at CD and S)

tic Falcon Fan (F3)

April 15th, 2012
4:22 pm

Ken S. – Rafael Bush is with Denver and John Fox now.

Fanatic Falcon Fan (F3)

April 15th, 2012
4:23 pm

2. Should the Falcons take a defensive back early? – Yes. Big Nick, or NCB, will see a lot of snaps, like a 12th starter on D.

Fanatic Falcon Fan (F3)

April 15th, 2012
4:24 pm

3) Is the value there for taking a D-Back in the 2nd rd? 3rd rd? – Yes, more than OL sadly (where the need is greater, I fear).

Fanatic Falcon Fan (F3)

April 15th, 2012
4:26 pm

4) Can any of these candidates come in and immediately start at nickel? – Not sure, hope so – but at least they can upgrade depth behind Moore and DeCoud.

Fanatic Falcon Fan (F3)

April 15th, 2012
4:27 pm

) Should the Falcons wait to the later rounds for a D-Back? – There are roster openings for 2 db, so one early and one late, with TD keeping a close eye for vets that can provide solid depth/experience like he did last year with Sanders and Hayden


April 15th, 2012
4:33 pm

the difference between Peters and Bethel is that we can probably avoid using one of our limited picks by going with Peters as a PUFA(wow that looked funnier typed than the acronym did in my head)
Dez B has turned out to be a pain in Garrett’s backside in Big D–maybe when he grows up he’ll prove worthy of that pick….
Big Ray
Happy BDay and thanks for making a difference in a kid’s life–the reward is–well, you’re living it….
careful celebrating on that particular date–somebody might think you’re a ‘hippie’–aw screw ‘em–enjoy!

Fanatic Falcon Fan (F3)

April 15th, 2012
4:42 pm

Extra question – who do I like?

As previously mentioned ad nausium, I like George Iloka in the 2nd – he won’t be there in the 3rd, and maybe not in the 2nd as well. He has the tools, needs the coaching. Some team’s seem to be projecting him as LB because of his size, but he is a freak that could play multiple positions, and I seem to recall he really cleaned up his act and was team Captain last year.

I would be perfectly OK with Trumane Johnson, however. Both are early picks, neither would be there in the 3rd for the Falcons, and maybe both could be gone by 55 depending on how s/cb plays out.

I lobe Boykin as a returner, but we need size in the DB corps, and BB the Blazin’ Bullgog just doesn’t fit the mold (small joke).

Fanatic Falcon Fan (F3)

April 15th, 2012
4:48 pm

For a late round pick, I have already checked out Justin Bethel and like him. He is S depth, and a special teams freak.

Fanatic Falcon Fan (F3)

April 15th, 2012
5:05 pm

Had some time, so checked up a bit more on Iloka –

First, he was team captain in High School, that is what I remembered.

Second – here is an interesting interview with hjm recently)

some snippits from the article:

“became part of the winningest senior class in NCAA history”

“graduated in december. So I’ve accomplished one of my goals already. I majored in communications and my GPA was a 3.0.”

“I’m big, strong and fast and can cover a lot of ground. I believe I’m versatile as a player and can do many different things and fit in all kinds of schemes. I’ll do whatever the coaches ask me to do. I definitely need to work on my angles. Making sure I break correctly, towards where the offensive player’s going instead of where he is.”

“The youngman had seven interceptions going into his senior season, but didn’t intercept a pass in his senior year. Did he believe teams went away from him?

“That’s definitely what happened. Teams threw on me about 10 times the entire year and completed maybe three. But I knew coming in at the Seniorbowl I would get chances to make plays and I did. It’s all about grabbing the opportunity when it presented itself. I intercepted a couple of passes and believe I proved to the coaches and scouts alike that I can be in the right spot and make plays on the ball”

“I asked him where he sees himself in ten years.

“On a NFL team, with two superbowl rings in my pocket and working on my third.” ”

He still looks good to me at 55.


April 15th, 2012
5:16 pm

I would have passed on Dez too, just saying we shouldn’t pass on someone because of a few speeding tickets (sarcasm). Maybe just lighten the filter a bit. My thoughts on the ncb & big nickel are that if it plays a big role for Nolan’s D then the picks should be high to get the best players for what is essentially a 12th starter.


April 15th, 2012
5:46 pm

Defensive back wouldn’t be my preference at 55. The offensive and defensive lines aren’t very deep this year. If we can land a quality lineman that would be our best move. still at the end of the day you play the cards you’re dealt. If we can’t land a left tackle , my first preference, I’d move to nose tackle, if that door’s closed then I’d go cornerback. after that guard then safety. that would be my order of preference to cure what ails us. 54 players will be gone before we pick, If I knew their names I’d tell you who we should pick. I could be totally full of it. I have before, and no doubt I will be again, but if we drat DB, it will be because some inconsiderate pieces of pork excrement selected the players we wanted. I hope the miserable scum go home and find Bobby Petrino entertaining their wives.


April 15th, 2012
5:58 pm

Great Sunday Cage Brethren! — Don’t look now, but we’re barely over a week from the big day. Snuck up on me this year like no other. Kind of a nice feeling instead of starting way too early and getting ansy too early.

My order still remains the same as it has been and it goes like this……..

1) DT – Brandon Thompson
2) OG – Kemechi Osemele / Kevin Zeitler
3) CB/S – Trumaine Johnson
4) LT – Zebrie Sanders

Actually, I think OG and DT would be equally as good, but frankly the only reason I rate OG lower is because I don’t see us going that direction with Manuwai, Johnson, and Jackson set to battle. There is a part of me that believes we need to infuse talent @ RG, but there’s another part of me that would hate to undercut one of those guys and essentially waste a draft pick, but you can never have too much talent on the OL.

All that being said, I really think that Thompson and DT offers us both the most IMMEDIATE and LONG-TERM help. He is big enough (316) to offer us a chance at some 3-4 looks, can be Babs replacement if needed, would form an awesome trio with Peters and Babs to really help out our DE’s, and of course would give us excellent value since this DT class appears so deep. Not many DT’s seem to have the ability to play both as a 3-4 NT and as a 4-3 DT, but Thompson seems to have it.

Honestly, as I’ve said, I’ll be happy with any number of picks this year, especially since we’re only talking 2nd round instead of 1st round.


April 15th, 2012
6:10 pm

SP — Been one of those weekends. Played a little hard on Friday and been trying to catch up since if you catch my drift. 4/20, eh? Couldn’t imagine a better BDay for you. One of my favorite days from UGA days. Kids, wife, and job have changed that a little. I’ll check out BP for sure.

JM — I really only included Boykin b/c of his playmaking ability and him being a former Dawg. Honestly, I think true cornerbacks prospects aren’t high on our list with Grimes, DRob, Franks, Walls, and Owens.

April BDays — Must be something about going on here. My brother (3/31), mother (4/4), and son (4/8) all have April birthdays. Crazy.

Back after dinner……..


April 15th, 2012
6:12 pm

I look at a lot of draft sites and under ‘team needs’ DT is consistently listed as our #1 need, even though we need LT, S,TE, etc etc….The reason I keep coming back to Mike Martin is that unlike Thompson, we could probably get Martin in the 3rd–and only because of his height(which he actually uses to his advantage leverage-wise). He, too,has the scheme versatility you’re looking for but at a lower “price”. No qualms with Thompson–he’ll be a fine Pro–I just like Martin better…..
I gotcha. I agree that we now have the locker room to handle what TD called a “problem child”–same reason I think we can handle “hard knocks”–maturity. With guys like Gonzales in the room, I have a lot more confidence in our ability to take a flyer on guys like Tavon Wilson who’ve had problems with the law and shave straightened out their lives….


April 15th, 2012
6:48 pm

lots of folks “gettin’ busy” in August, I guess….


April 15th, 2012
7:04 pm

The man from the Rose City continues to gain more and more momentum. The debate continues among the staff.