Will Falcons Finally Take a Tight End?

What to Do About a Future TE

Who Will Be the Hall of Famer's Replacement? (AJC)

Since 2008, Thomas Dimitroff and the Falcons front office have taken almost every position through the draft. One of the biggest positions yet to be drafted is tight end. Some thought the Falcons were ready to take Brandon Pettigrew in 2009. The trade for Gonzalez buried that idea and has mostly kept that need low on the priority scale ever since.

The recent news the future hall of fame tight end plans on hanging it up after this season has prompted many to think the Birds finally may draft a tight end, perhaps early, in this year’s draft.

In terms of the future, it does make a ton sense to draft a TE early and have them learn from the best for at least a year. However, two things cloud the picture for this draft. First, the Falcons don’t draft until the second round and they have a late pick at that (#55). Even if they wanted to get a top flight tight end, most of them would be gone by #55, especially if there happens to be a run on them with teams looking for the next Jimmy Graham or Rob Gronkowski.

The second issue to cloud the picture is the fact that, much like safety, tight end is seen as an overall pretty weak group. Coby Fleener is undisputed as the best tight end in the group and is basically a unanimous 1st round talent. After that, there are some valuable prospects, but what round they are worth are anyone’s guess. A look at some of the candidates the Falcons may have their eye on…..

Thanks to the following excellent draft / scouting websites:

CBS Draft Scout

NFL Draft Scout



*Projected draft rounds vary widely depending on scouting sites

**Statistics represent career collegiate numbers

2nd Round

Dwayne Allen
Clemson – 6’3 – 255 – Forty: 4.89 – Bench: 27 – Vertical: 32

Games: 39 – Rec: 89 – Yds: 1,041 – YPC: 11.7 – TDs: 12

Allen is heavily considered the next best tight end after Colby Fleener is likely taken in the 1st round. Allen won’t be confused with the next Jimmy Graham or tight end to stretch the field and change the game, but he’s a throwback, gritty tight end who gets the job done both in the passing game and blocking for the run. Some thought that Allen may even move up to first round territory after a blistering junior season that saw him catch almost 50 passes for 577 yards and 8 touchdowns. His very poor combine showing has definitely dropped him out of first round territory. Allen is one of the most complete and NFL-ready tight ends available and is an excellent red zone and 3rd down target. He may not be a game-breaker, but he’s an extremely well-rounded tight end.

Orson Charles
Georgia – 6’2 – 251 – Forty: 4.73 – Bench: 35

Could Charles Last Until 3rd? (AJC)

Games: 40 –            Rec: 94 –                 Yds: 1,370 –          YPC: 14.6 –              TDs: 10
Charles signed with Georgia as one of the top tight end prospects out of high school and some thought he may redefine the position. While Charles was very productive in Athens, he never became quite the game-breaker that some imagined. He may have simply suffered from the recruiting over-hype machine. Even though his height isn’t ideal for an NFL tight end, his speed and potential are. He had his best year in terms of yards and touchdowns as a junior, but his yards per catch average dropped below his excellent 16+ range. Charles likely was inhibited by a fairly stale offense that lacked much creativity. The Georgia tight end could go as early as the 2nd round or could drop to 3rd or possibly even 4th with his poor combine showing, dropped passes, slow 40 time, and recent DUI arrest. If he’s still there in the 3rd round, it will be hard for the Falcons to pass on the former Dawg.

3rd Round

Ladarius Green
Louisiana-Lafayette – 6’6 – 237 – Forty: 4.53 – Bench: 16 – Vertical: 34.5

Games: 45 – Rec: 149 – Yds: 2,201 – YPC: 14.8 – TDs: 22

Green has the buzz from many Falcons fans regarding the draft because of his size, potential, and the fact that there’s a chance the Birds could get him in the 3rd round. Green is very much a receiving tight end that needs to add bulk to his long frame. His career production is superb, going over 2,000 yards receiving and hauling in over 20 touchdowns in his career. He is definitely a project, though, and will need some time to add muscle and improve his blocking to be an every down tight end. Falcons fans would love to nab Green in the 3rd round, but may find themselves disappointed with NFL teams looking for the next Jimmy Graham to redefine the position. Of all the tight ends in this draft, Green seems to have the most upside.

Michael Egnew

Missouri – 6’5 – 252 – Forty: 4.62 – Bench: 21 – Vertical: 36

Games: 43 – Rec: 147 – Yds: 1,332 – YPC: 9.1 – TDs: 8

While Green may be getting all the buzz, Michael Egnew is quietly a very appealing prospect. Egnew had a very showing at the combine where he had a good bench (21), forty time (4.62), and excellent vertical leap (36). He had a very productive senior year with 50 receptions for over 500 yards, but only added 3 touchdowns. Egnew’s stock varies widely from scouting site to site. Draftcountdown has him ranked above Green. CBS Sports has him slotted to go somewhere between the 3rd and 4th rounds, but WalterFootball has him going in the 4th or even 5th round. Like Green, Egnew is a project with potential. While Egnew may be a little farther along than Green, his upside seems more limited. Most likely a big reach for the Falcons in the 3rd round, but will probably be gone by the time their 5th pick rolls around. Egnew would be a perfect selection if the Falcons had a 4th round pick this draft.

5th Round or Later

Deangelo Peterson

LSU – 6’3 – 243 – Forty: 4.76 – Bench: 18 – Vertical: 36

Games: 50 – Rec: 39 – Yds: 459 – YPC: 11.8 – TDs: 3

Around this territory, the Falcons may decide to simply pass on tight end altogether. Peterson hails from LSU, but had almost minimal impact and production while there. He has some decent measureables, but doesn’t really strike many with tons of potential to be starting tight end in the NFL. In four years at LSU, he only managed to haul in 3 touchdowns and not break 40 receptions or 500 yards receiving. Peterson, like many tight ends around this area, likely don’t project to much more than 2nd tight end option in many cases.

Rhett Ellison

USC – 6’5 – 251 – Forty: 4.79 – Vertical: 31.5

Games: 47 – Rec: 52 – Yds: 461 – YPC: 8.9 – TDs: 6

Some sites actually project Ellison as moving to fullback, as he also worked out with the backs at the combine. Ellison’s stats won’t knock you down, and his upside is definitely limited, but this statement from CBS Draft Scout will get many teams to take another look at Ellison, “Ellison doesn’t excel in any one area, but is solid in all of them and has very good intangibles with very good character, work ethic and passion for the game. He is a third-day prospect who can wear several hats and will work his butt off for whichever team gives him a chance.”

James Hanna

Oklahoma – 6’4 – 252 – Forty: 4.49 – Bench: 24 – Vertical: 36

Games: 53 – Rec: 52 – Yds: 720 – YPC: 13.8 – TDs: 9

Could Palmer Get it Done? (AJC)

Hanna might be one of the best prospects with the most potential in the entire draft. His college production isn’t anything that will get him noticed, but he has all the measureables to do very well in the NFL. He was the fastest for all tight ends at the combine, running a sub 4.5 forty at 6 feet 4 inches tall and 252 lbs. That’s not something to sneeze at. People looking for the next Jimmy Graham may take Hanna much earlier than many scouts believe. Sure, he would be a project, but he has many tools that most tight ends do not.

Chase Ford – Miami

6’3 – 246 – Forty: 4.93 – Vertical: 32

CBS Sports Chase Ford Scouting Report

Garrett Celek – Michigan State

6’4 – 250 – Forty: 4.73

CBS Sports Garrett Celek Scouting Report

Evan Rodriguez – Temple

6′2 – 239 – Forty: 4.49

CBS Sports Evan Rodriguez Scouting Report

(Thanks to waynester on the Evan Rodriguez mention)

Matt Veldman – North Dakota State

6-7 – 256 – Forty: 4.73

NFL Draft Scout Matt Veldman Scouting Report

Cory Harkey – UCLA

6’4 – 260 – Forty: 4.86

CBS Sports Cory Harkey Scouting Report

George Bryan – NC State

6’5 – 258 – Forty: 4.96

CBS Sports George Bryan Scouting Report

Kevin Koger – Michigan

6’4 – 253 – 4.84

CBS Sports Kevin Koger Scouting Report

David Paulson – Oregon

6’3 – 246 – Forty: 4.93

CBS Sports David Paulson Scouting Report

Bird Cage Patriots’ Turn

1) Should the Falcons spend a 2nd rounder on tight end? A 3rd rounder?

2) Do you think this tight end class is worth looking at?

3) What TE prospects do you like and what round?

4) How many of these prospects immediately offer more than Michael Palmer?

5) What will Falcons do if they draft no TE this year and Gonzalez retires?

695 comments Add your comment

Unca' Bob

April 19th, 2012
10:12 am

Enter your comments here


April 19th, 2012
10:19 am

One more “sleeper” for the list: TE/FB Evan Rodriguez….can line up anywhere to give lots of different looks, plus is an excellent blocker. Not the fastest, but runs great routes and has excellent hands….

“Let the Sleeper Awaken!!!”


April 19th, 2012
10:41 am

Here’s what one site said about Rodriguez…
“The best blocking wingback in the entire class and it’s not even close…commands terrific Core Strength, explodes off the snap, especially deadly on the move, diagnosing his target, quickly engaging, consistently hitting hard and effectively. Former Safety and QB, cerebral…athletic. As a receiver, commands remarkable Navigational prowess, Fluidity and Instincts…has attributes no one else in the(TE) class offers–powerful, slashing motion blocker and a smooth, dangerous receiver…could have an enormous impact….”
6′1.5″ 243lbs 4.58(40), BP 18reps, 36″ Vert, 9′11″ Broad, 20yd Shuttle 4.28, 3-cone 6.94, arm 32″,hand 9.5″, All-MAC 1st team 2010/11, Combine Invitee as FB, rated #1 FB by Draft Scout who called him a “poor man’s Aaron Hernandez” after his outstanding Shrine game performance. Temple used him just like the Pats use Hernandez–all over the place–FB,TE,WR.Slot, in-line, wing, H-back….Projected rd 5-7th…
IMO an awesome bargain that late….


April 19th, 2012
10:47 am

I’ve been staying away from mock drafts recently because it will drive me insane trying to think about what may be available and the pure torture of Thursday night having to watch almost every other team add quality players to their team and we’re sitting on our hands. Aarrrrggggghhhh!

Bradley has stirred up the Julio Jones trade again over on his blog and the poll was evenly split between good (30%), too soon to tell (30%), and bad (30%). I’ve finally gotten over it, mainly because Julio is such an awesome player, but it took some time and I can’t say it won’t swarm back over me again thinking about getting a stud LT. I can stomach one of these blockbuster trades from TD, but that needs to be it. No more. If for no other reason, than the draft is one my absolute favorite events of the year, and I’m going to have to take codeine to during the 1st round to prevent from breaking something.

Now, all complaining aside, there looks to be a ton of quality players available when we pick in the 2nd and 3rd rounds. I do think TD did a good job in knowing that only because he’s done a pretty good job of stocking this roster and likely knowing he would keep every single soon-to-be free agent except Lofton, than there’s really not THAT many holes to fill.

Not saying it’s right or wrong, but RIGHT AT THIS VERY MOMENT, there’s only a few holes on our roster (at least in terms of starters)……

1) Left Tackle
2) Right Guard

The rest are depth. This won’t be the same next year when we may lose Grimes, Gonzo, and Babs, but the way this roster is constructed, there’s not that many holes at this moment. Next year’s a different story.


April 19th, 2012
11:04 am

Judging from WalterFootball.com’s 7 round mock, there looks to be some really good players available to us at various points when we pick………

2nd Round Available
Kelechi Osemele – OG/OT (who they have us picking)
Brandon Thompson – DT
Mychal Kendricks – ILB
Trumaine Johnson – CB/S
Brandon Boykin – CB
Mitchell Schwartz – OT
Donald Stephenson – OT
Josh Chapman – DT
Brandon Taylor – SS
Mike Martin – DT
Zebrie Sanders – OT

3rd Round Available
Ben Jones – OC (who they have us picking…..torturing Coop)
Isaiah Pead – RB
Ladarius Green – TE
Orson Charles – TE
Nigel Bradham – OLB

Unfortunately, they have a lot of the guys we’ve talked about going right before us in the 3rd round, like Brandon Taylor, Mike Martin, Zebrie Sanders, and Josh Chapman. The point is, that there is a ton of value to be had even though we don’t have as many picks.

If this were my candidates I would go with either of the following:

2nd – Brandon Thompson
3rd – Ladarius Green or Ben Jones


2nd – Kelechi Osemele
3rd – Nigel Bradham or Orson Charles


April 19th, 2012
11:15 am

5th Round Available
They have us taking TY Hilton……really?
Aaron Henry – S
Andrew Datko – OT
Nate Potter – G/T
Brandon Hardin – S
Emmanuel Acho – LB
Christian Thompson – S
Kellen Moore – QB
Deangelo Peterson – TE

The more I think about it, the more I truly believe that we can get some good depth and value at Safety in the 5th round (Brandon Hardin, Aaron Henry) and won’t need to spend a high pick on a CB/S, especially since this safety class is one of the worst.

1st Option
2nd – Brandon Thompson – DT
3rd – Ladarius Green – TE
5th – Andrew Datko – LT

2nd Option
2nd – Kelechi Osemele – LT/RG
3rd – Orson Charles – TE
5th – Brandon Hardin – SS

3rd Option
2nd – Trumaine Johnson – CB/S
3rd – Nigel Bradham – OLB
5th – Nate Potter – RG/LT

This draft should be all about best value, since we’re TRULY not looking for immediate starters.


April 19th, 2012
11:17 am

I was just on Walter’s too….I might have to double-dip on O-linemen with Osemele and Jones if it shakes out that way–but the need for a passing down D-lineman is huge, too….
BTW, both Walter and Charlie have TE Rodriguz going in the early 5th or early 6th, but before our pick….

Dawson Devitt (D3)

April 19th, 2012
11:33 am

If James Hanna lasts until the 6th round for the Falcons, it will be the steal of all steals. Forgot to mention Justin Bethel as a good safety candidate for the 5th round for safety, maybe even 6th round.

Screen Pass

April 19th, 2012
12:09 pm

The “Gonzo Osmosis” meme has driven me bat shiiite crazy for a few years now and I just wish the silliness would end. Picking up James Hanna in a later round would not bother me at all but wasting a low pick on this crappy TE class is just nuts. Fleener isn’t bad but there is basically zero chance of him falling that far unless there is a good enough reason that we should pass too. Cooter historically has near ZERO production from his TE’s so why bother especially if they aren’t the blocking variety.

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Jeff B

April 19th, 2012
12:17 pm

There must be a reason a prospect falls to the 5th round. If he was really “one of the best prospects with the most potential in the entire draft,” then he’d be going in the first round.

Have you read his combine bio?


April 19th, 2012
12:28 pm

Jeff B — Fair enough. OK, so I should have left off the “best prospect” parts and simply said he SEEMS to have a lot of potential.

Jeff B

April 19th, 2012
12:37 pm

Dawson, I wouldn’t have said anything but then I saw the comment about “steal of all steals.” I’m just trying to keep us grounded a bit. I will concede though, that anytime you have a guy that height running sub 4.50 40s, you have to at least pay attention.


April 19th, 2012
12:52 pm

SP hit on it earlier–blocking. We’re still going to be a run-oriented offense despite all the hoped-for changes in the screen game, downfield passing, etc. We’ve seen enough of Mike Smith to know radical changes are not his M.O.. That’s why I’m so high on Rodriguez–he’s actually an asset in the run game unlike Green, Egnew and the other taller, thinner TEs coming out, plus, he’s not a liability in the passing game like Bryan and some of the other “blocking” TEs….


April 19th, 2012
12:57 pm

Jeff B — True. I got carried away with that one. I let me own feelings towards getting Hanna in the 6th skew the post a little bit. In terms of just raw potential that can be coached up, I think he would be a great pick in the 6th. Jimmy Graham was extremely raw coming out of college, but now look at him. Not saying that Hanna has that kind of potential, but it seems as though he may have more upside than Palmer at least.


April 19th, 2012
12:59 pm

waynester — Great point. You’ve sold me. I’ll go back and add Evan Rodriquez with his scouting profile. The only reason I shied away from him was that many projected him as a FB.


April 19th, 2012
12:59 pm

The best thing about Hanna is his speed (4.49 40) a full 10th of a second faster than Rodriguez…what tips the scale to ER is production. For 2011, Hanna had 27 catches for 281 yds and 2 TDs. Rodriguez had 35 catches for 479 yds and 2 TDs and was the lead receiver on the team which wasn’t even pass-oriented like OKs…..


April 19th, 2012
1:02 pm

Don’t get me wrong–Hanna will be a great pro–his speed is a mismatch waiting to happen…but ER CAN play FB (rated #1 FB by DraftScout) allowing us to let Ovie go and roll with Snelling and ER….

Big Lou

April 19th, 2012
1:19 pm

“Cooter historically has near ZERO production from his TE’s so why bother especially if they aren’t the blocking variety.” SP

This is a very good point and probably why the Falcons will not be drafting a TE this year. I think most of their picks(if not all) will focus primarily on defense. They can get better picks in next year’s draft anyways.


April 19th, 2012
1:30 pm

Evan Rodriguez – Temple

6′2 – 239 – Forty: 4.49

CBS Sports Evan Rodriguez Scouting Report

(Thanks to waynester on the Evan Rodriguez mention)

I updated the post to reflect Evan Rodriguez and his scouting profile. I missed him because CBS has him listed as a FB. Thanks again waynester

RE: Cooter’s (under)-Use of TE — I’m sure Tony Gonzalez is not real happy about that. If what you guys are saying is true, than you’re right, no sense in wasting a pick on a TE when he won’t even be used. Palmer will do just fine in that role.

Screen & Anyone Else Who Knows — So, does the marketing tagline of a “vertical passing game” match the actual results for those of you who have watched Koetter’s offenses, or is just BS?


April 19th, 2012
1:38 pm

I feel sure we will try to go vertical more often, especially if we get our o-line squared away but my guess is, we’ll still be run-first and continue to lag behind the elite offenses in passing….


April 19th, 2012
2:34 pm


April 19th, 2012
2:55 pm

According to Espn’s NFL live the other day when the schedule’s came out .They say the Atlanta Falcons have the toughest Schedule in the NFC maybe in both ledges . Not any home games back to back and a lot of time in the air for travel . Only one Div game before mid season among other things.

A report has said this is to compensate for the Saints having a tough schedule and there loss of players and coaching .

I have heard that no other team has ever had a Schedule this bad as far as the way it is set up. Just food for thought


April 19th, 2012
3:13 pm

thanks for the link–gotta agree– IF Fleener is still on the board he would represent tremendous value as the #1 player at his position and even with Osemele sitting there, BPA says take the TE….


April 19th, 2012
3:15 pm

that’s an interesting analysis on the schedule–on paper(based on opponents’ last year’s record) it looks fairly easy. Having no back-to-back home games also means no back-to-back away games…. kind of a toss-up….

Screen Pass

April 19th, 2012
3:31 pm

“RE: Cooter’s (under)-Use of TE — I’m sure Tony Gonzalez is not real happy about that. If what you guys are saying is true, than you’re right, no sense in wasting a pick on a TE when he won’t even be used. Palmer will do just fine in that role.

Screen & Anyone Else Who Knows — So, does the marketing tagline of a “vertical passing game” match the actual results for those of you who have watched Koetter’s offenses, or is just BS?” – D3

It has been awhile since I made that post linking a page with the info to look up all of Cooters games. If I’m not mistaken 2005-6 at ASU were Cooters best years running an offense, I remember one TE slant that was a big play in their bowl game from one of those years. Mostly what I saw out of Cooter was a run 1st to set up spread passing but not in the “normal” spread way. He like to dink and dunk with screens instead of MM’s outs/comebacks and occasionally burn the D with slants if they spread. He is MM with a slight variation on how to attack when teams stack against the run. He supposedly is capable of more but I didn’t see much of it. Cooter’s few proponents point to a coaching video exposing 4 routes as their premise for him being a “passing” guy but I don’t really buy it. Plenty of coaches make training videos for extra income instead. I would bet there are Dunwoody/ Riverwood pee-wee league coaches that have video libraries thus basic knowledge of “exotic” play like screen passes that far exceed the like of MM lol. It is not out of the realm of possibility for Cooter to have some passing scheme ability that he doesn’t use which is why I shy away from outright saying WCO stuff is impossible for him…it isn’t impossible for the nations pee-wee league coaches to get videos and maybe he could too :) .


April 19th, 2012
4:12 pm

Every one is over looking Rhett Ellison, read the scouting reports folks.

Big Lou

April 19th, 2012
4:13 pm


April 19th, 2012
4:14 pm

Good, short interview with TD concerning the craft.


April 19th, 2012
4:15 pm


April 19th, 2012
4:18 pm


The birds have a lot of air time with this schedule . There schedule is tougher than last year . They do face the Broncos and Dallas in Atlanta but travailing every other week is not good on players . Most will tell you they would rather have 2 or 3 games away in a row and a couple of home games in a row than this . Its a mind set and fatigue thing I have been told . As well as the other teams in our Div will have a lot of there Div games out of the way while they are fresh threw the first half of the season . But the Falcons will have only played 1 Div game . And then there is the Saints Who will be Stronger on D after the mid season with fresher players who were suspended for 4 to 6 games because of the bounty thing . I will be surprised and I hope I am wrong if the Falcons win more than 9 maybe 10 games this season

Screen Pass

April 19th, 2012
4:35 pm

“I feel sure we will try to go vertical more often, especially if we get our o-line squared away but my guess is, we’ll still be run-first and continue to lag behind the elite offenses in passing….”- waynester

I think O-line should be the priorty for the team outside of a BPA fall in our lap dream scenario, HOWEVER, I also think much more emphasis should be given to getting a feature back with full versatility. Cooter needs a multi-feature back to make alot of what he tries to do work. I mentioned getting Demps a long time ago before he went to the Olympics instead and settled on I. Pead as the 2nd fastest back. Having a speedy home-run hitting shifty back is gonna be alot more important to Cooter than Turner snow plowing. Having the option to go with a backfield of Pead and Quizz could really open up what he likes to do and with HD, JJ, and Roddy we would be a speed match-up nightmare for teams.

Big Lou

April 19th, 2012
4:58 pm

“And then there is the Saints Who will be Stronger on D after the mid season with fresher players who were suspended for 4 to 6 games because of the bounty thing.”

Even with the suspended players coming back, the Saints defense will be atrocious.


April 19th, 2012
5:08 pm

Big Lou

It’s kinda funny how the NFL has catered to the Saints not to play there strongest Div team ‘the Falcons ‘ until they get all there starters back .Plus being rested and the Birds being played 9 games already


April 19th, 2012
5:22 pm

Excuse me .8 games already While only playing 1 Div game out of those 8


April 19th, 2012
5:33 pm

What it all boils down to is the Birds have got to play very good Football this year and pray they stay healthy for the Divisional second half of the season . But then maybe they will be a better team by then who knows . Its just funny that it seems they must do what they can for them poor Saints


April 19th, 2012
5:43 pm


Vote for cam, never wish injuries on players/drivers (maybe kyle b.) because of karma coming back to bite ya ass. But, vote for cam, sorry Mrs. SW! Big kitty fan I hear!

Ken Strickland

April 19th, 2012
6:05 pm

SCREEN PASS-If our new OC intends to reduce the role of the TE in our passing OFF, that’s fine. We did quite well in 08 when we went 11-5 and made the playoffs when no one, and I mean no one predicted we’d even break even. We managed that feat with a roster full of TEs who were blockers rather than receivers, especially starting TE Hartstock.

And that yr we certainly didn’t compensate by using many if any 4-5 WR formations. As far as the speed of any potential we might draft, TGonzalez has been pretty doggone effective and productive as a premier pass receiving TE and I doubt if he could run the 40yd dash with any of the top 15-20 top college TEs.

In fact, I’d love to see us drop the FB position from the starting lineup and run a 3 WR OFF, or a 2 TE OFF. The 3 WR OFF would be a modification of the 2 TE Patriot OFF. But if we decided to go with a 2 TE OFF, the combination of Gonzo and LGreen, and eventually MPalmer and LGreen, would be simply awsome.

Palmer gives us the blocking TE you want, but with good receiving skills. Green give us the receiving TE who’s superior speed, for a TE, would give us the equivilent of a taller, bigger and more physical WR. Green would make it more a hybrid 2TE/3WR OFF. Split him out, it’s a 3 WR OFF, bring him in tight and it becomes a 2 TE OFF.

I have no problem whatsoever if Koetter’s vertical passing OFF includes a lot of screens, dinks and dunks as long as they’re designed to get YAC. it’s a good strategy. When teams bring their CBs, LBs and safeties up to compensate, we attack them over the top. It’s a whole lot more effective and productive approach than the TAKING WHAT THE DEF GIVES US approach.

When DEFs spread out and/or drop back to protect against the dinks, dunks, screens, or the bomb, we gash them with the run. This passing OFF philosophy will take a ton of pressure off our OL by allowing Ryan to get the ball out of his hands much quicker. This drastically reduces the need for so many throw aways to avoid sacks, and reduces the amount of time our OL has to pass protect. It also limits the number of pass rushing moves a DLineman, especially a DE, can make before the pass is out of Ryan’s hand, which makes it so much easier for our OL.

This OFF approach would also allow a rookie LT like Osemele, who’s already an above average run blocker, to function far more effectly as a pass protecter. I realize you are more comfortable with the GLASS HALF EMPTY approach, but you have to consider the potential positive impact Koetter, his OFF philosophy, approach,and scheme, can have on our OFF.


April 19th, 2012
6:15 pm

I like the overall idea but “physical” and Ladarius Green don’t belong in the same sentence. He got manhandled by college players and wound up on his kiester a lot. He has room to put on weight, but speed is his major selling point… I’d rather use that 3rd rd pick on a DT….

Screen Pass

April 19th, 2012
6:25 pm

“I realize you are more comfortable with the GLASS HALF EMPTY approach, but you have to consider the potential positive impact Koetter, his OFF philosophy, approach,and scheme, can have on our OFF”- KS

There is nothing “glass half empty” about being real about Cooters past perfomance and his M.O. in general. You can spout “optimistic” vaguaries all you like but without the proper personnel Cooters scheme will flop and flop hard…kinda like last year at Jax. We have most of the personnel to take advantage of the upsides of his type scheme but certainly not all. If he chooses or is forced to try the same appraoch as MM last year than expecting different results w/o different personnel mainly on the O-line and RB core is usually referred to as “insanity”. If you want to consider being sane and rartional as “glass half empty” go ahead, I’ll still be me and keep my own perspective thank you much. I do consider the potential impact of his schemes and “shtick”, unlike you I consider and weigh BOTH the positives and negatives. There are both whether you or anyone else wants to face that reality.

The Real Falcon

April 19th, 2012
6:29 pm

What you mean draft for need?
No way!!!

Screen Pass

April 19th, 2012
6:31 pm

“It’s a whole lot more effective and productive approach than the TAKING WHAT THE DEF GIVES US approach. ” – KS

This all you really needed to say. The Falcons offense has much room for improvement and what Cooter offers can deliver that. Improving over MM and his inane and insane stubborn approach isn’t saying much by itself however. HOW and how much Cooter can improve our offense will be a function of BOTH his schemes and the personnel we use to implement them.

Ken Strickland

April 19th, 2012
9:11 pm

SCREEN PASS-Good points. As far as our OL is concerned, none of us can really say that our OL and/or OLinemen will have the same or simular problems in Koetter’s blocking scheme and OFF approach that thay had in Mularkey’s last yr. SBaker has been roasted over his performance last yr. And even though it’s been printed, as well as mentioned by me a few times, he had multiple injuries that required surgical procedures during the season and he had a difficult time recovering and was replaced.

I just finished reading an AJC article on TDs approach to the upcoming draft. He made it clear that the approach we’ve taken in addressing our OL and certain OLinemen, especially during FA, had everything to do with Koetter and Hil’s evaluations. They obviously felt that the skills and abilities of our current OLinemen, regardless of what happened last yr, make them good, if not better, options in our new blocking scheme than any FA we might have signed.

For those who are convinced that an OL overhaul, or a change at LT, is the only way to improve our OL and protect MRyan, you’re obviously going to be disappointed and in for a long season.


April 19th, 2012
9:33 pm

So, if they believe our ol is good enough to get it done do we still draft ol in the 2nd or even the 3rd? And if S is still a weak position in this draft and we go dt in the 2nd what position/player would be next?


April 19th, 2012
10:02 pm

If TD does not draft a O-lineman in the 2nd, he has lost his mind. Either that or a future super star fell our way but I really doubt that happens in the 2nd. You gotta fix what needs fixing first. New coaches and schemes may help but as SP said, you gotta have the personal to make it work.

Big Ray

April 19th, 2012
10:08 pm

1) No TE early in the draft this year.

2) Bradley is bored…hence his article about the Julio trade. I’m sick to death of that argument. It’s pointless at this juncture. Imagine being Cleveland, having all those picks, and then realizing you suck at drafting, aren’t any better than you were prior to all of those extra picks, and wake up to find that Peyton Hillis isn’t around to be your offense anymore, either. NOW you have something to b!tch about….

3) Some folks just don’t get that “Koetter’s offensive scheme”, “Glass half Empty”, and Screen Pass mixes about as well as a junior high chemistry lab project….. ;)

4) This, from Jeff Schultz (who is also bored):

Ryan was sacked only 26 times last season. But the Falcons’ line allowed 84 “quarterback hits,” which is a better gauge as to how often Ryan threw under duress. The 84 hits ranked as the seventh-most in the league, behind six non-playoff teams.

….is precisley why I will not screech about any respectable OL pick in the 2nd or 3rd round of the draft. Even those that might be considered borderline reaches. Don’t ask me what a borderline reach is…..

5) I would be happy to get Brandon Thompson.


April 19th, 2012
10:14 pm

Just a few comments before bed ya’ll…………

(+) — I was really big on the TE train early on, thinking we finally had to get a replacement for Gonzalez moving forward. And I won’t lie and say that I wouldn’t still pull the trigger if either Orson Charles or Ladarius Green were still there in the 3rd round. However, it’s not like Michael Palmer is absolute garbage. He’s a decent receiving option, a very good blocker, and an excellent #2 TE option, which is essentially what we want THIS year, now moving forward, no one here really believes that Palmer can be our #1 TE, but with this very weak TE class, I’m willing to take a flier on a guy like James Hanna or Rhett Ellison this year in the 6th round, see how they do, and the re-adjust next year for the draft. With all of our signings from this year, we’re setting up pretty nicely going forward. Babs and Grimes (if no deal is struck) come to mind as holes for next year, but we don’t have a ton right at this very second.

(+) — I won’t be upset if we get a guy like Green or Charles, but I think I’m finally leaning towards building the OL with the best available DT and OL with 2nd and 3rd. Can’t go wrong having too many big ugly linemen, even if that means undercutting other guys you picked in the past (Mike Johnson, Andrew Jackson, Peria Jerry, etc).

(+) — Sounds like Kelechi Osemele is getting a lot of buzz from various scouting and draft websites. I think he was originally mentioned with OG prospects, but now is listed as an LT prospect. Love this pick, if this is who we get. I’ve come back full circle to my argument as before, infuse this OL and DL with talent and let the best man win. What’s there not to like about a 6′6, 333 beast that can either compete at RG or LT?

(+) — If we go Osemele at #55, then I would love to snap up a DT @ #84. The problem is, that even though the DT group is likely the deepest class in the draft, they will start getting snapped up left and right once that 3rd round rolls up. Still think we’d have an outside shot @ either Mike Martin or Josh Chapman at DT in the 3rd. After that, no sense in taking a DT just to say we took one.

Big Ray

April 19th, 2012
10:15 pm

Falcon 21 ,

Tempted to agree with you, but here’s another perspective –

If all the guys you think can help fix the situation are gone by the time you pick, then you have to go with the next best “fix” or the Best Player Available.

In other words, if we look up and its our turn to pick at #55….and all the best offensive linemen are gone…and the next crop are serious “hit or miss” types that are guys who will likely be around when the fifth and sixth rounds come around…then you go upgrade elsewhere. If there is a very good pass rusher, a very good playmaker for a spot in the secondary, a guy who can help win the battle on the line of scrimmage…that’s the guy you take.

I don’t want to hear it either, but our best chance at getting a difference maker on the offensive line comes in 2013, when we’ll have a first round pick. Or so I say…I don’t know that any late 2nd rounder rookie offensive lineman will help ensure our offense goes the way it needs to THIS YEAR. It depends on who will be on the board when we pick.

I do think that guys like Mitchell Schwartz and Zebrie Sanders have a chance to do so. There are some other names as well. But none are probably as good of a prospect as we’ll have when we get to select in the 20s in the first round of the 2013 draft (assuming we have a good season, we’ll be picking that late).

As Unca Bob would say…just a thought.

Big Ray

April 19th, 2012
10:16 pm

One other thing –

I know I said I would be okay with a “borderline reach” pick on an offensive lineman.

I do NOT want to see any Sam Baker type of reaches. No, no, no, no, and no.


April 19th, 2012
10:16 pm

“personnel” my bad!