Who will the Atlanta Falcons Take with their 1st Pick?

Many Holes, Tons of Possibilities

Osi Umenyiora

How will Osi Signing Affect Draft? (AJC)

As The Cage heads full steam into talking, researching, and analyzing the 2013 NFL draft, the biggest question always leads off with who the Falcons will take first. The draft will contain anywhere from 5 to 11 new players, span 3 days, and cover 7 rounds, but the first pick is what everyone talks about the most. Also, it determines what direction the rest of the draft can and will take, along with what impact may be felt the most in the upcoming season.

Good Batting Percentage

Spoon One of Easier Ones to Predict (AJC)

Thomas Dimitroff has a pretty good slugging percentage on 1st round picks. Matt Ryan won rookie of the year, been to two Pro Bowls, set franchise records, and is one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL. Julio Jones was elected to his first Pro Bowl in year 2, and nearly broke 1,000 yds receiving as a rookie. Sean Weatherspoon may not have earned a Pro Bowl trip just yet, but he’s already considered the leader of the defense and is easily one of the most dynamic players on defense. Sam Baker may not be a future Jonathan Ogden, but the Falcons thought enough of him to lock him up for the next 6 years when he hit free agency. The only obvious miss is Peria Jerry, selected in 2009 in easily Dimitroff’s worst overall draft.

A Tough One to Predict

Not only are there a ton of directions the Falcons could go in the first round, but they are picking just ahead of next-to-last. Fans and the Falcons GM alike will have to see how the draft unfolds a long while until they get to make their selection. Even though its a pretty wide consensus they will go defense at #30, that really doesn’t help narrow as much as in most cases. On defense, they could select a defensive end, defensive tackle, linebacker, or cornerback. Although its unlikely Atlanta’s team won’t take an offensive player, its not out of the question that Dimitroff wouldn’t consider a top rated tight end or offensive guard. A look at just a few of all the possibilities:

Another Massive Trade-up

All Falcons fans couldn’t be happier that Julio Jones wears red and black. Even the most hardcore of draft geeks will be hard pressed to tell you all or even one of the picks that was traded to Cleveland to get JJ. All that being said, the vast majority of fans shudder at the thought of another massive giveaway if draft picks, especially with so many holes on defense. Once in a blue moon is one thing, particularly for a player like Jones, but anything else just makes no sense.

There’s also a major belief that hardly any players are even worth a big jump up the table. This draft seems like a really deep one, but it doesn’t seem chock full of ready-made elite players at the top. If there were, the thousands of daily mocks wouldn’t be so wildly different and completely scattered. Another point is the less-than-stellar player development program the Falcons have thus far, headed by Head Coach Mike Smith. Ultimately, though, it begins and ends with the Falcons simply having too many holes to give up any major picks.

Small Trade-Up

Another Blockbuster Trade on Deck? (AJC)

This may make a little more sense than a major trade-up, but it still really doesn’t hold merit either. There may be a possibility of giving up picks next year to move up some, while keeping this years picks. But that also flies in the face of logic from earlier points. The difference in value just doesn’t seem to be there this year. They also need a lot of players, both for starters and backups.

In fact, they cut three players (Abraham, Robinson, Turner) and only re-signed two (Moore, Reynolds) from the entire 2009 draft class. They need a lot of good-to-great players and their defense just isn’t in a position to give away draft picks. This is the first time in a while, maybe since Dimitroff’s 2009 draft, that he’s had his full array of draft picks and it’s hard to believe he’ll give those away just to move up when there are a ton of quality players and a lot of holes that need filling.

Trade Down

This is a very popular idea among many Falcons fans as the draft nears. The belief is that the Falcons are in a very envious spot for several teams that need to spend their 1st round pick on one of the top studs of the draft, but they also have a ton of needs and would be willing to trade picks to get one of the players they really like, but don’t want to take that high in the draft. This has been a popular place for teams to trade up to get skill positions. The Lions traded picks to move up and select RB Jahvid Best @ #30 after they had already taken DT Ndamukong Suh with the 2nd overall pick. The Saints traded up to select Mark Ingram at #28 after they had just selected DE Cameron Jordan just a few places earlier at #24. Last year saw both the Vikings (S Harrison Smith @ #29) and the Bucs (RB Doug Martin @ #31) move up to get their 2nd 1st round player.

Although it would be hard passing on a guy sitting there that you want, it might be the perfect idea this year. It would afford them 2-3 players in the top 60 or so players. It’s obviously a risk that you may lose out on most of the players you covet, but it surely makes more sense than trading up and giving away picks. This year many experts think that teams in need of a quarterback, running back, or tight end could make a move at the end of the first round.

If the Falcons decide to stay at #30 and take the player they want, here’s a look at some (but certainly not all) of the candidates the Falcons could be looking at:

Defensive End

This is one of the most obvious choices, as has been since the failure of the Falcons to draft or develop one single defensive end in their five years since Dimitroff and Smith took over, and until they find a semblance of one, the draft experts will continue to slot a DE to the Falcons. A likely list of candidates:

Bjoern Werner

Florida State – 6’3 – 266 – 4.83 Forty – Bench: 25 – Arms: 33 ¼ – Hands: 9 ⅜

Career: 41 Games; 99 Tackles; 35 TFL; 23.5 sacks; Projected Rd: 1

Most think that Werner is a top 10 pick, and even more sites and experts have him pegged as the number one defensive end. However, there are a few that think that Werner could take a slide down draft boards from teams thinking that Werner has maxed out and electing to go with prospects with a higher ceiling. If Werner does slide that far, it’s hard to see the Falcons passing on him.

Damontre Moore

Texas A&M – 6’4 – 250 – 4.95 Forty – Bench: 12 – Arms: 34¼ – Hands: 10¼

Career: 38 Games; 197 Tackles; 45 TFL; 26.5 sacks; Projected Rd: 1

Moore was once thought to be a top 10 pick with his athleticism and major production in the SEC, hauling in almost 100 tackles, over 20 tackles for a loss, and 12.5 sacks as a junior. Most still think that Moore will go in the first round, but he’s believed to be sliding due to his poor combine showing. Most Falcons fans will take Moore off the list due to having a red flag, or more appropriately “black dot,” on character concerns. He was arrested for marijuana possession as a sophomore. Dimitroff has yet to draft a player that has been arrested or suspended.

Datone Jones

UCLA – 6’4 – 283 – 4.8 Forty – Bench: 29 – Arms: 32¾ – Hands: 10

Career: 51 games; 148 tackles; 36.5 TFL; 13.5 sacks; Projected Rd: 1

Will Cliff Matt be a Starter? (AJC)

Jones is a logical pick both due to his size, production, and where he’s slotted to be picked. He also projects more as one of the few true 4-3 defensive ends. His sack numbers won’t knock your socks off, but he’s had almost 40 tackles for loss, which means he finds a way to get into the backfield. In fact, Jones has the same per game sack average as Dion Jordan, but Jordan seems almost a lock to go in the top 10, if not the top 5 due to his athleticism and everyone looking for the next Aldon Smith.

Alex Okafor

Texas – 6’4 – 264 – 4.78 Forty – Bench: 21 – Arms: 33⅞ – Hands: 9⅝

Career: 52; 165 tackles; 36.5 TFL; 23 sacks; Projected Rd: 1-2

This has been one of the most popular picks since the experts began their mock drafts for this year. Some are still holding firm that the Falcons will select Okafor at #30. He had a very good senior season at Texas. He’s strong and has very good size, but most don’t see a premiere pass-rusher ready to break out. The words “supplemental pass-rusher” has been used a lot. Also not helping his case is that one website actually compared him to Ray Edwards. Talk about the kiss of death.

Margus Hunt

SMU – 6’8 – 277 – 4.6 Forty – Bench: 38 – Arms: 33¾ – Hands: 10

Career: 53 games – 112 tackles – 28.5 TFL – 15.5 sacks; Projected Rd: 1-2

Teams looking for that vast potential and upside have their man in Hunt, born in Estonia. He was one of the most physically gifted players to grace the combine, being 6’8, running a 4.6 forty, and throwing up a mind-boggling 38 reps (with long arms, it may be said). Many experts were ready to throw him in the first round lock category immediately following the combine, but several things work against him going to the Falcons.

First, he’s 27 years old. While he may not have had as many hits on his body, that’s a mature age for a 1st round draft pick. Second, he’s very raw and described as a project by most scouts. His superior talent hasn’t translated on the field, establishing one of the lower sack per game averages among all defensive end prospects. He would seemingly make a perfect 3-4 defensive end, but the Falcons seem more inclined to stay with the 4-3 with their recent signing of Osi Umenyoria. Finally, the Falcons likely can’t afford to take on any more projects at defensive end because they already have plenty.

Defensive Tackle

This may be more of a fascination with Cage Members than it is with Flowery Branch. Many to most fans feel that the defensive tackle position is one that needs a serious infusion of talent, power, but above all, girth. Mike Smith has executed his 4-3 under the guise of using smaller, quicker, and penetrating defensive tackles to be effective. Problem is, it hasn’t worked. They are often overpowered and overmatched when they run up against a beastly OL like the San Francisco 49ers. Many would like to see a big-bodied NT that would allow them to move to a 3-4. Or if nothing else, provide some beef to help out the defensive ends and linebackers, who are often smashed with a lack of any DTs taking on double teams. A look at a few candidates

Jonathan Hankins

Ohio State – 6’3 – 320 – Bench: DNP – 5.28 Forty – Arms: 33 – Hands: 9½

Career: 38 games; 137 tackles; 15.5 TFL; 4 sacks; Projected Rd: 1

Hankins represents a prototypical 3-4 nose tackle. He may not have the biggest stats, but he’s what many coaches want from the NTs. He can take on double-teams, hold the point of attack, and allow the linebackers, rush ends, and even 5 techniques to make plays. Along with Jesse Williams and John Jenkins, Hankins represents the big body and girth that many want and need to run the 3-4 effectively. He has the talent, but his motor has been cited as an issue and is thought by many to be a 2-down DT, which is one reason that most think that a big DT isn’t in the cards. Can the Falcons afford to spend their 1st overall pick on a player that looks to be 2-down worthy? Remember, the Falcons have issue with pass rush, and most NTs like Hankins aren’t good pass rushers.

Jesse Williams

Alabama – 6’3 – 323 – Bench: 30 – 4.94 Forty – Arms: 32 – Hands: 9⅜

Career: 26 games; 61 tackles; 6.5 TFL; 1.5 sacks” Projected Rd: 1-2

Corey Peters was a three-year starter for the Kentucky Wildcats.

Will Peters Get Some DT Help? (AJC)

Like Hankins, Williams will be very high on many 3-4 teams looking for an nose tackle, especially one hailing from Alabama. He was thought to be extremely high on many draft boards after a good SEC Championship and BCS Title game. Once the college season ended, however, many sites are dropping him out of the first round. He’s only a two year starter at Alabama and his stat line is very, very low. He only managed 1.5 sacks in two years. Much of that is because he is an NT in a 3-4, but that’s still a very low total for someone at such a storied program. Williams is dropping out of the first round in most mocks. He could be a good NT anchor, but could he play in the 4-3 for 3 downs if necessary and still get in the backfield?

Kawaan Short

Purdue – 6’3 – 299 – Bench: DNP – 5.09 Forty – Arms: 34¾ – Hands: 9¾

Career: 50 games; 185 tackles; 49.5 TFL; 18 sacks; Projected Rd: 1-2

Short may be lost in the shuffle between the top overall DTs such as Shariff Floyd and Sheldon Richardson and the wide-bodied NTs like Hankins and Williams, but his career numbers aren’t lost on scouts. Short has had insane production in his time at Purdue, notching an eye-popping 49.5 tackles for a loss and 18 sacks. Those are crazy numbers for a defensive tackle. He has one of the highest tackle for loss and sack per game averages among both DTs and DEs. He seems to fit in a traditional 4-3 base, but could potentially project as a great rushing 5-technique in a 3-4. The guy simply knows how to get in the backfield. He likely didn’t help himself very much by not participating in any of the combine events, especially not the bench press. Many Falcons fans worry that they may be seeing a second coming of Peria Jerry and worse yet a strict adherence to Smith’s “light, penetrating” 4-3 scheme that hasn’t worked very well at all.

John Jenkins

Georgia – 6’4 – 346 – Bench: 30 – DNP Forty – Arms: 34 – Hands: 9 ½

Career: 27 games; 78 tackles; 8 TFL; 4 sacks; Projected Rd: 1-2

Will Falcons Take Big John Jenkins? (AJC)

Jenkins was initially projected by many scouts to be taken early in the first round, potentially a top 10 or top 15 pick. Big John has started to slide in most draft boards after scouts have had a chance to look at tape. Like many of the big NT’s, his fitness is an issue with him not being able to stay in much on 3rd downs, particularly passing situations. He’s a plugger and he dropped about 20 lbs to get ready for the draft, but many teams are going to have a hard time spending a first round pick on a player that likely will only be able to contribute on early running downs, especially given the current pass-happy state of the NFL.

Cornerback

This one has flown up Falcons fans draft boards the last few days. The Falcons parted ways with Dunta Robinson, Chris Owens, and it appears Brent Grimes as well. They have 3 cornerbacks on the roster in Asante Samuel, Robert McClain, and Dominique Franks. They are reportedly high on practice squad player Peyton Thompson and they just signed former Colts CB Terrence Johnson to a 2 year futures contract. However, there is an obvious need for major talent at the top, particularly with Samuel getting up there in years. After the run of mocks taking tight ends or defensive ends, this is starting to become the most logical position.

Desmond Trufant

Washington – 6’0 – 190 – 4.38 Forty – Bench: 16 – Arms: 31¼ – Hands: 8⅝

Career: 50 games; 195 tackles; 33 passes defensed; INTs: 6

Many experts are starting to mock Trufant to the Falcons as most agree that he’s the 3rd best corner after Dee Milliner and Xavier Rhodes. He has NFL bloodlines with his older brother Marcus Trufant being an excellent corner for the Seahawks, who was a 1st round pick himself. Trufant is a four year starter who has played both man and coverage and is very good in run support. He doesn’t have a ton of career interceptions, but he has one of the best pass breakup per game ratio of any of the cornerbacks.Had one of the best bench press workouts (16) of any cornerbacks in the draft. Typical size and good speed for an NFL cornerback. Even though there are a ton of needs on the Falcons defense, cornerback is one of the few positions where they literally have not much talent already on the roster.

Jonathan Banks

Mississippi State – 6’2 – 185 – 4.58 Forty – Bench: 10 – Arms: 33⅞ – Hands: 9¼

Career: 51 games; 221 tackles; 26 passes defensed; INTS: 16; 320 Int Rtrn Yds

Owens Off to Cleveland (AJC)

Most draft sites have Trufant and Banks as 3a and 3b after the top two. Banks has great size for today’s changing cornerback and is one of the best ballhawks in the draft. Only David Amerson pulled down more career picks than Banks did. He’s also one of the best tacklers in the group as well, averaging well over 4 tackles per game. Not only is he able to get his hands on the ball, he has a great ability to get up the field afterward. He’s earned his chops in the SEC, where he faced off against some of the nations best receivers on a weekly basis. He may not have top flight speed, but his long arms, frame, and quickness more than make up for it.

Tight End

Many Falcons fans are already practicing their throwing motions towards the television, maybe in an attempt to miss the TV when the mug is slung on draft night. What once seemed like a worrisome possibility has now logically gone out the window, right? As Lee Corso says, “not so fast my friend!” Fans that have followed Thomas Dimitroff’s handiwork the last 5 years knows to expect the unexpected come draft weekend. Chris Owens? Joe Hawley? Kerry Meier? Lamar Holmes anyone? Tony Gonzalez is coming back for one final year and they’re supposedly high on Chase Coffman going forward, but if the draft’s best tight end is starting them in the face at #30 (which could help both short term, and more importantly long term), they may just pull the card after all. Still doubtful, but you just never know…..

Tyler Eifert

Notre Dame – 6’5 – 250 – 4.68 Forty – Bench: 22 – Arms: 33⅛ – Hands: 9⅛

Career: 37 games; 140 Rec; 1840 yards; 11 TDs

Eifert is the undisputed number one tight end prospect in an otherwise fairly weak class. Many see a tough and athletic tight end who can create mismatches, block well on the line, and be a huge red zone target. Many believe that Eifert may be the only tight end taken in the 1st round and the end of the round may be a perfect fit for it. Eifert was once slotted to a number of teams in need of a tight end, but then free agency changed that for many teams (Bears signed Martellus Bennett, Packers kept Jermichael Finley, Rams signed Jared Cook) and others believe that teams in need of a tight end (such as the Giants) won’t take Eifert with their first pick. It’s still highly unlikely, but Eifert would be a good fit if the Falcons didn’t have so many needs on defense.

Zach Ertz

Stanford – 6’5 – 249 – 4.76 Forty – Bench: 24 – Arms: 31¾ – Hands: 9¾

Career: 37 games; 112 Rec; 1434 yards; 15 TDs

Are Falcons OK with Coffman? (AJC)

is a close second tight end to Eifert before the major dropoff to the next group of TEs. Some thought Ertz may even get taken before Eifert, but Eifert’s measureables and combine seems to push him to a unanimous number one. Stanford has may be getting a title of “Tight End U” after sending Coby Fleener as the first overall tight taken in just last year’s draft. Several mocks are still slotting Ertz to the Falcons even with Gonzalez coming back. It’s hard to think that the Falcons would take Ertz if Eifert is gone earlier in the first.

Linebacker

At linebacker, the Falcons have Sean Weatherspoon and…….Akeem Dent showed some progress, but is still questionable long-term. Stephen Nicholas is serviceable, but it’s fairly clear he’s hit his ceiling. Robert James is the only other player on the roster, unless they move someone like Kroy Biermann permanently to outside linebacker, which is highly doubtful given Smith’s history. The Falcons need a major infusion of talent at linebacker, but it’s not the best year to for top end talent. The likes of Jarvis Jones, Barkevious Mingo, and Dion Jordan will likely be long gone.

Alec Ogletree would be a great addition athletic wise, but if there’s a darker dot on Dimitroff’s board than black, than Ogletree has it after making bone-headed decisions not once (stealing a bike helmet), not twice (testing positive for marijuana), but three times (getting a DUI in the months directly before the draft). Some think Arthur Brown of Kansas State may get a look, but one site compared him to Curtis Lofton, which the Falcons just let go. Linebacker will definitely get a look, and maybe more than once, but unlikely in the first unless some players seriously slide.

Bird Cage Scouts Turn

1) If you’re ready to go: In the 2013 NFL Draft the Atlanta Falcons select………

2) Should TD and Co. trade up for a player? If so, who and how much?

3) Should the Falcons seriously consider trading out of the first round?

4) If Falcons go DE first, who should it be?

5) Is defensive tackle the way to go on draft day? If so, who?

6) Has cornerback vaulted to the top of the Falcons need? Trufant, Banks, or other?

7) Have you practiced your mug / remote toss if Falcons take a TE first?

8.) Is there a “wildcard” pick position that was left out?

812 comments Add your comment

D3

March 28th, 2013
11:31 pm

I’m not giving up on my boy OLB Jamie Collins just yet. In trying to do character research, I found this (in addition to him playing all 3 levels of the Southern Miss defense)…….

Southern Miss defensive end Jamie Collins knows a thing or two about adversity.

After his parents died by the time he was age 6, Collins was raised by his sister Lisa, who was only in her early 20s.

“It was pretty tough, man,” Collins said. “It’s not like I grew up spoiled or anything like that. I’m the baby of five. It was real rough, me coming up. …

Nite ‘all!

SeminoleWarrior

March 28th, 2013
11:34 pm

Will set up the tease for the weekend…

1) If you’re ready to go: In the 2013 NFL Draft the Atlanta Falcons select……… Stay tuned….Cocoa will release on Monday as promised.

2) Should TD and Co. trade up for a player? If so, who and how much?
HECK NO…NO TRADES – stay the course and pick.

3) Should the Falcons seriously consider trading out of the first round?
See previous response.

4) If Falcons go DE first, who should it be? Assuming that we will stay in the 4-3, NONE. This class is weak in terms of 4-3 ends.

5) Is defensive tackle the way to go on draft day? If so, who? Stay tuned….great value in this DT class. And you do not have to use a first rounder here.

6) Has cornerback vaulted to the top of the Falcons need? Trufant, Banks, or other? It is tied with linebacker in my opinion.

7) Have you practiced your mug / remote toss if Falcons take a TE first?
If they take a TE, then I will be in Cardiac ICU at the Medical Center of Central Georgia. My favorites are Oreos and M&Ms.

8.) Is there a “wildcard” pick position that was left out?
Yes. Wide receiver. Depth is needed in a major way.

The Cocoa and TeePee Sports will release on Monday, 1 April 2013.

SeminoleWarrior

March 28th, 2013
11:37 pm

D3,

Given that, I wonder why his motor runs hot and cold. That would be a source of intense focus for the Warrior. But my thoughts/wishes are with the young man. Someone will give him a chance.

SeminoleWarrior

March 28th, 2013
11:38 pm

Quietly, Cocoa Mel and the incredible staff here at Tee Pee Sports have been once more breaking down film, conducting interviews, reviewing scouting reports, and weighing all available options. We have identified critical needs, reshaped our big board time and time again, and assessed the upcoming 2013 schedule. Defensively, the team appears to be a train wreck waiting to happen. MAJOR ATTENTION needs to be focused here in the 2013 draft as this unit is filled with more questions than answers. This draft proposal assumes the Falcons will be staying with the 4-3 as its primary defensive base.

One year later, Tee Pee Sports STILL thinks that the defensive line is incapable of generating any type of consistent interior pressure or sustainable pass rush. As a matter of fact, one-third of the teams’ TOTAL sacks and QB pressures were eliminated when the team released John Abraham. Our remaining defensive ends are not threatening to anyone, either weak in terms of a consistent performance OR incapable of the big play when needed most. Depth is almost non-existent or remains the great unknown. Unfortunately, this draft, the Tee-Pee feels, is VERY limited in terms of 4-3 defensive ends.

SeminoleWarrior

March 28th, 2013
11:39 pm

At linebacker, depth is also an issue but most of all, pass coverage skills are lacking in significant terms in both our SLB and MLB positions. Mobile QBs, tight ends, and slot WRs often have their way against the ATL defense and it is simply embarrassing too damned often. Our best linebacker, IMHO, is playing out of position as he seems better in the middle or on the strong-side. Upgrades with an emphasis on pass coverage and tackling skills are needed at the other two LB positions.

The team, in another cap casualty, cut an underachieving starter at the cornerback position. A former starter is coming back from a major injury which may restrict certain facets of his coverage skill set. Depth and experience are of SERIOUS concern at the cornerback position.

PRIMARLY due to an explosive offense, the Tee-Pee feels that this is STILL a playoff-caliber team. However, QUALITY coaching and very SIGNIFICANT defensive maturity will be needed and needed QUICKLY if this team is to challenge for the Lombardi Trophy. The “genius” of Mike Nolan will definitely have to be on display this season if we are to contend as many think we are capable of.

SeminoleWarrior

March 28th, 2013
11:48 pm

Breaking right for the night…see you on the other side. Laters!!

The Time is NOW

March 28th, 2013
11:49 pm

Good write-up D3!

Night all.

Big Ray

March 28th, 2013
11:54 pm

I feel like I just answered all the questions on the LAST blog, LOL….

Big Ray

March 29th, 2013
12:26 am

Well, here goes.

1) I have no effin’ clue. And I hate doing predictions. That said, I’ll hazard a retarded guess. It will be a CB. And his name is Jamar Taylor of Boise State. If it’s not him, then it’s Johnathan Banks or Desmond Trufant. Yeah, yeah, I know. I guessed three times…

2) I won’t say no to this. I WILL say no to trading up in the FIRST round. The 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and remaining rounds are a different story. If the right guys aren’t in place in the 1st round, trading down into the 2nd might be a good idea. I would generally agree with just staying with our given picks but “staying the course” implies that crazy sh!t can’t happen in the draft.

Well, crazy sh!t IS gonna happen in the draft. You can count on it (hey, the Raiders get picks, don’t they?). Stay the course if the course is good. If not, then change course. But no trading up in the FIRST round. Nobody there worth the trade up this time around, I think.

Why do I not condemn trading up in later rounds? It’s how we got Quizz Rodgers. Gotta be smart. If that guy you really want is a few spots away from where you’re picking in the 4th and you know a couple teams ahead of you are gonna snag him…you might wanna move up.

3) In my mind, this depends COMPLETELY on how the board is falling in the first, and what is offered by the team wanting to trade up.

If a couple or a few of the guys you really wanted are gone and there’s some team absolutely desperate to get at a QB or a pass rusher that they are scared to death will get away before they pick in the upper half of the 2nd round, then take their offer if it’s a rich enough offer.

Don’t scoff…this is going to happen on Day 1. Bank on it. And you know I’m not into predictions. But I see some NFL teams with some VERY shaky QB situations who need to add another name to the mix. At the same time, I see some teams whose overall defense has stunk to high heaven and who have less of a pass rush than we’ve had by a long shot. They’ll be knocking down the doors of the Datone Jones, Alex Okafor, Lazy LSU turds, and Damontre Moores of this draft. I’m telling you…just watch.

4) Again, depends on the board. I’m going to say Datone Jones, however. Big enough to play a 3-4 DE (280+ lbs) and at that size can play 4-3 DE along with DT inside if necessary. My second pick at the position would be Alex Okafor. He should be a solid run stopper who might be okay as a guy who can occasionally provide some pressure from the left side.

Why not Moore? Black dot. Why not Bjoern Woerner? He shouldn’t be there. But if he is, he becomes my instant first pick at DE. Why not Margus Hunt? I don’t think the Falcons go for the guy. I don’t see them gambling with the upside in the first round. But I could be wrong.

5) I’d like to. But I also have begun to understand more and more that having good DTs still does not instantly turn your playmaking positions into actual playmakers.

Here’s an example – better DT play will make a playmaker like Spoon into a more effective playmaker. What will it do for Dent and Nicholas? It means they can get more tackles, probably. Does it mean they make more plays? No. Playmaking isn’t all about how many blocks you can shed. It’s about knowing where to be, how to get there, and having what it takes to get there in time.

Enough of that subject for now….will touch back on it later.

If we go DT in the first round (I’d be surprised, actually) then it should be Jesse Williams. His size, strength, and motor can’t be taught. He can play 3-4 or 4-3. You can’t teach that, either. He won’t get you the sacks, but he can occupy more than one blocker. What he will also do is cram the run right back up the other team’s arse. If the Aussie ain’t there, Hankins is the next guy, followed closely by John Jenkins.

As always, I will have to plug away my guy Kawann Short if the big fellers aren’t there or aren’t wanted. Production is production, and Short has an abundance of it. Comes from a school that has put out some talented DL guys, too.

6) CB has definitely tied with LB as far as positions of need. Again, this is where my view is moving to. CB is another position (just like LB and SS/FS) where playmaking occurs. There are guys who shut down one side of the field, and there are guys who make plays on the ball. Everybody else is overpaid or just a stop gap serviceable type until something better comes along.

7) I have removed all tossable objects from my man cave a month in advance. I plan to use edged weapons against a designated 1 1/2″ thick wooden board. I won’t say whose face(s) are painted on this board…

8 ) No. Unless you count Offensive Line. Be warned…

Big Ray

March 29th, 2013
12:28 am

Something worth reading here, some of it DIRECTLY related to Falcons football.

Note what was said about two guys in particular – SEAN PORTER and JOHNATHON HANKINS.

Also note that RBs are maybe moving up the draft boards, creeping out of the 4th and 5th rounds.

http://walterfootball.com/draft2013stock_28.php

Big Ray

March 29th, 2013
12:32 am

http://www.drafttek.com/2013-NFL-Mock-Draft-Round1.asp

Interesting mock updates by Drafttek. I think they kinda lost it in the 7th, though.

Big Ray

March 29th, 2013
12:35 am

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1585246-2013-nfl-mock-draft-breaking-down-perfect-1st-round-fit-for-each-team

Still would have a hard time watching #30 and #31 happen this way. That said, would have to address that in the next couple rounds.

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checktheemails

March 29th, 2013
1:33 am

Tee Pee Sports is a kook

marko

March 29th, 2013
6:11 am

Nice job D3, a lot of names to consider, but I say one off your list will be a Falcon on April 25. Cornerback would seem to be the greatest need, having lost three, but Thomas has never selected one before the third round. Anyway it wouldn’t come as a total shock if we took a corner, but I’d be a bit surprised. Thomas seems to take pride in his ability to find mid round gems so I’m inclined to believe that he’d address the position no earlier than the second round.

Tight end? God I hope not.

Guard? if Collins fell that far It would be painful to pass on him. Fortunately I don’t see that happening.

Linebacker? Jarvis Jones put all his eggs in the Georgia pro day basket, then proceeded to drop it. Work out at the combine. if you have an off day, use the pro day to recover. Jarvis failed to do this and in the process he hurt his draft stock considerably. If he slides far, He might be the kind of player that activates TD’s trade mechanism. I don’t see a great leap in the cards, but five spots or less, and we might see a move. clearly a game day decision.

Defensive end makes the most sense, but I’ve felt for some time that we’re not going to get our monies worth from the leftovers we’d be chosing from. If we patiently wait, and take our turn like good little boys, defensive tackle seems to offer the biggest bang for the buck. I’ll follow up later.

Birdman

March 29th, 2013
6:12 am

Tyler Eifert

Wings

March 29th, 2013
7:35 am

Trade up and select a player who will have a great impact on the defense as Julio Jones has done on the offense. It would prevent the WPP from growing into epic proportions.

E43

March 29th, 2013
9:23 am

I talk alot about defense. But deep down, I feel like they should move Konz to C and use a pick to replace him. I’m more confident in the Falcons abilities to pick a starter for the O-line than finding a starter for the defense.

I wonder about Dent, McCain Biermann and their potential. Doesnt make sense to use a first rounder at MLB because they were nickel heavy last year. Thats expensive for a guy that will be benched in favor of a formation. Unless of course he is better in coverage than Nicholas. For Mccain, I think it would be easy to draft depth at CB and hope for the best with him as a starter.

The last position in question becomes the Dline. Biermann is pretty versatile in his amoeba role. Would it really be worth it going after a DE? What happens if Biermann takes snaps from him in the amoeba defense?

Babineaux is pro bowl talent but aging. Jerry and Peters cant hold on to their starting positions.
Conclusion- They should either pick a RG or a DT with their first pick. Then they can get depth. Best available player would probably make the biggest impact. I don’t think its worth for the Falcons to force a need to be filled..

E43

March 29th, 2013
9:23 am

or MLB if he can relieve Nicholas in passing situations.

Buford Bob

March 29th, 2013
9:34 am

Yeah, after typing this my numbers are jacked up & don’t line up with D3’s. Oh well.

1. TD’s draft success rate is extremely overblown IMO because of his success in ONE great draft in 2008. Take that draft out, & TD averages 1.5 starters per draft (yes, I completely made that statistic up. Am I wrong?). Yuck!

You write that regardless, his 1st round picks have been solid. Again, doesn’t tell the whole story:

MR2 was #3. Julio was #6 (and two firsts). Hard to miss there.

Spoon was #19. Great spot for a strong LB.

Peria was #24 and a BAD miss.

That’s all of them.

Falcons have #30 now. Worst draft position yet (or best if you care about winning).

So should get a good player, but not sure why the boundless optimism spilleth over.

2. Unless an incredibly dynamic player (read Tavon Austin) inexplicably falls to #30, Falcons HAVE to go defense in RD1.

Can probably take a BPA approach from this position pool: CB,OLB,DT, DE (and likely in that order of preference).

If TD takes an Ertz or OG, I will be sharpening my pitchfork.

3. This team has far too many needs to consider a trade up in RD1. However, a trade back up into RDs2 or 3, OR a trade down to pick up an extra pick in one of those RDs, could be intriguing & TD has had considerable success there with guys like Moore, Peters, DeCoud, & Lofton (to a lesser extent, at least so far, HD, Dent, & Konz).

On the flip side, TD has had misses in RD 3: Chevis Jax, Owens (who I thought was okay & should have been resigned. They let him walk on purpose, so I was wrong. He’s a miss), Mike Johnson, Holmes (calling him a miss until I physically see him replace Clabo. Deal with it).

Historically, anything after RD3 is depth or a miss.

The good: Biermann (5), Quizz (5)

The okay: Reynolds (5), Hawley (4), Walker (7; placing him here because he contributed before FO
let him walk & was damn good value), Bosher (6; only get okay because he’s a punter).

The undecided (for now): Cliff Matt, all four late picks from last year

The bad (for Falcons): Rob James (5), Thomas Brown (6), Fontenot (7), ZInger (7), Sidbury (4; cry all you want, he has barely played), Middleton (5; playing okay in JAX), Adkins (6; anyone seen him?), Franks (5), Meier (5), Schillinger (6), Andrew Jackson (7). Bad doesn’t mean can’t contribute on special teams or provide depth for practice, but let’s set the bar a little higher than that, what do you say?

Now, even a good GM will miss. A lot. So no one’s saying (or rather I’m not) that TD is not good. But can we please dispense with the hyperbole?

4. The long & short is: Falcons can expect 1.5 eventual starters (so choose two if you’re optimistic) & two contributors from this draft (the rest are depth who will play special teams while either a) never developing OR b) never being allowed to develop).

As a result, everyone had better think long & hard about the positions they want to see upgraded. Because you’re only getting two. Two more may be solid Biermann & Quizz-like contributors.
Personally, while I REALLY want better D-line, I think I’d take that from my “contirbutors” as an improve the rotation kind of improvement.

That leaves CB & OLB. Barring any additional roster moves, that’s where the big push needs to come.

In other words, Falcons need to come out of RD 3 with a CB, an OLB, and a D-lineman. I don’t care about the order. BPA at each spot not yet filled (so by RD 3 TD will only have one position for consideration).

DE: unless someone very surprising falls, no thanks.

DT: very much on the want list. But unless the first-tier talent is there (ie, someone like Short), a big body can come later in RD2, 3, or 4. Remember, once you hit the second tier, this player will be a rotation guy, not a playmaker.

CB: Trufant will be gone. Who will be there? While a major need, may be better served looking here in RD#2.

OLB: yes please. Here is the potential perfect alignment of bottom round value & major need. Though don’t count a MLB out if he represents a clear upgrade & Nolan’s plans include more LBs than we currently anticipate.

TE: No. No. No. No. NO! A late round project is fine. Don’t mind taking a chance on an injury risk in RD 5 or later. Nothing on the first two days please.

5. Like others, not sure it’s terribly “wild,” but look for Falcons to take a WR somewhere in RDs 3-5 (if you’ve read this far, it’s probably pretty obvious that I prefer it not be at #92).

6. Call this the Recap.

Eventual Starters: LB & CB

Solid rotation guys: DT & what I’ll call D special (any other LB, CB, DL).

Potential guys who may bust my analysis & turn 2013 into another 2008: WR, OL, more D.

Victorinox Wishlist for sub packages (may be covered by an earlier pick, or may be someone who falls):

a BIG DT for early downs

a BIG CB for flexibility

a BIG S for flexibility and sub-Nickel packages

a slot WR to challenge HD

maybe a project TE?

7. Yeah, there’s no 7. Have lost my steam. Majorly enjoying perusing everyone else’s thoughts.

Buford Bob

March 29th, 2013
9:42 am

For those of you advocating an OG early, I hear you, I just don’t like you.

Okay, just kidding about that last part, but seriously, how many OL does this team have. Surely one of them can step in & be effective. Still don’t understand why more aren’t on the Hawley at C & Konz at RG train. From everyone’s comments, I’d guess most think they’ll battle for C & Reynolds will saunter into RG again.

Either way, hard for me to see a rookie beating not one but TWO of those three out for a spot at a position.

And that my friends is called a good reason not to use an early pick on OL. I mean, that is why they paid Baker & forced Mud Duck into retirement, right?

There will be competition for two spots, but OL is set. As a result, any pick should be late & address depth/development.

Guess I lied about that steam thing.

SeminoleWarrior

March 29th, 2013
9:50 am

BB

TD represents the best we have had in the GM position (clearly better than Rich was). He is just hitting his stride and as I have stated before, I think he is returning to his Patriot Way roots.

Also, do not underestimate the amount of time that TD spent with his close friend and former boss, Scott Pioli, during this offseason. I think the “student” spent a lot of time talking with the “teachers” in this off-season. And I think the Process, as he (TD) originally called it, is set for a re-launch in the mold of the TRUE Patriot Way.

Agreed. OL is not as critical as most would seem. I think that it can be addressed with depth using the undrafted FA route as I have stated.

Buford Bob

March 29th, 2013
10:02 am

SW: Agree 100% that TD is strong & possibly best Falcons GM.

My point is more geared toward the crowd expecting 3+ starters out of this draft.

That, IMSAHO, is not just wishful thinking. It’s insanity.

Expect 2, and choose your positions accordingly.

Expect 2 more contributors. Think Biermann-type players.

That would be a GREAT draft.

Be happy with anything more. But to expect it?

SeminoleWarrior

March 29th, 2013
10:10 am

BB,

Noted.

I can see the potential for three starters in this draft IF it goes well. My own mock projects at least three if we roll the right way.

My WLB selection is better than anyone on the roster not named Spoon at the position. My MLB upgrades the pass defense over Dent. And one of my CBs could start immediately opposite Samuel, allowing McClain to remain in the slot where he is excellent. And my WR selections are bigger and faster than Douglas in the slot with major upside.

As you stated well, though, these are opinions at this point. The young men will have to EARN it. But I have high faith in them to do so.

And contributors, I am with you there. Again, this draft had to be very focused in order to ensure the needs were met for the short AND long term.

The Time is NOW

March 29th, 2013
10:16 am

checktheemails

March 29th, 2013
1:33 am

TeePee Sports is a first class operation, run by a noble Warrior. This Warrior is a thoughtful, balanced and respectful commentator. He is also the resident draft expert. Faithful Cage Members are eagerly looking forward to his annual mock draft, which will be released Monday.

While I doubt anyone agrees with Seminole Warrior on every single thing he says, SW is one of the most respected members of the Cage. If you are not interested in his perspective that is your loss. Listening to him would probably broaden your perspective, IMHO.

Buford Bob

March 29th, 2013
10:21 am

SW, all of these teases have me drooling with anticipation for the release of TeePee Sports’ 2013 mock!

Matty Bicep

March 29th, 2013
10:28 am

My point is more geared toward the crowd expecting 3+ starters out of this draft.

That, IMSAHO, is not just wishful thinking. It’s insanity.

BB, the problem is, long time falcons fans (many cage members) are used to losing, and making big revamp changes year in and year out, and sticking players who are not prepared into sink or swim roles when the current starter. They think that is “normal” because starting over year to year, or even week to week, is what they perceive as normal.

When you have a winning team like we do, you don’t have to throw rookies out there every year. We went to the NFC championship game, sure we have warts, but we are better than most, patience is the key. I know fans don’t have it, but TD does.

SeminoleWarrior

March 29th, 2013
10:29 am

Time / BB

Thanks. I simply love the game of football. It is one of my biggest passions. And as Time so well stated, I never profess to have all the right answers.

TRUST ME….ALL you guys are as passionate as the Tee-Pee is when it comes to our Falcons.

Time, I do not worry about the comments of those that do not know me or have not taken time to see what my thought process is. They ENJOY the right to make their comments based on a presence in the free enivor

SeminoleWarrior

March 29th, 2013
10:45 am

Oops…

Time, I do not worry about the comments of those that do not know me or have not taken time to see what my thought process is.

They ENJOY the right to make their comments based on a presence in the free speech environment that myself, my favorite Gunny, Coop, and so many others have provided for him. Let him/her have their moment.

Believe me, having seen this world in ways that some can only dream, I am not the least bit bothered. But thank, bro, for your care. It is returned a million times over.

SeminoleWarrior

March 29th, 2013
10:47 am

Hey SP,

How is Pops doing? Prayers are still up.

I am missing my Nesta brother as I still feel his pain as well. Stay strong, Nookah. You know how to reach me bro..let me be there for you like you were for me.

John Waynesworld

March 29th, 2013
11:00 am

Thanks D3, for your keeping vigil on this ever-improving team.

Who will the Falcons pick for #1? That is going to be tough to answer until we see which pre-draft free agents get signed by TD. For instance, he may grab a serviceable FA cornerback from a crappy team, like Joselio Hanson, or even bring back William Middleton, an old TD draft pick who knows the Falcons players and is smart enough (biology major/ medical school) to catch up on Nolan’s schemes quickly.

It is entirely possible that Owens, who Nolan decided was never going to be more than depth, was let go just to knock his price down a bit, but he was picked up by the Browns instead. Several of these FA CBs still left on the board would serve very well as a stopgap nickel cover guy in our defense until our new (highly) drafted CB gets his feet wet in the regular season. A player like Hanson could easily shun the lowly Raiders offer for a cheap contract with a premier team, and Middleton left on very friendly terms, if I recall. He was a good kid in camp and has done well for Jax in past years.

Nobody really knows the salary cap situation of any team in this environment, considering at any moment a player (Blalock?) could restructure his own contract in order to help the team acquire a needed free agent or even keep one, so we are at present a bit in the dark as to what TD has up his sleeve before the draft.

D3

March 29th, 2013
11:02 am

Great Friday Cage! — Nothing like kicking off our Countdown to Draft Weekend with a big ol’ draft post. Should provide some great reading material and fodder to get the excitement going. I’m trying my damndest to get this spreadsheet done and I’ll be heading into full research / draft mode. Like Tee-Pee Sports, D3 United Sports will give my early favorites and it’s looking like CB or DT.

A little lead off with some humor………

For those of you advocating an OG early, I hear you, I just don’t like you. — Buford Bob

Now that is some funny stuff! You may challenge our resident comedian / jester Screen Pass a little. In all seriousness, I agree. Would love to end the right guard turnstile once and for all and take a guy like Warford in the 3rd, but just can’t do it this year. Defense has too much need. I think giving Pat Hill another year and the following candidates, I can see us finding a suitable RG for 2013…..

Garrett Reynolds
Tyson Clabo (move Holmes to RT)
Holmes
Hawley
Johnson (last shot)
Phillpkeith Manley
Jacques McClendon
Harland Gunn

Unca' Bob

March 29th, 2013
11:05 am

SW. That was probably the only time is his life that checktheemails got it right. Hell, son, you are a kook! (LOL)

D3

March 29th, 2013
11:07 am

In honor to PoolerSpirit’s suggestion, let’s kick off draft month in style……..

Announcing our………

FIRST ANNUAL TEE-PEE / SEMINOLE WARRIOR DRAFT PREDICTION CONTEST!!!!

The Tee-Pee has slated Monday, April 1st as his release of the long-awaited draft board and if you can guess enough players that he chooses, you’ll receive……..(something…. I’ll try to scrounge up some Falcons swag).

I’ll let the Warrior come up with this rules and regulations of the contest, but I thought it’d be a fun way to get read for the real thing that’s less than a month away……

I’ll be working on my mock over the weekend, but my early guess is that it’ll include Ryan Swope and Bennie Logan.

John Waynesworld

March 29th, 2013
11:12 am

Signing an extra CB will also, as with the Osi signing, make us much more flexible in this draft to where we can select any combination of DE, OLB or CB in the first, second and third rounds, or even have the contingency for a surprise pick that falls to us.

John Waynesworld

March 29th, 2013
11:15 am

“Or a DT, of course” – Jonathan Hankins

Dan

March 29th, 2013
11:16 am

CB Marcus Trufant, Brandon McGee
DE Tank Carradine. Cornelius Washington
DT Brandon Williams, Kwame Geathers, T.J. Barnes
LB Khassem Green, Sean Porter, Jelani Jenkins, Zaviar Gooden

tyler

March 29th, 2013
11:28 am

The Patriot Way is for a large part based on getting lucky as hell with Tom Brady in like the sixth round was’nt it?

tyler

March 29th, 2013
11:29 am

Awesome contest D3, love it!!!!!

SeminoleWarrior

March 29th, 2013
11:31 am

My Favorite Gunny,

LOL…I know I am. But hell, that uniform did it to me. LOL….

Ken Strickland

March 29th, 2013
11:36 am

What Osi brings to the Falcons that Abe didn’t is the ability to get more meaningful sacks, not just more sacks. Osi has had big gms against big teams in critical situations. That just hasn’t been the case with Abe. He seems to disappear against the better teams & in big gms overall.

On a down yr Osi got 6 sacks as a rotational DE receiving considerably fewer snaps than Abe. With us playing QB driven teams like the AINTS/TAINTS, Bucs & Panthers twice, 49ers & Seahawks, we needed a pass rusher that doesn’t disappear in big gms.

That, plus being younger & cheaper, makes Osi an upgrade over Abe. Now that Osi is on board, the next move is to make certain we get the right compliment at LDE. I really like Biermann & his versatility, but he’s had more than enough chances as a starter & has shown he’s definitely not the answer as a pass rushing DE.

We have to start either Mathews, Massaquoi, or a draft pick at LDE. We also have to get a pass rushing LB, even if he’s only used as a situational pass rusher rather than a starter. We know we’re solid at 1 CB position with ASamuals, & the inside CB slot with McClain. We just need to draft a starting caliber outside CB to pair with those 2.

The questions TD & Co have to ask themselves are
1-will we have to use our #30 pick to get that CB,
2-can we trade back to the top of the 2nd rd & get that same CB, or
3-can we get one with our regular #60 2nd rd pick?

We signed FA CB TJohnson to a 2yr contract if I’m correct. Assuming he turns out to be the 2nd coming of former inside CB BWilliams, we might see McClain moved to the outside. That move might make drafting a CB for depth our primary focus.

Man, I’ve never seen an NFL team come of a 13-3 season & miss the SB by a hair, & having signed most of their key players, have so doggone many options question marks & holes.

I honestly believe TD & Co will make their 1st selection based on which available CB, DE, or LB has the potential to have the greatest immediate impact. The rest of our draft will progress based on that decision.

SeminoleWarrior

March 29th, 2013
11:37 am

D3 and Cage Family,

D3, I am NOT worthy. You, my brother, give me the opportunity to come in here, have some fun, and offer some points that I think are good as it pertains to our Falcons. Like so many, I love this team immensely and want nothing more than the Lombardi in the ATL. I’m obsessed with it; tired of being the doormat or the idle observer. It is time…our time and I want to seize the moment.

As far as a draft contest, you caught me off guard with that. Pooler is a great guy and I am flattered that you and he would propose this idea.

Rules…Regulations? Honestly, I can not think of any, brother. When I do my thing, I simply am looking at the team and attempting to solve the most glaring need it has in my opinion. I will defer to you, my friend and leader, to establish guidelines for this fun approach.

Again, thanks to you and Pooler as well as the many others that look to the Tee-Pee for insight. Time said it best: I do not have all the right answers but I will damned sure try to engage the thought process.

SeminoleWarrior

March 29th, 2013
11:42 am

Will say this though..

If you are inclined to try to engage, you had better have watched a lot of games over the past couple of years. No disrespect to anyone, for you know I respect all opinions and thoughts, but if you do not look at more than the “power” conferences, you do not stand a chance.

The Tee-Pee and Cocoa do spend extensive time in Tallahassee/ATL and on the road chasing both the Noles/Falcons BUT we watch our football VERY carefully and we scout EXTENSIVELY. Like TD, we pay a lot of attention to the HUGE pools of talent that many will underestimate.

Again, I am flattered. It will be fun to see the ideas come in.
Again, D3. I wil defer to you rules. Thanks, Pooler.

Matty Bicep

March 29th, 2013
11:47 am

Another interesting thing about the “patriot way” is they have not won a single SB since they got caught cheating…..

John Waynesworld

March 29th, 2013
11:56 am

JJ

March 29th, 2013
12:06 pm

A SW style easter egg hunt, love it!
We know his 3rd egg and we know most of the positions per rd.
We know he likes some players out west.
This evenings entertainment (with a cold bev) will be reviewing the tapes of the last few weeks. I think he droped a few eggs back there.

SW, feel free to drop some clues, youve got my email ;)

SeminoleWarrior

March 29th, 2013
12:06 pm

Breaking right…heading to the Bluegrass State for Easter with my junior Warrior and his family including my little Brave.

You guys have a safe and happy Easter Weekend. Will see you back in the mix on Sunday afternoon. Will try to peek in from time to time. Stay safe, God bless and keep, and see you on the other side.

I’m the Warrior and I am out…..breaking right!!

JJ

March 29th, 2013
12:09 pm

…maybe if I bang the secretary…

Kris F.

March 29th, 2013
12:18 pm

First off, I really enjoyed the post. Great breakdown of plenty of talent that should be around #30.

I agree with the sentiment that TD is just hitting his stride. He is very savvy and is surrounded by great scouts and management and has all the tools to be one of the leagues best GMs, not just the best in franchise history. In TD we trust.

With TD bringing back TG88, signing Osi and Sjax, it allows TD to go best player available at a position of need at 30 if he chooses to “stay the course.” I understand some schools of thought saying OL, DT, or TE in the first but I highly doubt it. The more I think about it, I think they will be going OLB or DE if a stud is available and corner in the 2nd. Werner would be my first choice. If he’s there, submit the pick

Fortunately for the Falcons this draft seems to be deep at the biggest positions of need which could allow the Falcons to get impactful players in ALL of the first 3 rounds, assuming there is no trading around. However, having watched TD operate there is almost ALWAYS a trade draft weekend. Due to the depth, I could see TD moving down in the first to acquire mid-round ammo and moving back up to have 3 picks in the top 60. The extra 4th round compensatory pick is huge in this scenario. I’m going bold and saying TD makes 2-3 trades during the draft.

1) If you’re ready to go: In the 2013 NFL Draft the Atlanta Falcons select………

2) Should TD and Co. trade up for a player? If so, who and how much? Not in first. Draft lacks studs but is deep with impact players. Exactly what the Falcons need for this year.

3) Should the Falcons seriously consider trading out of the first round? Yes. TONS of borderline 1-2 round talent that will be able to be had in middle to late 2nd. Fall back 5-10 spots, pick up another 2nd, and get 3 impact players in top 60. Potential targets – Banks, Amerson, Slay, Datone Jones, Hunt, Carradine, Lemonier, Khaseem Greene, Porter, and Gooden.

4) If Falcons go DE first, who should it be? Werner

5) Is defensive tackle the way to go on draft day? If so, who? No. Jerry is on his way out but the team will give him 1 more chance this year. Next year’s draft is deep at DT and could allow the Falcons to transition more to 3-4 or bring in a 1st rounder with versatility.

6) Has cornerback vaulted to the top of the Falcons need? Trufant, Banks, or other? Glaring need, but draft has depth. Potentially could get TWO DBs in 2nd-3rd depending on trades. However, TD has shown a knack for getting impact players at DB late in the process (Foxworth, Hayden, Sanders, Asante), sometimes even after draft, and the market right now has plenty of available veteran DBs.

7) Have you practiced your mug / remote toss if Falcons take a TE first? Yes. My aim is true.

8.) Is there a “wildcard” pick position that was left out? I’d be very, very surprised if the Falcons deviate from OLB, DE, and DB in the first 3 picks.

snacktastic

March 29th, 2013
12:29 pm

Still ambivalent on the Osi signing, but if we get Abe back on the other side, I’m all in.

As for the draft, I don’t dare predict who the Birds will take. So few people were on target with their Falcons mocks last year that I think I’ll just sit back and watch.