Will Atlanta Falcons Undrafted Free Agents Make the Roster?

Longshots to Make the Roster

Alford and Trufant = The Future (AJC)

The odds are very low for any NFL team for a player that went undrafted in their mission to make an NFL 53 man roster. It of course does happen, and some of them even turn into Pro Bowlers. Arian Foster went undrafted, as did many other fantastic professional football players. But that is the definitely the exception to the rule. For the sheer amount of undrafted free agents that try out on NFL teams, it’s a miniscule percent that actually make it on the practice squad, much less make the jump all the way up to the active 53 man roster.

Although it’s highly unlikely, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. The Falcons have shown to be a team more than willing to take a chance on players that weren’t heralded, but came in and put their nose to grindstone, worked, and willed themselves on the team. The Falcons have had several examples of undrafted free agents making the squad. Quarterbacks John Parker Wilson and Dominique Davis made the leap to the active roster. As have tight end Michael Palmer, long snapper Josh Harris, and even OG Phillipkeith Manley made the jump before being designated back to the practice squad at some point during the season.

Practice Squad More Likely

DE Suddenly Deep (AJC)

Although there’s a chance that one or two of the undrafted free agents could make the jump, the much more likely route is for them to catch onto the 8 man practice squad, hone their skills, get stronger, and get a better feel for life in the NFL. There has been a ton of players that have spent time on the practice squad before making the leap into a permanent spot on the 53 man active roster. Both wide receivers Kevin Cone and Drew Davis spent a year on the practice squad before making the jump. Defensive end Cliff Matthews spent some time there and could be in line for a major spot. CB Robert McClain spent time on the practice squad and could be in line for a starting CB position. Tyson Clabo, Harvey Dahl, Robert James, Tommy Gallarda, Antone Smith, Shann Schillinger, and many others have spent time on the squad and moved up to claim an active spot at one time or another.

Alford: Nickel or Dime? (AJC)

This year is no different with LB Pat Schiller, DT Micanor Regis, WR’s James Rodgers and Tim Toone, CB’s Peyton Thompson and Terrence Johnson, as well as OG’s Phillipkeith Manley, Harland Gunn, and Jacques McClendon looking to make the leap as well. Another reason the challenge is so great is due to the high stability of being an annual contender. The Falcons are now to a point where even draft picks are no longer guaranteed a roster spot. In the early days, it was almost a lock, but not anymore. And that in and of itself is a credit to the competitiveness up and down the roster. It’s not impossible, but squeezing their way onto a squad that is the 2nd most winning franchise over the last five years won’t be easy.

***Thanks to Jay Adams, Managing Editor of AtlantaFalcons.com for doing outstanding research***

Quarterback

Seth Doege – 6’1, 197 lbs – Texas Tech

He ranks third in Red Raider history with 8,646 passing yards, 69 touchdowns, 1187 pass attempts, and 819 completions. Doege looks to be another arm in camp at this point. If the Falcons didn’t take Sean Renfree with their last pick, it might be different.

Analysis – Obviously, Ryan and Dominique Davis are locks with the first two. Doege will likely be fighting with Renfree for one spot on the practice squad.

Running Backs

Donald Russell – 5’11, 212 lbs – Georgia State

Moore @ Stacked WR Group (AJC)

The former Panther was an all-conference running back at Georgia State University. He totaled 1,412 yards rushing with 12 touchdowns while at Georgia State. Russell will have a major uphill battle not only in not being drafted or ranked by virtually any scouting sites, but also the fact that Georgia State has only been in football for a few years.

Ronnie Wingo – 6’3, 231 lbs – Arkansas

Wingo is a big man that rushed 206 times for 1,089 yards with 8 touchdowns during his career with the Razorbacks. He was in a crowded backfield with Knile Davis among others, but could be a gem and a superb complementary “big back” to Jacquizz Rodgers. He also had a good pro day, running a 4.46 forty, and 18 reps on the bench.

Analysis – Russell and Wingo will likely be competing for a practice squad spot since Steven Jackson, Rodgers, Jason Snelling, Antone Smith, and Bradie Ewing seem locked in the top 5 spots. They also will be competing against 2012 undrafted free agent and current practice squad member Josh Vaughn as well. On the surface, it appears that Wingo has the better chance, but they invited two fullbacks to camp as well.

Wide Receivers

Rashad Evans – 5’9, 187 lbs – Fresno State

Evans is known for his speed and potential game-breaking ability. He hauled in 138 passes for 1,321 yards and 12 touchdowns in 44 games at Fresno State. The former Bulldog was known for his punt return skills as well, breaking off two for touchdowns, one being a 78 yard return. Even though wide receiver has been one of the best positions for UDFA’s to make it, they have a ton of talent already in house, and that’s after the big three of Roddy White, Julio Jones, and Harry Douglas.

Darius Johnson – 5’10, 175 lbs – SMU

Toilolo a Big Man (AJC)

Johnson is another small and quick receiver who is specifically designated to the slot. The former Mustang had a huge year in 2011, catching 79 balls for 1,118 yards with 8 touchdowns. Johnson was one of the few UDFA’s that was invited to the combine. Like both Evans and Moore, Johnson has a ton of competition, and he could be fighting for one spot on the practice squad.

Martel Moore – 6’0, 183 lbs – Northern Illinois

Moore has impressive career stats from NIU, with 2,544 yards receiving and 24 TDs. Although he’s not a blazer (4.56), he had a good vertical jump and broad jump at his pro day.

Analysis - As mentioned earlier, wide receiver is one of the best spots to earn a place on the practice squad and maybe even the roster. Both Kevin Cone and Drew Davis made the leap after working for a year on the practice squad. However, the cupboard is stacked with both Davis and Cone earning a roster spot last year, but also Tim Toone (who made the team before injury), James Rodgers, and Marcus Jackson already occupying the practice squad.

It appears that Evans, Johnson, and Moore would be looking to fill a slot type role, and in that case, will be competing directly with both Toone and Rodgers for practice squad spots.

Offensive Tackle

Terren Jones – 6’7, 341 lbs – Alabama State

Banks at a Good Position (AJC)

Jones is a monster of a man and hails from an extremely productive Alabama State team that produced over 400 yards of offense per game. Jones is almost the same size at likely starting right tackle Lamar Holmes. He started every game at left tackle as a senior. If he get in excellent shape and fitness, Jones might have the best chance of any UDFA to make it.

Alec Savoie – 6’7, 322 lbs – McNeese State

The McNeese State product is another massive player that could make a dent on a team in need of quality depth at the tackle position with the release of Tyson Clabo and failure to re-sign Will Svitek.

Ryan Schraeder – 6’7, 300 lbs – Valdosta State

Schrader played two years at famed Butler Community College before moving to Valdosta State. While at Butler he started on an OL that helped them win the Jr College National Championship. The Valdosta State product was also named as an All-American in 2011. A good bit smaller in size than the other two OT UDFA’s.

Analysis – Along with linebacker and defensive tackle, this may be one of the best spots for either Jones, Savoie, or Schraeder to make a move. While both Garrett Reynolds and Mike Johnson can play tackle and Johnson is in the competition to compete for a RT spot, they are still dangerously thin at OT depth. It is almost a certainty that one of these guys can make the practice squad and be a good player to take on as a project.

Center / Guard

Matt Smith – 6’4, 296 lbs – Kentucky

Smith was the starting center for the Wildcats for 3 straight years. Smith has a high motor and put up 28 reps on the bench, but pulled his hamstring while running the forty. The Falcons obviously have Peter Konz and Joe Hawley, but there might be a chance for Smith if he can heal quickly from his injury.

Theo Goins – 6’4, 317 lbs – Central Florida

Long shot, but never know (AJC)

Goins was an honorable mention for the All-Conference USA team. Goins was a four year starter at left guard, but he has the hardest rows to hoe in that there are a ton of current practice squad members already in front of him and with at least a year under his belt.

Analysis – On the surface, it seems that it’s a pretty long shot for both Smith and Goins. It will be especially challenging for Goins since Phillipkeith Manley, Harland Gunn, and Jacques McClendon have all had a year or more on the practice squad. And that’s not even including Garrett Reynolds, Joe Hawley, and Mike Johnson as well.

Fullback

Devonte Campbell – 6’2, 255 lbs – Maryland

Campbell only started 4 games while at Maryland. He did catch 10 passes for 84 yards with 2 TDs. Even though he didn’t have much production or starts in his career, he did run the forty in 4.65 and do 22 reps on the bench.

Deon Goggins – 6’1, 272 lbs – Syracuse

The former Orangeman had 16 TFL, , 2.5 sacks, and 1 forced fumble in two seasons at Syracuse after coming from two community colleges before that. The Falcons have him listed to compete at fullback. Goggins ran the 40 in 4.86 and did 31 reps on the bench. The Falcons must feel that Goggins has enough skill to warrant a look at fullback.

Renfree vs. Doege for 3rd QB (AJC)

Analysis – It seems that these two players will have a long way to go just to get on the practice squad. They may simply be insurance for Bradie Ewing, for it’s hard to imagine the Falcons using a practice squad spot on a project fullback. However, perhaps they feel the need to develop one on their own after having to pull veteran Mike Cox in multiple times over the years. But, these two will also have to compete against the RB undrafted free agents, especially Wingo, who could project to FB as well.

Defensive Tackle

Neal Huynh – 6’4, 315 lbs – Ohio

Huynh had pretty good production while at Ohio, pulling down 29 tackles, 8 TFL, and 2 sacks in 2012. Hunyh is a short-area defender, but is the biggest DT the Falcons have brought into camp in a while. Definitely has an advantage in his size and the fact that DT is one of the thinnest positions on the entire roster.

Adam Replogle – 6’3, 294 lb – Indiana

Was a four year starter for the Hoosiers, and set a record for most starts. He had 184 tackles, 28.5 TFL, 15 sacks, and 3 forced fumbles while at Indiana. The former Hoosier also put up 38 reps on the bench and had a pretty good forty (5.08) as well. Like Hunyh, they’re both in a good position, as DT Micanor Regis is the only other player after the big four of Babineaux, Peters, Jerry, and Robertson.

Analysis – Many fans may not realize the Falcons only initially carried 4 DTs on their final 53 man roster. Once Corey Peters became healthy, was pulled back up to the active squad. With the Falcons not taking a DT in the draft, it appears that practice squad player Micanor Regis (who had a good career at Miami) is in line to move up to the active roster. In that case, it would seem an almost certainty that either Huynh or Replogle could earn a practice squad spot.

Defensive End

Cam Henderson – 6-5, 245 lbs – Central Florida

Goodman Sets DE Deep (AJC)

Henderson had decent, if unspectacular numbers in his limited time at Central Florida: 61 tackles, 6 TFL, 2 sacks. He ran the forty in 4.74 and did 22 reps on the bench. It will be tough for Cam Henderson to make it after drafting two defensive ends in the draft and having two already on the roster.

Brandon Thurmond – 6’2, 260 lbs – Arkansas-Pine Bluff

Thurmond had pretty solid numbers while at Arkansas-Pine Bluff: 70 tackles, 25 TFL, and 17.5 sacks in 2012. As well as good stats, he also ran forty in 4.65. Like Henderson, it will be hard for Thurmond just to earn a practice squad spot, much less a roster spot.

Analysis - If this is a year ago, both Henderson and / or Thurmond may have a pretty good shot at the practice squad. But that was before the Falcons drafted two defensive ends (Malliciah Goodman, Stansly Maponga) to go with their other defensive ends competing for jobs (Cliff Matthews, Jonathan Massaquoi). If not all the current DE’s will make the roster, how can UDFA’s expect to?

Linebacker

Joplo Bartu – 6’2, 230 lbs – Texas State

Bartu posted good numbers with 95 tackles, 12 TFL, and 5.5 sacks. Ran a slower forty @ 4.85, but was one of the better 3 cone drill compared to other inside linebackers. Although it’s a good position to make a dent, Bartu’s got some competition.

Nick Clancy – 6’3, 232 lbs – Boston College

In his career, Clancy made 187 tackles, 12 passes defensed, and seven tackles for loss at Boston College. The former Eagle was named First Team All-ACC and led the conference in tackles. Clancy had a very good 3 cone drill, but did pretty poorly in the 40 (4.92).

Paul Worrilow – 6’0, 230 lbs – Delaware

The Blue Hen was a four year starter at linebacker, where he made 107 tackles, 9 TFL, and 3 sacks. This is a guy to keep an eye on. He ran the forty in 4.59, did 30 reps on the bench, and had an outstanding 3 cone drill (6.50).

Analysis – This appears to be the best bet for one of the players to at least make the practice squad. As it stands now, Pat Schiller and Brian Banks look to be favorites to take the 2 backup LB spots behind Weatherspoon, Dent, and Nicholas. Although traditional LB’s aren’t essential to Mike Nolan’s scheme, one of these three will likely make the practice squad.

Defensive Back

Troy Sanders – 6’0 , 214 lbs – Appalachian State

CB suddenly oozing with potential (AJC)

Sanders was a three year starter for the Mountaineers made 79 tackles and two interceptions. Like defensive end, safety seems like the longest of shots. They already have two Pro Bowl starters, Charles Mitchell, and just drafted two safeties. Sanders will need a huge camp to stay in consideration for even a practice squad spot.

Momo Thomas – 5’9, 185 lbs – Colorado State

The Ram started 35 games at cornerback for Colorado State. He had good career numbers: 151 tackles, with 15 passes defensed, 5 TFL, and 5 INT’s while playing for Colorado State. Injured his shoulder early in the season and doesn’t have the best of 40 times (4.56).

Analysis - While both UDFA defensive backs appear to have a really unlikely chance, Sanders seems the least possible of players to make it, not having much to do with him, but the fact that they are so loaded at safety already. As it stands, one of the draft picks (Motta or Ishmael) won’t make it if they carry 4 safeties as they usually do. Thomas could follow in a long line of CBs to come through the practice squad (Grimes, McClain, possibly Peyton Thompson), but his speed is pretty slow for a CB.

Specialists

Casey Barth – 5’11, 188 lbs – North Carolina

The younger brother of Connor Barth set school records at UNC for consecutive extra points and career field goals made during his career.

Sean Sellwood – 6’3, 203 lbs – Utah

Played in all 51 games from 2009-12 at Utah, serving as the punter and holder.

Analysis - Barring the second coming of Morten Anderson or Ray Guy, this seems like camp bodies, especially Sellwood since they’re set with Matt Bosher. Barth theoretically could make a practice squad spot since Bryant is aging, but don’t count on it.

200 comments Add your comment

Matty Bicep

May 6th, 2013
4:28 pm

Here ya go JB…..AJC has some tape of him in practice this weekend, but I can’t find it now…Nothing big, he look every good in at backpedal explodes out of his cuts, I mean real good… You got to be pretty good to be voted best player in the league from the Safety position too.

But here is some utube film, quite impressive in its own right.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=muVANT9nyJs

Matty Bicep

May 6th, 2013
4:39 pm

From Smitty….Looking at the tape above, guy looks like a real ball hawk, he rips the ball out, but is a sure tackler.

“Kemal Ishmael, one of the team’s three seventh-round draft picks, had a big practice.

“He had the interception and he took the ball away,” Smith said. “That was a nice play”

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Elvis

May 6th, 2013
5:27 pm

“Thar’s gold in them thar hills!” Finding it this early is beyond my guess but there are some that look really good and you know they are all going to be busting their butts. What we need is a practice squad with about 21 players on it.

D3

May 6th, 2013
5:53 pm

Great Monday Cage! –Wasn’t really feeling the UDFA class at first, but glad I did the post after all as there seems to be some potential gems in there. Will get to that more in depth in a little bit, but wanted to share this that I just read from DOL……

I thought Philipkeith Manley could take the right guard spot, but there were some whispers that he reported to the offseason program close to 380 pounds. So it looks like a rematch of the Garrett Reynolds and Mike Johnson battle from the last two offseasons. Lamar Holmes has to be ticketed for right tackle at this point.

I mean, I’m not discounting the whispers, but dude was listed at 6′5, 309 last season. You mean to tell me he gained 70 effin’ pounds in a few months? Good lawd!

D3

May 6th, 2013
5:56 pm

Love Robert Alford. When reporters asking him questions, he responds “yes sir.” Man, haven’t heard that in awhile…….. manners.

tyler

May 6th, 2013
6:42 pm

D3, I noticed Alford’s manners as well. I also like his mentality on returning kicks, “first thing is catch the ball…second thing is to score.”

JB Falcon

May 6th, 2013
6:55 pm

Just changing out of my dog suit.

Big Ray

May 6th, 2013
7:34 pm

D3 ,

Masterful job of the UDFA groupings.

JB Falcon

May 6th, 2013
7:40 pm

After reading D3’s assessment I like the following for the PS.
R Wingo, RB – Just because S Jackson ain’t gonna last forever
T Jones, OT – Never hurts to have some beef in the freezer + Manley will need competition
Replogie. DT – Same as above plus I can’t pronounce his name so he must be unique.
Joplo Bartu, LB, good numbers, plus I can hear them now “Good pop, Jop!”
I would have to fly my copter up to Suwanee and put an eyeball on these youngsters to refine my posted opinions but that would take me away from my underground gambling and house painting enterprise.
I do wish them all the best and I’ll let TD & Co do the refinement for me. I’ll simply go over the list when they bring it by for our weekly poker game and approve the ones I want.
If anyone hears from JB, tell him I said thanks for letting me use his computer.

Big Ray

May 6th, 2013
7:52 pm

With guys like Peyton Thompson and Terrence Johnson following (or at least trying to) in the footsteps of Robert McClain, I think the Falcons will be paying a lot of attention to UDFA DBs.

That said, it will be darn difficult for any to make the team. I figure as far as CBs go, there will be a dead heat between Johnson and Thompson – but with Nolan’s emphasis on CBs, both could make the squad (they’re gonna have to be good at STs as well, however). I think Dominique Franks is gone for good this time unless he can show significant improvement at the CB position. He’s worth next to nothing on STs, Alford will take his job as a return man, somebody else might bump him there as well.

I think Nolan’s influence will be felt much more strongly this year, and that carries over to other positions besides CB. Motta and Ishmael will probably have to make their bones on STs to remain on the squad, but I have a hunch they will push very hard for more than that. Schillinger and Mitchell obviously have more time in the Falcons system, which would give them a leg up…but talent is talent. These two youngsters may very well simply be better football players. We will see.

In short – I think maybe one DB will make the PS. And I’m not even sure about that.

Big Ray

May 6th, 2013
8:04 pm

Moving on to LB.

Worrilow has the most intriguing underwear Olympics numbers, but how good of a football player he is will determine whether or not he makes the PS.

Nick Clancy has nicer physical stature and some solid numbers to back it up.

One of these guys will make the PS, but will have to be good on STs, or they’ll be going elsewhere.

The Defensive Line –

I don’t expect any DE prospects to make it. Can’t see how. Henderson has better prototypical DE size, especially if he can pack on another 10-20 lbs. However, on this team you’re either an edge-bending pass rusher or a guy who sets the edge against the run.

Henderson doesn’t have the size (weight) and I suspect lacks the strength as well. On the other hand, Thurmond has the size to work with, and seems to have the speed as well. Again – absent some brilliant STs play, I don’t see how he wins out against the load that’s already at the position.

Defensive Tackles – surely we have room for another guy at this position. We didn’t draft one, we didn’t sign one in FA (at least not yet…and no reason to think that changes). Replogle and Huynh both have a chance to push Micanor Regis…up…or out….

Big Ray

May 6th, 2013
8:17 pm

The Offensive Line.

I consider it wise to take Kentucky Center/Guard Matt Smith and groom him. Same with all three tackles – though I will say this – anybody who can’t report to the next activity in shape, need not apply. That includes massive hogs like Terron Jones. Height and weight are measurable of physical stature – not indicators of talent and ability.

Speaking of which – if the rumors about Manley are true, that is disappointing to hear. And we don’t have time for that sort of foolishness.

Offensive Skill positions.

I don’t see any RBs making the PS, much less the roster unless somebody proves to be a more effective FB than Ewing/Snelling, or a better STs guy than Antone Smith.

The WR position is considered thin on this team, especially with Harry Douglas underwhelming last season. Somebody needs to push that spot (and that player), but we all know there is a loyalty factor there. I don’t think HD is worthy of it, but what do I know?

Not drafting a WR makes me think that the Falcons are happy to go the UDFA route, which must also mean (logically thinking, anyway) that they expect last year’s guys (Drew Davis, Kevin Cone) to push for mor elevated positions…or so one hopes.

Who knows if Toone can stay health/effective or if James Rodgers shows enough to catch on. Both guys are the “small speedster” type, but I say one of them gets pushed off the hill by Fresno State’s Rashad Evans or SMU’s Darius Johnson, both of whom have speed/quickness.

I figure Renfree beats out Doege for the 3rd QB spot, which might be on the PS.

The Time is NOW

May 6th, 2013
8:22 pm

Another great post, D3! Plenty of info I couldn’t have gotten anywhere else. Thanks!

JJ – you’ve gotta train those dogs to stay away from JB’s computer (lol).

The Time is NOW

May 6th, 2013
8:25 pm

BR – good posts.

JB Falcon

May 6th, 2013
8:50 pm

BR, all in all, you made a very good assessment. Keep in mind that we’re talking about UDFA’s which are on the bottom of the pile. Unless there is one that overcomes one of our drafted players it’s just about impossible to make the Falcon team. That just happens to be a good situation to be in, for the Falcons. In spite of all the “woe is us” talk prior to the draft, I think the FO has been keeping us fans in a very dark and damp environment and they have made a very good draft and covered their butt in case they didn’t.
So, that makes us a bunch of mushrooms, “Keep them in a dark and moist place and feed the a lot of natural fertilizer.”

Rocky

May 6th, 2013
8:53 pm

Florida,

My apolgy…keep posting bro!

tyler

May 6th, 2013
9:16 pm

If Wingo is 6′3″ 231 lb’s and runs a sub 4.5, we should line this kid up at LB.

John Waynesworld

May 6th, 2013
9:18 pm

Great job, D3. So many good players, so little room. Martel Moore and Nick Clancy are guys I see could latch on.

Moore plays in his highlight film like a seasoned pro and helped Northern Illinois to a historic 12-2 record and an Orange Bowl appearance.

After barely playing for 3 seasons, Clancy replaced Luke Kuechly at Boston College and was 1st Team All Conference in his first (and last) year as a starter. Not only is he a tackling machine but also a pass defender.

As far as the big uglies who knows what the coaches are looking for in these behemoths. As is the case with the news on Manley’s weight, bigger isn’t always better.

Interesting stats on LB Joblo Bartu…Just like D3 says, last season he had 12 Tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks, but he got most of those in one game. In the last game of the season against New Mexico State, Bartu tallied 8 TFLs and 4 sacks in a 66-28 blowout.

The Time is NOW

May 6th, 2013
10:11 pm

Competition brings out the best in true football players. Looks to me like the FO brought in some healthy competition for roster spots (and PS) during the offseason.

JB Falcon

May 6th, 2013
10:15 pm

Disregard this post if you like because I can’t remember where I read it but we have a guy with an 87″ wingspan!! I pulled out my tape today and the guy is wider than a than my pickup truck!

jdiggitty

May 6th, 2013
10:30 pm

JWW,

Atleast he had 8 TFL in the last game of the season and not the first! Haha either way, I watched the highlight reel on Bartu and he looks like a baller, atleast against college competition.

D3 and BR, nice rundown on the analysis, I tend to agree with most of what you both were saying. Can’t wait to see Wingo and Replogle make the 53 man squad this year. Wouldn’t mind seeing one of the WRs sneak into the mix, but they all seem to be wearing wet shoes when they run (~4.6 seconds in the 40 for Johnson and Moore, not exactly blazing, but then again neither is Wes Welker, and you could say he’s done alright for himself as a slot receiver)

Mrs. Dawn M. Jones

May 7th, 2013
12:12 am

The massive hog on the Offensive line standing at 6′8 inches tall is my son Terren D. Jones from Alabama State University. I’d appreciate it greatly if when you write and talk about him as you most certainly will continue to do ; that you’d at least attempt to get the correct spelling of his name and his height correct. Thank you very much!

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Big Ray

May 7th, 2013
3:36 am

Was looking at D. Ledbetter’s “5 things from rookie camp” and had a few thoughts (yeah, I know..imagine that).

Linebacker Brian Banks certainly looks the part in shorts, jersey and a helmet. During a major part of the first practice session I concentrated on Banks’ every move. He appeared to be in the right place and flowed to the ball well. Later in the seven-on-seven drills, he shoved tight end Levine Toilolo to the ground with the flick of his wrists. Powerful. He later re-routed a running back that was running through his zone with force.

I should be happy about this, right? Well, what it told me is that our TE is a major project. Being shoved off his route was an issue in college, if I recall correctly from some of his scouting reports. I know the guy can catch. I know he makes a nice red zone target. But if he is easily moved off of his routes, none of that will matter. If you can’t get to a “target” spot, then you’re useless to the QB. No matter HOW tall you are.

Super-sized offensive lineman. All of the offensive tackles and guards were huge. Valdosta State’s Ryan Schraeder (6-7, 300) , McNeese State’s Alce Savoie (6-7, 322), Alabama State’s Terren Jones (6-7, 341), Central Florida’s Theo Goins (6-4, 317), Middlebury’s Ryan Moores (6-5, 308) and Eastern Washington’s Will Post (6-5, 308) were all on hand. Moores and Post were on tryouts.

I sincerely, if illogically, hope that at least three of these big guys make the PS. We don’t seem to like drafting them, so fine – pick ‘em up, then coach ‘em up. There can be no excuses, no alibis. You don’t draft the position? Then you damn well better develop what you bring in. NO EXCUSES.

Big Ray

May 7th, 2013
3:39 am

Ms. Jones,

This is a fan blog. We discuss what we read and hear. You want to pick a bone with somebody? How about the actual beat writer? Read the link below, and read #5.

http://www.ajc.com/weblogs/atlanta-falcons/2013/may/06/5-things-we-learned-rookie-minicamp/

Best of luck to your son, hope he has what it takes to make this darn fine squad.

Big Ray

May 7th, 2013
3:47 am

JB ,

I hear what you’re saying. When you won’t draft a particular position, however – it must mean that you think you have enough already and/or you prefer to go UDFA at the position.

The FO hasn’t spent much in the way of OL picks in 5 years. We’ve drafted 2 guys in the top two rounds – Baker is the only 1st round guy and Konz is the only 2nd round guy (if I remember right). Mike Johnson and Lamar Holmes are 3rd rounders. Everything else is 4th round or later (weren’t many of those, either), and the rest are UDFA/FA types.

So like TD said, “it’s time.” Run what you brung, but that’s the thing – if we’re going to keep going this route then we need to coach them up . No more wasting away for 3 or more years on the PS like Jose Valdez, or getting snatched away like Bryce what’s-his-name (by the Saints, no less!), or disappearing off the grid like Andrew Jackson. Either they fit or they don’t. Either you can work with them or you can’t.

I’m really bummed to hear Manley may have reported to camp 70 damn lbs overweight. WTF, man. So fine, take a few of these monsters and work them hard, but work them smart. Invite more, if necessary.

Also, outside of Julio Jones and Kerry Meier, who have we drafted at WR in the last 5 years? Again, going the cheap route. Well, time to coach..them…up…or let somebody else have a shot. HD ain’t doing a damn thing out there worth writing home about. Surely Cone and Davis can get more opportunities? Maybe somebody else?

I know we’re talking about UDFAs, who are usually at the bottom of the pile for a reason. But when that’s how you choose to address certain positions, then you need to be good at it, and the prospects need to be something that you can work with.

That’s really all I’m saying.

Big Ray

May 7th, 2013
3:48 am

Time – thank you sir.

tyler – agreed…if he can cover.

marko

May 7th, 2013
6:37 am

Paul Worrilow is my dark horse candidate to make the starting roster. The similarities between him and Jessie Tuggle seem obvious. Both were small school guys with excellent strength, speed and production. Both would have been drafted had they been a little taller. They’re nearly identical from the standpoint of size. at six foot even, Paul’s actually an inch taller.

The Bleacher boys came up with their list of the 25 best undrafted free agents of all-time. They didn’t mention the Hammer. I have to admit that I wasn’t familiar with every name on their list. I wonder how many of the guys they named played in 5 Pro-bowls. like Jessie. I’m also curious how many of the dudes, they deemed worthy of mention, were on the top five all-time list for tackles.

You know what? Some of of these list are pretty damned stupid. Anyway Paul Worrilow will have to show more than Jessie Tuggle’s size , and speed, He’s going to need the heart of a Hammer. If he can show himself worthy in that department, the Falcons may have scored a free agent heist.

D3

May 7th, 2013
7:20 am

Great Tuesday Morn’ Cage! — Some potential gems in this UDFA class, even if not the biggest of names (Chase Thomas, etc). I still say that it’s going to be next to impossible for most of these players to not only make the roster, but also the practice squad. Each year, it’s usually only maybe one that makes the 53 man (DDavis, Palmer, etc) and around 4-5 make the practice squad. I don’t have the exact numbers in front of me, but I think it’s roughly half of the players that turn over each year for the PS. Maybe more.

Mrs. Jones — Thanks for the correction on the name. I can sympathize since people have been spelling my name (both first and last) wrong my entire life. Regarding the height, I simply took that from the Falcons AJC beat writer. Looking at his official height, he was measured at 6′7 5/8. Best of luck to your son.

Big Ray — Great points my man. Agreed on the development. I think it’s worked out well for them in the WR route, but I think this is the last year they can get away with it. Unless they think that Cone, D.Davis, or Marcus Jackson has #2 WR potential, they’re going to have to draft one next year. They don’t want one of their best strengths (JJ, Roddy) to take a huge dip when Roddy declines / retires. We know HD ain’t it. I get the feeling that they’re not going to allow any major competition to HD (shocking, I know), but they got some major issues to address in 2014. Rashad Evans is the guy that sticks out to me due to his speed and game-breaking ability. Seems like something we’ve been waiting for from another slot receiver.

RE: OL Development — Also heavily agree. I see one of the PS OG’s making the jump (I refuse to believe that Manley gained 70 lbs in 2 months, c’mon DOL), and that they’ll still keep one or two on the PS. I could even see one of these OT’s making the jump to the 53 man roster. Right now, we have Holmes, Baker, and Johnson at OT. We always carry 4 OT’s. I could see either Jones, Schraeder, or Savoie making the jump and another making the PS.

John Waynesworld

May 7th, 2013
7:23 am

Actually Terren is 6′ 7-5/8″.

D3 spelled it right and that’s all we care about here.

D3

May 7th, 2013
7:29 am

BR — That bothers me too regarding Toilolo. It’s so early and it was just one practice, but that just stokes the fears that the guy was a major project reach. If you have to start splitting out your TE wide so he won’t get jammed, than there’s an issue, especially for a guy you think has “#1 potential.” This is also something that reaffirms my belief that Coffman is the future as the #1 TE and Toilolo is #2. Looks Palmer will be on the outside looking in. Maybe they can stash him on the PS for a year in the same vein of Schillinger or Meier for a year.

marko — Totally agree about Worrilow. Had no idea about this guy and really like what I’m reading. He’s got really good stats and also good combine numbers. Unless I’m reading something wrong on his 3 cone drill, he blew every single LB away in that drill of all LB’s at the combine. Good speed and good strength. Seems like a speed backer who can hit, rush the passer, and likely cover with that type of quickness. I think there’s an outside shot that one of these guys could make the leap all the way up and one on the PS. I’m thinking that Schiller is getting close to being a favorite for a spot and one of these other guys could make it as the backup spot. After the top 3, they’ll like have an ILB (Schiller or Clancy) and an OLB (James, Banks, or Worrilow). I’m so done with Robert James. Dude’s expiration is up. Go with fresh legs and youth.

Paddy

May 7th, 2013
8:14 am

Couple thoughts…..What did Banks do already to almost secure a roster spot?

If Manley is 70 lbs over last years weight, could he really now be considered a serious NFL player now?

John Waynesworld

May 7th, 2013
8:31 am

BR, D3, I’m not buying the so-called “shove” that sent Toilolo down “with the flick of his powerful Thor-like wrists”. The young TE is brand spanking new and has his head spinning, unlike Banks who has been signed for 2 weeks and already in camp “studying”. Levine could have been paying too much attention to his technique or simply just not expecting it and was off balance. Anybody who blocks as well as Toilolo did at Stanford is not getting shoved around by a Linebacker.

Other than linemen blocking drills, which seemed pretty tame, I didn’t see any video footage of other players knocking each other down to the ground. I’m also sure a FA rookie LB knocking down our 4th round draft pick without any body padding on is not at all what Smitty wants happening in his mini-camp.

waynester

May 7th, 2013
8:41 am

Looks like J Abe is about to be signed by the Titans. NFL.com reported that we tried to work out something with JA after he was cut but it doesn’t appear that we were willing to go up to the $5mil that JA said he was looking for. I doubt TENN will, either–but they seem ready to ink him to some kind of deal as a situational rusher. That had to have influenced our draft, especially the Maponga pick…..

Hamad Meander

May 7th, 2013
10:28 am

For the record, I don’t think Brian Banks will make the roster. As far as UDFA, I am pulling for Ronnie Wingo because of his speed and size, Ryan Schraeder at OT because of our lack of depth with true tackles, and Adam Replogle because I’ve heard he has a good motor and can play at a level that gives us production at an economical price.

The best we can really hope for is that we find one gem in this group that makes the active 53 man roster. Other than that, they will be tackling dummmies on the practice squad.

waynester

May 7th, 2013
11:18 am

Steve Wyche is reporting that Richard Seymour says he “still wants to play”. That could be code-speak for “I’m now willing to take less”. The Falcons and Pats are the only 2 teams mentioned in the article, since it’d be a good story if he went back to NE and we had some talks with him(his rep) earlier before the draft. The Clabo $$$ comes off the books June 1 which would leave us enough to sign our picks and pick up a FA at a REASONABLE rate. Whether he’d be a distraction is another story since he rarely seems content but the talent is still there and he’s a savvy trench warrior that MUST be accounted for on every play. That could make our LBs and S’s look really good rushing the passer as RS occupies a couple of blockers while Babs crushes another 2…..

Brothas Hunt 2

May 7th, 2013
11:55 am

K. Ishmael and Z. Motta will make the 53-man roster becuase both safties are versatile. They can play free saftey and strong safety. Nolan has the option to move them around in the defense for run support and to cover TEs. Part of Mike Nolan’s answer to the read option is going to include safeties that can come up in run support, tackle effectively, and play pass coverage. Both guys will also play special teams. Shawn Schillinger has been with the Falcons for three seasons and he will be let got becuase from what I can see from Ishmael and Motta’s college tape, they have more talent than Schillinger. Chris Hope’s services will also not be retained this season because the Falcons are going with the youth movement.

[...] Will Atlanta Falcons Undrafted Free Brokers Make the Roster? Jones is a monster of a guy and hails from an really productive Alabama State team that developed above 400 yards of offense per recreation. Jones is practically ….. I figure Renfree beats out Doege for the third QB location, which may be on the PS. Url Report … Read through far more on Atlanta Journal Structure (site) [...]

Flo - Ri - Duh

May 7th, 2013
1:36 pm

Rocky – Apology accepted…. over and done with.

Free agents still available according to scout.com:

Dwight Freeney (DE) **** 11 year vet
Richard Seymour (DT) **** 12 year vet
Shaun Phillips (OLB) **** 9 year vet
Daryl Smith (OLB) **** 9 year vet
Brad Jones (ILB) **** 4 year vet
Barrett Ruud (ILB) **** 8 year vet
Brandon Moore (OG) ***** 10 year vet
Kevin Boothe (OG) **** 7 year vet
Andre Smith (OT) ***** 3 year vet

These are still unsigned UFA’s according to scout.com.

Seymour & Freeney are the most interesting to me, for depth if not starters, as they have both indicated they would lower their asking price to go to the “right place” to finish out their careers – one or two year contracts at most.

Of course Andre Smith (OT) could be the long term answer for the Falcons there but they don’t have enough cap room to sign him.

Flo - Ri - Duh

May 7th, 2013
1:38 pm

Blog monster ate my lunch !

Flo - Ri - Duh

May 7th, 2013
1:39 pm

Rocky – apology accepted over and done with.

Flo - Ri - Duh

May 7th, 2013
1:52 pm

UFA’s still unsigned according to scout.com:

Dwight Freeney (DE) **** 11 year vet
Richard Seymour (DT) **** 12 year vet
Shaun Phillips (OLB) **** 9 year vet
Daryl Smith (OLB) **** 9 year vet
Brad Jones (MLB) **** 4 year vet
Barrett Ruud (MLB) **** 8 year vet
Andre Smith (OT) ***** 3 year vet
Brandon Moore (OG) ***** 10 year vet
Kevin Boothe (OG) **** 7 year vet

If you could sign ONLY one of these guys who would it be?

Flo - Ri - Duh

May 7th, 2013
1:54 pm

Blog monster got me again!

Anthony Brown

May 7th, 2013
2:33 pm

i think the falcons have a few guys that have a chance t make the roster.
Martel Moore – 6’0, 183 lbs – Northern Illinois
Nick Clancy – 6’3, 232 lbs – Boston College
Neal Huynh – 6’4, 315 lbs – Ohio
Terren Jones – 6’7, 341 lbs – Alabama State

Falcon 34

May 7th, 2013
3:14 pm

Anthony Brown, good list. I like Huynh a lot as well, could finally be that “big boy” many of us have wanted. I happen to like Evans a touch more than Moore, but also like Clancy. Think he’ll definitely earn a practice squad spot. Make sure to get Terren Jones name spelled correctly and his height is actually 6′7_5/8, so make sure you get that correct when discussing him.

tyler

May 7th, 2013
3:29 pm

Lol on the Terren Jones correction 34.

JB Falcon

May 7th, 2013
4:11 pm

If Mrs. Jones can raise and control a son who is 6′75/8″, 34 don’t want to get on her bad side. :)

Big Ray

May 7th, 2013
4:32 pm

Big Ray

May 7th, 2013
4:33 pm

Maybe we’ll be fortunate and will be talking about Jones even more in the fall/winter. I’ll bet Ms. Jones would like that ….