NFL mock drafts say Falcons going defense (maybe Kindle)

Is Texas linebacker Sergio Kindle the answer for the Falcons' defensive problems?

Is Texas linebacker Sergio Kindle the answer for the Falcons' defensive problems?

With the 19th pick in the 2010 NFL draft, the Atlanta Falcons will select . . .  somebody on defense.

That is the consensus, as four mock drafts — including that of ESPN’s Mel Kiper, which was released Wednesday (requires subscription) — have the Falcons taking four different defensive players. Kiper, whose draft is listed below, projects the Falcons will select Texas linebacker Sergio Kindle:

The Falcons could use some help at OLB, and Kindle’s continued improvement throughout the season is appealing. He’s not quite in the class of [former Texas linebacker] Brian Orakpo, but he’s a similar type of player, and has also proven to be very physical.

Kiper has 21 underclassmen going in the first round, including Georgia Tech defensive end Derrick Morgan (sixth to Seattle) and running back Jonathan Dwyer (28th to San Diego). Morgan and Dwyer both will be gone in the first round according to two other mocks, listed below.

Last week, I blogged about the Falcons preparing for a coin flip to decide the 19th pick, and threw out five appealing players who might be available when they select. Maybe before draft day, I’ll do an actual mock and then we can all compare inaccuracies. Until then, here are a few others:

Bucky Brooks of NFL.com has his mock draft up. You’ll know it by the headline, “Mock draft 1.0: Where’s Tim Tebow? Not in this first round.”

Brooks has Morgan going fifth overall to the Kansas City Chiefs. He has the Falcons taking Penn State linebacker Navorro Bowman.

Mike Smith needs a playmaker at the weakside linebacker spot, and Bowman’s athleticism fits the bill.

♦ The FootballExpert.com, which must be accurate because, like, look at the name, has the Falcons taking Mississippi defensive end Greg Hardy.

The Falcons have to close the book on Jamaal Anderson who has not lived up to his top 10 pick status, and while it is possible [Kroy] Biermann or [Lawrence] Sidbury can step up their game the problem is compounded by John Abraham’s declining play. Of course, they also missed having #24 overall pick Peria Jerry at defensive tackle. He missed almost his entire rookie season. It seems almost counter-intuitive for them to spend another first rounder on an injury risk Rebel defensive lineman, doesn’t it? Maybe, but if you watched [Jerry and Hardy] together in 2008 this duo was formidable.

The same website has Morgan going 11th to Jacksonville and Dwyer going 28th to San Diego.

♦ NewNFLDraft.com has the Falcons taking cornerback Donovan Warren of Michigan.

The Falcons hurt a little bit in the 2009 NFL Season because of injuries. I think they need to get some play makers in this 2010 NFL Mock draft in order to get to the next level. Dowling is a great athletic CB who can help the Falcons in all packages immediately.

The same website has Morgan going eighth overall to the Oakland Raiders (God, save his soul) and Dwyer 24th to the New England Patriots.

Here is Mel Kiper’s mock first round:

Team              Player           Pos. College
1. St. Louis      Ndamukong Suh     DT  Nebraska
2. Detroit        Gerald McCoy      DT  Oklahoma
3. Tampa Bay      Eric Berry        S   Tennessee
4. Washington     Sam Bradford      QB  Oklahoma
5. Kansas City    Russell Okung     OT  Oklahoma State
6. Seattle        Derrick Morgan    DE  Georgia Tech
7. Cleveland      Joe Haden         CB  Florida
8. Oakland        Anthony Davis     OT  Rutgers
9. Buffalo        Jimmy Clausen     QB  Notre Dame
10. Denver        Dez Bryant        WR  Oklahoma State
11. Jacksonville  Jason Pierre-Paul DE  South Florida
12. Miami         Rolando McClain   LB  Alabama
13. San Francisco Trent Williams    OT  Oklahoma
14. Seattle       C.J. Spiller      RB  Clemson
15. N.Y. Giants   Carlos Dunlap     DE  Florida
16. San Francisco Earl Thomas       S   Texas
17. Tennessee     Everson Griffen   DE  USC
18. Pittsburgh    Brian Bulaga      OT  Iowa
19. Atlanta       Sergio Kindle     LB  Texas
20. Houston       Brian Price       DT  UCLA
21. Cincinnati    Aaron Hernandez   TE  Florida
22. New England   Ricky Sapp         LB Clemson
23. Green Bay     Taylor Mays        S  USC
24. Philadelphia  Navorro Bowman     LB  Penn State
25. Baltimore     Jermaine Gresham   TE  Oklahoma
26. Arizona       Dan Williams       DT  Tennessee
27. Dallas        Bruce Campbell     OT  Maryland
28. San Diego     Jonathan Dwyer     RB  Georgia Tech
29. N.Y. Jets     Golden Tate        WR  Notre Dame
30. Minnesota     Patrick Robinson   CB  Florida State
31. New Orleans   Jared Odrick       DT  Penn State
32. Indianapolis  Brandon Graham     DE  Michigan

Here’s NFL.com’s Bucky Brooks’ mock draft

Team              Player           Pos. College
1. St. Louis      Ndamukong Suh     DT  Nebraska
2. Detroit        Russell Okung     OT  Oklahoma State
3. Tampa Bay      Gerald McCoy      DT  Oklahoma
4. Washington     Trent Williams    OT  Oklahoma
5. Kansas City    Derrick Morgan    DE  Georgia Tech
6. Seattle        Carlos Dunlap     DE  Florida
7. Cleveland      Anthony Davis     OT  Rutgers
8. Oakland        Jason Pierre-Paul DE  South Florida
9. Buffalo        Bruce Campbell    OT  Maryland
10. Jacksonville  Brian Price       DT  UCLA
11. Denver        Rolando McClain   LB  Alabama
12. Miami         Sergio Kindle     LB  Texas
13. San Francisco Eric Berry        S   Tennessee
14. Seattle       Charles Brown     OT  USC
15. N.Y. Giants   Brandon Spikes    LB  Florida
16. San Francisco Joe Haden         CB  Florida
17. Tennessee     Everson Griffen   DE  USC
18. Pittsburgh    Patrick Robinson  CB  Florida State
19. Atlanta       Navorro Bowman    LB  Penn State
20. Houston       Earl Thomas       S   Texas
21. Cincinnati    Dez Bryant         WR  Oklahoma State
22. New England   Ricky Sapp         LB  Clemson
23. Green Bay     Jahvid Best        RB  California
24. Philadelphia  Taylor Mays        S   USC
25. Baltimore     Arrelious Benn     WR  Illinois
26. Arizona       Sam Bradford       QB  Oklahoma
27. Dallas        Bryan Bulaga       OT  Iowa
28. San Diego     C.J. Spiller       RB  Clemson
29. N.Y. Jets     Damian Williams    WR  USC
30. Minnesota     Terrence Cody      DT  Alabama
31. New Orleans   Selvish Capers     OT  West Virginia
32. Indianapolis  Jared Odrick       DT  Penn State

153 comments Add your comment

Blue Fender

January 20th, 2010
3:24 pm

I understand that there may not be any 1st round corners by the time we pick, but we do not need to pick LB with the first pick. There are more pressing needs.

Blue Fender

January 20th, 2010
3:31 pm

I wonder if the emotional outpouring from Tebow at the SEC championship (i.e. crying like a 3rd grader in pee wee football because he lost) has anything to do with him not being in the 1st round on these mock drafts?

GeoffDawg

January 20th, 2010
3:32 pm

If there are no quality corners available, drop Jamaal Anderson like a bad habit and go DE.

nickz

January 20th, 2010
3:32 pm

CJ Spiller! Although it’s looking more and more like he’s not going to fall to 19 (assuming Dimitroff’s coin flipping skills come through).

I would almost say DE over LB, but with no CBs available…best Defensive player is probably the way to go. Or trade down for a late 1st rounder (grab Warren or Robinson) and maybe get a 2nd round pick out of the deal as well.

Gordon Ely-Kelso

January 20th, 2010
3:34 pm

I think we need to get Joe Cox in the 1st or 2nd round to challenge Matt Ryan for the starting job. He’s a leader!!

PMC

January 20th, 2010
3:34 pm

Jason Pierre Paul is really shaping up as the next Jamaal Anderson.

GeoffDawg

January 20th, 2010
3:35 pm

Honestly though, does anybody really think Tebow is a first round guy? He’s either an unconventional QB who hasn’t played under center in a pro style formation or he’s a project converting to fullback, linebacker, or tight end. Other than the Jaguars who might get him for purely marketing reasons, is anyone that high on him?

PMC

January 20th, 2010
3:35 pm

Who wouldn’t love to have Sergio Kindle? I still think they need to upgrade massively at Left Tackle but I wouldn’t cry over having Sergio Kindle on the team.

nickz

January 20th, 2010
3:39 pm

Steers and queers from Texas…I’d pass on Kindle…

I do like the sleeper pick of Joe Cox in the first round…maybe his red hair can lite a fire under the defense and get them to play better…

Red Phallus on Poodle

January 20th, 2010
3:40 pm

We should keep our eye out for Brandon Spikes!

GeoffDawg

January 20th, 2010
3:42 pm

rimshot for Red Phallus on Poodle. Try the veal ladies and gentlemen.

AROB

January 20th, 2010
3:43 pm

I always thought that Mel kiper’s talent was more suited for used car lot than the draft room. The giants need LB’s and safety and maybe a DT in the first round not a DE…..I would love to see the giants trade up for Eric Berry or Rolando McClain.

SCfalconfan

January 20th, 2010
3:45 pm

OLB is a need as Peterson is likely gone after this season. Were the draft to fall like those two mocks, there really isn’t a great option at either of our two biggest needs (DE and CB). At that point you really have to look at Best Player Availalbe. I wouldn’t mind Bulaga (OT) or Spiller (RB) were they to be available. The Brooks mock above would be about a worst case scenario as there’s not really even a DE or CB that you could reach for at 19. I see us trading down in the first to get more picks. Dimitroff has done very well in the 3rd round and since we are without our 2nd round pick we may look to somehow get back in the 2nd round or pick up additional 3rd round picks.

GIANTS????

January 20th, 2010
3:45 pm

Dur…I’m Eli Manning…Dur…I play football…Dur…I have a brother named Peyton…Dur…

nickz

January 20th, 2010
3:52 pm

Apart from Haden, there’s not a elite CB in the draft…we FINALLY need to address this in Free Agency or via Trade and pay the $ it takes to get a top corner to Atlanta. Our current crop of CB’s would be more than serviceable lining up opposite an elite corner…

GeoffDawg

January 20th, 2010
3:58 pm

Do we know what, if any, elite corners are going to be available via free agency this year? I agree with Dimitroff’s philosophy of not overpaying players even if letting Foxworth go to the Ravens last year left us severely DB depleted.

I read ESPN.com

January 20th, 2010
3:58 pm

Thank god we have the AJC to tell us what is written on other websites!! What a job….

Jrm

January 20th, 2010
4:09 pm

Bucky has SF getting Berry and Haden, what a D that would be in a couple years.

nickz

January 20th, 2010
4:18 pm

Bucky’s Draft is laughable…I can’t see any way of Haden or Berry falling out of the top 10, let alone both.

My 5 year old brother could probably put together a more feasable 1st round draft than that…

Eli

January 20th, 2010
4:18 pm

Colt Mcoye?Tim Tebow?come on Sam Bradford stinks

GeoffDawg

January 20th, 2010
4:21 pm

I’d draft Bruce Campbell based on his Evil Dead work alone.

Steve

January 20th, 2010
4:21 pm

As a Rebels and a Falcons fan…NOOOOOOOOOO…on Greg Hardy….waaay to big a head case……

Old Homer

January 20th, 2010
4:23 pm

Hey, don’t draft that loser Joe Cox in the first round. Draft the great center at Weber State, my favorite team, Kyle Mutcher. Oh, I know, most so-called draft experts don’t even have Kyle on their draft board, but what do they know? He’s a Wildcat and I just know he’ll be starting from day one. He’ll make the rest of the offensive line of the Falcons look like amateurs. The Falcons will really be sorry if they pass this guy up. Don’t say you weren’t warned.

GeoffDawg

January 20th, 2010
4:24 pm

I see Charles Brown finally gave up his dreams of kicking and made the move to tackle.

PMC

January 20th, 2010
4:32 pm

Also…. Did Bucky Brooks play in the Big 12 or something???? Geez.

SOUTH GA DAWG FAN

January 20th, 2010
4:44 pm

the whole mock draft from kiper is off from the get go there is no way an OT get picked by Davis I don’t think his 40 will be good enough

ddawgdavis

January 20th, 2010
4:51 pm

Taylor Mays. No need to write anything other than his name. Gives the D a flex type player between Safety and LB. We can sign another DB.

taylor

January 20th, 2010
5:03 pm

i completely agree ddawg. i don’t know why we would even think about doing anything other than going with a defensive back first, seems like a no brainer to me.

Leedawg

January 20th, 2010
5:07 pm

If Spiller is on the board at 19, grab him. I’m certain TD will work some magic to pick up a second round pick.

Mike in Savannah

January 20th, 2010
5:09 pm

How about LB Sean Witherspoon from Missouri?

Josh

January 20th, 2010
5:11 pm

I’m a Georgia fan but I really hope we trade up and select Joe Haden. He was fantastic during his career for the Gators.

Joe B.

January 20th, 2010
5:14 pm

I would love to go Offensive Tackle with the first rounder…if Bulaga is or the kid from USC is there, we should pluck them. Either they can usurp Baker, moving him to RT, or they can be a very good RT.

If we do not go offensive tackle, and Spiller is there, you have to take him. I just do not see any 1st round value in an OLB. Bowman has been arrested several times, and Kindle, who was the top ranked player in the nation coming out of high school, was seen as a total bust until this season, in which he became a “nice player”-harly first round material.

Warren looks like a nice CB, but Grimes and Owens can get the job done. Their improvement in the last half of the season was immense. I have no idea why Emmit Thomas got let go, he should be in the Hall of Fame.

There are not a lot of 1st round impact DE’s either, or I would like to go there. Everson Griffin? Really? What has he ever done, except be a highly ranked recruit?

I think you could get great value with the guy from S. Fl, or one of the SCu players, Geathers or Norwood, in the later rounds. John Abraham was MIA this season, but if we could get one more year out of him, it will transition us to Sidbury and Bierman.

I would rank the Falcons’ needs as

1. Offensive Tackle
2. Backup running back/homerun threat
3. Impact Defensive End
4. Shut down Cornerback
5. Outside LB

SCfalconfan

January 20th, 2010
5:15 pm

@ taylor – if there’s not a defensive back worth the 19th pick then you don’t go defensive back. And by DB I really mean CB. We have good enough safeties already.

D Money

January 20th, 2010
5:17 pm

CB will not be there at 19 or 20. It’s more likely that a DE or OLB will be available. I think we could get someone like Leigh Bodden to fill in on the right side (bye bye Houston) with Grimes as backup. On the left side we’ll have Williams and Owens. Whatever happens I’ll be happy as long as it’s a defensive player chosen 1st in the draft.

Lou Holtz aka the Spitting Cobra

January 20th, 2010
5:26 pm

Kindle or Bowman would cool- both are playmakers. Not really feeling Greg Hardy. That would be a mistake I don’t see Dimitroff making.

headmofo

January 20th, 2010
5:26 pm

The smart money is in the Falcons moving to the bottom of the draft for a corner and picking up a 2nd round pick in the process. If we are able to move down in the draft we can address two of our largest areas of need without over spending. I also, agree that we can snag a good line backer in the later rounds no disrespect to Sergio but Peterson didn’t necessarily stink up the joint. Defensive End and Corner must be our top priority in FA or the Draft. Left Tackle is also an area of need despite having drafted one two years ago, Baker is often injured and is probably better suited to play right takcle (just watch the Tampa Bay games). Needless to say we are under the cap, move down and grab a couple of guys in FA that can help the team win now!! Move down Thomas, get us a 2nd round pick and a late first (Patrick Robinson late, Hardy in the 2nd round) or (Hardy late first Dowling in the 2nd round)

Mel Kiper

January 20th, 2010
5:27 pm

Cox is on my big board… for the CFL. He has a tryout with the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

Just Curious

January 20th, 2010
5:31 pm

Is it really permissible to re-post content (i.e., Kiper’s mock draft) that requires a paid subscription to access? Is that really fair use?

SCfalconfan

January 20th, 2010
5:32 pm

@ Joe B – Your needs are way out of whack. DE and CB are our biggest needs by far. Our pass defense was horrid this year. That said, those needs don’t seem to fit with what is projecting to be available at #19 so going OT or RB (though if we resign Norwood I think that goes out the window) becomes a legitimate pick. Based on the two drafts above, I wouldn’t go for a DE or a CB at 19. I’d look to trade down or look at OL or maybe RB (depending on Norwood) or OLB.

Glenn

January 20th, 2010
5:34 pm

As deep as this draft appears to be, with all of the Juniors coming out, trading down would be a good option if you can find a taker and there’s someone you still think you can get later on in the first round that can help you.

Word of advise this year, don’t draft anyone with any medical issues – you got nothing from your first two draft picks from last season, and you knew coming in they both had histories of injuries.

wolfman

January 20th, 2010
5:38 pm

Don’t see any DAWGS in there :-)

James

January 20th, 2010
5:41 pm

GeoffDawg, I concur. Bruce Campbell would be a fine edition to any team, especially if the zombie apocalypse I am expecting happens anytime soon.

James

January 20th, 2010
5:42 pm

I don’t know about Brown. He has a complex. I know his psychiatrist.

Joe B.

January 20th, 2010
5:45 pm

@SCFalconfan,

Thanks for biting, I knew someone would. Look, yes, our defense was bad, but remember before the season how we thought the defense needed only to be adequate to chip in and help the offense?

Same goes for this year. Our number 1 asset is Matt Ryan. He is the guy we must keep upright for 16 games per season for the next 10 years. Yes, if Joe Haden falls to us, it is a no-brainer, but this team needs to have a GREAT offensive line surrounding Ryan.

Clabo is a goner, so it makes sense to take a tackle now and develop him with Baker to have bookends for Ryan. Hopefully, this will be the best pick the Falcons have in the next 5 years, and there are 4-5 quality OT’s available.

Look at the teams in the playoffs: Jets, Minnesota, Saints and Colts. Those are the 4 best offensive lines in the NFL. Coincidence?

willie

January 20th, 2010
5:48 pm

We do need LB help, but we’ve gotta go corner unless a good looking DE (doubtful) is there. Taylor Mays will be tough to pass on too, if he is there.

[...] State31. New Orleans Jared Odrick DT Penn State32. Indianapolis Brandon Graham DE Michigan NFL mock drafts say Falcons going defense (maybe Kindle) | Jeff Schultz __________________ Wait Til Next [...]

DHD

January 20th, 2010
5:50 pm

Build defense with experienced free agents and select Spiller to take over for Turner when the time comes. We also have lots of other picks to go defense if we need to but I would go Spiller if he’s available.

SCfalconfan

January 20th, 2010
5:52 pm

@ Joe B – IF, and that’s a big IF, Clabo is not resigned, then obviously OT becomes a top priority (right up there with DE). I’m not sure he won’t be resigned. It doesn’t look like a CBA will be in place by March 1, so Clabo will only be a RFA and we would likely resign him to a tender then so we wouldn’t be in the market for a OT. Until Clabo is gone, OT simply isn’t a big need (though given how one of the above drafts fall I would strongly consider Bulaga with our pick).

Paddy

January 20th, 2010
5:53 pm

This might surprise you but Joe Cox is in the top 15 for the NY Titans and the Canton Bulldogs. Just heard from the KC/Omaha Kings and they think JC has a chance at point guard. Cincinnnati Royals have yet to check in!!! Remember that great combo; Polk to Lacy back to VanLier!

willie

January 20th, 2010
5:54 pm

I also agree with Joe B. that you can never have too many offensive lineman. Oher went 23rd last year and slipped right in as a stud RT.