Draft day (Part II): Tebow top 15, Morgan to Falcons?

Ken Whisenhunt isn't the biggest fan of Matt Leinart, so having interest in Ben Roethlisberger makes sense.

Ken Whisenhunt isn't the biggest fan of quarterback Matt Leinart, so having interest in Ben Roethlisberger makes sense.

UPDATE: Tim Tebow was taken by the Denver Broncos at No. 25 in the first round.

Thought I’d check in one more time before heading out to Flowery Branch, because we’re into the seven-hour countdown to the Falcons’ pick and there might be traffic. But first, here are a few things that have caught my attention of late.

(If you missed it, click here for our earlier pre-draft warm-up blog.)

TEBOW KNOWS ALL: There are two stories about the most talked-about NFL draft pick whom nobody seems to agree on. Tebow’s father, Bob Tebow, whom I’m guessing can’t be completely objective on these matters, told a Jacksonville radio station, “If the Jaguars don’t take him at 10, he’ll be gone by 15.”

Really? For what it’s worth, teams 11 through 15 in the draft are (in order): Denver,  Miami, San Francisco, Seattle and the New York Giants.

The other story has to do with comments attributed to Jimmy Sexton, Tebow’s agent, in an ESPN.com feature, in which he says he already know where the player will be drafted. When asked if the pick would shock the world, Sexton said, “I don’t know if it’s gonna shock the world because I always thought he was going to do well. But we pretty much know. We have a pretty good idea what’s going to happen.”

Here’s what I know about NFL drafts: Nobody other than the general managers making the selections know what will happen, and sometimes even they don’t really know. Any unexpected selection ahead of them can cause a ripple effect. Secondly, players and agents are told all the time, “If you fall to us, we’ll take you.” And then often, they never get the phone call.

So if you want to know how much credence I give either of these stories, make a circle with your thumb and index finger.

ROETHLISBERGER UPDATE: He’s still a Steeler. He may remain a Steeler. But several teams have been linked to Ben Roethlisberger in trade talks, including, but not limited to: St. Louis, Oakland, Arizona, Jacksonville, San Francisco, Buffalo, Seattle and Cleveland. Feel free to Google.

The most intriguing one is Arizona. Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt, the former Georgia Tech and Falcons’ tight end, was Roethlisberger’s offensive coordinator in Pittsburgh.  It’s also well established that the franchise is not sold on former first-round pick Matt Leinart.

A blogger on the Cardinals’ own website managed to get access to Whisenhunt (shocking!) and persuaded him to give some general comments (shocking!) about the trade rumor. Whisenhunt managed to verbally tip-toe to avoid tampering charges.

Georgia Tech's Derrick Morgan, seen here laughing at a youth clinic in Central Park, certainly wouldn't mind falling to the Falcons.

Georgia Tech's Derrick Morgan, seen here laughing at a youth clinic in Central Park, certainly wouldn't mind falling to the Falcons.

Read into the quotes what you like: “It seems like you’d be hard-pressed to find a team that hasn’t been linked to [Roethlisberger]. At this time of year, there’s no shortage of information and misinformation flying around; who teams are interested in drafting, who they’re not, who’s gonna be traded, etc. From our standpoint, it doesn’t seem to make sense to publicly comment on which rumors are fact and which are fiction but I can tell you there’s a fair amount of each.”

MORGAN FALLS TO FALCONS? I like Don Banks of SI.com a lot, and he’s as solid a football writer as they come. But I would be stunned if what he predicts in his final mock draft today actually happens: Derrick Morgan of Georgia Tech falling to the Falcons at 19th.

Banks writes of Morgan: “The Falcons, in need of a front-seven player who can spruce up their pass rush, can’t believe their luck in finding Morgan, a hometown hero of sorts, still on the board. He’s a versatile 4-3 end who many believe is the draft’s safest pass-rushing prospect.”

If this becomes true, Banks certainly pegged it with “can’t believe their luck.”

KIPER’S DRAFT: It’s occurred to me after the last blog when I referenced Mel Kiper’s mock draft — generally the most discussed one since he works for ESPN — that most of you don’t have access to it because I’m one of the nation’s only 17 “Insider” subscribers. So here you go. Mail me a nickel.

(I decided to bold face all SEC and ACC players, figuring there was more interest in them.)

Mel Kiper’s Final Mock

1. St. Louis: Oklahoma QB Sam Bradford.

2. Detroit: Nebraska DT Ndamukong Suh.

3. Tampa Bay: Oklahoma DT Gerald McCoy.

4. Washington: Oklahoma OT Trent Williams.

5. Kansas City: Tennessee S Eric Berry.

6. Seattle: Oklahoma State OT Russell Okung.

7. Cleveland: Georgia Tech DE Derrick Morgan.

8. Oakland: Notre Dame QB Jimmy Clausen.

9. Buffalo: Rutgers OT Anthony Davis.

10. Jacksonville: Clemson RB C.J. Spiller.

11. Denver (from Chicago): Alabama LB Rolando McClain.

12. Miami: Texas OLB Sergio Kindle.

13. San Francisco: Iowa OT Bryan Bulaga.

14. Seattle (from Denver): Texas S Earl Thomas.

15. N.Y. Giants: Missouri OLB Sean Weatherspoon.

16. Tennessee: South Florida DE Jason Pierre-Paul.

17. San Francisco (from Carolina): Florida CB Joe Haden.

18. Pittsburgh: Florida G/C Maurkice Pouncey.

19. Falcons: Michigan DE Brandon Graham.

(Kiper’s comment: “I’ll repeat again that Graham is as productive a player as you’ll find in the draft. He led the nation in tackles for loss, even as opposing offenses targeted him. His battle was proving that he is more than a potential 3-4 outside linebacker. Well, the proof is here. Graham has the leverage to be disruptive against the run, and his ability to disrupt the backfield as a pass-rusher is unquestioned.)

20. Houston: Fresno State RB Ryan Mathews.

21. Cincinnati: Oklahoma State WR Dez Bryant.

22. New England: Oklahoma TE Jermaine Gresham.

23. Green Bay: Idaho G Mike Lupati.

24. Philadelphia: Boise State CB Kyle Wilson.

25. Baltimore: Georgia Tech WR Demaryius Thomas.

26. Arizona: Tennessee DT Dan Williams.

27. Dallas: Indiana OT Rodger Saffold.

28. San Diego: Alabama CB Kareem Jackson.

29. N.Y. Jets: East Carolina DT Linval Joseph.

30. Minnesota: Florida QB Tim Tebow.

31. Indianapolis: TCU DE Jerry Hughes.

32. New Orleans: Penn State DT Jared Odrick.

Earlier posts

Draft day: Falcon options; Berry rips Deion; Tebow to Vikes?

Even with loss, Braves show they’re not going away

Live blog: Braves go for two over Phillies (and maybe a sign)

Goodell had no choice but to suspend Roethlisberger

Follow me on Twitter @JeffSchultzAJC and on Facebook.com/JeffSchultzAJC

41 comments Add your comment

Tucker T

April 22nd, 2010
4:25 pm

Matt

April 22nd, 2010
4:30 pm

Brent

April 22nd, 2010
4:33 pm

Morgan would be fantastic, buuuuuut not gonna happen

SimpleDawg

April 22nd, 2010
4:36 pm

SimpleDawg

April 22nd, 2010
4:37 pm

SimpleDawg

April 22nd, 2010
4:40 pm

All of these mock drafts have me confused…….

…..now, what is it the Falcons are looking to draft in the first round?

Brent

April 22nd, 2010
4:41 pm

Sorry to break your string guys, but I simply refuse

Chad

April 22nd, 2010
4:42 pm

Didn’t kiper say tebow wouldn’t be drafted in the first round before?

Josh M

April 22nd, 2010
4:44 pm

God, I hope Kiper is right, and not those mocks that have us taking a Nerd. The last thing we need is a second coming of Brooking.

Me

April 22nd, 2010
4:46 pm

Tebow won’t go top 15 but he could well go late first or early second. He will very determined, I would think, to make some teams pay for their lack of vision. One thing’s for sure, everyone seems to have an opinion. Another thing is for sure, no one really knows and won’t know for a couple of years.

Fried chicken skin is greasy and delicious

April 22nd, 2010
4:47 pm

I thought Maurkice Pouncey was a lock for the Falcons? That’s what Darryl’s been saying for months.

Brent

April 22nd, 2010
4:49 pm

Yeah, Josh, the last thing we need is another pro bowl linebacker

truth

April 22nd, 2010
5:03 pm

Pouncey is coming to Atlanta.

db

April 22nd, 2010
5:04 pm

Looking forward to watching. Man I miss football.

Eddy

April 22nd, 2010
5:11 pm

Josh M: You really wouldn’t be happy if the Falcons got Morgan just because he went to Tech? He is completely different than Brooking and any Falcons fan would be estatic to get him.

Mr. Turnip-Green Jeans

April 22nd, 2010
5:26 pm

I’d sure love for us to have Morgan.

HugoStiglitz

April 22nd, 2010
5:29 pm

Getting Morgan would be a dream pickup. I dont think the falcons will be that fortunate though without trading up. No way he slips to 19.

Pi$$onaJacket

April 22nd, 2010
5:32 pm

No way Tebow should be in the top 15. He might be a good college player, but would be a bust in the NFL and a waste of money. Tebow is so full of himself, he will be brought down to earth by failing to become a NFL QB like he thought he would be.

Pi$$onaJacket

April 22nd, 2010
5:35 pm

The Falcons don’t need another overrated tech player. Look what a bust that Brooking was. A lot of money was wasted on Brooking and we don’t need to waste more money on Morgan.

stir it up

April 22nd, 2010
5:43 pm

there will be a ton of trades, maybe not tonight but tomorrow – lookout! St. Louis is going to trade down, then Washington. Trading up will be Cleveland and Dallas

Brent

April 22nd, 2010
5:45 pm

I don’t think they should waste any more money on a 5 time pro bowler either. Not sure which team you’ve been watching

Willy

April 22nd, 2010
5:57 pm

You dumbasses who don’t want the Falcons to draft players because they went to this school or that school need to just stick to the UGA blogs. It’s just totally stupid.

messin with sasquatch

April 22nd, 2010
6:10 pm

u dikhds couldnt carry brookins jockstrap.

Brent

April 22nd, 2010
6:12 pm

Well said, Willy

waynester

April 22nd, 2010
6:33 pm

As a loyal Dawg I’d be hard-pressed to pass on Morgan. Some of it is homerism,but it’s also a function of familiarity with the player, having seen them more often and studying them more closely…

Mr. Turnip-Green Jeans

April 22nd, 2010
6:47 pm

Have a feeling Earl Thomas might slip to us. Like it.

Reid Adair

April 22nd, 2010
6:47 pm

The fact that any media outlet, ESPN or otherwise, would even interview an agent about draft positions prior to the draft seems a complete waste of time. I agree that Jimmy Sexton is probably full of hot air.

I don’t see Derrick Morgan being on the board at No. 19.

Does the AJC reimburse you for your “Insider” membership – or do you just get to write it off as a business expense?

[...] Oh, and I’m still not buying that Derrick Morgan will drop to 19th. [...]

Not Disappointed

April 22nd, 2010
7:05 pm

Let me smoke some of that Jeff? It’s been 29 years… I wish Tee Bow well, but not the first 15!

Dawgs2010

April 22nd, 2010
7:06 pm

I hope Dan Reeves and Ken Herrock are far away from Falcons headquarters tonight!

dan

April 22nd, 2010
7:10 pm

Derrick Morgan will be a bust! The guy is good against the run but terrible against the pass. He had 14 sacks but they were against the weak OT’s in the ACC. Mark my words, NFL OT’s will have their way with him.

I hope Al Davis drafts Tebow. Playing for the Oakland Raiders is career abortion, so……

Dawgs2010

April 22nd, 2010
7:11 pm

Tim Tebow is in for a RUDE awakening. The party is over for Mr. Tebow.

Not Disappointed

April 22nd, 2010
7:20 pm

Let’s go Derrick Morgan!

Gator Girl

April 22nd, 2010
7:39 pm

“Tim Tebow is in for a RUDE awakening. The party is over for Mr. Tebow.”

Nope, party is just getting started. It won’t be long now before he has achieved his dream of being on an NFL roster and football will be his job. Even if he gets the league minimum, $325,000 in 2010, he is going to be making a very nice living playing a game. Tim also has a nice little contract with Nike with plenty of incentives added on to the deal. Have fun at work tomorrow!

BG

April 22nd, 2010
8:47 pm

Gator girl it will be ok Timmy will be picked up by Friday. He is not first round material.

woodie

April 22nd, 2010
10:19 pm

You tell em Gator Girl…Tebow is a football player !!!

Bratty1

April 22nd, 2010
10:22 pm

BG..uhm..okay..haha haha

Tebow has haters here because he basically destroyed the Dawgs but that isn’t his fault, dawg fans, it’s the bulldogs fault for not being good enough.. As an Auburn Alumn I initially felt anything coming out of Northern Florida needed VD vaccinations and a rabies tag, but, he proved me wrong he is a great guy and a great player and he will be making more than the rest of us chatting here, combined.

[...] ♦ Draft day (Part II): Tebow top 15, Morgan to Falcons? [...]

Derrick Morgan - Ardub

April 23rd, 2010
12:07 am

[...] Ken Whisenhunt no es el ventilador más grande de mariscal de campo Matt Leinart, así que tener interés en Ben Roethlisberger tiene sentido. ACTUALIZACIÓN: Tim Tebow fue tomada por los Broncos de Denver en el puesto número 25 en la primera ronda. Thought I'd su entrada una vez más antes de salir a Flowery Branch, porque estamos en la cuenta regresiva de siete horas para recoger los Falcons, y podría haber tráfico. Pero primero, aquí hay algunas cosas que han llamado mi atención en los últimos tiempos. (Si te lo perdiste, haz click aquí para más temprano pre-proyecto de calentamiento blog.) ? Tebow SABE TODO: Hay dos historias sobre las que más se habla- sobre el proyecto de la NFL elige a quien nadie parece estar de acuerdo. Tebow padre, Bob Tebow, a quien supongo que no puede ser totalmente objetiva sobre estos asuntos, le dijo a una emisora de radio en Jacksonville, "Si los Jaguares no lo toma a los 10, que se irán antes del 15. "¿En serio? ¿Para qué vale la pena, los equipos de 11 a 15 en el proyecto son (en orden): Denver, Miami, San Francisco, Seattle y los Gigantes de Nueva York. La otra historia tiene que ver con URL del artículo original http://blogs.ajc.com/jeff-schultz-blog/2010/04/22/draft-day-part-ii-tebow-top-15-morgan-to-falcons/?... [...]

[...] ♦ Draft day (Part II): Tebow top 15, Morgan to Falcons? [...]