Draft night (LIVE): Behind the scenes at Falcons’ HQ

event-information-logoFLOWERY BRANCH — I’ve arrived at Falcons’ Draft Central.

Actually, more like Falcons’ Draft South of Central. The media is on the first floor of the team’s offices. Arthur Blank, Thomas Dimitroff, Mike Smith and everybody who really matters in the front office is on the second floor. This affords the executive branch privacy during important matters such as NFL drafts and national security. I also have this theory that Dimitroff controls a trap door that will open directly above me, dropping a barbell on my head if I question one of his selections (because I’m also sure the room is bugged. Just remember: You’re not really paranoid if everybody’s out to get you).

Before getting into draft, here’s a little peak into where I am:

NFL teams have their "war room." We in the media have our "bunker." As you can see, it's a buzz of activity.

NFL teams have their "war room." We in the media have our "bunker." As you can see, it's a buzz of activity.

I stopped at Chick-fil-A on the way. Figured the Falcons would serve us Pizza. Little did I know they would actually cater the evening with, "Italian Marinated Grilled Chicken." And yes, I'll eat again.

I stopped at Chick-fil-A on the way. Figured the Falcons would serve us pizza. Didn't know they would actually cater the evening with, "Italian Marinated Grilled Chicken." And yes, I'll eat again.

This is the AJC's signal-caller for the draft, D-Led. There's a story behind the green jacket. He played in coach Mike Smith's annual golf tournament and was voted the winner of the Worst Swing Award. Strict rules mandated Ledbetter wear the jacket Thursday.

This is the AJC's signal-caller for the draft, D-Led. There's a story behind the green jacket. He played in coach Mike Smith's annual golf tournament and was voted the winner (loser?) of the Worst Swing Award. Strict rules mandated Ledbetter wear the jacket tonight.

This is Reggie Roberts, the Falcons' vice president of football communications. By the time he gets finished with the news release, the Falcons will have drafted eight future Hall of Famers.

This is Reggie Roberts, the Falcons' vice president of football communications. By the time he gets finished with the news release, the Falcons will have drafted eight future Hall of Famers.

OK, back to my keyboard. The Falcons, barring trades, will have eight selections over three days: one in the first (19); two in the third (83, 98); one in the fourth (117); two in the fifth (149, 165) and two in the sixth (171, 189). The fact they don’t have a second-round pick has prompted speculation that Dimitroff may try to swing a deal to get into the round.

There are no new rumors regarding the Falcons, just re-cast versions of the old ones.  I still think it will be one of the five players we’ve discussed: center-guard Maurkice Pouncey, defensive end Brandon Graham, outside linebacker Sean Weatherspoon, wide receiver Demaryius Thomas and tight end Jermaine Gresham. I think it’s safe to say that, except for Gresham, whomever they draft will be ticketed for a starting job.

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

Nationally, the only new news is several outlets are reporting that the chances of the Pittsburgh Steelers dealing Ben Roethlisberger are close to dead.

That’s it for now. I’ll be back shortly.

Earlier posts

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

Draft day (Part I): 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

718 comments Add your comment

tbow

April 22nd, 2010
6:59 pm

tbow

April 22nd, 2010
7:00 pm

tbow

April 22nd, 2010
7:00 pm

BirdFan43

April 22nd, 2010
7:00 pm

Go Falcons, would love to see Morgan fall into the Falcons lap… No matter what happens I have faith in TD……

Josh

April 22nd, 2010
7:02 pm

Great pictures. Keep ‘em coming. Looking forward to following online tonight. Good work Jeff.

Beauvighn

April 22nd, 2010
7:06 pm

I would still like to see the Falcons trade down a spot or 3 and pick up a 2nd rounder. The likely trade partner would be NE who i think has 3 2nd’s.

Jeff Schultz

April 22nd, 2010
7:06 pm

6th … Thanks Josh.

Michael

April 22nd, 2010
7:08 pm

I’ll be reading your blog tonight Jeff. Keep posting some pictures.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

April 22nd, 2010
7:08 pm

That kid in the Green Jacket must be some awesome golfe!!!

Michael

April 22nd, 2010
7:09 pm

Ohh, am I crazy but did I read the Falcons are allowing the NFL network to film them (with no audio) when they’re up to pick?

Reid Adair

April 22nd, 2010
7:14 pm

Look forward to the coverage from you and D-Led (nice jacket, by the way) tonight.

Resign or Resign?

April 22nd, 2010
7:15 pm

tbow:
That’s the only time tonight Tebow will be mentioned in connection with first, second or third!

Resign or Resign?

April 22nd, 2010
7:16 pm

How could the Falcons allow “Tiger” Ledbetter anywhere near FB?

VtownBird

April 22nd, 2010
7:31 pm

Dled: “watch out there now” lol

gtme87

April 22nd, 2010
7:31 pm

D’Led

The jacket is missing the ANC Patch – close though

Jeff Schultz

April 22nd, 2010
7:38 pm

Bradford!?! Noooo! There goes my mock.

Heath

April 22nd, 2010
7:39 pm

“Al Davis takes Terry Tate.”

Heath

April 22nd, 2010
7:40 pm

Straight from the pages of DUH! Magazine!

gtme87

April 22nd, 2010
7:41 pm

D%$^, I had Jeff George going first again

Jeff Schultz

April 22nd, 2010
7:42 pm

I think Bradford could be the real deal. His injury history is the only thing that concerns me. … Most of you probably know is Billy Devaney worked with the Falcons for several years before getting the Rams GM job.

Heath

April 22nd, 2010
7:42 pm

Better buy some life insurance Sam, you’re not in OKC anymore.

Pi$$onaDAWG

April 22nd, 2010
7:45 pm

Maybe now FATT MATT will have a BACKSIDE to keep him safe so he can throw to GT—Johnson.

Jeff Schultz

April 22nd, 2010
7:45 pm

Ndamukong Suh, who will be the most misspelled name in newspapers tomorrow, goes second to the Lions, who by the way are building a pretty nice team. So far every mock is 2-for-2. … Next up: Tampa Bay, which is expected to take DT Gerald McCoy of Oklahoma.

gtme87

April 22nd, 2010
7:46 pm

Suh’s watch is bigger than my first car

Jeff Schultz

April 22nd, 2010
7:51 pm

GTme87 — His watch probably runs better than your first car too, right?

doggoneit

April 22nd, 2010
7:51 pm

Jeff who do You want them to Take?

Pi$$onaDAWG

April 22nd, 2010
7:52 pm

All the ALL-U-CAN Restaurants in Detroit are just counting their MONEY. SUH.

waynester

April 22nd, 2010
7:54 pm

Buc’s D just got tougher…

Jeff Schultz

April 22nd, 2010
7:54 pm

And that makes 3 for 3. If form holds, the fourth straight Big 12 player will come off the board now: OT Russell Okung of Oklahoma State to Washington. But Redskins are a bit of a wild card with rumors of a trade.

KSU OWL

April 22nd, 2010
7:55 pm

This is far too predictable. Waiting for the Raiders to do something stupid to entertain us.

Pi$$onaDAWG

April 22nd, 2010
7:56 pm

Suh rented that watch. The agents dress the players and just wait to get paid. It is like the OSCARS. Those people pimp a desinger or jeweler or who ever will start to pay them.

Jeff Schultz

April 22nd, 2010
7:56 pm

Doggoneit: Of the five players we’ve listed, I rank them like this: Sean Weatherspoon – Maurkice Pouncey – Brandon Graham – Demaryius Thomas – Jermaine Gresham. But honestly, you can make a case for those first three in any order.

gtme87

April 22nd, 2010
7:58 pm

My first car was a 1972 VW Bug and was great as long as you did not need to go up hill. So yes Jeff you are correct

KSU OWL

April 22nd, 2010
7:58 pm

Weatherspoon or Graham if they are still on the board, I’d say.

Biker_George

April 22nd, 2010
7:58 pm

They still need a QB

Pi$$onaDAWG

April 22nd, 2010
7:59 pm

DID McNabb play for UGA? He is all PUFFED just like the Bulldogs and still has little to show for it.

Gator Girl

April 22nd, 2010
7:59 pm

Good for Sam Bradford, at least he led his team to a conference title and a National Title game.

Jeff Schultz

April 22nd, 2010
8:00 pm

OK, there’s the first reach/surprise of the draft: OT Trent Williams of Oklahoma to Washington. This is the kind of thing that could cause a ripple effect.

Biker_George

April 22nd, 2010
8:00 pm

KSU I hope for Weatherspoon he has better side to side then Graham

Delbert D.

April 22nd, 2010
8:00 pm

I wonder what Ndamukong Suh uses as a nickname.

Me

April 22nd, 2010
8:00 pm

Sam Bradford. Another #1 NFL draft pick (also see Russell, JeMarcus, Stafford, Matthew) that was Gator-Bait in college. That Urban Meyer must be a hellova college coach!

Jeff Schultz

April 22nd, 2010
8:01 pm

Also, so far it’s Oklahoma 3, Nebraska 1 in draft.

Jeff Schultz

April 22nd, 2010
8:02 pm

KSU Owl — Like I’ve said, the only thing that concerns me about Graham is he’s only 6-1, kinda small for a starting DE. But I know he’s highly thought of.

gtme87

April 22nd, 2010
8:03 pm

Delbert D. Suh’s new nickname = Gotalota Yen

Delbert D.

April 22nd, 2010
8:04 pm

“he’s only 6-1, kinda small for a starting DE” – And they say Aaron Murray is too short…

Delbert D.

April 22nd, 2010
8:05 pm

gtme87 – Yuk-yuk-yuk! Goon ‘un!

KSU OWL

April 22nd, 2010
8:05 pm

Me too BG, I hope they take him, he’s a beast. I hear Denver may snag him though.

Delbert D.

April 22nd, 2010
8:05 pm

Oops, *Good ‘un*….

AndyC

April 22nd, 2010
8:06 pm

Eric Berry says he’s next.

Jeff Schultz

April 22nd, 2010
8:06 pm

And here goes Eric Berry No. 5 to Kansas City. Great pick for the Chiefs, as anybody who watched him play at Tennessee with attest.