Posts Tagged ‘draft’

The new Falcons: They’re real simple and really smart

Say this for the newfangled Falcons: They don’t lie. They tell you what they plan to do, and then they do it. On the day Mike Smith became their coach, he said he wanted to run the ball and to stop the run. Last season his team managed half that. Round 1 of the 2009 draft was the first step toward getting the other half right.

“You want someone who can create double-teams and unblocked situations,” Smith said Saturday, and in Peria – pronounced Per-RAY – Jerry, they believe they’ve found a newer and better and (slightly) sleeker Grady Jackson. And we on the periphery have no reason to doubt them. They’ve gotten pretty good at this talent-identification thing.

Already the Falcons are better than they were when they walked off in the field in Glendale, Ariz. They have a Pro Bowl tight end who will make a good offense better still, and now they have a defensive anchor.

There can be no real quibbles with this pick. (Not even from this observer, who favored Evander …

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Live from Flowery Branch: Stafford, Ziggy and the NFL draft!

Flowery Branch — A declaration: I wouldn’t have taken Matthew Stafford No. 1 overall. I say this as someone who saw his first collegiate pass (against Western Kentucky) and his last (against Michigan State) and several hundred in between. He’s a great talent, but I don’t think he’ll be a great NFL quarterback.

I thought he was a very good college quarterback, and there’s no doubt he fits the NFL prototype as well as anyone ever has — he’s smart, he’s tall and he has, as the world knows, that big right arm. My reservations have nothing to do with anything physical. My reservations regard attitude.

I see Stafford as a guy who too often tried to get by on the strength of that big arm and who threw too many killing interceptions as a consequence. (See Florida, 2008.) I see a quarterback who wasn’t so much a team leader as a solo act. More to the point, I’ve never seen in Stafford the attention to detail that you get with Peyton Manning or Tom Brady or, yes, Matt Ryan.

Not long ago …

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A special Bradley’s Buzz: All-draft edition with T. Gonzalez!

Late-breaking update: The Falcons have a tight end!

And he isn’t Brandon Pettigrew. He’s Tony Gonzalez, the 10-time Pro Bowler. Per esteemed AJC colleague D. Orlando Ledbetter, the Falcons have acquired Gonzalez from Kansas City for a second-round draft pick in 2010.

This does two things: First, it enables the Falcons to go hog-wild in the pursuit of defense over the weekend, and second, it pretty well cements the bond between Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff and his Kansas City counterpart Scott Pioli, who used to be Dimitroff’s boss in New England.

Me, I’d call it a win-win for the local club, which gets its tight end and still keeps all its picks in this draft. But maybe that’s just me.

“In Round 4, the Atlanta Falcons select …”

I said I wasn’t going to do it, but I did it anyway. And you know why I did it? For you, Buzz readers! So you’ll be able to feel clever come Sunday afternoon when the Falcons take the legendary Fenuki Tupou and your friends say, “Never heard …

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