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ATLANTA FALCONS

Pro Sports Daily     Official Site     USA Today     Pro Football Weekly     Falcons Stats     ESPN

2009 draft     2008 draft     2007 draft     2006 draft

2005 draft     2004 draft     2003 draft     2002 draft

 

2009 DRAFT PICKS
links go to NFL.com website

Rd Sel# Player Pos. School Jay's ranking Jay's draft value
1 24 Peria Jerry DT Mississippi #2 DT Round 1

Senior Bowl practice comment

Jerry had a nice bull rush during the 11 on 11's and dominated all comers in the one-on-one's.

ONE ON ONE BLOCKING DRILLS SCORED BY JAY GOLDBERG

6 - 0 Wood 2-0   Johnson 2-0   Luigs 2-0

Player who will have a better NFL career than many drafted higher than him.

Jerry is a quick, penetrating defensive tackle, who also has a good bull rush, and who dominated all comers during the one-on-ones during Senior Bowl practices.  He is a great fit inside for a team that plays a 4-3 defense.  He is one of those rare defensive tackles who can play the run and rush the passer very effectively.
2 55 William Moore FS Missouri #2 FS Round 2
3 90 Christopher Owens CB San Jose State #25 CB Round 5
4 125 Lawrence Sidbury Jr. DE Richmond #12 DE Round 3

Senior Bowl practice comment

On the bubble of players that popped at Shine Game, showed excellent pass rush skills during the one-on-one drills and even popped during the 11 on 11's on one play as a pass rusher.

ONE ON ONE BLOCKING DRILLS SCORED BY JAY GOLDBERG

6 - 1 Kropog 1-0   Watkins 4-0   Johnson 1-1

Player who will have a better NFL career than many drafted higher than him.

Sidbury Jr. will probably skyrocket up draft boards the closer you get to draft day.  Why?  Because the kid has excellent speed and can rush the passer.  What many overlook, however, is that he has good skills and measureables while carrying sufficient weight to play defensive end full time, and that is what I eventually expect him to do.
5 138 William Middleton CB Furman NR 7th/FA
5 156 Garrett Reynolds OT North Carolina #19 OT Round 5
6 176 Spencer Adkins ILB Miami NR 7th/FA
7 210 Vance Walker DT Georgia Tech #13 DT Round 5
FA ---- Aaron Kelly WR Clemson NR 7th/FA
FA ---- Jose Valdez OT/OG Arkansas NR 7th/FA
FA ---- John Parker Wilson QB Alabama NR Late Round Value

Senior Bowl practice comment

Some good, some bad, but did not stand out.

 

B+

2009 COLLEGE DRAFT REPORT CARD

by Jay Goldberg

The Falcons were oh so close to getting the elusive "A".  Basically, I loved what they did on their defensive line and at safety, but thought they could have done better with all their other selections.  They also did not add any high-value college street free agents.

DRAFT PICKS

Perry was an excellent grab in round one.  While he has good speed and strength for a defensive tackle, it is his quickness that stands out.  He is the rare defensive tackle who is effective against the run and can pressure the quarterback versus the pass.  He will have a long, productive NFL career.

Moore is an athletic safety who fell a bit in the draft because of a drop off his senior year (some due to injuries).  He will be looked at initially as a strong safety but plays intelligently so long term he could replace Coleman at free safety. Moore was very good value in round two in round two for Atlanta.

As his teammate and fellow cornerback Coye Francies was watching his draft value fall leading up to the draft, Christopher Owens saw his draft value rise.  On my board, however, Owens remained a fifth round value while Francies fell to the fourth round.  While Owens is fast, he is not overly athletic.  If the Falcons drafted cornerback Keenan Lewis here, they would have had the makings of a special draft.

In round four the Falcons' draft went back to the defensive line and they grabbed another potential gem.  Many draft analysts looked at Sidbury Jr. as a pass rush specialist only.  However, he has good speed and quickness at 266 pounds, which is heavy enough to develop into an effective defender against the run as well, especially given that he is a strong kid.  Sidbury Jr. will be looked at as a fourth round steal down the line.

In round five Atlanta went back to cornerback, and I went back to disagreeing with their selection.  Now in the past I liked the corners the Falcons drafted.  Both Chevis Jackson and Chris Houston were on my list of players who will have a better NFL career than many players drafted higher than them.  So I'm not sure why our boards were so different this year.  Middleton is fast, strong and athletic.  He is not overly quick.  So at 5'9.3",  he has the skill set of an outside corner, with the size of a slot corner.  He will be a solid special teams player.  Personally, with the depth at corner (Mickens and Lankster lasted until round seven) and a corner already added in the draft, I would have switched up and drafted an offensive lineman here and a corner with the second fifth round pick.  This way I would have drafted the extremely athletic tackle Xavier Fulton here and looked corner later.

Reynolds is a big man who needs work in the weight room.  He does not have the upside of Fulton who I would have drafted at #138 eliminating the need to draft Reynolds here.  Instead I would have been thrilled that cornerback Macho Harris was on the board and grabbed him.  I like the combination of Fulton and Harris much, much more than Middleton and Reynolds.  

Atkins is a player who I thought would go undrafted since he will be limited to special teams. He is a long shot to help on defense.  As a special teams staple, I would have drafted strong safety Al Afalava over Atkins since Afalava has a chance to develop into an effective player on defense.  Also, offensive guard Jamie Thomas, an underrated prospect with starter potential would have been tempting here as would speedy, underrated wide receiver Tiquan Underwood.

In round seven the Falcons returned to drafting a defensive lineman, and I once again, liked their selection.  Walker has long arms to play off blocks, good strength and surprising athleticism.  He may not be ready in 2009, but has the potential to develop into a run-stuffing defensive tackle down the road.

 COLLEGE STREET FREE AGENTS

Kelly has a nice combination of straight-line speed and size.  He could find a spot on the Falcons' development squad.

Valdez has quick feet and the versatility to backup multiple spots on the line.  He has a chance to stick.

Wilson will be a fan favorite during the preseason and is on a team where the backup quarterbacks are replaceable.  However, look for Wilson to spend the better part of this year on the Falcons' development squad where he will have to improve his accuracy to graduate to the NFL roster. 

For chart below: red indicates workout number in top range at position in draft
ARM-HAND relative to position, for ranges see ranking pages for 2009 draft

LAST NAME
at Combine
FIRST NAME SCHOOL HGT WGT ARM-
HAND
BENCH 40 10 20 SHORT LONG 3 CONE VERT BROAD
Jerry Peria Mississippi 6'1.6" 299 S-M 28 4.98 1.68 2.86 4.64 - 7.30 31" 9'6"
Moore William Missouri 6'0.1" 221 L-M 16 4.49 1.48 2.69 4.26 - 6.94 37.5" 10'6"
Owens Chris San Jose State 5'9.6" 181 S-S 14 4.42 1.53 2.59 4.16 11.40 6.93 34.5" 9'2"
Sidbury Jr. Lawrence Richmond 6'2.3" 266 XL-XL 28 4.57 1.53 2.68 4.43 - 7.45 35" 10'0"
Middleton William Furman 5'9.3" 193 - 21 4.42 1.48 2.56 4.37 - 7.33 36.5" 10'9"
Reynolds Garrett North Carolina 6'7.5" 309 L-L 19 5.32 1.75 3.03 4.88 - 7.87 22" 7'10"
Atkins Spencer Miami 5'11.1" 230 - 30 4.48 1.61 2.66 4.25 - - 36.5" -
Walker Vance Georgia Tech 6'1.7" 304 XL-XL 29 5.32 1.75 2.94 - - - 33" -
Kelly Aaron Clemson 6'4.4" 204 M-L 11 4.49 1.49 2.62 4.46 - 7.25 38" 9'11"
Valdez Jose Arkansas 6'4.3" 315 L-M 16 5.16 1.73 2.89 4.64 - 7.49 29.5" 8'4"
Wilson John P. Alabama 6'1.4" 219 M-L - 4.76 1.58 2.76 4.59 - 7.53 29.5" 8'9"

2009 NEEDS PRIOR TO DRAFT AND FREE AGENCY
Major need
     Need     Upgrade possible     Depth/possible need     Not a need

QB Ryan had a great rookie year and has a very promising future as a starting NFL quarterback.  Redman has the experience and skills you like in a backup quarterback.
RB Turner and Norwood are an excellent one-two punch.  I also like Brown a player I had a late third/early fourth round grade on in last year's draft who Atlanta stole in round six.
WR White is now one of the best receivers in the league.  He has speed, is tough and has good hands.  Jenkins is a solid a #2 and Douglas is a promising slot receiver.  The team also has a reliable veteran in Finneran and the once (and still?) promising Laurent Robinson.  This is another good unit.
TE Hartsock can block and Peele can catch.  They should be the second tight end (blocker) and third tight end (second tight end receiving option).  However, a starter is needed.
OL The Falcons' line was surprisingly effective.  While upgrades aren't necessary, Dahl an UFA and Clabo on the right side could be improved upon if the right free agent or college player can be secured.
DL This is a make or break season for Anderson.  Playing opposite Abraham he should have been able to get more sacks.  At tackle Babineaux had a good season but is an UFA, and Jackson remained a force against the run but needs to be spelled more than most to remain effective.  A big body to play behind Jackson and a pass rushing end as insurance against Anderson not taking the next step should be considered.  If the team does not resign Babineaux, an under tackle will also have to be secured.
LB Boley, a good player, did not thrive in the new system and will most likely be playing elsewhere in 2009.  Wire, who split time with Boley, is adequate, but better served as a back up. Brooking has some good moments, but his overall performance is in decline.  Lofton is a good young middle linebacker.  This unit could have a new SAM and a new WILL next year.
DB I may be in the minority but I really like the Falcons corners, Houston, Foxworth and Jackson.  At safety, Milloy and Coleman are steady pros and DeCoud is a young player with promise who will push to start next year.  Depth beyond these six is all that is needed.
ST Outside of competition for Douglas as a punt returner, this unit has no needs. 

 

2008 DRAFT PICKS
links go to NFL.com website

Rd Sel# Player Pos. Ht. Wt. School Jay's ranking Jay's draft value
1 3 Matt Ryan QB 6'4.6" 228 Boston Col #1 QB Round 1
1 21 Sam Baker OT 6'4" 304 USC #6 OT Round 2
2 37 Curtis Lofton ILB 6'0" 246 Oklahoma #3 ILB Round 2
3 68 Chevis Jackson CB/RET 6'0" 192 LSU #10 CB Round 2/Round 3

Player who will have a better NFL career than many drafted higher than him.

Jackson had a nice week of practice at the Senior Bowl, although he got beat deep a little.  That was to be expected, however, since he is a cover-two corner prospect, not a a man-to-man corner.  In fact, he may be one of the best cover-two corners in this draft because he has tremendous quickness, change-of-direction skills and is a great athlete.  He will go below some of the speed-demon corners in the draft, but in the right system could be one of the best corners to come out of this draft.  He had 5 interceptions and an incredible 16 passes broken up his senior year.
3 84 Harry Douglas WR 5'11.6" 176 Louisville #18 WR Round 4
3 98 Thomas DeCoud FS 6'1.3" 207 California #4 FS Round 3

Player who will have a better NFL career than many drafted higher than him.

DeCoud is a heady player who is a sure tackler who was thought to be limited athletically.  However, his workout showed he is a very good athlete with good speed for a safety.   DeCoud will grow into a solid starting NFL safety.
5 138 Robert James OLB 5'10.4" 219 Arizona St   Late Round Value
5 154 Kroy Biermann DE/OLB 6'2.7" 246 Montana   Late Round Value
6 172 Thomas Brown RB 5'8.3" 204 Georgia   Round 3/Round 4
7 212 Wilrey Fontenot CB 5'8.6" 201 Arizona   Late Round Value
7 232 Keith Zinger TE 6'4" 270 Duke   Free agent
FA   Glenn Sharpe CB 5'11.5" 185 Miami   Late Round Value/Free Agent
FA   D. J. Wolfe SS/FS 5'11.1" 207 Oklahoma   Late Round Value

 

B+

2008 COLLEGE DRAFT REPORT CARD

by Jay Goldberg

The Falcons had a lot of draft picks and addressed their most pressing needs.  While Baker was a bit of a reach from a talent/probability perspective, if he develops into a quality starting left tackle he will be well worth what the Falcons gave up to draft him earlier than expected in round one.  On day two, running back Thomas Brown was great value in round six.  He was available there because of the tremendous depth at running back in this draft.  Atlanta also grabbed two players off my underrated list (Jackson and DeCoud), although I believe Jackson is better in cover-two scheme than in man-to-man.  Atlanta has done nothing major in college street free agency as of this write-up.

DRAFT PICKS

Ryan was everyone's top-rated quarterback in this draft including mine.  At worst he will be an above-average starting quarterback.  At best he will be a very good starting quarterback.  Atlanta will take either outcome.  Ryan was the right choice at this spot even with Dorsey still available. 

The way the draft fell Atlanta had to trade up to grab Baker if they wanted to take a shot with a player who could settle in effectively to left tackle right away.  Draft position is all about probability for draft analysts, but need enters the picture for NFL teams.  If Baker becomes a quality starting left tackle than drafting him here was a bargain.  If not, then they would have paid too much to get him regardless of what they gave up.  Baker does have a chance to be a solid left tackle.  Of course, he could also have to kick inside to guard to be an effective starter.  Time will tell.  

Lofton was an interesting pick in round two.  On tape he looks like a very good 4-3 middle linebacker, something the Falcons need (Brooking is a better WILL).  However his measurables make him look more like a 3-4 inside linebacker because of his lack of quickness and quick change-of-direction skills.  But, this is a player where I'll go with the tape over the workout.  I believe Lofton is quicker and sharper-cutting when chasing down a ball carrier than he is on the track.  Lofton should be a long term starter for the Falcons.

Jackson is a player I like a lot.  He is quick, has excellent cover skills, and is a tremendous athlete.  The only thing he lacks is top long speed which is why I believed he'd be a great fit for a cover two team.  However, his quickness and athleticism should allow him to play the nickel right away.  And if Atlanta can generate a pass rush, he could be a very good starting corner.  If not, he'll be a good corner who could get beat deep on occasion.

Douglas is a slot receiver with more quickness than speed.  I like the potential of Hawkins and Caldwell more than Douglas.  However, as a third or fourth wideout, Douglas should be fine.

DeCoud will challenge Williams to start at free safety from day one.  He is a smart player who is faster, quicker, and more athletic than he appears.  While a sure tackler, DeCoud is not a monster hitter.  Atlanta got a nice building block for their defense in DeCoud.

James is an active linebacker with the strength and ability to be a backup SAM and play special teams.  If Boley's sudden off field issues flare up, I don't believe James is ready to be an above average replacement starter.   Although he was a valuable player for Arizona State.

Biermann was a player I thought would go to a 3-4 team as an outside linebacker.  He is very strong and a good pass rusher, but a bit too small to be a 4-3 end.  However, upon analyzing things a bit deeper, Biermann certainly has the physical skills to play SAM in a 4-3.  Look for him to be a pass rushing specialist and special teams contributor while learning to play SAM.  With back-to-back picks of James and Biermann it was almost like Atlanta knew something was brewing with Boley.

Falcon fans are going to love Thomas Brown.  Brown is a short man, not a small man, something Atlanta fans are used to with Warrick Dunn on the roster up until this year.  Brown is very strong, fast, quick, and runs very well inside despite his size.  He wasn't used much as a receiver in college so he'll start off as a change-of-pace back more than a third-down back.  Atlanta now has three solid running backs.

Fontenot is a short corner with excellent strength and speed, who likes to hit.  He is more fast than quick and is better served covering outside than in the slot.  He will be a terrific special teams player and could offer the Falcons an option of moving Jackson inside and playing Fontenot outside in the nickel.

Zinger is a blocking tight end who was not on my radar.

COLLEGE STREET FREE AGENTS

Sharpe played at a big time program when he was able to play.  He is a good athlete and has a chance to stick on Atlanta's practice squad.

Wolfe looked to have an above average skill set for a strong safety and then lifted the bar only 9 times.  I believe that is why he fell out of the draft.  Luckily, strength can be addressed.  If Wolfe makes an effort to get stronger, he could be a pleasant surprise for the Falcons down the line.

red indicates workout number in top range at position in draft
(blue college name indicates workout #'s include Pro Day numbers)

COMBINE
YES
FIRST NAME SCHOOL HEIGHT WEIGHT BENCH 40 10 20 SHORT LONG 3 CONE VERT BROAD
Ryan Matt BOST COL 6'4.6" 228  NA 4.88 1.67 2.86 4.51 NA 7.40 NA NA
Baker Sam USC 6'4" 304 28 5.37 1.87 3.13 4.92 NA 8.02 28.5" 9.0"
Lofton Curtis OKLAHOMA 6'0" 246 23 4.67 1.61 2.73 4.56 NA 7.69 32" 8'9"
Jackson Chevis LSU 6'0" 192 13 4.52 1.50 2.58 4.15 NA 6.96 40" 10'5"
Douglas Harry LOUISVILLE 5'11.6" 176 NA 4.49 1.54 2.58 4.12 NA 6.57 31" 10'0"
DeCoud Thomas CALIFORNIA 6'1.3" 207 9 4.50 1.51 2.59 4.27 NA 6.85 35.5" 10'3"
James Robert ARIZONA ST 5'10.4" 219 26 4.70 1.63 2.70 NA NA NA 31" 9'6"
Biermann Kroy MONTANA 6'2.7" 246 29 4.75 1.59 2.76 4.30 NA 6.83 35" 9'9"
Brown Thomas GEORGIA 5'8.4" 204 25 4.42 1.49 2.57 4.19 NA 7.17 38.5" 10'5'
Fontenot Wilfrey ARIZONA 5'8.6" 201 21 4.40 1.50 2.54 4.27 NA 7.07 37" 10'8"
Zinger Keith DUKE 6'4" 270 NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA
Sharpe Glenn MIAMI 5'11.5" 185 15 4.52 1.51 2.60 NA NA NA 37" 10'2"
Wolfe D.J. OKLAHOMA 5'11.1" 207 9 4.57 1.54 2.63 4.24 NA 7.02 35.5" 9'7"

2008 NEEDS PRIOR TO DRAFT AND FREE AGENCY

ATL          Major Need          Need          Upgrade         Depth Need         Not a Need

QB  Redman, Harrington and Leftwich are all best off as backups.  This team badly needs to bring on a young quarterback.
RB  Dunn is still effective, but is aging and could be moved in the offseason.  Norwood is very fast, puts up good numbers, but hasn't been used as much as his talent and stats indicate he should be used.  He may be a career backup, or he could take a Fargas-like step next year and finally show he's a legit #1 back.  In any case the Falcons need to add a quality runner.
WR  White finally showed the talent I expected from him.  Jenkins looks like he's peaked as a quality #3.  Horn, who was new to the team, talked as though he was a senior team leader.  He isn't and he's past his prime.  Robinson has potential.  The Falcons will add another receiver to their mix in the offseason.
TE Crumpler's knee problems could continue next year.  Milner has the potential to develop into a good player.  Blakley is a good backup.  Crumpler-insurance could be added if a player is available at the right price or right spot on the draft.
OL  No unit was f****d up by Petrino more than the offensive line.  The team went from an effective run-blocking unit to a bad unit in all areas.  There are some good players still on hand, but look for Atlanta to bring on a left tackle and a guard to compete for playing time immediately.
DL Anderson didn't have the impact I and the Falcons expected.  Don't give up on him yet.  Abraham is a force (expected), and stayed on the field (unexpected).  Don't count on that again next year.  Coleman is a good player who should come back from injury and play well next year.  Lewis is another player comin g back from injury who will help next season.  This unit has good depth at tackle, but can use better depth at end.
LB The Falcons have good linebackers, but most of them are best on the weak side.  Boley is a star at SAM.  Look for Atlanta to bring in a true middle linebacker and sort through Williams, Brooking and Nicholas for the WILL.
DB If the Falcons keep Hall (and they should) he and Houston will form an excellent starting duo at corner.  Look for Houston to get better in year two.  Irons may develop into a good nickel, but he may not.  Another corner should be added.  Milloy keeps on keeping on, but he is getting older.  Stone is a solid a young player behind him.  Croker is a free agent.  Williams has yet to find his niche, but free safety could be it.  Atlanta will probably bring in a free safety who can challenge for a starting job. 
ST A kicker is needed.  Old man Andersen is reliable short, but no longer can make long kicks.  A punt returner could also be added, especially if Hall is traded.

2007 DRAFT PICKS
links go to NFL.com website

Rd Sel# Player Pos. Ht. Wt. School Jay's ranking Jay's draft value
1 8 Anderson, Jamaal DE 6-6 279 Arkansas # 3 DE Round 1
2 39 Blalock, Justin OT 6-4 329 Texas #1 OG Round 1
2 41 Houston, Chris CB 5-11 185 Arkansas #1 CB Round 1
3 75 Robinson, Laurent WR 6-1 193 Illinois State #14 WR Round 3
4 109 Nicholas, Stephen OLB 6-1 232 South Florida # 12 OLB Round 4
4 133 Milner, Martrez TE 6-4 256 Georgia # 4 TE Round 3
6 185 Lewis, Trey DT 6-3 318 Washburn Late Round Value
6 194 Irons, David CB 5-10 188 Auburn # 13 CB Round 4
6 198 Datish, Doug C 6-4 302 Ohio State # 3 C Round 4
6 203 Stone, Daren SS 6-3 218 Maine # 7 SS Round 4
7 244 Snelling, Jason RB 5-11 232 Virginia Late Round Value
FA Johnson, Jermaine FS 5-10 209 Mississippi St Late Round Value
FA Marshall, Vincent RB 5-7 165 Houston Off My Board
FA Patterson, David DT 6-2 285 Ohio State Late Round Value
FA Quarterman, Kurt OG 6-4 350 Louisville Off My Board
FA Talavou, Kelly DT 6-2 329 Utah Late Round Value
FA Taylor, Tony LB 6-1 236 Georgia Late Round Value

 

A

2007 COLLEGE DRAFT REPORT CARD

by Jay Goldberg

The Falcons had a great draft.  In my opinion they drafted three players with a first round grade. In fact, their two second round players were at the top of my board at their positions.  They also got excellent value with all three of their sixth round selections.

With Kerney leaving, I had defensive end as the Falcons' biggest need.  With Abraham starting on one side, the player opposite him can do a lot of damage.  Also, Abraham is injured often, so when he's out the other end has to become the teams' dominate pass rusher.  Anderson is an excellent fit.  He has the size and ability to play the run and can get after the quarterback as evidenced by his 13.5 sacks his junior year.  Anderson will do very well playing opposite Abraham.  Blalock was my top guard in the draft.   He is one of the strongest players in the draft, and has good size and quickness.  He is a perfect fit for Petrino's power running system and can also play in the Falcon's old system.  Houston was one of my favorite players in the draft.  He was the best man-to-man cover corner in the draft.  He is very fast and very strong.  He will come up and not only play the run well, but hit like an in-the-box strong safety.  He was my number pone corner in the draft and gives the Falcons the best pair of corners (yes I know Denver has Bailey and Bly) in the league.  A great pick!  Atlanta will regret passing on Jason Hill.  Robinson has a chance to be a good NFL player, but Hill is going to be a star, and boy, could the Falcons use a star receiver.  Robinson has good size and speed, is strong, and showed big-play ability in college.   Nicholas was a tackle hound in college and is a better football player than workout warrior.  He has good strength and acceptable speed, but is limited athletically.  With Demorrio Williams' injury, Nicholas has a shot to start at WILL.  However, the Falcons may be best served with Beck manning the middle and Brooking kicking back outside.  Milner is an interesting case.  On tape he looked like an inconsistent player with excellent athleticism, but then his workout was pedestrian.  But in workouts he again looked very athletic.  I kept him with a third round grade but can see where more questions resulted in him falling to round four.  However, he should be a goods backup for Crumpler.  Trey Lewis was worth a shot in round six.  He has good size for a defensive tackle along with good short area speed and athleticism.  He could become a reliable rotation player, although he may need to spend some time on the practice squad.  Irons is the perfect fourth cornerback.  He goes all out and will be a plus player on special teams.  He is also coming off a serious knee injury two years ago and it is often in year three that a player gets all the way back.  Datish was another good get.  While I knew he would go late, I had a fourth round grade on him and believe he will develop into an above average NFL starter.  While he apprentices, he can fill in at guard as well as center.  Stone is a player many might not know, but I had a fourth round grade on this kid who has good speed and tremendous athleticism.  He will immediately help on special teams and could be the Milloy's replacement down the line.  Snelling is a power runner with limited speed.  He can play fullback as well as halfback, but at fullback he is more like a west coast fullback than a lead blocker.  He could be a short yardage option for Atlanta, but will have his hands full trying to make the team.

As far as college street free agents the Falcons did okay, but none jump out at me as locks to make the team.  Johnson is a versatile safety who likes to hit and has a nose for the ball.  He could stick to play on special teams and be a part of dime packages.  Marshall is a small return man with speed and quickness who also catches very well.  However, at 5'7", the odds are against him.  Quarterman is of note simply because he has the size Petrino likes and is from Louisville.  Patterson is a tackle/end tweener who I thought would be best served as a 3-4 defensive end, but Atlanta uses the light, quick under tackle so Patterson has a chance.  He has good athleticism and quickness.  Talavou is a nose tackle.  He is a one dimensional run-stuffer, and could land on Atlanta's practice squad.  Taylor is a football player, who plays better on the field than he works out.  Taylor played the WILL in college but is too slow for that position in the NFL.  I thought his best chance was as an inside linebacker in a 3-4.  Atlanta may try him in the middle and see if his instincts can compensate for his lack of speed.

red indicates workout number in top range at position in draft

COMBINE
YES

 

COLLEGE

POS HGHT WGHT BENCH 40 10 20 SHORT
SHUTTLE
LONG
SHUTTLE
3
 CONE
VERTICAL
JUMP
BROAD
JUMP
ANDERSON JAMAAL ARKANSAS DE 6'5.3" 288 22 4.75 1.59 2.73 4.22   6.88 32.5" 9'8"
Anderson is a very quick defensive end who is a good two-way end who can stop the run and rush the passer.  He is big enough to play in a 3-4, and athletic enough to play in a 4-3.  If he gets a little stronger and plays more aggressively, he could be a perennial Pro Bowl end.

COMBINE
YES

 

COLLEGE

POS HGHT WGHT BENCH 40 10 20 SHORT
SHUTTLE
LONG
SHUTTLE
3
 CONE
VERTICAL
JUMP
BROAD
JUMP
BLALOCK JUSTIN TEXAS OG/OT 6'3.2" 320 40 5.10 1.73 2.96 4.72   7.75 28.5" 8'5"

PLAYER WHO COULD HAVE A BETTER NFL CAREER THAN PLAYERS SELECTED AHEAD OF HIM in the DRAFT

Grubbs, Sears; Grubbs, Sears: that is the current debate over the top guard in the draft.  I say it is Blalock.  He has excellent size, is one of the strongest players in the draft, and has good speed and quickness for the position.  He can also backup at right tackle.  Blalock would be the first guard off the board is I was a NFL GM.

COMBINE
YES

 

COLLEGE

POS HGHT WGHT BENCH 40 10 20 SHORT
SHUTTLE
LONG
SHUTTLE
3
 CONE
VERTICAL
JUMP
BROAD
JUMP
HOUSTON CHRIS ARKANSAS CB 5'9.7" 185 27 4.32 1.50 2.52 4.12   6.94 36" 10'2"

PLAYER WHO COULD HAVE A BETTER NFL CAREER THAN PLAYERS SELECTED AHEAD OF HIM in the DRAFT

Quite simply, I expect Houston to be the best corner to come out of this draft.  He will be Pro Bowl caliber and teams that pass him up, that have a need at corner, will look back with regrets.  Houston is very strong, hits like a truck, has excellent man-to-man cover skills, is very fast and very quick, and is a good athlete.  Best of all he has that confidence, that glimmer in his eye, that all top corners possess.  If a team drafts Houston in the top ten, they will get kudos from me, not comments like "reach".

COMBINE
YES

 

COLLEGE

POS HGHT WGHT BENCH 40 10 20 SHORT
SHUTTLE
LONG
SHUTTLE
3
 CONE
VERTICAL
JUMP
BROAD
JUMP
ROBINSON LAURENT ILLINOIS ST

WR

6'2" 199 19 4.38  1.46 2.50  4.28 11.45 6.83 39" 10'7"
Robinson has more speed than quickness and is superb athlete.  At 6'2" he has good size and was productive in college, par5ticularly his junior year when he caught 86 balls for over 1,400 yards and 12 TDs.  Robinson also displayed big-play ability at Illinois State.  With the depth at receiver in this draft, Robinson could get overlooked.

COMBINE
YES

 

COLLEGE

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NICHOLAS STEPHEN SOUTH FLORIDA OLB 6'1.3" 232 29 4.64 1.58 2.68 4.45   7.29 33.5" 9'2"
Nicholas was a productive linebacker at South Florida where he played the SAM.  His senior year he had over 100 tackles and 7.5 sacks.  He is a strong kid with better speed than quickness which could hurt him in coverage, and may mean he will be better at the WILL than the SAM in the NFL.

COMBINE
YES

 

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MILNER MARTREZ GEORGIA

TE

6'3.7" 252 19 4.79 1.65 2.78 4.49 11.89 7.35 34" 9'9"
When you're labeled as one of the more inconsistent, but physically gifted tight ends in the draft, you better have a better workout than Milner did if you want to keep your initial draft status.  Still, your 'eyes" tell you he is a better athlete than how he worked out.  If he can become more consistent catching the ball, Milner will be a solid starter, if not he will still be a productive reserve. 

COMBINE
NO

 

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LEWIS TREY WASBURN DT 6'2.7" 318 21 5.14 1.67 2.88       30.5" 9'0"
Lewis is an intriguing prospect from a small school.  He has good size for a defensive tackle, has excellent short area speed, and is athletic for his size.  He will need time to develop and needs work on his technique, but is worth a shot late in the draft.

COMBINE
YES

 

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IRONS DAVID AUBURN DC 5'10.2" 190 11 4.44 1.53 2.58 4.30 11.67 7.18 29.5" 9'3"
I wouldn't bet against this kid.  While he doesn't have the eye-popping measureables, he has enough size, speed and quickness to help a team as an extra defensive back.  He will be three years removed from serious knee surgery in his rookie year so the team that drafts him could be getting a player finally back to full strength.

COMBINE
YES

 

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DATISH DOUG OHIO ST OC/G 6'4.1" 302 31 5.13 1.75 2.99 4.65   7.51 26" 8'6"

PLAYER WHO COULD HAVE A BETTER NFL CAREER THAN PLAYERS SELECTED AHEAD OF HIM in the DRAFT

Datish is an underrated prospect.  He is strong and has good feet.  I have him as the #3 center in the draft, which is higher than most.  Since he will be drafted, most likely, on day two, he will be great value.  Best case the team gets a solid starting center, worst case a top sub who can backup at guard as well as center.  I think Datish will become an above average starting NFL center.

COMBINE
YES

 

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STONE DAREN MAINE SS 6'3.2" 218 15 4.47 1.51 2.54 4.44 11.54 7.13 39" 11'5"
Started his career as a cornerback, but is a better NFL prospect as a safety.  Stone is a great athlete with good speed.  He has the tools to grow into a starter down the line and should be a very good special team performer while apprenticing.

COMBINE
YES

 

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SNELLING JASON VIRGINIA

RB/FB

5'11.1" 230 15 4.73 1.64 2.73 4.38   7.06     30" 9'3"
Snelling is a tough inside runner who projects to a team that plays a one back offense, or to a team looking for a west coast offense.  Blocking is not Snelling's strong suit. 

COMBINE
NO

 

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JOHNSON JERMAINE MISS ST FS/SS 5'10.1" 209 16 4.50 1.55 2.58 4.26   7.07   34.5" 9'10"
Johnson has a nose for the ball and is a hitter.  He has nice combination of strength and speed and could stick as a special teams performer and backup safety.

COMBINE
NO

 

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MARSHALL VINCENT HOUSTON WR 5'7.3" 165 11 4.36 1.46 2.54 4.14   6.77   36" 10'0"
Marshall is a punt and kick returner with good receiving skills.  He is small, so will have to make his mark in the NFL as a return man.  He also ran track.

COMBINE
NO

 

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QUARTERMAN KURT LOUISVILLE OG 6'4.1" 350 25 5.43 1.95 3.21 5.03   8.10   26" 7'6"
A big body, slow guard.  Quarterman best shot would be to land on team's practice squad that emphasizes a power rushing game, after coming to camp as a free agent.

COMBINE
YES

 

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PATTERSON DAVID OHIO ST DT/DE 6'2.1" 285 21 5.07 1.73 2.90 4.43   7.47 32.5" 9'10"
Patterson's best chance to stick on a NFL roster is as a 3-4 defensive end.  He has good quickness and athleticism, but is a little light to play tackle for most teams (except the few that pair the lighter, quicker tackle with the larger tackle).

COMBINE
NO

 

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TALAVOU KELLY UTAH DT/NT 6'1.7" 329 29 5.29 1.83 3.09 4.75   8.07 30" 8'3"
Talavou is a strong kid who could stick as a backup nose tackle.  His main contribution will be to stop the run and engage blockers to allow linebackers to make tackles.

COMBINE
YES

 

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TAYLOR TONY GEORGIA OLB/ILB 6'0.4" 236 26 4.88 1.59 2.79 4.36   7.17 32" 9'0"
Taylor is a good football with limited athletic skills.  He uses smarts and strength to make plays.  Taylor played the WILL but may not have the speed to man that position in the NFL.  His best shot could come as an inside linebacker in a 3-4.

 

2007 TEAM NEEDS PRIOR TO THE DRAFT and FREE AGENCY
major need     need     depth/possible need     not a significant need

QB Not a need unless the team moves Schaub, then a backup for Vick will be needed.
RB I like the tandem of Dunn and Norwood but neither may be a Petrino back.
WR Is it the QB or the WRs?  With 3 formers 1st-rounders at WR it's a question to ask.  I especially liked White in college.
TE Crumpler is solid, a backup could be added.
OL This is an excellent run blocking line, but Petrino may want to bulk it up for pass protection.
DL Kerney leaving makes this a need.  Abraham can't stay healthy.  The tackles are fine.
LB If Hartwell is cut, depth will be needed.  Beck is a good young talent to take over in the middle.
DB A starting corner and a starting free safety need to be added.
ST Andersen is ancient and their are some good young kickers in the draft.  Rossum is fine, but not a game breaker.

 

2006 DRAFT PICKS
Links go to write-ups at NFL.com

Atlanta
Rd Sel# Player Pos. Ht. Wt. School Jay's ranking Jay's draft value
2 37 Williams, Jimmy CB 6-2 214 Virginia Tech #2 CB Round 1
3 79 Norwood, Jerious RB 6-0 203 Mississippi State # 7 RB Round 2
5 139 Ojinnaka, Quinn OT 6-5 308 Syracuse Late round value > Round 4
6 184 Jennings, Adam WR 5-9 181 Fresno State Late round value > Round 4
7 223 Shockley, D.J. QB 6-1 213 Georgia Late round value > Round 4
  FA Carrington, Paul DE 6-7 267 Central Florida Late round value > Round 4
  FA Jackson, T.J. DT 6-0 304 Auburn Late round value > Round 4
  FA Hollis, Kenneth ILB 6-0 231 LSU Late round value > Round 4
  FA Williams, Travis OLB 6-0 222 # 15 OLB # 15 OLB Round 4

 

B

2006 COLLEGE DRAFT REPORT CARD

by Jay Goldberg

The Falcons did not reach at any point in the draft, and got great value with Williams in round two, and good value with Norwood in round three.

For a team without a first and fourth pick, a B is a very good grade.  Atlanta stole Jimmy Williams.  He was my second rated cornerback in the draft.  He will win the starting job opposite Hall at some point this season.  It could even be by game one.  Williams has good cover skills and is not afraid to step up and play physical against the run.  Norwood was another excellent pick in round three.  Norwood has terrific speed, good quickness, and is a fine athlete.  He has a different style of running than Dunn and Duckett.  Norwood is a one cut, find the hole, and accelerate through it runner, not a quick cutting back like Dunn or a power back like Duckett.  He does have the potential to develop into a quality starting NFL running back.  Ojinnaka could not have landed in a better spot.  His skills translate very well to the blocking scheme run by the Falcons.  Jennings could give Rossum a run for his money in the return game, particularly as a kick returner since he is more fast than quick.  As a receiver, Jennings' speed translate well to the outside, but his size translates to the slot.  Either way his ceiling is as an extra wideout, not a starter.  Shockley is a very good athlete with the potential to be a solid backup quarterback.  As a backup, his athleticism will allow the Falcons to keep the same game plan for him that they install for Vick.  Don't rule out a "slash" role for Shockley.  I don't expect the Falcons to move him to receiver, but he could be a quarterback for whom they design some special plays.

The Falcons did a nice job in free agency.  Carrington is a tall defensive end who hustles and has very good speed.  He needs to bulk up to be able to hold the point of attack against the run, but has the frame to do so.  Jackson is limited athletically, but plays smart and is a hard worker.  He is the type of kid that will make it difficult for a coaching staff to cut him.  Hollis has good speed and quickness and worst case will be a good special teams player.  He was an invitee, not a signee.  He can also play both MIKE and WILL so offers flexibility in a reserve role.  Perhaps the best college street free agent the Falcons signed was Travis Williams.  I had a fourth round grade on Williams.  He has good speed and quickness and could play either WILL or strong safety.  Worst case he could help in the nickel and be a terror on special teams. 

red indicates workout number in top range at position in draft

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Williams, J Virginia Tech 6'2.1", 216 4.41     4.15   6.69 12 33" 9'6"  
CB
Jay Goldberg, 900FootballLinks.NET - Williams is a potential 6'2" shut down corner. Williams is a very good athlete, has the confidence needed to succeed as an NFL cornerback, is a big-hitter for a corner, is a playmaker, and will be a star.  He needs some work on his technique, but is a coachable kid.
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Norwood Mississippi St 5'11.6", 206 4.40 1.55 2.62 4.25 11.52 6.81 18 36.5" 10'2"  
RB
Jay Goldberg, 900FootballLinks.NET - Norwood showed a quick burst and ran well in the red zone at Senior Bowl practices.
Jay Goldberg, 900FootballLinks.NET - Coming off two straight 1,000-yard seasons, Norwood has the ability to be a lead NFL back.  He has good speed and runs hard.  He is stronger than he appears.  Norwood is one cut and take off runner, more than a quick cut/change direction runner.
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Ojinnaka Sryacuse 6'4.5", 309 5.17 1.85 3.50 4.84   7.90 21 29.5" 9'1"  
OT
Jay Goldberg, 900FootballLinks.NET - Ojinnaka is best for a team that uses a zone blocking scheme.  He has respectable quickness and agility.  He has the frame to add weight and needs work on his technique.
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Jennings, A Fresno State 5'9.6", 175 4.40 1.53 2.58 4.12 11.37 6.89   37.5" 9'10"  
WR
Jay Goldberg, 900FootballLinks.NET - Jennings has very good speed and could catch on as a fourth or fifth wide receiver and explosive return man.
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Shockley Georgia 6'1", 214 4.56 1.64 2.72 4.17   7.08   37.5" 10'1" 19
Jay Goldberg, 900FootballLinks.NET - Showed an erratic arm at the Senior Bowl.
Jay Goldberg, 900FootballLinks.NET - Shockley is a gifted athlete, Shockley finally got to start last year after David Greene graduated.  Shockley completed almost 56% of his passes and threw for 24 TDs against only 5 interceptions.  However, Shockley is short by NFL standards and despite a poor showing at the Senior Bowl has the potential to develop into a good backup quarterback.
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Carrington Central Fla 6'6.7", 267 4.65     4.48   7.22 21 34" 10'2'  
DE - NOT AT COMBINE
Jay Goldberg, 900FootballLinks.NET - A very nice workout for Carrington.  Carrington is a player who goes all out and pursues well to the ball.  This makes him an asset against both the pass and the run, but he needs to add bulk to his large frame if he is ever going to be more than a backup and special teams player.
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Jackson Auburn 6'0.3", 304 5.12 1.80 3.09 4.61   7.74 26 31" 8'8"  
DT
Jay Goldberg, 900FootballLinks.NET - Jackson reads plays well and plays smart.  He is also a hard worker.  While limited athletically, Jackson is the type of player who grows on you and will be hard for a NFL team to cut.
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Hollis LSU 5'11.7", 231 4.60     3.95   7.01 19 32" 10'3"  
ILB/OLB - NOT AT COMBINE
Jay Goldberg, 900FootballLinks.NET - Hollis has speed, quickness, and smarts.  He could stick at the next level.
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Williams, T Auburn 5'11.4", 222 4.56 1.65 2.74 4.15   6.97 20 33.5" 9'10"  
OLB/SS
Jay Goldberg, 900FootballLinks.NET - Williams had an excellent Senior Bowl Game, making some big hits versus the run, and getting some pressure on the quarterback.
Jay Goldberg, 900FootballLinks.NET - Williams is a headhunter who makes tackles sideline to sideline.  He could make the transition to strong safety and, worst case, could be a nickel linebacker and special teams demon.

 

2006 TEAM NEEDS
prior to free agency

LEGEND:  MAJOR NEED     NEED     DEPTH/POSSIBLE NEED     NOT A NEED

ATL
QB With Vick backed up by Schaub is a good situation, however, the Falcons have to start preparing for the possibility of losing Schaub in free agency in a couple of year.
RB Dunn carries a big price tag for next year, but isn't going anywhere.  Duckett may have lost his window to be a full time starter, but is fine as a change-of-pace back for Dunn.  The Falcons need to draft a back who can take over for Dunn in a year or two.
WR Surprised to see only green?  I like the young tandem of R. White and Jenkins.  However, a third and fourth wide-out are needed, especially if Finneran leaves as an UFA.  By the way Pathon and D. White are also UFAs. 
TE Crumpler is top notch.  Beverly and Blakely are functional as a blocker and receiver respectively.
OL This unit runs blocks well but pass blocks poorly.  There could be tweaking or major changes this offseason.  OT Shaffer is an UFA who is replaceable.  Omiyale will be given a shot.  The other tackle, Weiner, was injured and did not play well while playing hurt.  McClure and Fornay had their ups and downs.  Lehr is solid when healthy.  Big changes could be coming for this unit in the offseason.
DL Kerney is very effective on the left side, less so on the right, a position he was forced to play when Smith got hurt.  Coleman is a good pass rushing tackle.  Lavalais is not a bad player, but is not the strong inside run defender needed to pair with Coleman.  Shropshire could be.  Smith proved how much he is needed while sitting on the sidelines with an injury.  The Falcons need a defensive end who can back up and eventually take over for Smith, and a run-stuffing tackle to challenge Shropshire to replace Lavalais in the starting lineup.
LB A deep and talent unit.  Assuming Hartwell comes back healthy, he goes to the middle, Brooking slides back outside, and look for Boley to beat out Williams for the last starting spot.  That leaves Williams, Reese, and Beck on the bench.  As I said, a talented and deep unit.
DB How about two new starting safeties, and a new starting corner so Webster can move to the nickel?  Outside of Hall, this whole unit needs an overhaul, although Scott could rebound and reclaim a starting safety spot.
ST The Falcons are set at kicker and punter, however, Rossum was a disappointment in the return game after signing a big contract.  The Falcons should bring in Rossum insurance in case he doesn't show game-breaking ability and becomes a cap casualty.

 

2005 COLLEGE DRAFT

Atlanta - links below go to NFL.com reports Jaybird Jaybird
Rd Sel# Player Pos. Ht. Wt. School Ranking Value Board
1 27 White, Sharod 'Roddy' WR 6-1 201 Alabama-Birmingham # 5 WR Round 1
2 59 Babineaux, Jonathan DT 6-2 281 Iowa # 7 DT Round 3
3 90 Beck, Jordan ILB 6-2 231 Cal State Polytechnic # 5 OLB, # 8 ILB Round 3
4 128 Davis, Chauncey DE 6-1 258 Florida State Late Round Value > Round 4
5 160 Boley, Michael OLB 6-2 228 Southern Mississippi # 4 OLB Round 2
5 163 Omiyale, Frank OT 6-4 310 Tennessee Tech   > Round 4
6 201 Cobb, Deandra RB 5-10 196 Michigan State Late Round Value > Round 4
7 241 Shropshire, Darrell DT 6-2 301 South Carolina # 10 DT Round 3
FA   McLendon, TA RB 5-10 230 N.C. State # 19 RB Round 4
FA   Jones, Bryan CB 5-10 187 Texas A&M # 23 CB Round 4
FA   Magner, Cole WR 6-1 196 Bowling Green Late Round Value > Round 4
FA   Randall, Brian QB 6-0 223 Virginia Tech Late Round Value > Round 4
FA   Dudley, Kevin FB 6-0 238 Michigan Late Round Value > Round 4

 

The Falcons did a good job drafting for value, and stole Boley in round five, and Shropshire in round seven.

The Falcons had a very good draft.  White was a terrific player in college.  He is fast, tough, and has good hands.  In a year or two, he will be the Falcons' number one wideout.  Down the line he could start with last year's number one, Michael Jenkins, to give the Falcons two explosive receivers.  Babineaux is a a talented, albeit, smallish defensive tackle.  However, he fits in perfectly with the Falcons' defensive philosophy.  He will be an under-tackle, initially spelling Rod Coleman.  Beck was one of the best athletes available in the draft.  He will be a special teams stud (the first of three such players the Falcons added).  He played outside linebacker in college, but the Falcons have him projected as Ed Hartwell's backup in the middle.  Long term, he could move to strong safety and become a starter (Scott is now a free safety, Carpenter (or Heard) is a one year fill-in).  In the Falcon's scheme, Davis is a one-dimensional pass-rushing defensive end.  However, he can help in the nickel.  Davis was a slight reach because of his limitations, but if he is effective in his pass-rushing role, he was worth a fourth-round investment.  Boley was an out-and-out steal in round five.  I had a second round grade on him.  He is a football-playing machine with good speed, quickness, athleticism, and smarts.  The knock on Boley?  He is only 228 pounds which is light for an outside linebacker.  Initially, he will back up Brooking on the weak side, and be another special teams demon for the Falcons. Omiyale is a small school prospect with good size and base skills.  He will need time to develop, and is no sure thing, but is worth a shot as a developmental player.  Cobb could win the number three running back role with Atlanta.  He is very fast, and stronger than he looks.  After Dunn is done, he could be a good change-of-pace back to pair with Duckett.  Shropshire brings a little more bulk to the tackle position than the Falcons usually do, and has the athleticism they crave for their defense.  I had a third round grade on Shropshire who had one of the best defensive tackle workouts in the class.  He will need time to develop, but could be a stud in time.

The Falcons followed up an excellent draft by signing some quality free agents.  T.A. McLendon is a big bruising back who keeps getting injured.  If he stays healthy he could force the Falcons to keep four running backs.  Bryan Jones was an excellent signing.  While he could stick as a dime back, his utility is as a special teams ace and return man.  Jones was very impressive both playing defense and on special teams during the college all star games.  Cole Magner showed unbelievable quickness during workouts.  Unfortunately (for him), the Falcons have five receiver spots seemingly sewn up.  He could, however, stick around as a practice squad player.  Brian Randall is an excellent athlete who uses his athletic ability and smarts to play quarterback more than a strong arm.  If he dose nott  win their third string quarterback job, he could be moved to another position.  Kevin Dudley is a good looking fullback prospect who could come in and steal a job with a good camp.

RED NUMBERS BELOW - among best at position   
Long shuttle numbers (where available) in blue, top performers to be determined later

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White WR 4.41   4.01 11.56 7.12   41" 10'6" 17
Colin Lindsay of GBNReport.com reports: In one-on-one routes against live DBs, Roddy White of UAB blew past the covering CB.
Jay Goldberg of 900FootballLinks.NET reports: Before it's all over, White may be the receiver that rises way up my draft board.  Has toughness in addition to  to size and speed.  For a receiver, that shows heart.  White  be a very good NFL player.
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Babineaux DT 4.90 1.87 4.62   7.71 21 29.5" 9'1" 13
Jay Goldberg of 900FootballLinks.NET reports: Babineaux lacks ideal size for a defensive tackle, but is a good pass-rushing tackle.  A team that pairs a quick tackle, with a big run-suffer, could draft Babineaux slightly higher than wher I have him graded (high round three prospect).
Zac Jackson, of ClevelandBrowns.com, reports:
Iowa DL Johnathan Babineaux showed an impressive combination of size and speed during Monday's, Jan. 24, Senior Bowl practice in Mobile, Alabama.
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Beck ILB/OLB/SS 4.45 1.61 4.12   6.92 25 42" 10'10" 27

JAYBIRD PLAYER WHO WILL HAVE A BETTER NFL CAREER THAN MANY DRAFTED HIGHER THAN HIM

Wow, what an athlete.  In fact, this 6'2", 233 pound linebacker has the athleticism and speed to play safety in the NFL.  Worst case, Beck will be a dominate special teams player, best case you have a fast (4.45 forty), strong, quick, smart, athletic starting linebacker.  Beck will be in the NFL long after players selected ahead of him are gone from the league.

Gil Brandt of NFL.com reports: Beck is a rising star who had four interceptions, returning one for a TD against Montana State. Coaches don't know if Beck is a linebacker in the pros or if they should slim him down a bit and make a safety out of him.
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Davis DE 4.81 1.64 4.30   7.68 22 37" 9'10" 11
Jay Goldberg of 900FootballLinks.NET reports: Davis has added bulk to play defensive end in the NFL.  Davis is a hustle-player and if he can play at his new weight (274), he will help some team.  One interesting idea: Davis is the type of player that a team like the Patriots could ask to keep his weigh down (played in the 250's) and move to inside linebacker (like Bruschi).
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Boley OLB 4.50 1.65 4.12   7.08 17 34" 9'5" 30

JAYBIRD PLAYER WHO WILL HAVE A BETTER NFL CAREER THAN MANY DRAFTED HIGHER THAN HIM

Yes he is light for a linebacker.  But boy, does he have skills.  Boley can blitz, and he can pursue, and he can tackle.  Look for Boley to drop because he is only 226 pounds, but look for him, in time,  to be a major contributor to the team that drafts him.

Colin Lindsay of GBNReport.com reports:  Southern Miss OLB Michael Boley helped himself running at the Combine. Boley has always been very productive on the field, especially getting after the QB, but had been thought to have more of 4.75-4.80 type speed
Carlos "Big C" Holmes of www.daytondailynews.com reports:
Boley was a range-rover, dropping back into pass coverage to make a number of outstanding plays. He played so well in open space that some teams may start viewing him as a safety. However, make no mistake about it: Boley said he is a linebacker despite his ability to play in the secondary.
Colin Lindsay of GBNReport.com reports: 
Southern Miss OLB Michael Boley showed the best pass rush technique of the South LBs; he used his arms well once he got leverage and made himself a hard target to hit with a variety of lateral moves; when he did get tied up, though, Boley struggled a bit to disengage, he also overran a play in the full scrimmage plays. 
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Omiyale OT 5.16 1.87 4.72   8.22 22 29.5" 8'5" 20
Jay Goldberg of 900FootballLinks.NET reports: Omiyale is a small school prospect with the physical skills and size that will attract interest by NFL teams.  He will need time to develop, but could pay dividends if the team that drafts him is patient.
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Cobb RB 4.38 1.63 4.26   7.13 17 34" 9'10" 16
Jay Goldberg of 900FootballLinks.NET reports: Cobb has speed and surprising power.  He could stick as a change-of-pace back and a kick returner.
NFLFans.com reports:
Cobb is a small but powerful runner, has exceptional speed, and has proven to be very durable.  However, he is  a small back with limited use in passing game and is a poor blocker
Jay Goldberg of 900FootballLinks.NET reports:
Outside of a good run on a fake reverse, Cobb did not stand out at the Hula Bowl.
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Shropshire DT 4.94 1.69 4.34   7.55 25 34" 9'8" 15

JAYBIRD PLAYER WHO WILL HAVE A BETTER NFL CAREER THAN MANY DRAFTED HIGHER THAN HIM

Shropshire is one of the better defensive tackle/nose tackle athletes to come into the league in the last few years. Of course if his on-field play had been up his athletic ability he would be talked about as a first round pick. However, he has raw athletic ability that can not be taught, and is playing a position in the NFL where coaching could bring out the best in him. Shropshire will develop into a solid NFL player.

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McLendon RB 4.63 1.69 4.27 12.42 7.35 27 35" 9'9" 18
Jay Goldberg of 900FootballLinks.NET reports: A power back with injury concerns.  Not a good combination.  If healthy could be a good NFL power back.
NFLFans.com reports:
Very tough, decisive runner with good power. Can run people over, deals out lots of punishment despite being 5'11''.  Has had injury problems, speed is average. Will need to show up strong in the workouts
Allen Trieu of NFLDraftShowcase.com reports:
McLendon is as good as any other back in the country with the ball in his hands. However, keeping him on the field and keeping the ball in his hands have been issues, and those are two large issues. Thus, he will slide a little on draft day and he is a high risk/reward player. The fumbling should be correctable, so if he stays healthy, he could be a big time steal. 3rd-5th Round depending on how daring teams are.
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Jones CB 4.52   3.95   7.30 12 37" 10'4"  
Gil Brandt of NFL.com reports: Jones looked pretty good in the position workouts during his Pro Day.
Jay Goldberg of 900FootballLinks.NET reports:
Jones played very well at the Hula Bowl.  He played a solid corner showing both good ball skills and good pass defense skills.  He is also a good kick returner.  A good role player for a team.  One of my top five players in the game.
Jay Goldberg of 900FootballLinks.NET reports: Jones had a very good Gridiron Classic game.  He was the best special teams cover player in the game.  In fact, he was so good just on coverage teams, that that alone made him one of my top five players in the game.
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Magner WR 4.55   3.90 10.71 6.42   33" 9'5"  
Jay Goldberg of 900FootballLinks.NET reports: Magner is extremely quick with a 6.42 three-cone.   (Roby with a 6.61is the next best on my value board).  Magner played basketball as well as football in college.
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Randall QB/WR 4.59 1.66 4.04   6.72   37" 9'3" 19
Gil Brandt of NFL.com reports: Randall is an interesting case. He's probably one of the best athletes of the draft, but he's not being looked at as a quarterback even though he was the MVP of the Tigers' bowl game this year. He stood in at 6-1 5/8 and weighed 229 pounds. He ran 4.59 and 4.60 in the 40, had a 36-inch vertical, a 9-foot-3 long jump, a 4.21 short shuttle, a 6.92 in the three-cone drill and 14 strength reps.
Jay Goldberg of 900FootballLinks.NET reports:
Randall is a good athlete.  He can run.  He is said to be very smart, and reportedly runs a 4.5 forty (I'll wait until workouts to be sure).  He played okay at the Hula Bowl and looks like he could be moved to another position if he doesn't make it at quarterback.
Jay Goldberg of 900FootballLinks.NET reports: During the Gridiron Classic game, Randall had some nice runs.  His throwing was just okay, and a position change could be in order.
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Dudley FB 4.86 1.73 4.58   7.27 19 30" 9'1" 21
Jay Goldberg of 900FootballLinks.NET reports: Dudley could be an effective NFL fullback.
Jay Goldberg of 900FootballLinks.NET reports:
During the Gridiron Classic game Dudley hit the fullback tri-fecta.  He blocked well, caught the ball well, and ran well.  One of my top five players in the game.

2005 TEAM NEEDS PRIOR TO FREE AGENCY AND THE DRAFT

Jay Goldberg of 90FootballLinks.NET reports: 
major need         need position         possible need, depth needed    no real need
Key UFA: Feely K, Garza G, Herndon G, Mathis CB, Rossum ST, Stewart LB,Beasley CB
Key RFA:  Shaffer T (7th), Bibla G (4th), McCaddam S (5th)
NOTE - RFA COMPENSATION AT MINIMUM TENDER

QB: The Falcons could use an upgrade at backup quarterback.  Schaub has potential, but is a very different quarterback than Vick so if Vick is hurt for a game or so, he is not an ideal replacement.  He is fine as a longer term option.  The Falcons should look for a veteran who can step in a help win a game should Vick get injured.
RB:
Dunn and Duckett are a good one-two punch.  A young buc could be added late in a very deep running back draft for additional insurance.
WR: Price has not blossomed as expected as a true number one wideout, he may be better as a number two.  Finneran and White are good complimentary receivers, but could be improved upon.  Jenkins, a number one draft pick last year, has potential, but does not have the look of a big-time go-to receiver.  A top player would be great, but another good player to add to the mix is required.
TE: Crumpler is a pro bowl player.  An upgrade behind him, especially a dominate blocker, would be beneficial.
OL: The Falcons offensive line is a very good run blocking line, but allowed 50 sacks, ranking 28th in the league.  In addition, one starter is an UFA, and another is an RFA.  The Falcons could use an upgrade at left tackle, and possibly need a starting guard depending upon what happens in free agency. 
DL:
The Falcons have talent and depth along their defensive line, led by Kerney, Coleman, Jasper, Smith, Lavalais and Hall.
LB: Stewart is an UFA, as is his backup Ulmer.  Duncan another backup is also an UFA, and Draft, the starter, is replaceable.  Brooking is Brooking, which is fine.
DB: Three backup corners are UFAs.  Webster is an okay starter, but would be an ideal nickel.  I keep waiting for a breakout season from FS Hall.  I'm starting to think what you see is what you get, which is just an average player.  SS Scott is top notch.
ST: Feely, their kicker, and Rossum, their primary return-man are UFAs.  Depending upon what they do this area could be a major need, or no need. 

 

2004 COLLEGE DRAFT

Atlanta
Rd Sel# Player Pos. Ht. Wt. School
1 8 Hall, DeAngelo CB 5-10 197 Virginia Tech
1 29 Jenkins, Michael WR 6-4 217 Ohio State
3 90 Schaub, Matt QB 6-5 237 Virginia
4 101 Williams, Demorrio OLB 6-0 232 Nebraska
5 142 Lavalais, Chad DT 6-1 293 Louisiana State
6 186 Pruitt, Etric FS 6-0 197 Southern Mississippi
7 219 Wilson, Quincy RB 5-9 225 West Virginia

 

The Falcons had a very good draft.  At the top they selected athletes.  As the draft wore on, they shifted to players that were productive on the field more than in workouts.  By doing so, they got excellent value, at least in my humble opinion.  The only area I expected the Falcons to attack in the draft that they did not, was a rush end to play in third and long situations.  In the round one the Falcons selected the top corner in the draft, drafting for both need and value.  Hall will be a good one.  With their second pick in round one they grabbed Michael Jenkins.  He has a tremendous upside and comes from a school that has developed solid NFL receivers (at least on the field) like Galloway, Glenn and Boston.  Jenkins has size and speed and had a first round grade.  I think the Falcons misfired on Schaub.  Not because he is a bad player, but because Schaub is not a mobile quarterback and the game plan will have to be altered tremendously if has to play because of an injury to Vick.  I would have waited a round or two and selected McCown or Harris.  Williams is an excellent athlete with good skills and had a third round grade from me.  I believe he is big enough to play linebacker in the NFL and will be a great special teams player while awaiting his opportunity.  Lavalais and Pruitt are two players who performed better on the field than they did in workouts.  Lavalais had a poor workout and dropped from second round consideration to late third early fourth on my board and to round five in the actual draft.  He will be given a chance to show he plays faster and stronger than he tests.  He was an excellent choice at the spot where the Falcons grabbed him.  Pruitt is a tackle hound.  While he has good short area speed to close on a tackle, he did not have a good forty time which could make him vulnerable to the big play.  He may be best suited to strong safety in the NFL, but he finds a good young player, Bryan Scott ahead of him on the Falcons' depth chart.  wilson has a chance to make the roster over Fenderson and Brown.  A legitimate chance to stick is good value in round seven.  As far as free agents go, three to keep an eye on are: WR Youngblood who could become a viable option as a big target to help move the chains in third-down situations; Rader who is a good blocking tight end; and Royal who is a good athlete who came into his own after transferring from a big-time program to a smaller one, he is an athlete who loves to hit.

PLAYER/ TEAM NEWS PRIOR TO DRAFT

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Hall CB 5.10.2, 205 4.34 3.68 - 6.39 15 39" 10-9
Hall
Virginia Tech

#1 ranked CB by Jaybird

Pete Fiutak / CollegeFootballNews.com posted at foxsports.com reports: 
Projected: 2nd to early 3rd round. Good or bad move to come out early? Blinding speed and sensational kick return abilities could move him up to the late first round.
Gil Brandt of NFL.com reports: Virginia Tech's D'Angelo Hall ran in the low 4.4s at the Combine.
John Clayton of ESPN.com reports: Cornerback DeAngelo Hall of Virginia Tech may be this year's Marcus Trufant and fly toward the top of the draft. He ran a 4.34 40 Wednesday
Gil Brandt of NFL.com reports: Sources at the workout (pro day) said that Hall looked great in his drills.
Len Pasquarelli of ESPN.com reports: In a workout one NFC scout described as "top-shelf," Hall likely catapulted himself to the peak of the cornerback totem pole for next month's draft. The corner spot remains a position in flux, one for which preferences could change several times between now and April 24, but Hall certainly set the bar high for the other prospects at the position.  The consensus, at least for now, is that DeAngelo Hall of Virginia Tech and South Carolina's Dunta Robinson have separated themselves from the rest of the pack.
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Jenkins 6-4 3/8, 217 4.38 - 4.31 - 6.93 - 34" 10-6
M Jenkins
Ohio State

#5 ranked WR by Jaybird

D. J. Boyer of Football.com reports:  Jenkins beat out Keary Colbert for the North (as most impressive receiver during Senior Bowl practices), and while both were impressive their speed numbers is what could be their downfall.
Jay Goldberg of 900FootballLinks.NET reports: Ohio State WR Michael Jenkins had a very good Senior Bowl game performance.
Len Pasquarelli of ESPN.com reports: Observations from two AFC personnel directors and an NFC college scout  "Keep an eye on these two (wide) receivers: Keary Colbert (Southern California) and (Michael) Jenkins from Ohio State. Neither of them will burn it up speed-wise, but they both have excellent size and they catch the ball. Colbert is probably the more polished guy right now but, man, Jenkins is really a big kid. With his size, you've got to look at him. I could see one or maybe even both of these guys being like the Drew Bennett kid who plays for the Titans. You give them a year or so to develop and you might have something there, you know?"
GBNReport.com reports: Ohio State workout was conducted on a fast track.
Len Pasquarelli of ESPN.com reports: Ohio State standout Michael Jenkins, a huge (6-feet-4, 217 pounds) and aggressive wideout most viewed as a second-round choice until this week,  Jenkins torched the 40-yard sprint, with times of 4.38 and 4.42, and demonstrated better pure receiving skills than some scouts felt he possessed. Some are now talking about him as a legitimate first-rounder.
Vic Ketchman of  jaguars.com reports: Michael Jenkins, 6-4, 221, didn't have a good senior season last fall. But a good Senior Bowl has the Ohio State wide receiver moving up draft boards again. If he continues his climb, he could be a first-round pick.
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Schaub 6-5½, 233 5.03 4.62 7.50 31" 9-7
Schaub
Virginia

#7 ranked QB by Jaybird

NFLFans.com reports: Schaub has great size for a quarterback at 6’5, 240 pounds and while not mobile, it takes a lot to take him down. He has very good arm strength and is one of the smartest, most prepared quarterbacks in the draft.
Gil Brandt of NFL.com reports: Schaub had a very good workout at his pro day.
Schaub is a classic pocket passer who possesses a good feel for the intermediate passing game. He locates the open receiver well and makes good decisions with the football. His accuracy runs hot and cold at times, but that is correctable with better mechanics. If Schaub hooks up with the right quarterback coach, he could develop into an adequate starter at some point, but would be an ideal backup.
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D Williams O 6.00.5, 232 4.50 4.11 - 7.02 16 37" 10-5
D Williams
Nebraska

#8 ranked OLB by Jaybird

D. J. Boyer of Football.com reports: OLB Demorrio Williams was the biggest surprise (at Senior Bowl practices), and was the most consistent linebacker for the North.
Drew Boylhart of www.thehuddlereport.com reports: Demorrio Williams - Nebraska – Small, but tough. Good instincts and tackling.
NFLFans.com reports: Somewhat of a tweener, like many of the under-sized prospects in this LB class, and may be best converted to the safety position unless he can add the bulk/mass/strength needed to play LB in the NFL.
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Lavalais DT 6-6-2¼, 302 5.04 - 4.62 7.64 17 25" 8-7
Lavalais
LSU

#14 ranked DT by Jaybird

D. J. Boyer of Football.com reports: Chad Lavalais – One guy I have failed to mention in previous reports is LSU defensive tackle Chad Lavalais, a player who got a lot of attention during the LSU National Championship run. Lavalais may be the player who is fluctuating more than any other on teams draft boards. Lavalais has had what many consider to be an “up and down” week (at Senior Bowl practices). I think Lavalais has settled into a late 2nd to mid 3rd round selection in terms of value. Teams that really seem to like Lavalais include Atlanta, Indianapolis and New England.
Jay Goldberg of 900FootballLinks.NET reports: LSU DT Chad Lavalais had a solid Senior Bowl game performance.
Jamie Moore of gbnreport.com (Great Blue North Report) reports: DT Chad Lavalais, Louisiana State... Doesn't look like much in shorts and a tee, but comes off the ball very quickly, gets great leverage and battles until the whistle (comments from the senior Bowl).
Colin Lindsay of GBNReport.com reports: DT Chad Lavalais, about whom there have been some questions regarding his functional upper body strength, managed only 17 reps pressing 225 pounds.
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Pruitt FS 6-0, 196 4.61 4.00 11.52 6.92 15 41" 9-10
Pruitt
So Miss

#9 ranked FS by Jaybird

D. J. Boyer of Football.com reports:  Etric Pruitt (S) of Southern Mississippi also showed promise (at Senior Bowl practices).
Drew Boylhart of www.thehuddlereport.com reports: S - Etric Pruitt – Southern Mississippi - Great in supporting the run. Not bad in the passing game. Good Special teams.
Len Pasquarelli of ESPN.com reports: FS Etric Pruitt (Southern Mississippi): Big-time hitter who was very productive at the college level, always around the ball, seems to like contact. But he ran only in the high 4.6s and, more significant, looked sluggish and non-instinctive in some drills. Did not move to the ball particularly well, looked like strictly a zone-type player who has to be backed 10-12 yards off the ball. It didn't help him that, by comparison, many of the other safety prospects did so well.
Mel Kiper of ESPN.com reports: As the draft day countdown approaches three weeks, Kiper has identified Pruitt as a fast riser.
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Wilson 5-9¼, 221 4.66 - - 4.34 7.06 - 35" 10-4
Wilson
West Virginia

Jaybird: below 4th round

NFLFans.com reports: Wilson plays more like a FB in a RBs body.
 
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Youngblood 6-4½, 210  4.58 - 4.40 11.71 6.96 - 39½" 10-7
Youngblood
Clemson

Jaybird: below 4th round

Bryan Dietzler of NFLFans.com reports: WR Youngblood is a big guy both in height and weight. He easily out jumps defenders for the ball when it is thrown high and can out muscle the defender for the ball. He is great at catching the ball in traffic and can use his size to block the defender out while catching the ball. He is dependable, with great hands and has very rarely ever dropped a pass. He catches the ball away from his body and catches most everything that is thrown his way, low or high. He is a great possession receiver.  Youngblood lacks the outstanding speed and quickness of a starting NFL wide receiver. He is not a deep threat and wont' outrun speedy cornerbacks. He is more of a third down receiver. The broken leg suffered in 2001, although healed might still cause some teams to look him over.
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Winslow II 6-4¼, 274 4.96 - - 12.68 7.45 22 26½" 8-3
Rader
Marshall

Jaybird: below 4th round

NFLFans.com reports: Rader was stuck behind Randy McMichael and Ben Watson at Georgia for 2 years so transferred to Marshall just to get playing time. He has a great attitude and work ethic and just loves to maul his blocking assignments.
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Royal I 6.01.1, 239 4.62 4.42 - 7.49 - 37" 9-2
Royal
McNeese State

Jaybird: below 4th round

NFLFans.com reports: Royal has exceptional strength (school record for LBs at 405 # bench press along with a 38 inch vertical jump), and has put up enormous numbers in two years in a small school. He was originally at Florida and transferred to a small school that will make some wonder how good he will do when returning to big time competition. He wasn’t able to crack the lineup at Florida; will he be able to do so in the NFL?

TEAM NEWS/NEEDS PRIOR TO THE DRAFT

Jay Goldberg of 90FootballLinks.NET reports: 
major need         need position         possible need, depth needed    no real need
Key UFA: Johnson QB, Bolden CB, Carpenter S
Key RFA: Garza G (4th round), Forney G (7th round), Stewart LB (4th round), Feely K
NOTE - RFA COMPENSATION AT MINIMUM TENDER
OFFSEASON CONCERN: cornerback Juran Bolden  was indicted 2/20/04 on charges of driving a stolen car and marijuana possession
QB: Vick is one of the best players in the league.  Johnson was disappointing and is an UFA.  Kittner, his performance spoke for itself.  The backup QB position needs to be addressed in the offseason.
RB: If the Falcons stick with Dunn, and give him his 20-25 touches a game then they are set.  Duckett offers good support, but they must not be tempted to get him too involved, at least not for the next couple of years.  Griffin was effective at FB, showing he could fill in at running back as well.  He reminds me of Konrad of Miami.  Dantzler has skills, it remains to be seen, however, how he should be used.
WR: Price and Finneran are an okay combo.  Price has the skills to be a lead receiver, but will certainly not be confused with Moss-Holt-Owens-Harrison.  The Falcons are also relatively weak on the bench behind these two, although I am intrigued by Edwards.  The Falcons need two receivers.  Ideally, one to challenge for a starting spot, and one to play in multiple receiver sets.
TE: The Falcons are fine at tight end.  Crumpler is a top talent and Kozlowski a steady old pro.  A young tight end to eventually replace the aging Kozlowski would be helpful.
OL: A hard to read unit.  They have some talent, some free agents and some players who can opt out of contracts.  Some of their better players under-performed last, others when given a chance played better than expected.  Some who were inconsistent fit the mold of their new line coach, some who played better than do not.  As a said, a hard unit to read.  Look for the Falcons to add a couple of players and figure it all out in camp.
DL: Kerney keeps playing hard and producing.  I'll take him for my team any day, even with his drop off in sacks last year.  A better sack threat than Smith playing opposite him, would benefit the whole line.  Ideally, Smith would be the third man in a three  end rotation.  Jasper had a good year.  Depth is also a concern, especially if Johnson retires.
LB: Brooking is a great player.  Draft is an excellent compliment to Brooking  inside.  Between Stewart (UFA), Newman, the oft-injured Overstreet and Rogers the Falcons can field serviceable starters, but effective 3-4 defenses usually have a feared blitzer at outside linebacker and none of those four fits that bill.
DB: Boldin was the Falcons top corner last year but he is an UFA who will get some play on the open market because of his size and performance.  McBride is a serviceable corner and Ross has some upside.  If Boldin leaves, a corner is a major need.  If Boldin stays, drafting a corner to compete with the holdovers is recommended.  Scott played very well when moved to safety.  He could be a star.  As in Cincinnati, Hall continues to look the part, but never puts it all together on the field and gets injured regularly.  What in the world happened to Carpenter?  Two years ago he looked like a long-term answer at free safety.

USAToday.com reports: The Falcons and Browns will pick seventh and eighth, the order to be determined by a coin flip. They're currently tied for the No. 7 spot, based on sharing 5-11 records last season and identical strengths of schedule. Recently hired assistant general manager Tim Ruskell will be in charge of the Falcons' draft, and the strategy he and other team officials forge will be based in great measure on what is accomplished in free agency. It's a good bet, though, that regardless of what happens in terms of player additions before the draft, that Atlanta will pick a couple of offensive linemen. If they don't do anything substantial in free agency at that position, they may use a higher pick on the O-line, although that wouldn't be in keeping with the track record of recently hired O-line coach Alex Gibbs.
Len Pasquarelli
of ESPN.com reports: It appears that Atlanta will select a cornerback with its first-round pick, eighth overall, 

2003 COLLEGE DRAFT

Atlanta
Rd Sel# Player Pos. Ht. Wt. School
2 55 Scott, Bryan SS 6-1 219 Penn State
4 121 Griffith, Justin FB 5-11 232 Mississippi State
5 159 Olinger, Jon WR 6-3 223 Cincinnati
6 196 Dunbar, LaTarence WR 5-11 196 Texas Christian
6 202 Bacon, Waine SS 5-10 191 Alabama
7 238 Veal, Demetrin DE 6-2 288 Tennessee
C-

2003 COLLEGE DRAFT REPORT CARD

The Falcons will look at Scott as a big, physical corner.  However, he may not have the speed to play corner in the NFL.  Iif that experiment fails, they can always move him back to safety.  The Falcons like throwing to their fullback.  Griffith is a good receiver and has good rushing skills for a fullback.  A good weapon for the Falcon offense, but blocking is not his strength.  Wide receivers Olinger and Dunbar are valued more by the Falcons than by me.  They have a chance but if I were a betting man (and I am), I would put my money on undrafted free agent signee Terrence Edwards to win a roster spot over one of those two drafted receivers.  Bacon is an interesting prospect.  A tad small he is a big-time hitter with better-than-expected speed.  At worst he should be a special team terror.  Veal is a defensive end-defensive tackle 'tweener. But he has good skills and can be an effective role player.  One such role could be a pass-rushing tackle in the nickel.
Scott WORKOUT NUMBERS Great Blue North (GBNReport.com) reports, DB Bryan Scott, 6'1 ½", 212, was clocked between 4.38 and 4.45 in the forty. Excellent times for a DB of that size.  (Note - ran on a fast track.)
J Griffin Draft2003.com reports, Justin Griffith, Mississippi State -- Ran 4.55 in the 40... at 5-foot-11, 229 pounds... also did 29 reps of 225 pounds... seen as a combination back... RB, FB and one-back...
Olinger WORKOUT NUMBERS  The Great Blue North (gbnreport.com) reports, Cincinnati wide receiver Jon Olinger, measures over 6-2 and ran in the 4.4s after a season in which he caught 54 balls for over 1,000 yards with an impressive yards-per-catch average of over 20
Dunbar WORKOUT NUMBERS  Gil Brandt of NFL.com reports, Dunbar ran a 4.59 twice on grass, about the same time he registered in Indianapolis at the Scouting Combine.
Bacon WORKOUT NUMBERS Gil Brandt of NFL.com reports, SS Bacon ran his 40s in 4.55 and 4.56, had a 40-inch vertical jump, 9-foot-9½ long jump, and he did not do the bench press.
Veal WORKOUT NUMBERS Gil Brandt of NFL.com reports, Demetrin ran his 40s in 5.1 and 5.08, had a 33-inch vertical jump, 9-foot-4 long jump, and benched 25 times.

 2002 COLLEGE DRAFT

GRADE : C-


Duckett will be the best RB that comes out of this draft but think about Vick throwing to Lelie.  Vick has the speed to bye lots of time.  Lelie has the speed to get wide open during that time, and is a tall target.  Overstreet, Bibla and Kittner are all serviceable players.  The type that can become contributors but if they are full time starters and an upgrade is available, you take it.  Hill was a great pick in round 6.  Has size and adequate speed.  The Falcons need receivers and Hill could contribute this year.


Links below take you to NFL.com's report on player, position or college team. 

Rd Sel# Player Pos. Ht. Wt. School
1 18 Duckett, T.J. RB 6-0 254 Michigan State
3 80 Overstreet, Will DE 6-3 259 Tennessee
4 116 Bibla, Martin G 6-3 306 Miami (Fla.)
5 148 McCadam, Kevin SS 6-0 220 Virginia Tech
5 158 Kittner, Kurt QB 6-2 211 Illinois
6 184 Hill, Kahlil WR 6-2 200 Iowa
7 217 Coleman, Michael WR 5-11 190 Widener
7 244 Shaffer, Kevin OT n-a n-a Tulsa

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