By: John Wickham
For me as of right now the Atlanta Falcons needs are, in no particular order:
- C/RG (whatever position Peter Konz doesn’t play and Todd McClure retiring/not resigned) Todd McClure retired so Peter Konz slides over and Joe Hawley backs him up and Garrett Reynolds resigned so not sure if the Falcons plan to do anything else at this position.
- LT (If we don’t resign Sam Baker) Sam Baker resigned and have Lamar Holmes as the backup. Will Svitek signed with NE.
- TE (I believe Tony is gone) Guess what? He’s back!
- RB (I believe Turner is gone) Turner gone and enter Steven Jackson
- DE (PASS RUSH) Even with John Abraham this was a need so this definitely jumps to no. 1 need
- CB (Either Dunta or Grimes are gone, maybe both) Dunta Robinson signs with KC and Grimes could be out the door
- LB & S depth (Mike Peterson is gone and is 36 anyway and do you trust any of the other LBs, me neither; Both Willy Mo and Chris Hope are free agents) William Moore resigned and Shann Schillinger and Charles Mitchell are the backups so could sign a veteran. LBs still needed.
Falcons Draft Picks:
Updated: Post 1st week of Free Agency
* Denotes underclassmen.
1 30 (30) Desmond Trufant, CB, Washington
2 28 (60) Tank Carradine, DE, FSU
3 30 (92) Sio Moore, OLB, Uconn
4 30 (127) Marquise Goodwin, WR, Texas
4 36 (133) Comp pick T.J. Barnes, DT, GT
5 30 (163) *Kwame Geathers DT, UGA
6 30 (198) Jake Stoneburner, TE, OSU
7 30 (236) Caleb Sturgis, K, UF
7 37 (243) Comp pick Rod Sweeting, CB, GT
7 38 (244) Comp pick Joseph Fauria, TE, UCLA
7 43 (249) Comp pick Joe Kruger, DE, Utah
So here I am again having to explain my picks to the masses. And this is what I would like/want them to do not what I expect them to do. I did this draft with the expectations that the Falcons make no other moves before the draft. While I do think they will make one more move either at DE or CB; for this mock draft I left free agency alone.(Hopefully tomorrow or later today as it is past midnight as I finish writing this, I will give my amazing two cents worth on the Falcons offseason so far and moving forward)
I feel that entering the draft the Falcons are pretty much done on offense. I think that they are set at QB, RB, FB, and OL with regards to starters and depth. I think WR we need another slot WR who can also return punts and kicks. I am a believer in Harry Douglas and Drew Davis but with Mike Smith’s refusal at allowing HD a chance at returner we need someone do it and I think with Marquise Goodwin’s homerun ability he can help on special teams and then as deep threat from the middle of the field. And then TE we need something for after Tony. Maybe it is Chase Coffman and Michael Palmer but I think Jake Stoneburner and Joseph Fauria are two guys who would be an upgrade at TE over them.
Defensively we need help. I think our so-called speed is overrated. I do not think we are as fast as some people on the Falcons claim. The only guy with great speed at their position is Sean Weatherspoon. Everyone else has good but not elite speed. Defensively I tried to get players that could help in either the 4-3 or the 3-4. For the most part we will be in nickel anyway so to me it doesn’t really matter what we run just as long as they can play. Desmond Trufant might not be there but I think at 30 we look for one of the other CBs who should be good value there or a DE/OLB and go CB in the 2nd or 3rd. But I think we need to find a starter opposite of Asante Samuel and that keeps Robert McClain at the nickel unless the Falcons think they Robert McClain can handle the outside and we find someone for the nickel. The nickel is a position that is on the field for 60-70% of the snaps so I do not mind drafting a guy in the early rounds if he can contribute immediately. At DE/OLB we are going to be extremely young unless we sign a guy in free agency and I would rather not put all of our eggs in one basket and pressure a rookie into having to be the guy and get double digit sacks. I grabbed a couple different guys who I hope can be scheme diverse. People who hopefully can play the 4-3 DE and the 3-4 OLB or a LB who hopefully can play in either the 4-3 or 3-4. I did pick up two big mammoths that can hopefully play the middle and stuff the run while collapsing the pocket on pass plays. Both these guys have motor problems but you do not get to be 350 lbs without being a little bit lazy. I think we could also sign a guy who is in their mid to late 30s after the draft to help them out. These guys are not going to be able to be out there for too long in the game so a good rotation is needed.
I also picked up a kicker for the simple reason that he is supposed to be one of the best and using a pick on him guarantees that he will be on our team and can be an option if Matt Bryant isn’t getting it done or retires because he is getting up there in age.
To end it, I feel that I accomplished everything I would like to have done in this draft. Some of the rankings and players available might not be right but each team looks at everyone differently and there are always players that you do not expect that drop for some reason or another. We are going to be relying on our offense to win us some games but with our firepower I like our chances. Defensively we probably are going to be relying on young guys but I think they have the chance to work out. There are going to be busts but with 11 picks I think if you can be at least 50% and closer to 70-80% you are doing good.