Falcons 2003 Draft Recap


This is a collection of information on each Falcon draft pick that you can find on the internet. It is a collection from multiple on-line sources about each player, so that you know how each of the experts feel on each player.  

Falcons 2003 Draft Picks

Round
Pick
Overall
Pos. Player
School
2 23 55 CB Bryan Scott Penn State
4 24 121 FB Justin Griffith Mississippi State
5 24 159 WR Jon Olinger Cincinnati
6 23 196 WR LaTarence Dunbar Texas Christian
6 29 202 S Waine Bacon Alabama
7 24 238 DE Demetrin Veal Tennessee

 


 

Property of GoPSUSports

#32 - Bryan Scott

Height: 6-1 Weight: 219
College: Penn State 40 Time: 4.60
ESPN Draft Tracker by Pro Football Weekly
Notes: Played in every game as a freshman and had nine tackles, two passes defensed and an interception. Started six games, including the last five, in 2000 and every game in '01, when he led the team in solo tackles with 62. Had 34-2-1 in 2000 and 82-8-0 in '01. Started all 13 games in '02, making 77-10-4 with two tackles for loss and one forced fumble.
Positives: Good size. Good at reading his keys and coming up in run support. Solid tackler. OK in zone coverage. Tough and physical, good worker who is alert. Plays hard and is competitive. Good hips and feet for his size. Great body and good athletic ability. Has potential to be a press and bump corner.
Negatives: Movement for a cornerback is average. Too big for a cornerback. Lacks flexibility. Stiff in turns and backpedal. Does not have great closing or recovery speed. Not real nifty or sudden. Does not have great catchup speed. Gets beaten at the line of scrimmage too much and can't recover. He could play corner on a team that plays zone or perhaps in a bump-and-run scheme, but he will really struggle playing man.
Summary: Scott is a good zone, cover-2 type of corner who might be better suited to play inside as a strong safety because he lacks the quick-twitch, fluid movements and change-of-direction and recovery speed scouts look for in an NFL cornerback.
Football.com by DJ Boyer
Strengths: Size, Play Recognition Weaknesses: Speed, Backpedaling
Assessment: Scott may be forced into action as a safety at the NFL level, regardless of where he ends up his talent is not in question. Scott saw his share of interference calls at Penn State and sometimes plays with too much aggression. Knows where he is on the football field and is good against the run. Very physical at the line of scrimmage and could be very successful jamming receivers at the line. Size and play recognition skills also may allow him to showcase his talents as a weakside blitzer, something he did well at Penn State. Due to his good size and versatility I think Scott could become someone who is sought after at the end of the first day of the draft.
FoxSports by STATS, Inc.
Scott is a big, physical corner from Penn State. He has good size and strength but only average speed. He is a good run defender and loves contact. He has a strong upper body, and he uses it effectively to jam receivers at the line and to ride them out of their routes. He is a sound tackler who will make plays in the open field. He is rarely fooled by fakes and doesn't take many false steps. Scott does a good job of getting through traffic to the ball carrier. He is a bit of a long strider and doesn't have good hips. He loses a lot of speed when forced to run with receivers. If he doesn't get a good jam at the line, he is going to struggle because he doesn't have the catch-up speed. He is best used in a cover-two scheme that protects him deep or in zone coverages. It is also possible that Scott could be moved to safety.
TFY Draft Preview by Tony Pauline
Bio: Full-time starter the past two seasons who also earned six starts as a true sophomore. Posted 71 tackles with 4 interceptions and 10 pass defenses last season. Junior totals were 62/1/3, after 26/0/2 the prior season.
Pos: Big cover corner who may be best inside at safety. Heady defensive back with good wherewithal, reading receivers eyes and displaying a nice move defending the throw. Uses his frame to box out opponents, hard hitting and works to get involved in the action. Smooth in his hips and loses nothing in transition, always positioning himself to make a play on the ball.
Neg: Would rather side shuffle than back pedal, plays back on his heels against better opponents and a little stiff with his footwork. Overall game lacks quickness and gets beat off the line by opposing receivers.
Analysis: Best as a nickel corner or in zone unless he takes well to a safety position.
Boomer's Draft by Rob Rang
Big physical defensive back that has started and played at a high level at both strong safety and cornerback throughout his career. Clearly a safety prospect at the next level. Lacks the change of direction skills and pure speed to operate as a cornerback and quite possibly, free safety, as well. Good size and all around ability for the strong safety position, however. Has the experience in coverage to handle the duties covering RBs and TEs, and is a consistent force versus the running game. Can play both in space - showing a surprising burst to the ball - and up close at the line of scrimmage. Takes on blocks aggressively and can beat them with not only his quickness, but with the fundamental block shed technique you'd expect from a senior with 48 games of Big Ten experience. Is a better athlete than generally given credit for. Only has 6 career interceptions, but has shown the ability to get his hands on the ball, batting away 22 passes over his career, including a career high 10 this past season as a strong safety - a pretty high number for a strong safety. A player that I feel could develop into a solid starter at this position with a few more years experience and likely would be a bargain at the point he is selected simply because he doesn't have the classic blend of skills and speed teams are generally looking for in a safety... General Grade: 1.65 , Position Grade: .70
Link to profile at AtlantaFalcons.com

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Property of MStateAthletics.com

#31 - Justin Griffith

Height: 5-11 Weight: 232
College: Mississippi State 40 Time: 4.59
ESPN Draft Tracker by Pro Football Weekly
Notes: Carried three times for nine yards and a touchdown in the 1998 opener and then redshirted. Started every game at fullback in '99, carrying 62-196-5 and catching 37 passes for 380 yards and a pair of scores. Played both fullback and tailback in 2000, with his only start coming at fullback. Carried 44-136-2 and caught 19-240-2. Started three games in '01 and played in five. Griffith injured his neck in Game Three and tried to come back, but he reinjured it and had to have surgery to remove bone spurs. Injured his ankle against Kansas State but didn't miss a start. In '02, started every game as a senior, when he led the team in rushing with 91-471-2. Also caught 19-199-0. Plays a little bit like ex-Georgia FB Verron Haynes.
Positives: Undersized but thick and powerfully built with excellent upper-body strength. Did more reps (29) of 225 than any other fullback at the Scouting Combine. Has quick feet and movements. Knows the game. Had low test scores but is an honor-roll student. Runs low and level with great determination that often moves the pile. Is not a dummy out of the backfield and actually has soft, natural hands. Has some tailback-type pick-and-slide ability. Makes adjustments to the ball well and has a feel for the passing game. Shows balance and a low center of gravity as a lead blocker. Could be a one-back or a tailback in a power-type offense.
Negatives: Lacks size, and at times that will limit him as a blocker. Does not have the speed or the make-you-miss ability scouts look for at tailback. Feet stop upon collision as a lead blocker. Not a great knock-you-back fullback.
Summary: Doesn't have the size of a conventional fullback, but he is a willing blocker who is also capable of running in a single-back power set.
FoxSports by STATS, Inc.
Griffith is caught in between two positions. He isn't big enough to be a classic fullback but isn't fast enough to be a running back. For a fullback, he has good speed and running ability. He runs with a good pad level and will run over people. He is good in short yardage situations and will move the pile. He keeps his legs moving and will get yards after contact. Griffith has good hands and can be used as a receiver out of the backfield. He doesn't have enough speed to get to the outside. As a blocker, he isn't very big. He tries hard on his blocks but doesn't have the strength needed to do it on a full time basis. He had a neck injury in 2001, which will raise some concerns.
Football.com by DJ Boyer
Strengths: Receiving, Leverage Weaknesses: Size, Durability
Assessment: Justin Griffith is a gifted runner who is very powerful and built more like a tailback. But Griffith isnít fleet of foot and he projects as a player who will get a look in round 7 as a fullback. Griffith has been moved around between fullback and running back but he can be utilized as a receiver. Griffith is even split out wide in some receiving packages, much like Michigan does with BJ Askew. Griffith runs very low to the ground and has very good leverage. Griffith is undersized to play fullback in the NFL and will need to add bulk. Durability will be a concern because Griffith is coming off a serious neck injury in 2001. Could flourish in the right system and be a late round steal.
TFY Draft Preview by Tony Pauline
Bio: Started eleven games as a senior leading the team in rushing carrying the ball 91 times for 471 yards with 2 scores, also catching 19 passes for 199 yards. Injured his neck during the third game of 2001 and required surgery to remove bone spurs. Finished the season carrying 44/136/2 and catching 19/240/2. Used extensively at both fullback and halfback the prior two seasons seeing a lot of time with the first team.
Pos: Athletic fullback best handling the football. Plays with forward lean, keeps his feet driving up the field and picks up yardage off initial contact carrying the ball. Patient, works his runs and shows solid footwork. Excellent receiver out of the backfield who displays soft hands and adjustment to the errant throw. Adequate fullback speed and has the ability to get around tackle and create space.
Neg: Lacks balance and technique in pass protection. Only an average blocker that does not finish defenders off.
Analysis: Richie Anderson type fullback with his ball handling skills.
Boomer's Draft by Rob Rang
Has turned a nice performance at the Senior Bowl and a very good showing at the Combine into entering draft month as one of the hottest names at the position. Entered the season as a decent prospect, but is now receiving middle round consideration. With Mississippi State's rushing attack struggling for much of the season, Jackie Sherrill was forced to lean on the previously rarely used Griffith. Griffith, who had only 13 rushing attempts the year before actually led the club in rushing yardage (471 yards, 5.2 avg.). While his running ability has helped his draft stock this season, it is his lead blocking potential and super production as a receiver that has captured the attention of NFL scouts. Griffith finished with 85 career receptions and is tough to bring down in the open field. He is athletic enough that he has seen action over his career at both fullback and tailback, though despite earning starts at both positions, it wasn't until this year that he was recognized as much of a running threat. In fact, despite entering the season with over 120 rushing attempts, he only 381 accumulated rushing yards. Even with his improved rushing production this season, he lacks quickness, burst, and vision as a runner and is not a breakaway threat. Has good strength as a blocker and uses it well, as he is both aggressive and technically sound. He is a little lighter than you generally like at the position, however, and this could be something NFL teams ask him to work on. if there is a concern with Griffith it is that he has had some severe injuries over his career. In fact, he missed the second half of his junior season with an injured neck. Bone spurs had to be removed in the off-season, but to his credit Griffith was just as aggressive as before. He also has had some recurring problems with his right leg, fracturing it in the past. Griffith had a nice week in Mobile and backed it up with a 4.62 and 29 rep Combine. I tend to temper my enthusiasm a bit for prospects getting real hot after all the real games have ended, but there is no doubting Griffith's ability to contribute in various ways. General Grade: 1.59 , Position Grade: .69
Link to profile at AtlantaFalcons.com

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Property of UCBearcats.com

#84 - Jon Olinger

Height: 6-3 Weight: 223
College: Cincinnati 40 Time: 4.67
TFY Draft Preview by Tony Pauline
Bio: Two year starter who caught 54 passes for 1,114 yards and 7 scores last season, after 27/469/7 as a junior. Pos: King sized receiver who may end up at H-back. Solid pass receiver who comes back to the ball out of his breaks, gets vertical for the high ball and uses his large frame to shield away opponents. Pulls the ball away from defenders, effective running after the catch and works to pick up positive yardage. Finds the soft spot in the defense and sneaks it downfield on occasion. Neg: Lacks the deep speed, quickness in or out of his breaks and prone to lapses in concentration which leads to dropped passes. Analysis: Has the frame to hold 225 pounds, a weight which he's played at in the past. Not fast or sudden enough to play receiver and will have to move closer towards the interior line of scrimmage.
FalcFans.com by Aaron Freeman
Pros: Great size and decent hands.
Cons: Lacks speed and is not a sure-handed receiver. Still quite raw.
NFL Forecast: Olinger is a decent prospect because he has a good mix of size, speed, and hands. But in the latter two areas he could still use a lot of develop. But he has good upside. I don't think he'll ever be a starter, but he could develop into a solid backup as a #3 or #4 wide receiver.
NFL Comparison: Donald Hayes, Jaguars.
Value: Because of his size and basic receiving abilities, Olinger is worth a look late in the seventh.
Link to profile at AtlantaFalcons.com

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Property of GoFrogs.com

#3 - LaTarence Dunbar

Height: 5-11 Weight: 196
College: Texas Christian 40 Time: 4.54
FoxSports by STATS, Inc.
Dunbar is a track athlete making the transition to wide receiver. He is quick and gets to his top speed in a hurry. He is fast off the line of scrimmage but doesn't have good size, and thus can be jammed and knocked off his routes fairly easy. His hands aren't all that good, especially when he catches on the run. When he does catch it on the run, he is a threat to go all the way. Not only does he have good speed, he is also elusive. His route running skills and techniques are still quite raw. He rounds off his routes and isn't a fluid receiver. He needs to improve his coverage reads and learn how to break down defenders. Dunbar has been used on kickoffs and could be used in that role in the NFL.
TFY Draft Preview by Tony Pauline
Bio: Second team All-Conference choice and three year starter who impacted TCU as a receiver and return specialist. Second team All-Conference choice as a senior after catching 31 passes for 449 yards and scoring 4 touchdowns, also averaging 27.8-yards on 18 kick returns with one score. Led TCU in all-purpose yardage as a junior after catching 41/529/3 and averaging 18.2 yards on 25 kick returns. All-WAC kick returner as a sophomore averaging 33.7 yards on 15 returns. Champion track and field sprinter for the Horned Frogs. Pos: Speedy ball handler who flashes big play abilities on occasion. Solid route runner who stays low out of his breaks, uses his body to protect the pass and gets separation from opponents. Goes up for the throw in a crowd, looks the ball in and comes down with the pass. Works to come free and make himself an available target. Catches the pass in stride then keeps the play in bounds, picking up big yardage after the reception. Explosive when given any open field as either a pass catcher or kick returner. Neg: Choppy route runner who is more fast than quick. Lacks the soft hands, does a lot of double catching or drops the easy throw. Analysis: Yet to prove he is more than just a flash in the pan, and though his on the field production warrants only free agent consideration, his special teams skills may get him looks in the late rounds.
FalcFans.com by Aaron Freeman
Pros: Has good hands and shows ability on special teams coverage. Good kickoff returner.
Cons: Lacks size and does not have deep speed.
NFL Forecast: Dunbar is built like one of those blazing dwarf wideouts, but he lacks speed and will only be a intermediate backup. But he will make his impact in the NFL on special teams. He has good enough hands to be a No. 3, and plus his abilities as a return man and in coveage will make him invaluable to teams' benches.
NFL Comparison: Dedric Ward.
Value: Dunbar lacks upside at wide receiver, but his abilities on special teams and mild ability offensively make him good enough to be a late seventh round prospect.
Boomer's Draft by Rob Rang
Explosive playmaker that might be best suited as a punt returner at the next level. Very good quickness and vision as both a return specialist and receiver. Led the country in kick returns as a sophomore with an astounding 33.7 yard average and two touchdowns. Has run track for TCU in the past and is still a little bit of a track guy in pads. Routes need a little work, though he does have the footwork to improve in this area. Dunbar also drops more passes than he should. Allows the ball to get into his pads too often and double-clutches others. Good quickness and shake 'n bake once he gets the ball in his hands and can grab yardage in chunks. Has been a consistent threat for the Horned Frogs throughout his career. Has averaged nearly 30 catches a season over the last four years, with his career high coming as a junior (45 catches). Teamed with similar prospect, Adrian Madise to give the club one of the more underrated receiving tandems in the country over the past two seasons. This is a prospect with some legitimate quicks, but he simply hasn't developed over the last few seasons as I hoped he would. His return ability will certainly help him get into the league and the hope is that once he gets a chance the finer aspects of the receiver position will start to come around... General Grade: 1.45, Position Grade: .70
Link to profile at AtlantaFalcons.com

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Property of RollTide.com

#24 - Waine Bacon

Height: 5-10 Weight: 191
College: Alabama 40 Time: 4.48
TFY Draft Preview by Tony Pauline
Bio: Played in thirteen games last season posting a career high 72 tackles with 4 interceptions and 10 pass defenses. Junior totals were 68/1/6. Blocked several kicks in the past. Co-Defensive MVP of the 2001 Independence Bowl. Pos: Hard working, run defending safety that displayed great progress the past two seasons. Quick moving up the field, hard hitting and throws his body around the action to make the stop. Disciplined in center field, displays an adequate break on the pass and solid ball skills. Outstanding special teams player. Neg: Not quick, fast and has limited experience. Analysis: Could definitely see this prospect catching on somewhere as an eighth defensive back thanks mostly to his special teams abilities and eventually growing into a dime back.
Link to profile at AtlantaFalcons.com

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Property of UTSports.com

#95 - Demetrin Veal

Height: 6-2 Weight: 288
College: Tennessee 40 Time: 5.10
ESPN Draft Tracker by Pro Football Weekly
Notes: Top high school weight man. Cerritos Junior College (Calif.) transfer. Had 16 tackles, seven tackles for loss and four sacks coming off the bench in every game in 2001. Lined up at both tackle and end. Started the first five games at right defensive tackle in '02. Missed most of Alabama game and all of South Carolina game with a calf injury. Then started seven games (including Peach Bowl) at right defensive end. Had 41 tackles, six tackles for loss and three sacks in '02. Also suffered an ankle injury.
Positives: Is quick off the ball, productive, thick and developed. Good pass rusher who uses his hands well and is tough, nasty, emotional, enthusiastic and aggressive with good play strength. Can get underneath and play with leverage and be disruptive when he keeps his pads low and plays with leverage.
Negatives: More of a bull rusher with few frills than an edge rusher. Has above-adequate athletic ability but must get low and underneath offensive linemens' pads. Does not make a lot of plays and lacks size and moves. Needs to improve his technique.
Summary: Tweener who is small for a tackle and lacks the height and big-time speed to be an end.
FoxSports by STATS, Inc.
Veal is a versatile defensive lineman from Tennessee. He has played both end and tackle but isn't great at either spot. He isn't quick enough for an end in the NFL and isn't big enough for a tackle, though he is closer to being a tackle than an end. He is somewhat short, but there are plenty of short tackles in the NFL. He needs to add some weight and strength to make the move inside. As an end, Veal is great against the run but doesn't have the speed, quickness, or moves to compete in the NFL. He doesn't change directions well and won't make many plays on the backside of a play. He needs to learn how to play with better leverage, as he plays too upright. When he does this, he neutralizes his only asset, his strength.
TFY Draft Preview by Tony Pauline
Bio: Moved into a full-time starting role as a senior totaling 41 tackles, 6 tackles for loss with 6 sacks. Played in every game as a junior but started none and finished with 16/7/4. Lined up at both tackle and end.
Pos: Undersized, yet explosive interior lineman. Athletic, displays good range and makes plays sideline-to-sideline. Effectively uses hand technique to keep opponents off him, disciplined and reads the action. Squares into tackles wrapping up and gives top effort.
Neg: Not a knee bender and stood up by opponents. Lacks bulk and has difficulty getting off blocks once engaged.
Analysis: Still developing as a player and must improve his strength without losing any explosion. Inexperienced and will need repetition but solid practice squad material.
Link to profile at AtlantaFalcons.com

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