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 Post subject: Falcons Remaining Needs
PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 2014 11:58 pm 
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Here are the remaining needs from the team's perspective (in order):

1. Outside Linebacker - Given their need to upgrade the pass rush, this is a slam dunk. Right now if the season started today, Kroy Biermann would start at one OLB, but the other spot would be potentially open to Osi Umenyiora, Joplo Bartu, or Jonathan Massaquoi. I think they see Osi purely as a situational pass rusher that can come in on nickel downs when they use a 4-man front. Bartu and Massaquoi are decent options, but I think the team would prefer to use them as a sub package players as well and given them another year of development before starting. And technically if the season started now, Biermann wouldn't be healthy enough to start in all likelihood. He's entering a contract year, so unless he shows he's 100% recovered form his Achilles tear, he's on the bubble for 2015. Same thing applies to Osi, who is probably the veteran most susceptible to being cut between now and camp.

2. Free Safety - I think the team is higher on Zeke Motta than his play and ability merits. It wouldn't be a total shock if by the time camp opens up, he's been talked up to a point where he is being asked to compete for a starting job. But more than likely they still add a free safety to push him if not replace him as the starter. That could come in free agency, although the market really washed up quickly there. So instead, I see them targeting one on the 2nd day of the draft. Would be the upset of the offseason if Day 2 of draft is over and the Falcons haven't made a major addition at this spot.

3. Tight End - Toilolo and Mickey Shuler are the only legit guys on the roster, and Shuler is just marginally deserving of that moniker. They might bring back Chase Coffman in the 2nd/3rd wave of free agency, but I doubt they'll add a veteran given the lack of a proven candidate on the market. If they wanted one of these guys, it's almost certainly the case they would've pursued somebody right at the jump of free agency. Even if Coffman comes back, the chances are still very high they take a TE in Rounds 2 thru 4.

4. Cornerback - They need to carry five corners, and basically at this point just have three trusted ones: McClain, Alford, and Trufant. Mabin might be in the mix for the fifth spot, but that leaves them open to add a fourth. I think they want to fill that spot with a veteran (thus their interest in Champ Bailey), but could easily draft a cornerback in the middle rounds. I'd like to see them target a long, press corner that can help add much-needed size and strength at the position. We'll see if that wish comes true. But don't be surprised if they signed a veteran towards April and also drafted a guy on the third day.

5. Defensive End - Getting Jackson helps here, but given that Malliciah Goodman is by no means a proven starter, and the team probably wants Babineaux to be a situational player, not a true starter, they should add another body here for depth. Corey Peters future status is unknown, so at this point even if he plays DE this year, they need to add insurance in case he walks next year and Goodman doesn't step up. This will likely come on Day 3.

6. Running Back - They need a Snelling replacement. Jackson has 2 more years left, but unless he becomes the first RB in history to defeat Father Time, 2015 is basically a contract year for him. So it is for Quizz, Antone, and Josh Vaughan. The Falcons could stand pat at RB and then just revamp the position in 2015, going into the season with just adding UDFA talent to compete with Vaughan for possibly the 4th and final spot, or keeping 2 FBs given Ewing's history.

7. Inside Linebacker - Worrilow and Spoon are likely going to be the starters when things open up, and Dent adds decent depth. But Spoon is entering a contract year, and while they might like Bartu, I think his future might be at OLB than ILB, although he looks more the part for ILB. But I think they add some insurance to back up Spoon and play ST as a rookie, with the potential he could compete for a starting job in 2015.

8. Offensive Tackle - I think the team is relatively comfortable with going into this season with Baker at LT, and Holmes, Carimi, and Mike Johnson competing for the RT spot. I think Schraeder is likely moved over to LT and is asked to sit as a future replacement for Baker in 2016. I do think this could be their first pick if the draft falls a certain way. But if they don't take an OT in the first round, I think it'll be placed on the back burner since anybody they would draft at that point probably isn't a substantial upgrade over Holmes, Carimi, and Johnson (all taken in Rounds 1 or 3).

9. Wide Receiver - Depth was poor last year. They need to bring in another guy to compete with Davis and Darius Johnson for the WR4 & 5 spots, since they don't seem aware of the fact that Harry Douglas is a poor WR3. But more than likely they do what they did in 2012 which is just targeting a bunch of talented UDFAs to compete in camp.

Non-Needs

10. Offensive Guard: They could add another guy to add depth, but Carimi and Gunn, plus Konz gives them decent depth. If they add a player here, it's likely going to come at the tail end of the draft.

11. Defensive Tackle: It's possible that they aren't in love with Travian Robertson, and could add a late-round wide body to bolster depth. But whoever they pick up isn't likely to play a ton, since Peters will probably get most of the reps on passing downs as the sub for Soliai in 4-man nickel fronts. This would be a late-round flyer type of pick.

12. Quarterback: Their confidence in Davis and drafting of Renfree makes chances they take a QB this year very, very slim. They'll give both guys at least 1 more summer to prove themselves before I think we see any movement on depth. More than likely, they just add a 4th UDFA arm to compete in camp.

13. Center: Hawley's return makes it likely that they stand pat at C with Konz and him competing this summer.

14. Kicker: Bryant could use a young guy to push him in camp, but outright replacing him. Unless he pulls a Vanderjagt and says something controversial, it's not happening.

15. Fullback: They'll give Ewing another chance. They have given an endless litany of ones to Sam Baker, Garrett Reynolds, Mike Johnson, Peria Jerry, and Robert James. No way that Ewing is viewed differently. DiMarco has a decent chance of making the roster because of his special teams value and Ewing's durability concerns. Without Snelling, the Falcons almost certainly will have to carry a true backup at FB.

16. Punter: Bosher will soon be up for an extension, wouldn't be surprised if there is no competition brought into camp.

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 Post subject: Re: Falcons Remaining Needs
PostPosted: Sat Mar 15, 2014 12:28 am 
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Since OLB is the biggest need if Mack isn't available I would probably go with OT in the first round and olb 2nd round. Players like Ford,Attaochu, Smith possibly available in round 2 I'd prefer one of them over Barr and secure the off line more. I still don't think the off line can get the necessary push in short yardage situations. While Baker and Blaylock will be on the left side,Asamoah and whoever on the right the off line probably performs the same in 3rd down efficiency against physical lines. Asamoah is certainly an upgrade but Baker/Blaylock even when healthy weren't winning the war in the trenches vs physical defenses. My hope if Mack isn't available is to draft Mathews or better yet Robinson put him on the right side and have a fighting chance to open holes in short yardage situations.

If the Falcs ever hope to play big boy football they will need to get much more physical.

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 Post subject: Re: Falcons Remaining Needs
PostPosted: Sat Mar 15, 2014 8:28 am 
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I think we need Mack bug time. I just don't see him there at our pick. I could see going up a couple picks to get him but I too am fine getting an OT with the first pick. Getting Mack first sets our draft up better I think. It could go OLB, FS, and TE in first 3 rounds. Going OT first means we go OT, OLB, and ???. I think a 4th and conditional pick next year could get us to Browns or Jags pick.


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 Post subject: Re: Falcons Remaining Needs
PostPosted: Sat Mar 15, 2014 12:51 pm 
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I think it's going to be Mack or an OT at the Falcons pick. That being said I don't think Mack makes it to the Falcons so either a small step up in draft position or we likely go with an OT.

Unless Atlanta sees something in Barr that make them think he'd be a great pass rushing LB that they can move around in the hybrid front.

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 Post subject: Re: Falcons Remaining Needs
PostPosted: Sat Mar 15, 2014 2:24 pm 
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I would like to see the Falcs get Robinson or Mack. Both may be gone by the time they pick, so maybe a trade down might be in order. Depending on the trade position, how about Dix or Pryor? I know a trade is an extreme longshot, but at least TD has shown a willingness to move around.


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 Post subject: Re: Falcons Remaining Needs
PostPosted: Sat Mar 15, 2014 9:27 pm 
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I am pretty sure Mack will be there even if Clowney goes #1 for example:

1. Hou: Clowney
2. Stl: Robinson
3. Jax: Bridgewater or Bortles
4. Cle: Bortles or Watkins
5. Raiders: Watkins/Matthews/or one of the Qbs
6. Atl: Mack

The Raiders striking out on OTs helps our cause and Jacksonville wont pass on Bridgewater I have heard they love him. Those are the two other teams that I think will take Mack off the board.

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 Post subject: Re: Falcons Remaining Needs
PostPosted: Sat Mar 15, 2014 9:47 pm 
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Worst case scenario
Houston - Mack
Rams - Robinson
Jags - Clowney
Browns - Bortles
Raiders - Matthews
Falcons - ???

I would say trade down but if no one will then what do we do?

Lewan? Barr? Are you sold on either of those? Is this too high for Hix?


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 Post subject: Re: Falcons Remaining Needs
PostPosted: Sun Mar 16, 2014 4:40 pm 
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starley657 wrote:
Worst case scenario
Houston - Mack
Rams - Robinson
Jags - Clowney
Browns - Bortles
Raiders - Matthews
Falcons - ???

I would say trade down but if no one will then what do we do?

Lewan? Barr? Are you sold on either of those? Is this too high for Hix?


I think I would trade down because someone will come knocking down the door for either Watkins or 1 of the QBs.

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 Post subject: Re: Falcons Remaining Needs
PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2014 11:32 am 
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Yeah, if the draft breaks down that way trade down and get some extra picks. Lord knows the Falcons need every pick they can get.

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 Post subject: Re: Falcons Remaining Needs
PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2014 3:09 pm 
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Trade down a bit to pick up a second-tier OLB or just take Watkins, as they'll need to replace Roddy in a year or two anyways.


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 Post subject: Re: Falcons Remaining Needs
PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2014 5:59 pm 
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...if you can trade down...

If you can't...Ebron?

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 Post subject: Re: Falcons Remaining Needs
PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2014 8:02 pm 
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I'm afraid we wouldn't be able to trade down. Enron would be great but so would Watkins. I'm not sold on Barr at 6. We could go safety too.


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 Post subject: Re: Falcons Remaining Needs
PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2014 12:02 am 
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Ebron would have my vote if the OTs and OLBs were off of the table and we couldn't trade down. Ebron would be a perfect fit for our personnel, but not necessarily our scheme. If we had a half-decent coaching staff, Jones + White + Ebron would be nightmarish to play against.


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 Post subject: Re: Falcons Remaining Needs
PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2014 10:15 am 
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Pudge wrote:
...if you can trade down...

If you can't...Ebron?



if they did that, they better start packing thier bags. I could accept an outside linebacker, but you dont spend the entire offseason hiring two new line coaches, and repeatedly telling the mantra that the team needs to get 'tougher and grittier' and waste thier #6 pick on another shiny hood ornament. Especially since the guys not a great blocker, and we just got rid of a guy who couldnt/wouldnt block.. Now, if they were smart, they should be trading down and loading up on picks. We can find a patchwork TE in the later rounds and if Tolololololoipolio plays at a competant level, I think that is a much better bet. :ninja:

Wont matter who lines up at TE if Ryan is, once again, flat on his back looking out the side of his helmet.

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 Post subject: Re: Falcons Remaining Needs
PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2014 1:44 pm 
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See, I don't have a problem going after someone like Ebron if the top 5 includes Clowney, Mack, Robinson, and Matthews. Ebron could be an incredible weapon in our offense. He's obviously a shiny hood ornament, but we wouldn't have to give up two other top draft picks in order to get him. Ebron would give us something that we have never had, the ability to stretch the seam from the TE or slot spot, and his size would allow us to take advantage of some significant mismatches.

I obviously want to get better on the lines. However, if you're picking in the top 10, that pick has to be for a player who you expect to be an all-star for your team. If the above guys are gone, I only see a few people who are, "all stars," and Ebron is one of them. Barr is extremely appealing as well. I'm just hoping that if the best players at the positions of, "top need," are gone, we don't reach for a lesser player with our top pick. Go ahead and use the pick on a top talent player.


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 Post subject: Re: Falcons Remaining Needs
PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2014 1:57 pm 
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Would Ebron be a bigger gamble than Watkins? If Watkins grades out on the same level as AJ Green or Julio, then that would be a better choice IMO. Watkins has a year to learn and next year Roddy can be moved to the slot.



fun gus wrote:
Pudge wrote:
...if you can trade down...

If you can't...Ebron?
x


if they did that, they better start packing thier bags. I could accept an outside linebacker, but you dont spend the entire offseason hiring two new line coaches, and repeatedly telling the mantra that the team needs to get 'tougher and grittier' and waste thier #6 pick on another shiny hood ornament. Especially since the guys not a great blocker, and we just got rid of a guy who couldnt/wouldnt block.. Now, if they were smart, they should be trading down and loading up on picks. We can find a patchwork TE in the later rounds and if Tolololololoipolio plays at a competant level, I think that is a much better bet. :ninja:

Wont matter who lines up at TE if Ryan is, once again, flat on his back looking out the side of his helmet.


Exactly how much should the Falcs invest in the OL? If they wouldn't have dumped one of the top DBs in the game (Grimes), then they could have used their 2nd last year on Warford. He was chosen by the Lions in the top of the 3rd and graded out as one of the top guards by PFF in his first year.


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 Post subject: Re: Falcons Remaining Needs
PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2014 2:01 pm 
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RobertAP wrote:
See, I don't have a problem going after someone like Ebron if the top 5 includes Clowney, Mack, Robinson, and Matthews. Ebron could be an incredible weapon in our offense. He's obviously a shiny hood ornament, but we wouldn't have to give up two other top draft picks in order to get him. Ebron would give us something that we have never had, the ability to stretch the seam from the TE or slot spot, and his size would allow us to take advantage of some significant mismatches.

I obviously want to get better on the lines. However, if you're picking in the top 10, that pick has to be for a player who you expect to be an all-star for your team. If the above guys are gone, I only see a few people who are, "all stars," and Ebron is one of them. Barr is extremely appealing as well. I'm just hoping that if the best players at the positions of, "top need," are gone, we don't reach for a lesser player with our top pick. Go ahead and use the pick on a top talent player.


but is Ebron it? Nothing I've seen shows where he merits a #6 pick. He is projected to fall to the Giants at #12.

Must disagree. When your sitting at #6, if all those guys are off board, I still dont see TE as a BPA.. This isnt a deep TE class. And it would definitely sends the message that all the 'tough talk 'was horsh*t. That seat is hot enough now, you gamble like that, it had better work out well,and I just don't see it as worth the risk.

Obviously we should be looking to trade down, but if we have to pick #6 I think there are a couple options that would pay off better then Ebron. And, if the Giants go after Mike Evans or Justin Gilbert and the unthinkable happens, and Ebron falls, by all means. But not in the top 10. This guy aint worth it. :whistle:

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 Post subject: Re: Falcons Remaining Needs
PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2014 2:05 pm 
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Spanky Ham wrote:
Would Ebron be a bigger gamble than Watkins? If Watkins grades out on the same level as AJ Green or Julio, then that would be a better choice IMO. Watkins has a year to learn and next year Roddy can be moved to the slot.



fun gus wrote:
Pudge wrote:
...if you can trade down...

If you can't...Ebron?
x


if they did that, they better start packing thier bags. I could accept an outside linebacker, but you dont spend the entire offseason hiring two new line coaches, and repeatedly telling the mantra that the team needs to get 'tougher and grittier' and waste thier #6 pick on another shiny hood ornament. Especially since the guys not a great blocker, and we just got rid of a guy who couldnt/wouldnt block.. Now, if they were smart, they should be trading down and loading up on picks. We can find a patchwork TE in the later rounds and if Tolololololoipolio plays at a competant level, I think that is a much better bet. :ninja:

Wont matter who lines up at TE if Ryan is, once again, flat on his back looking out the side of his helmet.


Exactly how much should the Falcs invest in the OL? If they wouldn't have dumped one of the top DBs in the game (Grimes), then they could have used their 2nd last year on Warford. He was chosen by the Lions in the top of the 3rd and graded out as one of the top guards by PFF in his first year.



If Matthews is there, snag him. He has a pedigree and will be a foundational member of an OL for years to come. Or, get an OLB. But, getting a WR or a TE at #6 only works if you can structure a game plan where they can be used the best. Who thinks Turd 'Bubble Screen' Koetter is the mastermind that can dial up that 'stretch the field,verticle offense'? I have no doubt Ryan could work it, just that Smith and Co. are unable to figure that out.

That's the other reason I say go for the lines at #6. Either one. The ROI is clearly better there, IMO. :ninja:

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 Post subject: Re: Falcons Remaining Needs
PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2014 2:50 pm 
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fun gus wrote:
Who thinks Turd 'Bubble Screen' Koetter is the mastermind that can dial up that 'stretch the field,verticle offense'? I have no doubt Ryan could work it, just that Smith and Co. are unable to figure that out.

That's the other reason I say go for the lines at #6. Either one. The ROI is clearly better there, IMO. :ninja:


I don't think Ryan can run a normal vertical offense, because his deep ball, while accurate, either takes too long to get there and/or falls short most of the time. He just doesn't have the arm. Ryan needs to see the "deep" opportunity quickly enough to get the ball out and let Julio catch up to it or to rely on julio's ability to go up and get the jump ball.

Thus, the Screen Cutter.

However, I'd agree with a T over a WR/TE,.


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 Post subject: Re: Falcons Remaining Needs
PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2014 11:26 pm 
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Ryan throws the deep ball just fine. This coaching staff is ultra conservative. Their game plan is to beat you by executing 16 play drives. That has been the case as long as Mike Smith has been here. On top of that, we have had a problematic offensive line for the past 3 years. With a gaping hole at RG, Ryan has not been able to step up into the pocket very often, which is kind of a requirement for throwing the ball deep.

I'm not saying that Ryan is perfect. Like most QBs, he gets rattled when he gets hit a lot. He also seems to panic at the line a bit when he reads blitz. (probably because our OL sucks) I believe that many people have a poor evaluation of his skills because of the staff and offensive line that he's been dealt. Ryan has all of the individual skills necessary to be a Tom Brady or Drew Brees. He even has a little bit of Peyton Manning. What he does not have is a staff that takes advantage of his skills. They also seem to purposely keep him from developing any further than he already has. (2nd year, trimming down the playbook... last year, all but eliminating the hurry up offense.)

It sickens me to have a QB with his skill set and watch those skills get pissed away by poor coaching/scheming.


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