I think the problem is that too often the Falcons have considered more need than value. IMHO, the Holmes and Ewing picks last year are perfect illustrations of this.
From looking at TD's drafting over the years, the MO seems pretty clear:
In Rounds 1 & 2, he's going to draft guys that are going to either compete for or take over starting positions immediately. Konz & Moore are the only 2 drafted in those rounds that didn't start Day 1. Moore was because he got hurt in camp, and Konz was very, very close to taking the job from Reynolds. And I think they gave it to Reynolds as a reward for his improvement (which proved to be legit) and the fact that he was in a contract year, and maybe because Konz needed a bit more time to adapt to playing guard.
Generally speaking I think we get pretty good value there. The Baker pick was a reach, but that was understandable because he wasn't going to last until the early 2nd when we drafted him. The Jerry pick was a reach because there weren't any other good DTs in this class, and 2nd round talent (like Hood & Jerry) got pushed up in the draft due to the dearth of talent there. That happens a lot.
It's in ROunds 3 that his drafting starts to trouble me. Because IMO he's targeting specific positions.
In the case of HOlmes, I think it boiled down to the Falcons really wanted to draft an insurance policy at LT (rightly so). And after Round 2, Holmes was probably the only guy that they really liked. And in not having a 4th round pick, they figured we need to get him now, as opposed to risk waiting.
Similar with Ewing. In Round 4, when Evan Rodriguez and Rhett Ellison went off the board (both H-back/FBs), I think the Falcons were of the mindset that they were going to take a FB regardless. And so they took Ewing with their next pick to make sure they got "their" guy.
I understand that because the draft is very fluid and unpredictable and you have to be very flexibile with your plans.
THe problem arises when the guys you are drafting aren't that good. I think Holmes has upside, but the problem is that as a 3rd round pick you're going to have higher expectations than he probably should. And in his case, you may see the Falcons let Baker walk this off-season and thrust Holmes into the starting lineup. If he was a 5th round (IMO as he should have been), then that situation would probably never arise.
And with Ewing, it comes from the position he plays. Nowadays, the traditional FB is a dying position. Most teams are putting former RBs, WRs, TEs, and DEs there and getting very good returns on that. If I thought Ewing was the next Vonta Leach/Ovie, then it would be different. But IMO, hes probably just the next Dan Kreider. He was the top fullback in his class, but he came out in a year that lacked great fullbacks. Had he come out a year before, he probably would have been the 4th or 5th best FB. YOu had undrafted guys (e.g. Henry Hynoski) that IMO are as good if not better from that 2011 class than Ewing.
Bosher was the same way. They "needed" a punter that could kick off and basically drafted Bosher a round early to ensure they got him. Hawley was the same in 2010.
This is the primary reason why their picks from the 3rd round on have been less than stellar the past few years.
"Vincere scis, Hannibal, victoria uti nescis" -- Maharbal, 216 B.C.E.