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 Post subject: Player analysis by position...
PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2005 11:59 pm 
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I have watched a great deal of college games this year so that I would know who we should look out for in the draft to help fill out the Falcons' needs, so I figured I would share what I have seen.

Safeties) possibly our biggest concern & the quickest position to fix through the draft. Some teams who have picked succesfully in recent years include the Colts (Mike Doss, 1st round, 2003 & Bob Sanders, 2nd round, 2004), Steelers (Troy Polamalu, 1st round, 2003), and Ravens (Ed Reed, 1st round, 2002). There is little doubt that a first round safety, if not a stretch pick, is about the most surefire pick you can make in the draft.

1a) Ko Simpson - if he declares then I would personally trade up for him. Has skills similar to Ed Reed in college, but is a better tackler & has less talent around him.

1) Jimmy Williams - everyone knows about him, but he won't be around when we pick.

2) Michael Huff - haven't seen much of him, but according to most reports he is the best coverage DB in the draft, although I would be willing to dispute that. He is said to be a sure tackler & has already won the Thorpe award for the nation's best DB for this year. I don't expect him to be around when we pick either to be honest.

3) Jason Allen - the wild card of this draft. Allen was projected as the #1 Db prospect of this draft class going into this season but when I saw Pope run him over in the UT v UGA game I saw him leg pop out of the socket & knew he had a problem. The good thing is our staff has seen this injury recently (Hall had a similar injury in preseason last year), but the bad news is that some guys never recover from hip injuries (Bo Jackson immediately comes to mind). The good thing is that Allen had a completely different body type than Jackson did & I think he will make a total recovery over the next 18 months. Thus I am going to put him in the slot for the reasons that i will point out in the next assesments.

4) Pat Watkins - a Safety with great size (6'4", 200+ lbs) and speed (reportedly runs a 4.4ish 40), Watkins had a huge role in FSU's upset victory over VaTech in the ACC Championship game. He looked to be a solid tackler, although not a big time hitter, and displayed terrific range & hopes when going for the ball. Watkins' other hidden trait would be his ability to shut down top flight TE's in man coverage, freeing up the linebackers to blitz or zone cover.

5) Darnell Bing - a good sized Safety (6'2", 200+lbs.) that can lay the wood. Bing gets the same knock that most big hitting college safeties get, that his coverage skills are lacking. All I can say is I am not sure about his coverage skills, but he blew Mercedes Lewis up in the USC v UCLA game at the end of the season.

6) LaRon Landry - this guy could be a very good Safety in the NFL, but he has had a tendency to look very bad against LSU's best competition. He drew a terrible pass interference call in the Alabama game that cost his team some points, and it was an obvious call. Against UGA in the SEC Championship, he blew a coverage on the second drive of the game allowing Sean Bailey to run free for a long TD pass after Bailey had done the exact same thing on the previous drive to the backup Safety on the other side of the field. He also missed a tackle 1 0n 1 with DJ Shockley that allowed Shock to walk right into the end zone for UGA's 3rd TD. Needless to say, I am not at all impressed with Landry especially given the talent he has around him.

7) Gregg Bluw - Blue was my favorite player coming into this season from my school (went to UGA). After watching him miss tackles in big games & get torched in coverage I would honestly not even consider drafting him before the 5th or 6th round. I wish I didn't have to say it, but I have spent more time watching the Dawgs than any team on this planet other than the Falcons.

8) Roman Harper - while not the most physically gifted Safety, Harper has the kind of fearlessness that every Safety should be privy to. Against Tennessee, the Crimson Time had a 6-3 lead with seconds left on the clock. Tennessee dropped back & slipped out a little screen to their 275lb. Fullback....yes I said 275lbs!.....who proceeded to run untouched to the Alabama goal line. Out of nowhere this SCUD missle fire accross the goal line & absolutely blows up the UT Fullback causing him to fumble the ball out of the end zone. Alabama got the ball & the win to preserve their perfect season up to that point. Harper is the most underappreciated Safety in this draft and reminds me of Rodney Harrison.

9) Dwayne Slay - has great size (6'4", 215lbs) and very good speed (4.5 40) and is probably the biggest hitting Safety in this draft. He is still a bit raw & can be had in coverage, but he may turn out to be the 2nd or 3rd best Safety in this draft.

10) Bernard Pollard - sorry but I just don't know much about this guy at all.

Other quality Safeties: Nate Salley, Gregg Threat, and Aaron Rouse (Ohio State, Miami, and VaTech).



***I will report back with analysis of other need positions in the following days. If someone would like to post this over at AFMB on my behalf I would appreciate it.


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 Post subject: Interesting thoughts
PostPosted: Fri Dec 09, 2005 12:12 am 
Ko Simpson is indeed petitioning to get in the NFL Draft.I read this on NFL Draft Blitz subscription service.I will chk on pollard here they have an article about him now. I didn't know blue stunk in coverage so much.I was thinking maybe 2nd round for him but we need more than a guy who can lay the wood. Right now michael huff can do both cover and play safety.If Simpson is anywhere near the player you say you have to strongly consdier him.Does simpson make alot of interceptions? Can he hit well?


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 Post subject: Analysis of Bernard Pollard
PostPosted: Fri Dec 09, 2005 12:18 am 
After reading this it is going to be tough free safety simpson strong safety pollard.Who do you take? We need an intimidator pollard looks to be just that.We need a ed reed type also that can help the corners when in trouble,ko simpson appears to be that, Maybe Pudge can break the tie?

Man I would love a safety that could intimidate receivers and running backs.





Positives


- Pollard has awesome size and strength. Hits like a bulldozer. If you dare go across the middle of the field he is sitting back waiting to punish you. Makes plays all over the field and moves well. Good form tackler, plays the run well. Coverage has improved. Does not miss many tackles, fights off blocks well, uses his strength and size to his advantage. Hard nosed guy who lets everything out on the football field. Good special teams player, good punt blocker. Is NFL ready, has the physical tools to dominate. Improves each year, and has a ton of upside still to come. Nasty/mean attitude.

Weaknesses


- Often plays the run and goes for the knock out hit too often. Needs to have more patience. Is a bit of a liability in deep pass support. Needs to work on man to man coverage. Still too inconsonant in pass defense which is a concern. Gives up big plays.

Overall Analysis


- Pollard is a rock. He is mean and physical, he will have NFL teams drooling over his style of game. He announced in November that he will declare for the NFL draft. He is ready. Needs to work on some coverage things, but he has a lot of tools and potential to produce in all aspects of the game. Could play on special teams right away. Appears to have a bright future if he continues to improve.

Reminds You Of:


- Rodney Harrison


Profile By: Scott Porter


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Dec 09, 2005 12:45 am 
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Sounds like Pollard is Roman Harper with better physical tools. Yes, although people will deny it until the cows come home, Gregg Blue is a massive liability in coverage. Fortunately in the SEC Championship he stayed behind receivers for the most part, but I can give you 3 huge plays he gave up off the top of my head. He also had trouble tackling in a couple of the bigger games, namely Auburn & Florida (got better in the 2nd half though). Like I said, I am a massive UGA fan but I would rather convert Minter to Safety than pick Gregg Blue in one of the first few rounds of the draft, although Blue was my favorite UGA player coming into this season.

Personally I think we should look for a coverage Safety as they are much harder to come by than a sure tackler (see Corey Hall). Now, with Hope & Tank Williams available in FA & not commanding a boatload of money, we should be able to bring in a quality vet for low dollars and get our coverage Safety onto the field without worrying about him missing too many tackles. Ko Simpson had 6 INT's last season in his redshirt Freshman campaign and is used to tackling NFL sized RB's from playing in the SEC (Kenny Irons, Joseph Addai, etc.). Simpson is the best Safety I've seen in college in years.

Another option is to pickup the cover Safety early & draft a big hitter later too, but I doubt the Falcons want to do that. Still, this is about the deepest Safety class I have ever seen so if we're going to try to setup both spots for the future we may as well do it now.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 12, 2005 6:42 pm 
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- I would love Simpson.
- Agreed, J. Williams will be gone. M. Williams and Kiwi will also almost certainly be off the board.
- I like Huff but I also like a physical safety that really hits.
- Allen's health concerns me.
- I would love Bing if he is healthy and he seems to be.
- Landry is pretty inconsistant but has plenty of time to improve.
- I hate Blue's coverage skills but love his hitting.
- I would love to have Slay.

Just some quick thoughts on some of the kids listed.

Kinda hoping we are able to sign T. Williams and maybe Schulters in free agency. I'm not too fond of starting a rookie at safety. Basically, with the exception of Newton, I would like to see the safety position overhauled.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 13, 2005 6:05 am 
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DenimJacket wrote:
- I would love Simpson.
- Agreed, J. Williams will be gone. M. Williams and Kiwi will also almost certainly be off the board.
- I like Huff but I also like a physical safety that really hits.
- Allen's health concerns me.
- I would love Bing if he is healthy and he seems to be.
- Landry is pretty inconsistant but has plenty of time to improve.
- I hate Blue's coverage skills but love his hitting.
- I would love to have Slay.

Just some quick thoughts on some of the kids listed.

Kinda hoping we are able to sign T. Williams and maybe Schulters in free agency. I'm not too fond of starting a rookie at safety. Basically, with the exception of Newton, I would like to see the safety position overhauled.


I pretty much agree with everything you said. It would be nice if we could sign a Safety to help bring the young DB's along.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 13, 2005 11:18 am 
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The_Incomparable wrote:
Gregg Blue is a massive liability in coverage. Fortunately in the SEC Championship he stayed behind receivers for the most part, but I can give you 3 huge plays he gave up off the top of my head. He also had trouble tackling in a couple of the bigger games, namely Auburn & Florida (got better in the 2nd half though). Like I said, I am a massive UGA fan but I would rather convert Minter to Safety than pick Gregg Blue in one of the first few rounds of the draft, although Blue was my favorite UGA player coming into this season.


I know I didn't watch nearly enough of Greg Blue as you, but I was impressed with what little I saw of him. His coverage abilities do stink, but most collegiate safeties suck in that area.

The_Incomparable wrote:
Personally I think we should look for a coverage Safety as they are much harder to come by than a sure tackler (see Corey Hall).


I disagree. I think what we need in the secondary is a guy that can come up and stuff the run. Preferably a player with good range to play boht in the box and deep in centerfield, but I think the Falcons need to put a high premium on run support rather than coverage. Keion Carpenter and Bryan Scott I think do just fine in coverage. Or at least they would if they didn't have to worry so much about making plays vs. the run. I don't think the pass has been the glaring problem with this group of safeties. It's their run stopping abilities. We need a rangy safety that can make hits and stuff the run like an extra LB.

My goal this off-season is to move Bryan Scott back to SS, and pick up a hard-nosed FS that make plays vs. the run. In free agency, that player would have been Will Demps. But now, it seems that we'll probably have to rely on a rookie to be the difference maker.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Dec 16, 2005 11:23 pm 
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Honestly we need both. The good thing is that we could easily fill both positions in the 1st & 3rd rounds with stellar guys if we decide to go that direction. 1st = Huff, Simpson, Allen & 3rd = Slay, Blue, Pollard, or Salley. This is such a deep Safety class it is ridiculous and I really think the team should take advantage of it.


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