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 Post subject: Building a Falcons board
PostPosted: Sun Apr 11, 2010 4:06 pm 
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You can look at some of my player grades/rankings here: viewtopic.php?f=3&t=12805

Much of this exercise is built largely off that.

Again, I should note that there is no exact science with my assigning grades to players. And if I had more time, and perhaps after the draft I might be able to develop a more exact way of grading college prospects as I do with NFL players, then maybe this will be a bit more exact.

But here goes, and based off the grades I've applied to players so far, here is what I think the Falcons draft board should look like (or at least would if I was running the scouting dept.):

FIRST TIER
1. Ndamukong Suh - 8.9*
2. Joe Haden - 8.8*
3. Gerald McCoy - 8.6*
4. Derrick Morgan - 8.5*
5. Bryan Bulaga - 7.9
6. Sean Weatherspoon - 7.6
7. Trent Williams - 7.6
8. Russell Okung - 7.5
9. Brandon Graham - 7.3
10. Mike Iupati - 7.1
11. Dez Bryant - 7.1
12. Kyle Wilson - 7.0

As of today, these are the top 12 guys on the Falcons board, and I would be content to draft any of them if they were available at #19. Mainly because I think they are worth the pick, and also seem like fairly strong locks to go in Round 1, meaning I won't feel bad in terms of value if I were to take them.

Obviously, this is not complete because I don't have grades on players like Pouncey, Berry, McClain, and some others that could easily be among this group of players. From what I've seen, Berry would definitely be in this group, McClain probably. When I finish scouting those guys in the coming days/weeks, I'll make the appropriate amendments.

Notice the (*) asterisk by the first 4 players. IMHO, all 4 of these guys would be "foundation" players in Atlanta, and thus IMO that means these players are good enough to trade up to get in a draft if they come within range. These are the caliber players that I think are typically only available in the first 5-8 picks of any given draft, and if you're in a position where you only have to move up 3-5 spots in order to get one of these players, then I'm going to get on the phone and see what it would take for me to move up and get one of these players.

Now let's move on to the rest of the board.

SECOND TIER
13. Eric Norwood - 7.0
14. Anthony Davis - 6.8
15. Arrelious Benn - 6.7
16. Rob Gronkowski - 6.6
17. Jermaine Gresham - 6.5
18. Rennie Curran - 6.5
19. C.J. Spiller - 6.4
20. Jason Pierre-Paul - 6.2
21. Demaryius Thomas - 6.1
22. Charles Brown - 6.1

Now all of these players are guys that I think have 1st round value for the Falcons, but if I was going to select them I would likely trade back in Round 1, 5-10 spots in order to do so.

You'll notice the high grade I have for Norwood. But I wouldn't put him in that first tier simply because he is receiving almost ZERO first round buzz, and thus I feel I should be able to move back significantly and still be able to land him, so even though his talent level may be comparable with other players I feel are worth the 19th overall pick, he still feels like a reach with that pick.

In the event any one of these players falls past pick #50 (our original 2nd round pick), I would start to get interested in the notion of trading back into the 2nd round in order to get them.

Let's continue...

THIRD TIER
23. Golden Tate - 6.0
24. John Jerry - 5.9
25. Patrick Robinson - 5.9
26. Daryl Washington - 5.9
27. Tyson Alualu - 5.9
28. Everson Griffen - 5.9
29. Jimmy Graham - 5.9
30. Mike Williams - 5.9
31. Morgan Burnett - 5.8
32. Jerry Hughes - 5.8

This next group of players are people that I feel if I was to trade back into the top half of the second round, I would be happy to "settle" for any of them as my top pick. They are what I typically term "Top 50" players, which typically are the best values to have in a given draft because their abilities typically are on a comparable level with later first round picks, but for significantly lesser price.

I believe all of these players can be good to very good starters for the Falcons, however there is some concern that not all would be huge upgrades over the current talent on the roster. Or in some cases they do have that potential, but there is going to need to be significant enough develop that I'm not confident they will make significant contributions in Year 1 and/or 2.

Onwards we march...

TIER FOUR
33. Perrish Cox - 5.8
34. Sergio Render - 5.7
35. Corey Wootton - 5.7
36. Jahvid Best - 5.7
37. Bruce Campbell - 5.7
38. Anthony McCoy - 5.6
39. Jason Worilds - 5.6
40. Ryan Mathews - 5.6
41. Brian Price - 5.6
42. Damian Williams - 5.5
43. Jon Asamoah - 5.5
44. Walter Thurmond - 5.5
45. Koa Misi - 5.4
46. Ed Dickson - 5.4
47. Arthur Jones - 5.3
48. Jonathan Dwyer - 5.3
49. Tony Moeaki - 5.2
50. Ricky Sapp - 5.2
51. Dexter McCluster - 5.2

Now this is a group that I'm not comfortable with calling Top 50 talent, but I do feel would merit being picked if I had a pick in the bottom half of the second round. More than likely, it's among this group that I would expect to be picking for the Falcons in the third round as well (83rd overall pick).

However, I would not trade up to get these players in Round 2. Rather I would wait and see which ones may still be around come the 3rd round.

TIER FIVE
52. Dennis Pitta - 5.1
53. Kyle Calloway - 5.1
54. Garrett Graham - 5.1
55. Shay Hodge - 5.1
56. Mitch Petrus - 5.1
57. Trevard Lindley - 5.0
58. Geno Atkins - 5.0
59. A.J. Edds - 5.0
60. J.D. Walton - 5.0

This next group is in all honesty the caliber of player that I'd target in the fourth round, but if all of the previous players are off the board at Pick #83, I could live with drafting any of them with that pick, although in all likelihood I would try to move down to a later pick in Round 3 or the beginning of Round 4 if possible.

All of these players can be good Falcons (and starters), but I'm not at all confident any of them will be significant upgrades over the current talent on the roster at their respective positions. Rather, they are more a continuation of solid to good talent we already have on the roster at those positions.

After the third round, the draft board becomes a little more fluid, and then I'll start to target specific positions at needier areas as opposed to drafting based off a board.

If the draft skews my way, it'll be possible that I'll be able to get 4 or more from among these first five tiers of players. But in reality, I will only expect to get at least 2, although feel fairly confident I shoudl be able to squeeze a 3rd from the group, and thus if that is the case I can feel confident that I have "won" on draft day and accomplished my goal of continuing to build via the draft. If I can get 3 or more players from these first five tiers, then after that point everything in the draft is gravy.

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 Post subject: Re: Building a Falcons board
PostPosted: Sun Apr 11, 2010 5:33 pm 
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Nice job on the Falcon's board Pudge. A few things that stick out at me is Paul being much lower than Graham.Is that because you feel Graham is a much better player now but perhaps Paul has the most potential? Morgan is rated much higher than Graham would you trade up for him if he dropped to 15 or 16?

I have no problem drafting any of the players in your 1st list.Bryant would be a shocker ate receiver but I could make a case for him also.
You have Rennie Curran pretty high I wonder if he drops to round 3 and what is his best position?

I like Washington,Jerry, Tate but the Falcon's would have to trade up to get one in the middle or bottom 2nd round. You have Bruce Campbell the lowest I have seen him.Some think the Raiders will take him in the top 10.I like Mcluster or Moeki in round 3 but I doubt TD will do that. I think either could help the offense in the near future or next year especially Mcluster.

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 Post subject: Re: Building a Falcons board
PostPosted: Mon Apr 12, 2010 10:47 pm 
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Derrick Morgan is who I'd go crazy for, but Witherspoon is my expected pick.

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 Post subject: Re: Building a Falcons board
PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2010 10:51 am 
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What about Tebow? :P

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 Post subject: Re: Building a Falcons board
PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2010 1:16 pm 
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I agree with Pudge. Tebow is nowhere on our board, unless he falls to the 7th round. And even then, I seriously doubt he would be chosen by TD.There are 15 QB's with more upside than Tebow in the 4th-7th rounds.

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