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 Post subject: Would you be happy with any one of these 4?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2005 1:09 pm 
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These are 4 players that I think are the most possible targets in Round 1:

1. Demarcus Ware
2. Justin Tuck
3. Matt Roth
4. Shaun Cody

We've discussed Ware and Tuck in the past, so I think most agree either would be solid picks. What about Roth? He's a guy that was discussed heavily at the beginning of the off-season, but his stock has slipped a bit since the Combine. He's added a lot of bulk since his college career, measuring at about 278 now I believe. Roth I think would be a good fit because his style of play is in line with guys like Kerney, Demorrio, and Brooking in terms of being that aggressive, "hard-nosed" attitude to the field.

I think I would be happy with any one of those picks. Cody's stock too has slipped, mostly because he has short arms, and teams question his ability to get off blocks, but I have liked what I've seen from Cody in past years and I think he would the ideal fit behind Coleman at UT. He's no NT in this scheme, but he is versatile and can play a role very similar to Travis Hall as a utility backup right away, until he develops more as a starter down the line.

Right now, I think the only thing that should be on the Falcons mind is bolstering it's talent in the trenches, since that is where football games are won and lost. Another player that may also be in the mix is OT Jammal Brown. I think he might be available at #27. I don't know if the Falcons under Gibb's eyes would take a OL that high, but he would be a good fit at RT here, and could challenge Shaffer at LT right away I think.

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 Post subject: Well, here are my thoughts
PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2005 1:52 pm 
I would not think Cody to be the kind of guy we want in our locker room if the rumors are true about him being a "ME" kind of guy. And the problem I have with Justin Tuck is that he did not do that much in college IMO to warrant being a 1st round pick. I know flks disagree with me there. Now if he is there in the 2nd, yeah you have to take him.

Ware is so difficult to evaluate from a fan's perspective, much less a scout's perspective. Everything you read on the guy sounds great. My problem with him is he did not exactly go up against guys like Tra Thomas in college. So I say he is risky.....

That said, I think there will be a couple of end options that slide to us at the bottom of the 1st round. Not to be a homer, but I bet Pollack slides to 25 at least b/c of his size if for nothing else. Personally, I would rather have Spears than any of the other ends simply b/c you can play him inside or outside.

I am also on the Mike Patterson band wagon and hope we pick him up somehow. My guess is we trade down into the 1st 5 2nd round picks and pick up more picks later in the draft. Call me nuts, but the talent difference between #27 and #35 really is not that big. It would be nice to get another 4th or 5th plus the other team's 2nd round pick for #27.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2005 5:25 pm 
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I like Ware, Tuck, and Roth. Throw in Pollack for good measure. Shawn Cody seems like he would work well in a similar role as Travis Hall played, but I am not comfortable with the character issues that I have heard about.

I know this is off topic a bit, but I really like DT Mike Patterson. I think he is perfect for our scheme and will excel next to the current DL. He plays NT but would be good at UT as well. I would really like to see McKay find a way to draft him.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2005 7:40 pm 
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I didn't mention Pollack because I no longer believe he's going to be available anywhere near pick #27. I know that is a much different tune from a few weeks ago, but now I clearly think Pollack will be picked in the Top 20, which basically puts him firmly out of our range. If he had slipped out the Top 20, then he would be a possible target due to trading up, but the Falcons are not going to trade up more than 7 spots for one player, at least not this year.

Right now I think Pollack will go #10 to Detroit. Before I had the Lions pegged for Shawne Merriman. But right now, I see Matt Millen really liking Pollack because he has the mindset that Millen himself had when he played. If not them, then I see him going to KC at #15 for the same reasons, except with Gunther Cunningham making the call. If not there, then I could definitely see the Bengals (#17), Rams (#19), or Cowboys (#20) taking him. But at this point, I really doubt we'll be in a position to get Pollack.

I'd love to have him, but right now I'm not holding my breath.

There are some definite character concerns about Cody. But I don't think they stem from character issues, in terms of work ethic and leadership potential, since most see Cody as a forerunner in both areas, but one source had this to say about Cody around the time of his pro day:

NFL Draft Scout wrote:
...if you remember during the week of the Combine we made mention of the fact that there has been some concerns not about his character or work ethic, but more because he is a well-known "Party" guy...USC senior defensive lineman SHAUN CODY, who was one of only two players in attendance that said they were without a current agent, agreed to do a reality television program on Spike TV, which would help select his agent. It has raised the eyebrows of several NFLPA and team staff members, as to the judgement skills of Cody, who has also been talked about behind the scenes, as being an avid partier who might draw some concern from teams with his questionable off-field decision-making skills. Overall, he was a good interview at the event when dealing with our own staff member


So it basically comes down to a gut feeling if Cody is going to let his NFL success go to his head and become a downright party guy through and through, or if you think he's mature enough to keep that aspect of himself in control and still be able to cut it on the field. As I said, it sounds like a gut feeling.

It is true that Tuck didn't have great production as a junior this past year, partly due to injuries, but I think he's as good a player as almost any other DE in this draft. Shawne Merriman is basically considered a potential Top 10 pick based off a single season. I think Erasmus James is in the same boat, and he has even more injury concerns than Tuck. And considering the programs (Notre Dame, Maryland, and Wisconsin), I'd be much more confident putting my money on a guy like Ty Willingham recruited than either other programs.

Patterson is definitely a player that I wouldn't mind having. He has experience playing NT as he started 36 games there at USC, while Cody is a much better fit as a UT in our defensive scheme. So in terms of immediate need Patterson is probably a better fit, but then you have to evaluate just which spot is going to become available in the coming years. Do you think Lavalais is going to be a player to build around in the future at NT? If so, then I think you should lean towards adding a UT since Rod Coleman based on his age and contract, probably only has 2-3 more years left in Atlanta. Lavalais could be here for another 4-7 years, if not more. I definitely would not be upset at all if we grabbed Peterson because like so many "2nd tier" DTs in this year's class, I think he is very underrated. Although the bright thing about Peterson is with his lack of height, he would probably be a better option to convert to UT than Lavalais further down the line.

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 Post subject: Would not mine the 4 players
PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2005 8:02 pm 
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There are questions about most players in the draft the key is finding the ones that will make a difference in the NFL.I do not have my hopes of getting Ware at 27 since I think he will be gone before then.Tuck has the potential to be a sack artist but can he keep healthy.Roth did not impress me in the bowl game Iowa was just in and Cody can his game translate to the NFL and be an impact player or will he be a tweener.

If I am Mckay I am watching all the film I can get on these guys and asking scouts and other people what kind of people these guys (personality,makeup etc etc).Remember the USC team was loaded with talent so are we getting a true understanding of the player's ability?

Games are won in the trenches and 2 of the stronger positions in this draft are corner and def line.Getting to the QB is crucial (remember the philly game) the falcon's could not get a rush on and with the poor secondary (not becuase of the def line as much) they were no match.

I would not mind trading down as mentioned earlier to top 5 picks in the 2nd.I don't think Pollack and Ware will be there at 27 so who has the more upside,cody or tuck? Is there enough depth at def end or def tackle to get a player that will be good later on? I think once the run on def ends starts you better get one while you can so I would go with Tuck provided Mckay feels he is not an injury prone guy.If Mckay feels cody can play both def end and tackle well then he is the guy.I know this is a wishy washy answer but alot of things to think about.Patterson I would love to have him but I don't see how mckay could trade up and still keep alot of picks.

If Mark Clayton was still there at 27 I would have to think long and hard about him.I know falcons took jenkins last year,have finneran and price but I think clayton will have an impact his first year.He runs quality routes,is fast, and has good hands.Price in my opinion whether he has good year or bad is gone next year leaving Jenkins and finneran.You need to groom a guy to be no 1 receiver and clayton could be that.I doubt if mkcay goes receiver but anything is possible.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2005 9:14 pm 
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I agree, I would love to have Clayton at #27. But he's not getting past the Ravens at #22. He is the type of reliable No. 1 receiver that this team desperately needs. He may not be as fast or flashy as other top wideouts, but he's a guy like Mike Clayton was a year ago, a polished solid receiver that is going to be an excellent pro.

I agree that if the Falcons chose to trade down a few spots from #27, I would not be against it. In most drafts, the quality between picks #25 and #40 is not too large. This draft doesn't seem to be any different. If the Falcons think they can still get Tuck in the early portion of the 2nd round, I would like to see them make the move and possibly pick up a middle round pick in the process.

Right now, I really think it is important this team add a top pass rusher. Smith played well this past year, but he's no pass rusher, and Kerney's playing level dropped off significantly with Coleman out hte lineup. That shows that we need another guy that can put pressure on the QB to take some pressure off Kerney and also help him out.

Right now as far as DT goes, I think the Falcons should be more concerned with depth than adding a potential starter. Which means if the team passes on a quality DT until Round 4 or 5, I don't mind really. I think the DE position is rather top heavy, and the Falcons would be in trouble if they did not nab a guy in the first 2 rounds at that position. The dropoff in talent is pretty substantial. That doesn't mean that we won't be able to find a guy that contribute, but it will be that much harder, and most likely we'll be finding a guy that is a situational player rather than someone that could start as soon as 2006.

Here's how it breaks down round by round for DEs this past year with 8 or more sacks:

1st - 12
2nd - 3
3rd - 5
4th - 2
5th - 2
6th - 1
7th - 1
undrafted - 1

20 of 27 players, or 74% of the top pass rushers from this past year were 1st day selections.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2005 10:26 am 
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I'm seeing Travis Johnson drop a bit in a few mock drafts I've seen. I would love to pick him up in round one. He's a one gapper with good size and could add value from day one. After the game in Philly, it is absolutely apparent to me that we need to add some size and depth to our D-Line. He fits the bill, even if we have to trade up a few spots to get him. Would also love to have Pollack b/c he is such a gamer, but I agree that is a pipe dream. I would also take a flier or Anttaj Hawthorne at the end of round two...I know he just got busted for weed, but so did Warren Sapp. I still hope we can sign Travis Hall for depth. If that is possible, then we may not have such a need at DE this year.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2005 11:28 am 
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Did anybody else find McKay's comments interesting in the press conference, especially when he was so high on character, but in that '95 draft, the Bucs drafted Warren Sapp?

As for Hawthorne, I think he is still a good bet to go at the top of round 2, although his drug problems may drop him 5-10 spots. But I'd still be surprised if he lasted past pick #50 considering there still aren't a lot of top-ranked DTs in this class.

As for Travis Johnson, I'm a little weary of him. I'm always weary of FSU players, particularly their defensive linemen, but I'm even a bit more on edge since there are questions about his work ethic. Johnson is one of those players that is either a one-year wonder (meaning he won't play well unless there's a big contract at stake) or he's just beginning to realize his talent. He's a boom or bust player, and if it were me, I would probably pass on him if he was available at #27, despite the fact that he is probably a good fit for our D-line.

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