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 Post subject: Final draft grades?
PostPosted: Sun Apr 24, 2005 9:07 pm 
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Purveyor of Truth & Justice
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I'm not a big grade guy anymore. Because grading is such a rough way of evaluating. Because what are you grading on? Need? Value? Talent? And then without having a good look at what others team wanted, got, and needed, your grade is not too accurate.

Plus teams that get high grades eventually find out their drafts are not as good as initially thought, and teams with low grades often discover their drafts are better than expected.

But with all that in mind, I would say the Falcons get a big fat B-

Not too great, but decent. I think the pros of this draft was that I think we got good talent. All of our picks are talented. Some more than others. But I think all these guys have the ability to fill a niche in the NFL well if not become quality starters down the road. I also think we got pretty good value in this draft, particularly with guys like Boley and Shropshire on Day 2. Boley slipped mostly because he was a speedy linebacker in a draft class full of speedy linebackers. Also his off-season wasn't particuarly strong, when he could have possibly solidified himself as a 2nd round pick, he winds up being a 5th rounder. Shropshire is another mid round guy. A 3rd or so tier DT, but a quality player that most figured would be a 4th/5th rounder. Not because he was exceptionally talented, rather mostly with the lack of a lot of quality DTs in this class, but still that says something.

But where I don't like this draft is that our 3 biggest needs which I outlined (DE, OL, and S) were not significantly addressed. Sure we picked up Davis and Omiyale. But both are developmental guys, probably more so than any of our other picks. Davis has good speed and looks like he has a good chance to be a situational pass rusher right away (mostly because we lack any other decent alternatives), but it's doubtful he will be more than that. Omiyale is a developmental guy that will benefit mostly because the team lacks any serious depth at OT. But he needs to get stronger, and is unlikely to present any significant challenge to Shaffer this year. And he may not even be ready to do much in 2006.

I think ultimately, most people will judge this draft based on how they like the #1 pick: Roddy White. It's true that WR was a need as this team is trying to desperately upgrade their passing attack. But the question is how much White is going to do for that. I'm not saying White is a bad player, but like last year, I think he was a reach in Round 1. Sure, I realize that a lot of teams had him rated in the late 1st around #25-30 or so. But that doesn't mean he's going to be a good player. Teams overvalue WRs so much in this league. Like Jenkins, it would seem that White is a better fit as a #2 guy. The problem is that I don't think this team needs another #2 guy, it needs a clear cut #1. Of course, that's not an easy player to acquire. But I think this is one of those instances where McKay & Co. were keen on getting a WR this year, but they wanted someone that actually had the talent and upside to be a starter quickly, and feared that after Round 1, finding one of those guys would be very difficult. So I think just like they did with Jenkins last year, the team made a reach. If you like the White pick, I think you will like this draft. If you don't, you will hate this draft. If you're similar to me and have no particularly strong feelings either way, then you will feel the same about the draft.

I'm at the point where I'm willing to wait and see. WRs don't do much as rookies as a general rule, so I'm not going to bash White if he doesn't make a signficant contribution this year. My eyes will be more on the likes of Jenkins, in how much he improves (as a 2nd year WR, he has no more excuses) and if Price improves as well. White, unless he surprises, likely won't see the field much this year and may be inactive for half the season unless he can make something happen on special teams (since Jenkins and Finneran are likely to fill that role).

I like Babineaux. I think he'll help the rotation. I'm not expecting him to crack the starting lineup, but I think he can develop some skills behind Coleman. I think he fits in well with our current D-line group, and I respect Bill Johnson to really help him play bigger than he is. I think by 2007 or 2008, he should be refined enough to be Coleman's successor. In the meantime, I think Lavalais can handle the starting job. Which leads to Shropshire, who most likely will back him up. If Shropshire can't beat out Lake, then he was a wasted pick. He looks like a good fit for the NT spot since he can eat space and occupy blockers that is not going to be a great pass rusher, but could get 1-3 sacks in a season if pressed to start. These are two picks that solidify the rotation behind Coleman and Lavalais and probably means that Mitchell will work a lot at DE this year and Travis Hall won't be back.

Now the two linebackers: Beck and Boley. I don't have issue with these two picks because I do believe both can be starters in the NFL. And for the short-term they solidify depth at LB. But one would expect that unless Hartwell/Williams/Brooking fold it in at some point, these guys aren't going to play much over the next 3 years. Boley will likely work at SLB eventually, although he'll probably start at WLB this year. Beck is going to be the backup MLB. So I like adding depth since this was an area that we would probably need to add 1 or 2 veterans after the draft if we didn't in the draft. But these are two players that for the short-term will just be ST guys most likely, and you have to wonder what kind of talent could have been had at DE, OL, and S at these picks.

I don't much about Cobb, but he's a player that some people who have seen him raved about. He looks like the successor to Dunn, but we're going to need a more immediate impact from him than we got from Quincy Wilson last year. Cobb is said to be similar in style to Dunn, which is a plus. But he's going to need more development as a receiver. But his ability as a KR makes you question how much longevity Rossum will have in Atlanta since we now have Cobb and Hall as potential return men. I don't see Rossum going anywhere this year, but next year is a question mark. Just when I finally thought I wasn't going to question if Rossum makes the roster...

But overall, I'm not upset with this draft. I was just really intent on the team addressing those three key needs early on, and I don't think they did.

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"Vincere scis, Hannibal, victoria uti nescis" -- Maharbal, 216 B.C.E.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 24, 2005 9:59 pm 
Philadelphia Eagles: When you have a team as stocked as the Eagles do and have this many picks to retool the roster, it really isn’t fair. That said, the Eagles could have wasted picks needlessly trading up, but didn’t. Much in the style New England has used the past few years, the Eagles looked for situational players and succeeded it dramatic fashion. Mike Patterson provides the club with all kinds of flexibility in dealing with Corey Simon. Ryan Moats provides the club with similar options as Brian Westbrook. Wide receiver Reggie Brown was a bona fide steal in the second round. Outside linebacker Matt McCoy was considered a reach by many, but has the instincts, speed, and aggression needed to be successful in Jim Johnson’s hyperactive scheme and actually is a terrific fit here. The perception is that with this many picks the Eagles couldn’t screw things up. Well, they certainly didn’t. One of the elite classes of the draft, thus far. GRADE: A+

Atlanta Falcons: Able to focus on the best player available, the Falcons took exactly that with receiver Roddy White. White gives the team the legitimate deep threat they thought they’d found in free agent Peerless Price. Jonathan Babineaux is a fantastic interior athlete with similar burst to 2004 draft choice, Chad Lavalais. Jordan Beck is considered by some to athletic enough to make the transition to safety, and thus makes a lot of sense here. GRADE: B


I will have alot more to say about the falcon selections in a little bit on another post but thought I would share this with the members this from nfldraftscout's rob rang his grades.The reason being the eagles are that much stronger with there draft selections and with a healthy Terrell Owens provided he does not sit out due to contract problems and the eagles picks I don't see anyone in the NFC challenging them.How in the world do the eagles get so many picks and the falcons get a measly 5th rounder for Ellis johnson.This is why Mckay needed to get the best players in each round and it looks like there are a number of developmental players.This was a strong corner draft yet the falcons got no corners.As we know corners are at a premium and Mckay went somewhere else.If Webster goes down who plays corner or will it be an empty hole like last year?

To top that off the carolina panthers motto is drafting off linemen often.They already have a good defense and with the players like Stephan Davis,Steve Smith there new rookies and didn't they sign some free agents they will give the falcon's all they can handle.I am not sure the falcon's can beat carolina at full strength.Tamap Bay had a great draft receiving an A+ by rob rang.The Falcons better hope none of there starters goes down since they have a much tougher schedule this year.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2005 2:47 pm 
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I am disappointed in the picks. I really thought we could have added some players that could help us this year. Of all the players drafted, I think maybe one could add value on the offense or defense this year: Babineaux. With what was available, I think the Falcons should have gone like this:

1. Luis Castillo (or possible Mike Patterson)
2. Bryant McFadden
3. Ray Willis
4. Roydell Williams
5. Michael Boley
5a. Scott Young
6. Brandon Browner (back up corner or possibly develop as a S)
7. Darrell Shropshire

I don't look at Roddy White as a savior for the Falcons WR core. If they could not get a number one, they should have tried to pick a diamond in the rough and develop one, not draft another in round one. Besides, it is defense that wins championships, not offense.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2005 10:01 pm 
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If you could take 1 thing from this draft class, it definitely improved us up the middle. Our LBs are definitely a major strength and with hopefully a strong rotation at DT, stopping the run again should be a real strength.

But it's the pass defense that concerned me the most going into this draft. I was hoping we could get a guy that could contribute right away on 3rd downs. I guess that falls on Davis, but he's a player that seems like a developmental type. He will probably fill that role because he must, because right now our best options are Khaleed Vaughn and Junior Glymph, two undrafted free agents. But many considered Davis to be a 7th/undrafted candidate, so have we upgraded this position in any way?

Most experts thought he would make a good 3-4 OLB, and I guess that's why the coaching staff liked him is because he can run. But he wasn't very productive at FSU. He had a good senior year, but I'm just wondering what McKay & Co. saw in him that most others did not. He was the 10th DE taken in the draft, and very few evaluators considered him in the Top 20 best DEs available.

And still our secondary is our weakest part of our secondary. So I suspect it will take substantial priority with one major addition either in free agency or the draft next year, but I guess now is the time to concentrate on what we have to deal with now rather than a year from now.

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"Vincere scis, Hannibal, victoria uti nescis" -- Maharbal, 216 B.C.E.


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 Post subject: I agree nothing to address the secondary
PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2005 10:23 pm 
From what I read on other boards Mora and Mckay did not think this draft had enough good safeties and after they drafted Babineaux they did not feel there was a player worthy of the 3rd round selection.I have not looked at the corners after the falcons drafted in the 3rd round but bringing back just Cory Hall and hopefully a healthy Webster plus a second year Dlo maybe Mora and Mckay think this will solve the secondary problems.The Falcon's needed new blood in the secondary and this was a strong corner draft.I guess after Babineaux the falcons did not think there were any def tackles in the rest of the draft that could do alot so they were stuck with either Babs or a croner and def tackle was a need.I feel the falcon's drafted more on who the player was at the top of there board opposed to drafting to fill a need.

The other post I made was from me(guest) I was in a hurry and failed to put my name in.


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