6-0/228 Boston College
Pros: Has decent speed and shows good ability in pursuit. Is a capable blitzer with some potential in coverage. Shows he can work in space and has nice range. Also worked as a fullback and short-yardage runner.
Cons: Lacks ideal sideline to sideline speed. Will take some poor angles to the ball. Undersized, and struggles at the point of attack. Occasionally, will miss the stop in the open field. Durability is a concern, as he was constantly injured at Boston College.
Overview: Toal was injured too often to really reach his potential on defense. He might have better upside if he makes the switch to the offensive side of the ball. He finished his career averaging 2.9 yards on 50 carries, with 12 touchdowns in short-yardage. He suffered a neck injury in 2006, but didn't miss any time. Missed all of 2007 with a shoulder injury and missed the second half of last year with a broken leg.
NFL Forecast: Toal could work as a reserve linebacker, able to contribute on special teams. But he really doesn't have the upside to be a major factor on defense. He can stick as a weakside linebacker that at best could be developed into a decent fourth linebacker and nickel guy. But he's undersized there and will never be a great run stopper. If he makes the move to fullback, he'd be a project as well, but has greater upside and potential to be a starter. He'll need to get bigger and stronger, but if he brings his defensive mindset as a lead blocker, he should be a capable guy. The key for him will be whether he'll be a factor in the passing game as he never made a catch while at Boston College. But regardless of which side of the ball he plays on, Toal's most valuable contributions will likely be on special teams. If he can impact early there, that could buy him more time to develop as a blocker at fullback.
ATL Forecast: Toal could push for time as a special teams player for the Falcons. But doesn't have great upside. He could be a decent reserve weakside linebacker. He won't be a starter for the Falcons, but at best could be developed into a decent backup in the same mold as Craig Sauer. He might have a future as a fullback for the Falcons as well, but he's probably not going to unseat Snelling as the reserve to Mughelli. But he could push for a time. More than likely, Toal could land on the practice squad as the Falcons figure out where they want to develop him.
Value: Toal isn't worth a draft pick because he's too much of a project at fullback and lacks upside on defense. But he should definitely be signed as a free agent because he stands a fairly good chance of making someone's roster or practice squad.
Scouting Reports of inside and outside linebackers in the 2009 NFL Draft
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