NFL Draft Review: Atlanta Falcons

Welcome to my 2014 NFL Draft breakdown.
I love the Draft, it comes around my birthday, ESPN puts baseball back where it belongs, in segment 3, and it means the NFL year has started.
So lets go down the NFL Rosters and see how it went for each team.

Atlanta Falcons

Round 1 Pick 6Jake Matthews

Jake Matthews OT Texas A&M

Day 1 Starter, 10 year starter, period. Next? The only chink in his armor is bull-rushers can get inside him, oh and Ryan is a LOT less mobile than the last guy he blocked for. Hell, there are running backs he’s be blocking for that are not as mobile.

Round 2 Pick 37
Ra’Shede Hageman DT Minnesota

This guy I like, and as a Panthers fan, I hate. He’s huge, he’s wide, and he has a burst. Oh yeah. Day 1 starter here. His only weakness is his gas tank, so I can see them taking off 10-15 plays, so he is worth a poo in the fourth quarter.

Round 3 Pick 68
Dezmen Southward S Wisconsin

He’s paid a bit of a price for his big hits and never say die attitude. I can deal with knees, I can deal with shoulders, one injury I can’t deal with? Back. When my back hurts, I’m done, I move slower, I can’t concentrate and I’m not watching film. Guess who has a bad back?  I almost think he’s gonna be a special teams gunner more than a starter at safety. I don’t think this was a good pick for the third round. At least a round, if not 2 early.

Round 4 Pick 103
Devonta Freeman RB Florida State

Very good pick here. Dunn 2.0, and the Falcons have done well with tiny backs. He’s 5’8 but quick, and doesn’t go down easy. He’s the type of back where you create a small hole, let him squirt through and let a linebacker try and bring him down. He’s not going to break out 20-30 yard gains, but on 3rd and 5? All day.

Round 4 Pick 139Prince Shembo
Prince Shembo LB Notre Dame

Bit of a reach, but that front seven needed some love, and at Notre (homer alert) Dame, he played at one speed- wide open, he will overrun some plays, and he recovers well, but I don’t know how he’s going to do in coverage, and I’m not convinced he has the speed to do so. He’s smart, and thats going to ease the transition , but I’m not sure how fast its going to happen.

Round 5 Pick 147
Ricardo Allen CB Purdue

Small. I mean really small. I bet he lost a round every inch they measured him under 6 feet. Good thing about it? It drives him. He takes his 4.5 speed and slings it at everyone and everything. He’s also smart and will catch the ball almost as well as the wide receiver he’s supposed to be covering. Love the pick in the 5th round.

Round 5 Pick 168
Marquis Spruill LB Syracuse

Another reach pick, I don’t think anyone had him in the 5th. He’s got some speed, running a 5.3, and he could play on the outside. I think he starts out on special teams, then gets some rotation work if either injuries hit or he works on his coverage skills.

Round 7 Pick 253
Yawin Smallwood LB Connecticut

Solid pick here, he could be in the rotation fairly quickly, and even though he does have a tendency to be caught out of position, and compounds that by not being able to catch back up quickly. He also isn’t a big hitter. Other than that? He’s perfect. I think he’s an outside linebacker rather than inside, since he is pretty good in coverage, even though his tacking could use some work. He’s got size and speed, and if he responds to coaching, he’s going to be really good.

Round 7 Pick 255
Tyler Starr LB South Dakota

This is what an NFL caliber player should do on the lower levels. He dominated. The problem, of course is, can that translate to the NFL? He’s not that fast, but he’s 6’4, and should get some looks on the outside. He has to get stronger though.

Trades

No. 168: From Carolina to Minnesota to Altanta in exchange for Atlanta’s sixth (182) and seventh (220) picks.

Overall: Atlanta has a Day 1 starter in Jake Matthews and will have Hageman starting by season opener, Freeman and Allen is going to see the field a lot as well. Past that? I love Smallwood and Starr. The problem is, there are some major reaches here, and a lot of question marks. I can see this draft having a lot of solid players, or a draft where you got Matthews as your only starter- Kind of like a Browns draft.

Free Agent Signingsatl-falcons-authentic

Geraldo Boldewijn WR Boise State
Brenden Daley LB Hawaii
Nosa Eguae DE Auburn
Devonta Glover-Wright CB Utah State
Maurice Hagens FB Miami (Fla.)
Julian Jones WR Arkansas State
Freddie Martino WR North Greenville
Jeff Mathews QB Cornell
Walker May OLB Vanderbilt
Kimario McFadden S South Carolina State
Roosevelt Nix FB Kent State
Jacob Pedersen TE Wisconsin
Bernard Reedy WR Toledo
Donte Rumph DT Kentucky
Jacques Smith OLB Tennessee
Jerome Smith RB Syracuse
James Stone C Tennessee
Tramaine Thompson WR Kansas State
Brian Wozniak TE Wisconsin
Matt Yoklic P Pittsburgh

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