The Atlanta Falcons came into Friday night with a second and third round pick. Before the draft something huge happened…if you haven’t heard by now you should defect to being a cheating Saints fan. Anyhow, the Asante Samuel trade was the best front office decision in free agency since getting Tony Gonzalez. Asante is a pro bowl play maker that immediately solidifies the secondary. He is the active leader in interceptions since 2006, and outplayed the two other pro bowlers on the Eagles last season. Their inability to secure a franchise player is our gain. Atlanta fans embrace #22, I promise he will be well worth the wait. For years, fans have clamored for a big time corner…well, we got him. The Falcons did not select a player in the first round; therefore their goal was simple for Friday: improve the team. I believe that Thomas Dimitroff and company did that last night. This week, I will give my thoughts on our two new Atlanta Falcons. I will also provide a mock draft for rounds 4-7.
Peter Konz, C, Wisconsin, the fifty-fifth selection in the NFL Draft will immediately see the field as a guard. Konz was the top rated center in this year’s draft; he has every tool to become a franchise guy for the next decade. I love this pick, its safe and there is little to no chance for him to be a bust. Atlanta did not have a first round pick, and that shortcoming had to be countered with solid selections. Konz is a guy who will come in and play right guard for Atlanta this year. In my opinion, he will transfer to center after McClure retires. Atlanta waited patiently in the second round and drafted a first round talent. You cannot argue with that. He has great toughness, can pull with a lot of speed, and is solid in pass protection. At 6’5 he 315lbs. he will be a great addition to an offensive line that preaches “nastiness”.
Draft Grade: A
The Falcons traded back in the third round to the Ravens for the 91st pick and picked up an extra fifth round pick. This was another great move by Atlanta. Folks, we have a G.M. who makes decisions, I for one applauded picking up extra picks.
Lamar Holmes, T, Southern Miss, the ninety-first selection in the NFL was the mammoth of a man from Southern Miss. At 6’5 328lbs. Holmes should compete this summer with the tackles for some playing time. He is more than likely our future left tackle, but time will tell. Ladies and gentlemen, say your goodbyes to the “QB killer” himself, Sam Baker. Atlanta proved last night their number one priority was to sure up the offensive line. I for one support it 100%. I’m tired of watching Matty Ice pick grass from his helmet. This pick wasn’t sexy by any means, but Holmes may be the driving force that will either A) jump start Sam Baker’s career OR B) Cause the cutting of Sam Baker and create some nice cap space to address the defensive line. I believe Atlanta did reach here, but with no fourth round pick I have no problem with getting “your guy”. Hats off to the Atlanta Falcons on a nice stress free draft night.
Draft Grade: B-
Now that Atlanta has addressed some key needs on the offensive line, let’s look at rounds 4-7. Here is a mock draft I came up with last night. Thoughts? Concerns? How do you feel about our second and third round picks? Did you like the trade to move down?
Saturday Mock: I see defense being a key theme tomorrow, with this mock Atlanta could get the a little bit of everything.
Fifth Round: Ladrius Green TE Louisiana Lafayette
Fifth Round: Malik Jackson DE Tennessee
Sixth Round: DeQuan Menzie DB Alabama
Seventh Round: Jerry Franklin LB Arkansas