Thursday, May 5, 2011

NFL Draft Team Grades-Atlanta Falcons

Lets take a look at the Falcons. They took a huge risk by giving up a ton to move up to the 6th pick, having acquired it from the Browns. They used it to acquire the best weapon that they felt was available to pair with emerging star QB Matt Ryan. Gott give Mike Smith credit, as he is moving the dial forward. Here is a breakdown of what the Falcons did on draft weekend.

Round 1, Pick 6 (From Cleveland)
Julio Jones, WR

Fearless and bold. That explains bith the personna of Jones, and the mindset of the Falcons for giving up so much to go after him. The Falcons gave away the store to move into this slot, but Jones is a very good piece to move into the receiving corps for QB Matt Ryan. Ryan is probably still giggling like a school girl at the though of teaming up with this high energy, leave it on the field wideout. Jones goes after every pass, and he can make most of the great catches. There were probably better receivers that stayed in school, but he was the best of this class.
Grade: A

Round 3, Pick 27
Akeem Dent, LB

Dent was a tackle machine in 2010, finishing 1st on the team with 125 on the season. He is not, however, much of a threat to get into the backfield, meaning that he has limited value, and will basically make the plays that come to him, rather than going to the football first. I am not going to lie, I am not a huge fan of recent talent out of Georgia, and I have found the Bulldogs to be a disappointment for several years now. This pick, other than bringing a guy who'll make a ton of plays past the line, has very little value so early due to lack of big play abaility.
Grade: C

Round 5, Pick 14 (from St. Louis)
Jacquizz Rodgers, RB
Oregon State

Small, not exceptionally fast, and not an every down back. That's Rodgers in a nice and neat package. Think a poor man's Warrick Dunn, but may not be as productive. He was brought in to mainly be a complimentary piece to Michael Turner, but won't push Turner for the job in all reality. Productive college player, but not nearly skilled enough to make it big on the next level. Potential journeyman reserve.
Grade: C-

Round 6, Pick 27
Matt Bosher, PK

Bosher only hit on 13 of his 17 FGs in 2010, and also missed 3 PATs. He does handle kickoffs, and had 15 Touchbacks in 2010 for the Hurricanes. It seems likely that the Falcons could have had him in the 7th, or they could have rounded him up as a priority rookie free agent. Not sure what they were thinking here, as kickers are a dime a dozen in this league.
Grade: F

Round 7, Pick 7 (From Detroit)
Andrew Jackson, OG
Fresno State

Missed most of his senior season with injury, but the Falcons like his intangibles for the position. Seems like a warm camp body to me, and looking beyond that potential, this guy could have gone undrafted and signed as a free agent.
Grade: F

Round 7, Pick 27 (From New England)
Cliff Matthews, DE
South Carolina

Finished with just 5.5 sacks and 8.5 TFLs in 2010 for the Gamecocks. Also had 41 tackles on the season. I am not overly impressed with those numbers, but if he got coached up, I am sure that he could provide some value from down here. I just don;t know if he'll be able to keep his ass from the chopping block or the practice squad in 2011. Has some intrigue around him, but again, not my kind of player, even this late.
Grade: C-

Potential Surprises

Potential Flop
Dent, Rodgers, Bosher

Sure To Be A Star

Sure To Be A Flop
Bosher, Jackson

Final Team GPA

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