The newest Atlanta Falcon, Sean Weatherspoon

The Falcons Stick to the Script, Draft Weatherspoon in 1st Round


I’m a falcon!!!

Those three words, tweeted by Missouri Linebacker Sean Weatherspoon BEFORE his actual selection in yesterday’s NFL Draft, have added to the building excitement that is becoming the 2010 Atlanta Falcons season.

“I had to shoot the tweet once I knew it was going down,” he said. “Once they told me I was confident and had to shoot it out there. I wanted to let my fan know,” Weatherspoon said.

Having won 20 games in the first two seasons of the Mike Smith/Matt Ryan regime, the Falcons’ expectations were soaring before the draft. Add in Weatherspoon, a player they have loved for months and there are definitely solid reasons for these expectations.

“I would think the big thing that stood out the most is that in the Big 12 they face the spread offense the most and he’s able to play in space. I’ve said many times that the game is becoming a spacing game,” head coach Mike Smith said.

To be able to still get Weatherspoon, despite all the craziness on draft day, has some people (well, me alone, but this is my column, so I’m allowed some latitude) using the D word. That’s right, Destiny.

When three defensive ends (Brandon Graham, Jason Pierre-Paul, Derrick Morgan) went off the board between picks 13-16, I could imagine the head honchos in Flowery Branch were getting nervous.

Then Mike Iupati and Maurkice Pouncey were snatched up at 17 and 18, leaving the Falcons only one choice: Weatherspoon.

There were rumors of the Falcons taking TE Jermaine Gresham or WR Demaryius Thomas, but there was no way the Falcons would have made those selections. It was always going to be defense first or offensive line as a backup plan.

The Falcons now can take time to reset their draft board and decide if it’s worth it to move into the second round or stay put with their two third round selections.

More to Come

Check back later for Lee Tollison’s piece on The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of the NFL Draft. Also, we’ll break down what the Falcons could do with the rest of the draft.

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Tags: Atlanta Falcons Mike Smith NFL Draft Sean Weatherspoon