With free-agency over (for the most part) and additional signings trickling in from now until the season starts, it is the right time to turn our focus towards the draft. There are a multitude of options at every slot in the draft, but here is just another iteration of who the Falcons could take in the draft, in addition to previous mock drafts.
Rd. 2- Defensive End, Cam Johnson, UVA. If the Falcons learned anything from allowing John Abraham to become a free-agent, and then re-sign him, it is that there needs to be a fresh influx of young, inexpensive talent at the defensive end position. Johnson wasn’t overwhelming in his college career, and he only had 4 sacks in 2011. However, he has great size, a great motor, has long arms, and has a good bull rush. The Falcons would like to add a slightly better DE in the draft, but when your first pick is in the 2nd round, you have to reach. The Falcons must draft a DE with their first pick.
Rd. 3- Offensive Left Tackle, Matt McCants, UAB. The Falcons struggled in pass protection all of 2011. Sam Baker is not going to be a franchise LT he was drafted to be, so it is back to the drawing board for those in Atlanta’s War Room. We highlighted McCants a couple days ago. I think the 3rd round might me a bit of a reach (again) but improving in the trenches is absolutely necessary.
Rd. 5- Offensive Guard, Markus Zusevics, Iowa. Iowa is one of the premiere pipelines for offensive line talent. Every individual on the line is a mauler, and is a possible starter in the NFL, and are certainly worthy of being draft picks. Zusevics is not off the charts, but he is a solid player, and is better in pass protection. Given the Falcons struggles up front and at RG last year, adding to the O-line talent will keep the Atlanta faithful happy that something is being done about the offensive line.
Rd. 6- Tight End, Michael Egnew, Missouri. Egnew is not a great blocker, but can catch passes reasonably well, and there is no harm is drafting a TE this late in the draft. If he can take over for Gonzalez, great. If not, he will certainly see some playing time as a receiving TE who could also play the slot. Even if he is a bust, an 6th round pick is not horrible to miss on.
Rd. 7- Inside Linebacker, Jerry Franklin, Arkansas. I don’t like Petrino, but Franklin could definitely help the middle linebacker situation here in Atlanta. I don’t know that Akeem Dent will pan out, and I sure hope that he does. But if he doesn’t, having depth at all of the positions is critical. He is a person who could definitely help the team.
What are your thoughts? Anyone I should include that I’m not? Anyone I have included that I shouldn’t have?