Yet another option on the defensive line for the Atlanta Falcons in the 2012 NFL Draft is Clemson defensive tackle Brandon Thompson. He is a mammoth player, and can certainly help the Falcons on one of the all-important lines. Providing depth at tackle would be one of his best assets.
Thompson is a beast. He benched 450, squatted 610, and completed 36 repetitions of 225 at the combine. He could start immediately if there were to be an injury at the defensive tackle position, or compete and push the incumbents here for playing time. However there is one asset that he has that individuals currently on the roster do not have.
That is the ability and size to play nose-tackle in the 3-4 defense. Sure he could wallop people from a DT position in the 4-3, which the Falcons will do at times. But the addition of Mike Nolan at defensive coordinator cannot be underestimated, and neither can the changes he will bring. Through use of the 3-4, the Falcons will be able to free up additional pass rushers to get after the quarterback, and basically make additions through subtraction.
Thompson was not a statistical monster at Clemson, but his size and strength changed affected the play-calling of opposing teams, and changed the complexion of the defense that he played for. Allowing to Falcons to be less predictable on a 3-4 defense, or through bolstering the current 4-3, Thompson is a player who could really help the Falcons. He projects as a 2nd round pick, but given the Falcons situation on defensive line, every impact player helps.
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