May 12, 2012; Flowery Branch, GA, USA; Atlanta Falcons defensive end Jonathan Massaquoi goes through a drill during Falcons rookie camp at the Atlanta Falcons Training Facility. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-US PRESSWIRE

Jonathan Massaquoi: Atlanta Falcons 5th Round Steal?

In looking around the internet for reports on new NFL rookies, I stumbled upon this article from Yahoo! which spoke specifically to 5th round picks. The article talks about 5th round draft picks who were terrific values– players who when graded on skill set had the possibility of being drafted higher, but fell to later rounds. Only five players were in the piece, and one of them was the Falcons’ Jonathan Massaquoi.

The Yahoo reporter spoke very highly of Massaquoi. As a matter of fact, back in February there was another Yahoo piece ranking Massaquoi as the 50th best prospect for the 2012 NFL Draft. Granted, this guy is not a professional scout and is not currently in the front office of an NFL franchise, so there is a reason Massaquoi was drafted in the 5th rather than the 2nd round. However the point must be acknowledged that the Falcons drafted a Defensive end who has the size to potentially play Outside Linebacker in a 3-4 front, and to play at a high level.

While he may have a great burst off the line, tremendous agility, a good bull-rush for his size, and a tremendous motor, Massaquoi is not without his flaws. He is raw, and since he had success against less than elite competition hasn’t had to develop a very big pass-rushing repertoire of moves which is something that is absolutely necessary from a pass rushing specialist in the NFL today.

The good news is that there are multiple sources who feel that the Falcons got a tremendous value pick in the 5th round, and have a player who could develop into a stater at DE in the future. While he will only be a situational pass rusher or a DE in a rotation with John Abraham, Ray Edwards and Kroy Biermann, it is positive that there is so much potential and upside to Massaquoi. All that is needed is for him to be developed properly, something the Falcons have already begun to work on.

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Tags: Atlanta Falcons John Abraham Jonathan Massaquoi Kroy Biermann Ray Edwards

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