The Falcons had a productive draft this year, despite the fact that they traded away their 1st, 4th, and 7th round picks. Here are the newest members of the Atlanta Falcons:
Round 2- Center, Peter Konz- Wisconsin. Konz is a fine player from a Wisconsin offensive line that routinely produces NFL talent. Konz is by far the best center in the draft, and the virtue that the Falcons picked him up late in the 2nd round shows that the Falcons got very good value for him. He also fulfilled a great need for the Falcons. The NFL Network’s Mike Mayock called Konz ‘a plug and play offensive lineman who will start in Atlanta from day 1.’ Konz wasn’t a flashy pick, but he was as solid as they come.
Round 3- Offensive Tackle, Lamar Holmes- Southern Mississippi. Holmes is a huge offensive lineman, and played both left and right tackle in junior college before he transferred to Southern Miss, where he played exclusively left tackle. Holmes is a grinder, and brings nastiness and tenacity to the tackle position that the Falcons don’t get from Sam Baker. However, he is not a polished product, and could do with a lot more instruction. That’s perfect for the Falcons because they just hired Pat Hill as their new O-Line coach and he will work a lot with Holmes. At this stage he is a better pass- protector with good feet to beat the edge-rusher, and the Falcons believe the rest will come with this developmental prospect.
Round 5- Fullback, Bradie Ewing- Wisconsin. Ewing is a solid fullback in the most traditional sense of the word. He doesn’t get many carries or many receptions, and that is just fine. The fact that there isn’t much to say about his is exactly what makes him good: he punishes defensive players, and opens up holes for the runningbacks on the ground. As evidences by the huge numbers put up by Wisconsin runningbacks over the past couple years, Ewing is pretty good at his job, and will one day replace Ovie Mughelli.
Round 5- Defensive End, Jonathan Massaquoi- Troy. Massaquoi was a player who turned in great seasons, but in his final season at Troy he turned in what scouts called an ‘average’ season. He is clearly not a transcendent talent moving into the NFL. I do think that he is a good role player who the Falcons will be able to call upon in much the same way they called on Kroy Biermann to rotate in with John Abraham and Ray Edwards to keep the defensive line fresh.
Round 6- Safety, Charles Mitchell- Mississippi State. Mitchell was at one time a safety at Mississippi State before the coaching staff turned him into a safety. My personal belief is that he is better suited to being a Strong Safety in the NFL, and even then only as a backup. However, backup depth is crucial at all positions, and given the injury histories of Thomas DeCoud and William Moore, having another person who can play in a pinch makes all the difference in the world.
Round 7- Defensive Tackle, Travian Robertson- South Carolina. Robertson is another solid rotation player who will probably not provide much more than depth along their defensive line. Robertson also did not produce huge numbers during his college career, but he was better at holding the point of attack and eating up blocks, allowing the linebackers and other defenders to make the tackle. Robertson isn’t going to be a starter, but again, depth on the defensive line is essential to winning in the NFL.