Atlanta Falcons: Players to watch on Day 1 of the 2016 NFL Combine
By Kevin Knight
While Person received a lot of the flak for the poor offensive line play in 2015, the two guards weren’t that much better. Levitre had the most penalties on the team, and Chester (who turned in a solid performance) is in his 30s and little more than a stop-gap option.
Here are a few guards to keep your eyes on at the Combine:
Cody Whitehair, Kansas State – without a doubt the top interior lineman in this class, Whitehair is a player that can be a huge boost to an offensive line. His body control is something to be witnessed, so watch for that during drills at the Combine. Whitehair is a powerful, athletic, and technically sound player that would provide a huge upgrade at the guard position. The catch is that he will cost a first round pick.
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Germain Ifedi, Texas A&M – for those that are clamoring for the Falcons to “get bigger” on the interior, you might want to take a look at Ifedi. He’s got prototypical size for a guard at 6’6, 324 (with insane 36″ arms), but still possesses the athleticism to work in the ZBS. Ifedi has great play strength and is a dominant run-blocker. He needs to work on his technique in pass pro, but his ceiling is sky-high. Could be had in the 2-3 round range.
Christian Westerman, Arizona State – Westerman is a player that many Falcons fans like, and for good reason. He’s a phenomenal athlete and would be an ideal fit in the ZBS. Pair that with his impressive technical proficiency and positional versatility and you have a tantalizing prospect. His size is a little concerning (6’3, 298), but he makes up for it with football IQ and movement ability. His draft stock is somewhere in the 2-4 round range.
Rees Odhiambo, Boise State – a player that hasn’t seen a ton of hype thus far, Odhiambo possesses traits that make him an interesting fit for the Falcons. He’s on the larger side at 6’4, 314, but still shows impressive athleticism. Played mostly tackle in college, but projects well to both tackle and guard. Odhiambo has impressive technique and has the toughness you look for on the interior. A season-ending ankle-injury (and a history of other injuries at Boise State) may cause him to fall, but he’d be a great value in rounds 3-5.
The Falcons are unlikely to be in the market for a RB or ST, but on the off-chance the team decides to part with Matt Bryant, Roberto Aguayo could be an option late in the draft if the team decides to trade back at some point. Aguayo won the Lou Groza Award as the country’s best kicker and has the leg strength to be an asset on kick-offs, and is a kicker worthy of using a draft pick on.
Who are some players that you’ll be watching on Friday? Let us know in the comments or feel free to tweet me your Combine or draft questions @KevinKnightATL.
Next: Falcons' options at nose tackle in the 2016 NFL Draft