Falcons prospects meeting tracker

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MARCH 03: Running back James Conner of Pittsburgh looks on during day three of the NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on March 3, 2017 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MARCH 03: Running back James Conner of Pittsburgh looks on during day three of the NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on March 3, 2017 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

The Atlanta Falcons, like every other team, are deep into their preparation for the NFL Draft, interviewing dozens of prospects. Who’s on the radar?

The draft preparation process is starting to wrap up. All-star games like the East-West Shrine Game and the Senior Bowl have been played. The majority of this year’s prospects have gone through their workouts at the Scouting Combine.

The school pro days are pretty much over. Throughout the process teams will focus on specific players and meet with them to get a better feel about how those players might fit their schemes and culture.

Last year the Falcons spent quite a lot of time with offensive guard Forrest Lamp, for example (although they ultimately decided to go with Takkarist McKinley and Lamp wound up with the Chargers).

Who the Falcons have met with so far

Riley Ferguson, Memphis
Quinton Flowers, South Florida

Running backs
Kalen Ballage, Arizona State
Nick Chubb, Georgia
Boston Scott, Louisiana Tech
Darrell Williams, LSU
Malik Williams, Louisville

Wide Receivers
Deontay Burnett, USC
Richie James, Middle Tennessee
Vyncint Smith, Limestone College (S.C.)
Jonah Trinnaman, BYU
Javon Wims, Georgia

Tight End
Hayden Hurst, South Carolina

Nick Bawden, San Diego State

Offensive Linemen
Anthony Coyle, T, Fordham
Tyrell Crosby, T, Oregon
James Daniels, C, Iowa
Colby Gossett, G, Appalachian State
Tejen Koroma, C-G, BYU
Rick Leonard, T, Florida State
Kolton Miller, T, UCLA
Patrick Morris, C, TCU
Brandon Parker, T, North Carolina A&T
Braden Smith, G, Auburn
Brett Toth, T, Army
Isiah Wynn, G, Georgia

Defensive Linemen
B.J. Hill, DT, NC State
Justin Jones, DT, NC State
R.J. McIntosh, DT, Miami
McKay Murphy, DT, Weber State
Joe Ostman, DE, Central Michigan
DaRon Payne, DT, Alabama
Kentavius Street, DE, NC State
Vita Vea, DT, Washington

Jack Cichy, Wisconsin
Rashaan Evans, Alabama
Uchenna Nwosu, USC
Foye Oluokun, Yale
Deion Pierre, Samford
Leighton Vander Esch, Boise State
Fred Warner, BYU

Defensive Backs
Malik Boynton, CB, Austin Peay
Grant Haley, CB, Penn State
Afolabi Laguda, S, Colorado
Isaiah Oliver, CB, Colorado
Linden Stephens, CB, Cincinnati

Daniel Carlson, K, Auburn

Who the Falcons may be interested in

Alex McGough, Florida International

Running Backs
Chase Edmond, Fordham
J.J. Green, Georgia Tech

Offensive Linemen
Jamil Demby, G, Maine
Jeremi Hall, G, South Florida
Harley Vaughn, C, West Georgia

Defensive Linemen
Davin Bellamy, DE, Georgia
Taven Bryan, DL, Florida
Danny Ezechukwu, DE, Purdue

Jalyn Holmes, DE, Ohio State
Kingsley Opara, DT, Maryland
Nathan Shephard, DT, Fort Hays State
Breeland Speaks, DT, Mississippi
Jacob Tuioti-Mariner, DE, UCLA

Patrick Afriyie, Colgate
Genard Avery, Memphis
Junior Joseph, Connecticut
Dorian O’Daniel, Clemson
Matt Oplinger, Yale

Defensive Backs
Lance Austin, CB, Georgia Tech
Lawrence Austin, CB, Georgia Tech
Rashard Fant, CB, Indiana
Corey Griffin, S, Georgia Tech
D.J. Reed, CB, Kansas State
D.J. Smith, S, South Carolina
Chandon Sullivan, CB, Georgia State

The Takeaway

I found meeting with some quarterbacks to be curious, especially the one with Quinton Flowers, who is not a traditional pocket quarterback. Perhaps the Falcons discussed moving to a different position with him?

More from Blogging Dirty

Atlanta was also rumored to be interested in trading for ex-Bronco, now-Viking, QB Trevor Siemian. Unless they’re looking for a less expensive backup to Matt Ryan so they can jettison Matt Schaub and free up some more cap space, I don’t see why they’re looking at QBs.

The only other position group that made my raise an eyebrow was meeting with likely first-rounders at linebacker in Leighton Vander Esch and Rashaan Evans. I understand wanting to improve depth at the position, but you don’t do that in the first round unless you don’t have any other needs, and the Falcons do.

Yes, Vander Esch or Evans would be an improvement over Duke Riley, but how often is Atlanta’s defense in its base 4-3 package? Twenty percent of the time? Thirty? So, if you draft, say, Vander Esch in the first round, you’re then going to sit him for the vast majority of your defensive plays?

Or are you benching Deion Jones or DeVondre Campbell in favor of the rookie?

This is smokescreen season, however. Don’t forget that. Now is the time where teams will often feign interest in somebody just to try to throw all the other teams off. It’s the NFL equivalent of trying to defeat industrial espionage.

“We’re going to make people think we’re looking at linebackers when we’re really interested in defensive tackles. Or are we (wink, wink)?”

Next: Top 20 Falcons Games Of All-Time

Nuggets of wisdom can be gained from looking at lists like this, but don’t take it as gospel.