Weekly Notes

  • NEW STADIUMThe Falcons ranked at #4 in ESPN’s pre-season power rankings
  • Mini Camp took place this past weekend, check out photos and video coverage at atlantafalcons.com
  • Former Falcons tackle Tyson Clabo signed with the Miami Dolphins this weekend
  • The new photos from the proposed stadium look futuristic and unreal! (see photo above)
  • I expect contract talks to start heating up between the Falcons and Matt Ryan
  • Shout out to Asante Samuel for speaking his mind on the Jason Collins situation. I agree with Samuel, there is no place in sports for someones sexuality.
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Banks Takes the Field

20130404114314Brian_Banks_FalconsThe story of redemption that is Brian Banks continues to progress as he suited up and took the field this weekend during Atlanta’s rookie mini camp.

Despite being 27 years old–not as youthful as the others in attendance–Banks’ enthusiasm and effort was visible. Unfortunately the reality is he may not make the team due to the numbers game. However being a linebacker may bode well for him considering that is an area the Falcons are still looking to upgrade.

Banks said he practiced primarily at MLB, a position that currently belongs to Akeem Dent. Dent, however, did not turn many heads last season and therefore the door could be open for Banks.

Whatever the case may be for Banks, I am rooting for him and i hope he gets an opportunity if not in Atlanta, then elsewhere in the NFL. Best of luck to you Brian Banks!

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Photo Roll of New Atlanta Falcons

DES

ALF

MAL

TOL

STA

KAM

ZEK

SEAN

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Draft Wrap-Up

042713_falcons_kdj07One word comes to mind when I sum up this years’ draft: pivotal. Now, I know it may seem as if I am wishfully thinking, but I truly believe that this draft class could propel the falcons into elite status.

Let’s take a look at the selections:

Round Pick Position Player College
(1) 22 CB Desmond Trufant Washington
(2) 60 CB Robert Alford S.E. Louisiana
(4) 127 DE Malliciah Goodman Clemson
(4) 133 TE Levine Toilolo Stanford
(5) 153 DE Stansly Maponga TCU
(7) 243 S Kemal Ishmael Central Florida
(7) 244 S Zeke Motta Notre Dame
(7) 249 QB Sean Renfree Duke

Reaction:

I have talked about the Falcons’ glaring need at the cornerback position for the past two months. The team must have agreed, trading up to the 22nd pick in the first round to secure CB Desmond Trufant out of Washington. Trufant is, in my opinion, the most complete corner in the rookie class and has the skills and ability to step in and start day one.

In the second round, the Falcons added another corner to help bolster the secondary.  This time opting to go with small-school stud Robert Alford out of South Eastern Louisiana. Alford brings to the table blazing speed with the ability to add value in the return game. When Asante Samuel decides to hand up the cleats, I think Robert Alford will be able to come in and start beside Desmond Trufant. The future sure is bright in the defensive backfield.

In rounds four and five, the Falcons struck gold. With their first pick in the fourth round they landed Clemson DE Malliciah Goodman. Goodman provides a huge presence on the defensive line and possesses great instincts against the run. He could split time with Kroy Beirman right away. With the second pick in the fourth round the Falcons decided to snag the towering tight end out of Stanford, Levine Toilolo. Standing it 6′ 8”, the team hopes that he will be able to transition into the starting role when Gonzalez calls it quits. Look for Toilolo to provide instant production in the redzone and as a blocker.

In rounds five through seven, with the Falcons owning three seventh round picks, the team addressed the defensive side of the ball. One pick that really stood out to me was saftey Zeke Motta out of Notre Dame. Being a Notre Dame fan, I saw a lot of Motta over the past few years and the kid can flat out play. He may not be much of a measurable guy but he can lay the lumber and has a very high motor. I think he can contribute instantly on special teams.

In Brief:

With the guys the Falcons brought in, I think we see at least four of them making instant contributions. Look for Desmond Trufant and Robert Alford to become household-names in Atlanta, making plays from the day they get to camp in Flowery Branch.

Grade: A-

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Dee Milliner on ESPN’s SportScience

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Another First-Round Splash?

NCAA Football: BCS National Championship-Alabama vs Notre DameDiscussions seem to be coming about quite frequently pertaining to the Falcons moving up in the draft to take an Alabama player.

Sound Familiar? Sure does. Two years ago the Falcons jumped up to the sixth spot in the first round to snag Alabama WR Julio Jones, who turned out to be a valuable addition to the team.

This year many people think it would make sense for the Falcons to move into the top 10 to take Alabama CB Dee Milliner. Milliner, is the consensus best corner available in the draft. Considering the Falcons have a pressing need at the position and have the ammunition to move up, it seems like a logical decision.

I also would not be surprised to see the Falcons snag a top-level pass rusher, but i do not think they would have to do that by moving up into the top 10.

Assuming the Falcons stay put, I see them going after CB D.J Hayden or possibly a pass-rusher such as Bjoern Werner.

Two days til’ we get an answer!

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Moore Arrest Fallout

William+Moore+Atlanta+Falcons+v+Kansas+City+d_qSVErlVgvlEver since the Michael Vick incident, I have been a bit more aware of the impact that legal issues can have not only on a player, but on an organization.

With that being said, it comes as no surprise that when I saw William Moore was arrested on Saturday, my heart skipped a beat.

It has been evident that the Falcons have made a concerted effort to sign, retain, and draft players with high character since the new management has taken over. Beginning with their first pick, Matt Ryan, the new management has made sure that they do not have another incident like they experienced with Vick.

Now I understand that William Moore was arrested for simple battery, which does not compare to dog fighting, but it is still something you never want to see scroll on the bottom of ESPN as fan.

Moore’s roster spot is not in jeopardy and I do not think he will receive any more punishment than a slap on the wrist. Now lets hope that this is not a reoccurring theme for Moore, or any other member of the organization.

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Mock Draft

NFL-Draft-LogoRound 1

Kansas City Chiefs– Luke Joeckel, Offensive Tackle—Texas A&M

Jacksonville Jaguars– Eric Fisher, Offensive Tackle—Central Michigan

Oakland Raiders– Shariff Floyd, Defensive Tackle—Florida

Philadelphia Eagles– Dion Jordan, Outside Linebacker—Oregon

Detroit Lions– Ezekiel Ansah, Defensive End—BYU

Cleveland Browns– Dee Milliner, Cornerback—Alabama

Arizona Cardinals– Lane Johnson, Offensive Tackle—Oklahoma

Buffalo Bills– Ryan Nassib, Quarterback—Syracuse

New York Jets– Star Lotulelei, Defensive Tackle—Utah

Tennessee Titans– Jonathan Cooper, Offensive Guard—North Carolina

San Diego Chargers– D.J Fluker, Offensive Tackle—Alabama

Miami Dolphins– Barkevious Mingo, Defensive End–LSU

New York Jets– Geno Smith, Quarterback—West Virginia

Carolina Panthers– Tavon Austin, Wide Reciever—West Virginia

New Orleans Saints– Jarvis Jones, Outside Linebacker—Georgia

St. Louis Rams– Kenny Vaccaro, Safety—Texas

Pittsburgh Steelers– Tyler Eifert, Tight End—Notre Dame

Dallas Cowboys– Chance Warmack, Offensive Guard—Alabama

New York Giants– Alec Ogletree, Inside Linebacker—Georgia

Chicago Bears– Manti Te’o, Inside Linebacker—Notre Dame

Cincinnati Bengals– Sheldon Richardson, Defensive Tackle—Missouri

St. Louis Rams– Cordarrelle Patterson, Wide Receiver—Tennessee

Minnesota Vikings– Justin Hunter, Wide Receiver—Tennessee

Indianapolis Colts– Desmond Trufant, Cornerback—Washington

Minnesota Vikings– Tank Carridine, Defensive End—Florida State

Green Bay Packers– Eddie Lacy, Running Back—Alabama

Houston Texans– Robert Woods, Wide Receiver—USC

Denver Broncos– Kawaan Short, Defensive Tackle—Purdue

New England Patriots– Bjoern Werner, Defensive End—Florida State

Atlanta Falcons– D.J Hayden, Cornerback—Houston

San Francisco 49er’s– Jesse Williams, Defensive Tackle—Alabama

Baltimore Ravens– Jamar Taylor, Cornerback—Boise State

Notes:

  • Teams looking to trade up: Atlanta Falcons, Arizona Cardinals, New Orleans Saints
  • Teams looking to trade down: Oakland Raiders, Philadelphia Eagles, New York Jets
  • Possible run on QB’s in late first round
  • Tackle-heavy first round
  • Possible absence of Running Back in first round
  • A lot of trades will take place. Look for New England to deal often
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NFC South Stock Report

nfc-southThe NFC South has been a division of, well, division for the past few seasons. The Saints and Falcons have been atop the division, while the Bucs an Panthers have been feeding off the bottom.

Judging by this year’s offseason, it appears this theme will remain constant for at least one more year. Sure the Bucs have invested heavily in free agency the past couple offseasons, but they have been unable to capture the star power necessary to compete with Atlanta. However, adding safety Deshawn Goldson is a step in the right direction in terms of slowing down the high powered passing games of the Falcons and Saints.

The Panthers are a mystery to many. Cam Newton came on strong his rookie year, but faltered a bit last year. The defense for Carolina seems to be on the rise with the addition of  star LB luke kuechly in last years draft. gathering offensive weapons for Cam Newton is a must this offseason.

The Saints will be thrilled to get their coach back this season, putting an end to the bountygate scandal. With the attention shifting back to football, I expect the Saints to be atop the division with Drew Brees putting up his usual lofty digits.

The Falcons, in my opinion, had a wonderful offseason, adding Steven Jackson and osi Umenyiora. The sky is truly the limit this season. With 11 draft picks this year, the Falcons have a real opportunity to bolster their roster into becoming nearly unstoppable. I think the Falcons are unquestionably the best team in the South.

Expect there to be a tight battle atop the division this season between the falcons and Saints.

 

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Desmond Trufant: Road to the Draft

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