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The meat of the Falcons draft lies on the third day of the draft, where rounds four through seven will be selected. The Falcons hold eight of their eleven total picks during this stretch of the draft. The third day of the draft is typically where teams try to build their depth. A few players will emerge as starters, but they are few and far between.
Using previously discussed draft grades, only 14 of the 153 players selected in the final four rounds in 2008 earned C grades or higher (i.e. became solid starters after five seasons). That number is 22 out of 156 players from the 2007 class. In 2008, five of those 14 starters were fourth rounders, while that number was 12 in 2007.
Because the Falcons draft for need, they are going to lean towards targeting players that have a high probability of making the roster. Basically operating under a simple principle that there’s no way you can help the team if you don’t make it. So to determine what areas and positions the Falcons might target on the third day of the draft, you have to take a closer look at the team’s current roster. Here’s a quick breakdown position by position, with the number in parentheses indicating the current number of players at the position that have a strong probability of making the final roster:
2013 Atlanta Falcons Schedule
|1||Aug. 8||Cincinnati||8:00||L||10-34||Stats | Recap | Review|
|2||Aug. 15||at Baltimore||7:30||L||23-27||Stats | Recap | Review|
|3||Aug. 24||at Tennessee||8:00||L||16-27||Stats | Recap | Review|
|4||Aug. 29||Jacksonville||7:30||L||16-20||Stats | Recap | Review|
|1||Sep. 8||at New Orleans||1:00||L||17-23||Stats | Recap | Review|
|2||Sep. 15||St. Louis||1:00||W||31-24||Stats | Recap | Review|
|3||Sep. 22||at Miami||4:05||L||23-27||Stats | Recap | Review|
|4||Sep. 29||New England||8:30||L||23-30||Stats | Recap | Review|
|5||Oct. 7||N.Y. Jets||8:40||L||28-30||Stats | Recap | Review|
|7||Oct. 20||Tampa Bay||1:00||W||31-23||Stats | Recap | Review|
|8||Oct. 27||at Arizona||4:25||L||13-27||Stats | Recap | Review|
|9||Nov. 3||at Carolina||1:00||L||10-34||Stats | Recap | Review|
|10||Nov. 10||Seattle||1:00||L||10-33||Stats | Recap | Review|
|11||Nov. 17||at Tampa Bay||1:00||L||28-41||Stats | Recap | Review|
|12||Nov. 21||New Orleans||8:20||L||13-17||Stats | Recap | Review|
|13||Dec. 1||at Buffalo||4:05||W||34-31(OT)||Stats | Recap | Review|
|14||Dec. 8||at Green Bay||1:00||L||21-22||Stats | Recap | Review|
|15||Dec. 15||Washington||1:00||W||27-26||Stats | Recap | Review|
|16||Dec. 23||at San Francisco||8:40||L||24-34||Stats | Recap | Review|
|17||Dec. 29||Carolina||1:00||L||20-21||Stats | Recap | Review|
I plan on writing one of these Takeaway columns every week to be posted on Monday all year long. In a nutshell, I’m ripping off Peter King’s Monday Morning Quarterback. During the season, it will come easy because I can just write about reactions to the Falcons games as well as any other things noticed from Sunday’s slate of games, and of course any major non-football topics that come up. This will force me to have to probably pay more attention to the other games on Sunday than I normally do as most weeks I’m just locked into the Falcons. But I think having to watch more football is a good problem to have.
During the off-season however, there may be a bit more conflict about having writing topics. Such as this week. I figure once we get into March, I can discuss some of the noteworthy free agency signings that occurred during the previous week. And as free agency dies down towards the end of March, hopefully I can share more insights on the draft.
But this week, there aren’t many topics that I think are worth discussing. I could take more about the Super Bowl or the 2012 season as a whole, but I still haven’t quite processed all of that. I think part of that has to do with how far the Falcons went this year, that when I start to think about this past year as a whole, I get held up with thinking what did not occur for my favorite team.
So for this week’s column, I think I’ll just discuss some of the things I want to get done this off-season. I realized over the weekend, some of the things I wanted to write about I’m behind on. I usually will have posted a mock muncher by now, but I did not do a good job collecting mocks from January due to my focus on the Falcons playoff run. So I guess, I’ll probably post something this week that takes into account what mocks I can find from the first two weeks of February. That’s not a big deal since most of the mocks in January feature un-finalized draft order and are rarely accurate anyway.
I also wanted to start writing up assessments of all 31 other teams and their needs and free agency outlooks. I know that most people that read this site are only here to read insights and opinions about the Falcons, but I figure for the minority of people that are wanting it, I’m going to try and be more comprehensive with my off-season coverage. Which means not just focusing exclusively on the Falcons, but the other 31 teams in the league. Part of that is because of my belief that this off-season will mirror last year’s off-season, where the Falcons aren’t going to be that active.
With those, I do want to include some Falcon-related topics, including looking at which of the other teams’ prospective free agents could be good signings for Atlanta. But I’m behind on that. A few weeks back in my head, I was thinking I’d post 31 different team breakdowns, one each day, for the 31 days that lead up to free agency, which I believe begins on March 12. That would have meant that I needed to start this past Friday. Well that obviously wasn’t the case. But hopefully I’ll start them no later than this weekend, and if I have to stack a couple that should be fine.
I also realized that now that it is 2013, it will have been five years since the forums hosted the vote for the Falcons All-Time team. I think it’s been more than enough time to go back and re-assess. I think a number of players that were not on that initial team would be worthy now (e.g. Matt Ryan, Michael Turner, Tony Gonzalez, Roddy White, John Abraham, Jonathan Babineaux). I think I’ll save that for May when the post-draft lull hits just to have something to fill the time during the summer on the forums.
As part of our continuing draft coverage and our efforts to bring you the fans a way to connect with your fellow Falcon fans, we will be doing a live draft show Thursday night on our broadcast channel on Justin.tv. Also we will be hosting a live chat on our channel during the course of night.
Our show will be kicking off just minutes before the draft begins at 8 pm Eastern on Thursday night. Falcon fans don’t need to be left out on the first night of the draft with the Falcons being without a pick, as they can stop by and discuss any and everything during the chat while listening to myself and co-host Ryan discuss the draft. We’ll be answering questions, talking prospects, and discussing the Falcons of course. We’ll also feature a live show on Friday night to get the immediate reaction of the Falcons pick when it comes off the board. And if you still haven’t gotten your draft fix by Saturday, you can stop by then as well.
In order to participate in the chat, you’ll need to create a free user account at Justin.tv. It’s quick and easy and we look forward to seeing you on Thursday night and throughout the weekend.
This year marks our Seventh Annual Mock Draft Contest. By submitting your prediction for how the first round of the draft will lay out, you can win some awesome prizes from the FalcFans-sponsored online store as well as the opportunity to have your mock drafts featured on this site next year. This year’s contest will feature predictions of the entire first round, as well as the Falcons pick in the second round.
Submit your mock drafts on the forums, in the special Mock Draft Contest designated subforum by creating a thread using this submission format. If you are not a registered member of the forums, you can click here to become one. You can edit/modify your submissions up until the deadline, which will be one hour before the draft, at 7:00 pm Eastern, Thursday, April 26, 2012. At 7:01, the forums will be locked and all submissions will then be final.
2012 Atlanta Falcons Schedule
|1||Aug. 9||Baltimore||7:30||L||17-31||Stats | Recap|
|2||Aug. 16||Cincinnati||8:00||L||19-24||Stats | Recap|
|3||Aug. 24||at Miami||7:30||W||23-6||Stats | Recap|
|4||Aug. 30||at Jacksonville||6:30||L||14-24||Stats | Recap|
|1||Sep. 9||at Chiefs||1:00||W||40-24||Stats | Recap | Review|
|2||Sep. 17||Broncos||8:30||W||27-21||Stats | Recap | Review|
|3||Sep. 23||at Chargers||4:05||W||27-3||Stats | Recap | Review|
|4||Sep. 30||Panthers||1:00||W||30-28||Stats | Recap | Review|
|5||Oct. 7||at Redskins||1:00||W||24-17||Stats | Recap | Review|
|6||Oct. 14||Raiders||1:00||W||23-20||Stats | Recap | Review|
|8||Oct. 28||at Eagles||1:00||W||30-17||Stats | Recap | Review|
|9||Nov. 4||Cowboys||8:20||W||19-13||Stats | Recap | Review|
|10||Nov. 11||at Saints||1:00||L||27-31||Stats | Recap | Review|
|11||Nov. 18||Cardinals||1:00||W||23-19||Stats | Recap | Review|
|12||Nov. 25||at Buccaneers||1:00||W||24-23||Stats | Recap | Review|
|13||Nov. 29||Saints||8:20||W||23-13||Stats | Recap | Review|
|14||Dec. 9||at Panthers||1:00||L||20-30||Stats | Recap | Review|
|15||Dec. 16||Giants||1:00||W||34-0||Stats | Recap | Review|
|16||Dec. 22||at Lions||8:30||W||31-18||Stats | Recap | Review|
|17||Dec. 30||Buccaneers||1:00||L||17-22||Stats | Recap | Review|
|19||Jan. 13||Seahawks||1:00||W||30-28||Stats | Recap | Review|
|20||Jan. 20||49ers||3:00||L||24-28||Stats | Recap | Review|
Every year since 2005, members of our forums vote on several awards for who represent the best and occasionally worst performance for the Falcons each year. You can vote too by visiting the FalcFans.com Awards forum. If you’re already a member of the FalcFans Forums, just log in and vote. If not, then you can register by clicking here. Voting will end on Thursday, February 23.
Here are all of the honors that we have listed for this year’s awards: Team MVP, Offensive, Defensive, and Special Teams MVPs, Offensive and Defensive Rookies of the Year, Comeback Player of the Year, Newcomer of the Year, Most Improved Player, Assistant Coach of the Year, Mr. Falcon, Top Backup, Biggest Addition by Subtraction, and Biggest Surprises and Disappointments of the Year.
Enter the chat room and talk the draft and football with your fellow Falcon fans as the picks come in.
In order to chat, you must be a registered member of the FalcFans Forums. Just use your forum username and password to log in. It only takes a few minutes to get signed up and ready to go.