The Falcons were awarded a compensatory third round draft pick by the NFL. The Falcons were one of four teams to receive a third round pick and will pick 35th in Round Three, or the 98th overall pick in the draft.
Annually, the league awards 32 compensatory draft selections to teams that lose free agents in the previous year’s off-season. Only certain free agents are considered, and it’s not a requirement that there is a net loss. The formula for determining it is a closely guarded secret, although there have been some attempts by outsiders to crack it. The Falcons were compensating due to the losses of Patrick Kerney, Justin Griffinth, and Ashley Lelie last off-season.
The Falcons now hold eleven total draft picks, including six in the Top 103 selections. Compensatory picks are not eligible to be traded.
According to Carlos “Big C” Holmes of the Dayton Daily News, the Falcons will work out Louisville quarterback Brian Brohm next week. According to Holmes, Brohm had a phenomenal pro day and performed brilliantly this past Monday. Earlier this off-season, Holmes reported that Brohm is the top quarterback on the Falcons draft board, ahead of Matt Ryan, who is the popular choice for experts in multiple mock drafts.
Also Holmes reports that the Falcons have a private workout scheduled for Ohio University running back Kalvin McRae on April 10 as well. McRae was one of the nation’s top rushers this past year, with 1,434 rushing yards. For his career, McRae rushed for 4,398 yards at Ohio, while also catching 84 passes and scoring 49 touchdowns. NFLDraftCountdown.com ranks him as the 28th best running back in this year’s class, making him a possibility as a late round or undrafted rookie pickup.
Slippery Rock University’s Online Rocket reports that the Falcons were the lone NFL team represented at the Slippery Rock pro day. There they watched offensive tackle Mike Butterworth, the team’s only viable pro prospect. Slippery Rock head coach George Mihalik was quoted as saying the Falcons have serious interest in Butterworth. The 6’7″ 305 offensive tackle was a highly honored player in Division II football this year. Mihalik had also worked out at Duquesne’s pro day last week. Butterworth, a three-year starter at SRU is ranked the 39th best offensive tackle this year by NFLDraftScout.com, and likely will be an undrafted rookie free agent.
Also, the Falcons were on hand to look at SRU track athlete Brad Mueller, who ran a reported 4.24 40 at the pro day. Mueller recently won the 60-meter dash at the Division II National Champonship. Mueller, 5’11″ 175, was a reserve safety who had 17 tackles, 3 pass breakups, and 1 fumble recovery as a senior.
The AP reports that Michael Vick’s trial for charges brought by the state of Virginia has been rescheduled for June 27. Originally the trial was set for April 2, but due to bureaucratic issues such as transportation it was delayed. Vick is currently serving time in federal prison in Leavenworth, Kansas.
Adam Caplan of Scout.com reports that in addition to the upcoming workout with Delaware quarterback Joe Flacco, the Falcons also plan to hold private workouts with Michigan’s Chad Henne and USC’s John David Booty by next week, if they already have not done so. Previous reports have indicated that the team has worked out or will do so with other top signal callers including Brian Brohm of Louisville, Boston College’s Matt Ryan, and Kentucky’s Andre Woodson.
It is expected that the Falcons will use one of their top four selections on the quarterback position. The Falcons hold the No. 3 overall pick, and Ryan has been a very popular choice among internet mock drafts since the fall. If not with the first round pick, it is expected the Falcons could use one of their three second round picks on any of those prospects. Those six prospects are widely considered to be the consensus top six quarterbacks in this year’s draft class.
Previous reports indicated Flacco would work on Wednesday the 26th, but Scout.com is now reporting his workout with the Falcons will be on Friday the 28th.
The Johnstown Tribune-Democrat reports that Falcons scouts were among more than 40 in attendance at the University of Pittsburgh’s pro day workout in Monday.
No specific news on which Pitt players the Falcons were looking at, but one prominent prospect that the Falcons didn’t get an opportunity to see was offensive tackle Jeff Otah. Otah decided to skip the school’s pro day and will instead conduct a private workout for NFL teams and scouts on April 9. Other notable prospects working out were defensive Joe Clermond, offensive lineman Matt McGlynn, and tight end Darrell Strong. All are projected as middle to late round picks.
Otah started at left tackle the past two seasons after being a JUCO transfer. He earned PFW 1st team All-American honors this past year. Clermond had 18 sacks and 36.5 tackles for loss in his Panther career, including 10.5 sacks this past season. McGlynn made 31 consecutive starts at right tackle, with a total of 40 at right tackle and 2 at right guard during his career. Strong had a career-high 29 catches last season for the Panthers in his first as full-time starter.
NFL.com’s Adam Schefter reports that the Falcons have signed Denver Broncos kicker Jason Elam to a four-year deal worth $9 million. Included in the deal is $3.3 million in guaranteed signing bonus, and Elam will make $5.11 million in the first two years of the deal.
According to the Denver Post, the Broncos had offered Elam a three-year deal worth $7 million with guaranteed money of $2.3 million. Previous reports indicated that Elam was given the Broncos a chance to match the Falcons offer, but they did not revise their offer.
Last season, Elam made four walkoff game-winning field goals, the most since the league merger in 1970. He has scored 100 or more points in fifteen straight years, ever since entering the league as a third round pick in 1993 with the Broncos. The three-time Pro Bowler is fifth all-time with 395 field goals made and sixth with 1,786 points. He has made 80.6% of his career field goal attempts. He had a career high in 2006, connecting on 93.1% of his 29 field goal attempts. He is tied for the league record with a 63-yard field goal.
Elam attended Brookwood High in nearby Snellville, GA, so his signing with the Falcons is a homecoming of sorts. Elam will replace 47-year old Morten Andersen, who has kicked for the Falcons the past two seasons. Elam is ten years younger than Andersen.
This is a good trade for both the Raiders and Falcons. The Falcons were able to get something substantial for a player that wasn’t going to be a long-term solution in Atlanta. Now with another second round pick, the Falcons have a lot of draft day ammunition. They can stand pat, and take a very good player with pick No. 34, or they can package it with other picks in order to move back into Round 1 to get another top player.
This trade works for the Raiders, because they get a young corner that now has a bright future in Oakland. He fits exactly the style of defense the Raiders like to employ, and they were able to get a much better cornerback in Hall than they likely would have found in Round 2. The only major downside of this trade is if the Raiders now can’t re-up with Nnamdi Asomugha. But I suspect they will. Giving out cash hasn’t been an issue for Al Davis the past few weeks.
I suspect the Falcons will use the newest pick to package together with later picks to possibly move into the latter part of Round 1 in order to draft Brian Brohm, since I suspect the team will pass on Matt Ryan with the No. 3 overall pick. A Hall for Brohm deal is worth it, in my opinion.
The Denver Post reports that Denver Broncos kicker Jason Elam is negotiating a contract with the Falcons. Elam came to Atlanta on Wednesday for a free agent visit, but stayed over Thursday where he began negotiating a contract. The AJC also confirms that the Falcons are actively trying to sign Elam.
UPDATE: The Denver Post cites two NFL sources that say that the Falcons have offered Elam a more lucrative contract than the Broncos, but that Elam will give the Broncos a chance to “sweeten” their offer in order to retain him.
Hall will sign a seven-year contract with the Oakland Raidrs worth a reported $67 million according to the AJC, with $24.5 million in guaranteed money per NFL.com. NFL.com and other sources report that the total worth of the contract is $70 million. The Raiders have agreed to send the Falcons their second round pick this year (34th overall) as well as a fifth round pick in next year’s draft.
Per the AJC, the Falcons save roughly $3 million in cap space and already are about $12 million under the $116 million salary cap.