The Falcons announced the signing of 22 undrafted free agents today. Sixteen of those names were known, as they were previously reported on our undrafted free agent tracker. Newly added however include fullback Thor Merrow (North Alabama), wide receiver P.J. Gore (Mars Hill), center Ryan McMahon (Florida State), cornerback Kamaal McIlwain (Newbury), and safety Suaesi Tuimaunei (Oregon State). Also note that Rhode Island linebacker Matt Hansen is listed by the team as a safety.
Merrow (6-0/252) is the son of former Falcons defensive lineman Jeff Merrow who played 9 seasons with the Falcons (1975-83). He began his collegiate career at West Virginia, where he played in 8 games asa defensive lineman as a redshirt freshman, recording 9 tackles. After an injury-plagued sophomore year, where he only had 2 tackles in 3 games, he transferred to North Alabama. He moved to tight end, where he spent two seasons as a reserve, combining for 8 catches for 103 yards (12.9 avg) and 2 touchdowns. He also played some defense, recording 22 tackles, 1 for loss, and 2 pass breakups during his two-year stint. Merrow clocked a 4.92 40 time and did 25 bench reps at North Alabama’s spring pro day.
Gore (6-2/196) began his career at Mars Hill as a basketball player before playing football during his final year of eligibility. As a senior receiver, he led the team with 51 catches for 1086 (21.3 avg) and 9 touchdowns. In three seasons as a starting guard for Mars Hill, he averaged 14.3 points, 2.2 assistants, 5.1 rebounds, and 2.2 steals per game. He also shot 46.2% from the field, 66.3% from free throws, and 28.4% from the three-point arc. He had his best year as a junior where he led the team with 18.5 points per game, 2.2 assists, 5.1 rebounds, and 3.2 steals per game. He also had career highs with 47.9% and 77.1% field goal and free throw shooting percentages, respectively. He recorded a 4.52 40 time at Coastal Carolina’s pro day in the spring.
McMahon (6-1/297) started 53 games at center during his career at Florida State, never missing a start in four seasons. McMahon earned all-conference honors throughout his career, and was a three-year candidate for the Rimington Award, given to the nation’s top center. At his pro day in the spring, he clocked a 5.14 40 time and did 31 bench reps of 225 pounds.
McIlwain (5-10/186) became the starter at cornerback midway through his sophomore year and held the job the rest of his career. During his two and a half years as a starter, he recorded 72 tackles, 6 interceptions, and 27 passes defended. He also blocked 2 kicks. He served as a return threat, returning 21 kickoffs for a 27.7 yard average during his career, and scored on a 80-yard run during his senior year. He recorded a 4.36 40 time at his pro day during the spring.
Tuimaunei (6-1/202) spent much of his career at Oregon State as a reserve until he earned the starting position as a senior. He had his best season, finishing second on the team with 85 tackles. He also added 5 tackles for loss, his first career interception, and 2 forced fumbles. The previous three years, he combined for 62 tackles. The Hawaii-native clocked a 4.43 40 time at his pro day this past spring.