TFY Draft Preview of Scout.com reports that there are rumors circulating that the Falcons are very interested in offensive tackle Joe Staley of Central Michigan, a player that has been rising on draft boards over the past month or so. According to the report and rumors, the Falcons would look to trade down from the top of the first round with a team looking for a defensive lineman, and then try to select Staley in the middle of the first round.
Although the report is somewhat iffy since they attribute the Falcons with having the tenth pick in the draft. They have not possessed that pick since making a March 21 trade with Houston to move up from tenth to the eight position in the first round.
Staley is listed at 6’6″ 306 pounds and really showed his impressive athleticism by running a 4.79 40-yard dash at his pro day and jumping 32 inches in the vertical leap, athleticism that is on par with many defensive linemen and linebackers in this draft. Staley began his career at Central Michigan at tight end, a nod to his obvious athleticism. He started 4 games as a freshman, catching 11 passes for 130 yards (11.8 avg) and a touchdown. As a sophomore, he became the starter at right tackle and then moved to left tackle as a junior. Over his career he registerd 244 knockdowns, including a career-high 100 as a senior. He did not allow a sack as a junior.
According to the Scout.com’s report, many now grade Staley as a better left tackle prospect than Penn State’s Levi Brown, who has been a somewhat popular choice for the Falcons in several mock drafts.