Recapping all the latest from the Atlanta Falcons in regards to pro day visits and draft interest from this past week:
Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff was present at Texas A&M on Tuesday to mingle with old colleagues and check out offensive tackle Jake Matthews. Matthews was the main attraction since quarterback Johnny Manziel and wide receiver Mike Evans opted not to work out, instead waiting for a later workout planned for March 27. Matthews stuck with positional drills, standing on his Combine numbers from last month.
Matthews is considered a potential target for the Falcons at the top of May’s draft.
Of those that did participate, running back Ben Malena measured in at 5-8, 194 pounds and did 27 bench reps of 225 pounds, ran a 4.54-second 40 time and jumped 33.5 inches on his vertical leap.
D. Orlando Ledbetter of the AJC reports that the Falcons sent two representatives to Clemson’s pro day on Friday, including new hire Billy Devaney, to check out that school’s top prospects.
While wide receiver Sammy Watkins drew a lot of praise from onlookers, Ledbetter touts quarterback Tajh Boyd’s performance. Boyd, who struggled during the Senior Bowl, was able to rebound by completing 66 of 67 scripted passes at his workout throwing to receivers like Watkins.
Tony Pauline of TFY Draft Insider reported on Walter Football that the Falcons met with Arkansas nose tackle Byran Jones. Jones did not work out at the school’s pro day on Wednesday due to a calf injury suffered while training last week but will do so in front of scouts on April 1.
Jones is listed at 6-2, 316 pounds and is rated as the 36th-best defensive tackle prospect by CBS Sports. A four-year starter at Arkansas, he finished this past year with 32 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss and one sack.
Earlier this week, the Falcons were on hand at the University of Minnesota’s pro day Monday. The top prospect for the Gophers is defensive tackle Ra’Shede Hageman, who stood on his Combine results in favor of just doing positional drills.
The most impressive of those prospects that chose to work out Monday was fellow defensive tackle Roland Johnson, who reportedly did 40 reps of 225 pounds on the bench press.
Falcons found their way to Madison for Wisconsin’s pro day on Wednesday.
Safety Dezmen Southward, who participated at the Senior Bowl as a cornerback, shined with a 40 time clocked as fast as 4.31 seconds on someone’s stopwatch and had a vertical leap of 42 inches. Southward was held out of Combine workouts last month after an x-ray mistakenly revealed a fractured vertebra.
Other players that played for the Falcons coaching staff in the Senior Bowl also worked out including wide receiver Jared Abbrederis, linebacker Chris Borland, tight end Jacob Pedersen and running back James White.
Both Abbrederis and White chose to stand on their Combine numbers from last month and just did positional drills. Borland failed to improve on his Combine 40 time of 4.83 seconds with a fastest time of 4.84 at the pro day workout. But he did improve in the vertical jump (31 to 35 inches) and broad jump (9 feet, 6 inches to 9 feet, 8 inches). The same goes for Pederson who was clocked at 4.87 in his 40-yard dash after running 4.89 seconds at the Combine.
- Running back Zach Bauman, who performed at the East-West Shrine game in January measured at 5-7, 194 pounds. His fastest 40-yard dash time was 4.50 seconds. He recorded a 34-inch vertical jump, 9-foot broad jump, 6.92-second three-cone drill and did 13 reps on the bench press.
- Defensive tackle Tim Wilkinson measured in at just under 5-10, 291 pounds. He ran a 5.09-second 40 while recording a 35-inch vertical jump, 8-foot, 6-inch broad jump, 7.10-second three-cone drill and lifted 27 reps on the bench press.
The Falcons were among 26 teams at Texas Christian’s pro day on Thursday. Cornerback Jason Verrett impressed with 19 bench reps of 225 pounds despite requiring surgery on a torn labrum in his shoulder later this offseason. Verrett did not lift at the Combine due to that injury, but did post a 4.38-second 40-yard dash time and 39-inch vertical jump, among the best of his position group. He sat on his 40 time, but did slightly improve his vertical jump to 39.5 inches.
Verrett is considered a late first-round pick potentially, which likely precludes him from being on the Falcons radar unless he falls into the second round. But it doesn’t mean that the Falcons won’t be seeing much of him soon, as he was scheduled to work out with divisional rival Carolina Panthers on Friday, who hold the 28th overall selection in this year’s draft.
Quarterback Casey Pachall also worked out and impressed according to Gil Brandt of NFL.com by failing to complete just five of 72 scripted passes, including a pair of drops. Pachall measured at 6-3 1/2, 216 pounds, and ran a 4.96-second 40-yard dash.
The Falcons were spotted at the pro day of Illinois on Thursday.
There, wide receiver Ryan Lankford ran an average 40 time of 4.36 seconds. He measured in at just under six feet and weighed 163 pounds. He had a 32.5-inch vertical jump but did not participate in the bench press stemming from the shoulder injury that shortened his senior season this past fall. In seven games, he caught 15 passes for 308 yards and a touchdown this past season. As a sophomore in 2011, he also spent time as the team’s punter and punt returner.
Ohio State drew a lot of eyes on Friday, including those of the Falcons.
Linebacker Ryan Shazier was the headliner, producing a 40 time estimated between 4.35 and 4.41 seconds. Shazier pulled on his second run with a hamstring strain.
Running back Carlos Hyde, who similarly suffered a hamstring injury while running his 40 at the Combine last month was unable to run at the pro day. But he will do so on March 26 at an as yet unknown location. He did however participate in positional drills on Friday.
Offensive tackle Jack Mewhort and cornerback Bradley Roby stood on their Combine numbers, although Roby did run a 6.78-second three-cone drill on Friday. Roby reportedly impressed in drills.