things we learned at rookie minicamp
FLOWERY BRANCH – I came away from the rookie minicamp convinced that AJC columnist Jeff Schultz nailed his post-draft column.
Basically, he concluded that the offensive and defensive lines will be on the spot in 2013.
Free agent signee Osi Umneyiora has to replace John Abraham’s pass rush and somebody from the group of Kroy Biermann, Cliff Matthews, Jonathan Massaquoi, Malliciah Goodman or Stansly Maponga has to step forward at left end.
The offensive line has to replace three starters at center, right guard and right tackle. Peter Konz will move to center. I thought Philipkeith Manley could take the right guard spot, but there were some whispers that he reported to the offseason program close to 380 pounds. So it looks like a rematch of the Garrett Reynolds and Mike Johnson battle from the last two offseasons. Lamar Holmes has to be ticketed for right tackle at this point.
Reynolds won the right guard battle in 2011 and 2012, but could not hold down the position. In 2011, he lost it because of his play and last season because of injury.
Here are some other things we learned at rookie minicamp:
1. Linebacker Brian Banks certainly looks the part in shorts, jersey and a helmet. During a major part of the first practice session I concentrated on Banks’ every move. He appeared to be in the right place and flowed to the ball well. Later in the seven-on-seven drills, he shoved tight end Levine Toilolo to the ground with the flick of his wrists. Powerful. He later re-routed a running back that was running through his zone with force.
2. The cornerbacks look like keepers. Desmond Trufant and Robert Alford were buzzing around the field with ease. You could really see their speed and agility in the special teams stack drill. They’d run and then re-route around the dummy as if they were running down to cover a punt. “It was nice to see Desmond out there,” Falcons coach Mike Smith said. “The competition was fun. The guys were getting out there working against each other. Desmond has a very good skill set. He’s going to get thrown a whole bunch of things at him over the next month, month and a half.”
3. Levine Toilolo can catch. He was advertised as a 6-foot-8 blocking tight end. He flashed some nice hands at the minicamp. He could possibly develop into a red zone weapon.
4. Malliciah Goodman can come off the edge. He ripped it during one pass rush and look like he knows how to get to the quarterback.
5. Super-sized offensive lineman. All of the offensive tackles and guards were huge. Valdosta State’s Ryan Schraeder (6-7, 300) , McNeese State’s Alce Savoie (6-7, 322), Alabama State’s Terren Jones (6-7, 341), Central Florida’s Theo Goins (6-4, 317), Middlebury’s Ryan Moores (6-5, 308) and Eastern Washington’s Will Post (6-5, 308) were all on hand. Moores and Post were on tryouts.
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