I’m sure the three people that actually read this were waiting impatiently for my draft thoughts. And here they are…
Originally, I was sort of blah about the draft. I was rather unimpressed about our second day picks, after a very impressive first day. But after sleeping on it for a bit, I’ve changed my opinion.
I’m still not psyched about the second day of the draft, but I’m not bummed. I think the focus has to be on the quality of the first day of the draft. As a semi-student of draft history, I realize that most starters are found in the first four rounds, and it’s rare to find a starter in the last three rounds.
And I think because we potentially found three solid starters with our first three picks, makes me less negative about the whole thing. And then when I realized that many of the remaining eight players could all be valuable role players, I again grew less negative.
My favorite pick is the Blalock selection. He’s a stud. And as you may recall on my board, I had both Anderson and Houston rated highly. And I like those selections, but I am a bit reserved in my enthusiasm. I realize that both players are “high boom, high bust” picks in that they could be very good players a few years from now, or very bad ones. But I do like both potential. My major misgiving about them is how quickly the Falcons are expecting both to contribute in that they are basically being handed starting jobs right away. In my eyes, with two players as raw and unproven as those two, that’s only asking for trouble. But I’m hopeful it will all turn out okay. Blalock on the other hand is a player I’m positive can contribute right away and I have very little doubt that he’ll be a bust.
The Robinson pick I wasn’t thrilled with. But he could be a valuable role player at No. 3. I thought he was a reach, but in re-evaluation, I realize there was a run of receivers in Round 3, and I can understand why the Falcons made that pick.
Nicholas, Datish, and Irons I like because I believe they will all become quality backups. And for a sixth round pick, that’s all that can be really expected. Datish is an ideal utility lineman who played 4 different positions at Ohio State, and Irons is a perfect fit as a nickel corner. Nicholas should help on special teams and shoudl be a better option on defense than Marcus Wilkins is and Ike Reese was. He also has the potential to start soon with injury to Demorrio and also the fact that he is entering his contract year.
Milner has talent, but it remains to be seen if he’ll be effective in the NFL. This reminds me of the Falcons picking up Jevaris Johnson a few years ago. Johnson, as you may recall, never made the Falcons roster due to an injury, but both were of similar talent. Milner, of course is not injured, but his inconsistency at Georgia might as well be the equivalent. He could be a solid No. 2 tight end 3 years from now or out of the league.
Lewis has potential and could be a solid No. 3 DT down the road. Stone looks like more special teams fodder, but a few years down the road could be a decent dime safety. As for Snelling, we’ll have to see. If the Falcons develop him as a fullback, then I like his potential outlook. But if he’s purely going to be a running back, it won’t take much to upgrade over him.
I’ve warmed up to this draft in that I’ll give it a B. Mainly because I’m cautious, yet still optimistic about the chances that Anderson and Houston will be solid starters down the road. This draft will be made or broken by the performances of those top three picks. And 3-5 years from now when we are judging this draft more accurately, I’m hopeful there will be a smile on my face. And if we get lucky, perhaps Lewis, Irons, or Datish could be a decent starter by then.