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Falcons Pro Day Round-Up 3/30

March 30th, 2014 1 comment
Ball State's Pro Day attracts scouts from 21 NFL teams

Iowa TE C.J. Fiedorowicz

ESPN’s Vaughn McClure reports that the Atlanta Falcons are taking a look at a pair of draft prospects this week: Iowa tight end C.J. Fiedorowicz and Minnesota defensive tackle Ra’Shede Hageman.

Fiedorowicz showcased athleticism at his Scouting Combine workout in February. He measured in at 6’5″ and weighed 265 pounds. He clocked a 4.76-second 40-yard dash time, 25 bench reps of 225 pounds, with a 7.10-second three-cone drill. He is coming off a career-high six touchdowns this past year while catching 30 passes for 299 yards (10.0 avg). As a junior, he caught 45 passes for 433 yards (9.6 avg) and just one touchdown. He was coached by the Falcons during the Senior Bowl, where he got to know them better. He is being projected as a middle-round pick.

Hageman is another physical specimen due to his sheer size at 6’6″ and 310 pounds. He had 32 bench reps and ran a 5.02-second 40 time at the Combine. This past season he had a career-high 13 tackles for loss, but only a pair of sacks. He had six sacks as a junior with 7.5 tackles for loss. Hageman is considered a potential late first-round pick, meaning the Falcons are likely hoping he falls to them in the early second-round if they are to pick him.

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Oregon all-purpose specialist De’Anthony Thomas had a private workout with the Falcons on Saturday according to Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post. Thomas played a multitude of roles for the Ducks over the years, playing both running back and receiver while also returning kicks. At Oregon, Thomas scored 41 offensive touchdowns and 5 on special teams over three seasons. The undersized, but explosive Thomas measured in at 5’9″, 174 pounds at February’s Combine. He ran a 4.34-second 40 time at his pro day earlier this month.

The Falcons could be looking at Thomas to bolster their special teams, where the team has already invested in free agent signees Devin Hester and Javier Arenas.

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Categories: Draft Central Tags: , , ,

Falcons Pro Day Round-Up 3/22

March 22nd, 2014 1 comment
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Anthony Barr

Vaughn McClure reports the Falcons will work out UCLA outside linebacker Anthony Barr before the end of the month. Barr is potentially a target for the team at the top of the draft. Barr was able to improve on his Combine numbers in the 40-yard dash and bench press at his pro day last week. He reportedly clocked a 4.44-second 40 time and lifted 225 pounds 19 times on March 11, improvements from the 4.66 seconds and 15 reps he did last month at the Scouting Combine in Indianapolis.

McClure also reports that Arizona State outside linebacker Carl Bradford worked out for the Falcons this past Thursday. After a solid Combine, where the 6-1/250-pound linebacker ran a 4.76-second 40, he was able to improve to a 4.64-second mark at his pro day two weeks ago. Bradford played linebacker, defensive end and special teams during his career at Arizona State. This past season, he led the team with 8.5 sacks.

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Tony Pauline of TFY Draft Insider also brings some scoops in terms of players the Falcons worked out this week.

Tony Pauline reports that Falcons defensive line coach Bryan Cox worked out Delaware DT Zach Kerr on Wednesday. Kerry is a bulky nose tackle prospect that measured in at 6-1, 326 pounds at the Combine last month. He did 28 bench reps also. This past season, Kerr had 57 tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks and two forced fumbles. He worked out in front of 14 teams at Delaware’s pro day on Tuesday, which likely included the Falcons.

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Falcons Pro Day Round-Up 3/16

March 16th, 2014 Comments off
AJ McCarron has A-plus workout at Alabama’s pro day

Kevin Pierre-Louis at the Combine

This week there was not as much news down the pipeline involving pro days due to the opening of free agency garnering most of the attention. But Atlanta Falcons representatives were spotted at a number of pro days from this past week.

Quarterback Matt Ryan made an appearance at his alma mater, Boston College’s pro day on Wednesday along with 29 NFL teams, which likely included the Falcons. They were there to witness running back Andre Williams, Boston College’s best prospect, try to improve his 40 time. Williams clocked a 40-yard dash time of 4.56 seconds at the Scouting Combine in Indianapolis last month, but ran three times at his pro day with times of 4.54, 4.43 and 4.57 seconds.

Reports indicate that Boston College linebacker Kevin Pierre-Louis is scheduled for a workout with the Falcons at some point. Pierre-Louis was invited to the Combine and is projected to be a late-round pick. At his pro day, he stood pat on his Combine numbers, which were impressive due to a 4.51-second 40-yard dash, 28 bench reps of 225 pounds, 39-inch vertical jump, 10-foot, 8-inch broad jump and 6.92-second three-cone drill.

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All 32 NFL teams were at Oklahoma State’s pro day on Thursday. There they got to see top cornerback Justin Gilbert stand on most of his Combine numbers, but he did run a 6.91-second three-cone drill.

Quarterback Clint Chelf has an upcoming workout with the Falcons according to reports.

Chelf began this past season as the starter for Oklahoma State, but was quickly pulled in the season-opener. He would regain the job and start the final seven games, leading the Cowboys to a 5-2 record to finish the year. He led the team with 2,173 yards, 17 touchdowns and eight interceptions while completing 56.4 percent of his passes.

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Report: Falcons ‘Aggressively Pursuing’ Paul Soliai

March 10th, 2014 Comments off

Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports tweeted today that the Atlanta Falcons are “very aggressively pursuing” Miami Dolphins nose tackle Paul Soliai. La Canfora’s report comes in regard to today’s earlier news of defensive assistant Mark Collins’ promotion which has prompted the belief that Falcons will making a switch to the 3-4 as their base defense.

Soliai played under Falcons defensive coordinator Mike Nolan for the two years they shared together in Miami (2010-11) before the latter’s arrival in Atlanta. Soliai just turned 30 at the end of this past season, his seventh in Miami. He has served as a regular starter since Nolan’s arrival in 2010, combining for 129 tackles and 4.5 sacks over that span. He served as a Pro Bowl injury replacement in 2012.

Soliai initially was drafted by the Dolphins in the fourth round in 2007 and was a backup to Jason Ferguson for the early part of his career.

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Report: Falcons ‘Extremely Interested’ in Asamoah

March 9th, 2014 Comments off

Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post cites unknown league sources that the Atlanta Falcons are “extremely interested” in Kansas City Chiefs offensive guard Jon Asamoah, an impending free agent.

While the official start of free agency begins Tuesday afternoon, teams are currently allowed to legally “tamper” by talking with potential free agents until then. No reports yet on whether Asamoah and the Falcons are actively discussing a contract. But the Falcons are not alone in their reported interest in Asamoah, as reports surfaced early Saturday that the New York Jets were another team that intended to make a play for him.

Asamoah is considered one of the premier guards potentially available in free agency, along with teammate Geoff Schwartz. However, Asamoah lost his starting job to Schwartz last season thanks to a shoulder injury suffered in Week 11. Asamoah missed the Chiefs’ season-opener with a calf injury, but started the next nine games at right guard before being sidelined and sitting the bench for the final six games.

Prior to last year, Asamoah started a combined 31 games at right guard in 2011 and 2012. He was originally a third-round pick by the Chiefs out of Illinois in 2010.

You can check out my assessment of Asamoah’s strengths, weaknesses and how he potentially fits in Atlanta.

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Falcons Pro Day Round-Up 3/8

March 8th, 2014 Comments off
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Texas A&M offensive tackle Jake Matthews

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.

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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.

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Categories: Draft Central Tags: , ,

Falcons Eye Mack at Buffalo Pro Day

March 4th, 2014 Comments off

SB Nation’s Bull Run reports that Falcons area scout Mike Potts was expected to be on hand at the University at Buffalo’s pro day today among representatives from 19 other teams. There, Potts would get the chance to see outside linebacker Khalil Mack, one of the premier draft prospects this year.

After an impressive Combine performance last month where Mack clocked a 4.65-second 40-yard dash, today he was able to improve his time to somewhere between 4.53 and 4.55 seconds according to several stopwatches. Mack failed to improve upon his 23 reps of 225 pounds in the bench press from the Combine today. Also at Indianapolis, Mack lept 40 inches on the vertical jump as well as timed 7.08 seconds in the three-cone drill.

Mack finished his career as Buffalo’s all-time leader in sacks (28.5), tackles for loss (75) and forced fumbles (16).

Other Buffalo prospects trying to take advantage of the high attendance were running back Branden Oliver (26 bench reps, 4.63-second 40), safety Okoye Houston (4.56 40) and cornerback Najja Johnson (4.38 40).

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Falcons Check Out Robinson at Auburn Pro Day

March 4th, 2014 2 comments

Reports surfaced this morning that the Atlanta Falcons had sent representatives to Auburn University for that school’s pro day today. Most likely they were on hand to see Auburn’s bevy of draft prospects including Greg Robinson, widely considered this year’s most talented offensive tackle.

But it was outside linebacker Dee Ford who stole the show, working out for the first time due to sitting out at last month’s Combine in Indianapolis because of a back injury. Ford showed no ill effects, impressing with a 40-yard dash time of 4.54 seconds, 29 bench reps of 225 pounds, a broad jump of 10 feet, 4 inches and vertical jump of 35.5 inches. He also weighed in at 244 pounds, eight pounds lighter than his weight at Indianapolis.

Robinson also dropped weight since the Combine, down five pounds at 327 pounds. He mostly stood on his Combine numbers, as he wowed observers in Indianapolis with a 4.92-second 40 time, 9 foot-5 inch broad jump and 32 bench reps. Robinson is already beginning to line up private workouts with one scheduled with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers later this week.

Other notes from workouts on Tuesday for Auburn were:

  • Defensive back Blake Poole was timed a 4.38 seconds in his 40-yard dash.
  • Fullback Jay Prosch ran a 4.72-second 40 and did 27 bench reps.
  • Cornerback Chris Davis ran a 40 in 4.51 seconds and jumped 40.5 inches on his vertical.
  • Running back Tre Mason stood on most of his Combine results but did run a 6.7-second three-cone.
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Takeaways from Last Week – April 22

April 22nd, 2013 Comments off

Scott Olmos-US PRESSWIRE

Dion Jordan

Last week, I promised that I would go over the Falcons Day 3 draft plans. But of course news and rumors picked up steam that the Falcons were planning on moving up via trade in the draft. I do think the two issues are somewhat related, which I will delve into later. But for now, let’s talk about the Falcons potential third day draft possibilities.

The meat of the Falcons draft lies on the third day of the draft, where rounds four through seven will be selected. The Falcons hold eight of their eleven total picks during this stretch of the draft. The third day of the draft is typically where teams try to build their depth. A few players will emerge as starters, but they are few and far between.

Using previously discussed draft grades, only 14 of the 153 players selected in the final four rounds in 2008 earned C grades or higher (i.e. became solid starters after five seasons). That number is 22 out of 156 players from the 2007 class. In 2008, five of those 14 starters were fourth rounders, while that number was 12 in 2007.

Because the Falcons draft for need, they are going to lean towards targeting players that have a high probability of making the roster. Basically operating under a simple principle that there’s no way you can help the team if you don’t make it. So to determine what areas and positions the Falcons might target on the third day of the draft, you have to take a closer look at the team’s current roster. Here’s a quick breakdown position by position, with the number in parentheses indicating the current number of players at the position that have a strong probability of making the final roster:
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Falcons check out Carradine

April 20th, 2013 Comments off

Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

Tank Carradine

Joe Reedy of the Cincinnati Enquirer tweeted earlier that the Falcons were among 11 teams represented at the private workout of Florida State defensive end Tank Carradine today. Reedy reports that Carradine ran a 4.75-second 40 time. Carradine suffered a torn ACL in November after a breakout senior campaign where he recorded 11 sacks, 80 tackles, and 13 tackles for loss.

Carradine met with the Falcons for a private workout on April 2 according to reports. Carradine, who’s first name is actually Cornellius, transferred to Florida State after two seasons at Butler Community College. His career at Butler came on the heels of current Falcon defensive end Jonathan Massaquoi, who spent two years at the Kansas-based community college (2007-08) before transferring to Troy in 2009. In his first season at Butler in 2009, Carradine recorded 90 tackles, 20 tackles for loss, and 10 sacks. He would earn All-American honors as a sophomore with 119 tackles, 29 for loss, 16 sacks, 3 forced fumbles, and 5 recoveries. His sack total led the nation among junior college players. He transferred to Florida State the following season where he served as a backup to Bjoern Werner and Brandon Jenkins. He had 38 tackles, 8 for loss, and 5.5 sacks. When Jenkins went down with a foot injury before the start of this most recent season, Carradine stepped into his spot at right defensive end. Carradine went down with his injury in the team’s final regular season game against the Florida Gators on November 24.

Recent reports suggest that Carradine is ahead of schedule on his rehab and is widely considered to be one of this draft’s premier pass rushers if not for the untimely event of his injury could have been a Top 15 pick. Carradine measured at 6-4, 273 pounds at today’s workout.

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