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Several Locals Working out for Falcons Today

April 15th, 2014 No comments

As first reported eleven days ago, the Atlanta Falcons will be conducting their local pro day today at the team’s facilities in Flowery Branch, Georgia.

The local pro day is there for players with connections to nearby high schools and colleges to get a look from a nearby NFL team. It represents an opportunity for a lot of smaller school guys to get on the team’s radar. The Falcons have had players like tight end Michael Palmer and linebacker Akeem Dent work out for them in past local pro days.

This year, a number of local prospects are said to be participating. Not only is Alabama-Birmingham offensive tackle Kaycee Ike participating, but per Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post, East Carolina tight end Justin Jones is one of them. Jones hails from Conyers, GA and is a massive tight end prospect, listed at 6’8″, 277 pounds and reportedly leapt 37.5 inches on his vertical jump when he worked out at Georgia State’s pro day last month. He was declared ineligible this past year, coming off career-highs of 25 catches and 346 yards as a junior. He also had three touchdowns in 2012.

Wilson was also the first to report that Portland State running back D.J. Adams and Tennessee-Chattanooga cornerback Kadeem Wise were also participating.

Adams is a native of Norcross and began his collegiate career at Maryland, where he scored 11 touchdowns on 67 carries as a freshman. His workload decreased the following year and he transferred to Portland State seeking more playing time. He received it, leading the team in rushing both years. He combined for 420 carries for 2,567 yards with 31 touchdowns. He also caught 28 passes over his two years with the Vikings. Adams measured 5’9″, 213 pounds at his pro day, where he clocked a 4.62-second 40-yard dash time.

Wise is a native of Lawrenceville, and was a four-year starter and four-time All-Conference honoree at UTC. In 45 career starts, he totaled 204 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss, 11 interceptions and 21 pass breakups. He clocked a 4.47-second 40 time and did 15 bench reps of 225 pounds at his pro day earlier this month.

Georgia State defensive tackle Terrence Woodard will also be participating alongside defensive end Theo Agnew as previously reported. Woodard was a member of GSU’s inaugural team when the school established a football program in 2010. Woodard started the past two years, earning team MVP honors as a junior. As a senior, he had 50 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss and a forced fumble playing nose guard.

UPDATE: D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that Tennessee running back Rajion Neal, Georgia Tech safety Jemea Thomas, Vanderbilt wide receiver Jonathan Krause and Middle Tennessee cornerback Kenneth Gilstrap are also participating today.

Wilson also reports that Utah State cornerback Nevin Lawson is in Atlanta to conduct a two-day visit with the team. While he’s not a local since he hails from southern Florida, Lawson could figure into the Falcons draft mix. He is projected as a mid-round pick by CBS Sports.

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Falcons Pro Day Round-Up 4/12

April 12th, 2014 No comments

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Texas A&M offensive tackle Jake Matthews

This past week was a busy one for the Atlanta Falcons as they attended some of the last few pro days of the year as well as conducted private workouts with several 2014 NFL Draft prospects.

Let’s get to the pro days first…

All 32 NFL teams attended LSU’s pro day this past Wednesday. Most of the eyes were drawn to Baton Rouge to see quarterback Zach Mettenberger throw. Mettenberger tore his ACL at the end of this past season and managed to throw. According to reports, he looked rusty considering he’s only five months removed from a major knee surgery.

Other notable workouts were wide receiver Jarvis Landry, who tried to improve on the disappointing 4.77-second 40-yard dash he ran at the Combine. Landry did manage to improve, clocking a 40 time in the 4.58 to 4.63-second range. Defensive tackle Ego Ferguson slimmed down from his Combine weight of 315 pounds to 302. He managed to run a 40 in the 5.08 to 5.13-second range, but was otherwise unimpressive in other measurement drills. But per NFL.com’s Gil Brandt, he did look good in positional drills.

The Falcons were also reportedly at Bloomsburg’s pro day on Thursday. The biggest draw was defensive end Larry Webster, Jr., who’s father played 11 seasons in the NFL, including years in Baltimore when Falcons head coach Mike Smith and defensive coordinator Mike Nolan were assistants there.

Webster sat on his Combine numbers, but did work out a defensive end, defensive tackle, and tight end positional drills. Per Webster, he would prefer to stay as a defensive end at the next level. At the Combine, the 6’6″, 252-pound Webster ran a 4.52-second 40 and had a 36.5-inch vertical, which were on par with South Carolina’s Jadeveon Clowney.

The Falcons were at Morgan State’s pro day on Monday, according to the Baltimore Sun’s Aaron Wilson. There they got the chance to see cornerback Joe Rankin, who had a 40 time in the 4.4 to 4.5-second range and did 15 bench reps of 225 pounds.
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UAB tackle Kaycee Ike has Workout Scheduled with Falcons

April 4th, 2014 No comments

Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post reports that Alabama-Birmingham offensive tackle Kaycee Ike has a scheduled workout with the Atlanta Falcons on April 15. It’s possible that date is designated for the team’s annual local pro day, given that Georgia State defensive end Theo Agnew tweeted last week that he was scheduled to work out for the team around the same time.

The local pro day is a day set up for prospects that went to either college or high school in the Atlanta area, as well as throughout the state of Georgia. Ike is a native of Lawrenceville, a suburb of Atlanta.

Ike was a two-year starter for UAB, starting 11 games as a senior primarily at left tackle, and earning 12 starts at right tackle during his junior year. At his pro day earlier in March, he measured 6’4″ and weighed 297 pounds. He had a 5.02-second 40-yard dash with 22 bench reps of 225 pounds and a 26-inch vertical jump. He is not projected to be drafted, but could be a priority undrafted free-agent signing.

Agnew is a former transfer from Massachusetts. In two seasons at UMass, he started a combined nine games and had 66 tackles, four tackles for loss, one sack, two pass breakups, and two forced fumbles. He started primarily at defensive end at Georgia State when he transferred as a junior, but also saw snaps at defensive tackle. In two seasons at GSU, Agnew combined for 124 tackles, 14.5 tackles for loss, two sacks, four pass breakups and a fumble recovery. He too is projected as an undrafted free-agent candidate.

Previous participants in the Falcons local pro day have included tight end Michael Palmer, who made the team’s roster as an undrafted free agent in 2010. Linebacker Akeem Dent worked out at the local pro day the following year, and it helped him get drafted by the team in the third round.

Falcons Work Out Mack, Ealy and Amaro

April 2nd, 2014 No comments

 Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Missouri defensive end Kony Ealy

The Atlanta Falcons had a busy Wednesday, as not only did they look at defensive end Jadeveon Clowney during his pro day in South Carolina, they also conducted several workouts at their own facilities in Flowery Branch, GA.

Two players that were reportedly brought in to work out were Buffalo outside linebacker Khalil Mack and Missouri defensive end Kony Ealy according to NFL.com’s Gil Brandt.

ESPN’s Adam Caplan reports that the Falcons also conducted a workout for Texas Tech tight end Jace Amaro on Wednesday.

Mack is considered one of the top prospects in this year’s draft class, and the Falcons previously had checked out him during his pro day. He could potentially be the team’s top selection in the draft. He finished his career tied as the NCAA’s career leader in tackles for loss with 75. He also had a school-record 28.5 sacks.

Ealy is widely considered a first-round prospect as well, but is unlikely to be under consideration for the Falcons’ sixth overall pick. Instead, he may be in the mix in the second round, where the Falcons hold the 37th overall selection. Ealy finished this past season with eight sacks and 14 tackles for loss.

Amaro is considered one of the premier tight ends in this year’s class, coming off a junior year that saw him catch 106 passes for 1,352 yards (12.8 avg) and seven touchdowns. His receptions led the Big 12 Conference and ranked seventh in the nation in 2013. His yardage mark became a single-season record for tight end. Most of Amaro’s production came this past year, as he missed six games as a sophomore due to a ruptured spleen.

He is considered to have first-round potential, although the Falcons are likely hoping he is available at the top of the second round where they pick.

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Falcons Work out Clowney at Pro Day, Schedule Visit

April 2nd, 2014 No comments

D. Orlando Ledbetter of the AJC reports that the Atlanta Falcons have lined up a workout with South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney. The Falcons sent scouts along with defensive line coach Bryan Cox and outside linebackers coach Mark Collins to Columbia, SC today to witness Clowney’s workout. Collins helped put Clowney through his paces during linebacker coverage drills as the pro day was broadcast on NFL Network this morning.

Clowney is widely considered the top prospect in the 2014 draft class, and it has long been rumored that the Falcons are one of many teams pthat could facilitate a trade up to get him since he’s not expected to be available when the Falcons go on the clock with the sixth overall selection in the first round.

Clowney publicly expressed interest to play for the Falcons back in February prior to the Scouting Combine, where he put on a show similar to his impressive performance at today’s pro day. At the Combine, Clowney ran a 40-yard dash in 4.53 seconds, and jumped 37.5 inches for his vertical and 10 feet, 4 inches on his broad jump.

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Towson’s Terrance West Set to Visit Falcons

April 2nd, 2014 No comments

Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun reports that Towson running back Terrance West has a predraft visit schedule with the Atlanta Falcons. The time of when the visit is set to occur is not yet known.

West is coming off a record-setting junior year, rushing for 2,509 yards and 41 touchdowns, prompting his early entry into the 2014 NFL Draft. Both totals were new records for FCS-level.

A native of Baltimore, West struggled to qualify academically out of high school and went to Fork Union Military Academy. He left the school and wound up at Towson as a 20-year old freshman in 2011, rushing for 1,294 yards in his debut season. He also set the FCS record for touchdowns by a freshman with 29. In three years, West rushed for a total of 4,854 yards and 84 touchdowns.

At the Combine, West ran a 40-yard dash in 4.54 seconds, did 16 bench reps of 225 pounds, and recorded a 33.5-inch vertical jump. He also measured at 5’9″ and weighed 225 pounds.

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Falcons set to meet with UConn linebacker Smallwood

April 2nd, 2014 No comments

Ross Jones of FOX Sports reports that the Atlanta Falcons are set to meet with Connecticut linebacker Yawin Smallwood this week for an on-campus workout.

Smallwood was a three-year starter at middle linebacker for the Huskies, earning All-conference honors twice during his career. Smallwood declared for the draft following his junior season, coming off a year where he recorded 118 tackles, 9.5 for loss, four sacks, eight pass breakups and an an interception returned 59 yards for a touchdown.

Smallwood ran a disappointing 5.01-second 40-yard dash at the Scouting Combine in February, thanks to tweaking his hamstring early in the run. But showed good explosition with a 1.60-second 10-yard split before the injury occurred. He also recorded 18 bench reps of 225 pounds and a 36.5-inch vertical jump at the Combine, measuring in at 6’2″ and 246 pounds. He is considered a middle-round prospect in the 2014 NFL Draft.

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Lewan Gets Chance to Audition for Falcons

April 2nd, 2014 No comments

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Michigan offensive tackle Taylor Lewan

Gil Brandt of NFL.com reports that the Atlanta Falcons worked out Michigan offensive tackle Taylor Lewan on Monday. Richard Obert of the Arizona Republic reports that the Falcons sent a group consisting of their entire front office and offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter to Scottsdale, AZ to work out Lewan at his native Chaparral High.

Lewan made headlines a year ago when he opted to stay in school for his senior season despite receiving first-round grades from advisors coming off an All-American season. Lewan finished his career strong, earning his All-Big 10 honors for the third year in a row as a senior.

Lewan shined at the Scouting Combine in Indianapolis in February, clocking a 4.87-second 40-yard dash time, the fastest of any offensive linemen. His 9-foot, 9-inch broad jump also topped out the best among blockers, and was just one inch shy of the record for an offensive linemen set at the Combine.

Lewan has been chased by off-field incidents over the past year, including peripheral involvement in an alleged sexual assault of a Michigan student by a former teammate, who has since been kicked out of school. He also was allegedly involved in a fight in December 2013 where two Ohio State fans were assaulted after hours. Lewan insists that his involvement did not go beyond breaking up the fight, however he was charged earlier this month with aggravated assault and assault and battery stemming from the incident.

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Falcons worked out Vanderbilt tackle Johnson

April 2nd, 2014 No comments

Jim Wyatt of The Tennessean reports that the Atlanta Falcons worked out Vanderbilt offensive tackle Wesley Johnson on Tuesday. Johnson is considered a potential late-round prospect.

Johnson measured 6’5″, 297 pounds at the Scouting Combine in February, where he ran a 5.11-second 40-yard dash, did 26 bench reps of 225 pounds, and had a 29-inch vertical jump.

He started 51 games during his career at Vanderbilt, the most in school history. He was a three-year starter at left tackle, but also garnered starts at center (seven) and left guard (two) during his sophomore season. He earned first team All-SEC honors as a senior.

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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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