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Falcons checked out pair of Clemson prospects

April 7th, 2013 Comments off

Adam Caplan of The Sideline View reported last week that the Falcons were scheduled to visit with Clemson defensive Malliciah Goodman, while Tony Pauline of TFY Draft Insider said that his former teammate and center Dalton Freeman visited with the team this past week.

Goodman is coming off his best season at Clemson, recording 7 sacks and 9.5 tackles for loss. He certainly has excellent NFL measurables, standing 6-4 and 276 pounds at the Combine, with arms that measure over 36 inches and 11-inch hands. He did 26 bench reps at the Combine with a 4.87 second 40 time and 31.5-inch vertical jump. He is projected by CBS Sports to be a third round pick.

Freeman measures in at 6-5, 291 pounds and is a rising prospect that is getting late round grades. He is a four-year starter that was not invited to the Combine, but made up for it with a strong performance at Clemson’s pro day last month. He ran a 4.91 second 40 time, benched 225 pounds 34 times, and recorded a 34-inch vertical jump.

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Falcons take closer look at Notre Dame safeties

April 7th, 2013 Comments off

Matt Fortuna of ESPN reports Notre Dame safety Jamoris Slaughter is likely to be a candidate to work out at the Falcons local pro day this month. Aaron Wilson of Scout.com reports that fellow Golden Domer Zeke Motta had a visit with the Falcons this past week.

Slaughter a native of Stone Mountain, GA will be allowed to work out with prospects from nearby high schools and colleges at the Falcons facility. An exact date for the Falcons local pro day is not known, but in past years has been scheduled a few weeks before the draft. Slaughter missed nearly all of this past season with a torn Achilles tendon. In 2011, he had 45 tackles, 4 for loss, 1 interception, and 3 pass breakups. He is unlikely to be drafted given his injury, but could be a nice pickup as an undrafted player if his rehab continues to progress.

Motta could be looked as a late-round pick for a team. He has good size (6-2, 213) with run-stopping ability. While he did not pick off a pass this season, he did have 77 tackles which ranked second on their team behind Manti Te’o. He could potentially carve out a role on special teams in Atlanta.

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Falcons look at several West Coast prospects

April 7th, 2013 Comments off
Andrew Weber-US Presswire

Boise State’s Jamar Taylor among Falcons targets

Tony Pauline of TFY Draft Insider has been on top of the Falcons conducting workouts of several West Coast prospects this weekend. Yesterday, Pauline tweeted that the Falcons worked out a number of prospects at Mira Costa High School in Manhattan Beach, CA. Among them were UCLA defensive end Datone Jones and running back Johnathan Franklin along San Diego State tight end Gavin Escobar and cornerback Leon McFadden. Per Pauline, Jones had an impressive workout. Today, the Falcons were set to look at a group of prospects from the Bay Area including Cal center Brian Schwenke, Stanford tight ends Levine Toilolo and Zach Ertz as well as running back Stepfan Taylor. Tomorrow, the Falcons will look at cornerback Jamar Taylor (Boise State).

Jones, Ertz, and Taylor have been projected as potential targets for the Falcons top pick on April 25. Franklin, Escobar, McFadden, and Schwenke have been graded by many to be potential second day targets for the team. Toilolo is considered a late round prospect, while Stepfan Taylor is likely to be taken in the middle rounds.

Datone Jones had his most productive year as a senior, with 62 tackles, 19 for loss, and 5.5 sacks. He played predominantly end for UCLA, but also got opportunities to line up inside at defensive tackle and rush the passer. Franklin got off to a fast start this past year, rushing for over 200 yards in his first two games, making him an early Heisman candidate. He finished the season with 282 carries for 1734 yards (6.1 avg) and 13 touchdowns. He also caught 33 passes, excelling in the zone blocking scheme incorporated by new head coach Jim Mora this past year. He is noted for his speed (4.49 second 40) and quickness.

Ertz is considered alongside Notre Dame’s Tyler Eifert to be the premier tight end in this year’s class. He had his best year as a senior with 69 catches for 898 yards (13.0 avg) and 6 touchdowns, the leader for the team. His teammate Toilolo was highly-touted going into the season, but had disappointing production with inconsistent hands. He finished the year with 24 catches for 393 yards (16.4 avg) and 4 touchdowns.  But his large frame (6-8, 260 pounds) and blocking potential still means he could be a solid NFL player. Stepfan Taylor has been a workhorse for Stanford the past three seasons since taking over for Toby Gerhart. He put together his best season this past fall with career highs of 320 carries for 1530 yards (4.8 avg), coupled with 13 touchdowns. He also improved as a pass catcher with 41 catches, second on the team. Taylor isn’t blessed with great size or speed (4.76 second 40 at the Combine), but is a powerful consistent runner that can at least carve out a role as a quality backup in the pros.

Escobar didn’t have as productive a year as many hoped this year, thanks in part due to the departure of quarterback Ryan Lindley. As a sophomore, he caught 51 passes for 780 yards (15.3 avg) and 7 touchdowns, but those numbers fell to 42 catches for 543 yards (12.9 avg) and 6 touchdowns this past year. That was still good enough to lead his team for the long tight end that measured in at 6-6, 254 pounds at the Combine. McFadden is a ballhawk that collected 8 interceptions and 47 pass breakups over his career. He was compared favorably to Brent Grimes by NFL.com’s draft profile.

Jamar Taylor impressed at the Combine when he clocked a 4.39 40 time coupled with 22 bench reps, indicating both speed and strength for the 5-11, 192-pound corner. He had his most productive year this past seasons with 51 tackles, 3.5 for loss, 4 interceptions, and 13 pass breakups.

NFL.com’s Mike Mayock lists Schwenke as his top-rated center in this year’s class, as the three-year starter is coming off his first season at the position. The two previous years, the 6-3, 314-pound player played both guard spots giving him added versatility. He lifted 225 pounds 31 times at the Combine and clocked a 4.99 second 40 time, indicating he possesses good strength and athleticism.

Categories: Draft Central Tags: , ,

Falcons taking a closer look at UGA’s Ogletree

March 22nd, 2013 Comments off
Daniel Shirey-US PRESSWIRE

Georgia LB Alec Ogletree

Falcons head coach Mike Smith was in attendance at yesterday’s pro day for the University of Georgia. Much of the story surrounding yesterday’s pro day centered around the “lackluster” performance of outside linebacker Jarvis Jones, who clocked a disappointing 4.92 second 40 time, prompting some to view the 6-3, 249-pound pass rusher as a better prospect at defensive end.

But more interesting was the tweet of the AJC’s D. Orlando Ledbetter yesterday that the Falcons have scheduled a private workout for linebacker Alec Ogletree. The 6-3, 244-pound inside linebacker ran a 4.64 second wind-aided 40 time and lifted 225 pounds 18 times on the bench press. Ogletree has the athleticism and versatility to potentially play all three linebacker positions at the next level and has been favorably compared to current Falcon Sean Weatherspoon given his athleticism.

Ogletree is projected as a first round pick, although his stock took a hit following a February DUI arrest. This came on the heels of a 4-game suspension to start the 2012 season due to a failed drug test. He was suspended for a game as a freshman following the theft of a scooter helmet. The Falcons typically avoid players with off-field red flags, but scheduling a visit with him likely indicates they want to take a closer look at the talented linebacker.

Despite not playing a full season, Ogletree’s production was off the charts this past year, as his 111 tackles, 11.5 tackles for loss, 3 sacks, 1 interception, and 6 pass breakups exceeded his combined totals from the two previous years: 86 tackles, 8.5 for loss, 3 sacks, no interceptions, and 3 breakups.

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Falcons to workout safety Phillip Thomas

March 22nd, 2013 Comments off

Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Fresno State FS Phillip Thomas

Ricardo Cano of The Collegian reports that the Falcons have scheduled a work out with Fresno State safety Phillip Thomas. Thomas worked out with fellow Fresno State draft prospects on Wednesday at the school’s pro day, and it’s not known if the team conducted a campus workout or will invite Thomas to Flowery Branch.

Nineteen NFL teams were on hand this week to watch Fresno State’s pro day, which likely included the Falcons, but that is as of yet unconfirmed. Thomas was able to improve his 40 time from last month’s Scouting Combine, able to shave his time down from 4.65 seconds to 4.53. Also improving on previous 40 times Wednesday was running back Robbie Rouse, who ran an unimpressive 4.8 second 40 at the Combine. He managed a 4.56 at his pro day.

Thomas is the third-rated free safety by CBS Sports/NFL Draft Scout and projected as a second day draft pick. Thomas missed all of his junior season (2011) with a broken leg, but returned stronger than ever as a senior this past fall. He had 8 interceptions, which led the nation, along with 84 tackles, 12 for loss, and 4 sacks. Three of his interceptions were returned for touchdowns.

In other workout-related news, it was reported Tuesday by Brandon George of The Dallas Morning News that Texas A&M outside lineback Sean Porter has already had a private workout with the Falcons. A&M held their pro day on March 8, where Porter reportedly ran a 4.63. CBS Sports projects Porter as a third or fourth round pick. Porter replaced current Denver Broncos star Von Miller as A&M’s primary pass-rushing linebacker as a junior in 2011, recording 9.5 sacks, 79 tackles, 17.5 tackles for loss, and 2 pass breakups. He was supplanted by Damontre Moore this past season, and got more reps in coverage. He still managed 3.5 sacks, 66 tackles, 6.5 for loss, but also had an interception and 5 pass breakups

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Falcons Pro Day Round-Up 3/17

March 17th, 2013 Comments off

The Falcons were confirmed to be at seven different pro days last week, starting with Penn State on Monday, Lehigh on Tuesday, Colorado State and Alabama on Wednesday, with Arkansas State, Georgia Tech, and Oregon on Thursday.

Per Rob Rang of CBS Sports, defensive tackle Jordan Hill was able to improve upon his Combine numbers, clocking a 4.97 second 40 time at the pro day, down from 5.23 seconds he ran in Indianapolis. Linebacker Gerald Hodges was able to record a 35.5-inch vertical jump, while cornerback Stephon Morris blazed a 4.35 second 40 time. At 5-8, 168 pounds, he’s undersized but showed impressive athleticism with a 35-inch vertical and 10-foot broad jump.

While the Falcons were not listed among the official attendees at California (PA)’s pro day on Monday, they are expected to hold a private workout for center Eric Kush per Damond Talbot of NFL Draft Zone.

Wideout Ryan Spadola was the star of Lehigh’s pro day per Gil Brandt of NFL.com. He measured in just under 6-2 and 204 pounds. He recorded a 37-inch vertical and did not drop a pass during positional drills. Linebacker Billy Boyko clocked a 4.5-second 40 time, with 15 bench reps of 225 pounds and a 37.5-inch vertical jump.

Among the attendees at Colorado State’s pro day, was former CSU Ram long snapper Scott Albritton, who briefly played for the Falcons in the 2012 off-season. Albritton is looking for a chance to get back into the NFL. One of CSU’s top 2013 draft propsects is offensive lineman Joe Caprioglio, who measured in at 6-6, 315 pounds and did 27 bench reps of 225 on Wednesday.

Every NFL team attended the pro day of the national champs, Alabama. Not all of the former Crimson Tide prospects opted to work out this past week, as they will have two more opportunities in April. Linebacker Nico Johnson measured in at 6-2, 250 pounds and clocked a 4.74 second 40 time. He also had a 30-inch vertical jump and 9-foot-2-inch broad jump. Safety Robert Lester was able to improve on some of his times from the Combine, with a 4.60 40 time, improving from 4.66. He was able to add half an inch to his 33.5-inch vertical leap from the Combine, and five inches on his 9-foot-8-inch broad jump.

Safety Don Jones was the star of Arkansas State’s pro day, clocking a 4.40 second 40 time with a 42-inch vertical jump and 10-foot-7-inch broad jump. Jones measured in at 5-11, 191 pounds, and also did 17 bench reps.

Falcons head coach Mike Smith was among attendees at Georgia Tech’s pro day. Cornerback Rod Sweeting is their top prospect and worked out at last month’s Combine. He did positional drills and also looked to improve in other areas, including a 7.09-second three-cone drill.

Oregon sent a strong contingent of athletes to last month’s scouting combine. One player that was not invited was linebacker Michael Clay, who measured in at 5-11, 230 pounds on Thursday. He ran a 4.76 second 40 time with a 31.5-inch vertical jump, 9-foot-6-inch broad jump, and a 6.73 second three-cone drill. He also benched 225 pounds 23 times.

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Falcons to work out TCU DE Stansly Maponga

March 7th, 2013 Comments off
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

TCU DE Stansly Maponga

Calvin Watkins of ESPNDallas.com reports that the Falcons have an upcoming workout with TCU defensive end Stansly Maponga, scheduled for this Sunday. Maponga worked out for more than 20 NFL teams today for TCU’s pro day. Per Watkins, he ran a 4.84-second 40-yard dash, benched 225 pounds 30 times, and had a vertical jump of 29.5 inches. Maponga didn’t run at last month’s Combine due to a broken toe, which he is currently in the midst of seeking opinions to determine if it requires surgery. Maponga opted to forgo his senior season at TCU, after a disappointing junior season where he had 26 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss, and 4 sacks. That production came on the heels of a strong sophomore year where he had 55 tackles, 13.5 for loss, and 9 sacks. Maponga is projected as third day (Rounds 4 through 7) draft pick. He measured in at 6-2, 256 pounds at the Combine with 34-inch arms.

Also at the TCU pro day, wideout Skye Dawson put up impressive numbers, clocking a 4.39-second 40 time and a 35.5-inch vertical jump. Dawson caught passes from former TCU quarterback and current Cincinnati Bengal Andy Dalton.

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Falcons looking at Vandy’s Fugger

April 5th, 2012 Comments off
US PRESSWIRE

Vanderbilt DE Tim Fugger

Tony Pauline of TFY Draft Insider reports that the Falcons are among a few teams looking at Vanderbilt pass rusher Tim Fugger. Fugger is considered a potential 4-3 defensive end and 3-4 outside linebacker prospect and a potential third day draft pick. He impressed at Vanderbilt’s pro daymore than a week ago where he posted a 4.60 40 time, 34-inch vertical jump, 7.00 3-cone drill, and 29 bench reps. Fugger measured in at 6’3″ 248 pounds.

He earned 2nd team All-SEC honors, starting all 13 games at defensive end. He finished the season with career highs with 33 tackles, and led the team with 13.5 tackles for loss and 8 sacks. He also had 4 pass breakups and 3 forced fumbles.

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Falcons Pro Day Round-Up 4/4

April 4th, 2012 Comments off
US PRESSWIRE

Virginia Tech RB David Wilson

It’s been over a week since I’ve given you an update on Falcons draft-related news, but here’s a run-down of many of the pro days and scheduled visits/workouts the Falcons have reportedly had over the past week or so. Pro days are ostensibly over, with SMU capping off the schedule. McNeese State is slated to have a pro day as well this week on Friday. For the most part, the rest of this month will be filled with private workouts and personal pro days for a handful of players that have been rehabbing injuries.

Today, SI.com’s Tony Pauline reports that the Falcons sent offensive line coach Pat Hill to Wisconsin center Peter Konz’s workout today. Konz had yet to really work out in front of scouts due to a dislocated ankle he suffered at the end of this past season. Konz was invited to Indianapolis for the Combine in February, and disappointed with only 18 bench reps of 225 pounds. At today’s workout, he improved to 23 reps. He did not run a 40-yard dash, but did go through positional drills alongside teammates Kevin Zeitler and Josh Oglesby. Per Tyler Dunne of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Konz reportedly considers himself to be at 90% recovery from his injury.

The Falcons were confirmed to be at Hill’s former employer, Fresno State’s pro day on March 28. There, they likely got a long look at undersized, but explosive wideout/return threat Devon Wylie. Wylie clocked a 4.39 40 time in Indianapolis, which was tied for sixth best among all prospects at the Combine.

Hill is not the only Falcons assistant getting mileage watching pro days. The Falcons sent new quarterbacks coach Glenn Thomas to Chattanooga earlier this week to watch UTC quarterback B.J. Coleman. At that workout, Coleman completed 34 of 43 passes. Reports surfaced that the Falcons also got a long look at East Carolina QB Dominique Davis following his pro day back on March 22. The Falcons also sent brass to look at Southern Miss QB Austin Davis according to College2Pro.com’s Bo Marchionte. There they also got a look at wideout Ryan Balentine.

Other pro days the Falcons were confirmed to attend last week were Alabama, Brigham Young, and Georgia Southern, held on March 29. They were also at South Carolina on March 28. And it’s also been confirmed they went to James Madison’s pro day way back on March 16.

College2Pro also reports that the Falcons have gotten looks at Lafayette TE Kevin Doty and Portland State DT Myles Wade.

Aaron Wilson of Scout.com reports that the Falcons have a private workout scheduled with RB David Wilson (Virginia Tech), and have gotten looks at DE Melvin Ingram (South Carolina), and OG Kelechi Osemele (Iowa State). Other prospects that per Wilson the Falcons have shown interest in are WR Ryan Broyles (Oklahoma), CB Trumaine Johnson (Montana), and OT Mitchell Schwartz (California).

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Alabama’s Chapman to work out for Falcons

March 27th, 2012 1 comment

Aaron Wilson of Scout.com reports that Alabama defensive tackle Josh Chapman is scheduled to visit with and work out for the Falcons. Chapman is a massive nose tackle prospect at 6’1″ 316, but is drawing interest from other 4-3 teams like the Falcons including the Raiders, Titans, and Ravens per Wilson. Although the Ravens would be widely categorized as a hybrid scheme, something that many expect the Falcons to move towards under new defensive coordinator Mike Nolan.

Chapman is recovering from ACL surgery in January, and it’s likely his medical checks will heavily influence where his draft stock is. Chapman injured the knee on October 1, but managed to start and play in 7 of the next 8 games for the Crimson Tide. This past season, he had 23 tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss, and 1 sack. He also started as a junior, where he had 31 tackles, 3.5 for loss, and a sack.

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