The biggest pro day in these waning days of 2011 pro days on Thursday is that of University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. There are several top NFL prospects will be working out in front of all 32 teams, including the Falcons. Those players are defensive end Robert Quinn, defensive tackle Marvin Austin, linebacker Quan Sturdivant. Sturdivant is a player on the Falcons radar.
Other UNC prospective pro players include QB T.J. Yates, RBs Shaun Draughn and Johnny White, WR Greg Little, TEs Zach Pianalto and Ryan Taylor, Ss Da’Norris Searcy and Deunta Williams, CB Kendric Burney, and LB Bruce Carter.
According to Adam Caplan of FOX Sports, the Falcons will hold a private workout with T.J. Yates. Yates reportedly completed 110 of 112 throws during his pro day. Most quarterbacks throw about half that much and still don’t complete that high a percentage. Yates is coming off his best year where he was widely credited with showing leadership to keep the UNC team together despite the off-field situations that caused much of their core talent to be suspended.
Other pro days on Thursday include Hawaii and Stephen F. Austin. Oregon State defensive tackle Stephen Paea will be holding his own personal pro day as well.
Today will be a busy day for most teams as pro days begin to come to a close. Some big schools such as South Carolina, Southern California, and Washington all hold their pro days today. Also Ohio State defensive end Cameron Heyward held his private workout today as well.
The Falcons sent representatives so far to the Washington pro day as well as the South Carolina pro day according to Josh Kendall of The State.
Some small schools are also holding their pro days today: New Mexico State, North Carolina Central, Northern Iowa, and Texas A&M-Kingsville.
The Falcons also sent representatives to the University of Miami to work out CB DeMarcus Van Dyke this afternoon. They may also be looking at his teammates DE Allen Bailey and CB Brandon Harris. Sayre Bedinger of the Mile High Report indicates that the Falcons won’t be looking at Harris. Yet a tweet by Van Dyke himself hints that the Falcons will get a look at Harris during that workout.
Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post reports that the Falcons have a private workout schedule with North Carolina linebacker Quan Sturdivant. Sturdivant was a productive player at North Carolina and is set to hold his pro day this week on Thursday. He played all three positions in UNC’s 4-3 scheme the past four years, although had most of his production come as a weakside linebacker.
Click here to read a scouting report on Sturdivant.
University of Miami cornerback DeMarcus Van Dyke tweeted Monday that he was scheduled to work out in front of the Falcons and the Denver Broncos this week on Wednesday, presumably on campus.
The Falcons most recently got a look at Van Dyke at Miami’s pro day on Friday. Van Dyke holds the distinction of having the fastest 40 time of any player at last month’s Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, clocking a 4.28 40. Van Dyke started 21 games during his Hurricane career. He had his best season this past year where he served mostly as Miami’s nickel corner and recorded 2 interceptions, 5 pass breakups, and 20 tackles.
Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post reports that the Falcons will work out California safety Chris Conte. Conte has good size (6-2/197) and speed (4.52 40 time), showing good athleticism at the Combine last month. He began his career as a cornerback before being moved to safety as a junior. He only started one year at Cal, but made the most of it. He had 72 tackles, 1 interception, 3 pass breakups, and a blocked kick on the year.
If selected by the Falcons, Conte would join former Cal teammate Thomas DeCoud in the team’s secondary. The Falcons are likely looking for depth at safety due to the departure of Erik Coleman this off-season.
Patrick Stevens of the Washington Times reports that the Falcons were at the University of Maryland yesterday working out RB Da’Rel Scott, WR Torrey Smith, and TE Will Yeatman. It was previously reported that the Falcons would work out Scott, but it was clear the Falcons used their time to take a look at two other Maryland prospects.
Smith is considered a potential first round pick and possible target for the Falcons at No. 27.
Yeatman is a former Notre Dame transfer that caught 13 passes in his final year at Maryland, working as the backup tight end. In 3 years at Notre Dame, he caught 8 passes. Likely the Falcons are looking at him as a blocking tight end, after he measured 6-6/270 at his pro day. He likely caught the Falcons eye with a strong pro day workout on March 16.
Nate Kuester of the National Football Authority reports that the Falcons will have a workout with Boise State wideout Titus Young. Young has been pegged as a potential first round candidate for the Falcons with the No. 27 overall pick. Young led Boise State in receiving the past two years, averaging 15.0 yards on 150 receptions and 19 touchdowns.
Today, the Falcons sent representatives to Boise State’s pro day. There, Young reportedly ran a 4.35 40, showcasing his explosive vertical speed.
You can click here to read a scouting report on Young.
DE Ryan Kerrigan
Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post reports that the Falcons will a private workout with Purdue defensive end Ryan Kerrigan at some point next week. Kerrigan is considered one of the premier defensive ends in the draft, and it’s no secret that the Falcons want to upgrade their pass rush this off-season. The Falcons have been scrutinizing other top defensive ends like Justin Houston and Allen Bailey with private workouts and visits as well.
Kerrigan has been one of the more productive pass rushers in the nation the past few years, combining for 25.5 sacks and 44.5 tackles for loss the past two years. He hails from Purdue which has produced some of the league’s top pass rushers in recent years including Shaun Phillips, Anthony Spencer, Ray Edwards, and Cliff Avril.
Kerrigan is projected as a first round pick that some mocks have falling to the Falcons. You can click here to read a scouting report on Kerrigan.
Tony Pauline of SI.com reported over the weekend that the Falcons have an upcoming workout with Maryland running back Da’Rel Scott.
Scott shined at the Combine, clocking the fastest 40 time among running backs in Indianapolis with a 4.34 40 time. Scott is an explosive back that had durability issues while at Maryland. He had his best season as a sophomore where he rushed for 1,133 yards and 8 touchdowns. But is still considered a potential target by the Falcons in the middle to later rounds of the draft.
You can click here to read a scouting report on Scott.
D. Orlando Ledbetter of the AJC reports that the Falcons have met with Auburn running back Mario Fannin as well. Fannin clocked the second best 40 time at the Combine behind Scott at 4.38 seconds. Ledbetter reports that Fannin has met informally with the Falcons and conducted an interview with them, presumably at last month’s Combine. Fannin never earned the starting position while at Auburn, but served a valuable depth role behind Michael Dyer this past year in Auburn’s championship run as well as Ben Tate (now with Houston Texans) his first three years. He finished his career with 1,366 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns, as well as 97 receptions, including 42 as a junior in 2009. His combination of size (5-10/231) and speed, coupled with his production in the passing game and special teams make him an intriguing depth option for any NFL team despite having huge production in college.
Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post reports that the Falcons will visit with Oklahoma State running back Kendall Hunter at some unspecified point. According to Wilson’s report, the Falcons are among seven teams that will get a closer look at the productive rusher.
The Falcons were on hand at Oklahoma State’s pro day last Wednesday where he spent some time talking to a Falcon scout. Hunter had an impressive workout there.
The Falcons have been on the lookout for depth at running back, largely in their attempts to get more explosive on offense. You can click here to read a scouting report on Hunter.