The Big Board: Day Two
Day Two of the draft now consists of the second and third rounds. Here I will be discussing which players the Falcons should be targeting in those rounds. If you missed it, you can click here to see my rankings of the Falcons first round prospects and targets. These consist of my own rankings of players, and is not to be regarded as an indicator of where these players will go. Some of these players may be drafted in the first round, while others may slip in the draft and potentially last into the fourth or even fifth rounds. If that is the case, then you may find very good value in the middle portion of the draft.
With second round picks, you want to find a player that can come in and immediately contribute. Now in some cases that may be a player that is a quality reserve. In others, it may be as a starter. But all of these players should project to be starters for you by the end of their second season, and should project to becoming very good, albeit probably not great ones. Second round picks tend to have some flaws that prevent them from being big-time impact players. Perhaps they aren’t premium athletes or have some character concerns.
CREAM OF THE CROP
One of these players is ideal for drafting with the team’s No. 59 overall pick at the end of the second round. Ideally, one of the players in your Top 28 will fall to you there. But if not, you’d be very happy taking one of these players with that pick.
29. S Rahim Moore, UCLA
30. OC Rodney Hudson, Florida State
31. TE D.J. Williams, Arkansas
32. DE Adrian Clayborn, Iowa
33. WR Jon Baldwin, Pittsburgh
34. OG Ben Ijalana, Villanova
35. OT Derek Sherrod, MIssissippi State
36. CB JImmy Smith, Colorado
37. OG Danny Watkins, Baylor
These are players that have the potential to be very good for you, they just aren’t quite the slam dunks that others are at this pick. They have a bit of a longer development time than the guys ahead of them.
With the third round, it’s unlikely that any player you target is going to be an immediate starter. But you hope that you can find a player that can immediately carve a niche as a reserve player. This player should also have the potential to be a starter down the road, or at least a high quality role player at a key depth position such as No. 2 RB, No. 3 WR, No. 3 CB, etc. It may take a year longer for these guys to pan out than second rounders, but you should be expecting them to solidify their hold on a roster spot/niche by their third seasons.
As was the case in round two, these are the ideal targets that will be available when the Falcons are on the clock with pick No. 91. Obviously, if anybody from the second round targets are still on the board, they would immediately take priority.
CREAM OF THE CROP
These are players that you think can come in right away and add value in a depth role, and borderline on the same type of value you see in the second round where they could be pushing for starting jobs by the end of their second seasons.
NEXT IN LINE
These are guys that should immediately add value as depth guys, and also have starting potential. But they are guys that are likely to need at least a full year if not two before they can really start to impact.
48. LB Casey Matthews, Oregon
49. WR Jerrel Jernigan, Troy
50. WR Greg Little, North Carolina
51. WR Randall Cobb, Kentucky
52. RB Jacquizz Rodgers, Oregon State
53. LB Quan Sturdivant, North Carolina
54. CB Curtis Brown, Texas
55. CB Rashad Carmichael, Virginia Tech
All of these players are potential starters down the road, but are less likely to have a big immediate impact. In some cases, they are good players that may have difficulty excelling as starters in your scheme. In others, they are players that are good potential starters, but are playing a position that the team is already relatively solid at, and thus it may take them a bit longer before they see the field. Regardless, all of these players can be productive as Falcons, just that they probably won’t be guys that will be considered among their top starters.
56. RB Shane Vereen, California
57. WR Ronald Johnson, USC
58. TE Lance Kendricks, Wisconsin
59. DT Jurrell Casey, USC
60. OG John Moffitt, Wisconsin
61. DE Sam Acho, Texas
62. OT DeMarcus Love, Arkansas
63. LB Brian Rolle, Ohio State
64. DT Jarvis Jenkins, Clemson
65. DT Christian Ballard, Iowa
66. LB Kelvin Sheppard, LSU