We'll be exploring each player's future role in the coming weeks, but I thought I'd get up brief capsules on each of the players the Falcons have picked so far. Enjoy, and leave your own thoughts on the finest of the second day of the NFL Draft.
3rd Round: Chris Owens, CB, San Jose State: The very definition of a solid coverage corner. Owens has very good instincts and wheels around well, allowing him to keep up with even the most elusive wide receivers. Tackles surprisingly well for his size and has the ability to pick off a few passes. Due to his size (just a hair below 5'10"), he's not a great matchup against tall receivers. There are some concerns about the competition level he faced in college. I think Owens is virtually a lock to play nickel in his first season and may become the team's #2 corner with time. I don't have any concerns about his upside.
4th Round: Lawrence Sidbury, DE/OLB, Richmond: Those who know me know that I'm prone to exaggerate, so feel free to take this with a grain of salt. I'm just going to say it anyway. Sidbury may well have the most upside out of any player we've drafted so far. He's a force off the edge, tackles well, never stops running and does well in pass rushing situations. His frame is big enough for him to survive at defensive end, but he could well become a potent linebacker if given the chance. He's not terribly strong against the run and could use some strength training, but kicking him to linebacker somewhat negates both of those issues and gives him a chance to make an impact right away. Love this pick.
5th Round: William Middleton, CB, Furman: A small college corner who also doesn't have fearsome height. Middleton is stronger than hell for a corner and hits like a train made of cement, which will give receivers matching up against him second thoughts as they go over the middle. His athleticism isn't in question, but he'll need a little work on his coverage instincts. Probably will be a solid special teamer immediately and could very easily become a fixture in nickel and dime packages before too much time passes.
5th Round: Garrett Reynolds, OT, North Carolina: Strong as an ox and three times as big, Reynolds has enormous upside as a right tackle. His mobility and pass protection are going to need some help, so he should probably sit at first, but there's no doubt that Michael Turner would love to run behind a guy who mauls as well as he does when it comes time to put the ball on the ground. He's still got some room to grow and could be defined as a project, but it's not like we'll be building him from the ground up. Another pick I really love.