FanPost

Summary "experts" pick the Falcon's first round pick



Many of the big guns in the mock draft world have released new or updated mocks over the last few days"

Mock Draft
Date Pick
Original Comments
Nolan Nawrocki (PFW) 3/25/11
Brandon Harris, CB, Miami (Fla.) Nickel cornerback Brian Williams is not under contract, and his inconsistency and absence in the playoffs really hurt the Falcons last season. Harris has experience working in the slot and brings the tenacity and aggressiveness that GM Thomas Dimitroff and head coach Mike Smith seek in their corners.
Wes Bunting (NFP) 3/28/11
Gabe Carimi, RT, Wisconcin The Falcons love to run the football and no offensive tackle in the class gets after at the point of attack as well as Carimi. He’s one of the top prospects on the board and could easily make the move to RT at the next level.
Russ Lande (Sporting News) 3/15/11
Kyle Rudolph, TE, Notre Dame TE Tony Gonzalez is 35 and has only one or two seasons left. Rudolph has the talent to be an elite tight end and could really benefit by playing behind Gonzalez.
Dan Shonka (Ourlads) 3/26/11
Justin Houston, DE, Georgia Combine:Arms-34 1/2, hands 10 7/8, 10-1.62, VJ-36.5, BP-30, 3 cone/6.95, SS-4.37.The Falcons find a spot for this big productive athlete.Needs are D-End and outside linebacker...Houston fits both depending how he is schemed.

Rob Rang

(CBSports.com)

3/28/11
Jabaal Sheard, DE, Pittsburg The Falcons established themselves as one of the elite teams in the NFL last season, but their inability to slow Aaron Rodgers proved a fatal flaw. Adding another pass rusher to pair with John Abraham makes a lot of sense, especially considering this year's extraordinary depth at the position. Sheard is seen by some scouts as a safer version of the similarly built and productive Justin Houston from Georgia.

Doug Farrar, Yahoosports (Shutdown Corner)

footballoutsiders

3/25/11
Martez Wilson, LB, Illinois

The Falcons are set at the middle linebacker spot with Curtis Lofton, but with Stephen Nicholas a restricted free agent (whatever that means these days) and Mike Peterson and John Abraham getting up there in years, help is needed both at linebacker and at the dedicated pass-rusher position.  With Wilson, the Falcons could actually solve two defensive problems under the right circumstances — the need to get stronger in their pure linebacker corps (Wilson displayed great range in Illinois' frequent nickel sets) and the need for a real edge rusher to complement and eventually replace John Abraham. Like Karlos Dansby  Wilson is that rare linebacker with legitimate reverse and forward gears, and the Falcons would benefit greatly from that versatility.

ChadReuter

CBSsports.com

3/28/11
 Adrian Clayborn, DE, Iowa   Some have pegged Clayborn as a falling prospect because his senior production didn't match his incredible 2009 season. In reality, the Iowa coaching staff asked him to play the gaps, rather than rush upfield, limiting his individual impact plays. If Clayborn drops on draft day it will be due to concerns over Erb's Palsy, a condition Clayborn was born with which damaged the nerves in his neck and right arm. The condition might scare off some teams, but if Clayborn falls further than the top 20, he'll ultimately be viewed as a steal - especially if protected by a standout pass rusher opposite him like John Abraham.
Walter Football 3/29/11
Justin Houston, DE, Georgia  The Falcons really need to upgrade their pass rush; they had just 31 sacks during the regular season, and John Abraham isn't getting any younger.  Atlanta likes defensive ends who can drop into coverage. Justin Houston, one of the top players on the board, had an excellent Combine. He's a type of player general manager Thomas Dimitroff looks for.

Tony Pauline (Cnnsi.com, and Draftinsiders.net)

3/6/11
Aaron Williams, CB, Texas Analysis: The improved play of Atlanta’s defense was overshadowed by the talent which currently resides on its offensive side. Even so, they were torched by Green Bay when the season was one the line. A team can never have too many good cornerbacks, and Williams provides the talent and versatility to play corner and maybe even a little safety.
Dom Banks Cnnsi.com 3/30/11
Cameron Heyward, DE, Ohio St.
The Falcons are desperate for another pass rusher to help ease the burden on John Abraham. But bowl-game showing aside, Heyward's real strength lies in his run defense and knack for penetration, rather than his sack skills. Still, he plays with great intensity, has NFL bloodlines thanks to his late father, ex-Falcon Craig Heyward, and he's probably a decent value in a late-first round slot.
Mocking The Draft 3/2/11 Nate Solder, LT, Colorado In last year's draft, the Falcons targeted interior offensive linemen and may need to look for a tackle if Tyson Clabo isn't brought back. By drafting Solder, Atlanta could move Sam Baker to the right side, where he may be a little better. This would allow the quick-footed Solder to block on the blind side, his specialty.
Draft Ace 3/28/11 Adrian Clayborn, DE, Iowa  The Falcons swung and missed on Jamaal Anderson in 2007 and now they’re looking for an upgrade at defensive end. Clayborn is exactly what they’re looking for – a big, physical three-down lineman. He isn’t an elite pass rusher, but he’s well rounded and would be a nice compliment to John Abraham. The need for an end isn’t enough to reach for someone, but Clayborn is a top-15 raw talent and well worth the risk here. His upside is just too great to pass up.
Drafttek 3/15/11 Justin Houston, DE, Georgia Atlanta's biggest need is a true pass rusher. They luck out here with the local talent in Justin Houston. Houston already has a variety of pass rushing moves, is extremely versatile and can play in coverage as well. Houston fits the character that Atlanta looks for in their players as a true team leader, hard worker and never has been arrested. Houston will also benefit from the high level that Atlanta rotates their lineman. Between Abraham, Sidbury, Biermann and Houston, Atlanta should have a lot of luck pressuring the Quarterback in 2011. - Scott Carasik, Drafttek Atlanta Falcons Analyst

<em>This FanPost was written by one of The Falcoholic's talented readers. It does not necessarily reflect the views of The Falcoholic.</em>

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