It's a small sample size, admittedly, since the Falcons have only picked two guys in 2011. For all the talk about explosiveness leading up to the draft, the team has demonstrated a willingness to go physical.
I'm not saying that Julio Jones isn't an explosive player. I'm definitely not saying the Falcons won't go for a speedy back or a quick safety later in this draft. But what strikes me about both Jones and Akeem Dent is that they're big, physical guys who aren't afraid to hit and be hit.
I don't think we can overlook that. The Falcons are a tough team, but time and time again in 2010, we all found ourselves complaining about missed tackles. Seeing Aaron Rodgers slip out of potential sacks was enormously frustrating. Dent isn't going to let too many quarterbacks and running backs get away from him, so in that sense he adds needed physicality to the D. I hear the knocks that he might be a two down back and not great against the pass, but I have faith in the team's ability to address those concerns.
On the other side of the coin, Jones is going to wear opposing cornerbacks down. He can out-muscle most guys in the league and he doesn't readily go down, something that's sorely needed in a receiving corps where Michael Jenkins and Harry Douglas can do little once a hand is on them. Jones is going to leave his fair share of defensive backs a little sore.
With contenders like the Saints and Packers boasting good offenses and improving defenses, it's imperative the Falcons add speed and the ability to deliver a little punishment to keep up. They've handled at least one side of that this off-season, and I must confess I'm happy to see it.
This may not be the hallmark of the 2011 draft, but I like the additions on those merits alone. What do you think?