This is my first ever fan post so here goes:
After another disappointing playoff performance, Blank, TD, and Smitty promised a full roster evaluation and changes. We have 17 free agents so our 2012 roster could look much different. Atlanta figures to be major players in free agency and will make some quality picks in the draft. Several Falcoholics have already come up with off season predictions so after alot of player research and film watching, I'm offering my version of what the Falcons' off season and draft could look like. I'll be updating this as the off-season progresses.
That's right. The rumors will be true and Michael Turner will be traded to the Redskins for a 4th rounder. Washington has two 4th round picks and will need some thunder to go with Roy Helu’s lightening. Washington has not been relevant for a while but they will be big players in FA this year. They will win the Matt Flynn sweepstakes and will want to surround him with a strong running game. Washington has no problem acquiring aging players so this could be a trade made in heaven.
1. Carl Nicks RG: Blank specifically singled out the OL for their bad play this year so you best believe getting Nicks will be a top priority. We missed out on getting the #1 DE last year (Charles Johnson) when Carolina threw a blank check at him. If there is only one guy ATL signs, it will be Nicks and ATL will throw some serious money his way.
2. Jared Gaither LT: Svitek filled in admirably at LT and Sam Baker is a dead man walking at this point. Gaither will be a big time upgrade at the position. At 6’9 340 lbs Gaither is a living, breathing monstrosity. He was signed off the street by San Diego and completely locked down Phillip River’s blind side. He gave up zero sacks in 2011. Demetrius Bell is another good option but like Gaither, he has missed significant playing time in his career due to injuries. You’d basically be picking your poison with these two. On just sheer talent alone, Gaither would be my pick. Also, at just 25 yrs old, he has a ton of football left in him
3. Chad Henne QB: Back-up QB’s played a big role in 2011 and ATL needs to get a solid guy in case they decide to move on from Redman. Henne will come cheap as he’s coming off a left shoulder injury. Henne is right handed so he should be good to go in 2012. He has several 300 yd 2 TD games so he’s more than capable of filling in if Matty goes down. Another option is Andrew Walter. OC’s like to bring in guys that know their system so don’t be surprised if Koetter brings Andrew Walter to camp to compete for a back-up spot. Like Redman, Walter was a 3rd rounder who didn’t pan out as a starter.
1. Todd McClure wants to end his career as a Falcon and I’m sure he will give ATL a hometown discount.
He’s lost some skills but with Nicks and Gaither on the line, he should be able to hold down the fort for
one more year.
2. Harry Douglas: I’m a bit torn on this because I think HD will get some good offers from other teams like
New Orleans who could lose Meachem and JAX who has no WR’s. I believe ATL will convince him
that he’ll get a bigger role in 2012 and he stays.
3. Curtis Lofton: Duh
4. Thomas DeCoud: DeCoud is my boy but I won’t let my admiration stand in the way of the team winning.
If ATL feels they need to go in a different direction then I’ll support it. Ultimately, I think ATL keeps
him and Nolan will work wonders with him.
5. Kelvin Hayden: Was a solid CB when healthy. He should come cheap so I’m guessing he gets re-signed.
6. Kroy Biermann: Should come cheap
7. Jason Snelling: ATL will keep him after the Turner trade
8. Mike Peterson: Is a team leader but is old and coming off an injury. He’ll be cheap and ATL will keep
him for one more year.
9. James Sanders: If the price is right, ATL will definitely keep him. He filled in nicely for DeCoud and
Moore this year.
2nd round Brandon Thompson DT Clemson: Thomas Dimitroff promised there will be no sacred cows. After that statement, Peria Jerry immediately popped into my head. Jerry had a prime opportunity to step up when Babs went down with the MCL injury but offered very little in the pass rush department. Our interior pass rush was anemic in 2011 but the addition of Brandon Thompson immediately rectifies that. Babs is not getting any younger and we don’t have much depth after Peters. Thompson is arguably the strongest DT in the draft and simply explodes into the backfield He is an overpowering force on the D-line. ATL would be wise to select him
3rd round Vinny Curry DE Marshall: Abe may not be brought back so getting another DE is essential. Curry is an explosive edge rusher with a high motor. He’s one of the faster DE’s in the draft with good strength. Nolan should be able to get the most out of him
4th round Isaiah Pead RB Cincinnati: Smitty wants more screen passes and Pead is excellent catching balls out of the backfield. At 5’10 200 lbs he is a big back but has great speed (4.5 40 yd dash) and elusiveness. He is a typical north-south runner but is more than capable of cutting to the outside. He is also a strong blocker. A backfield of Pead, Quizz, and Snelling will offer less predictability when we do choose to throw to the RB.
5th round Ladarius Green TE Louisiana-Lafayette: An athletic freak of nature. Has great hands and great leaping ability. The biggest knock on him is his weight. At 6’6 230 lbs, he will need to put on 15-20 pounds to be able to consistently shed blocks in the NFL. He’ll have 2 off seasons to do this as 2012 he’ll most likely be used as a red zone guy. He could go earlier due to his freakish size and ability but there are quite a few good TE’s in the draft that could offer a quicker impact so we could grab him here.
6th round Kellen Moore QB Boise State: John Parker Wilson should be nowhere near an NFL roster, We need a young QB to develop and Moore should be available here. He is incredibly smart allowing him to decipher defenses with ease. With his smarts, he can also run the no huddle we love so much. He has laser accuracy and all he does is win. His biggest knocks are his height and lack of arm strength. ATL has not drafted a QB in a while and they can do much worse than Moore.
7th round Damien Jackson FS/SS Ole Miss: He is a big time hitter and can tackle well. He’s not the strongest in coverage but his ability to play both safety positions make him a good pick here. His height (6’2) should be an asset against shorter WR’s