NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 28: A general view of the draft stage during the 2011 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on April 28, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
It is time for a most momentous event.
For the first time, four of The Falcoholic's writers are banding together for a mock draft. You'll finally have a little variety in who you get to call a no-nothing mouth-breathing "analyst" once you see these picks, for which I am very grateful.
In all seriousness, this is our best stab at a full mock from the second round to the seventh round compensatory picks. We have fairly diverse perspectives on what would be best for the team, whether it's a best player available philosophy, a focus on offense early and defensive developmental prospects late or the exact reverse of that.
I hope you'll read it and weigh in on our respective drafts and offer up your own best guesses. The draft is only two short days away, after all.
After the jump, the full mock draft. Enjoy!
Round 2, Pick #55
Alex Welch: OL Kelechi Osemele, Iowa State: Huge, powerful blocker with versatility on the line. Instant impact.
Caleb Rutherford: CB Brandon Boykin, Georgia: I know some will claim UGA bias here, but I looked at some of the picks that were in and around 55 and felt like this would fit the biggest need. For all we know, Brent Grimes will be gone next season, and raise your hand if you really trust Franks or Owens opposite Dunta. Probably not all of you. Boykin is a senior at UGA, who is also a little undersized (like Grimes) but he can also ball out. One of the more recent players to get both offensive and defensive experience at UGA was Champ Bailey, and he turned out alright.
Biggest reasons behind Boykin: A reach to some due to size or perhaps his recent leg fracture, but his versatility in 4-3 and 3-4 defenses and special teams, high character, and willingness to line up against anyone are why this local product of Fayette County High is going to stay right here in the ATL.
Dave Choate: TE Dwayne Allen, Clemson: I'm convinced that if Allen lasts this long, he would be on top of the team's list. The Falcons are looking for prospects along both lines, yes, but I expect the talent to thin out a bit in the second round, and Allen has excellent upside and a well-rounded skillset.
Plus, Alge Crumpler is announcing the pick. It adds up.
James Rael: TE Coby Fleener, Stanford: I know I'm reaching here, but wishful thinking never hurt anyone. Fleener is arguably the best TE in the draft. The All-American's combination of size, speed, and ability make him my first choice in the second round. We'd probably need to give up a fifth or sixth rounder (or both) to nab him; in other words, if we don't move up in the second round, he will be gone before we're on the clock. He's eerily similar to Gronkowski and a year of Tony Gonzalez tutelage would undoubtedly assist in his development. I'll look past his mediocre blocking ability, because let's be honest, that can be taught, especially when you're Fleener's size.
Round 3, Pick #84
Alex Welch: TE Ladarius Green, UL-Lafayette: Athletic and stretches the field, needs to improve blocking but still has room to build at 6’6", 238 lbs.
Caleb Rutherford: TE Ladarius Green, Louisiana-Lafayette: The dumb things about these mock drafts is you never know who's going to be drafted when and where. Some places have Boykin going near us in R2. Some have him going after our 3rd round pick, etc. etc. I dunno. In any case, this is the most interesting pick to me. In some mocks, LaMichael James is drafted around here. Realistically, I don't think we'll get a shot at him but I'd take a flyer on him in a heartbeat. I'm convinced he'll be a stud in the league but RB isn't really a need for us anyway. Ladarius Green is somewhat of an interesting product. Don't let the college fool you, they have another player who's predicted to go as early as the second round, which suggests to me that they're more of a football factory than people might assume at first glance. A year to learn under the greatest TE ever and a year to put on some weight sounds like the perfect opportunity for Green, who already has the athleticism to be successful in the NFL.
Dave Choate: DE Jonathan Massaquoi, Troy: An enormously athletic, durable pass rushing defensive end/linebacker type who excels in coverage, Massaquoi undeniably needs a coat of polish. His upside is absolutely off the charts, though, and the Falcons need an impact rusher off the edge. He offers that and potentially a lot more.
James Rael: CB Brandon Boykin, Georgia: The smallish, scraptastic CB will likely fall off a bit due to his less-than-ideal size. He's got a nose for the ball and he could step in immediately as a returner.
Round 5, Pick #157
Alex Welch: DE Oliver Vernon, Miami: Raw player with great strength and a lot of potential. Kiper had him as our No. 84 pick, but that’s a stretch. Another versatile guy with rising draft stock.
Caleb Rutherford: LB Vontaze Burfict, LB, Arizona State: I have seen Burfict mentioned on this site before. I have seen some sites rate him as low as the 150th best prospect due to his on-field issues. It's a real possibility he could fall this far, though you know some team will want to take a flyer on him before now, more than likely.
Read that and tell me you wouldn't draft him in the 5th round. This is a low risk, high reward pick. If it pans out, Dimitroff looks like a genius, if it doesn't, it was just a 5th round pick. Either way, you can't go wrong.
Dave Choate: OT Andrew Datko, Florida State: There's a few rumbles about Datko moving up teams' draft boards, so I'm moving him up from the sixth round to the fifth to be sure. I love Datko's talent and think he's got a legitimate shot at starting at left tackle at the NFL level, which makes him a worthy pick here. The Falcons need a tackle badly, and unlike Alex, I think he won't make it to the Falcons in the sixth, injury issues notwithstanding.
James Rael: WR Greg Childs, Arkansas: He's tall. He's got length. He can jump. His route running is solid. He's an above-average blocker. We need WR depth. No brainer if he's not off the board.
Round 6, Pick #192
Alex Welch: OT Andrew Datko, Florida State: Highly touted before shoulder injury issues. Could be a huge steal if he proves to be healthy. Taking a risk here.
Caleb Rutherford: QB Nick Foles, Arizona: Foles is somewhat of an intriguing prospect. He's tall (6'5"), he's had some success. His arm can't be weaker than JPW's, and Redman won't be around forever. Perhaps not the best idea to draft a QB here but I liked what I saw on Gruden's QB camp enough to merit a late round pick and a shot at a potential backup QB.
Dave Choate: CB Donnie Fletcher, Boston College: A cornerback with size (6'1", 195 pounds), reliable tackling skills and good coverage instincts, Fletcher just needs to learn to play man at the NFL level after excelling in a zone scheme in college. I think he can do it, and I think he's a worthy fit as the designated cornerback picked in this one. Yes, I changed my mind on the team taking a corner.
James Rael: SS Winston Guy, Kentucky: We need a big nickel corner. And our safety depth, especially at strong safety, isn't ideal. Guy is a gritty thumper that played a hybrid SS/LB role in college. Perfect fit if he's there.
Round 7, Pick 229
Alex Welch: SS Sean Richardson, Vanderbilt: 6’3" strong safety who was a leader on defense for the Commodores. Provides depth since Sanders left, could be plugged in for Big Nickel.
Caleb Rutherford: OG Ryan Miller, Colorado: Miller is pretty massive at 6'7" 321 and he has guard experience. If we absolutely have to pick an offensive lineman in this draft, I like the possibility of this guy. I feel like some of these previous draft OL have to pan out eventually, else we'll have a team full of them. He brings in a chance to fix the right guard issue.
Dave Choate: SS Sean Richardson, Vanderbilt: The Falcons could use a big, hard-hitting safety. Richardson provides that and could be a hell of a special teamer, besides.
James Rael: OT Mike Ryan, Connecticut: His footwork and size make him an intriguing prospect. He's 6'6 and 330. He has experience at both tackle positions. Sam Baker sucks. Enough said.
Round 7, Pick 249
Alex Welch: CB Robert Blanton, Notre Dame: Taller DB with great length. Average speed but can be very physical.
I'm not a draft analyst so there's probably some reason why he would be rated this low, but he wouldn't have to be "the guy" here or anything close to it. It's worth taking a flyer on him.
Dave Choate: OG Robert Griffin, OG: The other Baylor Griffin is a massive dude and a mauler in the run game. He could be a solid reserve with a little work, and this late, that's what I'm shooting for. The Falcons need a nasty streak at guard and need better run blockers available behind whoever wins the right guard job.
James Rael: DE Frank Alexander, Oklahoma: He's a late bloomer, but if his senior season is any indication of his ability, then Alexander is a worthwhile addition to our DE rotation. His technique is lackluster and he profiles as a 3-4 backer, but I'd like to see what he can do as a Falcon. He may be long gone by the 7th round, but if he isn't, we'd be fools not to pick him.
Who has the best mock draft, in your opinion?
Alex Welch (98 votes)
Caleb Rutherford (38 votes)
Dave Choate (72 votes)
James Rael (20 votes)
None of you (47 votes)
I love all of them (33 votes)
308 total votes