Feb 26, 2012; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Wisconsin Badgers running back Bradie Ewing does running drills during the NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE
Consider this quick hits on every prospect drafted yesterday. I'll be doing my full draft breakdown on Monday, when I've had a little more time to digest it. We'll have a lot more draft stuff throughout the day, either way.
The third day was used to get a fullback to replace Ovie Mughelli, who is probably departing. It was used to give the team another option at defensive end/outside linebacker. It was used to grab a badly needed backup safety. And it was used to add a little depth and bulk to the defensive tackle corps.
There wasn't a whole lot of sex appeal in these picks, to be honest. Outside of Jonathon Massaquoi, who is a terrific athlete, these are mostly reserves or interesting prospects who will help the team save some cash. Considering we're talking fifth round and later, that's probably about all we should expect.
Without further ado, a brief breakdown of each.
My jaw dropped when I saw the Falcons had drafted a fullback. The more I thought about it, though, the more sense it made.
The Falcons need to cut Ovie Mughelli for cap purposes, as much as I honestly love the man. They'll save over $3 million by doing so, and they need that money for draft choices and to potentially make a run at someone like Marcus McNeill. By drafting Ewing, the Falcons are ensuring that the fullback spot is in good shape. Ewing is a powerful blocker, a smart guy and a nice athlete with soft hands who can be an asset in the passing game. Heck, he may even be able to line up at tight end on occasion, thus ensuring he has the versatility that makes Thomas Dimitroff pedal his bike a little faster.
Ultimately, I don't love using a fifth-round pick on a fullback. But if the team was going to get one and cut Mughelli, this was the best possible choice.
It's incredibly rare that the Falcons actually select someone I mock to them, so I'm happy on those grounds.
I also happen to really like Massaquoi. A superb athlete with speed and one of the best initial bursts in the draft, Massaquoi has everything you look for in a pass rusher. He'll need coaching up and seasoning and he's not terrific against the run, but none of that gives me pause. The Falcons already have a ton of run-stopping ends and linebackers, but what they've needed for a long time is athletic pass rushers. Mission accomplished.
Where he'll fit in the rotation is unclear. The Falcons will probably prefer to keep his hands in the dirt, but he's got the speed to help out at linebacker on occasion, too. If properly utilized, I think he'll be a terrific asset for the defense, but given that he's already 24, he'll have to develop fairly quickly.
I've written about all I have to say about Mitchell already. He's a solid in the box safety with considerable special teams value. There's an outside chance that he could play some corner, but I don't think he's quite athletic enough to pull that off on a regular basis. For a sixth round pick, a useful reserve at a position of need.
A big, space-clogging defensive tackle with surprising athleticism, Robertson is a deceptively high-upside pick this late in the draft.
Not a good backfield penetrator, which may or may not be something the Falcons can change. It's more of a question of technical skill and technique than his ability to explode off the line, so I'm inclined to think they can. At minimum, he's a useful run-stopper and rotational defensive tackle for a team that could use another one. At minimum, Robertson should be developed on the practice squad.
Like I said, I'll take on the draft in full tomorrow. In the meantime, what did you think of the third day?