Matt Cashore-US PRESSWIRE
The Falcons will be looking at some of these tops NFL Scouting Combine Performers.
We could run down the top performers in the Combine, but unless you're a huge scouting wonk, you probably don't care about those players the Falcons aren't likely to be interested in. I certainly don't.
So we say the hell with what Mike Glennon did at quarterback. We yawn at the performances of those top wideouts. And we wouldn't care about the punters anyways, so it's a good thing Matt Bosher makes it even easier not to have to pretend we do.
What you're left with is an intriguing list of prospects across the offensive and defensive spectrums. Allow me to run down a few of the players the Falcons might be looking at in the early-to-middle rounds of April's draft. This is by no means an exhaustive list, so don't be offended if I've left off one of your favorites
in favor of Margus Hunt because they wouldn't fit.
Knile Davis: Ran a blistering 40, showed off great strength and athleticism and probably rocketed himself into the third or fourth round. Davis comes with injury risks, but he would seem to be a nice fit for what the Falcons need at running back.
Christine Michael: Ignore the name. Ignore the bone-headed way he slept through team interviews today. Michael is a likely late-round pick, but his athleticism is off the charts and he has prototypical size and speed for the position. If they could coach him up, the Falcons would have to be tempted.
Tyler Eifert: The consensus top tight end in the draft had the best combine and put together a nice college career at Notre Dame. Whether or not Tony Gonzalez returns for another year, the Falcons need a long-term answer at the position. Eifert would give the Falcons another weapon, capable blocker and shore up the depth at the position in one fell swoop. If he's sitting there at 30, I grudgingly have to admit the Falcons need to look hard at him.
Vance McDonald: A fast riser thanks to his nice Combine performance, the Rice tight end is a gifted player who might be the second player off the board. The Falcons could afford to give him a year of seasoning if Gonzalez comes back, which makes him a nice fit. Of course, he'll probably be off the board before the Falcons pick in the second round.
Larry Warford: A classic mauler in the run game, Warford is a prototypical right guard and one of the better run blockers in this draft, period. He's expected to go off the board sometime between the first and second round, and if the Falcons are searching for a solution to their right guard quandary and don't believe in the options on the roster, they could do much worse than Warford.
Terron Armstead: The athleticism here is incredible for a guy who is over 300 pounds. Some believe Armstead is a future starter at left tackle, while others believe he's little more than a workout warrior who won't be able to crack the top of an NFL depth chart. He would be a gamble in the middle rounds of the draft, but potentially a worthwhile one.
Margus Hunt: I know, I know. I'm obsessed. What Hunt gives you is a ton of strength, good athleticism and all the tools you look for for a defensive end in both 4-3 and 3-4 systems. He's also raw and turns 26 this year, so you have a fairly small window in which to transform all that potential into quality play so you can squeeze several good years out of him. It's a gamble, but I still think Hunt will be a player.
Sam Montgomery: His comments may drop his stock a bit, and it's certainly cratered his reputation among NFL fans. But Montgomery still has the talent to be a quality starter in the NFL if he's properly motivated and works out of a 4-3. He's still a possibility at 30, and he's likely to be the best pass rusher left.
John Jenkins: An absolutely massive defensive tackle, Jenkins has been critiqued for being too passive. He is undeniably talented, has protoypical size for a 3-4 nose tackle and could be had for a second round pick if everything breaks right. Don't rule him out.
Johnathan Hankins: A big guy who moves well, Hankins has the potential to be a disruptive force as a pass-rushing defensive tackle in the pros. After a so-so junior year, though, there's enough questions that he'll probably drop into the second or perhaps even the third. If the Falcons want to add to their interior pass rush, he could be a nice fit.
Alec Ogletree: Whether the Falcons move to a 3-4 full time or stick with a 4-3, they need help at linebacker. Ogletree may be an idiot, but he's undeniably a gifted linebacker, one who could be a Pro Bowl-caliber player in the pros. The Falcons will have to weigh his potential versus his off-the-field incidents if he makes it to the end of the first round.
Arthur Brown: A lot of you love this guy. With a lingering shoulder injury raising flags across the NFL landscape, Brown may be off the board in the second round, or he may make it to the third. Either way, he's a player, and if the Falcons can get by his injury he's a nice fit on paper.
Jordan Poyer: A better-than-expected athlete who intercepted seven passes last year, Poyer has the size to be an impact cornerback at the next level. If the Falcons chop Dunta Robinson and don't bring back Brent Grimes, corner becomes a bit of a need. Poyer could fill that need.
David Amerson: I may be going out on a limb here, but I see Amerson as a starting-caliber cornerback at the next level. His disappointing 2012 season aside, Amerson profiles as a sizeable ballhawk with some good wheels. He can probably be had in the middle rounds of the draft, too.
Shamarko Thomas: First of all, this is a great name. Second of all, Thomas is built like a linebacker, hits like a truck and runs plenty fast. As a late second or early third day safety prospect, he's an excellent fit for a team in need of more toughness and athleticism in the secondary.
So that's my list. Share yours in the comments!