Malliciah Goodman Has The Hands Of A Champion

Todd Kirkland

The fourth-round defensive pick for the Falcons seems to know what he needs to do to achieve success.

Acknowledging your issues is no guarantee you'll solve them. It's worth putting that caveat out front, because I come to praise Malliciah Goodman.

Goodman is a crucial draft pick for the Falcons, a natural power left end with excellent athleticism, long arms and enormous hands that have drawn an unsettling amount of praise from many grown men. If everything breaks right, he could be what Ray Edwards was supposed to be, as a pass-rusher with a solid presence against the run.

What Goodman needed to work on was his play-to-play effort, his timing and his burst after the snap. Most of those were coachable or at least solvable through hard work, which is why quotes like these are so encouraging:

"It’s a lot easier for me to get extension on offensive linemen," he said. "If I’m late shooting my hands or I’m lazy shooting my hands then it’s hard, but you’ve just got to be on point. If I shoot my hands right, get off the ball, it’s hard for them to get under me and stop me."

With John Abraham gone, Goodman actually doesn't have an enormous amount of competition at the position. We know Osi Umenyiora is going to start at RE, with Stansly Maponga and Jonathan Massaquoi behind him. That leaves Goodman to fight off Kroy Biermann and Cliff Matthews, and based on pure talent alone, he should be able to win that battle. It's going to require him improving in all his areas of weakness, and while it's way too early to say if he can do that, we're off to a promising start.

What are your 2013 expectations for Goodman?

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