Falcons Sign Five Rookies

Kevin C. Cox

The Falcons are making quick work of signing their rookies, with several draft picks signed to contracts today.

The Falcons have signed several of their new rookies to contracts today, per their own Jay Adams.

Jake Matthews, Ra'Shede Hageman, Dezmen Southward and Devonta Freeman have yet to sign, but that's pretty standard. With the rookie wage structure dictated by the current CBA, it shouldn't take too much longer to hammer out the deals for these four guys. More than half of the guys have signed at this point, which is a great start.

Linebacker Prince Shembo was selected by the Falcons with a late fourth round compensatory pick. Shembo played at Notre Dame, racking up three sacks in one game against Arizona State. He had 5.5 sacks on the season.

Cornerback Ricardo Allen was selected by the Falcons in the fifth round. He had six interceptions on the season at Purdue last year.

The Falcons traded back up into the fifth round to select linebacker Marquis Spruill out of Syracuse. He posted 5.5 sacks over the course of last season. He also had 62 total tackles last season.

The Falcons selected inside linebacker Yawin Smallwood in the seventh round. Smallwood was projected by many to go earlier in the draft, so he was a steal. Smallwood was a tackling machine at the University of Connecticut, posting 118 combined tackles last season, as well as four sacks and one interception.

Last but not least, Tyler Starr was selected by Atlanta late in the seventh round. Starr tied the University of South Dakota record for career sacks during his time there with 27. Starr also had 71 tackles, one interception and four pass deflections in his senior season.

Are you happy the Falcons are making progress with signing their draft picks? Share your thoughts in the comments!

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