Cyrus Kouandjio looks like an NFL starter to me. He's got the strength and technique necessary to make a fine tackle at the next level, and if there are issues with his athleticism and conditioning, those can probably be ironed out by a quality coaching staff.
You simply can't predict the vast majority of injuries that occur in the NFL, because so many of them are freak things. A running back's leg gives out, a helmet meets a helmet and suddenly you're looking at weeks, months or an entire season lost. It's a different story when someone has a pre-existing injury, particularly one that involves the knees. Those injuries—along with those to the back—have a nasty habit of never entirely going away.
That's what makes me fearful of someone like Kouandjio. It's one thing to expend a mid-to-late round draft pick on a player who is recovering from an injury, with the intent to stash them for a year and bank on a full recovery and their natural talent shining through in 2015 and beyond. It's another to spend a high-round draft pick on a tackle who has reportedly been medically failed or at least moved down the draft boards of four separate teams.
The Falcons will have done their due diligence to a far greater degree than I could ever hope to, but it's impossible to look back at this team's draft history and not get gunshy about taking a player with major medical concerns. I could see the Falcons going a lot of different directions with their first two picks, but I can't see Kouandjio being one of them. Given his talent that's a legitimate shame, but the Falcons can only have so much appetite for risk.
Your thoughts on Kouandjio and players with injury risks?