I can't seem to blog about certain guys without cursing them, so let's pour our a little falcohol for the first casualty of the 2007 draft class: Dashing Doug Datish. The Falcons obviously believe they have loads of depth on the offensive line (I'm not sure I agree), because they also waived Toniu Fonoti. I expected to see see Fonoti backing up RG and Datish backing up everywhere on the line, but clearly Datish's injury and Fonoti's crappiness were worse than I thought. Tough break for Doug, who I thought could be a good backup for this team. Good luck, fellas.
On the flip side of that coin, the Falcons signed big ol' center Ben Wilkerson, who played a few games in a Bengals uniform last season. As far as I can tell, he's going to take Datish's role by being buried so far on the depth chart that Indiana Jones can't find his ass. There's nothing to indicate that he has the same versatility Datish was commended for, either, so Pet Rhino must want a healthy third-string center pretty badly. That makes me wonder how much he trusts P.J. Alexander, who is basically making up the transition to center as he goes along. To a lesser extent, I wonder if Todd McClure's job is in trouble in a year or two. Pet Rhino does want a new system in place, and perhaps McClure isn't the best fit. Then again, maybe Wilkerson's just a camp body.
The Falcons also signed defensive back Tony Franklin, who at 5'10" and 184 pounds damn well better be a cornerback. The only way Franklin seems likely to get a roster spot is if the Falcons go in another direction with the return game (think Kinoshita or Jennings) and dump Rossum. Even then, it's likely he's nothing more than yet another camp guy. I realize I know next to nothing about him, but when you've got seven guys competing at corner already I have to wonder why another one is needed.
All I can say is if he's supposed to be a safety, he better get on the Grady Jackson diet in a hurry.
Update [2007-8-5 0:38:28 by Dave the Falconer]:: I'm deeply confused. The official site has Datish being waived, which I took to mean released. That's more or less business as usual in the NFL these days, anyways. But the AJC is reporting he's on injured reserve, which means one of them is wrong. If he's on injured reserve (which seems more likely), then I'm not sure why they'd be reporting that he was waived. Unless he was waived and then placed on injured reserve?
Screw it, he's not gone. That's what's important.