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Falcons Draft Recap, Day Two

Harry Douglas/Courtesy

I want to preface this by explaining exactly why I'm disappointed in this draft. I think it's only fair, given that I'm going to be pretty critical of some of these picks, though I don't actually hate this draft as much as I thought I would.

There was a clear expectation that things would be very different this year. The way the Patriots and Jaguars built their teams, I thought it fair to assume that Dimitroff and Smith would build strength along the lines. I'm as guilty as anybody of placing faith in that approach, and everything I passed on to you guys dismissed Matt Ryan as the prospect chosen at #3. I did that partly because that's what I was hearing and partly, I think, because it's what I so wanted to believe.

After yesterday's portion of the draft, the Falcons still had a chance to redeem themselves. With Ryan, Baker and Lofton, the team had a potential QB, LT and MLB for the future. Though Ryan wasn't my first choice, he still does fill a glaring need. I was very disappointed they didn't pick Glenn Dorsey, yes. But I also began to think that Dimitroff would be snatching up offensive linemen and a defensive tackle later on. No spot seemed more apt than the fifth round for hulking DT Red Bryant.

The Falcons began the third round by getting classic Cover 2 corner Chevis Jackson. While Jackson doesn't have huge speed, he tackles well and has quality coverage instincts. I didn't really have a beef with the pick; at worst, I thought he was a candidate to move to safety. The Falcons then took Louisville wide receiver Harry Douglas, who doesn't fill a critical position of need. I still love the pick because I think Douglas stands as good or better a chance of stepping in opposite Roddy White as L-Rob. At worst, he should be an upgrade in the slot from Mike Jenkins. So far, two quality picks, but no sign of offensive or defensive linemen. There would be no more until the fifth round for the Falcons, leading me to worry that all the quality linemen would be off the board.

Then the fifth round rolled around the Falcons did something so awe-inspiring that I nearly soiled my shorts. They drafted two listed outside linebackers in the fifth round. In a fit of rage, I almost clawed my own eyes out. You guys later pointed out that the team probably drafted both to play safety and defensive end, which made them both infinitely more defensible. Still, I counted no defensive tackles or offensive linemen here, and it turned out I wasn't getting any.

Thomas Brown will take over at running back for Jason Snelling, Wilrey Fontenot can probably be a capable dime back (I hope) and Keith Zinger does fill a need at tight end and come with a terrific name. That finished up a draft that turned out to be sadly based on some esoteric draft philosophy that I guess my little mind is too weak to wrap around.

What I guess I'm angriest about is that this was supposed to be a need-based draft. There were no greater needs than along the two lines and at quarterback; the Falcons arguably answered the call at QB and 1/5th of the line. They then proceeded to ignore the basic building blocks of a team for the remaining six rounds.

Maybe the new guys have a lot of faith in Trey Lewis (who I like) and Jonathan Babineaux. Maybe they also think Weiner will be healthy, Clabo will  be effective and Blalock will improve. Maybe this is all part of a master plan that's going to take two years and a pair of drafts to complete. I really don't know. What I do know is that we fans had a reasonable expectation for this draft that was not met. If the team has a great explanation for what went on here these last two days, I'll be happy to hear it.

I just need to know that there was a good reason for the way this draft played out.