As a member of the dying behemoth known as print journalism, I gotta give some props to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution for absolutely blowing the doors out on their draft coverage. Rather than just praise them, though, I thought I'd cull the best and most interesting bits and present them here. Without further ado:
1. Even if you want to rain destruction on Arthur Blank's mansion in the aftermath of this draft, you can't hate on Harry Douglas. The dude seems very humble and intelligent, and he's also a Falcons fan who was hoping the team would take him:
"The was the best memory that I have," said Douglas, a wide receiver from Louisville who was selected by his favorite team on Sunday.
After a stellar career at Louisville, Douglas was selected in the third round and will have a chance to compete for the slot-receiver position with the Falcons.
"It feels good," Douglas said. "I'm really proud to be an Atlanta Falcon."
Yes, it does say "the was" the best memory he had. Whatever. The important thing here is that one of his greatest life moments was when the Falcons went to a Super Bowl, even though they got creamed so badly that I actually got sick after watching it. With a lot of talent and an attitude like that, Douglas can be a successful slot receiver or better in this league. I love the pick, and I hope Dig Doug can get a chance to flash his skills this year.
2. A day and a change later, the defensive tackle situation is no longer causing me to fly into fits of rage so violent that they make Mike Tyson look like a helpless baby bird. It's still a thorny issue though, and I'm not particularly happy to hear that Kindal Moorehead and Babineaux are penciled in as starters. I realize Trey Lewis is hurt, but you can't honestly expect Moorehead to start over him all season long, can you? Lewis is, in my humble opinion, the most skilled defensive tackle on the roster right now. He'll need a chance to bear that out over an entire season, yes, but he was perhaps the greatest steal of last year's draft and should get every chance to get his job back when he returns from injury. In the meantime, I pity any team dumb enough not to pound it up the middle against us.
3. Safety is going to be an absolutely critical area for this team next year, and Thomas DeCoud is going to be a key cog. Steve Wyche writes that DeCoud is a free/strong hybrid who could end up taking the backup job in either spot.
To me, this is an incredibly easy decision before anyone even gets on the field. Jimmy Williams was kind of a wasted pick and hasn't shown enough to indicate that he can be an upper-echelon free safety at the NFL level. On the other hand, you have athletic freak Daren Stone, who in very limited chances last year looked like he could really lock down the position. DeCoud should definitely take over Jimmy's spot and be groomed to steal Erik Coleman's job in a year or two. I don't know about you guys, but a DeCoud/Stone sounds pretty goddamn awesome to me.
4. Mark Bradley nails it here, calling for Falcons fans to believe in Dimitroff and to believe in this draft. While I find that hard to do considering that reasonable team building expectations weren't completely met, we all were hopeful before this. All we can really do is hang on for the ride and hope for the best. Failing that, the best we can do is all get roaring drunk.
5. This isn't completely AJC related, but I would like to know who your favorite pick of the draft was. Last year, I was extremely fond of Stone and David Irons, and this year I have to put my lot in with Harry Douglas. How about you guys?