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AJC: Rookie Falcons Look To Have Prominent Roles In 2010

You want an interesting read? Try this one.

Obviously, next week will be an exciting one with the rookies reporting for mini-camp, but it's the storylines already emerging from this class that kicks this news cycle into high gear for me. Obviously, the biggest news involves Dominique Franks and Joe Hawley, two of the Falcons' most surprising draft picks. What's going on with them, you ask, because you never read anything I link to?

Jump. Follow it.

First off is the news that Franks may be competing for a kick returner or punter returner job...or even both. He's an obvious choice, because he's not going to start during his freshman campaign in the NFL and flashed some serious wheels on punt returns while at Oklahoma. There's no doubt that he'll be a favorite to win that competition.

The only question is whether he'll beat out Eric Weems. If Weems isn't returning, he darn well better be looked at as a receiving option, or he's in danger of getting cut. Considering he average 10 yards on punt returns and like 25 yards on kick returns, he really shouldn't be in a position where he needs to look over his shoulder. But such is the potential of Franks, I guess. This should be an interesting battle in camp.

In other news, Joe Hawley is evidently the heir apparent to Todd McClure:

"He's a guy who's going to gore you, and we love that," Dimitroff said. "You know that from our line right now, with how they are coached and with how they play. He fits into that mode as far as playing right up to the whistle."

Sounds like somebody fits the Harvey Dahl/Tyson Clabo mold to a T. That really does help to explain why the good Comrade was so enamored with Hawley, and it bodes well for his chances of taking over for McClure that D. Orlando Ledbetter can even write that he appears to be. Every one of us was clamoring for a long-term solution at center, so if this works out, I'll be a very happy camper indeed.

Your thoughts?