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Falcons Draft Needs: Secondary

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From here until the draft, I'll occasionally be taking a look at each position and giving a quick rundown on how badly we need to upgrade at that position and give a handful of prospects that we might be able to obtain that could help us at that position. This time, we're wrapping this up with the speedsters of the defense: the secondary.

I've done mostly R1/R2 draft picks with these posts, and I'll be sticking to that this time. In doing so, I won't be touching up on safeties, since our two safeties are pretty good, and we won't be drafting for depth that early anyway.

We're pretty set at DB. Dunta should provide us with another solid year, and I think Grimes will be Grimes. Past him, we have Domonique Franks, who is young and unproven, and Chris Owens, who laid an egg against the Packers. I think Owens is more adapted to play LCB or RCB rather than nickel. I think he practiced on each side mostly but got eaten alive when BWilliams went down with an injury. I think both Owens and Franks will be fine.

Join me after the jump and we'll talk DBs!

It's draft day, and I'm totally hyped about it. Seriously, I wish it would hurry up and get here. In free agency, I don't see much in the way of anyone we could get, aside from Johnathan Joseph. He regressed a bit in 2010, but in '09 he was pretty good. Both Champ Bailey and Nnamdi Asomugha are out of the question for obvious reasons.

Here's a few prospects we might take in the first round or two.

Ras-I Dowling, Virginia: Aside from this guy having a cool name, he's one of the better corners in this year's draft. On film, he delivers a nasty hit, but because he looks so lanky, he also looks a tad slow. He doesn't seem to play with the energy of a high end DB. From what I've noticed, a lot of the top flight DBs play like they're on speed. Dowling is tough, though. He fights for the ball and he's not afraid to deliver a bone crunching hit, even on someone bigger than him. Upon further review, he measures in at 6'1", which is great for a DB, and it's also why he just looks slow. I doubt we'll take a DB in the first, but he might warrant consideration if we're thinking about it. Highlight vid here.

Jimmy Smith, Colorado: I've seen this guy's named mocked to us a few times, though I highly doubt he'll be around by the time we pick at 27. He's got some athleticism, and on the video I watched, he made several Grimes/Dunta open field tackles. That's not a knock on any of them, in fact I'd consider it a pretty good thing. He appears to have pretty good strength, as well. He's not afraid of press coverage. He appears to have good speed and instinct. He showed the desire to come up and lay a hit, but most of the time it was more of a passive aggressive kind of thing. He looks like he could play in the NFL, though. Highlight vid here.

Brandon Harris, Miami: I've seen this name linked to us several times over the past week. On film, Harris also isn't afraid to deliver some vicious hits. His hands are iffy - on this particular video, he only had two picks despite numerous chances - but with that said, he played the ball extremely well. He looked good in coverage and he was always knocking the ball away. He wasn't trying to hit the receiver, he was always fighting for the ball. One highlight in particular that caught my eye was one where he was beaten in the end zone, and the receiver had just snagged the ball. As the receiver snagged the ball, Harris jumped and punched it out. That's the kind of guy you want. He also turned his head around. Highlight vid here.

Aaron Williams, Texas: I'm not sure Aaron Williams will be around when we pick, either, but with all this talk of trading up, I'm not counting anything out, now. His first highlight on the film I watched is him getting beaten deep and then making an acrobatic play on an underthrown ball. Hmm.... The comments on the video suggest he's slow, which is a possibility. He shows the ability to get separation from a WR trying to block him. He delivers a good hit in run support. I was amused at the long run A&M had on the video, because if Williams hadn't dove so soon, he would've caught the RB. He looks like he tries to compensate for a lack of top end speed by running backwards before the ball is snapped. Overall, he looks like a decent run support DB, but aside from a strong safety, I don't think those exist. Highlight vid here.

Those are a few DBs that we probably won't pick, but we might, so who knows. As always, you're welcome to talk about any DBs you think we might pick up, or we can just hope and pray we trade up this year and make every Falcon fan (well.....almost) rejoice in a most euphoric way.