As promised, I took five of your best draft-related questions straight to Dan Kadar at Mocking the Draft. He obliged by answering each one.
1) How likely is it that Zeke Motta bulks up and becomes a LB? Does he have the skills necessary to thrive there?
Dan Kadar: Motta moving to linebacker is actually a pretty good idea – one that wasn't discussed a lot leading up to the draft. Whether he can actually get up to the 230-pound range, I don't know. His negatives are that his straight-line speed is poor and he struggles to move around in coverage. But he's a dependable tackler and excels when he can play moving forward. He takes good angles to the ball and does a fair job of shedding blocks. So he has the traits of a linebacker. I think more likely is he'll be a special teams ace. If he can get bigger, it's possible he could shift up to linebacker.
2) What caused Joplo Bartu to go undrafted? He looks great on tape. Do you think he, Nick Clancy or Paul Worrilow have NFL-level skills?
DK: Bartu probably went undrafted because he comes from a small school and didn't exactly tear up his pro day. I know the only thing I've seen on him is highlights, so I can't speak on too much about him. But even if you just look over his stat line, there's a couple things that stand out. As a senior, the best team he played was Wyoming, so there wasn't a lot to judge against there. And, again looking just at stats, it doesn't look like he ever took a single game over. Worrilow I don't have anything on, but his timing numbers are intriguing. Clancy was a player I was excited to follow last season. He has solid size and experience playing inside and outside. The athleticism might not be there, but he showed at Boston College he's productive. Out of the three, I'm most confident in Clancy. Mainly that's because I've seen him play a good bit, and because he was productive in an FBS program.
3) Do you believe Malliciah Goodman or Stansly Maponga have the ceiling of a starter?
DK: Goodman definitely has the ceiling to be a starter. He was spotty at Clemson, but the tools are there. He has length, a solid burst and decent enough power. He looks purely like a left defensive end because he's not a quick-twitch pass rusher. But he could be someone like a Ray Edwards – the Vikings version, not the Falcons version. Maponga is someone who will either have to shift out to linebacker or just be a nickel down end rushing the passer. It was surprising to see Maponga leave TCU after his junior season.
4) Sean Renfree is an interesting pick for a team with an established starter. Do you think he grades out as a long-term backup, or a potential future starter the Falcons could swap for picks?
DK: Leading up to the draft, I pegged the Falcons to be a team that should draft a quarterback. Matt Ryan is great, but there's an opportunity there for them to develop a quarterback and trade him in the future. Renfree is a good pick for that role. He's a smart player who should adapt pretty smoothly. He's a good developmental option because he has good size and passing skills. If he can show something in the preseason, or if Ryan happens to get injured, he's someone you can definitely see getting flipped for picks. I like him as a backup as well. He's going to know the playbook and is never going to be a detriment to the team because he's a backup. I like him a lot more than Dominique Davis.
5) Out of the Falcons UDFA wide receivers which has the best skillset to push Harry Douglas or possibly unseat him? The list includes:
DK: Evans, Moore, Johnson, Helmick and Sales are pretty similar to Douglas – undersized with good quickness. It's almost as though they were added specifically to challenge Douglas. Most of them were not particularly productive. Helmick had a big senior season, but\ that was at tiny Lindenwood. Out of those guys, Johnson is the one who stands out to me. His last two seasons at SMU were decent. He's a solid route runner who will line up in the slot. He's probably never going to be a deep vertical threat, but he's good at that seven- to 12-yard range. His bowl game against Pittsburgh particularly stands out. Sims is the outlier because he's a bigger player. There's some athleticism there as well. His career will dependent on how much he works on route running and getting himself open. He should learn a lot from someone like Julio Jones. But I think he'll probably be a practice squad player, especially to start.
Many thanks to Dan for answering these questions!