It's pre-draft season, which by extension means we hear (and will continue to hear) about the many private workouts that occur this time of year.
Teams conduct these by the dozens, including the Falcons, and we already know several names of interest for Thomas Dimitroff and his band of merry scouts. Who's up for a few more?
Entire Atlanta Falcons front office, along with OC Dirk Koetter, were at Chaparral today to check out former Firebirds OL Taylor Lewan— Richard Obert (@azc_obert) April 2, 2014
Okay, so I guess the Falcons are interested in Lewan.
In all seriousness, it only makes sense that the team would visit the former Michigan left tackle after also meeting with Greg Robinson and Jake Matthews. We know from reports that Robinson met with the organization at the NFL Combine, but in Lewan's case the front office apparently traveled all the way out to Scottsdale, Ariz. (his hometown) to see him perform in some way or another.
Of the top three tackles in this class, Lewan is perhaps the one with the most questions. He turned in some exceptional numbers at the Combine and possesses top-tier strength and athleticism, but his cut-ups reveal some legitimate technical concerns regarding his footwork and leverage. Even so, he could be in play for the Falcons should they remain at the six spot.
Were the Falcons to draft Ealy, he would become the third ex-Missouri player to be featured on defense under Mike Smith (the other two being William Moore and Sean Weatherspoon). On a college team dominated by Michael Sam's name in recent months (rightfully so), he was the "other" pass rusher who "only" recorded 8.0 sacks and 14.0 TFLs in his junior season.
Ealy is more of your traditional 3-point pass-rushing prospect, but his physical tools are good enough that some have also felt he could be a stand-up rusher in the NFL. I'm not so sure he'd go in the top 10, but he is more or less a consensus first-rounder and the Falcons are right to do their due diligence.
You can read my write-up on Smallwood here. Suffice it to say, he has some intriguing potential as a cover man and the Falcons could use a linebacker or two.
Smallwood still projects as a late Day Two or early Day Three pick, and his name is awesome.
UPDATE: The Falcons are looking at top tight end Jace Amaro, as well:
#Falcons are continuing their evaluation of TEs: Working out Jace Amaro (Texas Tech) today, source confirmed.— Adam Caplan (@caplannfl) April 2, 2014
Terrance West on his Twitter lists Titans, Ravens, Seahawks, Falcons, Cardinals Vikings among his predraft visits— Aaron Wilson (@RavensInsider) April 1, 2014
Last but not least we have West, a running back prospect out of Towson.
With links to Charles Sims and De'Anthony Thomas (DAT), it seems pretty clear that the Falcons are looking for a back in this draft, not only for depth after Jason Snelling's retirement but also for Steven Jackson's eventual replacement.
West was an insanely productive rusher at the FCS level who put up some Madden-like numbers as a junior: 2,509 yards and 41 touchdowns in 16 games (no, I'm not lying). He's a stout back with some impressive power and good straight-line speed, and it stands to reason the Falcons could pick him up somewhere in the middle rounds. Who needs CJ2K?
With that in mind, what say you all about Lewan, Ealy, Smallwood and West? (besides the fact they sound like a great law firm).