The Falcons have addressed their needs at the inside linebacker position by trading their sixth round pick (#182) and a seventh round pick (#220) to the Vikings to move up into the fifth round to select Marquis Spruill out of Syracuse.
Spruill continues the theme of this year's draft, which seems to be guys who play with a level of nastiness. He's a good athlete who will need to develop, but that's kind of what you expect with a fifth-round guy. He's 6'1" and 231 pounds, and ran a 4.53 40 at his pro day. He also managed 21 bench press reps, a 9' 9" broad jump, and ran the shuttle in 4.46 and the three cone drill in 7.33.
He was projected by some analysts to be more of a 7th round or undrafted free agent kind of guy, but Adam Caplan did call him a super sleeper. Per Mel Kiper, Spruill's performance at the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl elevated his profile for the draft.
"He was a heck of a player. Gives you range and productivity as a back-up special teamer initially, as a sixth-, seventh-round pick. I think he'll help you." - Mel Kiper, Jr. on Spruill's Collegiate Bowl performance
On the official Syracuse University athletics website they quote Spruill as saying following his pro day that teams talked about using him in a nickel package, so that's something to keep an eye on once training camp begins. He's a project, but has the talent to develop into a productive player.
Take a look at some of Spruill's highlights, and share your thoughts on the newest Falcon in the comments!
- Wide Receiver
- Tight End
2) Ra'Shede Hageman, DT, Minnesota
3) Dezmen Southward, S, Wisconsin
4) Devonta Freeman, RB, Florida State
5) Prince Shembo, LB, Notre Dame
6) Ricardo Allen, DB, Purdue