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Falcons Draft 2015: Complete Draft Analysis

The draft is finally over, but this year the team looks to have taken a big step forward in turning the team around.

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The 2015 NFL Draft is finally in the history books, and the Falcons have made seven picks, all of whom hold high expectations from me.

Without further ado, let's take a look at all the picks with some analysis.

Round 1 (8): Vic Beasley, OLB, Clemson

Ah yes, the guy everybody wanted. Not much to say here. Beasley was the guy we hoped we'd get, the guy that fell to 8, and the guy we picked at 8.

A lightning bolt edge rusher with surprising strength, Beasley was the no-brainer pick for the Falcons at 8. He had fine production in college, though he played with a lot of defensive talent around him at Clemson. Eh, who cares? He wanted to be here, he was born in Adairsville, GA, and he fits the biggest need of the team. He's going to be awesome!

He immediately will step into the LEO position for the team as a wide rusher whose primary job is to be a Quarterback-seeking milssile. Will Beasley be a liability in the run game? Perhaps, but that's not why he's here.

Round 2 (42): Jalen Collins, DB, LSU

Not quite the pick I would've taken, but he does fit somewhat of a need for the team. The team really only has two reliable CBs in Alford and Trufant. Southward might be a CB or our FS. No idea with regards to him. He failed several drug tests at LSU and only started 10 games, but his talent is undeniable.

There's a video showing Collins's road from his first years at LSU, where he made poor choices, to finding God and joining LSU's Fellowship of Christian Athletes. This is not to start a religious debate, but he sounds like a good kid in the video. Check it out.

I anticipate Collins will step in opposite of Trufant to give us a Sherman to our Revis. He doesn't solve our safety problem, but he does provide a little bit of clarity to the safety situation. He's a long corner who needs some coaching up, but has all the physical traits teams covet in a defensive back.

Round 3: Tevin Coleman, RB, Indiana

At first glance, Tevin Coleman is a fireball out of the backfield. He had a bazillion yards his last year in school (over 2,000) with 15 rushing TDs. He didn't do much at the combine, but at his Pro Day he ran a sub-4.4 40 yard dash, aka "Antone He Gone" speed.

I personally am not sure how good he'll be in a zone blocking scheme at first. His weaknesses include a lack of patience and not-always-good tackle evasion. He's not going to juke you to death, he's going to say "Here I come, now tackle me." except he's coming at you with blistering speed. Part of constant zone running is you have to identify the hole and cut. If he's running at 100 at all times, I fear he may overrun the ideal cutting lane, thus leading to failed runs.

His talent is also undeniable. I assume since we picked him, Shanahan must've seen something he liked (I bet it was him outrunning everyone), however given Shanahan's record of taking late-round running backs to success, I think we could've gone without Coleman here. That being said, our 5th round pick takes the sting out of going RB/WR back to back, which I'll get to in a little bit.

Round 4 (107): Justin Hardy, WR, East Carolina

This is a WR I can get behind. Not overly fast or quick, Hardy comes with a good work ethic and a ton of production. Fun fact: Justin Hardy has the NCAA record for most career receptions? Yeah, he's got some hands. 10" hands, in fact.

That said, he's not very big. He stands at only 5'10.5" but weighs in at 192 pounds. He's a very willing blocker in spite of his size. These sound familiar? Well, they should, because he's very similar to the guy he's replacing, Harry Douglas. That being said, he competes for the ball in ways Douglas did not. He won't beat people with athleticism, but he'll get separation and out-compete them for the ball.

Hardy should be a guy that steps in day one and competes for the open position of WR3.

Round 5 (137): Grady Jarrett, DT, Clemson

I love this pick. I saw a tweet that said he had the highest run stopping percentage of all DT/NT in this year's draft. Hey, that's pretty good! Other good things: NFL Network says Jarrett is a "poor man's Aaron Donald". Pretty high praise considering Aaron Donald was a high first rounder AND the defensive rookie of the year last year.

Jarrett's strengths come from his ability to work with angles, so he probably won't play directly over center. He's a player who excels at knifing through lanes opened up by guards. He's big, but not tall, and knows how to use his size as leverage. He can get caught up against hulking mauler linemen, so he'll need to learn how to adjust his game to that. I think he can use his low center of gravity and agility to disrupt the footwork of opposing OL and knife into the pocket.

Despite his draft pick, Jarrett's measurables aren't bad. He ran around a 5.00 40 yard dash and put up 30 reps on the bench. His 2nd 40 featured a 1.69 10 yard split. Not bad!

I expect Jarrett to step in and compete immediately. I don't know the ins and outs of a Quinn-led Falcons defense yet, but I anticipate he will be a 3-tech while Soliai plays a 1-tech. We'll see how it goes but I am excited to see this guy in Atlanta!

Round 7 - 1 (225): Jake Rodgers, OT, Eastern Washington

I knew it! The Falcons couldn't let us go into this season without J. Rodgers! ............... :(

Chances are good Jake Rodgers doesn't make the team. He was a transfer from Washington State in 2012, so you know he has some talent. Scouting reports on him say he has good feet, which helps his case if he wants to stick around. His punch is a bit weak, but that's something that can be worked on with an NFL team.

The team came out and said Rodgers would be used at tackle, not guard, so our guard situation has gone unresolved through the draft. It is likely Rodgers will compete for a backup tackle spot. We have a plethora of linemen with starting experience, so that may be damning to Rodgers, but we'll see.

His dad died just four months ago after having a heart attack while watching him play. He may not make the team, but I'm rooting like hell for the kid.

Round 7 - 2 (249): Akeem King, S, San Jose State

Big safety at 6'1" 215 with 4.4 speed, I highly doubt he'll be the answer for us at safety...but I'm sure we thought the same about Kemal Ishmael. Word on the streets is that he'll be used at corner rather than safety. Hmm...

He ran a 4.39 at his pro day, so the speed is legit. The first real memory he made was in high school when he chased down a guy by the name of Robert Woods (Former USC standout and current Buffalo Bill) despite having only played football from his junior year. He wasn't heavily recruited in spite of his talent, but you can see why the Falcons would take a liking to him. He is, essentially, a small school Jalen Collins. I expect him to provide competition at corner and I expect him to stick as a cheap special teamer/Robert McClain-type emergency cornerback.

Your thoughts on the Falcons' draft haul?