Mandatory minicamp is underway, and that means we're one step closer to the 2016 Atlanta Falcons season. We'll have lots of Falcons stuff to discuss this week, and many position battles and depth chart issues to hash out in the weeks leading up to training camp. It's an exciting time.
Here are some highlights from the first day of minicamp:
- De'Vondre Campbell looks to be adapting to the speed of the NFL and the Falcons' defensive scheme nicely. When we spoke to Campbell during rookie minicamp, I was impressed by his intelligence. That, coupled with his work ethic, has helped him get up to speed quickly. And speaking of speed, he displays remarkable quickness coming off the snap, even when the team is in shorts and helmets and nothing's really supposed to be done at full speed.
- Campbell and Deion Jones both got some first-team reps today. On offense, Tom Compton, an undrafted free agent out of South Dakota, and sixth-round draft pick Wes Schweitzer got some looks at right guard.
- We saw a lot of first team offense going up against the second team defense, and vice versa. Quinn does this to push the second team to be better.
- Cornerback DeMarcus Van Dyke got burned in coverage by Julio Jones. Jones is, however, one of the league's best receivers, and the coaching staff must like what they see from Van Dyke, because he got some first-team looks. The team is surely weighing their options at the cornerback position given Jalen Collins' impending four-game suspension.
- After practice, Matt Ryan singled out wide receiver David Glidden as someone who has impressed him with his work out of the slot. Glidden, a 5'8, 185-pound receiver out of Oklahoma State, told Kyle Fredrickson of NewsOK blogs prior to Oklahoma State's pro day that he would embrace a role on special teams to earn a roster spot in the NFL. That mindset, coupled with making an impression on Matt Ryan, bode well for him.
- Ryan is also impressed with Campbell and Jones, saying after practice that their athleticism and speed stand out, and that as they continue to get more comfortable in the scheme, they'll continue to improve.
- Grady Jarrett, Chris Chester and Devonta Freeman all returned to practice today in some capacity after missing all or part of OTAs with various injuries. Devin Hester and Devin Fuller are still working through their injury issues and are not yet able to join the team in practice.