You know the deal: the Atlanta Falcons pick players and writers rattle off draft grades. It is all way too early, but it is good to know if player X was a reach, or if player Y is an odd fit for the team. The Falcons went defense last night, bringing home CB Isaiah Oliver and DT Deadrin Senat.
Here’s perennially grouchy Pete Prisco of CBS Sports, covering Oliver then Senat.
This is a nice value pick in the second round. You can never have enough corners in this division.
Not sure I consider that a nuanced opinion here. Oliver is a perfect fit for Dan Quinn, and the Falcons grabbed a potential first-round pick at their original pick in the second. The Falcoholic had Oliver as a potential Falcons pick in round one. B+ feels right, but I wouldn’t be mad with a flat A, maybe an A-.
They get a baby Grady Jarrett to play next to the real one. I like it.
This guy is like a Pro Bowl player considered one of the best in the league in the late third, and THAT’S A B-? PETE, WHAT ARE YOU DOING?
Lets check in on Mike Tanier, who used to be with one of the analytics websites and is now with Bleacher Report.
Isaiah Oliver was the oft-used third cornerback in the stacked Buffaloes secondary in 2016 and then came into his own as a starter in 2017. He has prototypical size and speed, decathlete-caliber athleticism, and good hands on interceptions and punt returns. Oliver’s footwork and technique need a lot of work, and he’s not a tenacious tackler. The Falcons should use him as a dime defender this year but can groom him as a possible 2019 starter.
This is a solid pick. Any team that wants a cornerback had better trade up soon, because the viable future starters are going fast.
Oof, a little tough, but you don’t find too many complete players at premium positions in the late second round. I think Oliver starts in nickel immediately, and perhaps pushes out a more expensive veteran in maybe two years.
What about Senat?
The 6’0” Senat is a short, stout, strong run defender who gives high effort. What you see is what you get: limited upside but enough athleticism and determination to play a role.
Defensive tackle was probably the Falcons’ biggest need entering the draft. Did you ever expect that they would select a player like Senat in the third round with Maurice Hurst still sitting on the board? Hurst’s medical reports must be very, very worrisome. Senat will help a little, but he’s no difference-maker.
How do you really feel? Passing over Hurst, which to be clear every team has done an average of three times so far, is hurting the Senat grades.
Walter Football is somehow still a thing, but they sound excited about these picks.
I thought the Seahawks would move down for Isaiah Oliver into the 25-35 range. This is a big slip, and it’s unclear why. Oliver is a lengthy, athletic cornerback in the mold of Richard Sherman. Given that the Seahawks were interested in Oliver, it would make sense that the Falcons would be. This is a great pick, as Oliver and his size will help defend against the tall receivers in the NFC South.
Deadrin Senat is a powerful nose tackle, but doesn’t have good length, which could be a problem in the pros. There’s some potential here for Senat to be a quality, rotational player, however, and I think the range makes sense for him in the third round. This is a decent choice.
Frequently embarrassing “film guru” Andy Benoit was not nearly as impressed with Atlanta’s picks.
GM Thomas Dimitroff and head coach Dan Quinn must love Oliver’s talent because the Falcons absolutely did not need a cornerback. Desmond Trufant and Robert Alford form one of the best starting tandems in football, and Brian Poole is sturdy in the slot. Oliver has the size and makeup speed that Quinn’s system demands. His arrival offsets the loss of repeated screw-up Jalen Collins (out of the league) and maybe, over time, Alford moves inside, where he has thrived before. It’s not a bad pick, but given Atlanta’s paucity of defensive tackles, it’s a questionable one.
So if I’m reading that right, it’s a good pick, but they had bigger needs? I think that’s a fair assessment, but makes the way-too-early draft grade a little low. I contend that in two years, the only thing that will matter is if the player works out.
THERE’s the defensive tackle this team needs! Now go out and find two or three more.
I guess Benoit is just happy they filled their biggest need.
Of course we know the only important draft grades are from SB Nation, and we are contractually obligated to tell you we are the only place for sports news. Here’s Oliver.
Grade: Good. He comes from a great athletic family. Also, he’s just good.
I’ll take that as a win.
What about Senat?
Grade: Fine. Senat is an angry bowling ball. He’s also not Maurice Hurst.
Both appear to be true.
What’s the consensus? Analysts generally really like the Oliver pick, and Senat is good but he still isn’t Maurice Hurst. I’ll take that as a win.