The Falcons are firmly entrenched in draft research, part of which involved the team’s local Pro Day, where prospects from the Georgia area can come in and strut their stuff.
Admittedly, part of this is goodwill for the state’s football community, but then again, you never know what you might find. After all, starting right tackle Ryan Schraeder was a local kid out of Valdosta State.
The team looks to have hosted Georgia RB Nick Chubb, Colorado S Afolabi Laguda, Georgia WR Javon Wims, West Georgia C Harley Vaughn, Purdue DE/LB Danny Ezechukwu, Georgia LB Davin Bellamy, Georgia Tech DBs Lance and Lawrence Austin (who are twins!) and Wofford QB Brandon Goodson, with other names not reported as of yet. Watch Dave’s draft prospect tracker to see more names pop up as time goes on.
Of course the marquee name there is Chubb, a fascinating “what if” pick that would only make immediate sense if the team had a deal on the table for Tevin Coleman. There’s no way the Falcons pick Chubb up and sit him for a year behind Devonta Freeman and Coleman, considering the other spots on the roster that need tending to with higher draft picks. But, I guess you can never say never. It’d certainly be an exciting move, if a bit odd for the moment.
The real name to take a hard look at is Laguda, who has now worked out with the Falcons for a second time. He projects as a reserve safety, and is seen as a seventh rounder at most by NFL’s Lance Zierlein.
If he runs well, he could find himself tagged as a height, weight, speed candidate and those guys have a shot of hearing their name called late on Day 3 just for their traits alone. Laguda simply hasn’t put enough ball production or consistent tackling on tape to make him a solid favorite to earn a roster spot as a safety unless he is lights-out on special teams in camp.
The Falcons seem very intrigued by Laguda, who was a Falcons fan growing up, and has let your favorite neighborhood Falcons blog know that first-hand he’d be interested in joining the Brotherhood.
Who wouldn’t love to go play for their city! https://t.co/fUcpgNYZ73— Afolabi Laguda (@FizzyFo1) March 16, 2018
Laguda feels like a strong possibility for one of the team’s sixth or seventh round picks, and could be a candidate for the team’s Mr. Irrelevant choice. We have a feeling Laguda wouldn’t be so, well, irrelevant if he joined his favorite childhood team. He’d be an important reserve if drafted and kept as part of the final 53.
Oh, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s D. Orlando Ledbetter wrote a piece about the Austins from Georgia Tech that’s worth your time, if only to see what it’s like to go through this process as an outside prospect looking in.
Sometimes, those guys end up making quite a difference. Just ask one of the previous attendees.
In the meantime, watch one guy, C Harley Vaughn, go through a drill, just for funsies. The Falcons have done well with highly-regarded D-II linemen from the Peach State in the past...