Matt Ryan, Sam Baker, Peria Jerry, Sean Weathersoon and Julio Jones, all first round selections for the Atlanta Falcons since 2008. Ryan, a rookie of the year winner, has been to two pro bowls and is currently believed to be one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL. Sam Baker has had a roller coaster career since being drafted by Atlanta. Falcons still believe he is the answer at left tackle proven by his recent 6 year contract for $41.5 million, with $18.25 million guaranteed. Peria Jerry is still trying to prove his worth after suffering a major knee injury in 2009 that left him out for the remainder of that year. Jerry has easily been Dimitroff’s worst move since arriving in Atlanta. Sean Weatherspoon A.K.A Spoon, was named the defensive captain in 2012, and is undoubtedly the leader of the Falcon defense. Spoon may not be a pro bowler yet, but he is quickly becoming one of the most feared linebackers in the league. Last but not least, is Julio Jones. The Falcons selected the Crimson Tide wide out with the 6th overall pick in the 2011 draft. However, that was not before having to give up 5 draft picks to the Cleveland Browns. This was by far one of the riskier moves Dimitroff has made, but Jones has proven to be well worth it. Since the arrivial of head coach Mike Smith and GM Thomas Dimitroff, the Falcons have showed a great evaluation of talent and player ability. With the recent additions of running back Stephen Jackson , defensive end Osi Umenyiora, the resigning of Tony Gonzalez and the loss of Brent Grimes to the Dolphins, the 30th overall pick is starting to come into focus. With the end of the Falcons free agency rapidly approaching, Dimitroff and the Falcons have some serious decisions to make.
The most glaring need for Atlanta Falcons at this point is cornerback. With no indications of filling this need in free agency, it appears the Falcons are willing to address it in the draft. The question is do they want to spend that very valuable number 30 pick on a corner when there are holes all over the defense?
Desmond Trufant – Brother of Seattle Seahawks Marcus Trufant, has been ranked in many mock drafts to be the 2nd or 3rd best cornerback prospect. Trufant may be a perfect fit for the Atlanta Falcons. He shows great top end speed mixed with good height and bulk. Trufant is a natural and fluid athlete, he is smooth with changing directions and shows a promising ability to quickly flip hips to turn and run with receivers. Desmond Trufant seem to be an asset against any teams run game with his above average ability to shed blocks and pursue the ball carrier. With that said, Trufant still needs to get stronger and improve his tackling ability. Taking all of that into consideration, his athleticism should put him in a position to make plays.
Blidi Wreh- Possessing a nice combination of height, bulk and top-end speed for the position. He is a big physical corner that shows great awareness in zone coverage. Wreh-Wilson will be best suited as a press corner. He may not have top end speed, but his technique proves to make up for it. With him also being above average against the run, the only main concerns will his health due to the two separate incidents while at Connecticut.
Bjoern Werner – A strong, physical monster at the line of scrimmage. He pushes the offensive line around and plays with great intensity. The Berlin, Germany product combines a good motor with a mean streak. Werner is a tough run defender at the point of attack. Even with the additional blocking attention, Werner showed he could be productive. The Florida State Seminal has been all over the first round in mock drafts, but has dropped with an average performance at the NFL scouting combine.
Damontre Moore – A 20-year old junior from Texas A&M, has been one of the most consistent pass-rushers in college football in 2012, amassing 12.5 sacks. Even more impressive than that, Moore led his team with 85 tackles, four more than the next closest defender. He had 21 tackles for a loss, two passes broken up, a blocked kick and a forced fumble. Moore was moved to defensive end before this season, and he took to the position quickly. Moore has demonstrated ability as a pass-rushing terror, and his speed around the edge is a mismatch against offensive tackles. Moore needs to add more weight; he put up a disappointing 12 reps at the combine while running an average at best 40.
Margus Hunt – One of the most, possibly THE most, athletic defensive end prospect in football. He had 31 tackles, 8 sacks, an interception, 2 passes batted and 3 blocked kicks in 2012. Hunt used the Combine to put on a tremendous display of strength, speed and athleticism. He tied for the bench press lead with 38 reps and ran a lightning 40 time, proving he is a freak athlete. He might be best suited for a 3-4 defense with his speed.
With the resigning of Tony Gonzalez, the odds the Falcons take a tight end are slim to none. If they determined that going in that direction was best, there would be only two choices for the 30th pick. That is either Notre Dame’s Tyler Eifert or Standford’s Zach Ertz. These would have been both great choices if they did not need to fill so many holes on defense. The young rookies would have had a year of mentoring behind arguably the best tight end of all time. The Falcons also need a linebacker, which they will not take in the 30th position, as the top ones will be off the board by that time.
Falcon fans have less than a month to learn what the Falcons have been planning since a heartbreaking loss in the NFC championship. Most Atlanta fans trust in the ability of Thomas Dimitroff and his staff to make the right for this The Falcons front office has kept their word to build this franchise through the draft making only 1-2 major acquisitions in free agency each year. If the Falcons go in the direction of cornerback or defensive end, Falcon fans need to know that this will be a positive improvement and the team will be ready to make another Super Bowl push.