The great majority of NFL teams have begun to sign their top draft picks from the 2014 class, and the Atlanta Falcons followed suit on Wednesday in coming to terms with their first two picks, offensive tackle Jake Matthews and defensive lineman Ra’Shede Hageman.
— Atlanta_Falcons (@Atlanta_Falcons) May 21, 2014
The Falcons seemingly got “their guy” with the sixth overall pick, and while they project Jake Matthews as the right tackle for the 2014 season, he is the embodiment of their future at the left tackle spot. ESPN’s Vaughn McClure notes that the sixth pick in the 2013 draft garnered a signing bonus north of $10 million, and Matthews will likely command a similar figure. In Hageman, Atlanta snatched a high-upside player out of Minnesota, and while many pundits are split on his ability to make plays as a rookie, there is definite upside in his game, especially in the new 3-4 scheme that the Falcons are set to deploy.
Over the weekend, the Falcons announced contracts for five of their draft picks including linebacker Prince Shembo and cornerback Ricardo Allen, and the team is close to finishing up their entire class before the end of May. There is great reason for optimism in Flowery Branch on the heels of the additions they made during the draft process, and the spoils of those selections will begin to take shape soon.