Despite not having a very interesting off-season, the Atlanta Falcons have had some change at linebacker. The man that clogged up the middle under Brian Van Gorder, Curtis Lofton, was allowed to walk without much interest in keeping him from the Falcons. To replace him, the Falcons will go with second year player Akeem Dent or free agent signee Lofa Tatupu. The rest of the Falcons LB roster includes budding star Sean Weatherspoon, Stephen Nicholas, Robert James and Spencer Adkins. If the Falcons address LB during this draft I would expect it to be in the fifth to seventh rounds. Let's take a look at some targets that might be available at that time.
Spoon pointing out the prospects he wants on his team
Mychal Kendricks, Cal (6'0", 240)- Kendricks is expected to go around the third round but he is the only LB that has visited the Falcons so far this off-season according to Pro Football Talk. Interestingly, Kendricks is projected at the next level as a 34 LB and the Falcons currently run a 43. The Falcons are planning on running a 43 this year with principles of a 34 so Kendricks could be somebody that fits in with future plans. If he falls to the Falcons in the third round they could pick him if they liked him enough during his workout.
Terrell Manning, NC State (6'2", 237)- Manning is projected to go in the fourth to fifth round and projects as an outside LB. Manning has been slipping down in recent weeks and some think he might be available in sixth or seventh rounds or not even be drafted. Manning is the type of playmaker that the Falcons could use on defense and has a ton of athleticism and upside.
Miles Burris, San Diego State (6'2", 232)
Pro Football Weekly Scouting Report: Very strong, short-armed, high-motor achiever with the energy desired off the edges in an aggressive 3-4 front. Relentless effort is his best trait and could allow him to overcome his athletic limitations in the pros.
Travis Lewis, Oklahoma (6'1", 246)
NEPatriotsDraft Scouting Report: Shows better speed on the field than he does on the track – Very instinctive, reads and reacts quickly – Able to apply pressure to the QB when blitzing – Has decent coverage skills, good awareness in zone and can open up and run with some TE’s.
Demario Davis, Arkansas State (6'2", 235)
NEPatriotsDraft Scouting Report: Davis is one of the most explosive and well rounded defensive players in this year’s draft. He comes from a smaller school, where not many people saw him play. Davis is always around the ball and plays with such power and intensity that there is no doubt in my mind he will make in in the NFL. He will be a fit with just about every team in the league regardless of the type of defense they run.
Josh Kaddu, Oregon (6'3", 239)
NEPatriotsDraft Scouting Report: Kaddu will be a project, his athleticism is certainly intriguing, but he’ll need to bulk up and develop more NFL skills before he can play with regularity. Could be a solid option on special teams early in his career due to athleticism.
Shawn Loiseau, Merrimack University (6'0", 241)
Pro Football Weekly Scouting Report: A rocked-up, physical throwback who projects as a two-down thumper and all-out special-teams demon. Has the makeup of a core special-teamer.
Tank Carder, TCU (6'2", 237)
NFL Mocks Player Comparison: A bigger better Casey Matthews
Audie Cole, NC State (6'5", 239)
National Football Post Scouting Report: Looks better suited to play as a 43 OLB who has the skill set to start and potentially play three downs for an NFL defense, but can't be forced to cover too much space down the field in his drop.
Previous Atlanta Falcons Draft Outlooks: