Last week we took a look at the first draft class for Thomas Dimitroff as GM for the Falcons. Now we look at 2009. This was the draft that gave us Peria Jerry, William Moore, and Chris Owens. Let's get down to business!
1st Round, 24th Overall Pick. The Falcons took DT Peria Jerry out of Ole Miss.
Jerry had questions about his age coming out as he was going to be 25 before his rookie season even began. When it did begin it started off well as he was doing solid against Miami until he injured his knee in the game. This injury required surgery that ended his season and he has never been able to recover and since has been a backup at best.
This grade earns a F.
2nd Round, 55th Overall Pick. Atlanta stayed on defense and took SS William Moore from Mizzou.
Moore missed the majority of his first season but has since broken out and become and hard hitting and playmaking safety. If Moore could stay healthy he could be a fixture in Atlanta's secondary for a long time to come. This pick would be an A, but due to his injury issues I give it a B+.
3rd Round, 90th Overall Pick. Atlanta continued the trend of defensive minded picks and took CB Chris Owens from SJSU.
Owens looked good when he got to start his rookie year, but as the slot corner in 2010 he was awful, and was abused often. However in 2011 Owens put together a great performance down the stretch as an emergency starter/nickelback. Owens might have finally figured out the game in his head and has also made several big hustle plays on ST. For that this pick earns a B.
4th Round, 125th Overall Pick. Atlanta took Lawrence Sidbury a DE out of Richmond.
Sidbury mostly rode the bench his first two years with Atlanta, but he got some playing time this year and in a limited role produced 4 sacks and a ton of pressure, he may have earned himself a starting role in 2012 if the Falcons decide to go in opposite directions with longtime starter John Abraham. This pick earns a B.
5th Round, 138th Overall Pick. Atlanta took DB William Middleton of Furman.
He was cut before the season began, but he popped up on the Jags this year and was solid for them in emergency roles, ultimately he failed to make the team but he has contributed elsewhere. This pick earns a C.
6th Round, 176th Overall Pick. Atlanta selected LB Spencer Adkins from the U.
Adkins has been a good special team player during his time in Atlanta and he got some emergency starts late this year when both Mike Peterson and Stephen Nicholas went down. He performed well in those, this was a solid late round pick and it earns a C+.
7th Round, 210th Overall Pick. Atlanta selects DT Vance Walker of Georgia Tech.
Walker has been very good in rotation and has picked up several sacks over his career and gotten good pressure up the middle, this was a very good pick for a 7th rounder, and for that I give it a B.
Overall this was one of Dimitroff's best drafts, Jerry looked like he was going to be a force until the knee injury completely derailed his career. Moore has been insane when he's started and most picks after that have all performed well and been solid contributors. Overall I give this draft a B+.
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You are not easy with draft grades, are you?
I'd keep my 'F' grades for those who barely, if ever see the field. Jerry is still on the roster, receiving playing time, etc., but he is clearly within the 'D' range.
I'd say Adkins was a B+ in the 6th round. Most 6th rounders don't even make active rosters, let alone keep a spot and have an impact, even if mostly on special teams.
Vance has been great, which is something extremely rare for a 7th round pick. For his draft position, I gotta give him an A.
Great write-up, though. The 2009 draft was not our best, but still getting plenty of players from it.