Anyone who follows me on twitter (I am at the top of my list of must follows) may have seen some posts related to MockOne this past week. MockOne is a mock draft, where sports writers, bloggers, and for some reason myself, draft according to their favorite team. Afterwards, we will receive grades from a few football scouts and then look down on those who got poor perceived value.
I have a few things to say about it, including who I thought Atlanta should pick, expectations for the Falcons in the draft and how this relates to free agency... all after the jump.
First, you can see the Falcons MockOne website here to see how it all shook out and a quick write up about the players drafted. The draft is still going but picks are in for our 2nd, 3rd and 5th round selections.
Needs. It is a little difficult to determine what our needs are before Atlanta signs anyone in free agency, but at this point we should be looking (more or less in this order) for a right guard, a left tackle, a defensive end, a tight end, a safety, and maybe another special teams player like Weems, if only because he was great as a gunner.
The Picks. The 2nd round allowed us to grab a nice, polished left tackle in Zebrie Sanders who could make his way into the starting line up sooner rather than later. In the 3rd, we took Ladarius Green, a ridiculously athletic tight end who could be a stud quickly. In the 5th, with limited pass rushers left, we took Oliver Vernon, a big project who has a lot of talent.
Or the Lack of Picks. Right now, I am not sure if the selections themself were important or just what was learned from getting through the process. Atlanta is short on picks but has a need for a number of starters. The late 2nd and 3rd round picks will hopefully net us two contributors next year, and depending on the position, maybe two starters.
The later round picks can only be situational or developmental players. In fact, the 5th round pick was the most difficult decision, with most prospects available having serious concerns with either injury, character, athletic ability or development.
Expect Free Agency Signings. This leads me to believe Thomas Dimitroff will have to make some free agency signings relatively soon, because Atlanta has had big losses on defense and needed more talent on offense even before the off season. There are just too many problems to fix with only a handful of draft picks.
If you want to follow along, check out MockOne.net to see where your favorite prospects end up, and follow my assistant GM's Alex and Rod. As always, leave comments about how atrocious/fantastic the selections were, where you think Atlanta should go in the last two rounds, or anything else.
@Zach K. It was a concern. Athletic but he has struggled some in space. Bottom of 2nd round is a little short on talent, but I felt he was very polished and would be a serious upgrade over Baker. Not saying the guy will be a pro bowler, but could be a nice improvement for the short term.
Green is a nice value at the bottom of the 3rd. He was the target at that point.
@mFalcons5 @Zach K. Here's a scouting report from my buddy over at BuffaloBillsDraft.com: http://www.buffalobillsdraft.com/2012/02/ot-zebrie-sanders-scouting-report/