The Atlanta Falcons fell short of the playoffs last season for a variety of reasons but as they head into the 2010 campaign, they are poised to make a run at the NFC South division championship and beyond. On paper, it appears as if the Falcons have had a successful draft, but as color commentators will tell you, the game isn’t played on paper.
The Atlanta Falcons needed help at the LB position and got perhaps one of the best one’s suited for their style of play at #19 in the first round. Missouri LB Sean Weatherspoon is an instant fit to the Falcon’s version of the Tampa 2 defense while playing on the weakside.
Atlanta didn’t pick again until the 3rd round because of the trade last season for TE Tony Gonzalez, and added a rotational defensive lineman in Kentucky DT Corey Peters. Peters needs coaching but rotational defensive linemen are needed in the NFC South with Carolina and New Orleans in the mix.
With the Falcons compensatory selection at #98 in the 3rd round, Atlanta drafted for depth on the offensive line by selecting Mike Johnson, OG from Alabama. Atlanta continued the push for offensive line depth at #117 with the selection of Joe Hawley, listed as an offensive guard, but he can play virtually any position on the line as needed but will need coaching at the next level.
With the 4th pick in the 5th round Atlanta selected CB Dominique Franks, who was a playmaker in college but will most likely be a special teams player at the next level.
The Falcons next compensatory pick was also in the fifth round, at #165. Atlanta selected an interesting prospect in Kansas WR Kerry Meier. Meier was reported to have some blinding speed and has good size for a receiver, 6’2″ 225 pounds, a definate project though.
In round 6, Atlanta took a flier with Montana S Shann Schillinger who will most likely compete for a special teams position.