2012 NFL Free Agency: Falcons Host Defensive Tackle Aubrayo Franklin

Field YatesCorrespondent IIIApril 24, 2012

JACKSONVILLE, FL - OCTOBER 02:   Aubrayo Franklin #99 of the New Orleans Saints drinks water before a game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at EverBank Field on October 2, 2011 in Jacksonville, Florida.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

While most football minds are narrowing in on the upcoming NFL draft, the Atlanta Falcons are keeping themselves plenty busy on the free agency front, hosting defensive tackle Aubrayo Franklin for a recent visit, according to D. Orlando Ledbetter.

Franklin, 31, spent the 2011 season with the New Orleans Saints after a slow free agency market last offseason afforded him minimal options.

At 6'3" and 320 pounds, Franklin offers a unique package given his above average athletic ability. He's a run-stuffer by trade and had some of his best seasons as a pro under current Atlanta defensive coordinator Mike Nolan when Nolan was the 49ers head coach.

Franklin played in San Francisco from 2007 to 2010 before landing in New Orleans last season. He was originally a fifth-round pick in 2003 of the Baltimore Ravens, where he spent the first four seasons of his career (and also played under Nolan briefly).

His tenure in New Orleans wasn't as productive as the team had hoped for, as he finished with just 17 tackles in 16 games. In the three seasons previous, Franklin finished with at least 36 tackles, including a career-best 46 in 2008. 

Although the Falcons ranked high in 2011 in total rushing yards allowed (6th overall), they finished just 15th in average yards allowed per carry (4.2). Franklin would add beef to what is an otherwise slender (by NFL standards) interior defensive line.