Be sure to check back frequently for each of the Falcons' scheduled five picks throughout the weekend. We’ll update you with information about the pick, analysis of the selection and effects on the team and depth chart, and we'll keep you up to speed on any breaking news from the war room.
The Falcons have the tools to score lots of touchdowns in 2012.
LB Sean Weatherspoon will lead a defense that should be much improved in 2012.
The Falcons have made six picks and have no more in the 2012 NFL Draft.
2011 Record: 10-6
Team Needs: OL, DL, WR, LB, TE
Round 2 (55): Peter Konz, C, Wisconsin
Round 3 (91)(from Baltimore): Lamar Holmes, OT, Southern Miss
Round 5 (157): Bradie Ewing, FB, Wisconsin
Round 5 (164)(from Baltimore): Jonathan Massaquoi, DE, Troy
Round 6 (192): Charles Mitchell, S, Mississippi State
Round 7 (249): Travian Robertson, DT, South Carolina
The Atlanta Falcons went with an offensive lineman with their first pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, center Peter Konz from Wisconsin.
Konz is a 6-foot-5, 314-pound lineman with massive size and strength.
Not only does Konz have great size, but his arms are long and he moves his feet well even after contact. He's got quick hands and does well in pass protection because he's smart in his use of lane angles.
Konz was projected initially as a first-round find. He'll find long-time center Todd McClure standing in his was from playing tie during his rookie season, but Konz is good enough to push McClure right out of the gates.
Not more than a few weeks ago it looked like Konz could be a late round pick. Some questions about his longterm health status likely dropped him into Atlanta's lap at pick 55. Tactically very sound, Konz should step into the Falcons' starting lineup as a rookie.
The addition of Konz also allows center Joe Hawley to move to guard and give the team more depth.
The Atlanta Falcons traded down in the third round seven spots and grabbed another offensive lineman. Lamar Holmes, from Southern Miss, is Atlanta's second offensive lineman of the draft.
Holmes has exceptional size and huge arms, a boon for offensive tackles. However, he's not fluid in motion, has problems with mobile targets and is very raw from a technique standpoint.
A big, tall well-proportioned offensive tackle with good girth through the base and a naturally thick frame. Showcases the ability to bend, stay balanced toward the edge and sit into his stance. Isn't real rangy, but understands angles and puts himself in good position to sustain the block. However, has a tendency to stop moving his feet when trying to punch and engage into contact, and routinely can be slipped on the edge. Possesses natural anchor strength, sits down into his base when trying to anchor and works his hands well to gain leverage.
Displays the ability to create a slight pop into contact in the run game. Can engulf on contact, gets upright but uses his length to stick through contact. Isn't real natural on the move sticking on slide down blocks.
Holmes wasn't ranked in the top 20 offensive tackles on any of the major draft reports, and has limited upside. There were better options at tackle on the board.
The Atlanta Falcons drafted their second Wisconsin Badger of their draft when the team took fullback Bradie Ewing with their fifth-round pick, No. 157 overall.
Ewing played in a Pro-Style offense and is extremely football smart.
Ewing has good leadership skills on the field and is a punishing lead blocker. He also has good hands out of the backfield which could be beneficial in new offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter's system that will feature more screen passes.
From Pro Football Weekly:
Large hands. Pops out of his stance. Displays nice knee bend and body control to coordinate blocking fits. Is able to get his head around as a short receiver and shows decent hands to secure catches. Has special-teams experience. Plays hard.
Atlanta continues to bolster its running game and also adds a few twists for Koetter to work with on offense. Ewing will have to shine on special teams to show his worth before being given a bigger role.
With their second pick in the fifth round, Atlanta bolstered its pass rush by selecting defensive end Jonathan Massaquoi from Troy. Massaquoi was the first defensive lineman taken by the Falcons in the 2012 draft.
Massaquoi is a strong and elusive rush specialist that is also adept at tracking down the ball in the running game. He always shows good effort and can be quick to get around offensive linemen.
His bulk allows him to take on blockers with his bull rush and get a good push to collapse the pocket. Was able to develop some consistent moves for pass rushing; none stand out but they are all pretty good. Shows a good first step and has the speed to get around the corner and create major problems in the backfield. Active hands allow him to fight off offensive tackles. Quality motor that doesn't stop until the whistle blows; will run down the field in hopes of making a play even if it appears that he has little chance.
Atlanta wasn't able to effectively alter opposing passing attacks as well as they would have liked in 2011. Massaquoi will come in and learn from defensive end John Abraham and work for a spot in the rotation at end.
He's a bit undersized for the position.
The Atlanta Falcons brought in some depth at strong safety by selecting Mississippi State's Charles Mitchell. He's an experienced three-year starter from the Bulldogs squad.
Mitchell is a presence in the box and works well against the run. He also has a big body and above average football intelligence.
He has short arms and isn't much of a play maker in coverage.
Mitchell can be a solid backup in the NFL for the Falcons but will be initially tested as a special teams player. That's where he can make his mark, and eventually make the team.
With their seventh-round pick -- No. 249 overall -- the Atlanta Falcons selected South Carolina defensive tackle Travian Robertson.
Robertson has good strength and can shed blockers in the run game. He can also get in pursuit. But, he's not explosive and gets knocked down easily.
From National Football Post:
Possesses good overall girth through his lower half for a defensive tackle with his height. Is thickly put together, has some natural lower body strength and sits well into his stance. For the most part does a nice job keeping his base down off the snap and exhibits some anchor strength inside. Is tough to drive off the football down the field, however, needs to do a better job recognizing the play inside. Can take himself out of plays and easily get sealed at times vs. any type of additional attention. When he locates the football displays good length and strong hands when asked to disengage, but isn't a real sudden athlete. Doesn't exhibit a real explosive element to his game when asked to shed and the further the ball is off his frame the less likely he can make a play. At times gets upright off the snap and will be overwhelmed on contact, but for the most part can anchor either playing the nose or three technique. Works hard in pursuit and does a decent job playing off blocks down the line, but his closing speed is average at best.