Falcons 2013 Draft Picks: Results, Analysis and Grades
The draft is on pause right now. Atlanta Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff and head coach Mike Smith have their boards up and ready to go to select the best players to bring Atlanta back to the NFC Championship Game and hopefully to a Super Bowl.
The draft is currently on ESPN and the NFL Network. Also, check out the Bleacher Report stream that is up on the homepage. While you are tuning into that for the overall coverage, keep tabs on this article as I'll be updating every pick with a player card and with analysis of each selection.
While we wait for the draft to resume, check out the reviews of the guys the Falcons have already added:
Round 1, Pick 22: CB Desmond Trufant, Washington
The Falcons made a great pick here in Desmond Trufant. While the trade up using the third and the sixth round picks may have been too much of a price to pay, the Falcons will enjoy his play on the field, and Mike Nolan will love using him in the defense.
Trufant was a team captain for the Washington Huskies and fits the Falcons' locker room extremely well. His work ethic and drive will be something that motivates other players, and his leadership is very similar to what Asante Samuel and Sean Weatherspoon give the Falcons.
His best coverage abilities come in man, and he can make plays on the ball well. He's very effective in run support. His biggest weaknesses are all technical. However, working with Samuel and the Falcons coaching staff should make him a much better overall player.
In the end, the Falcons picked up someone who will be an instant starter on the right side of the field who could slide over to the left after a year's worth of seasoning.
Height: 5'11-5/8" Weight: 190 pounds
Arm Length: 31-1/4" Hand Measurement: 8-5/8"
40-yard dash: 4.38 sec. 10-yard split: 1.50 sec.
20-yard shuttle: 3.85 sec. 3-cone Drill: 6.67 sec. Bench Reps: 16 reps
Vertical Jump: 37.5" Broad Jump: 10'5"
2012: 12 Games Played, 36 Tackles, 4.5 Tackles for Loss, 1.0 Sacks, 1 Interception, 1 Fumble Forced, 8 Pass Deflections, 1 Blocked Kick
2011: 13 Games Played, 64 Tackles, 0.5 Tackles for Loss, 0.5 Sacks, 2 Interceptions, 2 Fumbles Forced, 14 Pass Deflections
2010: 13 Games Played, 48 Tackles, 1.5 Tackles for Loss, 0.5 Sacks, 1 Interception, 4 Pass Deflections
2009: 12 Games Played, 47 Tackles, 2.0 Tackles for Loss, 1 QB Hurry, 2 Interceptions, 1 Fumble Recovered, 6 Pass Deflections, 1 Defensive Touchdown
Round 2, Pick 60: CB Robert Alford, Southeastern Louisiana
Robert Alford will come right in and compete with Robert McClain for the nickel role and Dominique Franks for the punt return job. He should be able to see a lot of time on the field though because his speed is ridiculously good and why he was selected so high.
Alford is a typical high-vision corner with good make-up speed. Without him having Crohn's disease or playing at a small school, he could have gone as high as the first round. The Falcons will love having him on the field in their nickel packages.
As a player, Alford is very similar to the "Honey Badger" Tyrann Mathieu. Only, Alford is faster, completely clean off the field, and someone who can possibly start at left corner once Asante Samuel retires after the 2013 or 2014 season.
In the end, this pick was a bit of a reach. But the Falcons wound up trusting their board and had a goal of turning their cornerback depth from a weakness to a strength. A linebacker, defensive end or even defensive tackle would have been nice, but corner does make sense.
Height: 5'10-1/8" Weight: 188 pounds
Arm Length: 32" Hand Measurement: 9-1/2"
40-yard dash: 4.34 sec. 10-yard split: 1.55 sec.
20-yard shuttle: 4.23 sec. 3-cone Drill: 6.89 sec. Bench Reps: 17 reps
Vertical Jump: 40.0" Broad Jump: 11'0”
2012: 11 Games Played, 39 Tackles, 5.0 Tackles for Loss, 4 Interceptions, 8 Pass Deflections, 7 Punt Returns, 99 Yards, 1 Touchdown, 4 Kick Returns, 61 Yards
2011: 11 Games Played, 52 Tackles,1.0 Tackles for Loss, 5 Interceptions, 1 Fumble Recovered, 7 Pass Deflections
2010: Granted medical redshirt due to an injury.
2009: 10 Games Played, 46 Tackles, 1 Interception, 5 Pass Deflections, 1 Punt Return, 7 Punt Return Yards
2008: Didn't play in any games.
Glad to be a Falcon. Lets go #DirtyBirds—Robert Alford (@rockorocky) April 27, 2013
Round 4, Pick 127: DE Malliciah Goodman, Clemson
Malliciah Goodman of Clemson is an awesome selection for Atlanta. He's got a great motor and is a senior leader from that squad. He's got some talent as a pass rusher and will give Atlanta someone who can play left defensive end long term.
Goodman won't end up starting this season, but he should definitely work well in rotation. He has the talent to end up as an 8-10 sack guy long term and his length is outstanding. He has ideal size for a 4-3 defensive end at 6'3-5/8" and 276 pounds and should be able to use it well in the NFC South.
All Goodman needs is some more pass rushing moves, but he can learn those. The Falcons made a great pick here and while 1-2 other players would have been better like Jesse Williams or even Cornelius Washington, this pick makes a ton of sense for the Falcons needs.
Height: 6'3-5/8" Weight: 276 pounds
Arm Length: 36-3/8" Hand Measurement: 11"
40 yard dash: 4.87 sec. 10 yard split: 1.65 sec.
20 yard shuttle: 4.48 sec. 3-cone Drill: 7.10 sec. Bench Reps: 26
Vertical Jump: 33.0" Broad Jump: 9'9"
2012: 13 Games Played, 20 Tackles, 9.5 Tackles for Loss, 7.0 Sacks, 3 QB Hurries, 4 Fumbles Forced, 1 Pass Deflection
2011: 14 Games Played, 50 Tackles, 4.5 Tackles for Loss, 2.5 Sacks, 8 QB Hurries,1 Fumble Forced, 1 Pass Deflection
2010: 13 Games Played, 32 Tackles, 3.5 Tackles for Loss, 1.0 Sack, 1 QB Hurry, 3 Fumbles Forced, 1 Pass Deflection
2009: 14 Games Played, 26 Tackles, 6.0 Tackles for Loss, 2.0 Sacks, 1 QB Hurry
Round 4, Pick 133: TE Levine Toilolo, Stanford
While I'm not a huge fan of Levine Toilolo, the selection makes sense for Atlanta's needs. They want someone who will come in as a secondary tight end this year and eventually turn into that No. 1 guy. Toilolo has a ton of size and body control and could be a long term fit for the red zone.
His big body will be a huge asset for a quarterback who loves throwing the ball high over defenders' heads on third downs. Toilolo is also a very solid blocker who could help the Falcons on their two tight end sets open the edge for the outside running plays.
The best part of this is how intelligent Toilolo is. While he doesn't have the highest ceiling, he does have a high floor in that he will definitely contribute as a role player for the Falcons. There were just much better players available.
Height: 6'8-1/8" Weight: 260 pounds
Arm Length: 34-1/2" Hand Measurement: 10-1/4"
40 yard dash: 4.79 sec. 10 yard split: 1.68 sec.
20 yard shuttle: 4.57 sec. 3-cone Drill: 7.09 sec. Bench Reps: 19 reps
Vertical Jump: 33.5" Broad Jump: 9'9"
2012: 14 Games Played, 24 Catches, 393 Yards, 4 Touchdowns
2011: 12 Games Played, 25 Catches, 343 Yards, 6 Touchdowns
2010: 1 Game Played, 1 Catches, 27 Yards. Sustained injury first catch and was lost for the season.
2009: Redshirted during his freshman year
Round 5, Pick 153: DE Stansly Maponga, Texas Christian
Atlanta noticed that they had two major needs on defense—pass rush and pass coverage. By adding Stansly Maponga to the defensive end rotation, the Falcons have just committed to getting after the passer with their draft this year.
Maponga can play both defensive end in the 4-3 and linebacker in the 3-4. He will be able to contribute to the Falcons early as a pass rusher while he develops the rest of his game. This pick will end up allowing the Falcons to develop their defensive line with more speed than it had.
The Falcons will benefit from his quickness off the edge and this was an excellent fit for the Mike Nolan defense. They got some good value here, and the trade up was a no brainer losing just a seventh round pick.
Height: 6'1-7/8" Weight: 256 pounds
Arm Length: 34-1/8" Hand Measurement: 10"
40 yard dash: 4.83 sec. 10 yard split: 1.67 sec.
20 yard shuttle: 4.37 sec. 3-cone Drill: 7.37 sec. Bench Reps: 30 reps
Vertical Jump: 29.5." Broad Jump: 9'6"
2012: 11 Games Played, 26 Tackles, 6.5 Tackles for Loss, 4.0 Sacks, 5 QB Hurries, 2 Fumbles Forced, 1 Pass Deflection
2011: 13 Games Played, 55 Tackles, 13.5 Tackles for Loss, 9.0 Sacks, 5 Fumbles Forced, 2 Pass Deflections
2010: 12 Games Played, 32 Tackles, 3.0 Tackles for Loss, 2.5 Sacks, 1 QB Hurry, 1 Fumble Forced, 1 Pass Deflections
Round 7, Pick 243: S Kemal Ishmael, Central Florida
Thomas Dimitroff loves taking athletic safeties at the end of his drafts. Kemal Ishmael is no different from the kind of safety that Dimitroff has taken throughout the years. Atlanta will likely keep five safeties on the roster this season as they tried to do that early last season.
The Falcons will run a ton of three safety sets and bringing in some competition for Charles Mitchell and Shann Schillinger makes sense. Atlanta likely loves how Ishmael flies around the field and can use his speed to their advantage.
He has some ball skills too though and is a better free safety prospect than a strong safety prospect. However, Atlanta will be using him most as a special teams player and not in the defense. Overall, there were much better players available that Atlanta should have taken.
Height: 5'10-3/4" Weight: 201 pounds
40-yard dash: 4.63 sec. 10-yard split: 1.53 sec.
20-yard shuttle: 4.28 sec. 3-cone Drill: 6.75 sec. Bench Reps: 21 reps
Vertical Jump: 35.5" Broad Jump: 10'3”
2012: 14 Games Played, 124 Tackles, 5.0 Tackles for Loss, 1.0 Sacks, 1 QB Hurry, 3 Interceptions, 3 Fumbles Forced, 4 Pass Deflections
2011: 12 Games Played, 81 Tackles, 2.5 Tackles for Loss, 1 QB Hurry, 1 Fumble Forced, 3 Pass Deflections
2010: 14 Games Played, 93 Tackles, 1.0 Tackles for Loss, 2 Interceptions, 2 Fumbles Forced, 5 Pass Deflections
2009: 13 Games Played, 71 Tackles, 1.0 Tackles for Loss, 1 Interception, 1 Fumble Forced, 1 Pass Deflection
Round 7, Pick 244: S Zeke Motta, Notre Dame
As bad as a value as Kemal Ishmael was, that's how good a value Zeke Motta is. The Falcons brought in one of the better box safeties out there with Motta. He's underrated in his athleticism as he has shown that he can be effective within the box and covering tight ends.
Atlanta would be wise to try him out as a linebacker in their 4-3 sets as he could be a possible tight end stopper. He has the size, strength and speed to compete with the talent at tight end in the NFC south. If he moved to linebacker and gained 15-20 pounds, he could possibly be better at it than Stephen Nicholas.
And just like every other safety the Falcons draft, Motta definitely has a ton of potential on special teams. Expect him to compete with Shann Schillinger for that final roster spot in camp this season. If he loses, then he is a prime practice squad candidate that could be moved up due to injury.
Height: 6'2-1/4" Weight: 213 pounds
Arm Length: 31-5/8" Hand Measurement: 9-1/4"
40-yard dash: 4.75 sec. 10-yard split: 1.62 sec.
20-yard shuttle: 4.16 sec. 3-cone Drill: 6.72 sec. Bench Reps: 11 reps
Vertical Jump: 35.5" Broad Jump: 10'6”
2012: 13 Games Played, 77 Tackles, 2.0 Tackles for Loss, 3 Pass Deflections
2011: 13 Games Played, 40 Tackles, 0.5 Tackles for Loss, 1 Interception, 1 Fumbles Forced, 1 Fumbles Recovered, 2 Pass Deflections, 1 Defensive Touchdown
2010: 13 Games Played, 50 Tackles, 1.5 Tackles for Loss, 1 Interceptions, 2 Pass Deflections
2009: 12 Games Played, 12 Tackles, 0.5 Tackles for Loss, 0.5 Sacks, 1 QB Hurry
Goin to the Falcons to be a dirty bird! It's a dream come true— Ezekiel Motta (@zekemotta) April 27, 2013
Round 7, Pick 249: QB Sean Renfree, Duke
Atlanta has needed to bring in a long term option for Matt Ryan's back up for years. Now they finally have that guy in Sean Renfree. He's an excellent quarterback from the David Cutcliffe factory that produced Peyton and Eli Manning.
He's so good that he led Duke to a bowl game. The talent that he has shown on the field makes him an excellent fit as a developmental backup to Ryan. Renfree has some injury issues that he needs to fight through but once he does, he should be a solid backup.
It honestly shocks me that Renfree was even available this late in the draft. But the Falcons did the right thing and scooped him up. Hopefully Atlanta can also bring in his favorite target in Connor Vernon to team with him as a pro too.
Height: 6'3-1/8" Weight: 219 pounds
Arm Length: 32" Hand Measurement: 9"
No combine drills due to a shoulder injury.
2012: 12 Games Played, 297-of-442 (67.2 percent), 3,113 Yards, 19 Touchdowns, 10 Interceptions, 38 Carries, -50 Yards, 1 Touchdown
2011: 12 Games Played, 281-of-433 (64.9 percent), 2,882 Yards, 14 Touchdowns, 11 Interceptions, 59 Carries, -60 Yards, 4 Touchdowns
2010: 12 Games Played, 285-of-464 (61.4 percent), 3,131 Yards, 14 Touchdowns, 17 Interceptions, 51 Carries, -47 Yards, 4 Touchdowns
2009: 6 Games Played, 34-of-50 (68.0 percent), 330 Yards, 4 Touchdowns, 2 Interceptions, 6 Carries, -12 Yards
All stats used are either from Pro Football Focus's Premium Stats, ESPN, CFBStats or the NFL. All contract information is courtesy Spotrac and Rotoworld. All recruiting rankings come from 247Sports.com.
Scott Carasik is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. He covers the Atlanta Falcons, NFL and NFL Draft. He also runs DraftFalcons.com.