5 Players the Atlanta Falcons Should Target on Day 2

Mike Foster@michaelsfosterCorrespondent IApril 26, 2013

5 Players the Atlanta Falcons Should Target on Day 2

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    Atlanta Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff traded his third- and sixth-round picks to St. Louis to move up and grab what had apparently been his target all along—Desmond Trufant. 

    With the 92nd and 198th picks out of Atlanta's pockets, tomorrow's 60th pick in the second round will weigh heavily for the Falcons. 

    After releasing Dunta Robinson and seeing Chris Owens (Cleveland) and Brent Grimes (Dolphins) walk away, it made sense to draft a corner in the first round as long as the front office knew they were getting a guy who can immediately become a starter.

    But the Falcons still should be advised that defensive backs are useless without a solid pass rush. That's why you are probably going to see a defensive lineman or linebacker become the second selection by the Dirty Birds when the stage opens again Friday morning.

    Here's five players Dimitroff and company should keep their eyes on.

Keenan Allen

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    The Falcons could get their hands on another receiving target for Matt Ryan, but dare say it not be a tight end?

    There are many solid tight-end targets that could land in the later rounds, and Zach Ertz might not be there for Atlanta at No. 60. 

    California receiver Keenan Allen was tabbed by many as the best receiver in the draft by some experts, in front of Tavon Austin and Cordarrelle Patterson, who were drafted by St. Louis and Minnesota respectively.

    What makes him a realistic option? Not many expected him to fall that far past the first round, but if he did, he'd be a steal and an actually decent addition for Atlanta.

    Yes, Allen failed a drug test that caused his stock to sputter a bit, but he's got potential to be a fantastic starting receiver one day. 

    With Julio Jones, Roddy White is now Atlanta's No. 2 receiver with just two years left on his contract. Atlanta also needs depth at receiver past Harry Douglas. 

    Allen could be a surprise pick by the Falcons and turn into a key part of the offense in a few seasons. 

Margus Hunt

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    On Day 1, we saw raw defensive ends from Ghana and Germany walk across the stage in New York. 

    Estonia's Margus Hunt could be the next international pass-rusher to come off the list. Hunt needs a lot of teaching, but the 6'8" linebacker with impressive speed for his size has been tabbed as having a J.J. Watt-type ceiling. 

    He's a guy who could basically re-hash a lot of the work put in by Kroy Biermann as an "amoeba" in defensive coordinator Mike Nolan's transitional 3-4 scheme. 

    The Falcons needed a defensive end even before they released John Abraham, and Osi Umenyiora only re-fills that vacancy. In other words, more bulking of the defensive line is still urgent. 

    Hunt would be a project, but his upside can make scouts salivate. 

Corey Lemonier

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    A less risky pick for a pass-rusher is Corey Lemonier out of Auburn. 

    Lemonier is a tenured starter and can play with his hand in the ground as well as turning his hips away from the line in pass coverage. 

    Having a hybrid rush-end is a key to Nolan developing his defensive scheme, and Lemonier woud be a great fit. 

Arthur Brown

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    Many Falcons fans were critical of Stephen Nicholas during the playoffs, mainly because the tight end in the spread offense was almost always free.

    Granted, the pass rush was awful, but Nicholas still struggled at times. The reality is that finding a "cover linebacker" in this day and age is pretty much impossible. 

    However, if you can find a guy who can cover, it's worth noting. Alec Ogletree seemed like a perfect type of player to serve as a solution to Atlanta's apparent problems, and honestly, it appeared Ogletree could have been the target when Atlanta announced it had traded up to No. 22 from No. 30.

    With Ogletree in St. Louis, a Missouri product could be the answer. Arthur Brown is a mature and talented linebacker who can fly into the backfield as well as track well against the pass. 

    Nicholas led the Falcons in tackles last year, and he's not a terrible linebacker at all, but that's not to say Atlanta still can't upgrade the position or at least add to it. 

Cornellius Carradine

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    If there's one player you want to root for in this draft, it's Florida State's Cornellius "Tank" Carradine.

    Carradine emerged as an instant star after All-American defensive end Brandon Jenkins went down early in the 2012 season. Carradine recorded eight sacks and showcased insane pass-rush ability before going down himself with an ACL tear. 

    Apparently, he's made a speedy recovery and could be the most daunting pass-rusher out of all of the defensive ends, selected or not. Yes, that includes mention of Barkevius Mingo and Dion Jordan. 

    Carradine has very high character as well, which is something that usually resonates a ton with Dimitroff's liking. 

    It might be a stretch to think this guy falls to the 60th pick, but if he does, Atlanta would be out of its mind not to take him. 


    Mike Foster is an Atlanta Falcons Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter!