Atlanta has a need for some solid linebacker depth in this year's draft. Jordan Tripp of Montana would be an ideal fit for the Falcons' needs, as he can play multiple spots in both the 3-4 and 4-3 defenses. Ideally, he would play on the inside of a 3-4 or at weak-side linebacker in the 4-3.
According to Gil Brandt of NFL.com, the Falcons brought Jordan Tripp in for a visit during the week of April 7. This makes a ton of sense, as Tripp could be an asset for defensive coordinator Mike Nolan in his hybrid defensive scheme.
University of Montana
Combine/Pro Day Measurements
Height: 6'2-3/4" Weight: 238 pounds
Arm Length: 30-3/4" Hand Measurement: 9-5/8"
40 yard dash: 4.67 sec. 10 yard split: 1.58 sec.
20 yard shuttle: 3.96 sec. 3-cone Drill: 6.89 sec. Bench Reps: 22 reps
Vertical Jump: 37.5" Broad Jump: 10'0"
2013: 13 Games Played, 100 Tackles, 5.5 Tackles for Loss, 2.0 Sacks, 1 QB Hurry, 3 Interceptions, 1 Fumble Forced, 3 Fumble Recovered, 5 Pass Deflections, 1 Blocked Kick, 1 Defensive Touchdown
2012: 11 Games Played, 95 Tackles, 13.5 Tackles for Loss, 5.5 Sacks, 2 QB Hurries, 1 Interception, 4 Fumble Forced, 1 Fumble Recovered, 3 Pass Deflections, 1 Defensive Touchdown
2011: 3 Games Played, 18 Tackles, 1.5 Tackles for Loss, 1 Fumble Recovered. Redshirted after injury in third game.
2010: 11 Games Played, 99 Tackles, 9.0 Tackles for Loss, 3.5 Sacks, 1 Interception, 3 Fumbles Recovered, 4 Pass Deflections, 1 Defensive Touchdown
2009: 15 Games Played, 23 Tackles, 1 QB Hurry, 2 Fumbles Recovered, 1 Pass Deflection, 1 Defensive Touchdown
When it comes to his size, speed and agility, Tripp is almost the ideal Atlanta Falcons linebacker. He’s extremely quick to the ball and is a solid coverage linebacker due to his high-level instincts and reaction speed in both zone and off-man concepts.
He understands pursuit angles extremely well and is always around the ball. He has special teams abilities that will allow him to start off as a gunner right away if a team wants him to play there. On top of all of this, his motor is second to none in this year’s class.
Tripp does have some tightness in his hips that could limit him in coverage at the next level. He also needs to drastically improve his functional strength. He gets thrown around by larger blockers and doesn’t understand how to use his hands properly.
He also isn’t a great tackler and needs to learn how to properly wrap up. He will let smaller, weaker players go because he doesn’t wrap up. He also doesn’t seem to rush the passer effectively at all. He’s a work in progress, but most of his weaknesses are correctable.
How does he fit the Comrade Filter?
Tripp was never arrested nor suspended. He was also a team captain for the Grizzlies and a senior with multiple years of starting experience. He has a unique athleticism for his size and position that makes him a fun project to take on.
All of these are reasons the Falcons would quickly pass him through the Comrade Filter that general manager Thomas Dimitroff has in place. Tripp is almost the ideal guy for the filter due to how seamlessly he fits almost every single category.
Tripp is a very talented block of clay at this point. He’s got a lot of molding to do, but if he can turn it on and start tackling people properly, the Falcons could have an ideal complement to Paul Worrilow on the interior of the 3-4 defense looks.
However, if Tripp never develops, he’s only ever going to be solid depth and great special teams talent on the roster. The Falcons do need some good depth, but Tripp may go a bit higher than they want to spend a pick on for that kind of player.
How he would fit into the Falcons' plans
In order for the Falcons to get Tripp, they may have to spend a pick as high as a fourth-round selection or as low as a seventh-round selection. The Falcons would love to have him on their roster as a long-term solution next to Worrilow if Sean Weatherspoon leaves after 2014.
However, if Tripp never develops into the player that he could be, he’s only ever going to be a special teams player for the Falcons, and that isn’t enough to spend a mid-round pick on. Tripp’s a solid player, but he needs a lot of work before he can reach his true potential.
All stats used are either from Pro Football Focus' Premium Stats (subscription required), ESPN, CFBStats or the NFL. All combine and pro day info is courtesy of NFL Draft Scout. All contract information is courtesy of Spotrac and Rotoworld.
Scott Carasik is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. He covers the Atlanta Falcons, College Football, NFL and the NFL draft. He also runs DraftFalcons.com.