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2014 Draft Sleepers Who'd Fit Perfectly with the Atlanta Falcons

Scott CarasikContributor IIApril 21, 2014

2014 Draft Sleepers Who'd Fit Perfectly with the Atlanta Falcons

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    Jeff Roberson

    The Falcons will be guaranteed a stud with their early first-round pick. But there are some draft sleepers that they need to have at the top of their list because they fit perfectly with what Atlanta likes to do both on and off the field.

    Most of these players are from smaller schools, but some of them are guys who were overlooked at their larger institution. Atlanta loves to bring in guys who may have been underappreciated throughout the draft process if they feel they will be a good fit for their schemes.

TE Jake Murphy, Utah

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    When it comes to replacing Tony Gonzalez, the Falcons need someone who is a good underneath threat. Jake Murphy can provide that and more. He has breakaway speed that allows him to take shorter receptions and turn them into huge gains. 

    He can find holes in the zones that are created with combination routes and would be a good fit for the Falcons' offense. He's the son of Dale Murphy and was born in the Atlanta area. He'd also be a 25-year-old rookie, but he still has a good bit of development to go.

     

    Career Stats

    2013: 8 Games Played, 25 Catches, 417 Yards, 5 Touchdowns, 1 Tackle, 1 Fumble Forced

    2012: 12 Games Played, 33 Catches, 349 Yards, 4 Touchdowns, 1 Carry, 4 Yards, 1 Tackle

    2011: 10 Games Played, 5 Catches, 64 Yards, 1 Touchdown

    2010: Redshirted

     

    Combine/Pro Day Results

    Height: 6'4" Weight: 249 pounds

    Arm Length: 31-3/4" Hand Measurement: 10"

    40-yard dash: 4.79 sec. 10 yard split: 1.70 sec.

    20-yard shuttle: 4.47 sec. 3-cone Drill: 7.14 sec. Bench Reps: 18 reps

    Vertical Jump32.5" Broad Jump9'4"

OL Charles Leno, Boise State

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    Charles Leno would be a great fit for the Falcons in multiple spots on their offensive line. He could play left or right tackle for them as a rookie depending on who would win a camp battle. If Leno wound up as a true backup for his rookie season, it would be the best move for the Falcons.

    He's an ideal fit at left tackle long term and could be a franchise guy there if he cleans his technique up. He has a bit of a mean streak in his run-blocking, but his pass-blocking needs work. If the Falcons can get him to develop properly, he'll be the ideal replacement for Sam Baker.

     

    Career Stats

    201313 Games Started at Left Tackle

    2012: 13 Games Started at Left Tackle

    2011: 13 Games Started at Right Tackle

    2010: 2 Games Played at Tight End

    2009: Redshirted

     

    Combine/Pro Day Results

    Height6'4" Weight304 pounds

    Arm Length34-3/8" Hand Measurement10-1/8"

    40-yard dash: 5.25 sec. 10 yard split: 1.81 sec.

    20-yard shuttle: 4.40 sec. 3-cone Drill: 7.57 sec. Bench Reps21 reps

    Vertical Jump31.5" Broad Jump9'4"

DE/OLB Tyler Starr, South Dakota

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    The Falcons could use some more depth at edge rusher. Osi Umenyiora, Jonathan Massaquoi and Kroy Biermann are solid players, but a pass-rush specialist is needed for the Falcons to really take the next step as a defense. Tyler Starr can be that guy. 

    Starr has a long frame and a physical profile similar to that of Anthony Barr. But his experience level and rawness is what will cause him to fall to the mid-to-late rounds. Atlanta would be wise to add him to the rotation at edge-rusher—especially since he can develop into a star with the right coaching.

     

    Career Stats

    2013: 12 Games Played, 71 Tackles, 15.0 Tackles for Loss, 9.0 Sacks, 5 QB Hurries, 1 Interception, 4 Fumbles Forced, 5 Pass Deflections

    2012: 11 Games Played, 74 Tackles, 7.0 Tackles for Loss, 4.0 Sacks, 4 QB Hurries, 2 Fumbles Forced, 2 Pass Deflections, 1 Blocked Kick

    2011: Stats unavailable

    2010Stats unavailable

    2009: Redshirted

     

    Combine/Pro Day Results

    Height6'4-1/8" Weight250 pounds

    Arm Length32-1/2" Hand Measurement9-1/2"

    40-yard dash: 4.85 sec. 10 yard split: 1.63 sec.

    20-yard shuttle: 4.15 sec. 3-cone Drill: 6.64 sec. Bench Reps24 reps

    Vertical Jump32.0" Broad Jump9'9"

LB Lamin Barrow, Louisiana State

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    The Falcons could use some depth at off-ball linebacker. Lamin Barrow can play any spot in the 4-3 and either inside linebacker spot in the 3-4. Barrow would be an asset that could allow the Falcons to move Sean Weatherspoon to outside linebacker in 3-4 sets—a spot that might be 'Spoon's best fit.

    On top of that, Barrow drafted in the fourth round or later would be a ridiculous value for the LSU stud. He's a No. 18 for the Louisiana State Tigers, a number that means he's a captain and everything that the Tigers stand for on and off the field. The same things the Falcons stand for on and off the field.

     

    Career Stats

    2013: 13 Games Played, 91 Tackles, 5.5 Tackles for Loss, 1.5 Sacks, 2 QB Hurries, 2 Pass Deflections

    2012: 13 Games Played, 104 Tackles, 7.5 Tackles for Loss, 5 QB Hurries, 1 Fumble Forced, 1 Fumble Recovered, 5 Pass Deflections

    2011: 13 Games Played, 17 Tackles, 1.0 Tackle for Loss

    2010: 12 Games Played, 18 Tackles, 0.5 Tackle for Loss

    2009: Redshirted

     

    Combine/Pro Day Results

    Height6'1-3/8" Weight237 pounds

    Arm Length33-3/8" Hand Measurement10-3/8"

    40-yard dash: 4.64 sec. 10 yard split: 1.59 sec.

    20-yard shuttle: 4.35 sec. 3-cone Drill: 7.24 sec. Bench Reps22 reps

    Vertical Jump35.0" Broad Jump10'3"

DB Pierre Desir, Lindenwood

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    The Falcons have a need for a starting free safety. And yes, Pierre Desir played cornerback for the past six seasons, but switching from cornerback to free safety is never really an issue if a player is as physical and willing to hit people as Desir is.

    Desir is a true ball hawk and has safety size already. If he gained 10 pounds of muscle and got even more physical than he is without sacrificing top-end speed, he could be a top safety in the NFL. He could go as high as the first round. But if he slips to the Falcons' pick at 68, he should be a no-brainer.

     

    Career Stats

    2013: 9 Games Played, 33 Tackles, 1.0 Tackle for Loss, 4 Interceptions, 1 Fumble Forced, 1 Fumble Recovered, 12 Pass Deflections

    2012: 12 Games Played, 60 Tackles, 2.5 Tackles for Loss, 1.0 Sack, 9 Interceptions, 18 Pass Deflections 1 Defensive Touchdown

    2011: Sat out for a season after transferring to Lindenwood

    2010: 12 Games Played, 46 Tackles, 5.5 Tackles for Loss, 2.0 Sacks, 5 Interceptions, 1 Fumble Forced, 1 Fumble Recovered, 9 Pass Deflections, 17 Kick Returns, 333 Yards

    2009: 11 Games Played, 33 Tackles, 7 Interceptions, 2 Fumbles Forced, 1 Fumble Recovered, 13 Pass Deflections, 1 Defensive Touchdown, 10 Kick Returns, 294 Yards

    2008: Redshirted

     

    Combine/Pro Day Results

    Height6'1" Weight191 pounds

    Arm Length33" Hand Measurement9-5/8"

    40-yard dash: 4.59 sec. 10 yard split: 1.59 sec.

    20-yard shuttle: 4.30 sec. 3-cone Drill: 6.86 sec. Bench Reps11 reps

    Vertical Jump35.0" Broad Jump11'1"

     

    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.

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