Falcons Filled Needs At The Draft
The 2013 NFL Draft ends, and the Falcons made good picks for needs and immediate impact this year. Most of the players are slated to contribute immensely this year, with two of them possbily fighting for starting positions.
The best pick made by the Falcons was stealing Stanford TE Levine Toilolo in the fourth round. He can come in during his rookie season to make plays in the red zone. In the long run, he could become the next explosive pass-catching tight-end in the league, like his veteran teammate Tony Gonzalez. He's 6-foot-8, thefore having the size to be a big target. Toilolo is also reported to be fundamentally sound (according to Bleacher Report), working hard on technique while displaying discipline and dedication to grow as a player.
Drafting cornerbacks back-to-back, namely Desmond Trufant and Robert Alford, makes sense because Atlanta desperately needed cornerbacks due to Dunta Robinson's and Brent Grimes' departure. While Alford is more NFL-ready and can contribute on kickoff/punt return teams, Trufant has the speed to cover any reciever. But Trufant must work on his techique more and avoid getting beat on the big plays. They also added more depth to the secondary unit by getting Kehmal Ishmael and Zeke Motta in the last round.
The only thing that prevented the Falcons from getting an A was their failure to draft the best available player on the board, Florida defensive lineman Shariff Floyd. They needed a pass rusher who can come in and complement Osi Umenyiora before finding a starting corner. The Falcons would have been just as scary on defense as they are on offense. However, the decision to pass up Floyd became doable after drafting a couple of defensive lineman in Day 3 to meet needs. Malliciah Goodman and Stansly Maponga may competete against each other for the 2nd starting defensive end spot; both of them have the speed to get to the quarterback.
Also, I disagree with the Falcons drafting quarterback Sean Renfree in the seventh round. That pick could have been better spent on another defenisve player since there are more needs on that side of the ball than the offensive side. I also prefered Atlanta to go after a seasoned backup QB instead of a rookie who may not make it even to training camp.
Otherwise, Atlanta did a good job in getting the players who can be assests to the position they play and possess the good character in the locker room that GM Thomas Dimitroff desires in players.
Final grade: B+