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Potential First Picks For Atlanta

Draft speculation goes on throughout the entire season, but we’re finally getting to the point where mock drafts start to pop up left and right. Most mock drafts only predict the first round right now, but there are some out there that extend into deeper rounds, where we find the Falcons. Atlanta will not have a first round selection in April, as their pick belongs to Cleveland. So, who could Atlanta potentially take with their first pick in this year’s draft late in the second round? All of the players listed below have been mentioned in at least one mock draft.

Coby Fleener, TE, Stanford

Tony Gonzalez is nearing the end of his illustrious NFL career. The Falcons re-signed him to a one-year deal for 2012, and that might be the last time we see him on the field. With this in mind, tight ends have popped up left and right on mock drafts recently for the Falcons. Coby Fleener has been listed by several sites as Atlanta’s second-round pick.

Fleener is listed as 6’6″, 245 lbs. with a 4.77 40 time. He’s got plenty of size to make an impact as a blocker, with room to add some weight still. All reports rave about his pass catching ability, and he should make a great red zone target for any team. If the Falcons decide to take him in Round 2, he will be a great addition to the franchise. But, there may be more pressing issues at hand.

Jayron Hosley, CB, Virginia Tech

Hosley is listed at 5’10”, 172 lbs. with a 4.52 40. He doesn’t possess ideal size or speed, but has great ball skills and performs well in zone coverage. Unfortunately, these attributes seem misfitting for a defense run by Mike Nolan. Analysts constantly talk about the physicality Nolan likes in his defensive backs, and he will not find that with Hosley.

He isn’t a great tackler, he hasn’t had a lot of experience playing man coverage and he’s easily overpowered at the line. I’m not saying he won’t be able to perform well in the NFL, but it doesn’t appear that he will find his way to Atlanta in April.

Ben Jones, C, Georgia

There’s no questioning Ben Jones’ experience. He has started for UGA since his freshman season, and was named to the All-SEC Second Team in 2011. ¬†With Todd McClure also getting close to the end of his career, the Falcons could be looking for a new anchor in the middle of their offensive line this offseason.

Jones has been praised for his leadership skills throughout his college career. He has some key areas he needs to improve upon, but he could be a solid pick in Round 2 for Atlanta. This will all depend upon their decision with McClure of course, or if they choose to use Joe Hawley at center.

Orson Charles, TE, Georgia

Another talented player from UGA, Charles is a smaller, more versatile athlete than Fleener, but isn’t as good of a blocker. Fans in the area have likely seen Charles play as a Bulldog, and have probably been impressed at one point or another by his impact in the passing game.

Fleener is rated higher than Charles at this point, but it would all depend on what type of tight end Atlanta is looking for. Either TE would be able to help immediately in the air attack. Charles is younger, though, which may be a reason he a little more unrefined.

Kevin Zeitler, OG, Wisconsin

Zeitler has been a big factor in the Badgers powerful run game. He is great in the run game and has the potential to be a starter in the NFL for years to come. He might be off the board by the time the Falcons are on the clock, but if he’s still hanging around, it would definitely give the Falcons a tough decision to make.

Mike Adams, OG, Ohio State

I won’t even go into detail about Adams, because there is no way he will fall to the end of Round 2. It was just worth noting that one mock draft actually had Atlanta selecting him, proving the point that you should always be careful which sites you take seriously. Hopefully this was a joke.






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