Monthly Archives: April 2013

Falcons Draft Picks Select Jersey Numbers

The Atlanta Falcons’ 2013 draft picks have selected their jersey numbers:

CB Desmond Trufant – 21

CB Robert Alford – 23

DE Malliciah Goodman – 93

TE Levine Toilolo – 80

DE Stansly Maponga – 99

S Kemal Ishmael – 36

S Zeke Motta – 41

QB Sean Renfree – 12

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2013 NFL Draft: Falcons’ Selections Rounds 4-7

General manager Thomas Dimitroff will look to add some gems in the final rounds of the 2013 NFL Draft. (Josh D. Weiss)

General manager Thomas Dimitroff will look to add a few gems in the final four rounds of the 2013 NFL Draft. (Josh D. Weiss)

In the final four rounds of the 2013 NFL Draft, the Atlanta Falcons hold a total of seven six picks: two in the fourth (127, 133), one in the fifth (163 153), and four in the seventh (236, 243, 244, 249).

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2013 NFL Draft: Falcons Select CB Robert Alford

The Falcons double dipped and selected another cornerback.(John David Mercer)

The Falcons double dipped and selected another cornerback.(John David Mercer)

With the 60th pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, the Falcons selected Robert Alford.

I’m a little surprised. I thought for sure the Falcons would look to add a defensive end, but instead they double dip and grab another cornerback.

In a way, it makes sense. Defensive coordinator Mike Nolan uses defensive backs a lot, and the Falcons were lacking in that department after losing both Brent Grimes and Dunta Robinson. It also means the Falcons didn’t like any of the pass rushers available.

Alford played college ball at Southeastern Louisiana.  He totaled 10 interceptions and 20 passes defended in his collegiate career.

Check out his draft profile here.

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2013 NFL Draft: Falcons Select CB Desmond Trufant With First Pick

Desmond Trufant should be an immediate starter opposite Asante Samuel. (John Green)

Desmond Trufant should be an immediate starter opposite Asante Samuel. (John Green)

With their first pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, the Falcons selected cornerback Desmond Trufant out of Washington.

The Falcons traded with the St. Louis Rams to select Trufant with the 22nd overall pick. To move from 30, the Falcons gave up a third round and sixth round draft pick.

Atlanta had a need at cornerback, and they addressed it with one of the top cornerbacks in the draft. He should be able to come in and start immediately opposite Asante Samuel.

I’ve had a feeling Trufant would be the Falcons’ pick for a while, and I’m not well-versed with players in the draft. I singled him out in a post written in March.

Trufant was a four-year starter at Washington. He had six interceptions and 38 passes defended during his career.

With one need down, I’m guessing the Falcons add a pass rusher with their second round pick.

Check out his draft profile here.

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Darrelle Revis in the NFC South Means Nothing for the Falcons

Darrelle Revis is coming off an ACL injury. (Stephen Dunn)

Darrelle Revis missed last season with an ACL injury. (Stephen Dunn)

One of the Atlanta Falcons’ division rivals, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, traded for cornerback Darrelle Revis on Sunday.

And although Revis is easily the best cornerback in the league, his arrival to the NFC South means nothing for the Falcons.

First things first: Revis, who will be 28 years old at the start of the upcoming season, is coming off an ACL injury he suffered at the beginning of last season. There’s a chance he doesn’t return the form.

Secondly, Revis is just one man. Last season, the Bucs’ secondary was atrocious; they ranked dead-last in the league, surrendering 297.4 yards per game. While adding Revis will certainly bolster their pass defense, it’s not going to suddenly make the secondary formidable.

One player doesn’t suddenly make the Bucs contenders for the NFC South. The other three teams in the division each have something the Bucs lack: a franchise quarterback. Josh Freeman isn’t there yet as a franchise quarterback, and even his head coach shares the same sentiment.

Let’s assume Revis does return to form. He’ll take out whichever receiver he’s on, but that just means whoever isn’t being blanketed will be able to feast on Eric Wright, the Bucs’ other cornerback. Let’s not forget Atlanta has weapons across the board: Tony Gonzalez, Steven Jackson, Julio Jones, and Roddy White. Again: Revis can’t cover everyone.

The only division rival the Falcons will be competing with for the division title is the New Orleans Saints, and the Bucs’ addition of an All-Pro cornerback does nothing to change that.

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William Moore Arrested on Battery Charge

William Moore's arrest is unwelcome news. (USA Today Sports Images)

William Moore’s arrest is unwelcome news. (USA Today Sports Images)

Atlanta Falcons safety William Moore was arrested on a battery charge Thursday night, as reported by FOX 5 Atlanta.

Well, this is certainly news the Falcons could do without. The team has declined to comment until all the details surrounding the situation are released, but they can’t be happy.

Moore signed a five-year extension worth $30 million with the Falcons in March. He was selected to his first Pro Bowl this past season.

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Atlanta Falcons 2013 Regular Season Schedule: Falcons Appear on Primetime Five Times

Matt Ryan and the Falcons have earned five primetime slots. (Josh D. Weiss)

Matt Ryan and the Falcons have earned five primetime slots. (Josh D. Weiss)

The NFL regular season schedule has been released. Correcting my previous post, the Atlanta Falcons have five nationally televised games: Week 4 versus the New England Patriots (Sunday Night Football), Week 5 versus the New York Jets (Monday Night Fooball), Week 12 versus the New Orleans Saints (Thursday Night Football), Week 14 at the Green Bay Packers (Sunday Night Football), and Week 16 at the San Francisco 49ers (Monday Night Football).

Also of note, the Falcons are headed to Toronto, Ontario in Week 13 to play an away game versus the Buffalo Bills.

Here is how the Falcons’ 2013 regular season schedule shakes out:

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NFL Schedule Release: Falcons Have Four Nationally Televised Games

The NFL schedule is set to be released today at 8 p.m. EST, and the Atlanta Falcons will appear in four nationally televised games, according to D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Ledbetter has the New England Patriots (home), Green Bay Packers (away), San Francisco 49ers (away), and Seattle Seahawks (home) games as the four nationally televised games. It makes sense for each of those games to be nationally televised, although I’m surprised that one of the games against the New Orleans Saints was omitted.

Last season, the Falcons had the same amount of nationally televised games.

Following the schedule release, I’ll have an analysis up along with my predictions.

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Falcons Looking to Trade Up in Draft

According to a tweet from Sports Illustrated’s Peter King, the Atlanta Falcons are looking to trade up from the 30th pick in the 2013 NFL Draft.

D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution suggested the Falcons would trade up for one of the draft’s top cornerbacks. For the Falcons to draft Alabama’s Dee Milliner, it would likely take a blockbuster trade in the same vein as the trade for Julio Jones a couple of years ago. Florida State’s Xavier Rhodes or Washington’s Desmond Trufant are likely candidates.

Although drafting a cornerback would make sense because the Falcons have a glaring need with both Brent Grimes and Dunta Robinson gone, they could also look to  draft a defensive end to pair with newly acquired Osi Umenyiora to help offset the loss of John Abraham.

The first round of the 2013 NFL Draft starts April 25 at 8 p.m. EST. It’ll be interesting to see what moves general manager Thomas Dimitroff will make.

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The Falcons and the NFC South

Since its inception in 2002, the NFC South has yet to have a back-to-back division champion.

The Atlanta Falcons could very well be the first team in the division to achieve that feat, however.

There’s no question the Falcons boast one of the best offenses in the league. The addition of an extremely capable running back in Steven Jackson combined with an already deadly passing offense led by Matt Ryan means the Falcons will pose a lot of problems for opposing defenses.

The Falcons problems lie on the defensive side of the ball. And really, the team poised to stand in the way of the Falcons winning the division crown for the second year in the row is the New Orleans Saints. Like the Falcons, they have issues on defense.

As it stands now, the Carolina Panthers nor the Tampa Bay Buccaneers don’t appear ready to put up a fight for the division. I understand I’m discounting them, but I’m looking at their respective quarterbacks. Although Cam Newton played well the latter part of the season, he’s yet to show he’s there mentally. For the Panthers to pose a threat, he needs to step up.

Bucs head coach Greg Schiano reportedly isn’t sold on Josh Freeman. And he shouldn’t be. The quarterback had a scorching start to the season, including a five-week stretch in he passed for 13 touchdowns and just one interception. However, he then fizzled out after and went Weeks 12-17 by passing for just six touchdowns to 10 interceptions.

With those two teams eliminated from the race, the Falcons have to worry about the Saints who will be getting head coach Sean Payton back after he was suspended for his role in the bounty program.

The road to another division crown will be tough. The Falcons’ schedule will be considerably more difficult this year. However, if there’s a year for a team to finally get consecutive division championships, it’s this year.

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