Tag Archives: james sanders

Falcons Gain Four Compensatory Picks in 2013 NFL Draft

The Atlanta Falcons have received four compensatory picks (a fourth-rounder and three seventh-rounders) in the 2013 NFL Draft.

The league uses a formula to determine which teams lost more or better free agents than gained the previous year.

Last season, the Falcons lost cornerback Kelvin Hayden and wide receiver Eric Weems to the Chicago Bears, linebacker Curtis Lofton to the New Orleans Saints, and safety James Sanders to the Arizona Cardinals.

With the newly awarded picks, the Falcons now have 11 selections in the upcoming draft.

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Falcons Finish Draft By Adding Depth

The Falcons selected fullback Bradie Ewing out of Wisconsin with their 157th overall pick. Ewing is listed at 5-foot-11, 235 pounds.

Ewing is a fullback in the truest sense of the word; he won’t get many carries, but he provides the power blocking that head coach Mike Smith loves. He’ll probably take over for current stud fullback Ovie Mughelli after the 2012 season ends. Hopefully, Mughelli isn’t made expendable for this season.

With the 164th overall pick, the Falcons chose defensive end Jonathan Massaquoi from Troy. The 6-foot-2, 264 pound Massaquoi will serve as depth for the Falcons’ pass rush. He isn’t a threat to take over for John Abraham or Ray Edwards, but he may garner a few snaps as a reserve.

Charles Mitchell, a 5-foot-11, 202 pound safety from Mississippi State, was the Falcons’ 192nd overall selection. After former backup safety James Sanders left Atlanta to sign with the Arizona Cardinals, the Falcons needed a backup strong safety to William Moore. Barring an unforeseen circumstance, Mitchell will fill that backup role.

With their final pick (249th overall), the Falcons drafted defensive tackle Travian Robertson from South Carolina. Robertson is listed at 6-foot-4, 302 pounds. If Robertson is active on gamedays, he’ll provide backup for starters Jonathan Babineaux and Corey Peters.

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Kelvin Hayden, James Sanders No Longer Falcons

Both Kelvin Hayden and James Sanders were signed to one-year deals last season. It was doubtful that the Falcons would bring Hayden back, but Sanders would have provided solid depth at the strong safety position.

Hayden signed with the Chicago Bears for one year, and Sanders signed with the Arizona Cardinals for one year as well.

Hayden ended up on injured reserve last season after appearing in eight games as the team’s nickelback.  He notched a couple of interceptions. Dominique Franks and Chris Owens filed the void left at nickelback.

Sanders appeared in 15 games. He started six games, the first start in place of a benched Thomas DeCoud. He took over for an injured William Moore soon after. Sanders was in on 41 tackles to go along with one fumble recovery.

The Falcons will need to find a backup to Moore.

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