2012 NFL Offseason Analysis: Draft Picks, Free Agent Signings Atlanta Falcons Should Consider

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Welcome back to my newest Mock Off-Season where we look at not just draft picks but also free agent signings. Their are going to be quite a few changes since last time.

Since my last update the Falcons have franchised CB Brent Grimes, signed exclusive rights free agents Michael Palmer and Antone Smith, and finally they re-signed FS Thomas Decoud. As of right now Grimes' has not signed the franchise tender; the tender is a full guaranteed 10.6 million, all of it goes against the cap, but one can assume that Thomas Dimitroff is still working out a long term contract with Grimes to lessen that cap hit.

Quite possibly the biggest news that has come out in regards to Atlanta is the linking of superstar DE Mario Williams to the Falcons. Williams would not come cheap in FA and the only reason the Texans didn't tag him was due to the fact that the tag figure would have been around 23 million. Throughout the week there has been a steady and growing stream of momentum getting behind the Mario Williams to Atlanta Falcons train, but signing him would almost certainly guarantee the loss of Curtis Lofton.

RESIGN/WALK/CUT (roughly 27.5 Mil)

John Abraham-Walks

Curtis Lofton- Resigned (6 Years/50 Mil (28 Mil Gar.) Back Loaded (6.1 Mil 1st year hit)

Kroy Biermann- Resigned (4 Years/12 Mil (3 Mil Gar.))

Kelvin Hayden- Walks

James Sanders- Walks

Harry Douglas- Resigned (4 years/ 15 Mil (6 Mil Gar))

Todd McClure- Resigned (1 Year/5 Mil; incentive heavy)

Eric Weems- Walks

Vance Walker- RFA (Resigns)

Mike Peterson- Walks/Retires

Sam Baker-Cut (saves roughly 2.5 Mil)

Ovie Mughelli- Cut/Restructured (Saves roughly 3 mil)

Jason Snelling- Walks

(Note if Grimes signs the tender then assume Lofton walks, but until he signs the tend or a long term contract he's not under contract.)

FREE AGENT SIGNINGS (20.6 Mil, not counting Grimes)

Mario Williams-7 Year/ 112 Mil (54 Mil Guaranteed) (Middle Heavy Deal) (Roughly 10 Mil 1st year cap hit)


2nd Round, 55th Overall Pick. Casey Hayward, Vanderbilt, 5'11 195 lbs, 4.53 40.

Hayward is one of the most underrated prospects in this draft. Coming from Vanderbilt he's played against some of the best WRs to come out of college during his tenure. (Julio Jones, A.J. Green, Reuben Randle etc) Aggressive in his style of play Hayward can play in either Zone or Man coverage schemes. Despite his size he possesses good jamming ability off the line, along with his natural ball-hawking abilities. Getting Hayward would be a valuable addition to the secondary in a game where it's becoming more and more pass oriented.

3rd Round, 87th Overall Pick. Brandon Brooks, Miami of Ohio, OG, 6'5 348 lbs.

Brandon Brooks is a big mauling OG out of Miami (OH), For some unknown reason he didn't receive and invite to the scouting combine, despite dominating opponents in the East-West Shrine game. Atlanta has a huge need at RG, Garret Reynolds struggled mightily early on and was replaced by Joe Hawley, who did an ok job, but he is expected to take over the Center position once McClure retires. Brooks reminds me a lot of Carl Nicks, he is very quick to the 2nd level, can pull with the best of them and has the power to maul DTs. Having a clean pocket is very important for Matt to succeed and for Turner and the other backs to get going.

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5th Round, 151st pick overall. Junior Hemmingway, WR, Michigan, 6'0 225 lbs, 4.50 40.

Hemmingway is someone who intrigues me a ton, playing with Denard Robinson as your quarterback isn't going to get you the best statistics. However Hemmingway's physical attributes are outstanding though he's not tall he plays as a possession WR with his frame and his great hands. He reminds me quite a bit of Roddy, he has the speed to get open downfield but also can use his frame and great route running to get open. Also we need WR depth we have nothing beyond Douglas, and that is problematic if one of the three get hurt.

6th Round, 183rd Pick Overall. Terrance Ganaway, RB, Baylor. 6'0 240 lbs, 4.62 40 time.

Ganaway is a big bodied RB out of Baylor, he had a very impressive senior year playing with RG3 in Baylor's spread offense. However in the pros he will be in a system that is much friendlier to his playing style. At 240 LBs he possesses the strength the drive the pile but he also has underrated speed. He's be a good replacement for Snelling.

7th Round, 215th overall pick. Sean Richardson, SS Vanderbilt. 6'2 216 lbs. We need depth at Safety and he provides this .

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