final thoughts about the Falcons’ 2018 draft

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    1. Final draft thoughts My man Jerry Springer always closes out the best show in American with a final thought for the masses.

    We have a few of those final thoughts about the Falcons’ 2018 draft. They didn’t address their offensive line weaknesses nor did they add any power to their finesse offense.

    But like former coach Mike Smith told me on the banks of Lake Lanier one day, while waiting for players to finish fishing with the veterans “Darryl, you can’t fix everything in the draft.”

    The Falcons surely didn’t solve all of their personnel issues, but they added some decent players and should get some help out of this draft class.

    Most of the reviews of the class have been rather good. The fans we asked to rate the class are giving them a B.
    However, all of the draft picks have some warts. But the job of a good coaching staff is to hide those and play to the player’s strengths.

    With first round pick Calvin Ridley, there is no way to hide dropped passes. It’s no good if he breaks open off a sweet double move and then drops the touchdown pass. So, he has to be a more consistent catcher and get off the line clean. He was pretty consistent with his 20 drops over three seasons.

    Now, does that problem go away because he’s a professional?

    He dropped to 26 in the draft because of those issues. If he wants to prove his doubters wrong Cam Keizur Jersey, then simply catch the ball.

    Cornerback Isaiah Oliver is a former decathlon competitor. But the 12 reps on the bench press is a red flag. Is he going to be strong enough to re route receivers at the line of scrimmage and dominate in the contact zone? Getting stronger in the Falcons weight training program shouldn’t be a problem over the long haul, but how much will he be ready to contribute in 2018?

    Deadrin Senat, the third round pick, appears to be a two down player. Unless defensive line coach Bryant Young works a football miracle, I don’t expect to see him in the nickel or in pass rush situations. The book on him is that he gets stuck on blocks from time to time. He is plenty strong enough to survive in the trenches. He bench pressed 225 pounds, 35 times.

    The rest of the picks were potential backups and special teams players.

    Ito Smith was over drafted in the fourth round, but the Falcons have a role for the player, who was projected to go in the seventh round. The Falcons cleared his path to backup running back by not re signing Terron Ward.

    The Falcons are hoping that Smith does better than Brian Hill, who couldn’t beat out Ward and was released during the season.

    It would have made more sense to bring Ward back and let Smith try to beat him out. Don’t just hand the job over to the rookie.

    Smith is short at 5 foot 9 and light at 195 pounds. He was a productive runner who caught the ball well at Southern Mississippi. He also returned kickoffs.

    He appears to be a clone of Jacquizz Rodgers.

    Sixth round pick Foyesade Oluokun was the 44th rated linebacker in this draft class and was projected to be a undrafted free agent. He runs the 40 yard dash in 4.48 seconds and he has a role as a special teams gunner waiting for him as the Falcons must upgrade their coverage units.

    The Russell Gage pick in the sixth round was dynamite. He was the star of the LSU Pro Day and several special teams coordinators wanted him. He also has a role waiting for him on the coverage units.

    He did total more than 500 yards from scrimmage and caught 28 passes. Assistant head coach/wide receivers Raheem Morris has a project to develop as a wide receiver.

    Final thought and Grade B