Tuesday morning Falcons Notes

Shane Ray (pictured right) might have taken himself off the Falcons draft board.

Shane Ray was cited for possession of marijuana early Monday, just three days before he is expected to be taken in the first round of the NFL Draft.

Forget all the, "Well, it's legal in certain states, so it should not be a big deal" stuff. Fact is, it's against the rules and he knew he'd be tested and still did it. That was stupid, and it will definitely hurt Ray with his draft stock.

Ray is likely now off the board for the Falcons at eight. Just like with Nebraska's Randy Gregory, who had a positive test at the combine, the Falcons cannot afford to gamble with that high of a pick.

Meanwhile, NFL Network's Albert Breer tweeted Monday the Falcons are one of the teams trying to move up in the draft. Then ESPN's Vaughn McClure suggested that if that is true, the target might be USC's Leonard Williams.

While some believe Williams might be the best player in the draft, would he really fill the need for a pass rusher for the Falcons? He's more of a defensive tackle, and the Falcons already have Jonathan Babineaux, Tyson Jackson, Paul Soliai inside. Plus, where would Ra'shede Hageman figure into the equation if Williams joined the line? Would Hageman really be a defensive end? Can Williams impact the pass rush that much?

Maybe he can. Maybe having Williams on the line would not only allow him to rush the passer, but also make it easier for some of the others to do it as well. It is an interesting possibility, that's for sure.

If the Falcons move up, Williams or Florida's Dante Fowler would likely be the potential addition. Both players are rated much higher than the Vic Beasleys of the world. There seems to be a bit of a gap between the combo of Williams/Fowler and the rest of the potential pass rushers (including Bud Dupree).

Peter King had his mock draft Tuesday morning and listed the Falcons trading up with the Redskins at five to grab Fowler. The Falcons would give up a third rounder in that scenario. If that's all it takes to grab Fowler (or perhaps Williams if he was on the board at five), should the Falcons do it?

There are more rumors that the Jaguars are serious about picking Alabama's Amari Cooper with the third pick. If that happens, it could push Williams and Fowler down a bit, making it a bit more affordable for the Falcons to trade up from eight.



Listen to “The Bill Shanks Show” from 3-6 p.m. weekdays on WPLA Fox Sports 1670 AM in Macon and online at http://www.foxsports1670.com/. Follow Bill at twitter.com/BillShanks and email him at thebillshanksshow@yahoo.com.

Falcon Insider Top Stories