Four first year starters, Sam Baker, Matt Ryan, Curtis Lofton, Thomas Decoud, made the 2008 draft special. Harry Douglas, Robert James and Chevis Jackson contributed in backup roles as rookies. Kroy Biermann, Thomas Brown, Keith Zinger showed little and will need to upgrade their games.
Grade - B+
NO RD Name Pos School HT WT 40 Grade
San Jose St
For the second year in a row, I've liked the direction the Falcons have taken. They got excellent value in each of their first four selection while filling some critical needs. Peria Jerry fought through some early season injuries to have an exceptional 2008 season. I like his initial get off, his range and ability to play on his feet. William Moore was in my opinion the number one safety in the country, but did not play to near his capabilities this past season. I look for him to rebound and give the Falcons a force on the back end for years to come. Owens has sweet feet and very good quickness and speed. Lawrence Sidbury is one of my favorite players and I believe are going to make a lot of clubs wish they had selected this future star. He's got excellent quickness, good upper body strength, long arms and actually runs better than a number of highly rated defensive corners! He's still in the developmental stage, but I really liked his upside as either a 4-3 end and or 3 - 4 outside backer. Adkins showed speed in pursuit, but I didn't think he was much of a take on guy. His instincts were marginal and didn't protect his lower body very well. On third down, I thought he showed impressive get off quicks, but he really didn't much of a plan particularly when he was stoned on his first move. Vance Walker in particular was a solid pick for the 7th round and could factor.