Atlanta Falcons

Joined the NFL as an expansion franchise in 1966, and has never relocated.

League Championships: None

Conference Championships: 1 – 1998 (NFC)

Division Championships: 3 – 1980 (NFC West), 1998 (NFC West), 2004 (NFC South)

Playoff Appearances: 8 – 1978, 1980, 1982, 1991, 1995, 1998, 2002, 2004, 2008, 2010

2005 Finish: 8-8, 3 rd Place NFC South
2006 Finish: 7-9

Recent Records:

2004: 12-4 2005: 8-8 2006: 7-9 2007: 4-12 2008: 11-5 2009: 9-7 2010: 13-3

2011 Draft Grade

Atlanta Falcons (A)
6: Julio Jones (7, 8 = 8) -2
91: Akeem Dent (96, 129 = 113) -22
145: Jacquizz Rodgers (105, 128 = 117) +28
192: Matt Bosher (255, 255 = 255) -63
210: Andrew Jackson (158, 179 =169) +42
230: Cliff Matthews (95, 148 = 122) +108

Draft Pick Total: 874 – Player Rankings Total: 784 —- TOTAL RANKING: +91

As you can see, the Falcons hit big on 3 of their last 4 picks – at least on the value meter. No pick was a better value than Cliff Matthews, the DE from Louisville. His +108 value mark was one of the very best of the draft. They may have traded a lot of picks to get Julio Jones, but it looks like they made up for it with great value late.

2011 Mock Draft

Atlanta Falcons 13-3 – Dan Watkins, OG, Baylor: The Falcons weren’t as good running the ball this season as they have been in years’ past, and a big reason for that was the lack of punch inside. I see Watkins (a college OT) as a fierce and powerful offensive lineman that’s ready to come in and move defensive lineman off the ball. Watkins would be a great addition for a Falcons team that is still looking to keep their rushing attack as a key part of their offense. This guy shows up to play every single day, and is at his best when the toughest challenge presents itself. I see him starting right away and helping from the get-go.


Atlanta Falcons: B-

I’m not a huge fan of the Falcons’ draft – but they did alright in the middle, picking up some tools that will help them in the future. If Matt Ryan is as good as a lot of people think, this was a solid draft – if Flacco and Brohm end up being better than him, like I think, then it’s not the best work.

With all those picks, the best they could do is Matt Ryan and Sam Baker? I don’t like it. I think there was more value in just about any other quarterback. Apparently I’m the only one, but I see Matt Ryan waiting too long to throw the ball and going across his body a lot. Only time will tell, but I don’t think Ryan will ever be worth all that money he’s going to get paid.

And I full understand that offensive linemen were jumping off the board like freaking grasshoppers, but Sam Baker, #21 overall, I don’t think too much of that either. I understand that Baker had a down year, and saw his stock slip because of it. But I also think that Baker will never be a stud left tackle and the best he’ll do is be a middle of the pack starter at the position. But I’ll give them a little bit of a break because they felt they needed a tackle and Baker wasn’t bad considering who was left.

With four more picks in the first three rounds, the Falcons jumped at immediate help. Curtis Lofton may not have the size to or athleticism to become a top flight freak linebacker, but he will make a whole heck of a lot of tackles and he’ll do all the little things that help your team win.

Chevis Jackson, with the 5th pick in Round 3, didn’t time out great at the combine, and doesn’t have elite speed, but he’ll keep himself in good position, and he’s a corner that really understands what a team is trying to do. He’ll be a good fit for this squad.

Harry Douglas went a little under the radar, in my opinion – he probably is never going to be a Pro-Bowl guy, but I think he’ll be an instant helper in 3 and 4 receiver sets. Douglas is quicker than he is fast, and he catches the ball well.

With their last 3rd rounder, the Falcons took Thomas DeCoud, the free safety from California. He’s not a big hitter, but he’s very versatile – his height and quickness will make him a good match-up on bigger and slot receivers. What concerns me about him is that I saw California get whooped up on too often last season.

Robert James is one of the smallest linebackers drafted. He’s a 5th rounder, so the Falcons probably aren’t expecting him to do all that much except help on special teams, and he can do that very well. At 5’11” and 219lbs, he’ll need to do all the little things well.

Kroy Biermann is a big line backer from a small school in Missoula Montana. Kroy is as tough as they come and his 6’3″ frame was worth the risk for a Falcons team looking to find some diamonds late.

Thomas Brown is kind of small, but he was productive in college. He has solid speed and runs a little bigger than he is, but I never watched him and thought, “NFL running back.”

Wilrey Fontenot got beat a lot while playing for Arizona, but he started his entire career at the school and is one of the fastest kids in the draft. This late, his small frame is worth the risk, especially if they can teach him a thing or two about turning the hips.

Keith Zinger is a blocking TE and he did a good job of it at LSU. He’s not much of a receiver, but with Crumpler gone, he’ll probably make this team because of his ability to block the big boys.

2007 Atlanta Falcons

When looking at the Falcons’ recent fall from playoff contender to a season in the red, you can see why Jim Mora Jr. was shown his walking papers. Mike Vick had one hell of a fantasy football year, but unfortunately for the Falcons, and Mr. Mora for that matter, fantasy stats don’t always translate into victories. After starting the season 5-2, and looking like a front runner to take home the NFC South, the Falcons tumbled the rest of the way, winning only 2 games in their last 9 contests. Thought Mike Vick’s stats were as good as ever, his consistency was, well, consistent with the rest of his career, being it was very inconsistent. Vick tossed 20 touchdowns, but 15 came in 5 games, while he only threw 5 in the other 11 games. Mike did rush for 1,039 yards, while throwing for 2,474, but either he doesn’t have enough weapons around him, or he just can’t get it done when it matters most, because Vick failed to lead his Falcons to victory. Down the stretch, the Falcons just couldn’t find any success on offense. Whether it was Mike throwing bad balls or his receivers dropping passes, the Falcons just couldn’t get it done. The fall from 2004’s 12-4 is obvious. If the Falcons want to compete, they’ll have to turn things around in 2007.

2007 Off-Season Plans:

The Falcons have found the head coach they wanted, Bobby Patrino, former coach of the D-1 Louisville Cardinals. Atlanta’s brass is hoping Patrino’s highly successful college game plan will translate to the NFL level. And where Jim Mora was unable to succeed in improving Vick’s attack, Arthur Blank and crew are hoping Bobby can take their superstar to the next level. The Falcons have many decisions to make this off-season, but generally, the Falcons have a very impressive group of athletes. It will be interesting to see if the Falcons make a move to sign a bigger running back that fits Patrino’s style better, or if they’ll look to the draft to add a big back. Trading Matt Schaub is also an option the Falcons need to consider, as this year will most likely mark the end of his stay in Atlanta. Whatever they decide, additions in the secondary, defensive front, or wide receiver could be part of the Falcons’ draft plans. With the 10th pick, Atlanta could add; LaRon Landry, Reggie Nelson, Amobi Okoye, Ted Ginn Jr., Alan Branch or Jamal Anderson.

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