Plenty of defensive tackles in draft for Falcons


The Falcons, after releasing Jonathan Babineaux and Tyson Jackson, are in the market for a defensive tackle.

They clearly are not desperate after kicking the tires on Dontari Poe and Terrell McClain in free agency. Poe, a former two-time Pro Bowler, left town Tuesday without reaching a deal with the team.

If the Falcons don’t address the position in free agency, there are several options available in the NFL draft, which is set for April 27-29 in Philadelphia.

Michigan State’s Malik McDowell, who’s been ranked in the top 10 in pass-rush productivity over the past two seasons by Pro Football Focus.com, is a fit for the Falcons.

Also, Florida defensive tackle Caleb Brantley, who turned off some teams by showing a brash attitude during interviews at the scouting combine, could helped to solve the issue.

“Malik McDowell, it depends on how you classify him, if he’s going to play inside or outside,” ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay said Wednesday. “He’s tall and long. He might be the most talented defensive lineman … from a skill standpoint. He can become a highly disruptive player. He’s probably going to come of the board in the 10 to 25 range.”

The Falcons have the 31st pick in the draft.

“Brantley from Florida is kind of a classic (defensive tackle),” McShay said. “He’s very disruptive as a pass rusher. I think it was 5.5 career sacks. He’s not the best finisher, but he was disruptive and strong versus the run. He’s going to probably be a second-round pick.”

Falcons coach Dan Quinn was the defensive coordinator at Florida from 2011-12. Brantley arrived in the 2013 recruiting class.

Michigan’s Chris Wormley, Iowa’s Jaleel Johnson and Auburn’s Montravius Adams (from Dooly County High) also are highly rated.

“Wormley, again, he’s not a great pass rusher, but he’s going to probably end up being a (defensive tackle),” McShay said. “I think Jaleel Johnson is one of the more under-rated guys in this draft. He’s probably going to be a second- or third-round pick. He became more consistent this year coming out of Iowa.

“Auburn’s Montravius Adams was the most explosive of the defensive linemen at the Senior Bowl. Had a really good season on tape this past year. Two years ago, the effort was not there.”



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Atlanta Falcons

Video: Matt Ryan previews the team  tour of Mercedes-Benz Stadium
Video: Matt Ryan previews the team  tour of Mercedes-Benz Stadium

Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan has already taken a tour of the new $1.5 billion Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The rest of the team will visit the stadium and tour the locker room on Friday. Ryan discusses what they will see in the video.
Report: Tyson Jackson works out for 49ers 
Report: Tyson Jackson works out for 49ers 

Former Falcons defensive lineman Tyson Jackson worked out for the San Francisco 49ers on Tuesday, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Media. Jackson was released by the Falcons in March after playing three years for the team. He signed a five-year, $25 in Atlanta in 2014. He started 35 of 48 games he played for the Falcons. <div></div><...
McKinley pleased with his NFL debut
McKinley pleased with his NFL debut

Falcons rookie defensive end Takkarist McKinley wasn’t distracted during the offense’s opening drive against Pittsburgh. Matt Ryan used 10 plays to march the offense 91 yards for a touchdown in the first quarter.  While the score was nice and all, McKinley was ready for his first NFL action against the Steelers at Heinz Field on NFL...
5 things we learned at Falcons’ practice on Tuesday
5 things we learned at Falcons’ practice on Tuesday

 Here are five things we learned at Falcons practice on Tuesday: 1. Jones looked great. Head coach Dan Quinn said he’ll “consider” playing All-Pro wide receiver Julio Jones in game three. Jones looked like he was getting ready for action. He made a nice strong move on an inside route and zoomed past the safety. On another play...
Pasztor recovering from pectoral injury, out for Arizona game 
Pasztor recovering from pectoral injury, out for Arizona game 

Falcons tackle Austin Pasztor, who is recovering from a pectoral injury, will not play against Arizona on Saturday. “He came on the trip with us,” Falcons coach Dan Quinn said. “He did a little bit pregame and just got right into the meetings. We’ll put him on a limited basis for awhile. He’s coming off a rehab for an...
More Stories