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

The Falcons roster: Should they stay or go? 
The Falcons roster: Should they stay or go? 

Two yards away. The Falcons were just two yards away from advancing to their second consecutive NFC championship this season. After finishing 11-7 overall, it was just the third time in franchise history that teams posted back-to-back 10-win seasons. After the past two seasons, they join coach Mike Smith’s teams from 2010-12 that did it three...
Early mock drafts: Massive Vita Vea headed to Falcons
Early mock drafts: Massive Vita Vea headed to Falcons
Washington defensive tackle Vita Vea, who’s 6-foot-5 and 340 pounds, is a popular pick for the Falcons in some pre-combine mock drafts. At this juncture in the offseason, Vea makes sense because the Falcons may not be able to re-sign defensive tackle Dontari Poe. Poe played last season on an incentive-laden $8 million contract. His market value...
10 key offseason dates for Atlanta Falcons
10 key offseason dates for Atlanta Falcons

The Atlanta Falcons have a number offseason priorities, among them singing quarterback Matt Ryan to a team-friendly long-term deal. Here are 10 key dates to know about as the team heads into the 2018 offseason. The NFL Scouting Combine takes place in Indianapolis. Head coach Dan Quinn and general manager Thomas Dimitroff will be among the Falcons officials...
Falcons hire Parmalee as running backs coach, two other assistants  
Falcons hire Parmalee as running backs coach, two other assistants  

The Falcons hired former NFL running back Bernie Parmalee as their running backs coach on Wednesday. Parmalee replaces Keith Carter, who left to become the Titans running backs coach earlier this offseason. The team also hired Mayur Chaudhari as a special teams assistant and Chad Walker as an offensive assistant.  “We are excited to be able...
Cover 9@9: Ryan set to become NFL’s first $30 million dollar a year man 
Cover 9@9: Ryan set to become NFL’s first $30 million dollar a year man 
1. $30 million man. Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan is in line to become the NFL’s first $30 million a year man.  “It’s quite possible,” Joel Corry, CBS Sports NFL business analyst told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Tuesday. “Kirk Cousins might beat him to it, if he’s an unrestricted free agent...
More Stories