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

NFL Network suspends several after sexual harassment allegations
NFL Network suspends several after sexual harassment allegations

A former NFL Network employee has come forward claiming that she’d been sexually harassed by a former network executive and several former players who are either current or former NFL Network employees, according to a report from Bloomberg sports business reporters Scott Soshnick and Jordyn Holman. Jami Cantor was a colleague...
Patriots dodge bullet with Alan Branch against Dolphins
Patriots dodge bullet with Alan Branch against Dolphins

New England Patriots defensive tackle Alan Branch doesn’t play an overwhelming number of defensive snaps at age-32, but the snaps he does play are often critical and that’s what would make losing him on Monday night against the Miami Dolphins tough to swallow. Branch had to leave the game in the first period against...
Denver Broncos place OL Ronald Leary on injured reserve
Denver Broncos place OL Ronald Leary on injured reserve

The Denver Broncos announced they had signed New York Giants practice squad tight end Matt LaCosse on Monday evening and to create the roster spot necessary to make that move they unfortunately had to end guard Ronald Leary’s season. According to a report from Nicki Jhabvala of the Denver Post, Leary was placed on injured...
Packers putting Aaron Rodgers’ fate in hands of one man
Packers putting Aaron Rodgers’ fate in hands of one man

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is eligible to come off of injured reserve in Week 15 against the Carolina Panthers and that’s got Packers fans ecstatic with the team clinging to playoff life. However, the organization hasn’t yet made an official decision and they’re putting Rodgers’ fate...
Analyst: The Eagles should call Tony Romo
Analyst: The Eagles should call Tony Romo

Former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo has been terrific working with CBS as an analyst this year. He’s a natural and he doesn’t seem to regret walking away from football while he could still play. That said, Romo never actually retired. And the Philadelphia Eagles just lost quarterback Carson Wentz to a torn left ACL,...
More Stories