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D. Orlando Ledbetter

Atlanta Falcons beat writer

D. Orlando Ledbetter is the Atlanta Falcons beat writer for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He was one of the lead writers in the notorious Michael Vick dog-fighting federal case. He has also covered the SEC/ACC and high schools in Gwinnett for the AJC. He's a three-time APSE award winner. AJC Atlanta Falcons blog

Latest from D. Orlando Ledbetter

Will diluted urine tests shake up NFL draft?
 Michigan safety Jabrill Peppers and Alabama linebacker Rueben Foster, who are both projected to be selected in the first round of the NFL draft, have flunked their NFL drug test for having diluted urine. Peppers’ agents contend that he was heavily hydrating, drinking eight to 10 bottles of water a day, at the combine because he flew...

Posted: 2 hours ago

Michigan safety Jabrill Peppers and Alabama linebacker Rueben Foster, who are both projected to be selected in the first round of the NFL draft, have flunked their NFL drug test for having diluted urine. Peppers’ agents contend that he was heavily hydrating, drinking eight to 10 bottles of water a day, at the combine because he flew...
5 players on the Falcons’ radar screen
 For the Falcons’ personnel men, this time of the year is like Christmas. Some of the scouts have been on the road for about 200 days trying to find more talent for the defending NFC champions. With all of the information gathered, the Falcons are considering their options heading into the NFL draft, which runs Thursday through Sunday...

Posted: 2 hours ago

For the Falcons’ personnel men, this time of the year is like Christmas. Some of the scouts have been on the road for about 200 days trying to find more talent for the defending NFC champions. With all of the information gathered, the Falcons are considering their options heading into the NFL draft, which runs Thursday through Sunday...
Falcons exercise 5th-year option on Matthews
 The team exercised the fifth-year option on left tackle Jake Matthews on Tuesday. Matthews, who was selected sixth in the first round of the 2014 draft, has played in 47 regular-season games, all starts. He missed one game his rookie season. Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff said after the pre-draft news conference Thursday that the...

Posted: 6 hours ago

The team exercised the fifth-year option on left tackle Jake Matthews on Tuesday. Matthews, who was selected sixth in the first round of the 2014 draft, has played in 47 regular-season games, all starts. He missed one game his rookie season. Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff said after the pre-draft news conference Thursday that the...
Several Georgia grown players ready for NFL draft
 About a month ago, general manager Thomas Dimitroff asked Steve Szabo, the team’s director of college scouting, to come into his office and mark up the entire draft board. “We asked him about all of the guys who were Georgia natives,” Dimitroff said. “It was pretty neat to see how much talent was on that board from...

Posted: a day ago

About a month ago, general manager Thomas Dimitroff asked Steve Szabo, the team’s director of college scouting, to come into his office and mark up the entire draft board. “We asked him about all of the guys who were Georgia natives,” Dimitroff said. “It was pretty neat to see how much talent was on that board from...
Top 10 safeties in the 2017 NFL draft
 Here are the top 10 safety prospects (with projected draft round) for the 2017 NFL draft, which is set for April 27-29 in Philadelphia:
               
                  Malik Hooker, 6-foot, 1-inch and 206 pounds, Ohio State (first): With Vonn Bell and Tyvis Powell gone to the NFL, Hooker became a starting safety last season and emerged...

Posted: a day ago

Here are the top 10 safety prospects (with projected draft round) for the 2017 NFL draft, which is set for April 27-29 in Philadelphia: Malik Hooker, 6-foot, 1-inch and 206 pounds, Ohio State (first): With Vonn Bell and Tyvis Powell gone to the NFL, Hooker became a starting safety last season and emerged...
Falcons are not looking for ‘angelic’ souls
 The Falcons are in the final stages of rating and stacking players on their board for the NFL draft, which will be held Thursday through Saturday in Philadelphia. Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon, who has been involved domestic violence case, is not on the team’s draft board, The Atlanta-Journal Constitution learned. This was no random...

Posted: 2 days ago

The Falcons are in the final stages of rating and stacking players on their board for the NFL draft, which will be held Thursday through Saturday in Philadelphia. Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon, who has been involved domestic violence case, is not on the team’s draft board, The Atlanta-Journal Constitution learned. This was no random...
Top 10 cornerbacks in the 2017 NFL draft
 Here are the top 10 cornerback prospects (with projected draft round) for the NFL draft, which is set for Thursday through Saturday in Philadelphia:
               
                  Marshon Lattimore, 6-foot, 193 pounds, Ohio State (first):He ran the 40-yard dash in 4.36 seconds at the scouting combine. He played in 20 games with 13 starts...

Posted: 2 days ago

Here are the top 10 cornerback prospects (with projected draft round) for the NFL draft, which is set for Thursday through Saturday in Philadelphia: Marshon Lattimore, 6-foot, 193 pounds, Ohio State (first):He ran the 40-yard dash in 4.36 seconds at the scouting combine. He played in 20 games with 13 starts...
Falcons receiver Gabriel signs $2.8 million contract
 Falcons wide receiver Taylor Gabriel signed his second-round tender worth $2.81 million Saturday. Gabriel, after he was cut by the Cleveland Browns, emerged as the Falcons’ No. 3 wide receiver last season while making $510,000. He added a spark to the offense with his speed and toughness. As the third receiver behind Julio Jones and...

Posted: 3 days ago

Falcons wide receiver Taylor Gabriel signed his second-round tender worth $2.81 million Saturday. Gabriel, after he was cut by the Cleveland Browns, emerged as the Falcons’ No. 3 wide receiver last season while making $510,000. He added a spark to the offense with his speed and toughness. As the third receiver behind Julio Jones and...
Top 10 linebackers in the 2017 NFL draft
 Here are the top 10 linebacker prospects (with projected draft round) for the NFL draft, which is set for Thursday through Saturday in Philadelphia: Reuben Foster, 6-foot and 229 pounds, Alabama (first round): Has had a stormy pre-draft season starting with getting kicked out of the scouting combine and culminating with a flagged drug test...

Posted: 3 days ago

Here are the top 10 linebacker prospects (with projected draft round) for the NFL draft, which is set for Thursday through Saturday in Philadelphia: Reuben Foster, 6-foot and 229 pounds, Alabama (first round): Has had a stormy pre-draft season starting with getting kicked out of the scouting combine and culminating with a flagged drug test...
Falcons to open new stadium against Packers
 The Falcons are scheduled to play their first regular-season NFL game at the Mercedes-Benz Dome against the Green Bay Packers on Sept. 17 on NBC’s “Sunday Night Football.” The schedule, released Thursday, has slated the Falcons’ new stadium debut in Week 2. The defending NFC champs, the Falcons will open the season...

Posted: 5 days ago

The Falcons are scheduled to play their first regular-season NFL game at the Mercedes-Benz Dome against the Green Bay Packers on Sept. 17 on NBC’s “Sunday Night Football.” The schedule, released Thursday, has slated the Falcons’ new stadium debut in Week 2. The defending NFC champs, the Falcons will open the season...
A week-by-week look at the Falcons’ 2017 schedule
 Here’s a week-by-week look at the Falcons’ 2017 NFL schedule: Falcons at Miami Dolphins at 7 p.m. Aug. 10 Falcons at Pittsburgh Steelers at 4 p.m. Aug. 20 Arizona Cardinals at Falcons at 7 p.m. Aug. 26 Jacksonville Jaguars at Falcons at 7 p.m. Aug. 31 Sept. 10 at Chicago Bears, 1 p.m., FOX: The Bears have hitched their wagon to...

Posted: 5 days ago

Here’s a week-by-week look at the Falcons’ 2017 NFL schedule: Falcons at Miami Dolphins at 7 p.m. Aug. 10 Falcons at Pittsburgh Steelers at 4 p.m. Aug. 20 Arizona Cardinals at Falcons at 7 p.m. Aug. 26 Jacksonville Jaguars at Falcons at 7 p.m. Aug. 31 Sept. 10 at Chicago Bears, 1 p.m., FOX: The Bears have hitched their wagon to...