Atlanta Falcons Blog

Atlanta Falcons blog by D. Orlando Ledbetter, the pro football and Atlanta Falcons reporter for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Cover 9@9: Mock Draft 5.0 -- Falcons select sackmaster Emmanuel Ogbah

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The AJC’s D. Orlando Ledbetter gives his top players for the Falcons to draft at #17, talks about the interest in LB Myles Jack & tells CineSport’s Noah Coslov where the team may go in round 2.

The COVER 9@9 is back every Wednesday at 9 a.m. The schedule was released and the offseason program has started. The NFL is next week, Thursday through Saturday in Chicago.

1. MOCK DRAFT 5.O: The Los Angles-Tennessee trade and the seemingly pending Cleveland and Philadelphia trade are going to adversely affect the Falcons in this Mock Draft.

With Tennessee and Cleveland falling back in the draft, both  are likely to snap of defensive players and that will take Ohio State line backer Darron Lee and Alabama linebacker Reggie Ragland off the board before the Falcons pick with the 17th overall pick.

Clemson defensive end Shaq Lawson was already slated to go before the Falcons select.

Under this trading scenario, the Falcons best bets on defensive help will pit the hard-working Emmanuel Ogbah against Ole Mississippi’s Robert Nkemdiche, who some contend was a slacker for the Rebels. Confronted with these options, the Falcons will go with Ogbah, who reportedly visited with the team this week.

Ogbah is one of the most prolific pass rushers in the draft.

Ogbah, 6-foot-4 and 270 pounds, had 28 sacks in three seasons with the Cowboys. He played at George Bush High in Houston. He also has a visit lined up with the Carolina Panthers, who have the 30th pick.

The Falcons could possibly trade back in the draft and get Ogbah, who is the seventh-rated defensive end in the draft, according to

He’s rated behind Ohio State’s Joey Bosa, Oregon’s DeForest Buckner, Clemson’s Shaq Lawson, Eastern Kentucky’s Noah Spence, Clemson's Kevin Dodd and Florida’s Jonathan Bullard.

Here's how the Mock 5.0 stacks up:

  1. Los Angeles. Carson Wentz, QB, North Dakota State: Wentz didn’t get any major college offers and went to FCS powerhouse North Dakota State. He redshirted his first season. He spent two more seasons as a reserve before winning the starting job as a junior. He led the Bison to two consecutive FCS titles. Wentz, an academic all-American, dazzled pro scouts at the Senior Bowl and wowed coaches and executives with his football smarts at the scouting combine. But his critics point out that he threw just 612 passes over his career.
  2. Cleveland Browns. Jared Goff, QB, California: His father Jerry Goff was a Major League Baseball player (1990, 1992-1996). He was a four-star recruit and started all 37 games of his career for the Golden Bears. He led Cal to a 7-5 mark last season and passed for 4,719 yards, 43 touchdowns while completing 64.5 percent of his passes.
  3. San Diego Chargers. Jalen Ramsey, DB, Florida State
  4. Dallas Cowboys. DeForest Buckner, DE, Oregon
  5. Jacksonville Jaguars. Myles Jack, LB, UCLA.
  6. Baltimore Ravens. Joey Bosa, DE, Ohio State
  7. San Francisco 49ers. Laremy Tunsil, OT, Mississippi
  8. Philadelphia Eagles. Vernon Hargreaves, CB, Florida
  9. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Sheldon Rankins, DT, Louisville

    FILE - In this Oct. 17, 2015, file photo, Ohio State running back Ezekiel Elliott (15) leaps over Penn State defender Trace McSorley (9) during an NCAA college football game in Columbus, Ohio. Elliott is expected to be a first round pick at the NFL Draft. (AP Photo/Paul Vernon)

  10. New York Giants. Leonard Floyd, LB, Georgia
  11. Chicago Bears. Ronnie Stanley, OL, Notre Dame
  12. New Orleans Saints. Shaq Lawson, DE, Clemson
  13. Miami Dolphins. Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State: He powered the Buckeyes to the FBS national championship as a true sophomore when he rushed for 230 yards against Alabama in the playoff semifinal and for 246 yards against Oregon in the 2015 title game.  He passed Eddie George for second place on Ohio State’s all-time rushing list. Elliott ran the 40-yard dash in 4.48 seconds at the combine and can make defenders miss in the hole. Because of his electric running style, Elliott and Alabama’s Derrick Henry are  the only running back rated in Dane Brugler’s NFL Draft “Elite 60” preview of the draft.
  14. Oakland Raiders. Mackensie Alexander, CB, Clemson
  15. Tennessee Titans. Reggie Ragland, LB, Alabama
  16. Detroit Lions. Darron Lee, LB, Ohio State
  17. Atlanta Falcons, Emmanuel Ogbah, DE, Oklahoma State
  18. Indianapolis Colts. Jack Conklin, OT, Michigan State
  19. Buffalo Bills. Robert Nkemdiche, DE, Mississippi
  20. New York Jets. Paxton Lynch, QB, Memphis: Was a late bloomer as a recruit. After impressing schools at a all-star, he started to get some attention. Florida started to recruit him late, but selected another quarterback who had family ties to the program. Last season, he completed 296 of 444 passes for 3,778 yards and 28 touchdowns. He had a poor bowl game against Auburn after former Memphis head coach Justin Fuente ran out on his team to take the Virginia Tech job. He’s the best athlete of the top-rated quarterbacks.  
  21. Washington Redskins. A’Shawn Robinson, DT, Alabama
  22. Houston Texans. Josh Doctson, WR, TCU: Holds the school record for most receiving yards (2,785) and in a single game (267). He has a large catching radius. He went from walk-on to All-American status for the Horned Frogs. Last season he had 79 catches for 1,327 yards and 14 touchdowns in just 10 games.
  23. Minnesota, Jarran Reed, DT, Alabama

    Memphis quarterback Paxton Lynch passes against Cincinnati in the first half Saturday, Oct. 4, 2014, in Cincinnati. (Associated Press)

  24. Cincinnati Bengals. Corey Coleman, WR, Baylor: A dazzling play-maker for the Bears in college. He set school records for touchdowns receptions in a single season (20) and career (33). He also finished in the top five in receiving yards (3,009) in school history.
  25. Pittsburgh Steelers. Eli Apple, CB, Ohio State
  26. Seattle Seahawks. Noah Spence, DE, Eastern Kentucky
  27. Green Bay Packers. Kevin Dodd, DE, Clemson
  28. Kansas City Chiefs. William Jackson III, CB, Houston
  29. Arizona Cardinals. Taylor Decker, OT, Ohio State
  30. Carolina Panthers. Vonn Bell, FS, Ohio State
  31. Denver Broncos. Chris Jones, NT, Mississippi State

* There will be only 31 picks in the first round in 2016, with New England’s first-round pick forfeited.

2. QUARTERBACK CORNER: The Atlanta Journal-Cons titution c olumnist Jeff Schultz noted that quarterback Matt Ryan was responsible for 24 of the team's 30 turnovers -- a whopping 80 percent -- last season. Despite appearing  -- at times -- to be a misfit for offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan's offense, Ryan reminds confident in the coach and scheme.

3. BUY PRIME TIME'S CRIB: Former Falcons star Deion Sander's house is on the market in the Dallas area. You can have it for a cool $12.75 million.

4. POSITION BY POSITION SERIES: We started on Sunday with the Quarterbacks followed by the running backs and wide receivers. Today position: The Tight ends. Links to all of the stories and blogs are at the bottom of each story.

5. SLEEPER TIGHT END PICK FOR THE FALCONS: Sleeper pick for Falcons: Temarrick Hemingway, South Carolina State, courtesy of Gil Brandt. He likes Hemingway's combination of size, speed and willingness to block. Hemingway is 6-4 7/8 and 244 pounds. He has a fourth to fifth round grade. Brandt, on Sirius NFL Radio Monday night, recommended that the Falcons select Hemingway. He cited his 6.88-second three-cone drill time, which shows excellent quickness and fluid lateral movement. "(Hemingway) was the best tight end at the NFLPA (all-star) game. He was intriguing. He has size, length and upside. Someone is going to give him a shot to develop," a scout told Nolan Nawrocki in the NFL Draft 2016 Preview.

6. Q&A WITH JULIO JONES: Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones spoke with the media after working out on the second day of the team’s offseason program on Tuesday. Jones addressed the misfiring of the offense last season and said it lacked an identity. He also addressed his mentor Roddy White’s release, new receiver Mohamed Sanu, the retirement of Calvin Johnson and helping Alabama players prepare for the draft. To read the full session CLICK HERE.

7. ICYMI - Falcons transactions since March 1.

8. CHEERLEADER AUDITIONS: The Atlanta Falcons cheerleaders have their last prep class on Saturday before the preliminary auditions on Sunday at the Georgia Dome.

The final prep class (there is a cost)

has been upgraded to a “VIP Audition Sneak.”

Participants will have an opportunity to learn a portion of the pre-lims routine (first cut only).

A limited number of various audition-friendly give-a-ways will also be available to randomly selected participants who pre-register.  Space is limited. Click here for registration information.

Preliminary auditions registration is from 7:45 a.m.- 9:30 a.m. at the Georgia Dome. Auditions begin at 9:30 am.

The finals will be held on Wednesday with registration at 5:30 p.m. and auditions at 6:30 pm. (Closed to the public).

 DETAILS for those seeking to audition: 

  • Preliminary Auditions will last until 2:00 p.m.
  • There will be two cuts at the preliminary audition.
  • Preliminary auditions are open to the general public.
  • Attire for auditions is a two-piece leotard (bra top and dance trunks), skin-tone/matte tights, socks and white dance sneakers or tennis shoes.
  • All choreography will be taught to candidates on the day of the audition.
  • Should the participant become a finalist, there will be a mandatory 15-minute interview (during the day) and dance/fitness boot camp (in the evening) on Monday, April 25th. This will be arranged at the preliminary audition.
  • Learn the final cut on Tuesday evening April 26th 6:30 p.m.

What to bring to audition

  • Application (download online at )
  • Recent non-returnable photo or snapshot
  • Valid Photo ID
  • Non-refundable $35 CASH application fee
  • Business and/or dance resume (optional)
  • Light lunch or snack and drink


  • Must be at least 18 years of age by June 2, 2016
  • Must be a high school graduate or have a G.E.D.
  • Must have a part-time or full-time job or be a college student (yes, a mother is considered a full-time job!)

9. UPDATED DEPTH CHART:  Here’s an updated look at the post-free agency and pre-draft depth chart.


WR 11 Julio Jones, 16 Justin Hardy, 17 Devin Hester, 18 Jordan Leslie

LT 70 Jake Matthews, 76 Tom Compton

LG 67 Andy Levitre, 64 Collin Rahrig

C   51 Alex Mack, 62 James Stone

RG 68 Mike Person 63 Ben Garland, 67 Adam Replogle

RT 73 Ryan Schraeder, 72 Bryce Harris

TE 83 Jacob Tamme, 80 Levine Toilolo, 86 D.J. Tialavea, 86 Beau Gardner

WR Mohamed Sanu, 14 Eric Weems, 15 Nick Williams, 89 Aldrick Robinson, 89 C.J. Goodwin

QB 2 Matt Ryan, 12 Sean Renfree, 8 Matt Schaub, 1 Matt Simms

RB 24 Devonta Freeman, 26 Tevin Coleman, 33 Terron Ward, 35 Gus Johnson

FB 42 Patrick DiMarco


RDE  99 Adrian Clayborn, 94 Tyson Jackson

DT 95 Jonathan Babineaux  97 Grady Jarrett

DT 90 Derrick Shelby, 77 Ra’Shede Hageman, 74 Joey Mbu

LDE 44 Vic Beasley Jr., 93 Malliciah Goodman, 41 Tyler Starr


LB 56 Sean Weatherspoon, 50 Brooks Reed, Philip Wheeler

LB 55 Paul Worrilow, 91 Courtney Upshaw, 53 LaRoy Reynolds

RCB 28 Akeem King, 32 Jalen Collins


NCB 23 Robert Alford, 43 DeMarcus Van Dyke

LCB 21 Desmond Trufant, 43 DeMarcus Van Dyke

FS 37 Ricardo Allen, 27 Robenson Therezie

S 30 Charles Godfrey, 36 Kemal Ishmael, 40 Damian Parms


K 3 Matt Bryant

KO 5 Matt Bosher

P 5 Matt Bosher

KR 17 Devin Hester, 14 Eric Weems

PR 17 Devin Hester, 14 Eric Weems

LS 47 Josh Harris

H 5 Matt Bosher


Sunday, April 17 -- QUARTERBACKS

Rams quest for franchise quarterback behind big trade --Wentz or Goff?

D. Led’s breakdown of the Quarterbacks

A look at the top 10 Quarterbacks in the draft


D Led’s breakdown of the Running backs -- Is Derrick Henry the next Charles Muncie?

A look at the top 10 Running backs


D. Led’s breakdown of the Wide receivers

A look at the top 10 Wide receivers

Wednesday -- TIGHT ENDS

D. Led’s breakdown of the Tight ends

A look at the top 10 tight ends


D. Led’s breakdown of the Offensive linemen

Offensive linemen chart


D. Led’s breakdown of the Defensive linemen

Defensive linemen chart

Saturday, April 23 -- LINEBACKERS

Falcons searching for hybrid linebacker/safeties

D. Led’s breakdown of the Linebackers

A look at the top 10 linebackers

Sunday, April 24 -- CORNERBACKS

D. Led’s breakdown of the cornerbacks

A look at the top 10 cornerbacks

Monday, April 25 -- SAFETIES

D. Led’s breakdown of the Safeties

A look at the top 10 Safeties

Tuesday, April 26

D. Led’s breakdown of the Specialists, kickers, punters and returners

Position by position: Specialists chart

Wednesday, April 27

Final mock draft

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