Atlanta Falcons Blog

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

NFL Draft pool shaping up well for Falcons

The news of Auburn left tackle Greg Robinson entering the draft should have been cheered at the Falcons nerve center in Flowery Branch.

I am so thankful for @CoachGusMalzahn @CoachJBGrimes and @rhettlashlee for everything they have done leading us to a memorable season

— Greg Robinson (@GregRobinson73) January 7, 2014

This was a tough decision but I have decided to declare for the NFL Draft.

— Greg Robinson (@GregRobinson73) January 7, 2014

Also, the news of Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel could be good news, too. If one of the QB-needy teams in front of the Falcons (Texas, Jacksonville or Cleveland) fall in love with Manziel, a good player could get pushed down to the Falcons at No. 6.

Photos: College football juniors going pro

Robinson, a massive 6-foot-5, 320-pounder, declared on Tuesday. Manziel on Wednesday. A total of 80 underclassmen have already declared for the draft, according to Gil Brandt over at Last season, there were 73.

Robinson is a top 10 talent and may be the second-rated tackle behind Texas A&M’s Jake Matthews.

“Greg Robinson, a third-year sophomore left tackle at Auburn, has done a spectacular job,” ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. said on a recent teleconference. “I love the way he goes out and just takes pride in his work. He’s a mature kid and professional in terms of his approach and his demeanor. He just has great talent at 6-5, 320. He’s light on his feet. He has everything that you want.”

Kiper has Robinson rated as the ninth best player on his Big Board.

Matthews is considered the top rated tackle. Kiper has Michigan tackle Taylor Lewan rated as the 20th player overall and third tackle.

Alabama tackle Cyrus Kouandjio is 22nd overall and the fourth tackle.

“Jake Matthews is right there at the top,” Kiper said. “Jake Matthews from Texas A&M was a right tackle turned left tackle. He’s done an outstanding job. He’s a guy that’s right there and will be right there all along.”

In addition to Lewan, Iowa tackle Brandon Scherfff is highly rated Big 10 tackle.

“He’s a fourth-year junior,” Kiper said. “He’s a former quarterback and punter. He’s fun to watch because he just dominates as a run blocker. He’s got good feet. He’s light on his feet. He’s had a couple of mistakes in protection.”

There could be six or seven tackles go in the first round.

“There are a lot of left tackles and you can see right now, if some of the juniors that I mentioned come out, some of the underclassmen, you’re looking at four or five,” Kiper said. “You could have seven offensive tackles go in the first round. (La’el) Collins from LSU is another underclassman with a pretty good grade.”


1. Houston Texans 2-14 .559

2. St. Louis Rams## 7-9 .551

3. Jacksonville Jaguars 4-12 .504

4. Cleveland Browns 4-12 .516

5. Oakland Raiders 4-12 .523

6. Atlanta Falcons 4-12 .553

7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 4-12 .574

8. Minnesota Vikings 5-10-1 .512

9. Buffalo Bills 6-10 .520

10. Detroit Lions 7-9 .457

11. Tennessee Titans 7-9 .504

12. New York Giants 7-9 .520

13. St. Louis Rams 7-9 .551

14. Chicago Bears 8-8 .465

15. Pittsburgh Steelers 8-8 .469

t-16. Baltimore Ravens@ 8-8 .484

t-16. Dallas Cowboys@ 8-8 .484

18. New York Jets 8-8 .488

19. Miami Dolphins 8-8 .523

20. Arizona Cardinals 10-6 .531

21. Green Bay Packers 8-7-1 .453

22. Philadelphia Eagles 10-6 .453

23. Kansas City Chiefs 11-5 .445

24. Cincinnati Bengals 11-5 .480

## -- From Washington in RGIII trade.

@-- Dallas and Baltimore will have a coin flip.

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About the Author

D. Orlando Ledbetter is the Atlanta Falcons beat writer for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.