Sunday, April 28, 2013

Atlanta Falcons 2013 draft analysis and way too early projections

Unlike most of the years I've been a Falcons fan, these days I can breathe a little easier knowing that "grown ups" are in charge.  We are a well run franchise....who'd a thunk it??

I wasn't thrilled with the Stephen Jackson signing....just because I wanted money spent on defense.  I'm delighted that he's on the team, now that the die is cast.  We certainly needed a running back, I've just seen so many middle round draft picks at running back be very successful.  However, he's a specimen who is a leader, and he wants to win so badly that he opted out of the last year of a 7 million dollar contract with the Rams, so that he could sign with us for $4 million a year.  I like that.
Add the resigning of Tony Gonzalez, and the plan for the 2013 season is obvious.....we plan on scoring 38 points a game and hoping the defense can allow themselves to get run over slowly.  Truth is, we just want a defense that does not give up big plays and maybe gets a couple of turnovers. 

We signed Osi Umenyora (I know that's not how it's spelled, but I don't feel like looking it up) for a defensive end....I'm OK with that.  We needed a body there.  We might wind up resigning John Abraham at a discount.  We'll see.

We cut Dunta Robinson and Tyson Clabo.   The last one surprised me, but I think we were trying to make cap space.

Alright....on to the draft.   We needed cornerbacks and defensive ends, in my opinion.  We also needed a project tight end, and a defensive tackle would be nice.

1st round...we traded up 8 spots to select CB Desmond Trufant.   He is universally regarding as a can't miss player...and it was at a glaring weakness.   I've read that we gave up a lot to get him, but the Vikings took a corners a few picks later, and the Patriots wound up trading down after the elite ones were, trading up was a smart move.

2nd round...we stayed put and drafted CB Robert Alford...He's a fast CB who is also a kick returner.   He was tackled by Trufant on a kick return in the Senior Bowl.....small world.   Mel Kiper thought he was a late 1st rd candidate, so it appears to be good value.

4th round....we picked up a Clemson defensive end Malliciah Goodman.  He wasn't very productive, but appears to be a genetic freak who can hold down the left end position. He has extremely long arms and 11 inch hands...for what's that's worth.   Maybe he'll grow with NFL coaching.  We also drafted a tight end from Stanford, Levine Toilolo.   He's 6-8.  That's a good place to start.  He needs to grow into the position, I think.  He looks kinda lean...but he's 6-8, after all.   A year playing behind Tony Gonzalez can't hurt.

We added a pass run specialist at defensive end in the 5th rd...Stansly Maponga.  I think he's a rotational player on passing downs.

We closed with a couple of safeties...Kemal Ishmael and Zeke Motta, and a QB from Duke, Sean Renfree.  Apparently Motta is supposed to be a steal...he ran a horrible 40 time at the combine and his draft stock plummeted.   He could just be over rated because he played for Notre Dame.  That's why they think he's a steal.  Who knows?  The QB is intriguing.  He is a sleeper.  Maybe he'll grow into a great backup, and future trade fodder.  It's obvious Matt Ryan ain't going any where.

I saw 6 different draft ratings.  Kiper gave us a B.  3 other sites gave us B's.  1 site gave us a A, and one gave us a C+.

I'm sure our rating was hurt by not having a 3rd round pick.  In my opinion, we addressed most of the needs.  I would have liked a better DE and another defensive tackle, but you can't have super stars everywhere.   Our fortunes this year depend on the following:

  • avoiding injury
  • inexperienced offensive line stepping up
  • young corner backs playing great
We have several undrafted free agents I forgot to mention...none of them will probably crack the starting line up.  If they do, they are either wonderful surprises, or we have major problems.

One more note about the offensive line....I think the right side of our offensive line will be Konz, Reynolds, and Lamar Holmes.   There is a lot of inexperience there.  I hope they can put it together.

Our schedule looks hard, but we could get off to a good start.   The Dolphins are really improved, from what I read. 

We could split our divisional games, and lose to the Patriots, Packers, Seahawks, and 49ers.   Those are all losable games.  That would put us 9-7.   So, that's my worst case scenario.   Perhaps we can sweep a divisional rival (Bucs, maybe), and put down either the Patriots or Seahawks (both those games are at home).   I would take 11-5 and another NFC South Division Championship.   Get into the playoffs, and anything is possible.

One final note....Stansly Maponga is very fun to say.   Try it.   I hope he makes the team.

This weekend was....

This weekend was pretty busy.  I was very proud of the kids.
The two big kids ran in a 1 mile fun run at school, and stayed late playing with friends and watching the movie presented out in the fields...Wreck in Ralph.  Collins had a game on Saturday, and then a late practice.

We failed to go to church, but we really didn't do anything of note anyway.  It was POURING outside.  Apparently, north Georgia has turned into the "Land of Eternal Rain".   Kristin and I (mostly her) worked on a blog that we set up for the Hobgood Hurricanes All Star team.  I'll link to it at some point.  We're using it as a fund raiser to raise money for the team to attend tournaments.

The night ended with Gracie and Collins asking a barrage of theological questions...which I answered fairly well, although they were thinking of their next question instead of listening to my answers.  

I have a quick breakdown of the Falcons draft picks, but I'll do it in another post.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Picking up the pieces

I blogged for years.  

I blogged for years.  I enjoyed the outlet.  I love to communicate.  I used it record and document...everything.  When started to Facebook, I blogged less.  When the newness wore off of Facebook, I didn't blog with the same fervor.   I was busy at work, busy at home...after 'facebooking", I was kinda done communicating for the day.  

I decided last year to hit the blog again.  I was horrified to see that it had been deleted.  I still don't know why...maybe it was inactivity.  All those memories of the kids...funny things they said and did over the years....they are all gone.  I'll never remember all of them.  It kinda sucks.

I didn't feel like restarting it, so I didn't restart it. 

It hit me the other day that the kids are still doing things that I want to share with everyone.  Baby Jack is 2 years old, and he's adorable.  He's hilarious.  He's a pain in the rear end.

Grace will turn double digits this year, and may take up running cross country.   Collins just made an all star team.  Kristin and I moved.  Petunia passed away.   There is a lot of stuff that has happened since the last time blogged.

All that, in addition to everything else in the world, made me want to take up blogging again. 

Therefore.....ta da.   I'm restarting the GLOC.

I already made my first mistake.  I should have called it GLOC #2.

Dang.   Well.....I'm not going to start it over again so soon.

I'll just call it the GLOC #2