Many thanks to WolfPackSteelersFan for handling his double-header duties today with aplomb. An interesting pick to compliment the #1 overall selection in our draft. I have a feeling some might weigh in on this selection, but for my money, I like the rationale behind being weary of Dorsey. It's tough to do because of the incredible physical gifts he possesses, but as we've discussed recently, talent's one thing, production on the field is another. Atlanta can't afford to misfire and get unlucky with this pick this year. Up next: Oakland Raiders
Following a terrible 2007 season after the Michael Vick incident, the Falcons 2008 draft pick is harder to figure because there are so many needs the team needs to address. They need a franchise QB, their OL has sucked for years, the DL is suspect, etc. So, it really comes down to four guys in my mind: Matt Ryan, Jake Long, Glenn Dorsey, and Sedrick Ellis.
Most of what I hear is that the Falcons will take Matt Ryan if he is there. Jamie Dukes, a former OL for the Falcons, wants them to take Jake Long.
I'm not sold on Ryan as the 'can't-miss' franchise QB that everyone says he is. He was a 5th year senior at BC on a team with, and if I recall correctly, over 20 5th year seniors. He had great numbers, and led his team to some impressive comeback wins, most notably against Virginia Tech on a rainy night. But he also had 19 picks his senior year. To me, he's more Alex Smith than Peyton Manning (both top overall picks). The Falcons may look to Brian Brohm in the second round, or they may try Chris Redmon for a year. If he doesn't work out, there's take Matthew Stafford out of UGA next year (or the year after). So I'm not picking Ryan here.
That leaves Jake Long, Glenn Dorsey, or Sedrick Ellis? Again, the Falcons have tons of needs, and this is a very deep OL draft. So, I will pass on Jake Long and look to DT. The Falcons released Rod Coleman this year, and, when healthy, he could be a force in the middle. Should it be Glenn Dorsey, who should be a great fit in new head coach Mike Smith's 4-3 defense, or Sedrick Ellis, who mainly played NT at USC?
It's hard to pass on Dorsey, but he's been injury prone for that last two years. He's played through the injuries and put up good numbers, but is his body already starting to deteriorate? That worries me a little bit. And, Sedrick Ellis was the best defensive player at the Senior Bowl. Apparently, he's beginning to drop down some draft boards because his combine wasn't as impressive as expected. But, on the field, he's a beast. During the Senior Bowl, it seemed like he was in the backfield on just about every play he was on the field. He's the only player I still remember after 2+ months being pointed out in the game for his play. Ellis was injured in 2006, but seemed to have no ill-effects from it in 2007, as shown in this highlight video:
So, I'm going with Ellis. He was disruptive force on one of the best teams in the country. And, he doesn't have the injury concerns that Dorsey has. I know you may point to Adrian Peterson who slipped because of injury concerns, but he even got hurt this year, so we'll have to see how he holds up in the long run. I would have gone with Dorsey if not for those concerns in my mind.