BTSC 2011 Community Mock Draft Pick No. 59: Atlanta Falcons Select Randall Cobb, WR, Kentucky

Many thanks to one of the site's readers I always enjoy hearing from, Bluegrass Steeler, for his pick and write up for the Atlanta Falcons at pick No. 59. By the way, Comcast/Xfinity was interested in placing an advertorial all day as the second post on our main page, so check out the interview with Rich Eisen if you're so inclined. But just a heads up that it's there and will remain as the second post on the page no matter how much content gets published on Wednesday. Thanks for you all's support. Next up: the hated New England Patriots, represented by the not at all hated NYSteelersFan4. - Michael B. -

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So, to quickly recap: After considering a number of different players (including Mike Pouncey who has become a Patriot in this nightmarish mock draft world gone wrong), the Falcons picked Iowa Defensive End Adrian Clayborn with pick #27 in the 2011 NFL Draft. So, given how the board has fallen, what's next present the Falcons faithful get to open on draft weekend?

First, I'm tempted - as the Falcons surely would be - to double dip in the deep defensive end crop. The Falcons have shown an awful lot of interest in Miami DE Allen Bailey. Bailey is a bit of a tweener; he could probably bulk up and play the 5-technique, be the strong side end opposite Clayborn, or even compete with Clayborn at the Right End position. Bailey worries me however. He was never overly productive in college despite his amazing physique and very impressive athleticism. And if there's one thing I find troubling in defensive linemen it's the whole "looks like Tarzan, plays like Jane" phenomena. In other words, even though Bailey has the athleticism to be a good player, I'm not sure if he has the attitude to play the run down after down at LE not to mention constantly fight chips from TE's and RB's on passing downs.

 


Offensive line is another consideration that has some value here. Matt Ryan still can't completely carry a team on his back, he needs an effective ground game to keep the pass rush off him and make the defenses stay honest. The Falcons have a number of free agents on OL, not all of who have obvious replacements currently on the roster. Taking a guy like Orlando Franklin (Obviously I've got Miami on my mind) wouldn't be a bad move here. Franklin is a masher that could be a great right tackle in a physical, run first blocking scheme with the versatility to play both guard positions and even some LT in a pinch. Franklin also gives you a pair of young, bookend tackles with Sam Baker manning the LT position. On the other hand, I'm not sold on Baker at LT yet and if I'm going to draft a tackle in the 2nd round I at least want to think it's possible he could start at LT down the road. I don't see that in Franklin. Ultimately. Franklin is an RT in the NFL and should only be used on the other side in the event of injury. If I'm the Falcons I'm thinking I can get a similar sort of player - although not quite as good - in the 3rd or 4th rounds.

Heck, the Falcons might be able to trade up in round 3 and still get Franklin or another similar player like James Carpenter.

How about wide receiver? And here in the 2nd round is what I call the sweet spot of the draft for the Falcons, it's the moment in which need perfectly meets value. While a number of WR's are off the board (Green, Jones, T. Smith, Hankerson, Baldwin) one of my favorites remains: Kentucky's Randall Cobb. I actually like Cobb as an NFL prospect better than Torrey Smith or Leonard Hankerson, and not just because he's a Wildcat. Rather, Cobb possess good (although, admittedly not outstanding) physical tools combined with a supreme worth ethic, polished route running, great hands, a nice feel for the soft spots in zone coverage, and uncommon versatility. Plus, and this is what may make him indispensible for the Falcons, he's a willing run blocker who's cracked more than a few heads in the SEC.

 


Cobb comes from a pro style offense at UK in which he was expected to know (and know well) the entire route tree. Cobb, it seems to me, can come in an be a good #2 receiver behind Roddy White during his 1st season in large part because he can do so many things well. He can get open underneath due to his high football IQ, he can streak deep if the defender sleeps on him a bit, he can play closer to the line on running plays, and he can even contribute during gadget plays (Cobb started several games at UK as a QB early on). He would allow the Falcons to either let go or demote Michael Jenkins and allow Harry Douglas to take his natural position in the slot. Having a solid #2 receiver with such versatility could open up things more for Tony G who can still be effective as a receiving TE if he's the 3rd option in an offense. Heck, he can even take Jerious Norwood's place as the primary kick and put returner.

Cobb's versatility, work ethic, competitiveness, and ability to contribute to multiple phases of the game make him an easy pick for the Falcons in the 2nd.

BTSC 2011 Community Mock Draft Selections:

  1. Carolina Panthers -- Cam Newton, QB, Auburn
  2. Denver Broncos -- Marcell Dareus, DT, Alabama
  3. Buffalo Bills -- Von Miller, LB, Texas A&M
  4. Cincinnati Bengals -- Da'Quan Bowers, DE, Clemson
  5. Arizona Cardinals -- Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU
  6. Cleveland Browns -- 'The Snow Cone Machine' A.J. Green, WR, Georgia
  7. San Francisco 49ers -- Blaine Gabbert, QB, Missouri
  8. Tennessee Titans -- Nick Fairley, DT, Auburn
  9. Dallas Cowboys -- Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska
  10. Washington Redskins -- Robert Quinn, DE/OLB, North Carolina
  11. Houston Texans -- Aldon Smith, DE/OLB, Missouri
  12. Minnesota Vikings -- Tyron Smith, OT, USC
  13. Detroit Lions -- JJ Watt, DE, Wisconsin
  14. St. Louis Rams -- Julio Jones, WR, Alabama
  15. Miami Dolphons -- Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama
  16. Jacksonville Jaguars -- Brooks Reed , DE, Arizona
  17. New England Patriots -- Gabe Carimi, OT, Wisconsin
  18. San Diego Chargers -- Ryan Kerrigan, DE/OLB, Purdue
  19. New York Giants -- Akeem Ayers, LB, UCLA
  20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers -- Anthony Castonzo, OT, Boston College
  21. Kansas City Chiefs -- Martez Wilson, LB, Illinois
  22. Indianapolis Colts -- Cameron Jordan, DL, California
  23. Philadelphia Eagles -- Jimmy Smith, CB, Colorado
  24. New Orleans Saints -- Justin Houston, DE/OLB, Georgia
  25. Seattle Seahawks -- Jake Locker, QB, Washington
  26. Baltimore Ravens -- Torrey Smith, WR, Maryland
  27. Atlanta Falcons -- Adrian Clayborn, DE, Iowa
  28. New England Patriots -- Mike Pouncey, OG, Florida
  29. Chicago Bears --Derek Sherrod, OT, Mississippi State
  30. New York Jets -- Muhammad Wilkerson, DT, Temple
  31. Pittsburgh Steelers -- Nate Solder, OT, Colorado
  32. Green Bay Packers -- Phil Taylor, DT, Baylor

ROUND 2

  1. New England Patriots -- Cameron Hayward, DE, Ohio State (33rd overall)
  2. Buffalo Bills -- Kyle Rudolph, TE, Notre Dame (34th overall)
  3. Cincinnati Bengals -- Christian Ponder, QB, Florida State (35th overall)
  4. Denver Broncos -- Mikel LeShoure, RB, Illinois (36th overall)
  5. Cleveland Browns -- Corey Liuget, DT, Illinois (37th overall)
  6. Arizona Cardinals -- Colin Kaepernick, QB, Nevada (38th overall)
  7. Tennessee Titans -- Andy Dalton, QB, Texas Christian (39th overall)
  8. Dallas Cowboys -- Danny Watkins, OG, Baylor (40th overall)
  9. Washington Redskins -- Jonathan Baldwin, WR, Pittsburgh (41st overall)
  10. Houston Texans -- Aaron Williams, CB, Texas (42nd overall)
  11. Minnesota Vikings -- Brandon Harris, CB, Miami (43rd overall)
  12. Detroit Lions -- Bruce Carter, OLB, North Carolina (44th overall)
  13. San Francisco 49ers -- Rahim Moore, FS, UCLA (45th overall)
  14. Denver Broncos -- Benjamin Ijalana, OL, Villanova (46th overall)
  15. St. Louis Rams -- Marvin Austin, DT, North Carolina (47th overall)
  16. Oakland Raiders -- Stefan Wisniewski, OG/C, Penn State (48th overall)
  17. Jacksonville Jaguars -- Ryan Mallet, QB, Arkansas (49th overall)
  18. San Diego Chargers -- Leonard Hankerson, WR, University of Miami (50th overall)
  19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers -- Jabaal Sheard, DE, Pittsburgh (51st overall)
  20. New York Giants -- Mason Foster, LB, Washington (52nd overall)
  21. Indianapolis Colts -- Rodney Hudson, G/C, Florida State (53rd overall)
  22. Philadelphia Eagles -- Marcus Cannon, OG, Texas Christian (54th overall)
  23. Kansas City Chiefs -- Stephen Paea, DT, Oregon State (55th overall)
  24. New Orleans Saints -- Robert Sands, S, West Virginia (56th overall)
  25. Seattle Seahawks -- Brandon Burton, CB, Utah (57th overall)
  26. Baltimore Ravens -- Christian Ballard, DE, Iowa (58th overall)
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