Atlanta Falcons 2014 NFL Draft Review
By John McMullen, NFL Editor
1 (6) - Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M; 2 (37) - Ra'Shede Hageman DT, Minnesota; 3 (68) - Dezmen Southward, FS, Wisconsin; 4 (103) - Devonta Freeman, RB, Florida State; 4 (139) - Prince Shembo, OLB, Notre Dame; 5 (147) - Ricardo Allen, CB, Purdue; 5 (168) - Marquis Spruill, ILB, Syracuse; 7 (253) - Yawin Smallwood, OLB, UConn; 7 (255) - Tyler Starr, OLB, South Dakota
Top Picks Analysis: The Falcons had visions of trading up for the No. 1 pick in the draft, South Carolina star pass rusher Jadeveon Clowney, but that was cost prohibitive so they stayed put at No. 6 and went with offensive tackle Jake Matthews, a safe pick at a need position.
Minnesota defensive tackle Ra'Shede Hageman is a boom-or-bust prospect with a very high ceiling as a player, while Wisconsin safety Dezmen Southward was another need pick and will be given every opportunity to replace the departed Thomas DeCoud as William Moore's running mate.
Best Value Pick: Fourth-round selection Prince Shembo of Notre Dame lacks the length to be an every down difference maker on the edge but he has the instincts and toughness to be a solid situational pass rusher for a team that is desperate for one.
Questionable Calls: Hageman flashes but has always lacked consistency on the college level. A move to the five-technique at the professional level could either accentuate his natural physical skills or turn him into a tweener with no real position.
Summary: Matthews is as safe as it gets at No. 6 overall and will certainly be a welcome addition for Matt Ryan but general manager Thomas Dimitroff really rolled the dice after the Texas A&M legacy.
FINAL GRADE: B
Undrafted rookie free agent signings: DT/FB Roosevelt Nix, Kent State; RB Jerome Smith, Syracuse; CB Tay Glover-Wright, Utah State; OL James Stone, Tennessee; WR Geraldo Boldewijn, Boise State; QB Jeff Matthews, Cornell; WR Bernard Reedy, Toledo; DE Jacques Smith, Tennessee; P Matt Yoklic, Pittsburgh; DL Nosa Eguae, Auburn; WR Freddie Martino, North Greenville; LB Brenden Daley, Hawaii; TE Jacob Pederson, Wisconsin; S Kimario McFadden, South Carolina; DE Walker May, Vanderbilt; DT Donte Rumph, Kentucky; S Javon Marshall, Vanderbilt; S Jestin Love, Central Arkansas; K Drew Basil, Ohio State FB Maurice Hagens, Miami; CB Devonta Glover-Wright, Utah State
05/12 10:44:34 ET