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Shiver
03-28-2007, 02:27 PM
CORNERBACK! (http://www.ajc.com/sports/content/sports/falcons/stories/2007/03/28/0329falcons.html)

That, and other things.

Phoenix — New Falcons coach Bobby Petrino said that second-year defensive back Jimmy Williams would enter the team's first mini-camp in April as the starting right cornerback. That furthered thought that Atlanta could choose a safety — LSU's LaRon Landry is the most highly regarded — with the No. 8 overall selection in the April 28-29 NFL draft.

At Wednesday's league meetings, Petrino offered more insight into the team, including the fact that Chauncey Davis is the likely replacement at defensive end for Patrick Kerney and his hope to change quarterback Michael Vick from running with the ball as much.

Here's a look at how some players and positions will be affected:

Jimmy Williams

Very little thought was given to moving Williams to safety, Petrino said. Having scouted in college and watching film of Williams in limited action last season, it was determined early that Williams, down to 207 pounds from 215, would play right corner, opposite fellow Virginia Techie, DeAngelo Hall.

"We're excited about him," Petrino said. "He's been working hard. He's got a lot of energy. It will be fun to get to know him and see exactly how he operates at corner. We drafted him as a corner and we need a corner and that's what he's played. He didn't get a lot of opportunities last year. I try to take last year and put it aside and evaluate from this point on."

With the draft a month away, the decision to play Williams at corner could be a sign that the Falcons are targeting Landry or Florida safety Reggie Nelson with the top pick. Incumbent free safety Chris Crocker was solid against the run but a liability in deep coverage and could be replaced.

What becomes of last season's starting right cornerback Jason Webster remains to be seen, however Petrino saying there was a need for a right cornerback could signal his release.

Chauncey Davis

Davis has started 18 games in his first two seasons, so him serving as Kerney's replacement would not be a surprise. Davis is solid against the run but he is still evolving as a pass rusher.

This does not mean the Falcons won't draft a defensive end. There is the chance they could opt for Arkansas Jamaal Anderson with the first pick, or use one of their two second-round picks on a defensive end, with Georgia Charles Johnson being a possibility if he slips that far.

Brian Finneran

Veteran Brian Finneran, who missed all of last season after tearing knee ligaments, is on track to be ready for training camp but there is still some uncertainty about his health, Petrino said.

Petrino thinks this group, with the addition of veteran Joe Horn, has the capability to do well, however, they must prove themselves.

"We're waiting to see," Petrino said of the wide receivers. "They're committed and excited that we're going to spend a lot of time practicing the passing game and going through the progression that I believe in and that's learning the game together; everybody putting all the parts together."

This could still be a position addressed in the draft.

Interesting:

Jimmy Williams is down to 6'2" 207-lbs, he's slimmed down, which should help his fluidity.

Chauncey Davis rotating with whatever draftee comes in.

Seems like the team is content with the Receivers.

D-Rod
03-28-2007, 02:43 PM
Nice. I'm glad that JW will at least get a year starting at CB to prove himself. Also, there are more good FSs in this draft than CBs.

All looks good. If they're happy with Davis as a 1st and 2nd down DE, solid against the run, that could mean we'd be looking for more a situational pass rusher at DE, to line up opposite Abe on 3rd down.

On the other hand, they could just mean that Davis is the starter by default, but they don't really have faith in him as a high quality starter. The draft will say a lot about that.

As for Vick, as much as I love him, 65% is a pipedream. 60%, added to his running ability, would make him an elite QB, so that's fine. Hey, nothing wrong with aiming high.

On the basis of that info, I'd possibly expect us to be looking at Landry first up, rather than Anderson. If they really trust Davis as a run-stuffing starter, we could relegate DE to a 3rd rounder - like Dan Bazuin, perhaps - meaning that we could take:

Landry;Harrell;Blaylock.
Brown;Meriweather;Blaylock.
Okoye;Griffin;Sears.
AD; Grubbs; Weddle.

Definitely need a FS now, though.

ATLDirtyBirds
03-28-2007, 02:51 PM
Good to hear, I do think JDub would be more useful at FS than #2 CB, but he will do a great job at cb. Now I think we draft Landry.

Shiver
03-28-2007, 02:54 PM
Good to hear, I do think JDub would be more useful at FS than #2 CB, but he will do a great job at cb. Now I think we draft Landry.

Hopefully he is there. If not, I wouldn't mind trading into the late 1st, to grab Michael Griffin, Brandon Meriweather, or Reggie Nelson.

iloxygenil
03-28-2007, 04:23 PM
I think #2 CB JW is going to be amazing...SUPER physical and the guy is a freak. can't wait to see what he can do =)

D-Rod
03-28-2007, 04:59 PM
Hopefully he is there. If not, I wouldn't mind trading into the late 1st, to grab Michael Griffin, Brandon Meriweather, or Reggie Nelson.

That is certainly a possibility. But look at it this way:

I'd rank the available safeties thus:

Landry; Nelson; Griffin; Meriweather (because of character); Weddle.

One of those will surely be available at #39. Weddle is a bit of a drop off from the others, but will still be a very high quality FS for many years, and is an A++ character.

We COULD trade both seconds to get to #17 - where we could pick Nelson.
But really, would you rather have Weddle and Blaylock/CJ or just Nelson? I'd rather have two good players.

We COULD trade #39 and #75 for #25 - where we could pick Griffin.
But really, would you rather have Weddle and Woodley/Moses, or just Griffin? I'd rather have two good players.

We COULD trade #44 and #75 for #28 - where we could pick Griffin/Meriweather. Same argument.

Maybe I'd use one of the 4th rounders to move up to grab Meriweather or Griffin, if they fell into range (#39 and #106 would get us #32), but nothing more than that.

We need a number of good young players. Griffin or Meriweather might be a little better than Weddle, for example, but not my so much that it's worth giving up a good pick to move up.

Hope that makes sense.

Shiver
03-28-2007, 05:01 PM
I totally understand. Though, back in '04, that was the plan with the Receivers, but a run forced the team to make a play to get Jenkins. I could see something similar happen, with the safeties in this year's class. Now there is talk that Weddle may even sneak into the late-1st, early 2nd range.

ATLDirtyBirds
03-28-2007, 06:44 PM
I still think LaRon falls to us. Otherwise I'm praying for Meriweather or Griffin. I'm not a very big Nelson or Weedle fan.

Draft King
03-28-2007, 07:33 PM
If Landry doesn't slip to us I'd be happy trading down for either Merriweather or Griffin, which could also score us yet another 2nd round pick.

iloxygenil
03-28-2007, 07:41 PM
Griffin is my favorite.

Tr1ck
03-28-2007, 10:05 PM
Pray for Brandon merriweather

America
03-28-2007, 10:23 PM
I really wanted the Texans to get Brandon Meriweather in round 2. Now that yall have our pick, yall could definately get him and take Levi Brown in round 1. I do think that Petrino will somehow get Michael Bush on his team at one point or another. Crocker can play SS, and then Meriweather is a true FS. And then you have a pretty young secondary with Williams and Hall.

Shiver
03-29-2007, 12:49 PM
From this article, could it be the team wouldn't mind a rotation of Davis and Carrington at LE? Then, the only need at the position, is a RE to spell Abraham, keeping him healthy.

Shiver
03-29-2007, 10:48 PM
With this impending trade for Deltha O'Neal, I am curious what this will mean for Jimmy Williams. Soon after announcing him as the 'starter,' they trade a good 3rd round pick for a corner? My head is spinning.